Red Sox in season discussion

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,308
If those things don't happen, then Go Draft Choice!
Exactly. If the Sox can't get into the tournament, then they'll get a really good draft slot and the future will be brighter (assuming they draft well). It's not what we want - we want them to be good NOW - but it's not a terrible consolation prize for an organization that is clearly assembling a very talented group of prospects.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,518
Agree that it’s tiresome to talk about how Bloom failed this off-season (although it’s also bizarre that every concern about a Bloom move from this year is met with a “the team was good last year” refrain) less tiresome to wonder why he hasn’t done anything to fix mistakes of several months ago. But that seems to be the argument of many; he set up the roster, no control over what happens after that.

Team is in free fall, yet I’m sure we’ll see the same guys playing today.

(For example, the Mets traded for Dan Vogelbach recently; 1b who crushes righties, and he’s got a ridiculous $1.5m option next year. Only cost them Colin Holderman. Seems like the kind of guy the Sox could have used now, and in the future. Who knows if they were in on him, but a few moves like this could have the team in a better spot now and next year).
I'm sure some of it is because everyone is in the playoff picture so teams decide to buy or sell at a later date than we are used to. Plus we are coming off the DD era of "get the deal done, include whatever."

At this moment, it's still not too late to make some moves and make the playoffs. I guess we'll see what they do in the next few days.

I'm pretty sure everyone on the board would agree the team has to make a few trades regardless of health to make a serious push. There aren't internal options.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,518
Because it's not a mature argument, it's wishcasting. Sure, if they sneak into the playoffs with a 500 or even worse record, they could go on a run. That's so unlikely to happen GIVEN WHAT WE'VE SEEN FROM THE TEAM THIS YEAR that it's not worth discussing. Such a statement stifles discussion instead of enhancing it because you're clinging to the 0.0000000000001% chance that it might happen. It's entirely unrealistic.

You're taking every bit the partisan position you're accusing others of having. In your own words: don't be a part of that.
Did we not see the team make a run this year?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,824
Sawamura, Strahm, and Crawford seem to have exceeded most reasonable expectations, I think. Houck and Whitlock seem on par; as have Pivetta and Hill. Eovaldi is basically at his career norms.

I dunno, don’t really see a lot of shocking underperformance among the pitching staff apart from Barnes and maybe Robles.
 

sezwho

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
962
Isle of Plum
What I think is unfair is the insinuation on your part that this was Bloom's plan - to be a .500 team and then sneak in and get lucky in the playoffs. Now I could have been misreading your intent, and if so, I apologize. But that was the point of my "you're being wildly unfair" comment. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I don't understand. I think they have had TWO guys on the pitching staff that have over performed expectations: Wacha and Schrieber. That's it. How is that "lucky", when compared to the number of pitchers that have under performed?
RE the bolded, Fair enough I understand why my position came across that way. I do not think Bloom was shooting for 500 and hope, I think he believed they were better than this by at least a little.

I'll do some more homework on pitching before posting on that topic again (stoopid day job) but I felt there was more pitching surprise to the upside, especially during the beginning of the season.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,308
I have to put Dalbec and Cordero firmly in the "E" column, and that's been one of Blooms biggest failures in constructing this team. That haven't underperformed. No one should've been expecting sustained production at 1B, because that's not who those guys are. Dalbecs hot streak for a few weeks in the second half last year, not withstanding. Same with JBJ. It was wing and prayer stuff thinking he'd bounce back with a productive offensive season at this stage in his career. The injuries are what they are, they are significant, and he's not at fault for those. But the bargain basement approach at 1B and in the outfield is a hit on his record.
How can you put Dalbec in the E category? I mean, the hot streak (which lasted two months) counts too. But even the first four months of the year he had an ops of .659, having hit 11 homers in 296 plate appearances (one homer every 26.9 PA). This year he's got an ops of .618 (which is 41 points lower than even his terrible four months of last year) and has one homer every 33.5 PA.

So he's been much worse this year than even that terrible four months of last year. So even if you throw out all the times in his career when he's been good (all of 2020 and the last 2 months of 2021) and just focus on his terrible four months of last year, he's been way worse than even THAT.

It's the definition of under performing expectations. Unless you thought that even his terrible four months of last year were lucky even for him.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,308
RE the bolded, Fair enough I understand why my position came across that way. I do not think Bloom was shooting for 500 and hope, I think he believed they were better than this by at least a little.

I'll do some more homework on pitching before posting on that topic again (stoopid day job) but I felt there was more pitching surprise to the upside, especially during the beginning of the season.
You're 100% correct that early on the pitching staff was better. But it's a long season, and what happens lately counts too, and OVERALL, they really haven' done a good job and to my subjective eyes, just a couple of them have over performed expectations. But YMMV of course, as it is subjective.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
33,094
Deep inside Muppet Labs
Did we not see the team make a run this year?
Against by and large lousy opponents and when the team was pretty healthy. They have followed that up by crashing back down to .500 against divisional opponents who are actually good.

I mean, they went 20-6 in June. The wins were:

1 CIN (very bad)
5 OAK (very bad)
3 LAA (bad)
2 SEA (good)
2 STL (.500)
3 DET (very bad)
3 CLE (.500)
1 TOR (very good)

Every indication is that the Sox mostly beat up on truly terrible teams, at a point in the season where they were reasonably healthy. Yes, that's what they should have been doing, but the moment they got back to playing good teams in the division they have immediately crashed and burned.

It goes without saying that any potential playoff teams will be somewhat better than OAK, DET, or CIN. Or CLE for that matter.

The Sox this year have by and large been exactly what their record shows them to be: a very average, mediocre team.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,824
I think there are very logical arguments as to why starting Bradley, and Cordero/Dalbec made sense in April. One may not agree with them- but you could make a case for it. It was much harder to make that case in June, harder still at the end of July.

Bloom seems very slow to make changes to the roster (we saw it last year with Marwin Gonzalez, Santana, Andriese, etc.) and in some cases that patience may pay off (if kind of did with Dalbec’s hot streak last summer).

Ultimately, how do you decide when your Jackie is done?
 

pk1627

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 24, 2003
2,113
Cambridge
IF this team gets healthy (and that includes Sale) AND this team finds production in RF or 1B (Get it done, Chaim) THEN they have a chance to do well in the Wildcard and maybe go a bit deeper than we expected before the season began.
Right. Three things have to happen:

1. Health - Devers, Story, JD, Wacha, Eovaldi at minimum
2. Need an upgrade at one of the two black holes
3. Need a SP (Sale or a trade)

That’s a lot. Item 1 is problematic in itself.

Thus, I think we’re going to see trades for Eovaldi and JD in the coming week. (I’d love to be wrong and the Sox go for it, but you don’t always get what you want).
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
4,409
from the wilds of western ma
How can you put Dalbec in the E category? I mean, the hot streak (which lasted two months) counts too. But even the first four months of the year he had an ops of .659, having hit 11 homers in 296 plate appearances (one homer every 26.9 PA). This year he's got an ops of .618 (which is 41 points lower than even his terrible four months of last year) and has one homer every 33.5 PA.

So he's been much worse this year than even that terrible four months of last year. So even if you throw out all the times in his career when he's been good (all of 2020 and the last 2 months of 2021) and just focus on his terrible four months of last year, he's been way worse than even THAT.

It's the definition of under performing expectations. Unless you thought that even his terrible four months of last year were lucky even for him.
Did you honestly go into this season thinking he was the answer at 1B? Or that position wasn't, at minimum, a major question mark, if not outright weakness of this ball club? I mean, many of us were counting on seeing Casas by mid season, and likely would have if not for his injury. Dalbec and Franchy are exactly what I thought they'd be: strikeout machines, capable of getting hot occasionally, but who have long stretches of low productivity that have a negative impact on the lineup.
 

cantor44

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 23, 2020
1,397
Chicago, IL
Moreover, the constant harping on the same issues makes the experience far less enjoyable for the rest of us.

I mean, I'd say it's some kind of coping mechanism or something, but there's no frighting truth to be shielded from. Or at least I don't think so. The team was built to be competitive, but not an overwhelming all-star monster of a club. Because that can't be done every year. Is that the frightening truth? My gut says no, because no one, with perhaps the exception of a few late 90s Yankees fans, went there. No one can predict specific injuries and poor performance. Hmm. Maybe that's it. A fundamental anxiety about human mortality and fallibility? The desire for surrogate-parent figures to fix a cherished toy that can be played with in a never-ending childhood of halcyon summer-vacation days? Well, if anyone needs it, I can refer folks to a few professionals who can help, and some wise 12 year-olds who have figured out how not to sweat incidental ups and downs.
I dunno Rovin. The other redundant phenomenon on this site is a reflexivity about Bloom, and a subsequent dismissal of anyone who is critical of him or where the team is going, with the cliché charge being "you're not a serious thinker, you're not realistic, you are, essentially, less mature than a 12-year-old." Yet maybe Bloom's most diehard defenders are unrealistic, engaged in a kind of hero worship, or self projection, that has them not thinking so seriously. Maybe it's the the Bloom acolytes who are engaged in fixating on a surrogate parent, as you refer to.

There's always a reason, in their mind, why the team can't possibly being doing any better than it is - serious minds understand the inevitability of the present, and the clear master plan for the future. Well, certainly the avalanche of injuries is not on Bloom (this is indeed 2006 level decimation). But converting Betts and Benintendi to Verdugo, Downs, Wong, Wincowski, and very likely Bogaerts to Story, is on Bloom. Not pursing Schwarber, and trading Renfroe and in their place getting JBJ, that's on Bloom, too. I won't go through the list - but there is plenty to criticize, while he's also done some things well. So, that's realistic, too. But right now of the 4 major GM/CBOs of the Henry era, where would you all rank him? (Maybe an idea for another thread ...). He'd be in the bottom half for me, for sure ...
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,308
Did you honestly go into this season thinking he was the answer at 1B? Or that position wasn't, at minimum, a major question mark, if not outright weakness of this ball club? I mean, many of us were counting on seeing Casas by mid season, and likely would have if not for his injury. Dalbec and Franchy are exactly what I thought they'd be: strikeout machines, capable of getting hot occasionally, but who have long stretches of low productivity that have a negative impact on the lineup.
I thought Dalbec was about a 100 ops+ guy who would have a low OBP but hit about 25 homers and be perfectly passable at 1b for virtually no money at all. I assumed he'd be a streaky hitter, with some months of real struggle but also some months where he was exploding. Just like he'd been for his first two seasons in the majors. I didn't expect anything different really - I did expect a dip in ops+ from his first two seasons, but I figured for a guy making nothing, he would be fine as a #7 hitter on a team with a bunch of really good hitters - Kiké, Verdugo, Devers, JDM, Bogaerts, and Story. Of course, Kiké, Verdugo, and Story have all underperformed too, which hasn't helped.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,308
I dunno Rovin. The other redundant phenomenon on this site is a reflexivity about Bloom, and a subsequent dismissal of anyone who is critical of him or where the team is going, with the cliché charge being "you're not a serious thinker, you're not realistic, you are, essentially, less mature than a 12-year-old." Yet maybe Bloom's most diehard defenders are unrealistic, engaged in a kind of hero worship, or self projection, that has them not thinking so seriously. Maybe it's the the Bloom acolytes who are engaged in fixating on a surrogate parent, as you refer to.

There's always a reason, in their mind, why the team can't possibly being doing any better than it is - serious minds understand the inevitability of the present, and the clear master plan for the future. Well, certainly the avalanche of injuries is not on Bloom (this is indeed 2006 level decimation). But converting Betts and Benintendi to Verdugo, Downs, Wong, Wincowski, and very likely Bogaerts to Story, is on Bloom. Not pursing Schwarber, and trading Renfroe and in their place getting JBJ, that's on Bloom, too. I won't go through the list - but there is plenty to criticize, while he's also done some things well. So, that's realistic, too. But right now of the 4 major GM/CBOs of the Henry era, where would you all rank him? (Maybe an idea for another thread ...). He'd be in the bottom half for me, for sure ...
I don't think Betts was Bloom's call. I'm pretty sure that was forced by the ownership's need/desire to stay under the luxury tax limit, and the contracts that previous GMs had handed out (i.e., Sale). I think Bloom did the best he could with that situation. I don't think he wanted to trade him. But who knows the real, full story.

I do wish they had signed Schwarber, who seemed like a PERFECT fit here. Trading Renfroe was fine, as I think most of us thought they were trading high on him. And I think the deal wasn't really *for* JBJ...it was for the prospect. But if that's the case, they should have had a better plan in RF than JBJ, whose bat has been....pretty awful.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
33,094
Deep inside Muppet Labs
I dunno Rovin. The other redundant phenomenon on this site is a reflexivity about Bloom, and a subsequent dismissal of anyone who is critical of him or where the team is going, with the cliché charge being "you're not a serious thinker, you're not realistic, you are, essentially, less mature than a 12-year-old." Yet maybe Bloom's most diehard defenders are unrealistic, engaged in a kind of hero worship, or self projection, that has them not thinking so seriously. Maybe it's the the Bloom acolytes who are engaged in fixating on a surrogate parent, as you refer to.

There's always a reason, in their mind, why the team can't possibly being doing any better than it is - serious minds understand the inevitability of the present, and the clear master plan for the future. Well, certainly the avalanche of injuries is not on Bloom (this is indeed 2006 level decimation). But converting Betts and Benintendi to Verdugo, Downs, Wong, Wincowski, and very likely Bogaerts to Story, is on Bloom. Not pursing Schwarber, and trading Renfroe and in their place getting JBJ, that's on Bloom, too. I won't go through the list - but there is plenty to criticize, while he's also done some things well. So, that's realistic, too. But right now of the 4 major GM/CBOs of the Henry era, where would you all rank him? (Maybe an idea for another thread ...). He'd be in the bottom half for me, for sure ...
You've put this so well.

Even I will happily agree that it wasn't Bloom's idea to trade Mookie. We have endlessly argued about the wisdom of trading him away but at the end of the day Bloom was given orders and that's what he had to do. It was his job to maximize return, and so far the returns have been very disappointing. If scouts were the ones to focused on Verdugo as the centerpiece of the return for Mookie, or if stats were, something went terribly wrong there because he's not showing that he can produce at a reasonable level in return for a superstar. No one expected him to be Mookie, perhaps no one even expected him to make an All Star game or two. But at the very least the player in return has to be a major league regular and a good one for that trade to be seen positively. And so far that has not happened.

It makes one qualm to think about who he might get if he decides to trade X or Devers.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
3,130
I dunno Rovin. The other redundant phenomenon on this site is a reflexivity about Bloom, and a subsequent dismissal of anyone who is critical of him or where the team is going, with the cliché charge being "you're not a serious thinker, you're not realistic, you are, essentially, less mature than a 12-year-old." Yet maybe Bloom's most diehard defenders are unrealistic, engaged in a kind of hero worship, or self projection, that has them not thinking so seriously. Maybe it's the the Bloom acolytes who are engaged in fixating on a surrogate parent, as you refer to.

There's always a reason, in their mind, why the team can't possibly being doing any better than it is - serious minds understand the inevitability of the present, and the clear master plan for the future. Well, certainly the avalanche of injuries is not on Bloom (this is indeed 2006 level decimation). But converting Betts and Benintendi to Verdugo, Downs, Wong, Wincowski, and very likely Bogaerts to Story, is on Bloom. Not pursing Schwarber, and trading Renfroe and in their place getting JBJ, that's on Bloom, too. I won't go through the list - but there is plenty to criticize, while he's also done some things well. So, that's realistic, too. But right now of the 4 major GM/CBOs of the Henry era, where would you all rank him? (Maybe an idea for another thread ...). He'd be in the bottom half for me, for sure ...
It’s still too early to evaluate Bloom. The ‘20 team was damage control (and resulted in an enormous gift in Mayer), and the ‘21-22 teams were drawn up as preludes to a broader design.

I’d have done some things differently this year for sure, but think some of the puzzling things over the last year or two will make more sense to us in March/April ‘23, if not sooner.

For example: I’d wanted him to keep Schwarber and trade JDM’s final year. But if we happen to land Soto (and keep Devers), it’ll make a ton of sense why we didn’t sign Schwarber long-term.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,518
I dunno Rovin. The other redundant phenomenon on this site is a reflexivity about Bloom, and a subsequent dismissal of anyone who is critical of him or where the team is going, with the cliché charge being "you're not a serious thinker, you're not realistic, you are, essentially, less mature than a 12-year-old." Yet maybe Bloom's most diehard defenders are unrealistic, engaged in a kind of hero worship, or self projection, that has them not thinking so seriously. Maybe it's the the Bloom acolytes who are engaged in fixating on a surrogate parent, as you refer to.

There's always a reason, in their mind, why the team can't possibly being doing any better than it is - serious minds understand the inevitability of the present, and the clear master plan for the future. Well, certainly the avalanche of injuries is not on Bloom (this is indeed 2006 level decimation). But converting Betts and Benintendi to Verdugo, Downs, Wong, Wincowski, and very likely Bogaerts to Story, is on Bloom. Not pursing Schwarber, and trading Renfroe and in their place getting JBJ, that's on Bloom, too. I won't go through the list - but there is plenty to criticize, while he's also done some things well. So, that's realistic, too. But right now of the 4 major GM/CBOs of the Henry era, where would you all rank him? (Maybe an idea for another thread ...). He'd be in the bottom half for me, for sure ...
You can't reverse trades that already happened so how does talking about Betts and Benny improve the 2022 team?

This is a thread about the 2022 Red Sox. If you want to talk about Bloom's tenure as a GM, maybe make a thread to do so to air all your points.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
33,094
Deep inside Muppet Labs
You can't reverse trades that already happened so how does talking about Betts and Benny improve the 2022 team?

This is a thread about the 2022 Red Sox. If you want to talk about Bloom's tenure as a GM, maybe make a thread to do so to air all your points.
Please stop trying to thread police. It ruins the natural ebbs and flows of the conversation.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
24,866
I dunno Rovin. The other redundant phenomenon on this site is a reflexivity about Bloom, and a subsequent dismissal of anyone who is critical of him or where the team is going, with the cliché charge being "you're not a serious thinker, you're not realistic, you are, essentially, less mature than a 12-year-old." Yet maybe Bloom's most diehard defenders are unrealistic, engaged in a kind of hero worship, or self projection, that has them not thinking so seriously. Maybe it's the the Bloom acolytes who are engaged in fixating on a surrogate parent, as you refer to.
In terms of assessing Bloom's performance, referring to trading Betts as Bloom "turning him into . . . . " is like referring to trading Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett as "turning him into" Nick Punto. Of course, it's accurate in one sense. But it reflects either a lack of understanding or refusal to acknowledge context that amounts to almost making the assertion misleading.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,606
For example: I’d wanted him to keep Schwarber and trade JDM’s final year. But if we happen to land Soto (and keep Devers), it’ll make a ton of sense why we didn’t sign Schwarber long-term.
The HR are nice but Schwarber is also hitting .203 with a .303 OBP in the first season of a 4 year deal. The Sox have gotten more production from JDM in 51 fewer PA. Soto or not, I'm not sure we'll look back at him as The One Who Got Away.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
33,094
Deep inside Muppet Labs
In terms of assessing Bloom's performance, referring to trading Betts as Bloom "turning him into . . . . " is like referring to trading Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett as "turning him into" Nick Punto. Of course, it's accurate in one sense. But it reflects either a lack of understanding or refusal to acknowledge context that amounts to almost making the assertion misleading.
I think most people here know that the luxury tax and salary free up were part of that deal. The qualms come from the seeming complete lack of progress on the Devers deal, at the very least, despite the freed money.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2001
9,242
Since 1997, which is 25 years' worth of baseball seasons, there have been 7 World Series winners that were wild card entrants:

1997 Marlins
2002 Angels
2003 Marlins
2004 Red Sox
2011 Cardinals
2014 Giants
2019 Nationals

7 out of 25 is 28.0% of the teams in the last 25 years to win the World Series have been WC entrants. If the Red Sox make it to the playoffs, they have a perfectly legitimate chance of winning the World Series or at least making a deep run in the playoffs.

The real problem at this point is getting there.
This is very misleading. The records of those teams -

1997 Marlins 92-70
2002 Angels 99-63
2003 Marlins 91-71
2004 Red Sox 98-64
2011 Cardinals 90-72
2014 Giants 88-74
2019 Nationals 93-69

Anybody think this year's Red Sox team is likely to match any of those performances? 88-74 would require the Sox to play .609 baseball from here on - that's a 99 win pace over 162 games. I suppose its not impossible, but its not very likely.

That 90+ win teams sometimes did well in the playoffs I would think has little predictive power in judging the chances of what is likely to be a barely above .500 team if we do make the playoffs.

Furthermore, the teams prior to the 2014 Giants played in a different playoff format where there was fewer playoff matchups that had to be won. Getting in as a single wildcard in 1997 was a lot different than being one of three now.
 

Ganthem

a ray of sunshine
SoSH Member
Apr 7, 2022
730
I have to second how tiresome it is that some people are continuing to say it is fine. This is a very flawed team that had one good month against mediocre competition. I am a big Bloom fan. I feel that the plan he had in the off season was a good plan. He took some swings and missed and he took some swings and hit. I am more skeptical of some of Cora's decisions then I am of Bloom. I think some of the problems as it relates to offense have carried over from last season. Last season the offense was either red hot or it was dead. There seemed to be no middle ground. The playoffs were a microcosm of this. The Sox looked like the team of destiny and then the bats shut off. Even if everybody was healthy I don't think the Sox would have done demonstrably better in that stretch against the Rays and Yanks. Either Diekman or Braiser would be asked to get some critical outs with predictable results or the offense would have gone silent. I think the odds of the Sox succeeding in the playoffs are so remote that it is better for Bloom to get started remaking this team. The offense needs an overhaul. They need to get back to grinding out at bats, taking walks and wearing down the starter. The team also needs to take a hard look at the rotation. Depending on Sale and Paxton to head the 2023 rotation seems a bit foolish. They have a ton of depth at starter, but no legit front of the rotation starter. Bloom needs to sell and start the process. I think the next few weeks and the off season is going to see some big changes. Some of them will hurt, but I feel that given the financial flexibility of Bloom and the improved farm system, 2023 is going to be a much better year.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,606
This is very misleading. The records of those teams -

1997 Marlins 92-70
2002 Angels 99-63
2003 Marlins 91-71
2004 Red Sox 98-64
2011 Cardinals 90-72
2014 Giants 88-74
2019 Nationals 93-69

Anybody think this year's Red Sox team is likely to match any of those performances? 88-74 would require the Sox to play .609 baseball from here on - that's a 99 win pace over 162 games. I suppose its not impossible, but its not very likely.

That 90+ win teams sometimes did well in the playoffs I would think has little predictive power in judging the chances of what is likely to be a barely above .500 team if we do make the playoffs.

Furthermore, the teams prior to the 2014 Giants played in a different playoff format where there was fewer playoff matchups that had to be won. Getting in as a single wildcard in 1997 was a lot different than being one of three now.

It's also true that it's much easier for an 80-something win team to make into the postseason now. Up until 2012 there was only one WC. Teams with win totals in the 80s rarely were in the postseason at all, that's a big part of why the never won the WS. What would the list look like if there were 3 WC teams for the past 25 years?
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
18,774
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Because it's not a mature argument, it's wishcasting. Sure, if they sneak into the playoffs with a 500 or even worse record, they could go on a run. That's so unlikely to happen GIVEN WHAT WE'VE SEEN FROM THE TEAM THIS YEAR that it's not worth discussing. Such a statement stifles discussion instead of enhancing it because you're clinging to the 0.0000000000001% chance that it might happen. It's entirely unrealistic.

You're taking every bit the partisan position you're accusing others of having. In your own words: don't be a part of that.
It's not wishcasting. And quit with the stawmen; you are completely misstating my position, and, I think, that of other posters.

1) Post-season Competetiveness

Regardless of their final record, there's a non-zero chance this team finds itself at the end of September with:

A healthy rotation of: Paxton, Eovaldi, Pivetta, Wacha, whomever - no #5 in a playoff series.​
A bullpen holding: Strahm, Houck, Schreiber, Whitlock, Crawford, et al.​
A lineup with a healthy and locked in: Devers, JD, Xander, Story, Vaz, Verdugo, CF, RF, 1B.​

And that's without a modest trade or two.

That's a team that can credibly compete in the post-season. Moreso if someone (a la Enrique Hernandez, 2021) gets hot for a series.

Is it likely? Sure. I expect most of those guys to be back, most to be healthy, and that projection does not involve scenarios like Hernandez's return, Dalbec/Franchy figuring things out, or Duran's emergence, etc. Maybe one thing like that happens, but it's not required.

2) Getting There

I think most on the board agree making the post-season is becoming less likely as time goes on, the injuries and poor play persist, and the remaining number of games dwindle. I've been clear I'm in that boat. It's been my concern since the "back in it?" thread was started.

Now, do I think they can get lucky, win a few this week, and have Devers, Story, and Wacha return to bolster the club? Yes.

Do I think that's likely? Probably not. That's because the worm has to turn on a number of performances. E.g., Eovaldi and Pivetta have to figure things out, and while I believe they can, they have limited time to do so. We're in a rough patch and need strong performances from our pitching with a AAAA lineup.

If it happens would that be enough to guarantee a playoff berth? Probably not. They're fully in the scrum with more teams than spots. The limited number of games left against credible opponents means they might also have to hope another team or two nose-dives.

Do I think a post-season berth is impossible? No. Because it's not.


Now you know what I think.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,606
I saw this in a tweet and it blew my mind -- had to look it up, but it's true:

OPS vs LHP:
Bobby Dalbec .767
Jose Ramirez .763
Giancarlo Stanton .762
Juan Soto .758

Of course, Dalbec's .549 vs RH is a tad behind the other guys, and a 1B who is above average vs LH and backup-middle-infielder-bad vs RH probably isn't worth a roster a spot. Still, you'd win some bar bets with that.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
18,774
Miami (oh, Miami!)
I dunno Rovin. The other redundant phenomenon on this site is a reflexivity about Bloom, and a subsequent dismissal of anyone who is critical of him or where the team is going, with the cliché charge being "you're not a serious thinker, you're not realistic, you are, essentially, less mature than a 12-year-old." Yet maybe Bloom's most diehard defenders are unrealistic, engaged in a kind of hero worship, or self projection, that has them not thinking so seriously. Maybe it's the the Bloom acolytes who are engaged in fixating on a surrogate parent, as you refer to.

There's always a reason, in their mind, why the team can't possibly being doing any better than it is - serious minds understand the inevitability of the present, and the clear master plan for the future. Well, certainly the avalanche of injuries is not on Bloom (this is indeed 2006 level decimation). But converting Betts and Benintendi to Verdugo, Downs, Wong, Wincowski, and very likely Bogaerts to Story, is on Bloom. Not pursing Schwarber, and trading Renfroe and in their place getting JBJ, that's on Bloom, too. I won't go through the list - but there is plenty to criticize, while he's also done some things well. So, that's realistic, too. But right now of the 4 major GM/CBOs of the Henry era, where would you all rank him? (Maybe an idea for another thread ...). He'd be in the bottom half for me, for sure ...
Oh, I'm not saying that it's saints v. devils here. But I think there are far more posts that are negative and which keep bringing up the same points over and over - largely unprompted or as non-sequitors. Some of these (posts and posters) I'd squarely put in an "anti-Bloom" camp. But the other side isn't (AFAIK) really "pro-Bloom" in the sense that anyone thinks Bloom did a perfect job, couldn't have done better, and can't be critiqued - as the strawman position asserts.

Instead, I think some of what is perceived as "pro-Bloom" is just "pro-fact." That it is a pushback against retconning facts, and conveniently forgetting others to push some kind of narrative. That narrative seems to focus on incompetence and/or cheapness, and seems tied to Mookie-bitterness, and pre-emptive Xander/Devers bitterness. Mookie has nothing to do with 2022, no matter how hard it is for some people to let go. Why even bring it up?

Anyway, here's a discrete example of fact push-back.

First Base: I've noticed that people seem to forget Dalbec had an overall decent year in 2021, and Cassas -a legit big thing one position prospect- was supposed to be the fallback midseason option. Shaw was a break-glass tide-over option who broke camp with the club. That's the proper evaluation point for deciding whether Bloom erred in not getting more 1B help.

It's not normal or reasonable to argue that Bloom should have known Shaw was 100% cooked, AND Dalbec would fall off the table for most of the season (despite being an OKish platoon 1B v. LHP), AND that Cassas would be out for a month plus with a sprained ankle. I mean, maybe Bloom should have gotten a short-term 1B/OF who had recent success as a redundancy. But even that's engaging in a little bit of hind-sight, and assuming such a player existed as a FA/trade target.

The "maybe" is where the adult conversation lies. (And part of that conversation has to include the fact there was a strike and limited spring training.)

Another example is bemoaning the OF. It should have had a prime-year Alex Verdugo, an at least average CF Enrique Hernandez, and a defensive backstop in JBJ. Durran was at AAA. The club also auditioned some journeymen OF types as stopgaps - and those guys have done that role well, especially Refsnyder. Maybe the projections for JBJ were optimistic. Maybe there should have been more OF depth. (Which is my personal feeling on the matter, FWIW.)

Again, an adult conversation can be had. But it has to include the fact that Verdugo is underperforming and Hernandez has been a complete non-factor largely due to injury.

This stuff is just fact. It's not "pro-Bloom."
 
Last edited:

Yelling At Clouds

Post-darwinian
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,658
Not sure how predictive it is, but FWIW, August and September have been Bobby D’s time to shine historically (1.170 OPS in August, .947 in September). Maybe he does it again! I wouldn’t bet money on it or anything, but maybe.
 

Ganthem

a ray of sunshine
SoSH Member
Apr 7, 2022
730
Oh, I'm not saying that it's saints v. devils here. But I think there are far more people who are negative and who keep bringing up the same points over and over - largely unprompted or as non-sequitors. Some of these I'd put in an "anti-Bloom" camp. But the other side isn't (AFAIK) really "pro-Bloom" in the sense that anyone thinks Bloom did a perfect job, couldn't have done better, and can't be critiqued.

Instead, I think some of what is perceived as "pro-Bloom" is just "pro-fact." That it is a pushback against retconning facts, and conveniently forgetting others to push some kind of narrative. That narrative seems to focus on incompetence and/or cheapness, and seems tided to Mookie-bitterness, and pre-emptive Xander/Devers bitterness. Mookie has nothing to do with 2022, no matter how hard it is for some people to let go.

Anyway, here's a discrete example of fact push-back.

First Base: I've noticed that people seem to forget Dalbec had an overall decent year in 2021, and Cassas -a legit big thing one position prospect- was supposed to be the fallback midseason option. Shaw was a break-glass tide-over option who broke camp with the club. That's the proper evaluation point for deciding whether Bloom erred in not getting more 1B help.

It's not normal or reasonable to argue that Bloom should have known Shaw was 100% cooked, Dalbec would fall off the table for most of the season (despite being an OKish platoon 1B for part of it), and that Cassas would be out for a month plus with a sprained ankle. I mean, maybe Bloom should have gotten a short-term 1B/OF who had recent success as a redundancy. But even that's engaging in a little bit of hind-sight, and assuming such a player existed as a FA/trade target.

The "maybe" is where the adult conversation lies. (And part of that conversation has to include the fact there was a strike and limited spring training.)

Another example is bemoaning the OF. It should have had a prime-year Alex Verdugo, an at least average CF Enrique Hernandez, and a defensive backstop in JBJ. Durran was at AAA. The club also auditioned some journeymen OF types as stopgaps - and those guys have done that role well, especially Refsnyder. Maybe the projections for JBJ were optimistic. Maybe there should have been more OF depth. (Which is my personal feeling on the matter, FWIW.)

Again, an adult conversation can be had. But it has to include the fact that Verdugo is underperforming and Hernandez has been a complete non-factor due to injury.

This stuff is just fact. It's not "pro-Bloom."
100 percent this. I don't think many GMS would have taken a look at Dalbec's numbers last year and taken a look as Casas and thought to themselves I need another first baseman. JBJ was him rolling the dice he was not cooked. We want Bloom to take those risk. Yeah they sometimes produce JBJ but they can also produce Wachas.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
3,130
I have to second how tiresome it is that some people are continuing to say it is fine. This is a very flawed team that had one good month against mediocre competition. I am a big Bloom fan. I feel that the plan he had in the off season was a good plan. He took some swings and missed and he took some swings and hit. I am more skeptical of some of Cora's decisions then I am of Bloom. I think some of the problems as it relates to offense have carried over from last season. Last season the offense was either red hot or it was dead. There seemed to be no middle ground. The playoffs were a microcosm of this. The Sox looked like the team of destiny and then the bats shut off. Even if everybody was healthy I don't think the Sox would have done demonstrably better in that stretch against the Rays and Yanks. Either Diekman or Braiser would be asked to get some critical outs with predictable results or the offense would have gone silent. I think the odds of the Sox succeeding in the playoffs are so remote that it is better for Bloom to get started remaking this team. The offense needs an overhaul. They need to get back to grinding out at bats, taking walks and wearing down the starter. The team also needs to take a hard look at the rotation. Depending on Sale and Paxton to head the 2023 rotation seems a bit foolish. They have a ton of depth at starter, but no legit front of the rotation starter. Bloom needs to sell and start the process. I think the next few weeks and the off season is going to see some big changes. Some of them will hurt, but I feel that given the financial flexibility of Bloom and the improved farm system, 2023 is going to be a much better year.
I don’t think anyone is saying things are fine. The team is disappointing, mostly but not exclusively due to injury luck, and still might squeak its way into the postseason.

Injuries to Kiké and Casas in particular spread us really thin. It was reasonable to think Refsnyder/JBJ/Duran/Cordero/Arroyo could handle RF for 300 PAs until a deadline reassessment, just as it was reasonable to think that Dalbec/Shaw/Cordero could handle 1B until Casas was promoted. But Kiké and Casas got hurt, JBJ did not rebound and Cordero hasn’t put it together. It’s tempting in hindsight to say that Bloom should’ve brought someone else in, but that signee would have come at the opportunity cost of development for Duran, Dalbec and Cordero (and Refsnyder, to the extent you view him as a Renfroe-type guy who sticks around rather than a AAAA stopgap).

Hill getting hurt was predictable and hardly disruptive to the design. Neither was Barnes’ collapse, I’d argue. But minor injuries to Eovaldi, Whitlock, Wacha, JDM, Arroyo and now Devers have hurt, particularly as they aligned with freak injuries to Sale, Story and Strahm as we play direct rivals.

We don’t know which free agents rebuffed Bloom’s offers last winter. Besides Schwarber over JDM, I’d have preferred an offseason trade for a RHH utility guy like Chad Pinder, but Refsnyder’s production has been far better than I could have hoped and he could have a role a couple more years. The only move I don’t like was the Diekman signing, but even that has some logic (buying Darwinzon time to figure it out in AAA).

I’m still all in on Bloom, and excited for the next six months of moves.
 

Yaz4Ever

stumps for Trump
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
I saw this in a tweet and it blew my mind -- had to look it up, but it's true:

OPS vs LHP:
Bobby Dalbec .767
Jose Ramirez .763
Giancarlo Stanton .762
Juan Soto .758

Of course, Dalbec's .549 vs RH is a tad behind the other guys, and a 1B who is above average vs LH and backup-middle-infielder-bad vs RH probably isn't worth a roster a spot. Still, you'd win some bar bets with that.
I would've lost a lot of money on that.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
24,866
I have to second how tiresome it is that some people are continuing to say it is fine.
I find it tiresome when some people continue to say that Pluto is the third planet from the Sun. But there aren't a lot of them, either. I'm generally optimistic about the quality of the ownership, the GM, the manager, the players, and the future of the team. Being in last place and missing the playoffs is not fine. But I don't believe it's a harbinger of 1960 either.
 

LogansDad

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
22,182
Alamogordo
100 percent this. I don't think many GMS would have taken a look at Dalbec's numbers last year and taken a look as Casas and thought to themselves I need another first baseman. JBJ was him rolling the dice he was not cooked. We want Bloom to take those risk. Yeah they sometimes produce JBJ but they can also produce Wachas.
I think JBJ was expected to be a solid compliment in RF to a good Hernandez in CF and an improving Verdugo in LF. Unfortunately, both Verdugo and Hernandez regressed in major ways, and the Hernandez got hurt.

Like others, I also think the plan was really JBJ as 4th OF as I think the Sox were in on Suzuki, but that in itself was a pretty big error, too, as by the time Suzuki had signed most of the other MLB-actual OF were already off the board.

An infield of Devers/Xander/Story should have been pretty close to as good as they come, and while Story has shown flashes with the bat, he's been mostly an all (stellar) defense 2B, while Xander has been one of the players on the team victimized most by the new ball.

This was a team coming into the season with a high top end, but very little depth, and I think that lack of depth has been aggravated by the new ball. Both Xander and JDM Martinez, expected to be run producers, have batting averages and OBP's that are well above their career numbers, but are slugging almost 50 points below their career norms. Devers obviously hasn't been affected by the ball as much, but he is more pure crushing power so that kind of makes sense. Xander has always been kind of "sneaky powerful" and JD more of a "lots of doubles with a bunch that turn into home runs" kind of player, so it makes sense that a few feet of distance off the new ball would affect them more than Devers.

Problem is, because of that, JD and Xander need help to produce runs, instead of just producing runs on their own, and that help simply isn't there.

Add the lack of defense at 1B/LF/CF, and it's a perfect storm for a team with moderately high expectations to underperform.

I was not excited about going into the season with Dalbec at first, but expected Casas to be ready before too long so I was okay with it. Sadly, Casas' development was stalled by injury and even before then didn't look nearly complete, as a .235/.343/.421 line for the WooSox doesn't exactly scream "ready" to me.

Don't get me wrong, I think the team is set up really well for the future (assuming they get Devers signed at some point), and I am one of the people who is all aboard the Bloom train for developing the system. I absolutely don't blame people for being disappointed in this season. I am, too. I think Bloom came into spring with the expanded wild cards and thought he could fill in with stop gaps and Dalbec and at least make it to the playoffs. I don't think he was necessarily wrong to feel that way, but I also think a lot of factors popped up that he failed to account for.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,824
Dalbec’s decent 2021 was good for a 0.2 WAR; defense counts too. And he was unplayable in the playoffs because he can’t touch power pitchers, at all. That’s not really just being negative; it just is what it is.
 

Ganthem

a ray of sunshine
SoSH Member
Apr 7, 2022
730
Dalbec’s decent 2021 was good for a 0.2 WAR; defense counts too. And he was unplayable in the playoffs because he can’t touch power pitchers, at all. That’s not really just being negative; it just is what it is.
Nobody is saying that Dalbec didn't come with question marks, but that is also true of a lot of young players and some of them end up improving and being useful. I mean Bogey had a 650 ops his first full season and we see how that turned out. So despite his flaws it made sense to give him more rope and frankly if he doesn't get traded he is a good bat to have off the bench against lefties.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,824
Fine; that’s fair, he’d be an ok part of a platoon with someone like Vogelbach but thats neither here nor there. It’s the last week of July; Dalbec’s numbers in 21 seem pretty irrelevant to where we are at now.
 

Minneapolis Millers

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
4,149
Twin Cities
This is very misleading. The records of those teams -

1997 Marlins 92-70
2002 Angels 99-63
2003 Marlins 91-71
2004 Red Sox 98-64
2011 Cardinals 90-72
2014 Giants 88-74
2019 Nationals 93-69

Anybody think this year's Red Sox team is likely to match any of those performances? 88-74 would require the Sox to play .609 baseball from here on - that's a 99 win pace over 162 games. I suppose its not impossible, but its not very likely.
It might not be likely that the Sox play at a .609 pace the rest of the way, given current injuries and recent performance. But it IS likely that a couple of teams that make it in as wild cards do exactly that. That’s how they make it in, by playing well over the last couple of months and passing other teams that falter.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,606
Being in last place and missing the playoffs is not fine.
"Being in last place", while true, is misleading. It implies they are among the worst teams in baseball, when in fact they are a .500 team, 17th out of 30. That's not what I wanted out of the season. But how many times has a division had every team .500 or better this late into the season? Are the 40-57 Cubs having a better year than the Red Sox because they are in 3rd in their division? It's a quirky result based on an unlikely confluence of teams in their division that allows people to take a disappointing season and make it seem far worse.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,824
The .293 winning percentage against the division certainly makes it feel like the current last place ranking is deserved, though. They are playing the division 6.5 games worse than the Orioles, fwiw.

Granted, I think we can all agree that the team can get back into the race and make the playoffs. Assuming that’s still the goal, how do they accomplish it?

1. Stand Pat- wait for the cavalry to come and injured players to return; see what happens
2. Keep pending FAs in push for this year; look to make improvements with focus in this year
3. Trade pending FAs but also look to make improvements for this year and future
4. Sell and don’t make push to make playoffs

Or a mix?
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,518
This is very misleading. The records of those teams -

1997 Marlins 92-70
2002 Angels 99-63
2003 Marlins 91-71
2004 Red Sox 98-64
2011 Cardinals 90-72
2014 Giants 88-74
2019 Nationals 93-69

Anybody think this year's Red Sox team is likely to match any of those performances? 88-74 would require the Sox to play .609 baseball from here on - that's a 99 win pace over 162 games. I suppose its not impossible, but its not very likely.

That 90+ win teams sometimes did well in the playoffs I would think has little predictive power in judging the chances of what is likely to be a barely above .500 team if we do make the playoffs.

Furthermore, the teams prior to the 2014 Giants played in a different playoff format where there was fewer playoff matchups that had to be won. Getting in as a single wildcard in 1997 was a lot different than being one of three now.
The teams prior to 2022 played in a different playoff format too. There are more teams in the playoffs, meaning the record threshold was also lowered. Look at the 6th best record in a league for the last 20 years.

How these teams will fair, we don't know. But they definitely have a punchers chance. Any team that makes the playoffs does.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,606
The .293 winning percentage against the division certainly makes it feel like the current last place ranking is deserved, though. They are playing the division 6.5 games worse than the Orioles, fwiw.
Is there something unique about the Red Sox that makes them so much better than Baltimore against non-divisional opponents? Or is just random variation and/or the timing of the schedule with the Sox' injury issues?

You are correct though that the Sox have earned their last place in the division -- they have the worst record. But I don't think divisional place is always the best way to neatly summarize the quality of a team, and certainly not in a quirky situation like this. Do you think the Washington Commanders sell a lot of merch commemorating their 7-9 NFC East Champion team in 2020?
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
18,774
Miami (oh, Miami!)
This was a team coming into the season with a high top end, but very little depth, and I think that lack of depth has been aggravated by the new ball.
Good points overall but I wanted to single out this in particular. I think they had some depth in some places - Arroyo was serviceable and the odd man out. And most of those OF depth considerations go away with a theoretical Suzuki signing.

Also, the two big "meta" factors in play this year were:

1) the lockout, which, fair to say, disrupted some individual player preparation, delayed signing and doubtless altered signing dynamics a bit, and resulted in a shortened spring training.
1a) As an important aside, I've been publicly critical of Chris Sale on a number of points, but his rib injury resulted from a pre-spring training batting practice he was throwing in FL, at a camp he set up to help get Red Sox pitchers ready for the season, despite the lockout. https://www.mlb.com/news/chris-sale-has-rib-cage-injury
I don't know the particulars of his efforts to get himself and team-mates ready, but at least he was proactively doing something with the competitiveness of the club in mind. I had honestly forgotten about that recently when considering Sale, and I don't think I should have. If we're going to criticize the man's choices, let's give him some well-deserved praise here.​

2) The change to the ball.

Overall, I'd default to my position at the time, which was that other clubs didn't slump despite those factors. Nor did I see anything that really made me think the Sox had been unfairly prejudiced by those things - at least no more than other clubs.

The points you made about Xander and JD make me wonder though.