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  1. #21
    baseball is really fun. can't wait for season to start. as for the offseason, obviously red sox appears to be biggest winner in adding 2 young and very talented position players. although yankee does not lose anybody (yet) because they fail to address their biggest concern, starting rotation, I personally would label them loser in the offseason. phil added lee to give them probably best rotation ever in baseball. if they can replace wreth's bat with their kid brown, they are a clear favorite to win the whole thing. besides these 3 power houses, no others teams really comes to mind...

  2. #22
    Sox and Phils are clearly number 1/2 in baseball. Which order depends on Beckett and Lackey.

  3. #23
    High Overlord Chaedi's Avatar
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    So who else is exciting and scared of that Phillies pitching lineup. My god that thing is crazy.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiraiyah View Post
    Sox and Phils are clearly number 1/2 in baseball. Which order depends on Beckett and Lackey.
    I wouldn't say that. Red Sox pitching is still sketchy at best. Their line-up is full of stars for sure, but that isn't what wins championships. If people were to look at the Giants line-up last season, and said "this is a championship team" they would get laughed at.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaedi View Post
    So who else is exciting and scared of that Phillies pitching lineup. My god that thing is crazy.
    It certainly is pretty scary how good their pitching is, but their bullpen isn't THAT great and Werth was a pretty big part of their offense.

    Me personally I still think the Giants are the favorites to win it all again. Their pitching is still outstanding(as a whole, it's better than the Phillies IMO) and if their line-up can even produce average numbers, they will make another run.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by golfer View Post
    I wouldn't say that. Red Sox pitching is still sketchy at best. Their line-up is full of stars for sure, but that isn't what wins championships. If people were to look at the Giants line-up last season, and said "this is a championship team" they would get laughed at.
    Sketchy? At BEST? You crazy man?

    Beckett and Lackey are the only question marks on the starting staff, and both give more reason for optimism than pessimism given track records. Lester and Buchholz will both be in cy young talks all year. Diasuke will likely be the best 5th starter in all of baseball.

    The bullpen isn't the same as last year's either. Papelbon, Jenks and Bard to finish your games. All of which could be top-notch closers if they weren't all on the same team. Dubront and Wheeler are solid mid-releavers. Wakefield will give more quality innings than probably any reliever in baseball (which is a highly valuable commodity). The rest of the holes can be filled with some very promising young AAA pitchers coming from the best player development system in the majors. All we need is a lights-out lefty but the postseason isn't over yet.

    The offense is, of course extremely good. If I may make a bold prediction, I believe the 2011 Red Sox will shatter the all-time record for doubles in a season by a team. But what you're not giving these "stars" credit for is their defense. Gonzalez, Pedrioa and Youkilis have gold gloves (though Youks will be moving to third where he's barely above average, I'll give you that). Lowrie has made 2 errors at SS in his entire career (98 games at SS) and hit .381/.526 last season.

    Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury and JD Drew are all GG winners or GG capable centerfielders. Crawford will be the best Left Fielder in the AL. Ellsbury can run 470 mph. JD Drew, quietly, is one of the best defending right fielders in the game. This will be the best defensive outfield the Red Sox have put out in our lifetimes.

    The weakest position is catcher, where it's very difficult to judge. Both Saltalamacchia and Varitek have poor records throwing people out but both have high reputations for game-calling and are sure-handed behind the plate. Salty has break-out potential and is cut in Varitek's mold. Tek will be spending the season mentoring him. It's more likely Salty will be Varitek 2.0 than a total bust.

    In short, that's an A rotation, B bullpen, A+ offense and A defense (A+outfield, A- to B+ infield) And this is just for 2011.

    In 2012, over $60millin AAV comes off the books while Jose Iglesies comes up (projected to be the single most can't miss prospect in a very long time in that he is virtually assured to have above average value with his defense alone. At worst, he'll be a light hitting GG-caliber SS (and still extremely valuable). At best he'll be Ozzie Smith). The Sox have Pedroia, Lester, Bard, Youkilis, Crawford, Beckett, Lackey, Iglesies, Ellsbury, and Buchholz locked down for years while the best and most expensive player development system in the major leagues gets restocked from the plethora of draft picks picked up in this very deep 2011 draft. Gonzalez is highly likely to sign an extension during the season for around 7 years, so you could throw him in as well.

    The Boston Red Sox are going to be an absolute powerhouse of a team for the next decade, basically, is my bottom line. Very good chance at seeing 3 championships in NE this year, too.
    Last edited by Jiraiyah; 2010-12-30 at 07:00 AM.

  6. #26
    all i need to say is if Theo had that much faith in Papelbon would he honestly have went after Rivera?

    Sox have a shot at the AL East this year, but they'll have to avoid injuries better than they did this year - championship, way too early, but if i was a betting man my money wouldn't be on it happening!
    Koodledrum - Balnazzar EU - 85 Priest - Retired.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by koodledrum View Post
    all i need to say is if Theo had that much faith in Papelbon would he honestly have went after Rivera?

    Sox have a shot at the AL East this year, but they'll have to avoid injuries better than they did this year - championship, way too early, but if i was a betting man my money wouldn't be on it happening!
    Well, that's the problem with trying to predict anything in baseball. Every team is susceptible to bad luck, injuries, whatnot. But when trying to put together a rational preview of the season, you can only go by the data that is present, and that data strongly suggests that the Red Sox are the best team in the majors if Beckett and Lackey have decent years, and the second best team in baseball if they don't.

    As for Papelbon, he scares me as much as he should scare any Red Sox fan but as bad as he was last season, he wasn't that bad. He's had one not so good season and one that looked good on paper that was shakey (and these two seasons coming back to back is certainly cause for concern) but overall, I would still take Papelbon over a vast majority of available relievers. Rafael Soriano being the only one who would come out ahead. That Theo took a flyer on an opportunity to take the greatest closer ever to walk the face of the earth from his closest and most dangerous rivals says nothing about his faith in Papelbon. It says more about his willingness to risk spending big money on an aging star in an effort to drive up the price on the yankees. They did exactly this with cliff Lee by offering him a 7-year deal worth considerably less per year than he would likely take, so Lee's agent could counter back to the yankees that they had a 7-year offer on the table. It's business.

    That Papelbon will not be back next season is more of a financial decision than baseball. Or rather a ratio of both. The Red Sox FO assigns a value to a player based on scouting and statistics and has shown both an unwillingness to go over (Teixeira) or a willingness to go above market value for a player they covet (Crawford). Papelbon's market value based on past experience and precedents will likely be higher than the value they have calculated for him. They will offer arbitration, which Papelbon will turn down because he will make more on the free market, so they can collect the 1st round draft pick from the team that signs him, plus a sandwich pick for the 2012 draft. Unless (and this is unlikely) they receive an offer for a trade by the deadline that nets more value than those draft picks.

    This will happen if Papelbon has a great year or a fairly crappy one. The only difference is how much Papelbon will make at the end of the season. Since his last two seasons have been shaky, it's in Pap's best interest to stop throwing fastballs like he's Nolan Ryan and actually pitch like he used to, thus it is fairly likely that he will have a decent season.
    Last edited by Jiraiyah; 2010-12-31 at 12:06 AM.

  8. #28
    Brewmaster ketzil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiraiyah View Post
    Sketchy? At BEST? You crazy man?

    Beckett and Lackey are the only question marks on the starting staff, and both give more reason for optimism than pessimism given track records. Lester and Buchholz will both be in cy young talks all year. Diasuke will likely be the best 5th starter in all of baseball.

    The bullpen isn't the same as last year's either. Papelbon, Jenks and Bard to finish your games. All of which could be top-notch closers if they weren't all on the same team. Dubront and Wheeler are solid mid-releavers. Wakefield will give more quality innings than probably any reliever in baseball (which is a highly valuable commodity). The rest of the holes can be filled with some very promising young AAA pitchers coming from the best player development system in the majors. All we need is a lights-out lefty but the postseason isn't over yet.

    The offense is, of course extremely good. If I may make a bold prediction, I believe the 2011 Red Sox will shatter the all-time record for doubles in a season by a team. But what you're not giving these "stars" credit for is their defense. Gonzalez, Pedrioa and Youkilis have gold gloves (though Youks will be moving to third where he's barely above average, I'll give you that). Lowrie has made 2 errors at SS in his entire career (98 games at SS) and hit .381/.526 last season.

    Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury and JD Drew are all GG winners or GG capable centerfielders. Crawford will be the best Left Fielder in the AL. Ellsbury can run 470 mph. JD Drew, quietly, is one of the best defending right fielders in the game. This will be the best defensive outfield the Red Sox have put out in our lifetimes.

    The weakest position is catcher, where it's very difficult to judge. Both Saltalamacchia and Varitek have poor records throwing people out but both have high reputations for game-calling and are sure-handed behind the plate. Salty has break-out potential and is cut in Varitek's mold. Tek will be spending the season mentoring him. It's more likely Salty will be Varitek 2.0 than a total bust.

    In short, that's an A rotation, B bullpen, A+ offense and A defense (A+outfield, A- to B+ infield) And this is just for 2011.

    In 2012, over $60millin AAV comes off the books while Jose Iglesies comes up (projected to be the single most can't miss prospect in a very long time in that he is virtually assured to have above average value with his defense alone. At worst, he'll be a light hitting GG-caliber SS (and still extremely valuable). At best he'll be Ozzie Smith). The Sox have Pedroia, Lester, Bard, Youkilis, Crawford, Beckett, Lackey, Iglesies, Ellsbury, and Buchholz locked down for years while the best and most expensive player development system in the major leagues gets restocked from the plethora of draft picks picked up in this very deep 2011 draft. Gonzalez is highly likely to sign an extension during the season for around 7 years, so you could throw him in as well.

    The Boston Red Sox are going to be an absolute powerhouse of a team for the next decade, basically, is my bottom line. Very good chance at seeing 3 championships in NE this year, too.
    This post made me excited for spring.
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    That will stick around for years.

  9. #29
    The best part is, our only weakness, the over-lefty lineup, might be a strength. While there are quite a few dominant lefties in the AL-East (and one less if Pettitte retires, though that's probably posturing), 74% of all pitchers in MLB are right-handed, and the most dominant lefty out there, Cliff Lee, just went to the NL. Can't believe I'm agreeing with Mitch Williams here, but with the step back that TB made, the improvements Baltimore made and how the yankees only got a year older, the biggest gap in the AL East is going to be between first and second place.

    If the Sox don't win 105 games, I will eat my hat.

    ---------- Post added 2010-12-31 at 05:27 PM ----------

    To add to that too, this team will also be incredibly fun to watch and easy to root for. Guys like Pedroia (and Iglesies, wait 'till you get to see him, he will be BELOVED by the media and fans) for his mouth as much as his game, Lester's holy glow (I am so gay for Lester. My bold prediction is he will be the first ever to throw two perfect games in his hall of fame career), Youkilis' grit, Crawford's dynamic game on both sides, Crawford and Ellsbury's friendly base stealing competitions, Gonzalez's power, Buchholz's domination, Papi's occasional heroics. The Sox will be America's team again.

  10. #30
    Were they ever America's team?!?

    But i'm just hoping that we have another "wildcard" season again this year, even i've got to admit it was fun seeing the Reds make a go of things, the Giants winning the World Series and the seemingly endless bout of "nah we dont want to win it, you guys have it" in the AL East! I don't think we'll see a repeat of the freakish pitcher friendly year this year - but i'd like to think that there's a few in there who can come through.

    Mind you, i'm wondering if the Nats will take a chance on bringing Harper up next season (September call up maybe) - by all accounts could be fun to watch, with Strasburg out for a considerable period they could use the undoubted "promo" from him.
    Koodledrum - Balnazzar EU - 85 Priest - Retired.

  11. #31
    I absolutely loved the fact that I finally got to witness a world series, and attend the parade. That being said, I'm concerned about how the Giants' offense will end up doing next year. Seeing Lee go back to the Phillies was hilarious.

    As one of the local sports writers put it: "Lee, Halladay, Oswalt, Lincecum, Cain, Wilson, Bell, Jimenez, Johnson and the others make it a lot easier for the NL to repeat as winners of the all-star game."

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Offspring View Post
    I absolutely loved the fact that I finally got to witness a world series, and attend the parade.
    Not a giants fan but I think I might check out the trophy tour thing when it comes to Troy NY (Small city, but it's essentially the birthplace of the Giants) and I'm not far at all.

  13. #33
    I want to check it out, but it's only in SF and Santa Clara (near me) like one day each, and then gone. I'll probably just say fuck it and go to Cooperstown to check it out in short order.

  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by koodledrum View Post
    Were they ever America's team?!?
    After 2003/2004 postseasons, The Boston Red Sox were "america's team" for a good couple of years. At least through 2007 offseason, until people got completely sick of the whole Sox/yankees thing. The teams were not only very good but had a ton of very entertaining characters and their coverage dominated most sports reporting, particularly ESPN.

    Side note, Sox signed Okajima to a one-year deal. Not sure how much he has left in the tank, but I love the little bastard.

    ---------- Post added 2011-01-02 at 06:09 AM ----------

    The 2011 extremely early CAIRO projections came out a couple of days ago and they generally agree that there's The Red Sox, The Phillies, and the rest of baseball, in that order.

    http://www.rlyw.net/index.php/RLYW/d...cted_standings


    Now, these projections are typically conservative because the end results are basically luck-neutral. You can expect the better teams to gain a win or five and the worst teams to lose a few more as well. These projections have the Sox at 98 wins (9 more than any AL team) and the Phils at 96, in an arguably weaker NL.

  15. #35
    Arguably weaker? Excuse me? Who won the All Star game last year? Who won the World Series? Oh that's right. The National League. Just because the AL has powerful bats doesn't mean that they're a better league. As was shown in the WS, good pitching beats good hitting. I dare you to show me a rotation that matches up against the Giants, Phillies, or Braves in the AL. You can't. Don't give me this crap of Burnett/Sabathia/Hughes either. The Giants' pathetic offense would find a way of scoring runs and beating them.

    Greinke being in the NL makes us even stronger. Lee jumped ship back to the NL, so give it up with the "arguably weaker" crap.

  16. #36
    Miss Doctor Lady Bear Sunshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaedi View Post
    So who else is exciting and scared of that Phillies pitching lineup. My god that thing is crazy.
    Yay Phillies! Although I'm a bit worried now that Werth is gone; I guess we'll see how it goes.

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Offspring View Post
    Arguably weaker? Excuse me? Who won the All Star game last year? Who won the World Series? Oh that's right. The National League. Just because the AL has powerful bats doesn't mean that they're a better league. As was shown in the WS, good pitching beats good hitting. I dare you to show me a rotation that matches up against the Giants, Phillies, or Braves in the AL. You can't. Don't give me this crap of Burnett/Sabathia/Hughes either. The Giants' pathetic offense would find a way of scoring runs and beating them.

    Greinke being in the NL makes us even stronger. Lee jumped ship back to the NL, so give it up with the "arguably weaker" crap.

    You're right, arguably weaker would be incorrect. Definitely, positively, 100% weaker would be more accurate. The pitching isn't "better" in the NL. Pitchers go to the NL to look better because of the pitcher slot and inferior batters. Yes, the NL won the all-star game last year. For the first time in over a decade. And they'll probably win the all-star game this year because the top 10 pitchers in the NL might just trump the top 10 pitchers in the AL. That's about where it ends.

    Don't forget, I've been watching Halladay in the AL-East for the last decade. Do you think he suddenly decided to become superhuman at age 33? No. He left the AL. That's not a knock on Halladay, who is one of, if not the best in the game right now. It's a knock on the NL, which by and large has been an inferior league for well over a decade. A 4.00 ERA in the AL is about the equivalent of a 2.50 in the NL.

    Being that the Giant won the WS this year does as much for your claim as the all-star game. You're talking about one good team (a team that came from out of no where and is projected to win 84 games next season). I'm talking about an entire league.

    I dare you to show me a rotation that matches up against the Giants, Phillies, or Braves in the AL.
    Lester, Buchholz, Beckett, Lackey, Matsuzaka would come in second only to the Phillies on that list. Ok, your turn. Truth or dare?

    ---------- Post added 2011-01-02 at 11:57 PM ----------



    Over the last 2 years, the NL has been making a slight comeback in interleague play but not necessarily enough to outweigh the statistical noise. It's a little bit closer than I was expecting, but still clearly shows favoritism towards AL, despite AL teams getting penalized by playing in NL parks while NL teams are given a bonus hitter in AL parks (the penalty being teams designed around a DH are unable to use one, while a team designed around pitcher hitter gets to add a DH)

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiraiyah View Post
    Lester, Buchholz, Beckett, Lackey, Matsuzaka would come in second only to the Phillies on that list. Ok, your turn. Truth or dare?
    Beckett always confuses me. His first start last year was pretty much his best. And Dice was what 18-4 2 years ago and didn't allow a single run when loading the bases? Lackey is an innings eater, you'd think them being 3-5 would take the pressure off them since Lester seems to LOVE the spotlight. He's the only one with the "I don't care, give me the damn ball" mentality.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by ItachiZaku View Post
    Beckett always confuses me. His first start last year was pretty much his best. And Dice was what 18-4 2 years ago and didn't allow a single run when loading the bases? Lackey is an innings eater, you'd think them being 3-5 would take the pressure off them since Lester seems to LOVE the spotlight. He's the only one with the "I don't care, give me the damn ball" mentality.
    Beckett has had this very strange pattern his whole career. Every other year, he switched from dominant to beatable. We call it odd-year Beckett. This is the odd-year and if the pattern continues, this is going to be one hell of a season. Lackey is an innings eater as you said, but should be eating a little bit higher quality innings. Daisuke's 18-4 year was a bit of an outlier. It's impossible to repeat those numbers because it's based on having so much luck with runners on base. He's still a solid pitcher though. He showed a little more consistency last year after coming back from the DL. 18-4 is probably unrealistic for him in the AL, but 13-10 would be more than reasonable and more than enough to make him the best damn 5th starter in baseball.

    Lester is a MAN. I've read stories about him throwing hundreds of pitches between projectile vomiting sessions while he was going through chemo. He has that killer instinct and knows how to get the most of every ounce of his talent. He is a hall of famer in the making. Oh, and he's 27, so he hasn't even hit his peak yet. He has started so many games with 5-6 innings of absolutely unhittable stuff that I lost count. If he's on, he's fucking ON. He has a Pedro-like mystique to him (though no one will ever BE Pedro)

    Speaking of not hitting their peak, neither has Buchholz. In his first full season, he was dominant. He's got some of the absolute best stuff in the league. The only reason Lester or Buchholz probably won't win the cy young next year is that they'll be splitting the vote. That one-two is about as good as it gets, save, possibly, for Halladay/Lee.

    ---------- Post added 2011-01-03 at 07:58 PM ----------

    For reference, Josh F Beckett's ERA+ by year:

    2002 - 99
    2003 - 138 - WS (MVP)
    2004 - 108
    2005 - 118
    2006 - 95
    2007 - 145 - WS (ALCS/postseason MVP)
    2008 - 115
    2009 - 122
    2010 - 75
    2011 - ?? - WS?

    You'll notice that without exception, he has improved from his even years and regressed after his odd years in every single season. There are a lot of theories as to why this happens, all of which are speculation, but the one that makes the most sense to me is off-season training. It's as if when he has a bad year, he's motivated to do better, then after a good year, he's content.

    But you'll also notice every other odd year, he's also won a world series. Here's hoping that pattern continues! :P

  20. #40
    Keyboard Turner
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    My Tigers could have done more but with minnesota losing a lot of thier bullpen i think we are good enough, wish we would have thrown the money at crawford or werth though

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