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These are things we know that we know.


Doug:
Yeah, if only it were repeatable. I mean next time out, it's just as likely the knucklah will go from hummingbird to pidgeon.

 

Doug:
Meanwhile, pop quiz … Why was the Sox experiment with a "closer by committee" abandoned?

 

Mike:
Because while in theory it seemed like a great idea, in practice it failed miserably.

 

Doug:
And why was that?

 

Mike:
Are you shitting me? Everyone knows why. Because in theory you should be able to put a relievah in for the 7th or 8th or 9th interchangeable and varyingly from day to day …

 

Mike:
But, as it turns out, relief pitchers are in fact men and not robots so it doesn't work that way. The mental aspect of pitching in the 8th is different than that of closing in the 9th.

 

Doug:
Absolutely. So I know that, you know that, even the guy running the ferris wheel at Canobie Lake Pahk knows that, but evi-fucking-dently, the Red Sox hadn't a friggin' clue.

 

Comments

I would watch robot baseball all day long.

In the interim, we have a very good team, with the BRIB®

Turns out the MFYanx have a pretty good team, too. And although I hate to agree with Staff Sargent Fucko, their young pitchers are money. See you in 2009, boys, cause the road is long and hard.

See, here's the deal. A year ago, I was the first to call the RS Quittahs. And they were.

I don't see a whole lot of chemistry in this team, but they are solid. I would like to see about a dozen more runs a night in the first five innings, since they are always on the verge of just crushing the othah team, but beisbol is a crazy game.

The last month of RS games looks more like the NBA regular season: tune in the last 15 minutes to see what happens. But still, they are us and we are them.

And a special shout out to young lc, who saw his THIRD Devil Rays game of the season (none in TB). That's devotion.

lc

You know, I believe there really isn't any room in RSN for a Habs fan, I don't care how well he "used to pitch". I mean I'd certainly rather spend time at Canobie Lake Pahk than regularly extol the rubber biscuit chasing virtues of Ken Dryden, Guy Lafleur and Yvan Cournoyer...

Wouldn't you?

I don't buy this closers can't operate as set up guys crap. We all get asked to do different jobs all the time, and we all do it for far less dough than major league relievers. If Gagne, or any MLB reliever can't get three out in any inning, they shouldn't be pitching in the big leagues.

Timman! A little disheartened that Doug (and others) occasionally start hating on the knuckla?! To totally mutilate a phrase, "Live by the kb, die by the kb."

Knew it portended a good outing since I sampled some Knuckle Ball Bock at the Sunday River Brewing Company this weekend...if only they had some Lester Lager or Beckett Bitters, I coulda gotten trashed and prophesized a winning streak.

Looks like the for next 7 weeks its the annual dance with the Devil.

You're absolutely right, COD, the best relievers should be able to get outs in the 8th even if they're used to getting them in the 9th. But that doesn't mean they don't need time to adjust.

Let's say you're a sharpshooter who does nothing but fire an M40 for eight hours a day. If you suddenly switched to an M16, your skills might be off initially, but after an adjustment time, you'd be "lights out" once again.

A boring analogy, I know, but a fitting one.

Enough of the "mental analysis" Gagne just plain sucks. The sooner he goes on the "DL" the better.

Anybody going to the game Saturday night?

Rather than buy into the conventional wisdom that players need to know their roles, etc, maybe the bullpen by committee failed due to lack of talent in the pen?

Sweet and Salty Jesus you need to calm down. Gagne does not *suck*.

Gagne's stats this year prior to coming to Boston:
IP: 33.3
ERA: 2.16
ERA+ 214
WHIP: 1.050

Take it easy. Gagne will return to form.

Maybe, chuck. But as most of us have discovered in our busness lives, committees of any type are usually bad news for productivity.

Not sure I buy your analogy Youk. Gagne is still pitching from a mound 60' 6" from the plate with the same ball, and throwing to the same hitters. A better analogy might be you are a marksman sniper in Afghanistan, but suddenly can't hit the broad side of a barn when we ship you to Iraq. I do think it's fair to expect that guy to keep mowing them down in Iraq, or Fenway, with only a minor adjustment.

A bullpen is a committee. It was closer by (sub)committee that didn't work out. A distinction without a difference, perhaps.

But one thing he's not doing is pitching to the same catcher, COD. If we're going to 'Abu Graib' (see: torture to death) this gun/war analogy, then it's like an A1 Abrams driver taking a shell that wipes out his navigator and when the gunner jumps into his seat to get them out of there, he's working from the generic codes that he learned in Tank School and not the set you and your buddy, who's brains are splattered around the back seat, worked out in your bunks when you were still thinking about your honey and kid back home...but another shell lands 10 feet away and snaps you back to reality. Why? 10 feet away was one of your support Hummers running interference since you seemed to go offline for a sec.

Now that you're back, it's up to you and the gunner and your other wing man Hummer to haul ass outta range and blow those mortar positions to kingdom come.

Yes, Gagne will take some getting used to with his new battery mate, but he's almost outta range and honing in on the enemy's position. Just wait.

If Troy Brown can play CB, then Gagne can pitch in the 8th.

I, too, think he will get there (perhaps partly because Sunday afternoon I burned him in effigy and cursed his name to the heavens).

You know, I love watching Timmah pitch, but I swear that after every solid inning he has, I breathe a huge sigh of reliefe that the knuckler kept knuckling and didn't turn into gopherballs. It just seems so... ...tenuous.

"closer" yes. fixed. thanks.

work pace continues. tired. tired. tired.

caveat: probably infrequent strips until this workload ends....

I think we need to give Gagne at least 2-3 more appearances to "adjust" and see what he does. I'm not happy with what I have seen thus far but I don't want to give up on him that quickly. I mean should Tito be interchanging OK and Gag. Absolutely! However, I think we need to be patient here. We still hold a 4 game lead and we have a few games to get Gagne righted..

As for talent evaluation, it is unfair to compare Theo and Cashman to other GM's. They have too much money and therefore more freedom to make mistakes. Has Theo made some solid, bold moves. YES! Has he made some head scratching, crappy moves. Um, yes! But he has the fiscal ability to make bold moves/risks that sometimes pay off big, and sometimes don't.

I fervently hope that, when/if Timmah retires (hell, he might still be pitching at 50) he converts to Buddhism and writes a book along the lines of "Zen and the Art of Knuckleball Pitching." There's something so mystic about making one's living throwing a pitch whose final destination (if thrown correctly) is a complete mystery to absolutely everyone, pitcher included.

On an unrelated note: I'm pretty sure Joel Piniero murdered Gagne, stole his uniform, donned a wig and glasses, and is pitching in his place. Hey, it's as good an explanation as any...

Zen and the Art of the Knuckleball...

I love it. If Timmah doesn't write it, maybe I will. I'll just make shit up. If he doesn't need to know where the ball is going, I won't need to know what I'm writing about :)

And I too am still firmly in the Gagne camp. I can accept some inconsistency while adjusting, but to go from unhittable to a batting practice pitcher because of a new catcher...I'm just not accepting it as a normal adjustment period.

Tek needs to shoulder some of the responsibility. Gagne was throwing fastballs a little less than 60% of the time in Texas. Since he's been with the Sox (SSS Alert) he's throwing fastballs almost 70% of the time. Gagne is throwing a lot less 0-2 change-ups and opting for the 0-2 fastball. Granted he should be shaking off Tek, but the Captain needs to understand that the change is now Gagne's out pitch.

Don't look now, but the boys in the Bronx seem to be developing a fine closer by committee.

Holy cow. R.I.P.

SSF

I am saddened to hear of the death of Phil Rizzuto. His endlessly annoying voice was part of the unique experience of growing up a Sox fan in NJ pre-cable, relegated to only ever seeing my team play on the boob tube when they were on WPIX taking on the Yanks. How I loved to hate that man. RIP...

I dunno if it's adjustment. A cursory look at Gagne's stats reveals he was kicking ass in the first half (ERA right around 2.0), dipped significantly in July, and obviously has been a complete mess in August. But the bad July numbers suggest it isn't just the transition to the Sox.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/psplit.cgi?n1=gagneer01&year=2007

Scooter was to Sterling (or Kay) what caviar is to skunk eggs.

RIP, you little shit.

Nat -- those we love to hate always have a special and perverse place in our hearts.

Ah, Phil, a mainstay of my summers growing up listening to every game on the radio. Back then Phil would do the first few innings on tv (if the game was televised), then a few more on radio. He'd leave the game early, around the 7th, to make sure he avoided traffic. Phil is a huge part of the Yankees experience for me.

Hat tip to Ted Williams for helping Phil get into the Hall.

and let's not forget Scooter's contribution to 'Paradise by the Dashboard Light'- an instant classic. RIP, indeed

Here he comes, squeeze play, it's gonna be close, here's the throw, there's the play at the plate, holy cow, I think he's gonna make it.

Despite the fact that I grew up hating the Evil Empire, I always enjoyed listening to Scooter broadcast Yankees game; and as he got older, and a little more rattled, I thought he got more enjoyable. And those commercials for the Money Store!. I guess that's when loansharking went legit. Phil, if your reading this, do us a favor and talk to the Big Guy about putting in a call to Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver.

I posted this "over there", but thought people might get a chuckle out of it here.


A couple of authors put together a book a few years back, entitled O Holy Cow, which composed some of his calls in poetic form.

Here's a favorite,

I Really Should Be Going Home

It's very chilly.
As a matter---
I'm telling you,
I've been freezing.
My hands are cold.
I have low blood pressure anyway.
And arthritis.
I really should be going home.


Seventh Inning, bases empty, two outs, KC at New York, 7/24/83

lc

"Maybe, chuck. But as most of us have discovered in our busness lives, committees of any type are usually bad news for productivity."
Sorry for the late reply - I've been in meetings all day. OK, maybe bullpen by committee isn't the correct term, but the Sox's intent wasn't to rotate people into the "closer" role, as the term "closer by committee" would imply. The plan was to redefine the role of the best reliever from closer to relief ace - to put the bullpen stud into the highest leverage situations. Maybe the pen underperformed because they didn't know their roles, as some maintain, or maybe it was a combination of spotty talent and a collective bullpen slump.

Re Scooter, I'm as much a NYY hater as anyone, but I kinda liked him.

As a kid, I always heard of/from Rizzuto...but all I could ever picture in my head was Rizzo the Rat from the Muppets.

That's my Phil Rizzuto moment.

Those of you who think Scooter was a homer shoulda been around in the days of Mel Allen (there I go, revealing my antiquity again). "How about that!" after every Skankee exploit however trivial. Joe DiMaggio scratches his ass. "How about that!" Ecccchhhh. Really tough growing up in the non-yuppie parts of Fairfield County, CT (before the days of yuppies, to be sure) outside of RSN. Gimme a really objective observer of the scene like Bump Hadley....

Ah, holy cripes, did they need that win. Nice: Lester, Lowell, Crisp, Timlin ... Gagne?

Nice to win, great win, blah blah, but 2-1 against TB? Shouldn't we be kicking the shit out them?

RE: Scooter. Ok, RIP, he was a Hall of Famer. But his color commentary sucked. I was also trapped watching WPIX from the middin' class parts of Fairfield County in the '70s, rooting for the Sox. Bill White and Frank Messer called a great game, but listening to Scooter was 'long fingernails on the blackboard...'

// Shouldn't we be kicking the shit out them?//

Usually, yes. Against Kazmir, it's often a different story.

BTW, Joe Madden, THANK YOU for taking him out so early.

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