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Sox pitchers drank in the dugout?


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#201 EvilEmpire

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 09:34 PM

Just imagine how much better he could have been.

As a Yankee fan I wonder how much better CC could be if he didn't weigh a metric fuckton. I have a feeling I'm going to even more cocerned in about five years after he gets his opt-out extension. :(

#202 Gene Conleys Plane Ticket

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 11:50 PM

I don't think it's that mysterious. Pitching staffs often rise and fall together. Bad starts put pressure on tired bullpens, and tired bullpens force managers to leave pitchers out there longer.

What we saw in September was nothing more than the eventual collapse of a pitching staff that had been slowly ground down over the course of a season. Much like the collapse of a roof that had been growing steadily more waterlogged and moldy, the results appeared to suddenly come from nowhere only if you exclude the steady stream of bad news starting as far back as May.

Matsuzaka went down for the year, but that was okay because it wasn't clear we were getting that much out of him anyway and we had depth. Jenks and Wheeler turned out to be busts, but that was okay because Daniel Bard was phenomenal and Aceves was mostly good enough. Lackey went from mediocre to shockingly bad, but we could get by - and look, here's new guys like Andrew Miller and Kyle Weiland whose minor league numbers suggest they can be perfectly adequate, if not great. Plus we got Bedard, who is likely to be good as long as he's healthy. When they turned out to be busts as well, it became clear that our entire pitching staff was relying entirely on Beckett, Lester, Bard and Papelbon. But that was okay because maybe you get Bedard back in time for the playoffs and maybe with our offense two top arms with two top bullpen arms would be enough.

The problem with relying so heavily on four guys is that you severely increase your risk if bad stuff starts to happen to them. Bard, who was leading the league in appearances for much of the season (and finished 5th) almost entirely in high lev situations I suspect was a victim of exhaustion. Lester and Beckett had mostly bad luck - Beckett had a 2.96 xFIP in September ruined by unusually high number of homers per fly ball, while Lester's 3.75 xFIP in September was 4th out of the 6 months of the season. Papelbon likewise had some brutal moments but by xFIP was steller in September - 1.32 ERA. Overall, but for the total collapse of the rest of the exhausted, injured, mediocre pitching staff, we only would have noticed the poor play of Bard.

There is no mystery here that needs to be explained by fried chicken or drinking beer or just not caring enough. Those things fill our needs as fans to find some puritan-ish reason that the failure of the team can be attributed to insufficient virtue. The reason the 2011 Red Sox failed to make the playoffs is because our pitching staff sucked, partly due to injuries, most due to having too many players who suck. For a while, we were able to get by on our offense and our few good pitchers, but eventually the walls caved in. Physiology, performance and skill combined with bad luck and you have what we all watched. I'm sure the team chemistry was bad, and maybe that was a complimentary factor, but bad chemistry always follows losing.

I think the most fundamental problem with the beer, fried chicken and video games explanation for the 2011 Red Sox is that none of the stories about the team indicate that that stuff wasn't happening in July or August.


This is probably the best post on this subject of the past three weeks. I wish we saw this kind of analysis in the Globe or the other media outlets.

Most fans treat sports like any other kind of drama, in which we have expectations that good guys win and bad guys lose. So if our team loses, it must be because they are really bad guys. Or at the very least, they possess "insufficient virtue." That's the kind of narrative people can sink their teeth into and that drives media coverage for weeks on end. There's a reason it's called the "soap opera."

#203 nvalvo


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Posted 21 October 2011 - 01:14 AM

Wade Boggs is considering a comeback and would love to see the a link to the study which proved that it is "100% scientific fact" that eating fried chicken and drinking a couple of beers causes athletes to underperform over a 9 month trial.


A couple? Try 70!

#204 Hee-Seop's Fable

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 01:17 AM

Reading through Prometheus' season summary makes me wonder whether the anonymous guys throwing the starters under the bus are actually paying them back a second time. Looking at those September xFIP's for Beckett and Lester, and remembering a month of woeful play in the field makes it apparent to me it was a combination of three things: 3/5th of a rotation that sucked, a couple of guys that did a decent job, and some serious victimization of all five starters and a good chunk of the bullpen by a terrible defense, led by guys that weren't delivering for their teammates. Tito said he felt teammates were not pulling together to stick up for each other, and that's the two sides of it - pitchers overtly bored/disracted during the games they weren't pitching in, and everyday players too often with their heads up their asses in the field.

Regardless of whether there is truth to that idea, and what chicken and egg he said - he said garbage was which source of the collapse, I see a huge element of all of this stemming from Farrell's departure, Young's softer approach, and Tito's battle fatigue in running a group tending not to pull for each other or listen to his message. The Red Sox in September played like the first ten minutes of an episode of the Dog Whisperer. A seemingly desperate, out of control situation that really isn't that complicated.

An effective Alpha character as manager that can lay out their basic rules, boundaries and limitations from the get-go in Florida, and a few decisive reinforcements for the pitching staff beyond Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, Aceves, Bard, hopefully a returning Papelbon (or Bell or the like), and we have every reason to expect 93-96 wins again. Regardless of the details of the soap opera, it really just comes down to a couple more good arms and more decisive leadership to set the right tone for the players to have towards their individual jobs and towards each other. Guys don't have to be crazy about each other, ownership just needs to find a manager and coaches that can provide a clubhouse the players want to show up to every day where they like playing their best and winning together. They need leadership from the top so the leadership amongst the different contingencies of the team Gonzo spoke of a couple of days ago can crystalize.

There's not a huge gap between the talent here already and what it would take to make them a real threat in '12. They just can't afford to throw away good talent in trades made for the sake of getting rid of guys, just because they haven't set up the right tone in their coaching & managing leadership.

#205 nvalvo


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Posted 21 October 2011 - 01:21 AM

Matsuzaka went down for the year, but that was okay because it wasn't clear we were getting that much out of him anyway and we had depth.


I just want to highlight something that I'm really glad PW pointed out: by August, it was clear to me, mostly as Wakefield and Miller alternated throwing awful starts, that this team really could have used Matsuzaka. His injury was received here with hoots of derision, but it's never a good sign when you lose SP to injury.

#206 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 21 October 2011 - 01:32 AM

Lurker gwell55 sent this in a PM.

I gotta say something that nobody has brought out. You have proof that beer is available in club houses by looking at Cuddyers flickr pictures.
If you look at full size of the visitors clubhouse at Fenway you see the coke cooler with Bud on Top Shelf, Bud light on second and Samuel Adams bottles on the third. and red bull on the next.

http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/


in one of the other visitor clubhouses you have shock oh shock Chicken on today's menu.


Edit; Looks like mabrowndog pointed this out in the Buchholz thread.

Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 21 October 2011 - 01:34 AM.


#207 TheoShmeo


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Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:46 AM

Just when it looked like this story might begin to fade away, St. Joe steps in.

#208 JimD

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:56 AM

Just when it looked like this story might begin to fade away, St. Joe steps in.


So nice to see MLB headquarters following its own directive about avoiding distractions during the World Series.

#209 StuckOnYouk

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 08:11 AM

Just when it looked like this story might begin to fade away, St. Joe steps in.

Maybe he should begin by investigating his own Yankee dugout considering that's where Giambi and Clemens were sharing drinks. And while he's at it he can look into a more serious issue..the Yankees passing their golden thong all over their clubhouse and in their pants

#210 geoduck no quahog


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Posted 24 October 2011 - 09:13 AM

I'm sure the teams that are mature enough to allow millionaires to drink in the clubhouse will be very pleased with the Red Sox for forcing MLB to nanny them into prohibition.

Image my ass.

#211 jsinger121


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Posted 24 October 2011 - 09:17 AM

I'm sure the teams that are mature enough to allow millionaires to drink in the clubhouse will be very pleased with the Red Sox for forcing MLB to nanny them into prohibition.

Image my ass.


Its a workplace though. Frankly it should be banned from clubhouses until celebrations only. I don't see the big deal of banning it. If these guys can't wait to leave the office to get beer and liquor then there is a real problem there.

#212 geoduck no quahog


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 03:47 AM

Yes, because Major League sports around the world, and Baseball in particular, are so similar to the normal work space.

By the way, we drink 3-4 (damn fine) beers every week here at my "workplace", particularly on Friday (after the weekly "game"). I have 2 cases stashed in the office next door.

Ain't Germany great?

#213 Lynchie

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 06:17 AM

A couple? Try 70!

Great story. I'm sure there are more tales of old that would astound and thrill us to tame that one about Boggs. Mickey Mantle to name just another great player that abused his body, and still put up huge numbers. That guy Ruth too, he enjoyed a few pops from time to time or so I have read.

Truthfully I don't care what they do. These guys playing the game are able to do things that we might only dream about having the ability to do. Professionals in sport are simply another bread of human being. I don't judge their habits as I do most normal people. They are not normal people. They have their own culture. The life they have to live while on the road all year and all, it just can't be compared to anything I can relate to. What they must do to get where they are and stay where they are is beyond my comprehension. Their mental and physical capabilities/stamina are off the chart in my normal world.

I just care how they perform on the field. That is that in which they are there to do, play the game. That is how I judge them. Some people would be crippled with but a few beers, other people handle it more than extremely well. I want to turn the page because I think that most teams have this going on. In the end, they did not do their job. In reality, most teams players did not do their job this year. I'm not looking for excuses as to why they lost. They fell down in the end because they did not do what we expected of them. It's on the players.

In the end and in spite of all their gifts it is what we share that was their downfall publicly at least, that being our ego. Now with the chance to level the field we have had some people have come out with what we have been reading. True? False? Fabricated? Sure. Damage done. I say let's move forward and let things take care of themselves.

#214 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:47 PM

Just when it looked like this story might begin to fade away, St. Joe steps in.


"If we do happen to bar alcohol from the clubhouses, you have to understand the intent of this thing and what it looks like," Torre said, according to the Globe. "We're up there and we're role models, or we should be role models for the youngsters and how they behave.

"Guys understand that if they want to do something, they're going to do something. They're grown-ups. It's something where we implement rules that we feel would be best for the game and who we're being watched by. We've got to look at it."


WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

(Actually, if we're going to think of the children, shouldn't on-field use of tobacco products be equal or higher priority?)