Double Whammy

No Manny Ramirez (knee), no David Ortiz (rapid heart beat, back to Boston for tests). Things officially can get no worse for the Red Sox. Mirabelli and Wily Pena also are still out, meaning that Francona has one reserve (Gabe Kapler) at his disposal tonight.

The last time the Red Sox went to battle without Manny and Ortiz? PR savant Peter Chase points out that it was Oct. 2, 2004, in the first game of a doubleheader at Baltimore. Of course, the Red Sox had already clinched a playoff berth at that time.

This looks like a Spring Training lineup. As someone  cracked here up in the press box, the Red Sox actually might have been fined in Spring Training for not bringing enough regulars to the game. Any of you who have attended a road, Red Sox Spring Training game can relate to what i’m saying.

Those fans who have tickets for this weekend might wintess the returns of both Varitek and Nixon. Will it be too late to save this team?

56 Comments

Ian; Spring Training lineup?? Maybe if we were AAA Pawtucket, Oh wait they’ve never done anything to me so why should I be mean to them?? What is going on. Pls read me last post on last blog.

Sorry Ian, even the most enthusiastic, cheerleading optimistic Sox fan has to have doubts now!! Frustration is getting to me. SORRY>> I STILL LOVE MY SOX.

Even without Ramirez and Ortiz, the Sox will field a “major league” lineup tonight, with the only questionable player being 2b Pedrioa, himself an albeitly overrated top-prospect. Flashback to 31 May: The Yankees were playing the then 35-17 Tigers, with a lineup of:
LF Melky Cabrera

SS Miguel Ciaro

DH Jason Giambi

3b Alex Rodriguez

C Jorge Posada

2b Robinson Cano

CF Bernie Williams

1b Andy Phillips

RF Terrance Long

No Damon, no Jeter, no Matsui, no Sheffield. Yanks won.

Boston’s playing without a C hitting .260, without a defensively-challenged RF with about 30 rbi, and a backup C hitting .220? *tear*

ny still had mis-short closer pitching.. any argument there??

Nobody commented on the fact that the Jays are, what, 2 games behind us??? GO SOX!!!!!

Not sure precisely what you mean by “mis-short closer pitching,” but I’ll assume you’re alluding to the Sox playing without Clement and Wakefield? I would respond by saying that Mussina is currently on the DL, with Pavano (as we all know) having been there the entire season himself. We lost Sturtze (a main bullpen guy for us entering the year) early on, while Farnsworth has been gimpy more than a few times. Everyone has injuries. To this point, Boston’s most important players (Ramirez, Ortiz, Schilling, Beckett, Papelbon) have been remarkably durable, while the Yanks, as mentioned, lost two of their *proven* sluggers for large chunks of the year, and have had others (Canom, Damon, Giambi, A-Rod, Posada) in and out at times. Injuries are no excuse.

Cano*

What a pathetic post by jss. Im not trying to offend but please tell me how the lineup you throw out there even compares to the lineup the sox have on the field tonight. Coco Crisp, Alex Cora, Mark Loretta, Youkilis, Hinske, Lowell, Lopez, Pena and Pedroia. Give me a break it isnt even close. I would go and look up stats for you, but it would be a blowout of stats way ahead in the yanks favor. Not to mention that night you speak of also had Mike Mussina throw a 6 hitter complete game,
a far stretch to compare to Kason Gabbard. Not to mention the two huge names in the lineup A-rod and giambi, i believe both former MVP’s both , both went 3 for 4 that night. Not even a contest.

Ashley: I’m not saying the Yanks aren’t (and weren’t) better. Of course I think they are and were better. I’m a Yankee fan. That’s the point, though. The Yanks were without much more substantial pieces, and had enough to compensate. I doubt even in your heart of hearts, you would compare the combined importance of Varitek, Mirabelli, Pena, Ortiz and Ramirez, to Damon, Jeter, Matsui and Sheffield. That’s two superstars and one average player (who admittedly has additional value in the clubhouse) to four bonafide superstars. The Yanks have better depth, which explains why they were able to withstand the injuries. Melky Cabrera has stepped in flalessly, while Hansen, Lester, Pedrioa etc etc have struggled. Those are facts.

As for Moose’s CG, I used that game as an example of a depleted lineup. But Moose is on the DL now, as are Pavano and Sturtze, and as was Chacon (he was really really really important to the Yanks last year and was the #5 starter before he got hurt this season, remember?).

Not to mention Damon played both the night before and the night after, Jeter played the night before and two nights after. You cant complain about your lineup when your resting players.

btw, I can’t spell tonight…Flawlessly*

The sox have **1** reserve on the bench 1!!!!! completely depleted.

There is a limit to depth when you only have one reserve.

Thanks for having “our” back Ash!! it’s one thing to lose 2 Seriously Important players and losing all the every day players.

haha yeah ellen, i ordered it…..but now I can’t buy my books until my parents make sure they are ok lol.

Um, ortiz is out for today, ramirez has been out, what, a week? Wells is healthy again which is more than pavano can say for himself and clement has been awful the entire season so it is no loss, even lester has been better.

Wakefield had a losing record, yes, he is a loss but he was injured before the trading deadline. Varitek and nixon, the only extended injuries were not injured as long and are not as important to a team’s offense as sheffield and matsui, and if you want to talk about nagging injuries, such as pena, lowell, mirabelli, and ortiz, who are all missing games here and there, don’t forget jeter, giambi, a rod, cano, posada, and damon have also all missed games here and there.

The only reason the sox are depleted right now is A: it is all happening at once (but granted, it is a week of suffering compared to 3 months of losing the heart of your order) and B: YOU GUYS DID NOTHING TO COVER UP THE CHANCE OF AN INJURY. Nothing! You made no moves at the deadline! There is nobody to blame but your front office

Like I said earlier, could this be a “ble flu” to get bakat Theo for not doing anything at the deadline?, I would really hope not!

Sorry: ble flu = blue flu. Just a “sick out”.

I just don’t know what to say anymore, the final sum of the math equation is getting closer and closer.

THERE IS ONE THING I CAN SAY WITHOUT EQUIVOCATION, AND FOREVER IS… I LOVE THE REDSOX. It’s like a marriage: for better or worse, win or lose. I won’t give you the richer or poorer.

Vince, I hope your parents make it through everything ok!! TELL THEM TO STAY SAFE!

I really really think that Pedroia looks like Trot (except from the other side of thr plate). COME ON BACK TROT AND TEK,and……..

lol i hope so too ellen, i’m sure they will be fine

The comparison with the Yankees lineup on May 31 is ridiculous. They had A-Rod and Giambi, two high impact players in the middle of the order. The Red Sox did not have a single high impact player in their lineup tonight, so i don’t see how you compare it.

I really cannot believe that two separate Yankee fans have gone on about the loss of Carl Pavano. Let it go already, he’s not that good and you over paid for him. I’m sure the whole payroll argument has been done to death but that is the reason the Yankees contend every year. And I know the two Yankee fans will point to Melky Cebrera but let’s face it he’s only in there because your two outfielders who get a lot of money got injured. However, I hate this back and forward stuff so what I really want to get to, why do yankee fans go on to a red sox blog? I’m sure this has been asked before but I would like to here a coherent logical argument for it.

One important point worth making – the Red Sox office front office may get a lot of flak for not making deals – actually I think this is not fully justified as the Sox looked in great shape back at the deadline but how and ever – credit where it is due for them signing V-tek for four years because the last month has shown how indespensible he is. For me, he is the reason more than any other reason that the Sox have slumped. Yes there are many factors but his absence has exacerbated the situation more than anything else.

The question is not which lineup is better. Because the yankees are obviously better. The yankees lost as much as (if not more than) the sox lost to injuries. We were deep and gritty enough to hang tight. You guys are paying the price for relying too much on just one or two guys to win games. Last time I checked baseball teams had more than 2 hitters.

brendan maybe when you actually talk ont his blog more than just to try and rip me I will give you any credibility whatsoever for your opinion. So because I don’t support this blog’s team I need to justify talking here to you who never talks here? Think again, this is a baseball blog first and foremost and then it is a redsox blog, you wanna know why I stay here, read past posts and do some research.

The payroll argument only works against you in this situation, you guys are 2nd in major league baseball and signed a career minor leaguer at the trade deadline knowing your precious varitek was injured in addition to wells.

We complain about pavano, yet you complain about foulke and clement, tell me brendan, what exactly have they done successfully for you this year that they are so essential to the roster? In fact, maybe wake saves your pen but 0-2 vs the yankees and a losing record on the season isn’t exactly a godsend.

Melky cabrera? You’re really going to imply we buy our players and that is why we are where we are? Do you need the farm system on current team comparisons again, you want us to take it back to 04 too? Like i said, do your research before you start spewing your carbon copy recycled arguments. It doesn’t start and it doesn’t end with melky cabrera, that’s for **** sure. Yeah melky is in there from injury, we had the farm team to back us, your phenom farm gems have been either demoted or burnt out by now. And guess what? last year we had 2nd base and pitching problems and we came up with cano and wang. You don’t want back and forth stuff, so what you just wanted to state your opinion and not get a response? keep your mouth shut if you don’t want back and forth stuff. Considering the redsox were something like 6 games over 500 against the al BEFORE tek got injured, I don’t think he is the sole reason you guys are the laughing stock of baseball right now.

Like i said, you want to bring payroll into this? 130 million dollars and you did nothing to back up your already forming injuries. The mets, have a lower payroll and they picked up shawn green and a decent big league reliever along with a starter.

You guys? Nothing. Yeah, your right payroll certainly does play a large roll, you have tons of it and unlike the yankees did not fill your holes. yet, rather than recognize that difference some of you just continue to hide behind the fact you don’t have the highest payroll and act like some small market team with no deals to make, or like you didn’t have about 70 games to pull away.

What’s the point of trying to compare different lineups from different teams on different days? It’s all a bunch of if, if, if. So the won a game against the Tigers when some of the Yankees were out of the lineup; what does that prove? Bottom line is that the Sox are now 7 games out and if they don’t turn things around, either with the players they’ve called up and traded for, or with players returning from the DL, they don’t have a chance at the post season. Quite frankly, I don’t foresee the scrubs improving enough to take them to the playoffs.

The return of Nixon and Varitek should be a big boost, both psychologically and performance-wise. But I don’t think those two alone are enough to right the ship. Wakefield, Manny, Ortiz, Gonzalez and Pena all need to get healthty, and soon.

they looked great at the deadline? the sox haven’t looked great since the series before the asb…they alreay had injuries at the deadline.

Yes Yankeeymm, like I said I knew it probably had been brought up before but I was simply asking the question. Maybe I am missing something in relation to your argument that we knew Varitek was injured, I don’t pretend to be an expert. I thought he got injured the day of the trading deadline against the Indians running the bases, but the deadline had passed.

Ian: again, I was comparing the total value of the players ABSENT (Damon, Jeter, Matsui, Sheffield vs. Ortiz, Ramirez, Pena, Varitek, Mirabelli) not the value of the players PLAYING. Again, their depth has allowed the Yankees to withstand the injuries, but I believe theirs have been more significant.

Granted, this method of analysis is not especially worthwhile, but to me it just shows, as yankkeevmm was saying, that Theo’s effort was wanting at the deadline and subsequently, and that Boston probably relied upon Ramirez and Ortiz more than was healthy for a playoff competitor. I was only trying to show that despite their more substantial injuries, the Yankees were able to perservere.

jss: I don’t think you were blocked, you probrably just got the “spam control” message, I get it a lot lately.

The Red Sox desperately needed a starting pitcher before Nixon and Varitek went down, and I don’t understand why Theo didn’t try for Livan Hernandez or Cory Lidle, both of whom ended up switching teams. And like Vince already said, the payroll argument isn’t valid because it’s not like the Red Sox are a small market team. They have the second-biggest payroll in baseball! I would think dishing out a few million to secure a playoff berth would pay massive dividends. I guess Theo disagrees and would rather stalk the waiver wire for castoffs.

Think abt it. Would you guys be comfortable going into next season with the same exact team and everybody healthy? Thats what I thought. The redsox team was wanting through out the season. Both hitting AND pitching. They thought they had TOO MUCH pitching and Theo couldn’t go more wrong with his assessment of Beckett and Clement. Like a great man said,
“The first step to improvement is accepting the defeciency”.

Living in denial wont help. The yankees are worlds better than redsox this year. Injuries or no injuries.

I would take a healthy sox team over a healthy yanks team going into next year. Same teams.

I’ll take the Sox anytime!!!!

I am a Yankee season ticket holder yet follow the Red Sox each game. There is no doubt Theo made mistakes but there is also little argument from me that no one could expect the amount of bad luck that came his way.

Furthermore, the Red Sox are simply unable to do things that we can do. Cashman is allowed to absorb a “role player” like Abreu who will cost us $16M next year. Don’t get me wrong, Abreu is a superb player in our lineup but if the Bosox had tried to get him, and Lidle (remember they would have had to take both), it would have hamstrung any move they would have wanted to make down the line for someone that expensive–Soriano?, Wells?, A. Jones?, a stud pitcher?.

Sure, the Red Sox are not “poor” but we have to admit, we are in a class by ourselves. That doesn’t mean we are automatic favorites each year–as we have found out winning 3 series in a row to take the title has caught up to us.

I could be wrong but Boston is in some trouble down the line unless several of the kid pitchers really step up and that is never guaranteed. How many years does Schilling have left? Manny? Varitek? Lowell? In addition, there is a good bit of guaranteed money to Beckett and Crisp. I take no pleasure in this because the last 4 years have seen the most awesome battles played out on the diamond in my lifetime (and I am 51).

I think JSS is full of beans if he thinks the yanks’injuries are more significant than the sox. Delcarmen, Hansen, lester are all rookies. don’t you think Tek has something to do with their success?

You’re talking about Pavano as if he contributed something. Mussina being down is only recent. And truthfully, the Pavano situation really outlines the difference between the teams. Most teams just have to absorb injuries. The yanks can go out, get Abreu, Lidle, really whatever is within the realm of possibility financially. Ther is not ONE other team that could have taken Abreu’s salary.

The sox haven’t had Wells, Wakefield, and Clement for most of the year. you can’t understate that.

Yes, enough with the whining. Both teams have had injuries, you gotta play through it.

Here is a bit of info for edru and ginod. Boston has noone to blame right now but Epstein. How can sox fans believe they “didnt have the money” for Abreu? Epstein was willing to shell out 20-22 million for Clemens. The way the deal was set with the Yanks, the sox had the same deal in place. The phillies would have eaten some of the contract and the true monetary difference for getting Abreu was only 7 million. Epstein didnt want to spend the 7 mill and now the sox are f’d. But he was willing to give clemes 13 million more? doesnt make sense and sox fans should be PISSED. i know i would be consdiering abreu is hitting like .400

Two notes:

1) If you measure “significance of injuries” by the production that is lost to injuries, JSS has a strong case. If you measure “significance of injuries” by the production that remains on the roster, then you (all) are correct. But that just underlines JSS’s statement, that the Yanks had more depth to begin with.

No one doubts Tek’s value with regards to the pitching staff. But come on, folks. Your backup catcher needs to be better than that. Your pitching coach needs to be better than that. Your bullpen coach, your veterans, your manager all need to be better than that.

2) You’re kidding yourself is you think the Bosox couldn’t afford Abreu’s contract. It’s like you’ve glossed over how much money the organization takes in. The truth is the Bosox couldn’t fit Abreu’s contract within their desired budget – which is NOT the same argument.

No one faults team management for, you know, wanting to make money. It makes perfect business sense. But that comes at the cost of a few wins. Saying “there is not ONE other team that could have taken Abreu’s salary” is just a flat-out lie. Boston didn’t think Abreu’s numbers justified that kind of cut into the 06 and 07 profits. The Mets didn’t need him. The Angels didn’t need him. But all these teams could have taken on that contract. I’m guessing the Dodgers would have been able to, as well, but I can’t back that claim up at all. ;)

Good point hairless. Sox could have had Abreu, but like you said, it did not fit their desired budget. Now they sit 7 games out first and 6 out of the wild card. This is a business first, but i always thought it was the business of winning.

edru: Did they not pickup Lowell’s tab. Its just a mistake in judgement by Theo not to do anything.

Ginod: The yankees did not have Matsui, Sheffield, Pavano, Chacon and Sturtze at all and did not have Cano for a month before august and lost some time from Jeter, Damon and Giambi. Yet they were staying close to Boston. Wakefield was available for almost all of first half and he wasn’t winning. But he is a loss regardless. You write off Pavano but you want us to beleive that Clement has been of GREAT value to you. Get over it dude. Dont be a hypocrite.

@anthony_bottan: that’s naive. Making money and winning go hand-in-hand (small market marvels like the Twins and almost the A’s notwithstanding). No one wants to bust the bank for one year, and then sink to the cellar for a decade trying to recoup your (monetary) losses. If you want to be at the top consistently, you need to give yourself the resources. Look, I hate The Boss as much as the next guy, but everyone here has to admit he ran the Business like a shark.

If you look at the Red Sox roster up until the last month, it was a pretty good team on a manageable (for Boston) budget. The FO played the odds that they could stay healthy and hold on down the stretch with what they had – and it’s not a bad gamble. You know, 27 of the 30 teams in baseball took that bet (off the top of my head, I can only think of the Yanks, Rangers, and Dodgers who made significant deals at the deadline).

It worked out ok for 26 of those teams.

Right now, Boston’s FO looks bad because of circumstance. But, honestly, the Sox have had a horrifying month. You can’t possibly claim that these injuries – after injury after injury – should have been predicted and accounted for by the FO. You expect some people to get hurt, but you don’t expect them to go to the DL one after the other, in order of importance to the team.

Sounds like a lot of excuse making to me. I guess that is the only course of action the Nation can take now. Of course, when the Yankees star players were injured and the Sox were in first, they STILL couldn’t put it away, so draw your own conclusions about how “good” your team really was then.

Yankee/Indian:

You are right, they did pick up Lowell’s tab but that was because they thought they were getting a Yankee-killing stud pitcher who would haunt us for 10 years. Bad move as it stands now.

The Abreu move could have been made, I realize that–however, WHAT MOVES WOULD IT HAVE PREVENTED THE SOX FROM MAKING DOWN THE LINE?? Because of our status as the premier money-maker in all of baseball the Abreu move doesn’t prevent from doing anything we really want to do next season.

Let’s face it, all the owners could spend their personal fortunes and bring in more players. I love George because he wants to win as much as the fans–but he still has more operating capital than anyone else from his team, period.

Theo has made big mistakes in judgement (thankfully for us). But Cashman or whoever made the calls also has done the same (J. Wright, Pavano, etc.). Fortunately, we can spend the cash to bounce back.

Of course, all Yankee fans can take pride in the fact that our minor league system is not quite as bad as everyone said one year ago. Wang, Cano, and Melky certainly saved us. It was nice to see how wrong the “experts” were on that one.

“WHAT MOVES WOULD IT HAVE PREVENTED THE SOX FROM MAKING DOWN THE LINE??”

Honestly? It would have kept them from signing one (1) premier free agent hitter.

All this talk about signing Andruw Jones? Yeah. It would have prevented that.

And nothing else.

Abreu’s on the hook for one (1) more year, guys.

The fact of the matter, here, is the Yankees were ALREADY LOSING MONEY as an organization, and took on Abreu’s contract anyway. I dare someone – anyone – to make the claim that the Red Sox would lose money this year OR next year, even WITH Abreu’s contract on their books. Come on.

OK, so not only are we depressed because the Sox have been playing poorly lately without much reason to hope that things are likely to change soon, but we also get to listen to Yankee fans tell us that in addition to leading the division, they

a) have a better farm system;

b) have a better general manager;

c) have a well-rounded professional ball club, as opposed to the Sox’ one faceted team composed of two good hitters surrounded by a bunch of nobodies; and

d)have “grittier” players who tough it out in the face of injuries better than the Sox, who are apparently just a bunch of pansies with a few hang nails that they keep whining about.

Golly, I wonder why I don’t spend every waking moment reading the blog.

As if that weren’t bad enough, last night as I’m crawling into bed after watching last night’s debacle, my wife says to me “Why don’t you try being a Mets fan for a while?”

Gee, thanks Honey.

got 75% correct Rob.

Oh, one other thought:

Let’s think about this from the FO’s point of view *before* the Boston Massacre Redux.

Taking Abreu would have given the Sox a top of the lineup that looks like this:

Youk

Abreu

Manny

Ortiz

Would I be stretching to predict that, with that kind of first inning, the Red Sox would score the first run of the game in 119 of their 162 games in 2007?

So what could possibly make the Red Sox shy away from adding a(nother, in addition to Youk) ridiculous OBP man to be driven in by the Manny-Papi monstrosity?

The only thing I can think of is if the Red Sox *don’t* think that’s the lineup they would put on the field, next year.

Well, you don’t take on Abreu at the deadline of 06 if you’re gonna waive him in spring training of 07. You’re not trading Youkilis (and, with all due respect to Youk, an objective look tells us he’s the weak link of that 1-4, anyway). Papi? Yeah, he’s not going anywhere.

The obvious conclusion here is that the Red Sox FO is committed to doing everything they can to move Manny, again. Now, that’s hardly news, right? The error in judgement, here, is “we’re going to move Manny!” has become a foregone conclusion for the Red Sox FO.

But that’s just a symptom, isn’t it? We’ve heard, time and again, from Theo that the company line is, “We Have a Plan.” Always, there is a plan, and it seems like the Red Sox are unwilling to (or incapable of?) deviating from it even just a little bit.

The problem, of course, is that The Plan was developed sometime between 2004 and 2005.

That’s what should really be bothering you Red Sox fans. Your new(ish) FO doesn’t seem to realize that plans and conclusions can become invalidated or obsolete overnight, no matter how hard-fought or thought-out they may be. I’m sure The Plan was brilliant for the circumstances they studied and pored over two years ago. Theo’s a smart(ish) guy.

Meanwhile, reality moved forward. If your FO doesn’t realize that this off-season, I think that’s what’s going to kill the Red Sox next year.

Which did I get wrong, Vik?

Regarding the farm system:

“Yeah melky is in there from injury, we had the farm team to back us, your phenom farm gems have been either demoted or burnt out by now.”

Posted by: yankeevmm@yahoo.com | August 29, 2006 01:27 AM

Regarding the general manager:

“Its just a mistake in judgement by Theo not to do anything.”

Posted by: yankee_indian@xyz.com | August 29, 2006 04:00 PM

Regarding the one-faceted team:

“You guys are paying the price for relying too much on just one or two guys to win games.”

Posted by: yankee_indian@xyz.com | August 29, 2006 05:20 AM

And from the same post, regarding “grit”:

“We were deep and gritty enough to hang tight.”

Posted by: yankee_indian@xyz.com | August 29, 2006 05:20 AM

Farm system. You have a better farm. But they did not produce. The few guys in the yankee farm stepped up. That doesn’t make yankees farm better. Thats what I meant. Came off wrong.

rob i didn’t say your farm team was worse, u guys have a ton more prospects, but ours is producing better in the majors at the moment, it’s that simple.

I did not even post that. LOL. May be I thought I did because I was felt the same too.

New blog and it needs to be read.

not trying to add fuel to the fire but…
the yanks have 9 guys in their lineup who can constantly beat you, and 7 guys in the lineup who can beat you is pretty good too. the sox have 2.

remember last year randy johnson didnt even want posada catching for him, these pitchers for the sox trust tek, not a someone who catches every 5th day or a guy no one liked in baltimore.

the yanks prospects delivered more than bostons but who do they have left? hughes, tabata? (and cano and wang arent prosepects anymore). not even gonna start comparing.

cashman looks like a better gm cause the boss will spend whatever it takes to win (which i respect to a certain extent). if there was a salary cap id like to see what would happen (and im not implying anything here).

and my point is losing shef and matsui was big but when you have 7 other guys as good (or better) it doesnt hurt as much.

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