Monday, June 27, 2011

All-Star Break

First and foremost, a brief message for Kevin Youkilis.  Shut the f*** up.

Okay, now for my obligatory statement of opinion regarding the "Adrian Gonzalez Playing Right" idea.  At first, before I realized that it's time for JD Drew's "gonna play hard for two weeks to get people off my back and make them wonder if I actually DO care about baseball...before riding into the sunset" spurt, I was for the idea.  But I've come around.  Adrian Gonzalez should be on the bench a couple of times in the next couple of games. 

I'm not sipping the Tony Massarotti Kool-Aid of "Gonzalez is going to crash into Adrian Beltre as an outfielder."  But I do regularly sip the Francona "He probably needs a day off" Kool-Aid.  Let's look at the Red Sox' big-mouthed third baseman with a victim complex.  Youkilis plays hard every single day.  Due to this, experts say, he gets fatigued come August or September, oftentimes when games start to become more and more important.  Youkilis hitting .220 for a month is not aligned with business objectives, whether it's the fans' business objective of winning baseball games or whether it's John Henry's business objective of being up 20%. 

Bottom line is, Youkilis needs some days off over the course of the season.  So does Dustin Pedroia.  And so does Jason Varitek.  He needs five days off a week so that he can be effective the other two (and for that, let me say THANK YOU JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA!).

My thesis is:  Adrian Gonzalez also needs some days off.  He stated back in February or March that he wanted to play 162 games this year.  I don't like that.  We're not in San Diego anymore.  The team stands a chance to win baseball games without Adrian Gonzalez in the lineup.  Especially against teams like the Houston Astros.  The Padres needed Gonzalez to play to win, more or less.  The Red Sox don't.

Gonzalez will be starting the All-Star Game, so that means between now and October, he'll have roughly ten days off.  While I'm not advocating his "teaching third grade public school," why not build in a couple more?  Gonzales will not have an All-Star Break.  So let's make July 1-3 his All-Star Break.  Play Ortiz.  Play Drew as he goes 12-15 over that weekend after his spectacular recovery from Sore Philly Eye.  And play Adrian Gonzalez in October.


ZWeiss said...

Carried over from our previous comments:

Sad to see that you guys are going out. Seems like you have a ton of good stuff here. And if I am the next generation, I hope I keep it up between school and work and cross country and friends and whatnot. I want to work in/with baseball someday, so hopefully this helps.

Anyway, solid post, I couldn't agree more. 162 games is a helluva lot, I really can't think of a good reason to play a guy for every single one. Everyone needs rest sometimes, and Gonzalez is going to be in Boston for a while. Let's not burn him out in the second or third year of his deal.

TimC said...

Although I agree with the post and the idea in general, does anyone really know the impact of 'resting' position players over the course of the season? Any research, informal or otherwise, been done on this topic? I would be very interested in seeing if players perform 'optimally' over 145 games or something like that but from what I see this is more of a feel thing (like relief pitcher rest) than a hard-fact thing (like starting pitching, or for a cross-sport reference, the 370 carry mark for RBs). Of course, the benefit of getting guys in off the bench is huge, too, which might be my favorite part of it.

Also, a quick question for our law guys, if innocent until proven guilty, why can't someone like Whitey use 'his' money to hire defense? Seems like he's already been handed a verdict to me if he's having his cash confiscated.

the gm at work said...

Tim C,

A quick after-hours sarcastic comment: Cal Ripken, Jr. Look at the numbers. Those years in the .250s really are not very good. And we don't have to play around and say he wasn't a talented player.