Monday, April 25, 2011

Neither Will Your Readers (Volume 1)

The fifth and final year of "DV Style Lists" is going to be in honor of John Henry's assertion that he is smarter than you.  But let's cut to the chase:

1.  Bud Selig wants to expand the playoffs to ten teams next year.  As I said in my "27%" post about a month ago, this is a terrible idea.  With playoff basketball and hockey on this weekend, it was hard enough to watch baseball.  Making the regular season just that more meaningless by ensuring that a good team can coast and guarantee entry into the playoffs is disgusting.  It will also put the balance of some good teams' seasons on the shoulders of two starters.  And, considering MLB already works its schedule around "So You Think You Can Dance's" schedule, this will push the playoffs back to mid-November.  Hopefully Bud Selig has plans on moving the Cleveland, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Boston, Chicago, and New York franchises so that this doesn't matter.  You idiot.  Another well-thought-out plan by major league baseball to make a couple extra thousand dollars. 

2.  Red Sox are now 8-1 after starting 2-10.  What makes this the most impressive is that the last bad starting pitching performance was probably Buchholz on Friday, April 15th.  Lackey may have gotten the loss in the A's game they lost, but it was really the bullpen and offense who coughed that one up.  In these nine games, the Red Sox have surrendered sixteen runs, less than two a game.  That's ridiculous.

3.  Good to see Crawford's home run yesterday.  Hopefully that's the first step toward turning this thing around.

4.  All the Varitek (.074) suckups want this guy to play everyday.  It's been well-documented that I am a huge Saltalamacchia fan, but as I wrote last week, he's been bad.  A lot of that ERA disparity has been the product of passed balls and poor defense.  And at .186, he's barely hitting the ball twice as much as Varitek.  It is necessary to keep Saltalamacchia playing, though.  If Varitek plays 3 times a week, his defense will be crap by June as well.  Saltalamacchia has been the starting catcher over the first eighth of the season.  He should still be in there.

5.  Next 10:00 game is August 12th.  Looking forward to being able to stay up for the end of games again.


Anonymous said...


On playoff expansion--adding one more team to each league only ups the percentage of teams who qualify for the playoffs from 27% to 33%. That's still the lowest figure of the four major sports leagues. I like that it will make the season more intriguing later on and make the playoffs more exciting. It will also provide a bye of sorts for the division winners (which they deserve) as the wild card teams will presumably play each other to determine who makes it to the divisional round. I know that you're kidding about the revenue that this would create, but every extra playoff game will create at least a seven figure payoff for the league/teams involved.

The interesting thing is will the league shorten the season to do this? Go back to 154 games? Or will there be fewer off days? Or will they just let the season go into early November? Or will the wild card game be just a one game, winner take all situation? It should be interesting to see how it plays out.

On the catching--Salty needs to be there until he proves he can't play. Varitek has shown us over the past three years that he can't hit at all and he still gets run out there. Salty needs more than 80 ABs to determine his fate.

On the pitching. Salty and Varitek have both caught gems, which suggests that just maybe the pitchers are responsible for how the ball comes out of their hands. Also, this pitching stretch has been historic (for the Red Sox franchise, at least) and has to have surprised even the most optimistic Sox fan. If this rotation can do anything within the realm of what they've done over the last nine games this team should be just fine.

Lastly, for all the business I give to Daisuke (and deservedly so) I have to admit that he was unreal the other night. Again. Looked like a top of the rotation guy. It was amazing. I hope it continues.

--the Gunn

Anonymous said...


I think you are on point throughout the post.

One of the good things about baseball is that it is so hard to make the playoffs. When that's one of the real positives you have it doesn't make sense to change it. You don't want to become the NBA. While the NFL has more teams than baseball (and has been successful with that format), it's also a single elimination tournament. We've been through this before. It makes no sense, except maybe from a money perspective. But you have to be able tell when you make the sacrifice from a financial perspective to preserve the integrity of the game. That might be one of the main job descriptions of the commissioner. Clearly he hasn't been good at this.

On a different point, I think it makes sense to have Varitek playing once a week and then plug him in for big games if you somehow think he would really help the pitchers.

Lastly, Pat has be somewhat disappointed that NY couldn't get a game against an aging Celtics team. In the end, no big deal because alot of the schmucks that are on the team this year won't be back.

Having said that, I don't totally agree with Pat's rant a few days back that we can never question Amare or Carmelo's ability to carry a team in the playoffs again. Chris Paul has led the Hornets to a 2-2 split against the Lakers. Lamarcus Aldridge (who I would take over Amare in a heartbeat) has led the Blazers to a 2-2 split with the Mavs. Carmelo and Amare couldn't get a game.

Speaking of the Mavs, this has all the makings of another playoff meltdown, but I do think they'll pull through in 7 due to home court. Really tough blowing game 4 after being up, but not a surprise at all. Gotta give a lot of credit to Brandon Roy too. Tough situation for him on a lot of levels but he's a gamer.


the gm at work said...

Just read that the Sox' starters' ERA over the last nine games is 0.88, the lowest starting ERA over nine games since 1946.

Must be that Varitek influence.

Patrick said...

i'll wrap up the ny/bos nba series tomorrow.

this is exactly what you didn't want to see from boston. you knew they'd get back in it but you wanted it to be a slower process. hopefully it still will be. the yankees being up 5 in the loss column is still a nice margin for april 25, but it could very easily be 7, 8, or more had the yankees finished off two stupid losses and, more importantly, had the sox not rattled off 8 of 9 after starting 2-10. you don't mind 6 or 7 out of 10's, in fact that's what you expect. you want to avoid the 8 or 9 out of 10's, that's what gets a team back in fast. thankfully the yankees have played good baseball and not totally wasted this opportunity. hopefully these west coast teams will look to return the favor at home and slow this comeback for a little, sox hovering around .500 for a bit would be huge.