Sunday, October 9, 2011

Merry Christmas

Note:  I was going to go after the owners for the latest version of Best Team Ever Aftermath, but just as they are unable to formulate a straight answer about Theo, Tito, and improving the team ("Europeans have sports science!" does not count as a straight answer), I can't formulate a logical indictment of them quite yet.  I'm not sure if it will exceed the vitriol or the length of Post 1,603, but it might.  Luckily, there are other people who need to be hammered before we sign off.  And, better yet, I can lead it off with an Eric Ortiz quote.

Every day should feel like Christmas for Curt Young, the new Red Sox pitching coach. The former A’s pitching coach didn’t have anything close to the horses he has now, and Oakland’s staff posted a 3.56 ERA last season, the best in the American League and fourth-best in the majors. Imagine what he can do with a Grade A collection of arms.

Wow.  He apparently did as good of a job on Christmas as Bart Simpson did after twelve glasses of water in 1997.  Only Young ended up swindling other people out of a lot more than $15,000.  You could tell pretty early that the Curt Young experiment was not working out too well, because there were some articles out there about how Matsuzaka (a potential All-Star according to the Ortiz article) and he were trying to work out some kind of compromise.

In April, the night Matsuzaka grooved some fastballs, seemingly in a challenge to whomever said "stop nibbling and throw the ball over the plate," that's when I started to think, "shame on me for being the only person in New England who is critical of John Farrell." 

The only thing I cannot blame Curt Young for is Bobby Jenks.  That guy is toast.  He's a fat pussy toad (hereonin to be called "F.P.T.") with each year's performance being worse than the one before.  However...

John Lackey?  It's not like he's a bad pitcher or has been a bad pitcher over the course of his career.  That's on Curt Young.
Jon Lester's twenty home runs and 75 walks, many of which sunk this team in September when he decided to revert to his 2006 self?  That's on Curt Young.
Josh Beckett's weight, Tim Wakefield's weight, and John Lackey's weight:  That's at least partially on Curt Young. 

The fact that the Red Sox' starting rotation, with the pedigree it had, could only muster quality starts in 43% of their games (league average was 53%), is on Curt Young.  The stunning, historic September stats you have been hearing about are also on Young.  The fact that the pitching staff was not ready to pitch in the first inning (4.89 ERA, 100 ERA+, .344 OBP) is on Curt Young. 

The fact that this starting staff, ON AVERAGE, lasted only 5 2/3 innings where teams like Tampa, Texas, his old Oakland team, and many others could provide you more than two thirds of a baseball game without going to mediocre-by-nature middle relievers, is overwhelmingly embarrassing.  And that's on Curt Young.

Think about that:  On average, the Red Sox entrusted 3 1/3 innings a night to their bullpen.  Let's take reliable players like Papelbon and Bard out of the mix and just credit them for one inning a night.  We're talking about on average, seven critical outs being entrusted to Aceves and freaking Matt Albers, Franklin Morales, Tommy Hottovy/Bobby Jenks/Scott Atchison, Andrew Miller/Tim Wakefield, and Dan Wheeler.  That's unacceptable.

Considering that the sixth inning is where you saw the HIGHEST ERA (5.11), the MOST walks, the LOWEST K/BB ratio, and the HIGHEST opponents' OPS (the fifth inning was the second-highest) is an indication of three things:

1) The starting pitchers were ALL F.P.T.'s who lacked any kind of arm or aerobic endurance to last more than half a baseball game with 20 minutes' rest after 20 minutes of work.
2) The relievers who came in early in the game were not ready to come into the game.  I assume if you take out Alfredo Aceves, that number would be a lot worse.
3) CLA BUCCHOLS GOT HURT!!1 EVERYTHING WOOD BE FINE IF HE DIDDNT GET HURT!11 BEST TEAM EVGER!"  Did I hear that the Cardinals may have suffered a few injuries in their pitching staff this year?  Shut up, an injury is a lame excuse.

Looking at the players who performed the best under Young (Aceves, Bard, Papelbon), they were either young pitchers or pitchers who had something to prove.  If you look at his successful pitching staffs previously (Gio Gonzalez, Dallas Braden, Brett Anderson, and even his last crop in the Moneyball era), they were also young pitchers or pitchers with something to prove.  He somehow dropped the ball with the established veterans, especially Beckett when he decided to mail it in for the rest of the season.  Hell (yeah), Gonzalez and Anderson are barely old enough to drink beer in the clubhouse like the freaking animals that took the mound every five days for Boston, nevermind Hell Yeah Liking Beer. 

Curt Young couldn't lay the law down.  Looks like he went on vacation for Christmas, put the automatic timers on his lights, and left the doors unlocked while Lackey, Lester, Beckett, Matsuzaka, and Wakefield drank some beers, plugged the drains, and let the water running. 

It's their calling card.

1 comment:

the gm at work said...

And yes, to clarify, Curt Young IS indeed fired if I'm the GM. Pat said it wasn't clear.