July 19, 2011

Bob Ryan Boasts: I Can't Watch A Baseball Game Without A Stack Of Newspapers And Magazines To Distract Me

Why is Bob Ryan patting himself on the back for watching the entire 16-inning game on Sunday night?
There was no excuse to do otherwise. ... That's what a real sports fan does.
Uh-huh. And yet, "the only way" the Globe columnist, who did not have to get up early on Monday, was able to get through that "weird and wonderful" game -- a tension-packed marathon that the players "instinctively knew ... they would be referencing the rest of their lives" and one we "are going to remember, not just for the rest of this year, but for decades" -- was to "multitask".
I love baseball more than most people, but I need something to help me get through a televised game.
So Ryan hung out at Baseball Prospectus, thumbed through the entire Sunday editions of the Globe and New York Times, and read parts of four magazines: Vanity Fair, and SLAM, and two issues of The Atlantic.
All without missing anything going on down there at The Trop. Thank God for replay? Well, of course!

The truth is I did see it all. ... Yup, I hung in there.
Could someone ask Ryan what half-dozen magazines he read while hanging in there during Games 4 and 5 of the 2004 ALCS?

Is a complete inability to focus on a scoreless baseball game that stretches into the 16th inning -- with superb pitching, "sure-bet" rallies that fizzled, a remarkable number of warning track catches -- really something to be proud of?
Laser Show. Fuck Yeah. Muddy Chicken. The Human Energy Drink.

Darnell McDonald: "That's Pedey. That's our engine, our little motor. That's what keeps us going."

Francona: "I've said it a million times ... just stand out of his way and let him play."

Nick Cafardo, Globe: "The littlest guy has the biggest heart."
Gerry Callahan (Herald) says it's time to make Josh Reddick the regular right fielder and "Let J.D. Drew go home".

Callahan tells us that after "a great deal of painstaking analysis and evaluation — I watched, like, almost every inning this season", he knows that "Reddick is better". Reddick has a high-- ... oh wait, Callahan first needs to insult people who like stuff about baseball that he doesn't care for.
Jump back, Bill James. I haven't checked his VORP yet, but I have seen Reddick's speed and power and effort and energy.
"Effort" and "energy" ... yes, those are good things. They are right up there with "caring", "intensity", and "wearing a dirty cap".

Reddick's OBP is .402, bunched in with Adrian Gonzlaez (.404), Kevin Youkilis (.403), and Dustin Pedroia (.401).
If he had enough at-bats to qualify ... he'd be leading the league in hitting [.347]. You can say it's a small sample, but here's an idea: Make it bigger. See what happens. ... The good news for Drew is that he's just outside the top 10 in OBP. The bad news: It's the top 10 on his team. He's 11th. One spot behind Jason Varitek. ... Might as well give him his money and let him go. ...
I don't agree that the Red Sox should dump Drew ASAP, but there is next to no reason to keep him in the starting lineup. Like the Sox did with Jed Lowrie earlier this year, put Reddick in there until he shows that he doesn't deserve it. And Gerry, maybe you want to bookmark this (3rd column from the right)?
VORP (Value Over Replacement Player: The number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances.)
Red Sox Outfielders
Ellsbury  37.7
Reddick   12.6
Crawford   5.7
Drew       1.9
McDonald  -2.3
Cameron   -6/4
Terry Francona goofed. Jon Lester will start against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway on Monday, not Tuesday. Francona got his days mixed up.

Carl Crawford's left hamstring was tested when he scored form first base on Darnell McDonald's eighth-inning triple last night. "That pretty much tested everything. I feel good."

Clay Buchholz played catch from 120 feet and could throw off a mound later this week. ... Franklin Morales has pitched 6.1 scoreless innings in his last eight games. The lefty has allowed only one hit.


Patrick said...

I remember a certain Wily Mo Pena who played the game with a lot of heart. There was nothing nonchalant about the way he tracked outfield flies.

Screw his VORP, we need more guys like that!

MacLeodCartoons said...

To be fair to B Ryan, the ESPN commentary team were spectacularly inane Sunday night - you almost needed Vanity Fair or even the Scottish Historical Review to take your mind off THEM. :)