Postgame Spread
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sailors, III    

All hail Cap'n Bly!

Drew - 5 years, $70M
Lugo - 4 years, $36M

In all honesty, at least they're getting two quality (if Drew somehow stays healthy) players, even if they're overpaying massively for them. That's more than you can say for the Pierre signing. If they keep Manny, that's a hell of a lineup (when healthy)

If they trade Manny, expect to see Ortiz walked at a rate approaching Bonds, so it'd be critical that Drew get off to a fast start, cause Sox fans won't like paying the highest prices in the league to watch Ortiz's fat ass ambling off to first base three times per game. The media would kill Drew within a month.

All that aside, I absolutely love this quote from Boras, which simply reeks of Truthiness:
"J.D. has a great on-base percentage. He gives you a quality at-bat. He's an RBI guy. And he's really going to add a defensive component to that team that is, I think, really going to enhance their play, what they do both with arm strength and his ability to cover ground in the outfield. And his baserunning -- he can run a little bit. He is going to steal 20 or 30 bases. He's going to bring a dimension there."

Did you catch it? The bold emphasis is mine, but hoo boy that's a whopper. What dimension is he bringing exactly, the one that opens a pathway to bizarro world?
Drew's base totals, by year: 19, 17, 13, 8, 2, 12, 1, 2. Yep. In 2004 and 2006, his only two injury-free seasons, he had 12 and 2 SB's. Plus, he's 31 years old. How many 31 year old do you know who have the ability to add 18-28 SB's on a whim? Oh, and of course, all those piles and piles of SB's in his past came in the NATIONAL LEAGUE. Can you guess how often the Sox stole bases last year? If you guessed 51 times, last in the majors, congratulations. My guess is that Drew steals 4 SB's next year, amazingly doubling his Cecil Fielder-level basepath production from last year. Whoopdeedoo!

Memo to Boras: Maybe you should stop talking for a while, big guy.


  • I have a whole post (likely now a double-post) discussing this. Blogger appears to have eaten both versions I sent. It'll turn up eventually. In brief:

    * Drew: at peace
    * Lugo: yessss
    * Gagne: reasonable gamble if happens
    * lineup: good enough, but not terrifying
    * lineup w/ Manny: no need to even comment

    By Blogger Jeff, at 1:48 PM  

  • Looks like they never really wanted to trade Manny to me. Do you worry about getting Pena at bats? Will he be the super-sub in the OF? They wouldn't platoon him with Drew would they?

    By Blogger Jesse, at 2:12 PM  

  • A platoon would be A) utterly unjustifiable given the size of Drew's contact, and B) idiotic given that Drew hasn't traditionally struggled too bad vs. lefties, and last year WMP, oddly enough, couldn't hit lefties AT ALL. Though last year may have been an anomaly for WMP, or suffer from sample size issues.

    My guess is that WMP will either be gone by Opening Day or July 1, in exchange for bullpen help. Which is really too bad. I love WMP (in a Sox jersey).

    By Blogger Alex, at 2:52 PM  

  • I definitely worry about WMP getting at-bats.

    The lefty thing is definitely a sample size issue. Last year was weird for WMP. Never any rhythm for the guy.

    And absolutely no to the Drew platoon. Though between WMP and Eric Hinske (remember him?) there will be ample opportunity for Drew to get days off and maintain his fragile, boo-boo laden body.

    My guess is that the guy who's in trouble is Coco Crisp. All reports say that WMP did a better job in CF than RF last season... better enough to consider him a viable option. A challenge between the two of them serves two purposes: 1) chance for at-bats for WMP and 2) a wake-up call for Coco. Loser gets traded for relievers.

    Of course, their preferred scenario probably involves Manny getting traded, not the young "controllables."

    Also, I finally forced up my post.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 3:16 PM  

  • Right, I mean I was thinking of sort of a soft platoon where they try to rest him primarily against LHP when they do rest him, and make an active effort to get him ABs there. I'm still having trouble believing that Pena can play center, but if it's really true, see ya Coco.

    Although knocks against Crisp's defense appear to have been overblown, so he's probably pretty valuable out there.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 4:08 PM  

  • Coco's probably better than he played. But my understanding is that Coco was visibly bad in CF, which is very hard to do. Like, making wrong jumps, misjudging balls consistently, etc. I'm no good at figuring those things out, which is why I can't come out and say conclusively that WMP is a legit CF candidate. Tito said he could play CF, but Tito also put Coco in the leadoff spot, so maybe it's a bunch of crap.

    Now GMs are coming out and saying the Manny dangle was a "charade." (So says the Herald.) Maybe I have to stop being tentative on the Drew signing, and start being ecstatic...

    By Blogger Jeff, at 4:18 PM  

  • Back to Coco v. WMP; I'm not too happy about the Coco trade talk. I'd like to see him playing for the Sox for the duration of his contract. If that's not the case, I'd like to see him get at least a little more of an opportunity to raise his trade value. Even though WMP had some embarrassing OF miscues and was never a full-time player, I think he showed enough that we could at least get a reasonable return on him from a team looking for a cheap power option. Who are the Pirates playing in right? Seems like Solomon Torres, Mike Gonzalez or another one of their young pitchers could be had.

    By Blogger chas, at 4:48 PM  

  • WMP was the 2nd worst outfielder I saw last year. Care to guess the top two?

    #2: MannyRammer.
    #1 with a bullet: Bonds.

    Note- Bernie would have made this list, but hardly played. I suppose the same could be said for WMP, and that given every day play in CF instead of Coco Chanel he'd improve, but I know this, if I'm pitching for the Sox in the playoffs, and I look back and see Manny and WMP grinning at me from the outfield, I am VERY nervous.

    By Blogger Alex, at 8:23 AM  

  • Oops- i mistyped... WMP was #3, not #2. So the worst outfielder list looks like this:

    #4 SEM in a garbage can
    #3 WMP
    #2 MannyRammer
    #1 Bonds

    By Blogger Alex, at 8:25 AM  

  • You saw him in RF. On SportsCenter.

    I will reiterate that despite being a liability, the consensus amongst people who watched WMP a lot more than you did is that he's better in CF than in RF. Not better like "well, getting spiked in ONE testicle is better than getting spiked in BOTH." Better as in he appears to play CF adequately. Or so "they" say. ("They" say a lot.)

    Take that (and this wiki too) for what it's worth (anecdotal, counter-intuitive, a small sample size) but my own take jives with that. We all saw him fuck up royally on SportsCenter in RF, but I did see him make some nice plays in CF after Coco got hurt.

    And the man can run. He's got better speed out there than Manny. He's not a 100% clone of Manny.

    But here's where I'm sold. Purely from a logical perspective, I can't see how the "WMP in CF" discussion would have started in the first place if there weren't enough truth to sustain it. On the surface, it is an absolutely laughable proposal. Common logic demands that a RF fuck-up will get eaten alive in CF. And yet it's being talked about as a perfectly legitimate option. I take that as evidence (if not out-and-out proof) that maybe WMP can play CF adequately.

    Also worth mentioning is that Fenway's RF eats better fielders than WMP alive. Worst RF in baseball. He sucks, but getting screwed by Fenway's RF is not particularly damning.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 10:52 AM  

  • Ok, maybe. But I take umbrage with this:
    "Purely from a logical perspective, I can't see how the "WMP in CF" discussion would have started in the first place if there weren't enough truth to sustain it. On the surface, it is an absolutely laughable proposal. Common logic demands that a RF fuck-up will get eaten alive in CF. And yet it's being talked about as a perfectly legitimate option. I take that as evidence (if not out-and-out proof) that maybe WMP can play CF adequately."

    Just because people are discussing something is in NO way logical evidence that there is rational thought behind or inherent value to that thing. It's like how Fox News anchors use the phrase, "some say that..." to make a ridiculous unfounded reactionary assertion about something without any need to back it up w/ evidence.

    Now, granted, I have probably seen WMP play the field in person twice in my life, max, so don't have any way to judge the jumps he gets on balls, lines he takes, etc... and yeah, i'm probably reacting to those sportscenter clips more than anything. Still, it's my list, and I used the exact same limited measures to evaluate each person on it - i've seen each of those people (including garbage can SEM) play very little w/ my own eyes.

    I do agree with you that RF in fenway is absurd. But CF is still challenging, and even if WMP would be better in CF than RF, in my limited knowledge opinion, he's still a massive liability in CF.

    By Blogger Alex, at 11:14 AM  

  • I see what you're saying. But I don't think you're giving SoSH enough credit. Their motives (shoving it up the Yankees' poop chute) are way more clear than Fox News' are. Stuff doesn't survive the public SoSH board without evidence to back it up; you say stupid shit without backup, and you get banned. Knowing that, the fact that it's still being discussed suggests that such evidence exists. When I find it, I'll present it. Until then, though I don't necessarily trust SoSH to have the right ANSWERS, I trust them entirely to ask the right QUESTIONS.

    In the meantime, let me relieve your raging mega-huge boner for evidence:

    Pena prefers CF

    Surprisingly not a disaster in CF (archived, but article exists, and it's not a hatchet piece)

    Unexpectedly solid CF

    Great play made by Pena in cavernous Yankee Stadium CF (search article for "spectacular")

    This is not imaginary, theoretical idle chatter. It is has been reported and documented. Journalists chomping at the bit to chew him up and spit him out were sent home disappointed. WMP was expected to be a nightmare, but acquitted himself adequately. This is where the conversation comes from.

    Would you maybe prefer that I come up with an equally questionable defensive metric, in which WMP ranks, oh, 21st out of 47 center fielders across a questionable sample size? Would that help?


    By Blogger Jeff, at 1:37 PM  

  • I yield. I'm back aboard the WMP wagon train of love.

    By Blogger Alex, at 2:20 PM  

  • Damn right! Just so everyone's clear on this, I'm qualifying the WMP "horrible fielding" charges by noting the anecdotal evidence indicating that he did better in CF. I am not saying he knows how to play CF.

    I do, however, think WMP vs. Coco has to be discussed. Coco DID prove himself to be an atrocious center fielder last season. Misreading balls, mistiming jumps, etc. Given that, I gotta think WMP has at least a shot at being the de facto CF.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 3:29 PM  

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