Thread: MLB 2019

  1. #926
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou View Post
    September is here, and in Cincinnati, the quest for .500 continues.
    Biggest surprises this year? No doubt the performance of Acquino after being called up in August. Also, the pitching of Sonny Gray.

    Biggest disappointments? The decline of Joey Votto, and the pitching of Trevor Bauer.

    How about your team?

    Biggest surprise: Rafael Devers. If it wasn’t for a guy named Trout, he would have a legit shot at AL MVP. Christian Vazquez also had a breakout season.

    As expected: The team can hit. Devers, Mookie, JD, Xander, Benintendi and company have created the conditions of a playoff team. I’ll also put the bullpen here. While it was much maligned, Workman, Walden, and Barnes have respectable numbers all things considered. They were worn out.

    Biggest disappointment: starting pitching no doubt. E-Rod started as the #5 pitcher and has essentially led the team with 16 wins. Sale didn’t look like Sale, Porcello was crap, Price underperformed, Eovaldi has been hurt most of the year, and they lacked the depth to fill in.
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  2. #927
    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    I’ll also put the bullpen here. While it was much maligned, Workman, Walden, and Barnes have respectable numbers all things considered. They were worn out.
    I heard the other day that they've blown 25 saves. Biggest mistake was not resigning Kimbrel.
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  3. #928
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I heard the other day that they've blown 25 saves. Biggest mistake was not resigning Kimbrel.
    Debatable. Kimbrel has shown chinks in the armor over the past two seasons. The length and cost of the contract he wanted to sign with the Sox was hard to justify based on his performance over those two years. Not that he isn't still good, but I think the feeling was that he just wasn't that good. To me, the biggest mistake wasn't moving on from Kimbrel, but not doing enough to replace him. The "closer by committee" approach didn't work and wound up overly taxing an average (at best) bullpen. Poor performance by the starters only exacerbated that problem.

    Sox fans miss having a closer, but few/nobody in Boston are missing Kimbrel specifically.

    Bill

  4. #929
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    How about your team?
    Biggest surprise: all the offensive pieces (other than Buxton) have surged into bomba-hitting monsters. OK, Rosario has slowed down but Sano has been in monster mode since the All-Star break, Cruz is hitting .400 since his tendon rupture, and Kepler never let his foot off the gas.

    Biggest disappointment: pitching meltdowns - first the bullpen was staggering (we knew it would and it did) but the starters all had massive failures in August. Berrios looks lost up there, with a big drop in velocity. Gibson is particularly weak and now they're blaming weight loss due to his pre-season bout with colitis. Only Big Mike Pineda has been stalwart.
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  5. #930
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    Debatable. Kimbrel has shown chinks in the armor over the past two seasons. The length and cost of the contract he wanted to sign with the Sox was hard to justify based on his performance over those two years. Not that he isn't still good, but I think the feeling was that he just wasn't that good. To me, the biggest mistake wasn't moving on from Kimbrel, but not doing enough to replace him. The "closer by committee" approach didn't work and wound up overly taxing an average (at best) bullpen. Poor performance by the starters only exacerbated that problem.

    Sox fans miss having a closer, but few/nobody in Boston are missing Kimbrel specifically.

    Bill
    The starters absolutely exacerbated the problem.

    The majority of those blown saves occurred in the 7th and 8th innings, so Kimbrel would not have been a direct factor. For example, the Yankees have 23 blown saves by that same measure, but Chapman only 5. Would the Red Sox have a better record with Kimbrel on staff, absolutely. They would have more depth and probably would be 3-5 games ahead of where they are now. At the same, they simply could not afford to sign Kimbrel without further crippling their tax situation and draft penalties.

    Where I disagree is that I do think the Sox FO really wanted Kimbrel back, but he was looking for an "elite" contract, between $75-100m. And by THAT measure, he wasn't "that good". And MLB responded accordingly as he went unsigned and settled for much more realistic contract with the Cubs. (he still made out pretty well).
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  6. #931
    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    Where I disagree is that I do think the Sox FO really wanted Kimbrel back, but he was looking for an "elite" contract, between $75-100m. And by THAT measure, he wasn't "that good". And MLB responded accordingly as he went unsigned and settled for much more realistic contract with the Cubs. (he still made out pretty well).
    That's exactly what I meant, probably didn't phrase it that well. Sox just couldn't take him at that elite contract level, for a variety of reasons. I just don't hear many (any?) folks on Boston sports blab feeling not signing Kimbrel at that elite level was a bad decision for the organization. Yes, it had consequences, but you can't just look at that one player in a vacuum, and the Sox had more on their plate than just Kimbrel to consider.

    Bill

  7. #932
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    That's exactly what I meant, probably didn't phrase it that well. Sox just couldn't take him at that elite contract level, for a variety of reasons. I just don't hear many (any?) folks on Boston sports blab feeling not signing Kimbrel at that elite level was a bad decision for the organization. Yes, it had consequences, but you can't just look at that one player in a vacuum, and the Sox had more on their plate than just Kimbrel to consider.
    Agreed completely.
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  8. #933
    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    To me, the biggest mistake wasn't moving on from Kimbrel, but not doing enough to replace him.
    I'll grant you that.

    Dombrowski is toast.
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  9. #934
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    Dombrowski is toast.
    It's possible. The situation for the Sox has changed and Dombrowski may not be the best fit for a rebuild/re-tool. The organization is also setting some spending limits that make his "guns blazing" approach a bit more difficult. It wouldn't break my heart to see him go, but I don't want to move back to the Ben Cherington days. Dombrowski has the capacity to make big time deals and decisions. I'm not convinced Cherington did, and I'm not sure who else might become available who could excel at both that while rebuilding the farm system. The Sox will have to answer that question before they decide to cut him loose. And for all his flaws, Dombrowski does bring a certain "elan" to the job. If they let him go, they'll have a tough time filling some of what he brings to the table.

    Bill

  10. #935
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    It's possible. The situation for the Sox has changed and Dombrowski may not be the best fit for a rebuild/re-tool. The organization is also setting some spending limits that make his "guns blazing" approach a bit more difficult. It wouldn't break my heart to see him go, but I don't want to move back to the Ben Cherington days. Dombrowski has the capacity to make big time deals and decisions. I'm not convinced Cherington did, and I'm not sure who else might become available who could excel at both that while rebuilding the farm system. The Sox will have to answer that question before they decide to cut him loose. And for all his flaws, Dombrowski does bring a certain "elan" to the job. If they let him go, they'll have a tough time filling some of what he brings to the table.
    I'm obviously not near Boston like you are Bill, but I don't get the sense at all that Dombrowski is on the hot seat. They knew what they were getting and he helped get them a championship. It's difficult to repeat, especially when you have strong perennial contenders in the conference such as the Yanks, Astros, and Indians. This season comes down primarily to underperforming or injured starters, lack of pitching depth, and being financially spent to do make significant moves. We might be singing a different song all together if Sale had a better season (not even a Cy Young worthy one) and Eovaldi had turned out. And had they been 6 or 7 games better in July then they were, they probably would have made a move for a guy like Giles or Yates.

    Next season will really be the end of their window of opportunity. At that point, they need to decide to go for it or rebuild. They may want to take a Nats approach of "less is more" and not be tempted to extend the likes of Mookie Betts for example.
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  11. #936
    It's my understanding that the Boston press has been hammering Dombrowski. I seem to recall reading something about an insider report that he was not going to survive. I believe they cited the Sale deal. I can't imagine the Price deals helps, either. Everyone knew that Evaldi brought great injury risk, given his history. How long did they sign him for?
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  12. #937
    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    I'm obviously not near Boston like you are Bill, but I don't get the sense at all that Dombrowski is on the hot seat. They knew what they were getting and he helped get them a championship. It's difficult to repeat, especially when you have strong perennial contenders in the conference such as the Yanks, Astros, and Indians. This season comes down primarily to underperforming or injured starters, lack of pitching depth, and being financially spent to do make significant moves. We might be singing a different song all together if Sale had a better season (not even a Cy Young worthy one) and Eovaldi had turned out. And had they been 6 or 7 games better in July then they were, they probably would have made a move for a guy like Giles or Yates.

    Next season will really be the end of their window of opportunity. At that point, they need to decide to go for it or rebuild. They may want to take a Nats approach of "less is more" and not be tempted to extend the likes of Mookie Betts for example.
    There have been a few rumblings of late. An article in the Globe, followed by one on NBC sports a while back. In general I think most fans see it the way you're portraying, but there are rumors of Dombrowski becoming isolated, and I think there's a general feeling that even injuries aside he didn't do as good a job with this year's team as last year's. So while I don't think he's on the hot seat, I sense things might be getting a little "warmer."

    At issue is exactly what you point out, where does the organization want to go from here? If there's a rift between Dombrowski and ownership on that question, and that is leading to what insiders see as this "isolation," then there may be more consideration of moving on than we'd expect simply from the performance of this year's team. Overall I'd say he comes back next season. I don't think the Sox really have enough ammo to cut him loose, and I'm not sure a transition at this point would be for the best anyway. But Dombrowski being let go is not as totally out of the question as it would have been at the start of this season, and I'm not sure it's a matter strictly of how the team performed this year.

    Bill

  13. #938
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    It's my understanding that the Boston press has been hammering Dombrowski. I seem to recall reading something about an insider report that he was not going to survive. I believe they cited the Sale deal. I can't imagine the Price deals helps, either. Everyone knew that Evaldi brought great injury risk, given his history. How long did they sign him for?
    There have been a few articles, but I think "hammering" is a bit of an exaggeration. There are questions, yes, but I think even the most critical articles wind up asking, "if not Dombrowski, who?" And it's not like a daily thing. Sports blab has shifted over largely to football now, Sox fans are resigned this is not our year and that the organization has some pondering to do. But it's not like the pitchforks and firebrands are out.

    Eovaldi's deal is four years at about $70 million. It was a gamble, this year we lost. We'll see if he can get another good year or two. I wasn't actually horrified that they took a chance on Eovaldi, he is, after all, a Yankee killer.

    I'm surprised Dombrowski is taking the fall for the Sale deal. Henry all but came out and confessed he was behind this after the f*** up with Lackey. I was happy they kept Price too. I know he's had his ups and downs, but I still think he can be a solid contributor, and has finally proven he can do it in the playoffs. Again, it's all gambles. You don't win them all, but until this season Dombrowski's average was pretty good. We'll see what next year brings.

    Bill

  14. #939
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    It's my understanding that the Boston press has been hammering Dombrowski. I seem to recall reading something about an insider report that he was not going to survive. I believe they cited the Sale deal. I can't imagine the Price deals helps, either. Everyone knew that Evaldi brought great injury risk, given his history. How long did they sign him for?
    All good points. I got queasy in my stomach with the Sale extension given his health uncertainties. I'm less concerned about Eovaldi, but he's signed for another 3 years.
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  15. #940
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    The fans that are bitching about Dombrowski need to take pill and play some Floyd. FFS, you won a world championship last year. Bask in that and shut the fuck up.
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  16. #941
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    There have been a few articles, but I think "hammering" is a bit of an exaggeration. There are questions, yes, but I think even the most critical articles wind up asking, "if not Dombrowski, who?" And it's not like a daily thing. Sports blab has shifted over largely to football now, Sox fans are resigned this is not our year and that the organization has some pondering to do. But it's not like the pitchforks and firebrands are out.

    Eovaldi's deal is four years at about $70 million. It was a gamble, this year we lost. We'll see if he can get another good year or two. I wasn't actually horrified that they took a chance on Eovaldi, he is, after all, a Yankee killer.

    I'm surprised Dombrowski is taking the fall for the Sale deal. Henry all but came out and confessed he was behind this after the f*** up with Lackey. I was happy they kept Price too. I know he's had his ups and downs, but I still think he can be a solid contributor, and has finally proven he can do it in the playoffs. Again, it's all gambles. You don't win them all, but until this season Dombrowski's average was pretty good. We'll see what next year brings.
    I think Dombrowski did "his thing" (sell the farm, go for the big moves) and fans got their championship. No one will trade that in for anything. That said, the ways of building a team and executing is changing/evolving. Winning teams in the next decade will adapt. When you have guys under $30 million annual contracts, and you trade your farm for MLB ready assets, you leverage the franchise future for NOW. There was a time during the great "space race" of the 1990s and early 2000s where spending = winning, but that's less so now.

    The core of the Boston Red Sox going forward is their home grown talent of Devers, Xander, Chavis, Mookie, and Benintendi. This is what you build around, not pay David Price imho. You can have 1 contract like that, and maybe Sale *could* have been that guy, but they shouldn't have done it now.

    This is why you have to let Mookie go, imo. In fact, I suggest trading him this offseason and get something for him.
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  17. #942
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    The fans that are bitching about Dombrowski need to take pill and play some Floyd. FFS, you won a world championship last year. Bask in that and shut the fuck up.
    Amen.

    BTW, glad to see Sano having some success. He still strikes out way too much. If he could turn some of those ABs into doubles and raise his BA a bit, he'd be a freakin' monster. He's only 26.
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  18. #943
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    assuming he stays healthy. But he's become a more patient hitter this year I've noticed. But hitting in a lineup with Nelson Cruz, he's seen better pitches.

  19. #944
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnprogger View Post
    assuming he stays healthy. But he's become a more patient hitter this year I've noticed. But hitting in a lineup with Nelson Cruz, he's seen better pitches.
    And Cruz is mentoring Sano. That bodes extremely well.
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  20. #945
    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    I wasn't actually horrified that they took a chance on Eovaldi, he is, after all, a Yankee killer.
    When he's healthy and on, he's one of the best in the league, IMO. The problem is that he can't seem to stay healthy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    The fans that are bitching about Dombrowski need to take pill and play some Floyd. FFS, you won a world championship last year. Bask in that and shut the fuck up.
    Yeah, but fans want to repeat. In fact, they want dynasties.
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  21. #946
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    The fans that are bitching about Dombrowski need to take pill and play some Floyd. FFS, you won a world championship last year. Bask in that and shut the fuck up.
    It's not really the fans that are bitching, it's a few articles in the press. Nobody needs to take a pill, and the press aren't going to shut up because they want to sell papers (or whatever it is they sell now in the online world).

    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    The core of the Boston Red Sox going forward is their home grown talent of Devers, Xander, Chavis, Mookie, and Benintendi.
    I agree with that, but there's no pitchers in that lot, and as good as Sale may be (or should have been), he could never have done it alone. Price is the devil you know who can deliver when the chips are down, and the Sox can afford him... they're making a choice to make his contract a constraint. They'll likely wind up eating some of his and Sale's contract at the end, but those two are building pieces too. Important ones.

    Here's probably the most balanced article I've seen on the Dombrowski situation. Most interesting is at the end where the writer speculates that Dombrowski might be better in a rebuild/re-tool situation that common wisdom might suggest.

    https://www.boston.com/sports/boston...wski-is-tricky

    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    This is why you have to let Mookie go, imo. In fact, I suggest trading him this offseason and get something for him.
    They'll either open the Brinks truck for him or hopefully trade him. Would be sad just to see him walk for nothing. I have no idea which way that one is going to go, but I have my doubts that he's as valuable as the contract he'll likely be seeking. So I'd be OK with trading him too.

    Bill

  22. #947
    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    but I have my doubts that he's as valuable as the contract he'll likely be seeking.
    Are any of them?
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  23. #948
    Member Casey's Avatar
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    ^ I pray that some day the owners will wake up & come to the same conclusion. And then, INDIVIDUALLY, of course, begin to offer sensible contracts &, in turn, bring the fans back to the game.
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  24. #949
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    Are any of them?
    I'd say on a statistical level for those ultra high-end contracts, generally not for anyone but pitchers. You can probably find talent that you don't have to pay that kind of money for that will give you almost as good a result as having a lot of high profile/high salary guys. That's the whole principle of Moneyball, and I think it's right for hitting and fielding, but breaks down for pitching. I'd say if you're going to spend money, spend it on pitching unless you're remarkably fortunate to draft and develop a number of excellent pitchers.

    That said, the addition of a high salary offensive player to a solid line-up can pay dividends. Look at what adding JD Martinez did for the Sox last season, for example. But as Cozy pointed out, the 2018 Sox were built largely on home-grown talent who were under manageable contracts, allowing the team to stretch for that one piece they needed and in the pitching department. Had the Sox not won it all last year, that computation of Martinz's value might look different. But the Sox needed what he offered and had the money to pay, so they took the gamble. So it kind of depends on where a team thinks they are along the championship curve, and of course teams with money to spend have an easier time paying the salary than a smaller-market team.

    Bill

  25. #950
    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    ^ I pray that some day the owners will wake up & come to the same conclusion. And then, INDIVIDUALLY, of course, begin to offer sensible contracts &, in turn, bring the fans back to the game.
    That's never going to happen until fans stop going to games or they start to subsidize salaries through a go fund me page.
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