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Dealing with doubt

Marte for Crisp? Welcome back Theo! W00T!


Hey, c'mon now, what happened to "In Theo We Trust"?


What happened? Ah, let's see. Our trusty GM leaves Fenway in a gorilla suit, then holds a presser saying he can't be the Red Sox GM because he's not into it anymore and needs to find himself, meanwhile, as it turns out, he didn't really ever leave just kinda sorta did, and there was no power struggle with LL, wink, wink, and, oh by the way, we don't even know what Theo's official role with club is currently.


All this and now he wants to trade the team's best prospect since Nomar for, gulp, Coco Crisp?


Well, lots of prospects remain just that. Whereas Crisp is a known quantity and brings the club a solid centah fieldah and decent bat.


I think even with that feint praise Crisp is getting overrated. Meanwhile, Marte, while still an unknown, was a nice bit of third base insurance in case Lowell sucks and who doesn't really think deep down that Lowell is going to suck? So now midseason we have to trade what, Lester, Papelbond to replace Lowell?


I dunno, I'm sticking with Eric Van's philosophy: Nobody panning this trade knows as much about baseball and the Red Sox needs as the guys in the front office making the trade.


Yeah, well, I'm sticking with swallowing the bittah pill of Marte for Crisp, but, Christ, there's rumahs Shapiro wants Manny Delcarmen, too.


See that's what I'm talking about. Shapiro is playing Theo like a violin.


Yeah, and now many pennants does Shapiro have again?


OK, pre-gorilla suit, I'd put Theo over ever GM in the biz. Post-gorilla suit, er, not so much.




Baseball in January sucks.

"Gentlemen, rest your Sphincters."
Hedley LaMarr - Blazing Saddles

h.b.: Great job at having the two characters arguing like this, thus putting the whole issue out for review.
Marte may be the next Bagwell, or the next Ted Cox. At this point, a 26 year old CF with 2-3 years experience for a guy w/a huge upside, but only 57 major league at bats is, to my mind a deal you make, though I don't want to see Delcarmen as part of it.

BTW, I guess Mrs. Damon owns NY now

Adult male gorillas eat about 45 pounds of food per day, females, and Boy Genius GM's, about two-thirds of that amount.

Hungry gorillas are known to raid farms, devouring and trampling crops. They also will eat rotten wood, and bloated contracts (see Lowell, Mike).

This doesn't seem like the kind of trade Kid Kong should be slapping his chest about.
The boy in the gorilla suit seems to be crouching low, and approaching from the side, you know, submissive like.

Somebody wake me because I think a Yankee fan just drafted bloated contracts into his arguement.

I feel pretty good about Coco, Riske, and Gonzalez. The only question I have remaining is can Josh Bard catch knuckleballs?


I think the Red Sox are losing on this trade, but not by much. This Riske guy is apparently good (better than Mota) and Crisp is semi-proven while Marte MAY bust out someday. I'll swallow this deal if we don't give up any pitching prospects. Is Crisp supposed to be below-average as defense goes? I really don't know anything about him.

If it's going to be Gonzalez, I think I'd rather just slap Cora in there.

But yes, the lack of available corner talent is a little nerve-wracking.

Sure, *bloated contracts au gratin* is a staple at the *all-youse-can-eat* Yankeeland buffet. But you have to admit it's surprising, and more than a little unsettling to see Kid Kong (who put the Grrilla in GM) giving up the farm's prize tomato and then some, to replace the late, great Johnny Damon with a leftfielder who shares a first name with my mother-in-law's carpet-pissin' pomeranian-poodle. Woof?

I admit, I hold my reservations about any man named Coco, and I think Yankee fan and Red Sox fan can all come together on the fact that there is nothing more annoying than the pet of a mother-in-law, but seriously dude, you've got to get over the gorilla suit. Dirtdogs thinks he's the Godfather. That has to provide some material. How about "In Theo we trust?" Hell, why don't you do what we do to your fair haired shortstop -- doubt his hetrosexuality. You're the Yankee fan we love to hate, but you need some new material for as we all know it is better a witty fool than a foolish wit.

Crisp's numbers in '05 aren't a whole lot different than Damon's '05 numbers. Damon is better in OBP and has few SO's and, granted, he's not going to step in and replace Damon, but at $365k a year and a $12 and half mil savings over Damon, I'll take Crisp, or any other serviceable OF, over paying Damon what he ended up getting.

Sure, if the Yankees want to pay that, cool. But I'm glad the Red Sox didn't.

And, for all we know, Marte was always meant to be used for trading purposes as soon as the club set up the Renteria trade with the Braves.

Once upon a time I attempted to secure my financial future by buying up dozens of baseball cards of all the can't miss propects.

Anybody want to see my collection of Phil Plantier cards?

Can't miss propects do miss, probably more often that not. Trading a maybe for a reasonably sure thing is not a bad move - especially when the reasonably sure thing is only 26 years old.

Since when do we no longer trust Theo? Even his mistakes are layered with great chips to trade. I know Renteria was a wash, but something tells me the lack of production was due to his personality more than anything (i.e. he could not handle the bright lights of Boston). But having Renteria is what brought in Marte in the first place, and that's the genius of what Theo does: he builds based on market value.

The center fielder we get in Crisp is a .300 hitter who is signed to a prime contract that goes on for 4 years. Even if he doesn't work out in Boston, he is still great trade material for anyone looking for a center fielder.


Keeping it real, I'm not sure what the Indians are smoking here.

Pond, at the risk of wearing out my unwelcome in this civilized enclave of Red Soxburgh, I'll curtail the grrilla comments. Like Kobe playing blind-folded, I'll find a way to score points.

Babe, I'm a Red Sox fan on the Upper West Side. You don't have to worry about wearing out your welcome with me. And, by the way, Jeter is totally gay yo.

Crisp is overrated garbage. He was ridiculously lucky these past two years, and he'll be lucky to hit .275 with 40 doubles at Fenway. Oh, and he can't bat leadoff because his eye sucks, and his defense is reprehensible in center.

Great job front office! You saved your jobs by destroying the future of this team. Does anyone honestly believe this team has more than a 5% chance of making the playoffs, with or without Crisp? So we still have no chance of making the postseason, and we shat away our chance to be dominant in a few years.

Congrats Indians, you totally raped us here. Why don't we just throw in Beckett and Papelbon for Aaron Boone while we're at it?

I'm cuckoo for Coco Crisp, cuckoo for Coco Crisp. Lowell will probably have a good year because this is his walk year isn't it? So maybe Marte and/or Shoppach has a great career for the Indians. You don't get something for nothing do you? With what they're saving by not overpaying for J.D., they can probably fix any mistakes made here.

TOTALLY gay. He sucks A-Rod...

It seems there's a few ways to look at this trade (and signing)- We traded Damon, Renteria, Marte, and Mota for Crisp, Gonzalez, and Riske. That in and of itself dosen't look to appetizing. If you consider the $10 mil (?) annual savings, it's a little more tasty. When you consider Crisp's age and future contract status, it's borderline appealing. Add in the facts that John Damon is going to wear Cano and Jeet-err out with his girl-throws from deep center while Crisp will be gunning guys out at 2nd (rated top defensive leftfielder by
Hardball Times last season) and Gonzalez will likely commit 1/3rd the errors Renteria did last season and it's mmm-mmm good.

At least that's how I'm spinning it to myself. Hate to see Marte go, even if he is an unknown quantity. And this nonsense with dealing Shoppach for some below-Menzoza-Line-hitting AA catcher is questionable to say the least.

Sean O. where did you get your information?
In the red sox lineup (esp. as leadoff) coco can forget about hitting homeruns (i believe he hit 16 last year) and concentrate on average and walks. He was, as NV said, considered the 2nd top defensive left-fielder by many. We have if not the best, one of the top 3 starting rotations and one of the top 5 bullpens
When you can get 10-13 wins out of your #5 pitcher...
Van Buren

Pitching wins ballgames and so does hitting.
Let me remind you that Tek was top 3 hitting catchers, Ortiz/manny were ortiz and manny. Graff hit 300 in a red sox uni. Lowell and Loretta both have the potential to be great. Pedroia might win a spot on the roster with a monster spring training, which would represent a monster year (and if not we send him back) coco's a 300 hitter no doubt. Youk has an OBP of 350+. I want to see where you get your facts because they obviously aren't from the same team

I run back and forth on this. On the one hand I am definitely a firm believer in the "proven MLB everyday guy" wins over the "big prospect with no experience" guy 99 out of 100 times. I'm sorry I just don't trust a bunch of guys who sit and watch AAA games deciding who's a future Hall of Famer. That being said, I definitely wish it was Bagwell calling it a career in Boston vs. Houston.

I like having a serious defense in centerfield, plus Crisp seems like the kind of guy who'd enjoy laying out to scoop flyballs and bouncing off the mats on the wall. He's not the OC but I think the Sox could use a sparkplug like that flashing the leather and whipping up the crowd. He's not a true threat with the bat but since when has that stopped the Sox this winter.

Still, it seems like Loretta is our nominal leadoff guy and that doesn't grab me all that well. Lowell was a gift and Papa Jack has his work cut out for him trying to find his swing (though Jack does have a history of successful reclaimation projects). Hopefully whoever fills short will get on base a lot for Manny and Papi.

It appears Crisp is going to be our leadoff guy, and he's never shown the ability to take enough walks to make that work. So, we're already at a .04 disadvantage from Damon last year at leadoff, moreso for home games. Second, we're getting Alex Gonzalez, whose .309 OBP will absolutely destroy us, while Francona is likely too dumb to put Graffanino at SS where he belongs. Youk will have a high OBP, but I can't imagine tito will put him second, so he'll be setting the table for Gonzalez and Crisp, which gives me so little confidence it's frightening.

Meanwhile, our only chance for the playoffs is if Loretta, Lowell, Foulke and Schilling can recover from terrible 2004s, since the rest of the AL East, and the rest of the AL, has gotten drastically better. Also, we need Beckett to adjust perfectly to the AL in a batter's park, and wakefield not to regress, and Nixon not to regress due to injury, and youkilis to do as well as we hope. But it's ok, because we've traded away our 2 #1 prospects in one offseason for an oft-injured pitcher and a center fielder who can't play center field.

BP has coco's CF Rate2 at around 94, well below average, and other metrics show he's terrible there as well. I don't want someone whose OBP is so connected to his BA on my team, let alone in the leadoff slot.

I cannot believe this team thinks Coco Crisp is the equivalent of Jason Michaels + Andy Marte + Mota. I would rather have Michaels and Marte in a millisecond, but I guess our GMs don't want to build for the future.

"Meanwhile, our only chance for the playoffs is if Loretta, Lowell, Foulke and Schilling can recover from terrible 2004s, since the rest of the AL East, and the rest of the AL, has gotten drastically better."

Call me picky, but I thought Schilling and Foulke did OK in 2004.

Obviously I meant 2005 there, I'm hoping they all return to '04 levels. Hell, if they all return to '04 levels, I think it'd be shocking if we don't win the World Series, but I also don't see that happening.

What keeps me optimistic is I don't believe that all of a sudden Epstein, Barnes, et al have all of a sudden gone stupid.

If they want Crisp for CF, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, at least until Memorial Day.

As for Crisp, as someone pointed out on yahoogroups, he hit .275 in Cleveland's pitcher-friendly park last year, and .323 on the road. Damon hit .298 on the road last year. Seems like Crisp should enjoy Fenway...

Jetes is gay?

Well, then once again we turn to the immortal Harry Callahan (this time in Magnum Force) for wisdom on the subject:

(Harry and partner are walking through the SFPD garage)

Harry: Aren't those the rookies we saw at the firing range?
Partner: Yeah, they do everything together...the joke at the Academy was that they were all queer for each other.
Harry: If everyone could shoot like that, I wouldn't care if the whole department was queer.

Sean O, can you possibly be any more negative? So Crisp is a bad CF and a lucky hitter, eh? Well, you really need to take a good look at the dimensions of Fenway and Jacobs Field. Defensively, there's a whole lot more territory in center to cover at the Jake than at Fenway. I'll bet anything that Crisp will at least rate as a league-average CF with the Sox next year (and better than Damon). And as far as your prediction of "he'll be lucky to hit .275 with 40 doubles", you may be partly correct. It's likely that he'll hit less than 40 doubles because more of his hits will be going for homers. Check out this chart that someone did which overlays Crisp's 2005 home hit chart over the dimensions of Fenway. Based on that, 9 of his fly outs would have been HRs at Fenway, and quite possibly many of his doubles. We could be looking at 25-30 HRs from Crisp next year. And while your objections to Crisp batting leadoff may be somewhat founded, until I see the opening day lineup, I'm not about to worry. Crisp may well stay at the #2 spot, with Loretta (who "only" managed a .360 OBP during his "bad" 2005 season) hitting leadoff.

Oh, one more thing...if you think the 2006 Sox have less than a 5% chance of making the playoffs, do us all a favor and jump off the Sox bandwagon now. You obviously are buying into the hype surrounding the new and improved Jays and the Yankees' new centerfielder, and fail to see that we have improved our club in almost every area.

So, let me get this straight, because I want our team to be viable long-term and now continually crap away our top prospects, I'm a bandwagon fan? You can't possibly be serious.

First, that hitting chart is bad, bad news for us. All those doubles beyond the monster, does anyone think they're all going for homers? With luck, a quarter of them go for homers, the rest of them are wall-ball singles. Those flyballs, as far as I can see, only one of them definitely goes for a hit that was an out. I've done the hitting chart research before seeing that, and my opinion hasn't changed. I will say it right now: I guarantee Crisp will not hit over 25 home runs right now. Feel free to call me on it next October, and I hope I'm wrong. But no chance in hell.

I strongly suggest you go to mlb.com if you have an mlb.tv account and look at the hits Crisp has had. If those are flyball doubles, we're in trouble. If they're line drives, we better hope they're pretty high. I see a ton of wall-ball singles next year, and that doesn't make me happy.

Take a closer look at the chart, Sean. 5 of those deep doubles to left are down the line and would be doubles anywhere. The other 3 to left are much further than the distance to the Monster, indicating that if they're not homers, they'd at least be high off the wall. Tell me how many visiting LFers can play balls off the Monster well enough to hold batters to singles, especially someone with Crisp's speed. Now it's possible that some of those flies to left would only be singles, but I doubt that as well.

As an exercise, I conservatively only gave Crisp credit for HRs for the longest fly to left center, the fly and 2 doubles to the right of dead center (low bullpen wall), and the double down the right field line (Pesky Pole). The other 7 flies I gave him doubles. The result? His home OPS would go from .728 to .852 and his overall OPS would .810 to .871. Sure beats Damon's 2005 OPS of .805!

Everybody compares Marte with Jeff Bagwell. But if Bagwell had been traded for a pretty good 26-year-old center fielder, it would not have been that lopsided of a deal. The problem was he was traded for an over-30 (I think, if I remember correctly) relief pitcher who was not even a closer and only stayed with the team one season. Sometimes it's good to trade prospects for established players. Think Carl Pavano for Pedro Martinez. Granted, Marte for Crisp is not as much of a slam dunk as that one. But I doubt it will be as dreadfull as Bagwell for Larry Andersen either. It might even be one of those trades that ends up helping both teams.

The Bagwell trade is classic, but it only became so some time after the fact. I don't know about anyone else, but I was ready to hang Theo's severed head from the Green Monster after I heard about Nomar-OC, but look where that got us. It's hard for fans with such angst to exercise restraint but the truth is no one other than Michael J. Fox really knows how Coco is going to handle starting at Fenway and no one really knows if Marte is going to be all that he can be.

One must appreciate BoSox Bob's passion, but his logic needs a brief check:

Coco Crisp becomes preferable to Damon due to an extrapolation of how balls struck by his bat might land in Fenway's exotic outfield geometry?

Crisp is a solid defensive CF with a slightly above average bat. It was a good move for the Red Sox, given the circumstances.

Re: bloated contracts and the Yankees, don't look now but Cashman got Farnsworth, Dotel, Villone and Myers for approx. the same money that the undoubtedly insane Ricciardi will pay BJ Ryan this year.

I'm shocked that I agree with Pond re: Marte, but to quote Warner Wolf:

The future is now.

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