Monday, May 18, 2009

Insert Your Rants Here

A few things to address today, and considering the majority of our readership is from Boston, I feel like the comments section might be a good depository for people's frustration.

First, as this website is called How Youz Doin Baseball, we'll talk about the frustrating Red Sox loss yesterday. The team was unable to hit friggin Jason Vargas, mustering only two extra-base hits. But, of course, the most frustrating part is when a routine ground ball to shortstop was botched by Nick Green, who sent the ball flying into the camera well. The runner reaching base on the Green error scored the winning run. This was Green's second error of the game and his eighth of the season, and as we already know from the Lugo Era, many errors don't end up mattering much, but it's just a matter of time that it costs you a game or two.

It's frustrating that Green sucks defensively, but it's hard to rag on him as he's still hitting .300, or about seventy points over his career average. The shortstop situation on this team is just frustrating. So is the DH situation.

Also feel free to express your distaste for the Celtics' Game 7 flop. Missed free throws and missed layups should not happen, period.

But on a little more of a macro level, going back to baseball, the Red Sox lost another two series on the road, dropping them to 2-5 on road series and 9-12 in road games. The good news is that they win consistently at home. Particularly good about that is that it drives Pat crazy enough to send me five text messages about it between the hours of 11:30 PM and 1:30 AM last night. My first reaction is that Fenway Park isn't going to help Nick Green throw the ball to first base.

But the Red Sox average two more runs per game at home than they do on the road. Is this because the team really is built for Fenway Park and is made up of a lot of really mediocre hitters when they're not being aided by the dimensions? We know that Mike Lowell's and Dustin Pedroia's splits are pretty dramatic. But is that really a characteristic of all Red Sox hitters?

Scoring eleven runs in a series against the Seattle friggin Mariners is unacceptable.

Also worth addressing is if this team's home dominance is going to be enough to overcome how much they suck on the road. Will that carry them to the playoffs? They're three games out of first place now. If they were 12-9 on the road, which is not too much to ask for a team that should be a playoff team, they'd be in first place.

A few more quick hits:
-Good for Jon Lester for his recovery from Suck Patrick Denial. He dropped some expletives about his performance in Sunday's paper, and that's a lot better than getting lit up and saying you thought you pitched well.
-Good work by emo kid Joe Maddon, who had to hit Andy Sonnanstine third in the lineup because he messed up the lineup card. Way to do your job. For them, good thing they were playing Cleveland.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

DV

The Sox were below .500 on the road last year but dominated at home to get to 95 wins. I think that they can do the same thing this year, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating. They struggle to score runs on the road and have lost too many one run games--on this trip alone, of the four losses, three were by one run. Close losses on the road may suggest that the Sox will end up being a decent team away from Fenway, but I'm not holding my breath.

As for the C's, we all saw a worn team last night. The Magic really outplayed Boston for the majority of the series and if they knew how to close games out they would have won in 5 games. Hopefully Orlando and Cleveland will make for an entertaining series (I doubt it though). At the end of the day it's just unfortunate that Boston didn't get a chance to defend their title with their A team.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

Gunn,

If you want to look on the negative side, the one-run losses indicate either a crappy bullpen (not true) or a lack of timely hitting (true). I believe after the "Ortiz Game" you mentioned the Pedroia strikeout with one out and the bases loaded in the twelfth. That was a huge strikeout, and one that really tells this story pretty well: Even the guys like Pedroia, who are coming up HUGE at home, are not getting the job done on the road.

While it's true that a strikeout is a strikeout in both Anaheim and Boston, that doesn't take away from my point that much.

Ross Kaplan said...

Ouch babe, bad weekend for Boston area sports. Don't forget the 1st seeded Bruins getting eliminated in 7 games. What do the Boston guys have to say about the Ortiz benching. Too much too soon or too little too late, you be the judge.

the gm at work said...

Tank,

I think the benching of Ortiz as is was a good idea. Few days in the cage, few days to separate himself from the 0-7 debacle in Anaheim, and maybe he'll remember how to play baseball again.

Pat F said...

too early to make conclusions on home/away. few teams win on the road each year, and there's a lot of time to turn things around.

not to early to deem in interesting and keep an eye on it. that's because these players are literally different players home and away, and that obviously affects how good the team is. mike lowell has an ops .350 points higher on the road (!!!!!). pedroia .150. ellsbury .140. varitek .170. ortiz hasn't been good anywhere, but even still fenway helps him to the tune of .160 ops points. so when you talk about turning it around on the road, it's tough to overcome this. same goes for slowing down at home, probably not stopping any time soon. you basically have a guy in lowell who is an all-star at home, not a major leaguer on the road. pedroia, mvp at home, average player everywhere else. varitek and ellsbury, servicable at home, fringe AAAA guys on the road. at least you get something out of ortiz at home, nothing on the road. that's what happens when 100 ft. of flyball outs turn into doubles at home. for all of these guys. they just aren't good players unless they are in fenway park. save pedroia, whose .291/.391/.367 would be average. even still, he has no power unless he's in fenway.

the only guys on the entire team who can play baseball away from fenway are bay (who's a beast), youkilis (who's very good when healthy), and jd drew (who is a better player on the road, because he does not have a fenway park swing, quite the opposite, as the numbers indicate). early signals are this team is going to have to do what they've done in recent years, and with the decline of big papi, maybe even moreso: light it up at home and try to stay afloat on the road. they have two different sets of players, and therefore two different teams.

Anonymous said...

Oh no, Patrick is on his high horse again. Look Pat, I can play this game too!

Jeter- OPS is .139 higher at home.

Damon- OPS is .329 higher at home than on the road (!!!!! exclamation points are fun)

Teixeira- OPS is .260 higher at home than on the road

Jorge Posada- OPS is .427 higher at home than on the road.

I guess that's what happens when you play in the east coast version of coors field.

It's like these players are TOTALLY different players at home versus on the road.

And you know what, it's probably like this for a lot of teams since they get players who do well in their parks.

And like the sox, the yankees have a couple of players that hit better on the road than at home but not many. Goodness gracious Pat, I thought law school was supposed to make you smarter, yet we are one year through and I still find myself very dissappointed with you.

-Bandi

the gm at work said...

It's like these players are TOTALLY different players at home versus on the road.
Bandi, nice post, especially the part about the exclamation points being fun. An improper/inaccurate use of "literally" in the paragraph above would have enhanced your ability to rag on Pat.

"These players are literally different people at home and on the road. The difference is literally night and day."

jb said...

Kudos to Bandi

Pat F said...

bandi - there's no question about the point you just made, and it was one i was going to make. most teams have better numbers at home. helpful dimensions/home roster construction aside, it's easier to hit at home. more comfortable, fans on your side, etc. nature of sports. good job pointint out the obvious.

three flaws in your mini freak out trying to get me, though.

1. damon and posada still have very good road ops. this is not true of any names mentioned on the red sox. it's really good vs. good to get the difference. the sox is good vs. not good to get the difference.

2. this is a historical thing for the sox players mentioned. it's not something that has just popped up this season. derek jeter is likely to improve upon his .699 road ops, as his career numbers dictate he's a similar hitter home and away. the same is true of mark teixeira. he's going to give you a better road ops than he has in a small sample size, because there is nothing in his history that suggests he can only hit in yankee stadium. the same is not true of a lowell or a pedroia.

3. and this is big, so try to follow me here. the yankees don't have road issues. if the yankees had road issues, i'd probably be talking about their offensive struggles on the road as well, trying to pinpoint it. but you know when the last time they even had a losing record on the road (let alone real issues) was? 1995. 13 straight seasons with a winning record on the road. one of two teams in the AL with one last year. one of two teams with one early on here. so you know what, it's not important what their players' home vs. away ops are, because they are winning. the red sox struggled on the road last year, and are so early this year, especially relative to the insane disparity to how well they performed at home in both years. so it's reasonable to point out what the reasons for that might be. the yankees don't have road issues (yet), and have no such home/road disparity, so it's not important to do so for them.

before you break out the insults about my reasoning, please try to consider a broader scope yourself. this was not about home vs. road ops, who's better, red sox or yankees. it was about the reasons the sox might be struggling on the road.

dan - nice job complimenting bandi on his pointless comment. instead of being the grammar police, perhaps you should police the merits of points made. all he did was list home/away ops of the yankees for...no reason at all. the yankees aren't losing on the road, so ops disparities are not an issue. if one wanted to argue that these ops variations are something all teams experience and it is not the reason for the struggles, i'd listen to that. but i did not see that occur. and if one was to argue that, i'd point to #1 and #2 above, and that the sox are a bit different.

Pat F said...

john - please see the post above to bandi. absolutely no kudos whatsoever, besides for making awful points.

the gm at work said...

Truth of the matter is, the Yankees are 11-10 on the road. They aren't the team with the problem. The Red Sox are, for all the reasons that Pat pointed out. If the Sox do indeed go Cleveland Cavaliers on everyone at home, as Gunn said, they'll still be in contention. But how likely is it that the Red Sox do go Cleveland Cavaliers this year?

I just like how it's F With Pat Day.

Pat F said...

thank you for restoring order, dan.

and bandi, really nice job again with posada and damon. notice i only pointed out disparities for players whose road ops sucked. i don't know how a disparity is an issue if the road ops is still really good. i guess being good on the road is an issue if you're really, really, really good at home, because it creates a disparity. disparity is not the issue.

the issue is when there is a dispartity AND the road ops sucks AND the team that player plays for is not good on the road vs. home AND there are multiple players on the team who have this issue.

come get me when you find a yankee who meets all four of these requirements. you loser.

Anonymous said...

Glad I was able to do a good job of "pointint" out the obvious. That's usually what I do best.

You make some good points, but I think the main point I was trying to make is that differences in players hitting abilities obviously do not tell the whole story here since every team hits better at home than on the road. Every team has statistical disparities on the home and on the road. You said nothing to disagree with this. In fact, you agreed with it. Good. Next time you write in to disagree with me, maybe you should make sure you actually disagree.


On Damon and Posada- you say that Damon and Posada are hitting good on the road and great at home. That's fine. They are better hitters than some of the Red Sox players you mentioned. But that has nothing to do with being at home or on the road. They are just better. No disagreement there. Nice point though.

I was also pointing out that your stadium is clearly inflating people's numbers, and I think we need to take this into the next time you decide to go on one of your statistical escapades. Again, you didn't make any comment about this.

Finally, The Red Sox are 9-12 on the road. The Yankees are 11-10.

This is hardly a huge difference at this point.

So I guess what I'm wondering is, what did you accomplish with your last comment?

Pat F said...

i can't tell you how much it bothers me when bandi says dumb stuff like this and people get excited about it. the guy is a boner. he just spouts off stuff that sounds good but misses the entire point, and because it's pro red sox all the better.

you know bandi, i hear the cardinals and the rams had defensive problems last year. since those defensive problems didn't create an issue for the cardinals as they won the super bowl, i heard it's not something they are concerning themselves with as much as the rams. but maybe you can just point out how these defensive issues are similar just for the sake of pointing it out, since, you know, the goal isn't winning or losing or anything. no, that doesn't matter at all. defensive issues are defensive issues, and it makes no difference whether they keep you from winning or not.

Pat F said...

"yankee stadium is inflating people's numbers"

and so is fenway, to the point where it's affecting the team. that's the whole point.

the primary purpose of my last comment was to point out the historical element. the sox struggled on the road last year. the yankees haven't struggled on the road in 14 years. lowell and pedroia have drastic career splits. the yankees players you mentioned do not. i think these things matter. if the sox players had better career splits, we'd all be expecting them to bounceback and play better on the road. since they don't, it's more ominous. that's the entire point here. if the sox didn't also struggle on the road last year, there would be no purpose in talking about this. the overcame it last year. can they again this year? is it worse this year? didn't know this simple conversation offering, with reasonable facts to back it up, was going to send you into a frenzy of nonsense, for some reason dragging the yankees into it.

Pat F said...

and i was not completely agreeing with you. yes, all teams hit better at home. but do all teams have a catcher, a first baseman (forgot youkilis), a second baseman, a third baseman, a center fielder, and a DH who not only have big home/road splits, but generally are beow average (save pedoroia and youkilis) on the road? i don't think so. and that's the point.

Pat F said...

and here i am, trying to enjoy a day at work, looking forward to the yankee game tonight on a winning streak, and you've ruined my chi. you decided the issue was disparity for the sake of disparity, when the issue was disparity when the road ops is unusually low (there is no issue if someone is playing well on the road and insane home, thus creating a disparity, let's try to remember this) and the team is generally not playing good baseball on the road. this was not meant to be a major thing, and i'd like you to try to reserve ruining my chi for major things only please. thanks.

Pat F said...

*and the team is not generally playing good baseball on the road (let's remember there is no issue if the team is playing well on the road).

Anonymous said...

Pat,

I was going to criticize you on the fact that ever since this blog started, you've just continued to harp on career statistics. Then I realized the Yankees haven't done anything of significance since we started this blog, so that is all you have. So I guess I don't even need to argue with you. You continue to rely on career statistics in defining your expectations- the Yankees continue to fall short. You figure it out.

Also, your Rams/Cardinals defensive comparison made absolutely no sense and is worse than anything I've ever written on this blog. I was trying to make sense of it and I just can't. I even put myself in your shoes and said- If I was making this argument could I make it make sense? And the answer was still no.

I guess your point was that winning was what matters? Why didn't you just say that?

And still, I submit to you that there is not a huge difference in road record THIS year.

Pat F said...

i'd like to start by saying if the yankees lose tonight, i blame you. i felt great about things and now i'm all out of sorts and i can see the negative energy snowballing.

yes, the point was that winning vs. losing usually creates different contexts in how we look at things. if you have a deficiency and you're winning, you can deal with it. if you have a deficiency and you're losing, you are more concerned and want to try to get more out of it that area. i'm sure the rams would like to get better defense with more urgency than do the cardinals. i'm sure the sox would like to get better road ops' with more urgency than would a team with a winning road record.

again, it's not 11-10 vs. 9-12 that is the big deal. if the sox were 81-0 on the road last year and pedroia and lowell have always hit away from fenway, we would not be talking. but the fact of the matter is this issue has been ongoing for at least 14 months. at this stage, can we really expect these guys that don't hit away from fenway to just start? probably not, at least in terms of making a huge difference (again, save pedroia).

now, the red sox made the playoffs last year despite this. so the question was just, will they again this year? can they be good enough at home to overcome road woes? or, will they do something to start playing better on the road (add a bat, someone starts hitting, etc.)? it wasn't meant to be anything more than this.

the gm at work said...

In the Mike Lowell Era (2006-present), the Red Sox have only been above .500 on the road once (2007). They have not scored more than 5 runs per game on the road since they acquired Lowell. I use 2006 as a turning point because Lowell has been helped by the Fenway Park dimensions.

Lowell in Fenway Park is why many Red Sox fans, including myself, said it was necessary for the guy to return after the 2007 season. Lowell's OPS has been 78, 147, and 57 points higher at home than on the road in the years 2006, 2007, and 2008, respectively.

the gm at work said...

And Pat, by the way, what is this Chi/negative energy bullcrap? Are you turning into Joe Maddon?

Or are you just jumping aboard the bandwagon of morons who love spark, energy, and electricity? Goodness gracious.

At least when you use the exclamation points, you're not throwing any 111s in there...yet.

Pat F said...

i'm trying to work on being a little less high strung (which is likely never to happen, but at least i can give it a go). my success in this attempt usully coincides sharply with the yankees winning or losing. with the winning streak, i've been able to be less high strung. few people can interrupt that like jon b, however.

i separate myself from spark and electricity.

from the bronx said...

pat,
one player whose numbers are not being inflated at yankee stadium is nick swisher. do you have any insight on him that you care to add? he has turned out to be the player i thought he was coming in... a one dimensional hitter with a good sense of the strike zone. his play of late has been putrid and i cannot wait for nady to get back.

Anonymous said...

Bronx

Seeing your post reminded me--did anybody see that SportsCenter piece on Brett Gardner today? Really nice segment about him and a visit he made to a children's hospital recently. As much as I dislike the Yankees it's good to remember that a lot of these guys are top-flight human beings.

--the Gunn

Pat F said...

bronx - not much to add at all. swisher has been about the player i expected as well. lot of power, lot of walks, no average, and a well above average right fielder. we are almost a quarter of the way through the season and he has 8 homers, 9 doubles, and 24 walks, an obp in the high .300s, a slg over .500, a batting average in the mid .200s, and a +6 uzr/150 in right. pretty much exactly what i thought was coming - a good player, one that is not great but can contribute bigtime to a winning team, which has been the case. he's not as good as he was at the start, and he's not as bad as he has been lately. i'm not big on discrediting hot stretches to focus on the bad nor cold stretches to focus on the good - it evens itself out over a full season, and i'm happy to allow that to happen with a player who has displayed the consistency swisher has over his career.

i've even afforded that to your boy, brett gardner, who has also been about what i thought he was - fast and nothing else. i'm hoping there's a hot streak coming to balance off the lack of production from the first quarter of the season and even itself out over 162 (and perhaps his great week last week was a start, i hope so). i too am looking forward to nady getting back, not just because i like him so much, but because a 4 man rotation of damon, melky, swisher, and nady with gardner has a 5th outfielder/pinch runner is a lot better than a 4 man rotation of damon, melky, swisher, and gardner with no 5th outfielder. i think all of us are anxious for nady to get back, very good point there.

gunn - excellent point. it's something most of us probably lose sight of at times and shouldn't. i know i'm someone who does.

from the bronx said...

pat,
gardner has struggled and i'll be the first to admit it. he's still being too passive early in the count, and he's had a lot of trouble handling the inside pitches. but he's a rookie and deserves time before we pass a final judgment. i don't mean to say he should be playing every day if there are better options, only that it isn't fair to write him off entirely. we've seen flashes of a really good player, and i think with more experience he will get better.

swisher is another story entirely. his season power numbers are augmented by a white hot first 10 or so games, and everything after that has been abysmal. he is 5-42 with 19 strikeouts in May. he has been a black hole at the plate for a while now.

Pat F said...

bronx - swisher is not another story entirely. you speak all facts. his numbers were augmented early by a hot start . now they are changed by a cold streak beyond normal (he needs a day off i think and i'd imagine he'll get one tomorrow). the beautiful thing about baseball is that it's a long season and hot streaks and long streaks even out in the end, and players play to the back of their baseball card. i imagine that will be the case with swisher. again - not a player you're building around, but a solid contributor on a winning team. that's what he's been thus far, and that's what i expect he'll be at season's end. everyone 1-9 is not going to be an all-star. 80-100 walks, 25 homers, tremendous energy/personality, switch-hitting, and well above average D in right is perfectly fine for me from the 6th or 7th best hitter in the lineup. the cold streaks are always tough to accept, and this has been bad. if he's like this the rest of the season, he won't be playing. but like most players, he'll probably get hot again, then cold, then so on. this cold streak doesn't mean anything more than the hot one early.