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OK we're back on our main server.  It was taking a super long time to move *everything* back just to save a day's worth of messages.  I've been at this all day now and need to get back to my real job so.,... sorry.  Working on a better plan in case this happens again.  nip

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Lester speaks


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#151 TheoShmeo


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Posted 18 October 2011 - 08:25 AM

If I were an athlete with a choice (money being equal), I would never want to come to Boston - or any other city that demands insatiable "accountability" from its local entertainers.

I like you're overreacting. A lot.

First, let's acknowledge that the Sox are different. The Pats have lost three playoff games in a row and yet Brady and Belichick remain teflon. The Celts coughed away a title with a late game collapse against the Hated Lakers a few years ago and nothing like this happened. I recall very few recriminations about that one. Hell, Danny Ainge traded Perk on the hopes that Shaq would get and then remain healthy, a belief Shaq even said was pie in the sky, and there was only a minor yelp from the local media and fans. A yelp that could only be heard by those with super sonic ears, practically.

As to the Sox, it's not news that they are a huge passion play in New England. And the facts in this situation are just very damning, as much as people want to focus on who is saying what as opposed to what they are actually saying. G38 and others need to get on their high horse, but damn it, the Red Sox did just go 7-20 in September. 7-20!

Fans here who expressed doubts about a potential collapse in late August were shouted down as being nancies and worry warts, and yet the inconceivable happened. On top of that, there were clearly control issues with the team and the players were clearly taking liberties. How could that story NOT come out? How could the media and players not try to understand and explain one of the biggest collapses in baseball history, if not the biggest. Given the sum total of what happened, it should surprise no one -- not fans, not other players, not anyone -- that some of the back story is starting to seep out.

Last, time heals all wounds. Players over the years have talked about how great it was to play at Fenway. How many guys have said it was the best part of their career? Beltre wanted to come back. So did VMart. Hell, if I am not mistaken, Nomar was hoping to return at one point.

Yes there are serious issues. Yes, this team has a truck load of healing to do.

But there will be a new season in April, a new GM, a new Manager and the sun will come out in Florida. Plenty of guys will want to be part of this in 2012 and down the road.

And that's not to say that a lot of this shit doesn't need fixing. It's just not the end of the sports world in Boston, either.

Edited by TheoShmeo, 18 October 2011 - 08:27 AM.


#152 xpisblack

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 08:36 AM

"I think a lot of guys are going to have chips on their shoulder next spring, there will be an urgency..."

On one hand, I suppose that's nice to hear. On the other hand, that was supposed to be the mentality in Spring Training for the 2011 season. Remember the slogan, Jon, "We won't rest until order has been restored."?

Well, so but you see and that is exactly why I've all year hated that slogan: it came true. Order was restored. The Sox tantalised us in summer, but ultimately and spirit-crushingly failed in September. The Yankees outshone the Sox, and advanced to the postseason. That's been the order in virtually all of living memory; 2004 and 2007 were anomalies-- ones I'd love them to embrace, of course, but certainly not "order," except for the pink-hats.

I wrote the following in a letter-- an actual letter, not even an email-- to a mate in mid-April. I've spoilered it because it's long, so feel fee to skip it-- the above summarises it reasonably well.
Spoiler


Anyway, that slogan has to go, and not just because of the sarcasm it invites after this season. I want next year's team rested and I want it to savage "order"-- brutally, if possible.

Lord knows the players are resting now.

#153 OCD SS


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Posted 18 October 2011 - 08:57 AM

Spoiler


*Slow clap... building in volume.*

#154 JMDurron

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:18 AM

Here is Lester's third, I think, attempt, with Edes.







ESPN Boston.

I expect we'll have some more quotes from Anonymous Red Sox Team Source any minute now.


You can lump me in with the folks who feel a little better about Lester trying to be genuine and take some responsibility as he has continued to clarify what he meant. Since I was certainly not taking kindly to his initial statement earlier in the thread, I feel compelled to say that he comes off as more willing to take responsibility now, and his continued attempts to get what he apparently meant across come off as more genuine than as potential PR spin. Sure, he's still a slightly self-centered athlete, but he comes across as one who is legitimately trying to own up to his part of the collapse in the middle of a media storm this time around. It doesn't really change anything materially, I just feel more forgiving of Lester's actual statements now.

#155 kazuneko

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:34 AM

Fans here who expressed doubts about a potential collapse in late August were shouted down as being nancies and worry warts, and yet the inconceivable happened. On top of that, there were clearly control issues with the team and the players were clearly taking liberties. How could that story NOT come out? How could the media and players not try to understand and explain one of the biggest collapses in baseball history, if not the biggest. Given the sum total of what happened, it should surprise no one -- not fans, not other players, not anyone -- that some of the back story is starting to seep out.

Yes, there is a desire to explain, as their always is when "tragedy" happens. But no, nothing about any of this BS indicates there were "clearly control issues" or that the "team and the players were taking liberties". These stories are ridiculously trumped up and the" sordid" details nothing more than has happened on this team and many others for many years. Then, when a player says anything in response to these "allegations" several new "stories" emerge as each attempt to make a bland statement becomes a "scandal" as each quote gets picked apart and taken out of context.
The fan and media need for blood is getting ugly and stupid. And that is very much the dark side of playing in Boston. Does that mean there aren't any benefits to playing here? Of course not. But the longer this goes on the more those good points are going to be hard to see.
The Papi example is poignant. I mean, any free agent considering coming here would be silly to think they could do as much for this franchise as Ortiz has done. Yet, amazingly, even this hasn't protected him from the anger emerging in the aftermath of "Popeye Chicken Gate". A few unfortunate quotes following the collapse and a younger player's passing mention of a"need for veteran leadership" and he's increasingly dismissed as yesterday's garbage. In the end, Boston comes off like a town that demands loyalty from its players and exhibits no loyalty whatsoever in return.
There are plenty of good teams in towns that appreciate their baseball that aren't this childish and self-destructive (including at least one that has a bigger budget). If I was a free agent there is no way this silliness wouldn't make those other destinations that much more attractive...

Edited by kazuneko, 18 October 2011 - 09:35 AM.


#156 86spike


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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:43 AM

I'm glad to see Lester progress to the point of saying "I didn't expect to get crushed for what I said earlier... I want to be clear that I take responsibility."

Here's the thing Jon... we're fucking pissed off at you and everyone else who let us down so spectacularly.

Time will heal these wounds, but right now, take your lumps. If you're smart, you will indeed use this to make yourself better next year. Admit to your failure, soak in the anger from your fans, and fix it.

No one gets a free ride so pay your tab.

#157 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:49 AM

Yes, there is a desire to explain, as their always is when "tragedy" happens. But no, nothing about any of this BS indicates there were "clearly control issues" or that the "team and the players were taking liberties". These stories are ridiculously trumped up and the" sordid" details nothing more than has happened on this team and many others for many years. Then, when a player says anything in response to these "allegations" several new "stories" emerge as each attempt to make a bland statement becomes a "scandal" as each quote gets picked apart and taken out of context.
The fan and media need for blood is getting ugly and stupid. And that is very much the dark side of playing in Boston. Does that mean there aren't any benefits to playing here? Of course not. But the longer this goes on the more those good points are going to be hard to see.

I agree with the bolded part, up to a point. But I don't agree that the stories are necessarily ridiculously trumped up, that what we are hearing about is just business as usual blown way out of proportion because of the collapse. Because if that were the case, that's what we'd be hearing from the players. Oh sure, Lester and others have said things to the effect that it had happened in previous years, et cetera. But nobody's saying what I would expect them to say--"this is just normal stuff, people are being silly about it, there's no story here at all." At least I'm hearing surprisingly little of that. We keep hearing things like "it was wrong" and "I don't approve of that" even from players trying to engage in damage control. And if there's nothing to see here, why did Lester reiterate the stuff about Tito losing control? Is he really just parroting the party line?

I think it's pretty clear that there really was an unusual degree of dysfunctional and undisciplined behavior in this clubhouse, that it bothered a lot of the players as well as Tito, and that even some of the main culprits realize it got a little out of hand. This is legitimate news, even if it's being reported with an unnecessary (though predictable) degree of sensationalism and schadenfreude.

#158 kazuneko

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:59 AM

I agree with the bolded part, up to a point. But I don't agree that the stories are necessarily ridiculously trumped up, that what we are hearing about is just business as usual blown way out of proportion because of the collapse. Because if that were the case, that's what we'd be hearing from the players.

I think that is pretty much exactly what Ortiz said. Heck, he directly stated that the very same things that have become a scandal with this team occurred in both 2004 and 2007. Of course, that didn't play well. I mean, even if that's the truth, its pretty much the last thing the fans and media want to hear. They want each player to fess up to their role in the "scandal". As other players start to discuss what happened they are taking a more cautious path - and in the current media climate that means "taking responsibility" by pointing out any and all dysfunction..

Edited by kazuneko, 18 October 2011 - 10:02 AM.


#159 MannysDestination


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Posted 18 October 2011 - 10:16 AM

I think that is pretty much exactly what Ortiz said. Heck, he directly stated that the very same things that have become a scandal with this team occurred in both 2004 and 2007. Of course, that didn't play well. I mean, even if that's the truth, its pretty much the last thing the fans and media want to hear. They want each player to fess up to their role in the "scandal". As other players start to discuss what happened they are taking a more cautious path - and in the current media climate that means "taking responsibility" by pointing out any and all dysfunction..


Let's not delude ourselves here. Being in an "accountable" town that has an "insatiable" need for taking responsibility is a byproduct of a rabid fan base that affords these athletes their salaries. Take the fan bases of the Red Sox and Yankees out of MLB and many of these guys - especially the free agents - would be making 50%+ less money. That money comes from our pockets through ticket purchases and merchandise. A little bit of accountability isn't dysfunction.

#160 JimD

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 10:30 AM

I was as frustrated about the collapse as anyone, and the details of the clubhouse dysfunction have been painful to read about and are no small issue, but the local media has gone way beyond providing a service to the fans by simply reporting this news. The description of the current Red Sox news cycle as a feeding frenzy is apt and it’s not hard to determine why. CHB, Mazz, Callahan and other ‘personalities’ who have been in the business for more than 10 years have had few opportunities to work the city up into a frenzy the way they used to. They loved it back in the day when the news went negative and they could sit there and determine who gets to wear the white hats and who the villains were. Their role was greatly diminished once the Patriots and Red Sox began racking up championships, though, and their indignant attempts to stir up fan outrage following Spygate and the Ortiz steroid allegations fell on many deaf ears as a significant portion of the fanbases defended Belichick and Papi. They’ve been waiting for this moment and they are going to milk this for every click, viewer and sold newspaper it’s worth. It will flare back up this winter each time the team makes a move and spring training will not be pretty, and we will not truly be past it until the team earns a playoff berth in non-embarrassing fashion and gives the fans a reason to be excited again.

Edited by JimD, 18 October 2011 - 10:30 AM.


#161 Ananti


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Posted 18 October 2011 - 10:39 AM

He can't be sorry about playing like shit down the stretch? He can't be sorry that the team blew a 9 game lead in September? He can't be sorry that they've missed the playoffs two years in a row? I can think of a bunch of reasons he'd want to say sorry that have nothing to do with beer.


The problem is that sorry means jack unless he's willing to see what the real problem is and make some changes. Everything that contributed to the lack of cohesion, that contributed to the lack of urgency, lack of conditioning, it a problem.

It would be like your kid who flunked out of college telling you, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I just got bad grades, next time I'll do better, but the problem wasn't the late night binge drinking, wasn't the parties, wasn't the dope, I just didn't get it done in the classroom. Trust me next semester I'll do better."

Edited by Ananti, 18 October 2011 - 10:48 AM.


#162 dcmissle


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Posted 18 October 2011 - 10:56 AM

I think that is pretty much exactly what Ortiz said. Heck, he directly stated that the very same things that have become a scandal with this team occurred in both 2004 and 2007. Of course, that didn't play well. I mean, even if that's the truth, its pretty much the last thing the fans and media want to hear. They want each player to fess up to their role in the "scandal". As other players start to discuss what happened they are taking a more cautious path - and in the current media climate that means "taking responsibility" by pointing out any and all dysfunction..


Nobody put a loaded gun to Lester's head to speak -- unless management did, in which case we have the continuation of a problem that has bothered many of us the past couple of weeks. When you speak, you put yourself out there to be critiqued, and it's reasonable to assume that the responses will differ from those that unanimously greeted a Leni Riefenstahl film.

Truth be told, the Red Sox should be relieved and ecstatic that everyone still seems to care so much.

#163 Al Zarilla


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Posted 18 October 2011 - 12:13 PM

Truth be told, the Red Sox should be relieved and ecstatic that everyone still seems to care so much.

They'd better care. This is not as serious as gambling/throwing games like the Black Sox, which could have killed baseball, I suppose. But maybe stuff like drinking on company time (during games) by players that make millions per season would turn off enough fans to seriously hurt the game? It might take several teams participating and lots of out of shape players like Jenks to turn off enough people to matter, but it could look like the beginning of the fall of the Roman Empire. I know people that refuse to watch pro sports just because they're sickened by the amount of money the "athletes" make. Throw on top of that the frat house behavior (exaggeration, I know) and it doesn't look good. BTW, the Red Sox are probably not the only team that's ever done this type of thing.

I wouldn't doubt if the Sox come out smoking hot next year. But, we'll never know if it's enough to make the playoffs until they're mathematically in.

#164 geoduck no quahog

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:31 PM

I was as frustrated about the collapse as anyone, and the details of the clubhouse dysfunction have been painful to read about and are no small issue, but the local media has gone way beyond providing a service to the fans by simply reporting this news. The description of the current Red Sox news cycle as a feeding frenzy is apt and it’s not hard to determine why. CHB, Mazz, Callahan and other ‘personalities’ who have been in the business for more than 10 years have had few opportunities to work the city up into a frenzy the way they used to. They loved it back in the day when the news went negative and they could sit there and determine who gets to wear the white hats and who the villains were. Their role was greatly diminished once the Patriots and Red Sox began racking up championships, though, and their indignant attempts to stir up fan outrage following Spygate and the Ortiz steroid allegations fell on many deaf ears as a significant portion of the fanbases defended Belichick and Papi. They’ve been waiting for this moment and they are going to milk this for every click, viewer and sold newspaper it’s worth. It will flare back up this winter each time the team makes a move and spring training will not be pretty, and we will not truly be past it until the team earns a playoff berth in non-embarrassing fashion and gives the fans a reason to be excited again.

<Applause>

#165 lambeau

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:42 PM

Lester denies the conditioning problem, probably because he is the least culpable. He averages almost 200 innings/season, Lackey about 185, Beckett 170. But as noted, Verlander and Halladay 220-230.

It is interesting to look at the best conditioned pitchers of the past fifty years: Carlton, Ryan, Seaver and Halladay: they actually had career lows for WHIP/ERA in September (1.18,1.23,1.07,1.05 and 2.94,2.91,2.77,2.40).

Carlton averaged 270 innings age 35-38 and age 37 threw 19 complete games.

Halladay's September ERA is almost 1.00 below the other months; he has 61 complete games in the past nine years.

It cannot be coincidence that these guys were known workout fanatics and no one could keep up with them.

#166 dcmissle


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Posted 18 October 2011 - 03:21 PM

They'd better care. This is not as serious as gambling/throwing games like the Black Sox, which could have killed baseball, I suppose. But maybe stuff like drinking on company time (during games) by players that make millions per season would turn off enough fans to seriously hurt the game? It might take several teams participating and lots of out of shape players like Jenks to turn off enough people to matter, but it could look like the beginning of the fall of the Roman Empire. I know people that refuse to watch pro sports just because they're sickened by the amount of money the "athletes" make. Throw on top of that the frat house behavior (exaggeration, I know) and it doesn't look good. BTW, the Red Sox are probably not the only team that's ever done this type of thing.

I wouldn't doubt if the Sox come out smoking hot next year. But, we'll never know if it's enough to make the playoffs until they're mathematically in.


I meant the fans, not the players, and I should have been more clear. Fan indifference would be completely understandable at this point. They have been taken for granted, by so many people associated with the club.

All of us, it would appear, had our ninth-inning rally beers. While many in this community were having them down the stretch to cope with the flow of events -- perhaps while fulminating over a game thread, perhaps not -- Jon and his cohorts were kicking back in the clubhouse, sometimes with chicken, sometimes not.

Given the stakes -- who was getting paid, for what, and who has been doing the paying -- this visual is grotesque to me. You're being paid millions a year and you're down to the short strokes on your season. Is it too effing much to sit in the dugout and be -- or at least appear -- engaged? Why am I on tenterhooks over this, and not you? Why should I even care?

That's what I was getting to.

Jon Lester's words mean nothing to me at this point. I wanted to see the professionalism during September and all the months preceding it.

#167 Al Zarilla


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Posted 18 October 2011 - 03:47 PM

I meant the fans, not the players, and I should have been more clear.

Oh yeah. Funny how misunderstandings like mine can cause so much flailing, like my rant. I still care, having been through much worse than this. 2003 was the first time I personally had the "will they win it in my lifetime" doubt. Well, a serious doubt.

#168 Toe Nash

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 04:12 PM

Lester denies the conditioning problem, probably because he is the least culpable. He averages almost 200 innings/season, Lackey about 185, Beckett 170. But as noted, Verlander and Halladay 220-230.

It is interesting to look at the best conditioned pitchers of the past fifty years: Carlton, Ryan, Seaver and Halladay: they actually had career lows for WHIP/ERA in September (1.18,1.23,1.07,1.05 and 2.94,2.91,2.77,2.40).

Carlton averaged 270 innings age 35-38 and age 37 threw 19 complete games.

Halladay's September ERA is almost 1.00 below the other months; he has 61 complete games in the past nine years.

It cannot be coincidence that these guys were known workout fanatics and no one could keep up with them.

I guess. But where's the cause and effect here? It's easy to look at guys who are absolute once-in-a-generation talents, who also work really hard and say "oh he is just a workout freak." But there's probably other guys who worked less hard who played just as well, we just don't hear as much about their routines because they're not noteworthy (and just picking 4 guys and calling them "the best-conditioned pitchers of the last 50 years" doesn't do it for me -- I need a bit more evidence to support that).

It's a natural tendency in our culture to think that hard work pays off, because not everyone has talent and they still need something to strive for. And it does pay off, often. But maybe not to the extent we assume.

A couple pages back an article on Johan Santana's intense in-season workout routine was linked. It's full of quotes about how seriously he takes his training and while I'm not a physical therapist the routine described looks intense. He didn't see the mound this year and it's questionable whether he will next year.

Maybe Lester slacked off this year and that's why he sucked in September. But he's been excellent in September and beyond before, and he doesn't seem to think he did a whole lot differently. Maybe Beckett got fat and that's why he was bad in September. Or maybe it was because he messed up his routine / mechanics / etc after he turned his ankle and he never got back on track.

Like others have said, it's probably a perfect storm of a lot of different things.

#169 maufman


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Posted 18 October 2011 - 05:12 PM

A couple pages back an article on Johan Santana's intense in-season workout routine was linked. It's full of quotes about how seriously he takes his training and while I'm not a physical therapist the routine described looks intense. He didn't see the mound this year and it's questionable whether he will next year.


A few months ago, there was speculation in the MLB forum that certain types of injuries were on the rise because of over-training -- perhaps because training regimens that had been developed for a PED-aided population were too rigorous for players who weren't juicing.

It's nice to believe that hard work is a panacea, but in baseball as in life, that's not the case.

Edited by maufman, 18 October 2011 - 05:12 PM.


#170 wade boggs chicken dinner


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Posted 18 October 2011 - 07:32 PM

It cannot be coincidence that these guys were known workout fanatics and no one could keep up with them.

Freaking ridiculous assertion. For every work out warrior who succeeded, I can bring up a CC Sabathia (oh, did I mention him again) or BK Kim, who was slammed around here for being an ultra work-out warrior.

One size does not fit all in these things.

That was pretty much my point; That baseball players make far less use of the tools of sport science than athletes in other sports. When looking for the next "moneyball" style undervalue, teams and players should take a long look at support items such as instruction, sport science etc that can take an ordinary less expensive player and improve him.


I thought we went through this from the late 1990s through most of the 2000s.




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