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Nothing more than feelings

Hey, you know, the Red Sox are still in first place.


Fuck yeah, and the North Koreans say they're going to abandon their nuclear weapons program. Now I can sleep easy and shit. Everything's okee fucking dokee.


Right on. Who cares about past performance or those pedestrian details like the number of wins and losses? What really friggin counts is how we all "feel."


When exactly did the Sox' front office toss out all the Bill James books and replace them with Deepak Chopra?


Speaking of feeling good, Dale Sveum must be ecstatic these days.


Really, how so?


Well, in Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans, Sveum has finally found someone worse than he is at determining when folks are safe going home.





Thursday's day off can't come soon enough right now for this crew. Everyone is just looking and playing TIRED, with the exception of Papi and Cora. 18 hits to the Devil Dogs! Not covering first base! Dropping a routine fly in center! The Sox are beating themselves and, worse, seem to not care about it or are maybe just too damn tired and beat up... including Tito, who still makes some ill-advised moves like pinch hitting Petagine for Youk/Trot Saturday with the bases loaded and 2 down when he had Olerud on the bench. I know he doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings and shit, but Petagine's not gonna win you any games down the stretch, and Olerud is.

On the flip side, though- how 'bout Hansen?

And speaking of worn-down, hb, nice to see you didn't lose your stuff after your Manny day of rest

Just do us one favor, h.b. If the MFYs take the division, I beg you not to inflict Marty on us.

After last night, I'm ready to take a "Future in Now" approach. Hanley at short ahead of the $40mm mistake, Papelbon in the rotation for Fatty Arbuckle, and Hansen as the set up man for the remainder of this season. Get the 2006 team on the field now.

Am I the only one getting really sick of this whole 'tired' excuse?

They better get their shit togethah or they'll have lots of time to rest in 2 weeks...

AJM . . . hate to break it to you, but 'fatty arbuckle' has been one of the few solid starters we've had lately, along with Wake - it's not like Schilling's ERA isn't over 6 and climbing.

Besides that, 'blowing the team up' and showing the 2006 roster is insane, up a half-game - not to mention that Hanley will most certainly NOT see important time next year, after his .270/.330/.440 campaign at Portland - he hit worse in AA than Renteria hit in the majors . . .

I get venting your frustration, but be a little easy - lest we fall into all the 'old' Sox fan stereotypes so soon again . . . I hate to fall into poker terminology (again) but we're running cold, and the Yankees are running hot. How long can Small do it with smoke and mirrors? How long can their lineup withstand garbage like "Sheff at DH, Giambi at the bag"?

There's still time for the Sox to warm, and the Yankees to chill (just like we should).

Let me add that Hanley had an Edgar-like 22 errors! He's not your answer any time soon.

Re: Aaron Small
57 innings pitched, with more SOs than BBs requires another explanation than "smoke and mirrors," particularly in the days of digital video breakdowns and all this new-fangled modern technology. (Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I'm just a simple caveman...your world frightens me...)

Oh, and "Garbage" Sheffield is hitting .391 since the leg. Granted, not his usual power, but any hit is large these days.

Just a quick note, the Wiki page on Sveum is incorrect. Rocco Baldelli is the guy who gunned down the two Sox players, not Crawford.

OK, all fixed :)

//AJM . . . hate to break it to you, but 'fatty arbuckle' has been one of the few solid starters we've had lately, along with Wake - it's not like Schilling's ERA isn't over 6 and climbing.//

He got shelled last night, pitched well against Toronto, and was mediocre in the first game of the Yankee series. In other words, we really don't have any idea what we'll get from him over his last 3 starts, at a time when we have no room for error. Wakefield has been great lately, Arroyo has been good, and the rest of the pitching, both rotation and pen, is pretty much a crapshoot at this point.

Of course I was venting; I realize Hanley is nowhere near ready to start in the majors and that I was suggesting a highly unrealistic "Blow it up" scenario with 1.5 weeks left and the team still (barely) in first. But I disagree with your hot/cold characterization; the lineup might heat up again over the last 12 games, but I don't see any magic light switches for the pitching staff. What we're seeing is probably what we're gonna get, and it's hard to imagine it being enough.

As for Aaron Small:
He's 33, and has always been mediocre to flat out bad, both in the majors and even in the minors, including his #'s this year in Columbus.
28 K's in 57 innings, and a 1.64 K:BB ratio, are not "Good", and do not usually translate into anything close to a 3.28 era, nor a 1.21 whip
He was bad back when he threw hard; now he throws slop.
He has not developed any new pitches.
In other words......he's just been lucky. Damn shame his luck has saved the MFYs season.

I was at the Sunday Oakland game. That was abysmal.

I watched the game last night. That was abysmal.

These guys may feel Tony-the-Tiger Grrrrreat...but they are instilling zero confidence down the stretch. If I have to watch Renter-errah boot another ball into the outfield...Tek swing at a phantom pitch...Manny take a 60 mph pipeline strike...or another 5 run first inning doled out by a pitcher...all while Ortiz magically keeps us within a run of the win, I'm gonna cry.

This is why Sept. baseball is so exciting. I think a small taste of 2nd place is just what these ass clowns need to get their heads together.
You'll see, end of season - Sox by 2 games, and all of us with clumbs of hair held in our fingernail free nubs for fingers.

Fat man bounced around
2nd half Clement
6+ Schill

Fact of the matter is that we have two pitchers who have been consistent for us- Wake and Timlin. For sure Wake can throw some innings, but last I checked you need to have at least two different starters to do anything in the post season.

What the fuck possible explanation is there for giving up 18 hits to the Rays? What happened to fatty out there? Can someone besides Mueller, Tek, and Cora field their position? I've been giving Edgah the benefit of the doubt for five and a half months now. If he dosen't start doing something special very very soon then fuck him. Put me on the bandwagon. Is Millar putting butter in JD's glove as some sort of prank? I know he's got two torn up shoulders and looks like he's having trouble lifting his arm above his waist, but that's like the third dropped fly ball in the last two weeks.

After last season, I was sure that things would be different, that the cloud that surrounds my everyday activity when the Sox aren't doing well would evaporate. No such luck. Since two weekends ago, I find myself going slightly mad if I'm away from anything that can give me scores when the game is on, swearing profusely at Rent for no reason at 9am, and swaying ever so slightly when I'm listening to the internet broadcast of the game.

Mr. Schilling- regard tonight's game as you did your start in the bronx and shut these AAAA fucks down. 18 hits? That sounds like their usual total for a full series. Let's keep it that way.

Sorry- that's been building for a while. Vent over.

The past few weeks have been like those Vampire movies where the guy with the stake hesitates to drive the stake into the heart of the beast, and then is surprised that he gets bitten in the neck.

That being said, I still believe that there is nothing this club can't overcome.

Example #1: October 2004 and the greatest comeback in sports history.

Right now we and the MFY are in one of those WWF 'cage matches' and I think it is time for a head-butt or an eye-gouge at this point.

If there is anything positive at all about last night, it was that Hansen looked pretty damn good. For all of you statisticans out there I know it was a small sample, but his stuff sure looked good, although he could use some Burger King to put on some weight...ask Foulke.

"in Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans, Sveum has finally found someone worse than he is at determining when folks are safe going home."

Oh no you did-int!

nothing like taking refuge from the Mahty-like MFY fans that surround me at the water coolah with the Soxaholix faithful... Glad to see I'm not the only one having a conniption fit fer crissakes. And what about the fans? Don't we need a friggin' day off? Watching all this mediocre baseball is getting to me. All my talismans -- cap firmly in place & Nirvana playing while Sox pitch, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan while Sox at bat (hey it worked last year) -- are failing at this point... what gives?

It's amusing to note that, even way out here in Seattle, Spankee hats are suddenly sprouting up all over the place. It had been literally weeks since I had seen one on the streets, but as soon as they tie the Sox in the loss column, all the fairweather frontrunners magically reappear. I don't have much respect for the Mariners fans out here (Red Sox Nation badly outnumbers them in their own stadium every time the Sox are in town) but at least they don't hide their allegiance when they're losing, like the MFY "fans."

Re Boomer: Is there any talk about a physical problem (like back trouble), causing his problems last night.

Boomer was a schmuck as a Yankee, but he was also clutch.

Re Small: In spring training, Stottlemeyr taught Small a new sinker grip. The sinker is the key to his success. Maybe the hitters will learn how to deal with his sinker, but they haven't yet.

Stottlemeyer taught Wang the same sinker grip, and he had 8 assists and no outfield hits or outs until the 7th or 8th inning.

Jason O -

Re: Sheff - I most certainly was NOT referring to sheff as 'garbage' - he's still a far above-average power bat, and a force in that lineup. The 'garbage' comes from his inability or unwillingness to play the outfield at all through the end of the season - this causes ripples in the Yankees lineup, resulting in something less than the ideal card being filled in when he's at DH. If he's unable, it's not their prime lineup - if he's unwilling, it's garbage. Sorry for being unclear.

oy/Jason -

Re: Small . . . 28k/17bb in 57 IP does not represent a good ratio, to my mind. These numbers are moderately in line with his career minor-league numbers (in 1800 IP - not exactly a tiny sample) . . . what's not? His WHIP of 1.24 (career: 1.41).

His BABIP, by my crude math, is somewhere around .246 - not exactly riding the high side, especially when you consider that he's working with a below-average right side of the infield, and an outfield that's varied wildly from 'moderate' in range to 'positively horrendous' depending on the cast.

Those would point to him being a touch lucky -this would be the hallmark of the sinker-baller, and can certainly last for extended periods of time (see Lowe, Derek) and/or vanish into thin air.

That said, BPro lists his dERA at about .20 below his actual ERA - I don't think, thusly, that my argument is bulletproof, but I don't think 'smoke and mirrors' is totally out of bounds, especially for a mid-30s minor league journeyman-turned-ace.

And I'm willing to entertain luck...as we know there is a giant debate going on about DIPS and all that...you use SABR metrics which are fine, albeit with quite a bit of uncertainty regarding the variability (I'm talking pure physics variability) of the outcome of ball meeting bat. This uncertainty is high in all pitching stats except HR's allowed, SO and BB, where it's moderately lower.

But Smoke and Mirrors it ain't...that implies that the young Jim Kaat look alike (I wish he pitched like him) is sneaking up on people, which after 8 starts is unlikely.

Don't let this middle aged journeyman's recent run cloud your vision Jason. Look at it this way- seven of them have come against teams that haven't seen him (Min, Tor, Sea, Oak, Bos, and TB). The other two were against Tex, one of which was a result of one inning of scoreless relief. If the Derek Lowe Theory tells us anything, most sikerballers can be effective against any given team for a start, but things go awry the next time that team sees him. I predict he beats Baltimore tonight, but then his next three starts are against teams (Tor, TB, Bos)who have seen what he's got, and he loses all of them. There's a reason he was a career minor leaguer...

Almost all of his starts have had over 5 runs of support. The one game that finished with a 1 run margin was a no decision loss to the White Sox. In his past two starts he's given up 9 ER over 16 hits through 13 innings (with 2 walks thrown in there).

He's been barely getting by and getting worse over the past 2 weeks. He *might* do okay in the next two weeks (certainly only needs OK if Yankee bats proceeds to stay lit)...but he also might fold and do his best impression of Sunday's Clement/Monday's Wells in each of his next few starts.

Certainly, Small could "fold" as you say.
Looking forward to tonight's contests in NY and TB....

FWIW, a post on SoSH lists Small's BABIP at .271.

Re AJM's plea, "Just do us one favor, h.b. If the MFYs take the division, I beg you not to inflict Marty on us."

h.b., a great story needs a great antagonist, and you deserve credit for not stinting on yours. Marty is one of the most fun characters in the strip because he has real bite and is therefore authentic if painful for Sox fans. And obviously a lot of thought has gone into Marty's NYC-hi-rise-corporate-office/9th-Circle-of-Hell color palette, his Julian-McMahon-meets-Ted-Williams-from-the-evil-Enterprise physiognomy, his Victor Maitland wardrobe, and of course his standard MFY-fan smugness and snarkasm. So I say more Marty!

Nagin/Sveum- CLASSIC!! I laughed aloud

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