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Thread: Things that can go very wrong for Boston

  1. #1
    Maxman
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    Okay so there are a bunch of threads about how the Yankees are not a lock. I agree 100% there are no sure things. But let's talk about Boston for a minute here. This list is what could go wrong with Boston this year:

    1. Team Chemistry goes down the crapper. Everyone will dismiss this as not being as important but we are talking about a team that overachieved big time last year and still fell short of the World Series. They even got the same haircut. How is Nomar feeling about the lack of respect he received in the offseason?

    2. Terry Francona...I will leave this one alone but just say he is a question mark.

    3. Pokey Reese. He hit .215 last year. Walker was lights out. An ex poster even said that he wouldn't trade Walker straight up for Soriano last year.

    4. Ellis Burks: Great player when he is healthy but at 39 how much does he have left?

    5. Tim Wafefield...everyone is making him out to be an ace because he was real hot and pitched well in the post-season. The guy is 15 games over .500 for his career. In the last 5 seasons Tim Wakefield has 43 wins and 45 losses.

    6. Age...Boston has one of the oldest rosters in MLB.

    7. Pedro...he is a time bomb. He was not throwing hard at the end of last season. He is late for camp already this year. He is injury prone.

    8. Schilling. People talk about Kevin Brown as being injury prone. Kevin Brown is an iron man next to Curt. These guys are basically the same age. Over the past 15 years Curt Schilling has pitched under 170 innings 4 times. Last year included in that list. Kevin Brown twice (2001 and 2002)...the only major injury of his career.

    9. The curse...it bears mentioning.

    10. Boston could have a great season and still miss the postseason. The division could be that good.

  2. #2
    You're just a bitter, jealous, hater of the Patriots, and you haven't learned to worship the genius of Belichik!

    Sorry...it just seems to be the standard response to anything that's not Pro-Boston.

    BB

    BTW excellent points Maxman, but who cares...degrading the evil empire sells more papers.

  3. #3
    Maxman
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    Originally posted by Buffboy@Feb 20 2004, 12:14 PM
    You're just a bitter, jealous, hater of the Patriots, and you haven't learned to worship the genius of Belichik!

    Sorry...it just seems to be the standard response to anything that's not Pro-Boston.

    BB

    BTW excellent points Maxman, but who cares...degrading the evil empire sells more papers.
    LOL.

  4. #4
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    1. Team Chemistry goes down the crapper. Everyone will dismiss this as not being as important but we are talking about a team that overachieved big time last year and still fell short of the World Series. They even got the same haircut. How is Nomar feeling about the lack of respect he received in the offseason?
    This cannot be answered until games get played. Pure and simple. All reports suggest the team is still tight.

    2. Terry Francona...I will leave this one alone but just say he is a question mark.
    I agree. I'm not sold on Terry, or Tito as he is now labelled.

    3. Pokey Reese. He hit .215 last year. Walker was lights out. An ex poster even said that he wouldn't trade Walker straight up for Soriano last year.
    Yes but Pokey has been brought here for his defense and speed. I really do miss Walker and wonder why he was let go so easily. His defensive skills weren't that bad I thought. However, I'm glad he is with the Cubs and will continue to watch his progress. Pokey's not here because he slams the ball.

    4. Ellis Burks: Great player when he is healthy but at 39 how much does he have left?
    How old is Barry Bonds? Thought so. Burks is a great addition as all he is really going to do is DH. He knows Boston, and his work ethic fits the Boston mold perfectly. I have no problem with Burks being a Red Sox.

    5. Tim Wafefield...everyone is making him out to be an ace because he was real hot and pitched well in the post-season. The guy is 15 games over .500 for his career. In the last 5 seasons Tim Wakefield has 43 wins and 45 losses.
    Wake has been my favourite Red Sox player for the past 3 years. He will do anything you ask and has no ego. He can start, set-up, close run to the concessions and get you a beer, anything. Sure he had a rocky past, but right now he is pitching well. Besides, it's just cool to have a knuckleballer on your team.

    6. Age...Boston has one of the oldest rosters in MLB.
    True, but your yanks have done well with aging players, and hope to do it this year. It all comes down to timely hitting, hammer in the bully and a couple of stud pitchers. Both Boston and the yanks look to have that.

    7. Pedro...he is a time bomb. He was not throwing hard at the end of last season. He is late for camp already this year. He is injury prone.
    Yeah I'm not a fan of Pete. I used to be, but when he decided not to pitch before Boston had been eliminated it stuck in my throat. Last year he moaned, but did seem to show glimpses of past form towards the end. But for now I will agree. And he is only late due to family reasons so that doesn't concern me.

    8. Schilling. People talk about Kevin Brown as being injury prone. Kevin Brown is an iron man next to Curt. These guys are basically the same age. Over the past 15 years Curt Schilling has pitched under 170 innings 4 times. Last year included in that list. Kevin Brown twice (2001 and 2002)...the only major injury of his career.
    This is another wait and see category. Schilling's injury last year was a broken finger I believe. I'd be more worried if it were a shoulder or elbow injury. The spotlight is firmly on both of these guys to deliver. Schilling has no boots to fill, whereas Brown has to fill Clemens' boots.

    9. The curse...it bears mentioning.
    Yeah right. There is no curse. Just bad organization and plays.

    10. Boston could have a great season and still miss the postseason. The division could be that good.
    Agree, but this also applies to the yanks, Orioles and Jays. The West will be tough, with the Central being the weakest of the lot.

  5. #5
    Maxman
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    Scottish:
    Your replies are all fair. Believe me my point was to play Devils Advocate because. I certainly don't think Schilling is a question mark. I thought that was the best move that was made this offseason. Burks is a nice addition as well.

    Letting Todd Walker goes hurts the offense, improves the defense. The thing is Pokey has to hit at least a little to make it worthwhile. Personally I am glad to see Walker go. He did not fear the Yankees one bit.

    I didn't list Foulke but that is another great addition.

    Personally though I wouldn't have fired Grady. He got the most out of that team. A change isn't always the right answer. Now I understand that Schilling is close with Terry so that probably had a ton to do with it. But it is a big move to make, especially when they were so close to the World Series last year.

    Should be fun.

  6. #6
    My stab at addressing Max's points.

    1. This is actually two parts as Max phrased* it. The Chemistry part is a potential problem. The team chemistry achieved last year was on par with the Patriots of 2001 and 2003. More importnantly it was achieved by the new guys, Millar especially. Nomar was his usually sometimes petulant self and Manny was Manny, off in his own world. I have seen Millar on many shows saying he talked with Nomar, as the media twtisted his words a little. I do not see this as a problem, especially with Schilling. He handled the A-Rod signing perfectly, when he said we are pretty good too. The other part is the overachieving. The starting line-up had some players that set career highs, but not like when Barry went from 49 to 73 HRs. Mueller saw significantly higher numbers, but the rest were minimal increases.

    2. Good point. One mark on his side is he did coach in Philly, so he has experience dealing with difficult press and high expectation fans. While he does have a losing record, look at those teams and beside Scott Rolen and Schilling, there was little talent as the team's payroll was always in the lower half.

    3. What the Sox lose in offense they are hoping to make up in defense. Walker was a below average fielder. For his career, Reese is a much better fielding 2B. If he can hit .250 he will provide some speed on the base paths, Walker did not also.

    4. Luckily, he is not a starter. He will be situational and platoon at DH when a lefty comes up. I would prefer Burks coming off the bench then Gabe Kapler.

    5. More importnantly, he is 22-12 the last two years. The Sox have had Wake visitng one of the Niekro's to keep his Knuckle Mechanics :blink: aligned better. He got away from them and that is when he got hit...alot. He still does have some gas can days were he is rocked, but they fewer and farther in bewteen. I thinnk another thing that helps is after seeing Pedro and Schilling his kunckler is a big adjustment.

    6. True, but it is not like the Yanks are that much younger, especially their pitching staff.

    7. It was a family emergency, not more siesta time. The reports are he is throwing harder this winter, then last. He is what he is. If they get 30 starts, which he has done in 5 of 6 seasons, they will be all right.

    8. What is that old saying, do not trust anyone over 30. The guy pitched 250+ and struck over 600 batters the previous two seasons before breaking his hand last year. I will take his ability to dodge grounders, over Brown's ailing back any day.

    9 and 10. One in the same. On another thread, I posted the Sox have had 47 winning seasons were they missed playoffs. Unlike, every other sport, MLB postseason is done right. If MLB had the NBA's or NHL's playoff system, the Sox would have one a title in the past 85 years. They do not and that is the price that is paid. Plus, would the Sox, Cubs and Yanks be as appealing if not for their trials and tribulations? No.


    * In a moment that the Hip Hop Culture is effecting everyday thought by twisting of the English language - it took me a good 15 seconds to remember how to spell phrase as I had Frazed in my head.

  7. #7
    Maxman
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    PFSIKH:
    Good post. Like I said to Scottish I in no way believe all that. Some of them are valid concerns (Francona, Pedro, Chemistry). Others are just playing Devils Advocate.

    I think at some point this year Schilling will punch Pedro in the face though. And that will be good for the team!

  8. #8
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    You know, the actual "curse of the Bambino" is that stupid Green Monster. Yup that monstrous wall at Fenway Park. The "Thing" that makes management sign hitters that can hit off and beyond it. That wall beckons, management comes. However, THIS year they didn't. They signed PITCHERS! Could be a sign of the acropolis.


  9. #9
    Originally posted by Garbanza@Feb 20 2004, 04:52 PM
    They signed PITCHERS! Could be a sign of the acropolis.

    Actually, think it's more of a sign of the Parthenon.

  10. #10
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    Chemistry is overrated is baseball. Which is why what happened with Ramirez and Garciaparra will be nonissues. But Pedro will be an issue.

    The big questions are Pedro's endurance; Ramirez's brain; why Nomar was awful in the playoffs; what you an realistically expect from Kim and Wakefield; and how Foulke(who has never been in anything like this) will react in a big spot.

    And the biggie is Pedro. Little get a lot of heat, but the real question is how can a guy like Martinez be considered an all-time ace when in the biggest spot of his career, he wilted? Firing the manage doesn't change the fact that if Pedro wanted out, he would have been out, because he does what ever he wants. When or where does Francona resolve this? That will pretty much decide what becomes of the Sawx. For as long as he's been in Boston Pedro's done what ever he wanted, which is great if your a dominant pitcher. But he's on the way down and if his brother's career is any guide, it's going to be a steep fall. Until Francona or someone steps up and lets Pedro know that he's not bigger than the team, the Sawx won't ever be a in a position to get past the Yanks.

  11. #11
    Maxman
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    Originally posted by Bugg@Feb 20 2004, 10:31 PM
    Chemistry is overrated is baseball. Which is why what happened with Ramirez and Garciaparra will be nonissues. But Pedro will be an issue.

    The big questions are Pedro's endurance; Ramirez's brain; why Nomar was awful in the playoffs; what you an realistically expect from Kim and Wakefield; and how Foulke(who has never been in anything like this) will react in a big spot.

    And the biggie is Pedro. Little get a lot of heat, but the real question is how can a guy like Martinez be considered an all-time ace when in the biggest spot of his career, he wilted? Firing the manage doesn't change the fact that if Pedro wanted out, he would have been out, because he does what ever he wants. When or where does Francona resolve this? That will pretty much decide what becomes of the Sawx. For as long as he's been in Boston Pedro's done what ever he wanted, which is great if your a dominant pitcher. But he's on the way down and if his brother's career is any guide, it's going to be a steep fall. Until Francona or someone steps up and lets Pedro know that he's not bigger than the team, the Sawx won't ever be a in a position to get past the Yanks.
    I have always said in a big spot...one game with it all one the line....that I would take a young Pascual Perez over Pedro Martinez.

    I would just hire him a limo so he didn't get lost coming to the stadium.

  12. #12
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    Just don't get between Pascual and his Jerri Curl can. The guy has a gun, and will use it!

  13. #13
    Maxman
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    Originally posted by Bugg@Feb 20 2004, 11:51 PM
    Just don't get between Pascual and his Jerri Curl can. The guy has a gun, and will use it!
    Can't have a Pascual discussion without giving props to Melido.

  14. #14
    Excellent Point Bugg.

    The Red Sox of the last 30+ years coined the phrase 25 cabs for 25 players. So last year was a pleasant surprise when Millar stepped to the front. I think Theo like Belichikc has a certain type of player in mind. I think Schilling is one of those type of guys and with Millar do not forsee any problems.

    Pedro
    Pedro's place in history is among the greats. How far up the latter is a point of debate. His regular season numbers are great and HofF caliber. In this ERA when HR records are being assualted yearly, *cough roids - hitter friendly parks* his ERA is a half run better then anyone else over the last 7 years. Consider this, Pedro is 56th in alltime ERA. John Franco at 99 and Whitey Ford are the only other modern ERA pitchers in the Top 100. He is on pace to where Roger was at this point in his career. If he can string together similar years like he had this past season for the 4-6 years - he will be in the Top 10 of Ks, he is 74 wins short of Top 50 in Wins and he will have the lowest ERA of the last 100 years.

    As for his 8th Inning of the ALCS, I would want my pitcher to want the ball. Unlike the much debated Game 7 of the 86 WS when Roger asked or did not ask out. I do not have a problem with Grady's initial decision. Pedro is the ace of the staff and best pitcher over the last 6 or 7 years. However, when he started to get rocked and Grady left him in, that is where he screwed up. He knows injuries have made him a 7 inning/100 pitch pitcher. He is hittable when he is over 100 pitches and he was on that night. There comes a point when the manager has to draw the line. Grady did not and the Sox lost.

    It is not like he is not without postseason glory. He was great up until that point and in 99 he had two games for the ages. In game 5 of the DS, against the first team to score 1000 runs since 1950, an injured Pedro Martinez came on in relief and no-hit the Cleveland Indians for 6 innings allowing the Sox to win the decding game. A week later he came back and dominated the Yanks striking out 14 or so Yanks.

    IMHO is he was injured tis year and did not pitch, he probably would not be first ballot, but he would eventually be in the HofF. If you are not going to knock Koufax and his abbreviated numbers, you can not knock Pedro.

  15. #15
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    Martinez is going to the Hall of Fame based on his career so far no matter what, even if he falls down and never pitches again.

    But -we've had this argument before-he is not and will never be a big-game pitcher on par with Koufax or Gibson(who both finished WS games almost every time out), and part of it is that he is only a 7 inning/100 pitch pitcher. And 2003 ALCS Game 7 will follow him until he wins, the way 1986 WS Game 6 haunted Clemens.

    How they deal with him, especially if he pulls his diva act, will tell you a great deal about the Sawx this year.

    Hey, Schilling didn't take too long to get in John Henry's grill, did he?But that's to his credit-he isn't going to whine
    and has no tolerance for anyone who does. Which is why the Pedro/Schllling dynamic might be fun to watch. They're both HoF caliber. But there's a world of difference in how they go about things.

  16. #16
    Originally posted by Bugg@Feb 21 2004, 02:00 PM
    Martinez is going to the Hall of Fame based on his career so far no matter what, even if he falls down and never pitches again.

    But -we've had this argument before-he is not and will never be a big-game pitcher on par with Koufax or Gibson(who both finished WS games almost every time out), and part of it is that he is only a 7 inning/100 pitch pitcher. And 2003 ALCS Game 7 will follow him until he wins, the way 1986 WS Game 6 haunted Clemens.

    How they deal with him, especially if he pulls his diva act, will tell you a great deal about the Sawx this year.

    Hey, Schilling didn't take too long to get in John Henry's grill, did he?But that's to his credit-he isn't going to whine
    and has no tolerance for anyone who does. Which is why the Pedro/Schllling dynamic might be fun to watch. They're both HoF caliber. But there's a world of difference in how they go about things.
    Agreed.

    In Pedro's limited body of postseason work, his 3-2 record 3.61 ERA is decent. Not HofF by any stretch and should knock him down when it comes to comparing him with other greats.

    Schilling will be great with the Sox. That is an attitude the Sox need. Unfortunately, Nomar never displayed that attitude and Manny is Manny. While Pedro has never back downed from the Yanks, his attitude at times hurts his credibility. Schilling backs it up.

  17. #17
    Maxman
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    The Schilling - Pedro drama should make for great theater this season. Here is what I forsee:

    1. Pedro does something stupid.

    2. Schilling rightfully calls him on it.

    3. The team backs Schilling.

    4. Pedro sulks and says that he won't resign with the Red Sox.

    5. As a free agent Pedro joins the Yankees.

    6. George tells the new Yankee Manager, Reggie Jackson, "I just won you the pennat".

    7. The Yankees hire Steve Trout as pitching coach.

    7. Pedro says that Babe Ruth has always been his idol. And he will "Rub the Babe" before every start. (The media is not exactly sure what he means by "Rub the Babe" but they let it slide.

    8. Yankee fans realize that Don Zimmer was evil and he was the cause of all the bad blood with Pedro the past few seasons.

    9. Pedro is embraced in Yankee Stadium, his number retired and he is given a monument before spring training even opens.

    10. Pedro has VISA problems and doesn't show up until July.

    11. Over the course of the 4 year deal Pedro pitches 16 innings for the Yankees.

  18. #18
    Max you forgot one.

    17. Danny Almonte's father in conjunction with 60 Minutes breaks the Latin American scam about players lying about their age and it is discovered Pedro is really 40.

  19. #19
    Maxman
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    Originally posted by PFSIKH@Feb 21 2004, 12:44 PM
    Max you forgot one.

    17. Danny Almonte's father in conjunction with 60 Minutes breaks the Latin American scam about players lying about their age and it is discovered Pedro is really 40.
    My bad, I thought that was already public knowledge. LOL.

  20. #20
    5. More importnantly, he is 22-12 the last two years. The Sox have had Wake visitng one of the Niekro's to keep his knuckle mechanics aligned better. He got away from them and that is when he got hit...alot.

    I have never heard that term in over 26 years of following Baseball. From Hoyt Wilhelm, to Wilbur Wood To the Niekro brothers, to Tom Candiotti, to Tim Wakefield, and dozens of others. But I get your drift......I think.

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