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Very Little Downtime In Camp Bogar


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#1 SoxScout


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:16 AM

Rob Bradford:

According to Bogar – who has experience organizing spring training, having run Tampa Bay’s camp in 2008 – there will be one noticeable difference when comparing this camp to others before it – less standing around. The strategy is born somewhat from Valentine’s experience in Japan, where spring training offers very little downtime. While the Red Sox spring training sessions don’t figure to run more than a half-hour longer than normal (“It's not a huge chunk of extra time we're out there, there's just a lot more going on in that chunk of time we're using,” Bogar said), the plan is to maximize the time on the fields by limiting inactivity.

“Bobby had told me over there they worked for a long time and did a lot of things and over here they don't work as long as they do there. But what we're trying to implement this year is that they're all going to be doing some type of baseball activity at all times during practice, so there's not a lot of standing around. There's not a lot of dead time,” Bogar explained. “There's a lot of different activity during the actual workout this year.

“I think what's going to jump out to them is all the skill work and the detail work that is being worked on constantly on all six fields down here. You're going to have your live BP, but you're also going to have guys working on pickoff plays, baserunning, reading balls off the bat, you're going to have guys standing in tracking pitches, and doing all kind of things. You're not going to see the normal stand around the cage, watch batting practice and stand in the outfield and shag. Instead of shagging players are going to be doing baseball activity which will benefit them in the long run.”

“To be honest, I had that exact same question for Bobby when we first sat down and started talking about it. He said there wasn't going to be one emphasis. The emphasis is to play the game correctly in all areas,” Bogar said. “He doesn't want one thing more important than anything else. He wants everything to be emphasized equally and with the same importance. So when you talk about pitchers' fielding and their PFP, and you talk about cut-offs and relays and you talk about infield play, bunt plays, catchers' throwing … there's ton of areas that need to be worked on and improved and Bobby wants it to be emphasized exactly the same. There's not one area. If it's one area, it's the game of baseball.”

Bogar is also using his experience from ’08 with Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon to alter the Red Sox’ approach this time around.

“One of the things I really liked when I was over with Joe is the fact when pitchers came into the bullpen in the non-throwing days they had a lot a chance to meet with the catchers and go over the intricacies between pitchers and catchers and get that relationship going. I brought that up to Bobby and he really liked that a lot, so we're going to be implementing that this year,” he said. “It's part of their workout. It's part of their rotation. “

There will be no physical conditioning test prior to the initial official workout, instead measuring fitness levels throughout various stages of the camp.


Maybe this can snap us out of the horrifying starts we've been having recently. It'll be interesting to see if playing time unfolds differently, I imagine it would somewhat.

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#2 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:17 AM

While the Sox were unquestionably awful to start the year in 2011, it's interesting that they followed up 2-8 with 7-3 to get things closer to normal. Not sure if that should be damning of Hale.

It wasn't the start of the year that killed them, as they were the best team in baseball from that 2-11 start through Sept. It was the finish.

#3 TheoShmeo


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:33 AM

While the Sox were unquestionably awful to start the year in 2011, it's interesting that they followed up 2-8 with 7-3 to get things closer to normal. Not sure if that should be damning of Hale.

It wasn't the start of the year that killed them, as they were the best team in baseball from that 2-11 start through Sept. It was the finish.

It's of course true that the finish is what killed them. And it's not possible to know that Bogar's methods will translate into a better start. Still, better in any 10 or 20 game period is better, and I'm glad that they're trying something different this year. Apart from the possible impact out of the gate, I like the head set that not standing around and wasting time could give this team. It's part of a larger, and I think positive, overall message.

PS: Optimizing their available time is also a good idea. The odds of them screwing up on fundamentals will likely go down if they've made the most of the time they have together before the season starts. At the very least, it's hard to see how it could hurt. The only risk I can see is if they try to do so much that the returns begin to diminish because guys tune out. And that's a risk I'd prefer to a more lax approach.

Edited by TheoShmeo, 15 February 2012 - 09:49 AM.


#4 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:35 AM

It's of course true that the finish is what killed them. And it's not possible to know that Bogar's methods will translate into a better start. Still, better in any 10 or 20 game period is better, and I'm glad that they're trying something different this year. Apart from the possible impact out of the gate, I like the head set that not standing around and wasting time could give this team. It's part of a larger, and I think positive, overall message.


No argument there, but positive messages don't mean a goddamn thing unless they play better. They played great last year even after the slow start, so I'm reluctant to put much stock into this. Correlation does not equal causation. And we're all assuming that they started out poorly last year because they didn't take ST seriously enough, but I've yet to find any evidence that's actually the reason.

#5 smastroyin


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:37 AM

OK, I will admit that the one thing I am looking forward to this season is SJH pooh-poohing anything that Bobby Valentine thinks is a good idea. It will be like the old days of Nip and Jimywocky.

#6 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:39 AM

Bobby Valentine could come out in favor of free unicorns that shit money, and I'd still be extremely suspicious.

#7 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:43 AM

As a team, the Sox have been terrible at fundamentals for a while. Everything from missing the cut off man to not backing up plays to throwing the ball to the wrong base allowing runners to advance. Hopefully this will help cut down on the mental errors that can easily cost a team at least two or more games a season.

#8 rembrat


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:50 AM

This is silly. Baseball is about standing around.

EDIT: Personally, this entire idea reeks of micromanaging and Valentine's I'm smarter than you shit.

The first few weeks of spring training had been conducted at the organization’s minor league training facility, two miles down the road from City of Palms Park. That structure included five fields, all next to one another, allowing for quick transitions from station to station. The JetBlue Park situation offers a slightly different scenario, one that Bogar and Valentine have attempted to grasp well before the official start of spring training.

“We've had some of the strength and conditioning guys walk it off and they've given me the times,” Bogar said. “Bobby has walked it off. Now that I've got here and I've gotten to do it I can see by the rotations that we have in the schedule how far it is to get to one field to the next, so when they're rotating from Field 3 to Field 1 and Field 1 to Field 4, the guys on Field 1 have to be let go a minute early so they can make it to Field 4 on time to make their next group. That part of it has been great to get here and actually see it. Just going through it today, we're probably going to have some golf carts to shuttle guys because of the distance from one station to the next. There are probably going to be some adjustments as we go from day to day.


Awesome.

Edited by rembrat, 15 February 2012 - 09:58 AM.


#9 Carl Everetts Therapist


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:29 AM

Bobby Valentine could come out in favor of free unicorns that shit money, and I'd still be extremely suspicious.


Would this be happening in spring training through? or would they save it for Fenway...

Note to self... buy game tickets for free unicorns that shit money day. It's a hell of a lot better than Jerry Remy bobblehead night.

#10 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:33 AM

This is silly. Baseball is about standing around.

EDIT: Personally, this entire idea reeks of micromanaging and Valentine's I'm smarter than you shit.




Awesome.


I agree. Frankly this is set up as a no-lose for Bobby. If they come out of the gates strong he will get the credit for getting their lazy, fat, overpaid choking asses into shape and actually working hard for a change. If they start out slow there's little doubt it's the players who will take the blame for not listening to Bobby's infinite wisdom.

Will be interesting to see if the fielding/fundamentals actually improve, though.

#11 MannysDestination


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:06 AM

This is silly. Baseball is about standing around.

EDIT: Personally, this entire idea reeks of micromanaging and Valentine's I'm smarter than you shit.


It reeks of solid, well-accepted, and broadly used management principles.

These are professional athletes. Asking them to work a little harder in training camp on fundamentals and rounding out a complete game is not exactly going off the reservation.

It's not "smarter than you shit", it's "common sense" shit.

God forbid a manager manages.

Edited by MannysDestination, 15 February 2012 - 11:08 AM.


#12 Dogman2


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:13 AM

It reeks of solid, well-accepted, and broadly used management principles.

These are professional athletes. Asking them to work a little harder in training camp on fundamentals and rounding out a complete game is not exactly going off the reservation.

It's not "smarter than you shit", it's "common sense" shit.

God forbid a manager manages.


Or asks his multimillion dollars players to be in top shape once the season starts. The horror.

#13 ScubaSteveAvery


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:24 AM

Its not a SoSH main board thread unless Rembrat takes a dump in it.

#14 Laser Show

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:31 AM

So, Valentine and Bogar are going to make the players work harder and focus on the fundamentals in camp this year? Sounds like a terrible idea.

The last couple of years the team has clearly not been ready out of the gate. Everyone talks about September being the reason we missed the postseason, but the reality is that the 2-10 stretch to start the season had just as much to do with it. Something needs to change about camp, and based on the lack of conditioning and fundamentals we saw both in the beginning and in September, I think the response here is appropriate.

Also, I think it can only be a good thing that Bogar is using some of the things he learned from Maddon while in Tampa. Hard to believe that pitcher-catcher relationship thing wasn't something they had done before.

#15 Red(s)HawksFan

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:36 AM

Hard to believe that pitcher-catcher relationship thing wasn't something they had done before.

I would bet that Varitek had a lot to do with that. He was around for so long, I imagine the whole pitcher-catcher relationship thing was something that he took care of on his own without much prompting or manipulating by the coaching staff.

Now with him gone, and Saltalamacchia as the guy with the most experience dealing with the pitchers in camp, a little nudge to encourage more interaction is probably necessary to speed the process along.

#16 findguapo

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:39 AM

This is silly. Baseball is about standing around.

EDIT: Personally, this entire idea reeks of micromanaging and Valentine's I'm smarter than you shit.

Awesome.


This sounds to me like someone who is taking every step of training very seriously, which is excellent news. If you portray a serious work environment to the players, they will take the mundane drills and rotating between fields more seriously. It is ridiculous to criticize a guy that is coming in and trying to add some structure when the team was such a disaster at the end of the year.

#17 JohntheBaptist


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:40 AM

I agree. Frankly this is set up as a no-lose for Bobby. If they come out of the gates strong he will get the credit for getting their lazy, fat, overpaid choking asses into shape and actually working hard for a change. If they start out slow there's little doubt it's the players who will take the blame for not listening to Bobby's infinite wisdom.

Will be interesting to see if the fielding/fundamentals actually improve, though.


You're serious? No one cares about this article or information but us. Yeah, this is a conspiracy for Bobby Valentine to make himself look better. By cracking the whip a little in ST.

You're trying a little too hard to live up to the schtick.

#18 OttoC


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:04 PM

As a team, the Sox have been terrible at fundamentals for a while. Everything from missing the cut off man to not backing up plays to throwing the ball to the wrong base allowing runners to advance. Hopefully this will help cut down on the mental errors that can easily cost a team at least two or more games a season.


I recall railing at the club through the tv for allowing runners to advance on throws last season and a quick look at the data (Retrosheet Event Files) shows some reason why. The Red Sox allowed just over four times as many batters to take second on a single when no errors were committed than the other 29 clubs, on average.

These are the questions I asked for 2011:
How many times was a batter credited with a single against Boston but advanced past first base?
How many times was a batter credited with a double against Boston but advanced past second base?
How many times did these happen when there as no error on the play?

Similarly, I looked at the same questions for MLB.

Entity 1B+ 1B+0E 2B+ 2B+0E
BOS 22 12 6 2
MLB 749 97 379 37
/30 25 3.2 12.6 1.23
/29 25 2.9 12.9 1.21


1B+ : times batter credited with single but advanced past first
1B+0E : times batter credited with single but advanced past first, no error on play
2B+ : times batter credited with double but advanced past second
2B+0E : times batter credited with double but advanced past second, no error on play
/30 : MLB average
/29 : MLB less Red Sox totals average

#19 Sprowl


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:06 PM

It's of course true that the finish is what killed them. And it's not possible to know that Bogar's methods will translate into a better start. Still, better in any 10 or 20 game period is better, and I'm glad that they're trying something different this year. Apart from the possible impact out of the gate, I like the head set that not standing around and wasting time could give this team. It's part of a larger, and I think positive, overall message.

PS: Optimizing their available time is also a good idea. The odds of them screwing up on fundamentals will likely go down if they've made the most of the time they have together before the season starts. At the very least, it's hard to see how it could hurt. The only risk I can see is if they try to do so much that the returns begin to diminish because guys tune out. And that's a risk I'd prefer to a more lax approach.


Anything, just so long as it is different, works for me. Changing preparation routines, with a view toward changing mindset and expectations, is a good step toward doing away with the sense of entitlement that made the 2011 Red Sox such a lazy, smug and dislikable team with no capacity to rally when times turned bad.

#20 rembrat


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:21 PM

It reeks of solid, well-accepted, and broadly used management principles.

These are professional athletes. Asking them to work a little harder in training camp on fundamentals and rounding out a complete game is not exactly going off the reservation.

It's not "smarter than you shit", it's "common sense" shit.

God forbid a manager manages.


Meh. It is a little unrealistic if you ask me. A well rounded baseball player who is great at the fundamentals is not born over the course of 4 weeks. It is a life long journey. Some guys are just space cadets on the basepaths and no amount of training will ever fix that.

Also, in past years, the team has prioritized at least one aspect of the game, with pitchers’ fielding and baserunning serving as chief talking points during various camps. This time around, however, there will be no aspect of the game identified as more important as another.


The Red Sox have preached baserunning in prior ST and guess what, you still have David Ortiz trying to stretch a single into a double and getting gunned down in a big game in Baltimore.

All this stuff makes for a great article to read a few days before P&C report, especially if you think all these guys are lazy slobs and Valentine needs to 'mix it up', but ultimately I don't think it'll matter much.

#21 RetractableRoof

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:27 PM

It reeks of solid, well-accepted, and broadly used management principles.

These are professional athletes. Asking them to work a little harder in training camp on fundamentals and rounding out a complete game is not exactly going off the reservation.

It's not "smarter than you shit", it's "common sense" shit.

God forbid a manager manages.


I agree.

When it comes to improving performance by practice it is obvious there are only two ways to accomplish it: 1) Add more practice time and 2) Practice more efficiently within the time you have. Option 1 would probably lead to the players complaining. So, simply by adopting option 2, they can accomplish the goal - if the players have any sense of professionalism. If the players approach it without buy in i.e. "I've been doing this for X years, this is a joke" then it won't matter anyway.

This community is capable of quantifying how the expected W/L results will change if Valentine sneezes twice in an inning with a runner on second. I'm amazed that an article talking about executing extra quantities of core fundamentals practice in a more efficient way is met with anything other than a positive view of the attempt to influence the game later. Nowhere did I read that someone had a new drill to make each and every player extra special - just that the team is going to organize things to do more practice in roughly the same amount of time. How is that not a net positive?

Sometimes people confuse me.

#22 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:32 PM

You're serious? No one cares about this article or information but us. Yeah, this is a conspiracy for Bobby Valentine to make himself look better. By cracking the whip a little in ST.

You're trying a little too hard to live up to the schtick.


Don't be thick. Of course it's not a conspiracy, Bogar is going to be doing things differently than they've been done over the past few springs. But I am skeptical they will make much of a difference and I'm confident I can predict how it will be spun.

#23 MannysDestination


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:34 PM

Meh. It is a little unrealistic if you ask me. A well rounded baseball player who is great at the fundamentals is not born over the course of 4 weeks. It is a life long journey. Some guys are just space cadets on the basepaths and no amount of training will ever fix that.


Obviously a well rounded baseball player is not born over the course of four weeks. However, "baseball" is not an innate gift. Speed, pitch recognition skills, arm strength, and power are innate gifts. None of the additional steps that the article listed address those innate gifts. Instead, they are practice.

The most skilled professionals in any industry or sport are there due to a combination of natural talent and practice. More practice almost always leads to fewer mistakes than less practice. This is not a matter of teaching them, it's a matter of knocking the rust off and getting the team in 'game shape' by opening day. Practice helps achieve this.

I agree that some people are beyond help. However, just because SOME people are beyond help does not mean that ALL people on the red sox are beyond help. Good managers, in any profession, do not manage the "all" while only considering the needs of the "few". If this grand experiment results in 2 fewer runners caught on the basepaths over a 162 game season, and it instills a little bit more endurance training for everyone, then I'd consider it a smashing success.



The Red Sox have preached baserunning in prior ST and guess what, you still have David Ortiz trying to stretch a single into a double and getting gunned down in a big game in Baltimore.


Wow. And you're a member of a sabermetrics-oriented analytical message board? "They have done this a handful of times in the past, and one player was not perfected, therefore it is ineffective practice." I don't think I need to analyze how abysmally off the mark that statement is.

All this stuff makes for a great article to read a few days before P&C report, especially if you think all these guys are lazy slobs and Valentine needs to 'mix it up', but ultimately I don't think it'll matter much.


On this we agree. It's a fluff piece, it probably won't matter much, it will only help on the margins. However, that's not what you said when I posted. You said that this is "silly" and that baseball is "about standing around".

#24 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:36 PM

What year was it when Sox pitchers had 31 errors on the season? 2 years ago? If I could be convinced that changing ST around might eliminate that type of garbage then I'd have no problem with it. I'm just unsure of the actual effect of such changes.

#25 rembrat


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:46 PM

Wow. And you're a member of a sabermetrics-oriented analytical message board? "They have done this a handful of times in the past, and one player was not perfected, therefore it is ineffective practice." I don't think I need to analyze how abysmally off the mark that statement is.


Alright, perhaps I should have said "Gee, you know, in the past, the Red Sox have made baserunning a huge priority, like they spent the entire 6 weeks going over what to do in between those little white bags. And, yet, somehow, they still went on to carry the label of a bad baserunning team." You seem smart. I think you could have gotten that from my prior example of David Ortiz.

I still stand by my initial post though. Little downtime in baseball has to be some kind of oxymoron.

#26 Mystic Merlin


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:52 PM

Well, how can it hurt? Are you and rembrat arguing that it is a bad idea for professional athletes to essentially run through a daily circuit-style practice of fundamental skills over the course of 6 weeks, rather than standing around for large chunks of time? I find the argument that they should effectively simulate the ebbs and flows of baseball by not working as hard and efficiently as possible to be very questionable.

I don't think Valentine is proposing - or thinks he is proposing - a revolutionary approach to pre-season preparation, but why exactly is this bad? What is your point? Sorry, but the criticisms in this thread seem to have everything to do with Bobby Valentine and nothing to do with his approach.

#27 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:11 PM

What year was it when Sox pitchers had 31 errors on the season? 2 years ago? If I could be convinced that changing ST around might eliminate that type of garbage then I'd have no problem with it. I'm just unsure of the actual effect of such changes.

That is one type of thing this should help address. Most of it you won't be able to quantify, except for things like what Otto posted on, but you will be able to see on the field. Everybody makes physical errors. To me, it's the mental ones that really hurt. Many here lauded Drew because of how sound he was fundamentally both in the field and on the bases. 99% of the time he did what you're supposed to do, yet moist of the time it never showed up in a box score. All you'll need to do to see the effectiveness of running all these drills, or lack of effectiveness, is to read the game threads. One more side effect of cutting down on mental and physical errors will be the pitchers going deeper in games and not taxing the pen as much.

And I really don't give a shit how any of this is spun in the media. I don't care who gets credit for what and I don't see why anyone else does either as long as the team plays better and wins more games.

#28 OCD SS


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:11 PM

Bobby Valentine could come out in favor of free unicorns that shit money, and I'd still be extremely suspicious.


Does the money count against the CBT?

#29 absintheofmalaise


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:16 PM

Well, how can it hurt? Are you and rembrat arguing that it is a bad idea for professional athletes to essentially run through a daily circuit-style practice of fundamental skills over the course of 6 weeks, rather than standing around for large chunks of time? I find the argument that they should effectively simulate the ebbs and flows of baseball by not working as hard and efficiently as possible to be very questionable.

I don't think Valentine is proposing - or thinks he is proposing - a revolutionary approach to pre-season preparation, but why exactly is this bad? What is your point? Sorry, but the criticisms in this thread seem to have everything to do with Bobby Valentine and nothing to do with his approach.

I agree. If this had been Tito instituting these changes, or one of the more popular manager picks, we would all be lauding the changes. But hey, it's Valentine, so let's not wait and see if this approach helps.

#30 Alcohol&Overcalls

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:28 PM

Alright, perhaps I should have said "Gee, you know, in the past, the Red Sox have made baserunning a huge priority, like they spent the entire 6 weeks going over what to do in between those little white bags. And, yet, somehow, they still went on to carry the label of a bad baserunning team."


And they were a rough baserunning team last year - BPro has them 19th in BRR - but at least part of that is a skills issue, not a practice issue (consider that only Ellsbury, Crawford and possibly Pedroia would be considered "fast" by any definition, Crawford's opportunities were limited by sucking, Drew's usual positive contribution went into the dumper, hulking sluggers, etc.etc.).

They may well have been worse without the practice. You probably can't turn a slow team into a top-5 team by BRR, but maybe you turned the #26 team into the #19 team. Anecdotal evidence doesn't tell us much about that.

#31 E5 Yaz


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:45 PM

Anything, just so long as it is different, works for me.


So you're in favor of the unicorns?

To me, this comes down to how much this veteran team "buys in" to Valentine's methods. We've all heard the stories of the work ethic among the players in the Japan leagues. That's one reason a more active camp works there.

But this is an older, better paid, mostly entrenched group Valentine's dealing with. If personal/professional pride motivates them to adapt to his methods, it could be a plus. But there's going to have to be a balance found.

#32 soxfan121


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:38 PM

So you're in favor of the unicorns?

To me, this comes down to how much this veteran team "buys in" to Valentine's methods. We've all heard the stories of the work ethic among the players in the Japan leagues. That's one reason a more active camp works there.

But this is an older, better paid, mostly entrenched group Valentine's dealing with. If personal/professional pride motivates them to adapt to his methods, it could be a plus. But there's going to have to be a balance found.


1. Using Bogar as the messenger on this subject was a nice touch; it allows Bobby to be the guy who receives the complaints about "Bogar's drills" from any dissenters.
2. This message will resonate with the larger fan base who will equate - with little prompting - an "active", "no standing around" camp as justifiable in light of the September disaster.
3. Any player who is dumb enough to complain publicly (as opposed to privately, to Bobby) will get LIT UP on talk radio. If it's Beckett, holy hell - it'll be a "confirmation" of every bad thing said about the guy since Sept 2011. Again - smart managing of the roster. Anyone dumb enough to complain publicly isn't going to buy in to the "team concept" and that player will take any heat.
4. This was the easiest, and least disruptive, way to do the "there's a new Sheriff in town" routine for the older/established/veteran clubhouse. By making it about "fundamentals" and "activity", it puts the pressure squarely on the players to comply and adapt. Not one player in that clubhouse can make the "the way we used to do it was good enough" argument and make it stick .
5. If it actually improves on-field performance, especially on the mental side of the game, then hell yeah, I like it. But since that's 5th in my list of reasons WHY this is happening, I don't think that's the primary motive. A nice side effect, to be sure, but #1-4 are more important, IMO.

#33 Carl Everetts Therapist


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:41 PM

I agree this is more about making an article out of different people "changing the drapes over the same window"

Does anyone think that Booger's Idea is really some great incite gained from the infallible Joe Maddon? Pitchers and Catchers really need to have a set meeting time to "get to know each other." That sounds like something that has always happened , but now has a fancy label.

And if they're are so worried about Laziness why get the players golfcarts, make them walk between fields...

I think the problem is we're coddling these guys too much

#34 Fred not Lynn


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:51 PM

And if they're are so worried about Laziness why get the players golfcarts, make them walk between fields...

I think the problem is we're coddling these guys too much


I think the idea is that if you replace a 10 minute walk with a 2 minute cart ride, you get 8 more minutes of baseball activity, and less unnccesarry fatigue at the end of the day.

#35 soxfan121


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:56 PM

I think the problem is we're coddling these guys too much


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#36 Carl Everetts Therapist


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:59 PM

I think the idea is that if you replace a 10 minute walk with a 2 minute cart ride, you get 8 more minutes of baseball activity, and less unnccesarry fatigue at the end of the day.


Sarcasm

#37 reggiecleveland


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 03:38 PM

Three things:
  • They have looked awful in April two years in a row.
  • Valentine is going to change things, and it seems things were too lax before. If these drills get guys to hit the cutoff man, and have a runner actually go first to third once in a while, then great.
  • The idea of working on everything is problematic. First of all it implies everything is wrong and must be irritating to professionals. I would hate a boss that thought we did everything wrong. Second, it is hard to work on everything, and usually ineffective. One of the themes I heard when I coached Hoops at clinics was the focus fire approach. Jim Calhoun, for example, said he focuses on offence and up tempo since he finds it helps recruiting to play that style. He said if he has a strong defensive team it has more to do with talent and work ethic than his schemes or practice focus. He feels there is not enough time to improve everything.
  • Words like "corrrect" and "the right way" are also irrritants to guys that have made it to the top of their profession. To me this is just the language but relects a bit of arrogance in the teacher.
  • Increasing volume and intensity is usually a bad idea. If he wants them doing more, then he shouldn’t add more time.


#38 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 03:46 PM

“It’s because there’s a lot of lazy people in the game today,” Valentine said. “There can’t be enough. Everyone says [spring training] is too long. I think that’s baloney. To get guys really ready, I think everyone’s working the deadline to get a starter with 30 innings and five [starts]. The numbers just don’t compute.”


"When I look at the program we devised, I don’t think of it as tough. But it seems it’s different because a lot of people as frowning. I just asked them to give [it] a few days," he said this afternoon.


http://www.boston.co...tine_plans.html

Frown away boys.

#39 JakeRae


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:12 PM

I recall railing at the club through the tv for allowing runners to advance on throws last season and a quick look at the data (Retrosheet Event Files) shows some reason why. The Red Sox allowed just over four times as many batters to take second on a single when no errors were committed than the other 29 clubs, on average.

These are the questions I asked for 2011:
How many times was a batter credited with a single against Boston but advanced past first base?
How many times was a batter credited with a double against Boston but advanced past second base?
How many times did these happen when there as no error on the play?

Similarly, I looked at the same questions for MLB.

Entity 1B+ 1B+0E 2B+ 2B+0E
BOS 22 12 6 2
MLB 749 97 379 37
/30 25 3.2 12.6 1.23
/29 25 2.9 12.9 1.21


1B+ : times batter credited with single but advanced past first
1B+0E : times batter credited with single but advanced past first, no error on play
2B+ : times batter credited with double but advanced past second
2B+0E : times batter credited with double but advanced past second, no error on play
/30 : MLB average
/29 : MLB less Red Sox totals average

Thanks for the data. Unfortunately, it isn't adequate to tell is if we can make a positive change in this element of the game. I see two equally valid hypothesis stemming from the data you have provided (other than the always strong, it's just random variance).

A: The Red Sox, through a lack of aggressiveness in attempting to throw out opposing baserunners when they try to advance cost the team defensive bases.

B: The Red Sox, through a lack of aggressiveness in attempting to throw out opposing baserunners when they try to advance reduced the number of errors they committed with no actual impact on the ability of the other team to advance an extra base.

I'd guess that some of each went on, and that it would be truly daunting to try to untangle the relationships. In addition, all else being equal, a baserunner advancing through an error is worse than a non-throw as there is a real incidence of additional advance tied to the error and none for not challenging the play.

Additionally, the short left field wall and deep right field make the Red Sox a team that is likely to have anomalous results in both of these categories. All told, while I tend to like the idea of the Red Sox being a bit more aggressive as I believe there are intangible benefits to aggressiveness in sport, I do not see anything in this data set that leads me to believe the past approach wasn't working.

#40 OttoC


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:45 PM

Unfortunately, some data needed to analyze plays,such as where the throws went, is not available. While I can tell which bases had runners and the destination of those runners from Retrosheet data, the fields for play on batter, play on runner on first, second, third are null unless the runner is put out or there is an error recorded on a play on that runner.

I do think from observation of Red Sox games that there were a lot of times where runners got extra bases because unnecessary throws were made, such as the cut-off man throwing to the lead base when he should have held the ball or an outfielder skipping the cut-off man. My feeling is that Boston let this happen more often than they benefited from it by their opponent's fielding. Since I cannot see all baseball games I cannot compare visual observations for all clubs.

#41 Dick Pole Upside

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:50 PM

http://www.boston.co...tine_plans.html

Frown away boys.

Gosh... whatever happened to making sure everybody "is feeling good about themselves"? My least favorite Titoism. No participation trophies so far?

Returning players from last year's team have forfeited the right to complain about running a professional camp focused on improving baseball fundamentals. They're already grumbling and camp hasn't even begun? If so, I believe they are undervaluing the anger of many fans (not that some of them care).

#42 Montana Fan


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:14 PM

Anybody else looking forward to Mike F's commentary? I have no problem with Valentine taking what sounds like a Belichickian type approach to the pre-season.

I'm looking forward to the Bobby V era. Ought to be entertaining and a strength of his has been getting the most out of average players. If he can get the most out of this crapload of talent, then it's gonna be a lotta fun to follow this team.

Also, there are a lot of good posts in this thread and a lot of noise too, the noise sucks!

#43 Pumpsie


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:10 PM

This is super news. Anyone who says it isn't either hasn't been actually watching this team play baseball for the last few years, or wants the team to fail in order to fulifll some odd personal prejudice. God forbid the team should actually practice better. THIS team sucked at the fundamentals the last few years. Sucked at them. Personally, I hate stupid, lazy teams, and under Tito Francona that is exactly what this team had devolved to over the years. Thank goodness that's gone. The next thing we'll see on this board are people longing for the managerial ways of Grady Little.

#44 Andrew


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:35 PM

The next thing we'll see on this board are people longing for the managerial ways of Grady Little.


This is the Red Sox baseball equivalent of Godwin's Law, isn't it?

#45 Freddy Linn


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:47 PM

Nothing earth-shattering, but in an article about his feelings on leadership, Gonzalez weighs in on the new approach:

"One of the things I really like is that in spring training we're going to pay attention to a lot of details," Gonzalez said. "Not just doing things for the sake of doing them, but actually doing them to get something out of it. Spring training is going to be a little more lengthy. That's where it's going to start and it's going to go from there. Spring training is something that is really going to set the tone for the rest of the season, I think."


also:

"There were things that I saw and noticed [last season] that I'm not going to leave unaddressed if they need to be [addressed]," Gonzalez said. "With Bobby [Valentine] being our manager now, he's going to set a lot of ground rules for that, too."



#46 Doctor G

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:08 AM

This is exactly what this team needs. New management requires a new approach. It is never a mistake to emphasize urgency and accountability.

They need first of all to be confident that they are better prepared than they were last year. If it takes the coaching staff pushing them a little harder in Spring Training to understand this is a different team than the one that fell apart in September, so be it.

It is going to be a lot more meaningful than a bunch of players words about what happened. Better to bitch about the present than make promises about the past.

#47 geoduck no quahog

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:34 AM

Anybody else looking forward to Mike F's commentary? I have no problem with Valentine taking what sounds like a Belichickian type approach to the pre-season.

I'm looking forward to the Bobby V era. Ought to be entertaining and a strength of his has been getting the most out of average players. If he can get the most out of this crapload of talent, then it's gonna be a lotta fun to follow this team.

Also, there are a lot of good posts in this thread and a lot of noise too, the noise sucks!


It's that time of year on SOSH when we just need baseball to start already. Can't come soon enough.

New Manager - New Beginning.

Let's play some ball.

#48 Frisbetarian


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Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:43 AM

I am decidedly not a Bobby V. fan, but I really like this approach spring training. It is no secret to anyone who has watched the Red Sox the past few seasons that this has been an undisciplined team with brutally bad fundamentals. Crawford airmailing one cut-off man after another, Lackey failing to cover first on ground balls to the right side, pitchers half-assing their way over to back up a base or not going at all, throws to the wrong base, and on and on - it has been difficult to watch. Focusing on getting the players to play the game right and holding them accountable when they don't is a good thing.

#49 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:04 AM

I am decidedly not a Bobby V. fan, but I really like this approach spring training. It is no secret to anyone who has watched the Red Sox the past few seasons that this has been an undisciplined team with brutally bad fundamentals. Crawford airmailing one cut-off man after another, Lackey failing to cover first on ground balls to the right side, pitchers half-assing their way over to back up a base or not going at all, throws to the wrong base, and on and on - it has been difficult to watch. Focusing on getting the players to play the game right and holding them accountable when they don't is a good thing.


The following is not a slam on Bobby V. Honest.

I would feel better that the ST changes meant something if I could be assured that 6 weeks of spring practice would lead to a consistent improvement over a 6 month season. Frankly I think that's a stretch; the players we have are the players we have, and they're terrible at fundamental baseball because they've been stupid and lazy and selfish. Such problems don't go away over the course of one spring.

Having Lester and Beckett do the "pitcher cover first" drill a few extra times this spring doesn't necessarily lead to fewer errors by the pitchers because the essential problem remains: these dimwits have cottage cheese in their heads where brains are supposed to be. Their actions last season merely reinforced that view.

Right now it's all talk. Talk is cheap. Play better. Get your heads out of your asses. That's all that's necessary.

#50 Soxfan in Fla


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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:27 AM

Considering the 4 year run the Rays have had under Maddon I'm all for taking anything from what he has done for team preparation as long as its not some of his loonier stuff because its working.




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