Friday, May 28, 2010

Dr. Number Two

First of all, on the topic that gets a lot of discussion around here, last night was 90% Matsuzaka's fault. The Yankees game, he was hit and hit hard, but at the same time he was the victim of a lot of catchable balls not being caught. I talked about how Number Two being in the outfield instead of JD'ing out with a pseudo-injury was probably a big factor in that. But last night was "fielding-independent." Sabermetricians have a stat that takes into consideration only walks, strikeouts, and home runs, and call it "fielding-independent pitching." Walking the bases loaded and walking runners in is not good for your FIP. The fact that the guy walked the bases loaded in the fourth as well means that Matsuzaka was actually lucky he only gave up three runs. Not good stuff.

Just to throw it out there, this is an MLB-only problem. The player walked one batter every four innings his last four seasons in Japan.

Onto my main point: People pretty much ignored my post two weeks ago questioning the validity of Number Two's injury. It's two weeks later and Number Two is still not in the lineup. He made a cameo over the weekend, dove unnecessarily for an easily-catchable ball, didn't hit, and pretty much called it quits. We are now at the point that other players (according to insiders) are questioning whether the player is willing to play at less than 100%. Number Two was 1-14, so obviously playing at 99% was hurting his stats. With arbitration coming up this winter, going 1-14 and lowering your batting average is not advantageous for the player's personal situation. Perhaps it helps the team because you're not going to see Billy Hall in the outfield anymore, but Number Two doesn't care about helping the team.

Apparently Number Two, during his injury, is considering going to 7 years of JD--I mean, medical school. Number Two is actually more willing to make a diagnosis than all of the doctors I've seen the last six months. He seems to know a lot about treating broken ribs, and he thinks the Red Sox aren't doing it right. He popped off to Gordon Edes Wednesday night, saying the team misdiagnosed it and are trying to save face. Interesting. They originally misdiagnosed Mike Cameron, too, and he's not complaining. He wants to play baseball, so much that he's delaying his sports hernia surgery.

But Number Two isn't interested in doing his job. He's interesting in finding fault. Back in the earlier part of this month, Number Two said that this rib pain was going to be with him all season. Sounds like a freaking expert to me. Very interesting to know that Number Two already knows how he's going to be feeling in September. Has he ever cracked his ribs before? No. Has Tom Brady? Yes. How many games did Brady miss? Zero. But Number Two is apparently a doctor because he knows more than Thomas Gill knows about how he's going to feel in September.

Either that or he wants a built-in excuse to why he will have sucked all year. The only thing Dr. Number Two is doing by sitting out, talking about sitting out, and missing two months, is building his case when he sits in an arbitration room next February. He'll use the Red Sox doctors' original misdiagnosis as leverage. He'll use the time off to minimize less-than-ideal stats recorded at 95-99%. He'll use the ribs as an excuse just in case he sucks. And the Red Sox will continue to have Bill Hall and Jeremy Hermida play left field in their run prevention formation.

Thanks, Dr. Number Two. So glad you're so much smarter than everyone else. The baseball season is 54 days old. Number Two has played in nine of those days. He's been on the DL for 37 days. And he's JD'ed out without being on the DL now for eight days, with more time sure to be ahead.

The Red Sox don't have time for an overrated one-tool player who makes unnecessary diving catches just to call attention to himself. Especially if the player is throwing their medical team under the bus. Especially if the player is raising a one-man labor dispute. Especially if the player is the first person to hire Scott Boras after the Arod World Series stunt. If the Red Sox can entertain trade offers for this stiff, maybe it will hurt run prevention in the short run. But ridding themselves of this hypochondriac baby would save the team loads of frustration. Plus, it wouldn't hurt run prevention any more than the current situation, when the guy just doesn't play for no reason. Seriously, who else has missed two months because of a hairline fracture of their ribs? Drew probably would. But I don't think anyone ever has.
Huge ups to Tony Massarotti and Edes, who are the only journalists with enough balls to go after this jerk. But I'll leave you with this comment: If Number Two had gone 8-14 during his three games this weekend, would we be having this conversation at all?

1 comment:

TimC said...

The only positive for Dice is that he has now topped 100 pitches for four straight starts. If he can start making better use of those throws, maybe this guy can save the bullpen a bit going forward. Granted, at the moment he is doing exactly the opposite, so that is more of a hope than an expectation.

It is nice to see the collateral damage from the JD Drew signing start to surface. Instead of learning under hard-working grinders like Damon and Trot, #2, Ph.D., has had the opportunity to study the fine art of faking injuries under the master of it all, D.L. Drew. I would like to note that since the injury Drew has played pretty well; perhaps having an apprentice has put a hop in his step!

I am also not against trading this guy at all. I think run prevention is a one-year thing; once the Sox sort out some of their payroll issues and get some of these prospects up to the major league level, they will go back to finding hitters because their performance is more consistent than fielders. If they have to pull the trigger early on a guy who is not interested in playing, they should do it. Maybe they can use him to shore up the bullpen or buy Dice a map to the strike zone.