Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Money is a Major Issue

Just a thought - too drained to write about too much tonight.  But there have been a lot of words spoken about Andrew Miller before and after tonight about his walks and all that.  I'm not going to count tonight's stats, not because they're devastating to my case (they're not), but because it's easier.

Miller, prorated to 176 innings (this is Baseball Reference's doing):
4.65 ERA, 91 K, 125 BB, 18 HR, .790 opponents' OPS, 1.74 WHIP.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, 191 innings (2010-2011):
4.81 ERA, 159 K, 97 BB, 17 HR, .706 and .664 opponents' OPS, 1.39 WHIP.

I'm not saying Andrew Miller is a godsend, but he's been a good fill-in for a #5 starter.  Matsuzaka is a complete bust.  These numbers were put out there in the first place because of the comparisons that have been brought up with both pitchers walking a ton of guys and still getting away with it to a certain extent.  The parallel is a little extreme, because not even the biggest Matsuzaka hater can say these guys are just as bad as each other.

Is the dirision thrown at Matsuzaka because of expectations?  Is this because of money?  A combination?  People like to say in a lot of different cases, "take the money part of it out."  You cannot.  It's impossible. Money is a big part of expectations management.  It's the difference between a temporary stopgap that shouldn't be a permanent fix and a disaster that should be run out of town.


John said...

The same principal can be applied to one of your favorite Red Sox players of all time in JD Drew. Obviously this year he should be paying the Sox to play, but in the first few years of his deal he wasn't that terrible just not worth the contract that he got. He missed significant time in 08, and we can all jump on him for not caring enough(or at all). Now before this gets hijacked in to how much you(GM) hate Drew, I want to state that it isn't just about ignoring the money with him, there are a lot of other factors(at least for you, some people don't care about opting out of deals, screwing over Philly, etc). That being said, if he makes a lot less money than he does, he suddenly becomes a lot more tolerable.

Anonymous said...


Money is a huge deal because it weighs so heavily on how teams can build their roster. If John Lackey were on a two year deal for $16 million, he'd have been cut already. If Drew had been on a similar deal the Sox probably would have traded for Jermaine Dye back in 2007 because platooning a guy with a guy making $6-$8 million isn't a crazy idea and it wouldn't be an admission that the signing was a complete failure.

Take the analogy further. You go to McDonald's and buy a hamburger. It costs two bucks. You eat it, it satisfies your craving and you're happy. But it wasn't a delicious meal. It didn't make your day. But you realize, "hey, it was cheap and effective and I didn't expect much, it's friggin' McDonald's." Now, what if that same burger cost you $34? You'd be pissed. It would be a colossal waste of money. And what's worse, is that you could have used that extra $32 to go to the grocery store and buy milk, eggs, cereal, and other food to help get you through the week.

JD Drew and Daisuke Matsuzaka were $34 McDonald's hamburgers.

--the Gunn

Anonymous said...

Let's relax here, Gunn, on the burger analogy. If JD is a $34 hamburger, Dice would be like a $15 hamburger after buying a $75 train ticket to get there. If we are going to discuss what the Red Sox should have done in the past with the posting fees, that's one thing, and the entire credit card bill needs to be scrutinized. However, as we are past that point (I think) the question becomes, 'I'm hungry, let's see that burger menu'. Now, maybe $15 for a double quarter pounder is a bad deal, but that's another story. No way, in my mind, was it a worse deal than the JD $35 McDouble. Not to mention, you would only get about 75% of your order from the JDBurger.

Also, DV, maybe a quick refresher on stats here, but on what planet is 18-3 and a 2.90 ERA pitching season part of the career stat line for someone who is a 'complete bust'? I've been guilty of this in the past with Papelbon by ignoring the performance numbers (SAVES) in exchange for focusing on the underlying trends but the reality is that even if the underlying numbers SAY a pitcher was having a so-so or lucky year, the 18-3 and 2.90 ERA only prove that the pitcher had a great year. Shame on any team that relied on this player to continue that output in future years or did not operate with a quick hook going into the end of the season. But, to say that someone HAD a bust of a season because the stats say he SHOULD have had a bust of a season is taking the Moneyball too far. Good luck to the Yomiuri Giants and their new pitcher for the 2013 season.


Anonymous said...


I like where you're coming from and I appreciate the humor. I think we can both agree, though, that if you pay $15 for any one item on the McDonald's menu then you paid at least three times too much.

Also, I want your thoughts on the "City Sushi" episode of South Park.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...


On JD, bingo. When you talk about JD, in order for him to be tolerable, you'd have to take away the money, the Philly thing, the LA opt-out, Three Nights in August (the book), the fact that he only performs in contract years, the fact that his performance (not facial expression) indicates that he doesn't give a crap, his willingness to take a walk instead of a sac fly with Varitek on deck, his "instincts" that made him catch that Matt Joyce fly ball last year, and the legions of sabermetric binder-boys that love this guy for no reason.

Gunn, love the points on Lackey and the burgers. The burgers are a perfect analogy. You're welcome for yesterday's post.

Tim C,

The posting fee would be if Harold and Kumar's White Castle burgers were expensive and sub-par.

He became a complete bust as the seventh-consecutive Chan Ho Park/Cal Ripken-style fastball left the yard on a Monday night against Tampa Bay.

Thoroughly enjoyed the comments today, guys. You provided a lot more than I did.