At This Point in the Season, What Would You Consider a Success?

Manuel Aristides

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 7, 2009
102
A thought about this… the “gigantic competitive disadvantage” that Tampa faces is entirely of their own making. Tampa is a top 15 media market with a fast growing population and substantial corporate presence. Their lack of financial resources are largely because they draw flies to a horrible stadium, a situation that has persisted for two decades yet has been overcome by the other two pro teams in the market.

They have “changed the way the game is played”, but IMHO, not a all in a way that makes watching their brand of ball enjoyable. That’s personal preference, of course, but to me they are the poster child of maximizing on-field success at the expense of fan satisfaction. I don’t blame them for doing that, but I also don’t have to like it.

So yeah, I hope they lose and will delight in it if they do.
This may well be true about the finances, I've not kept enough tabs to know who is really to blame there. Regardless, I tip my cap to their player development and baseball ops people; whoever's fault it is that they have no money to play with, I'm impressed with their ability to overcome it. I'm a softer disagree on the second point-- aesthetically pleasing it may not be, but, as a child of the moneyball era I am inclined to be impressed with teams that find a new way to win. If you can find strategies that have eluded everyone else for 150 years, that's impressive even if it is ugly or they only have themselves to blame for the need for innovation. But that's maybe just my personality, I love disruptors and those unafraid to challenge conventional wisdom.

But yeah, I hope they lose and will feel "a little bad" if they do, to bring it full circle.
 

JM3

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
1,186
People have never gone to Rays games. Not when they signed a bunch of big-name over-the-hill guys.

Not when they had a youth movement & talented young players like Longoria/Price/Shields, & not in the new era of just being better at whatever it is they do than anyone else.

New stadium would certainly help, but it doesn't matter who they have or how they play, they aren't getting fans to the Trop.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
8,874
Nothing, they suck and they stink and they suck and anyone that thinks otherwise is a moron
 

nattysez

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 30, 2010
5,843
My man GW Locks it down though
That was a huge performance by Whitlock. Cora clearly wanted to avoid using him for 2 innings tonight, hence going to Brasier (a move I agreed with). So not only did he get the Sox out of a critical situation in the 8th, but then shut down the Rays in the 9th. If he'd given up a run and the Sox had lost, he'd probably have been unavailable for Game 5. Just the highest of leverage situations and he excelled.

Unfortunately, what I'd originally said in this thread was that I hoped Cora would get them to cut down on the stupidity in the last month of the season. Instead, we're still seeing last outs at third, missing the cutoff man (repeatedly) and staring at the ball/fielders instead of running hard out of the box and down the line. It is REALLY going to suck if an undisciplined play costs them in the ALCS.

But I've already made my peace with everything since the Yankees win being gravy.
 

Sausage in Section 17

Poker Champ
SoSH Member
Mar 17, 2004
1,287
Steve Martin once said, “die, you gravy sucking pigs.“

I wonder what it feels like to be a gravy sucking pig? Let’s find out, shall we?
 

richgedman'sghost

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 13, 2006
1,643
ct
If there is ever a right time to try to tag up at second, it's when there's one out. Plus it took a perfect throw and tag to get Alex out. I cannot really get on Alex Verdugo for that.
As for the Hunter Renfroe throw, I think he has been much better in his decision making lately. I actually think that the Sox have been playing smarter baseball and cleaner baseball too.
As for your last point that seems more old man get off my lawn attitude to me
 

canyoubelieveit

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 8, 2006
7,644
If there is ever a right time to try to tag up at second, it's when there's one out. Plus it took a perfect throw and tag to get Alex out. I cannot really get on Alex Verdugo for that.
As for the Hunter Renfroe throw, I think he has been much better in his decision making lately. I actually think that the Sox have been playing smarter baseball and cleaner baseball too.
As for your last point that seems more old man get off my lawn attitude to me
If there's ever a wrong time, it's with 2 outs and making the final out at third. Which is what happened. (There was one out when the play started, but two once the ball was caught.) It was a baserunning mistake, good throw and all.
 

canyoubelieveit

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 8, 2006
7,644
I may need dialysis to remove some the dangerous excess of gravy in my system. But I still intend to consume as much additional gravy as is made available to me.
 

changer591

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
433
Shrewsbury, MA
I hope the fans who abandoned the team when they traded Mookie and then didn’t do anything to improve at the deadline have reconsidered and are enjoying this.
I'm sure there is plenty of room on the wagon for those dozens and dozens of fans.
MOAR gravy please.
 

Van Everyman

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2009
21,317
Newton
As someone who was sad but never disappointed with that trade, I’m beginning to feel like I won’t be satisfied unless the Sox are in the WS playing against Mookie. Obviously a long way to go still. But I mean, what a goddamn storyline …

That said, I feel like this season has been an incredible success– and a reminder that Henry is the best owner in baseball. While I think his boom it bust hedge fund approach drives some old timey Sox fans nuts (tho not me), it’s absolutely incredible that this team has reorganized itself so many times over with so much success. I mean, in the last decade they’ve come in LAST in the AL East as many times as they’ve come in first. And yet, they’ve won two WS and a year after being historically bad are now in their third ALCS playing for their right to go to a third WS in 8 years. Wow.
 
Last edited:

JimD

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2001
8,039
The Yankees and Blue Jays and their respective fanbases must be sitting there right now and thinking 'That should have been us'. I know I'd have been thinking that if NY prevailed in the wild-card game and then dismissed the Rays in four games.

As someone who was sad but never disappointed with that trade, I’m beginning to feel like I won’t be satisfied unless the Sox are in the WS playing against Mookie. Obviously a long way to go still. But I mean, what a goddamn storyline …
Mookie and his Dodgers teammates have an even longer way to go now after last night's game.
 

nolasoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 11, 2004
5,266
Displaced
This team has exceeded any expectation I had for it. At times, I questioned their talent, desire, and even likability.
I was FLAT OUT WRONG and am happily eating a plateful of crow this AM.

8 more wins. Let’s do this!
 

JOBU

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 22, 2021
1,326
This team has exceeded any expectation I had for it. At times, I questioned their talent, desire, and even likability.
I was FLAT OUT WRONG and am happily eating a plateful of crow this AM.

8 more wins. Let’s do this!
I was also flat out wrong. You and I had the same questions surrounding this team. Even when they were at their best during the first half of of the season I never felt that they had the make up of a championship caliber team. I thought they were going to lose to the Yankees. Nope. I thought they were going to lose to the Rays. Nope. I don’t know what’s going to happen to this team over the next few weeks. They’ve exceeded all expectations. This is the first day that I’ve truly believed that they could win it all. The regular season doesn’t matter anymore, you just have to find a way into the playoffs at the end. After that it’s is a crapshoot. Why not us?!?
 

nattysez

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 30, 2010
5,843
This is about the Giants, but certainly applies to the Sox as well.

And if all this juxtaposition between the little and big things is giving you whiplash, just know that it’s possible to write an entire book about them as it relates to the Giants of the early 2010s. A little thing is Ian Kinsler’s fly ball hitting the top of the center-field wall. A little thing is Grégor Blanco’s bunt staying fair, and you don’t even know which bunt I’m referring to. A little thing is Barry Zito, and a big thing was his contract.

These are how championships are won. One part nonsense, two parts brilliance. Or three parts nonsense, three parts brilliance. The exact ratio changes every year, but there has to be some of each.

But before you get cocky, remember how many times the little and big things hosed the Giants. Think about Francisco Rodríguez making the 2002 Angels roster on a technicality. Think about the Giants leaving Eric Young off the 2003 NLDS roster. Think about a literal Gold Glove right fielder clanking an easy fly ball in that same series. If you’ve got time, I’ve got time, and we can go all night. The Dodgers could benefit from a dozen extra little things in Games 4 or 5. The Braves or Brewers could do the same if the Giants are lucky enough to advance, and you know the Astros could have a Baker’s dozen in store.

For now, though, it’s the little things that allowed the Giants to win a game in Dodger Stadium in which they scored a single run. Every 1-0 game comes with a pinch of little things. Some more than others.
 

santadevil

wears depends
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
5,623
Saskatchestan
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/fangraphs-2021-staff-predictions/
Oh I'm sorry Fangraphs writers, only a single vote for the Red Sox to even make the playoffs? With 31 voting for the Yankees to win the division??
As usual, I'm late to the party here, but also noticed they didn't give the Giants any votes at all

Back to enjoying my gravy. Canadian Thanksgiving was wonderful this weekend. I had some gravy, but not quite enough to last me the month
I expect the Red Sox to fill me up
 

JimD

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2001
8,039
I know that, no matter what happens this week, I should be happy that this flawed Red Sox team has made it to Game 6 of the ALCS after ending the MFY's season and knocking out the AL's best team ... but, damn, a lot of the residual good feelings from the past two weeks are going to dissipate quickly if they go down meekly in Houston. Even as an underdog, when you've gone up two games to one, with the next two in your home park that has been rocking all postseason, to go from that high to getting shut down so completely is going to take a while to get over, no matter how fun the ride was for a while. Hopefully they respond on Friday and Saturday and punch the Astros right back and show everyone that their season is not ready to end.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
14,838
It's been a raging success already. 100%. Of course getting this close, we all want more.

It will be a little painful to think that after Bogaerts' homer in game 4 that put the Sox up 2-1 in the first, coming off a near win in game 1 and two blowout wins in games 2-3, the Sox' bats completely disappeared, and then the entire season changed on one pitch to Altuve, a godawful call by Laz Diaz, and then a hanging splitter a moment later.

This team was *thisclose* to being up 3-1 on the Astros.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
28,842
Hingham, MA
It's been a raging success already. 100%. Of course getting this close, we all want more.

It will be a little painful to think that after Bogaerts' homer in game 4 that put the Sox up 2-1 in the first, coming off a near win in game 1 and two blowout wins in games 2-3, the Sox' bats completely disappeared, and then the entire season changed on one pitch to Altuve, a godawful call by Laz Diaz, and then a hanging splitter a moment later.

This team was *thisclose* to being up 3-1 on the Astros.
On that note, I just want a shot in game 7. Show a little more life, don't die with a whimper. If it ends like 2008, so be it. But get it to game 7 and let the chips fall where they may.
 

nattysez

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 30, 2010
5,843
In case anyone is feeling down in the mouth today, this team has one reliable starter, two trustworthy bullpen arms (both rookies, and one of whom should be starting), a first baseman who never played the position before September or so, and was riding one of the all-time playoff hitting hot streaks to get to this spot. They have so much room for improvement next year and STILL made it this far. And the fat lady has not sung yet -- playoff Eovaldi may not have emptied his bag of tricks.
 
Last edited:

A Bad Man

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2016
627
It's been a raging success already. 100%. Of course getting this close, we all want more.

It will be a little painful to think that after Bogaerts' homer in game 4 that put the Sox up 2-1 in the first, coming off a near win in game 1 and two blowout wins in games 2-3, the Sox' bats completely disappeared, and then the entire season changed on one pitch to Altuve, a godawful call by Laz Diaz, and then a hanging splitter a moment later.

This team was *thisclose* to being up 3-1 on the Astros.
Bregman's adroit snatch of Renfroe's 111 mph rocket after Verdugo and JD got on was a real turning point. Let's turn it again!
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
20,942
I know that, no matter what happens this week, I should be happy that this flawed Red Sox team has made it to Game 6 of the ALCS after ending the MFY's season and knocking out the AL's best team ... but, damn, a lot of the residual good feelings from the past two weeks are going to dissipate quickly if they go down meekly in Houston. Even as an underdog, when you've gone up two games to one, with the next two in your home park that has been rocking all postseason, to go from that high to getting shut down so completely is going to take a while to get over, no matter how fun the ride was for a while. Hopefully they respond on Friday and Saturday and punch the Astros right back and show everyone that their season is not ready to end.
This is where I am too. If the Sox fall tomorrow night, that's what I predicted Astros in six. But there's a difference between being up 2-1 and six outs away from being up 3-1, then being down 2-0, winning one, being down 3-1, winning another and then losing in six.

It's kind of how I felt about the season. If you were to tell me that the Sox would be in first place at the end of July and in the playoffs back in April, then holy shit, yes, I'd take that in a heartbeat. But the way the Sox were cruising, then crashed and then needed to sweep the Nats to get their post season ticket punched, that's a lot of agita.

As you succeed the goal posts do get moved, so while I'd be pleased with the season as a whole if it ends tomorrow (or Saturday); I'd be more than a little bummed out and frustrated too because they were so close to moving on.
 
Last edited:

54thMA

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 15, 2012
8,848
Westwood MA
It's been a raging success already. 100%. Of course getting this close, we all want more.

It will be a little painful to think that after Bogaerts' homer in game 4 that put the Sox up 2-1 in the first, coming off a near win in game 1 and two blowout wins in games 2-3, the Sox' bats completely disappeared, and then the entire season changed on one pitch to Altuve, a godawful call by Laz Diaz, and then a hanging splitter a moment later.

This team was *thisclose* to being up 3-1 on the Astros.
Agreed 100%.

The whole series turned on that Altuve home run, he's been swinging at the first pitch continually all series long, WHY give him anything to hit there, their approach in that at bat sucked.

Baseball is a maddening game sometimes, they went from the entire line up on fire to a dumpster fire, hitting is contagious, so is not hitting apparently.

The Red Sox have the overwhelming advantage starting pitching wise for the next two games; unfortunately, the game has changed a lot the past few years, games have become bullpen games and the Astros bullpen is fully rested, locked and loaded, the slightest faltering by their starter tomorrow night and out he'll come and they've got three fully rested arms that shut down the Red Sox in game 4 ready to go.

It's never until the final out, we'll see what happens tomorrow night (and hopefully Saturday night).
 

54thMA

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 15, 2012
8,848
Westwood MA
In case anyone is feeling down in the mouth today, this team has one reliable starter, two trustworthy bullpen arms (both rookies, and one of whom should be starting), a first baseman who never played the position before September or so, and were riding one of the all-time playoff hitting hot streaks to get to this spot. They have so much room for improvement next year and STILL made it this far. And the fat lady has not sung yet -- playoff Eovaldi may not have emptied his bag of tricks.
Not having an actual closer is a killer, the Astros have two, we don't have one thanks to Barnes melting down, imagine he did not even get on the ALCS roster.

The Red Sox have had the advantage starting pitcher wise (except yesterday, quite a performance from a guy who constantly kept going to his temple and hat and was sweating in 60 degree temperatures), the bullpen was the difference in games 4 and 5.
 

ehaz

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 30, 2007
3,667
I’m happy and this run has exceeded my expectations for this team but expectations shift.

This is still a winnable series. And if they make it to the World Series, I’m convinced from what I've seen in the NL series that Atlanta/LAD would be a relative cakewalk compared to Houston and Tampa. That's what will make this unquestionable success of a season feel a bit like a let down for me. That, and I'm incredibly selfish and want another title.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
25,651
Saskatoon Canada
I go back to where I have been most of the year. This is a very flawed group with a ton of character. Maybe it is Cora that deserves credit or some luck in the chemistry, but these guys have done better than they have a right to. They may have squandered an advantage of rested pitchers, etc after game 3, but these guys have are a fun group to watch. With that in mind I do not count them out, but if they do fall to the Astros, I still see this as success.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
I’m happy and this run has exceeded my expectations for this team but expectations shift.

This is still a winnable series. And if they make it to the World Series, I’m convinced from what I've seen in the NL series that Atlanta/LAD would be a relative cakewalk compared to Houston and Tampa. That's what will make this unquestionable success of a season feel a bit like a let down for me. That, and I'm incredibly selfish and want another title.
I really haven't been able to see much post season baseball this year and practically nothing concerning the National League. Have Atlanta or LA's pitching staffs been as bad as Houston and Tampa's?
 

ehaz

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 30, 2007
3,667
I really haven't been able to see much post season baseball this year and practically nothing concerning the National League. Have Atlanta or LA's pitching staffs been as bad as Houston and Tampa's?
Atlanta's pitching has been pretty good. Same with LAD, but their best guys have struggled recently. But the Dodgers lineup looks awful and they're pretty beat up (Muncy/Turner). Atlanta just doesn't have many guys that really scare me offensively besides Freeman. It's just guys who are clicking at the right time.

ATL and LAD both have good pitching, but the Sox can put a crooked inning on anyone when they're clicking. And neither team's lineup scares me like Houston's does.
 

bosockboy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
15,560
St. Louis, MO
Atlanta's pitching has been pretty good. Same with LAD, but their best guys have struggled recently. But the Dodgers lineup looks awful and they're pretty beat up (Muncy/Turner). Atlanta just doesn't have many guys that really scare me offensively besides Freeman. It's just guys who are clicking at the right time.

ATL and LAD both have good pitching, but the Sox can put a crooked inning on anyone when they're clicking. And neither team's lineup scares me like Houston's does.
Riley is a legit MVP candidate.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,353
Rogers Park
While we're talking about season success, yesterday — results notwithstanding — was actually huge for me in terms of where I see the next few years of the franchise.

Sale barely threw any changeups, but retired lefties and righties nonetheless. He was efficient; he was missing his spots much less frequently than in recent starts; he got swinging strikes in the zone; he got batters to chase out of the zone. All this as basically a two-pitch pitcher against literally the best lineup in the major leagues! Yordan Alvarez may have doubled the Total Bases he's given up to lefties this season, but that's okay: Alvarez is good.

This made me confident for the first time that Sale might still be some approximation of an ace when he recovers the feel for the changeup — command of "feel pitches" is often said to be the last thing to return post-TJS. And if that's the case, the 2022 Red Sox start to look very interesting: the potential of a rejuvenated Sale paired with a Nate Eovaldi who has finally put it all together at the top of the rotation is pretty damn good as a starting point for a roster. There's a ton of work to do, especially in terms of improving team defense, but Nate was just a top-ten pitcher in fWAR and Sale is looking like he might join him.

And we're hardly out of this yet! We have Nate going tomorrow, with a chance to force a game seven in which we would likely have a pitching advantage. If the offense can get off the mat and we can play a cleaner game defensively, that's totally doable. The Astros are an extremely good and well-rounded team, on paper likely the best in the AL (unless it's Tampa, whom we somehow also beat?!?), but great performances from Kiké, Bogaerts, Devers, Rodriguez, and Eovaldi have made this into a compelling and competitive series, and I'm feeling pretty great about it, whatever happens this weekend.