AL East Notes: Epstein, Crawford, Yankees

The Rays and Orioles are technically division rivals, but tonight they're on the same side. Baltimore beat the Red Sox in the first game of today's double-header and Rays fans are hoping for a second Orioles win this evening. A Baltimore sweep would shrink the gap between Tampa Bay and Boston to one game in the American League Wild Card race. Here are today's links…

  • Congratulations to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who became the all-time saves leader when he shut the Twins down earlier today. The future Hall of Famer now has 602 career saves.
  • Yahoo's Jeff Passan says signing John Lackey was the worst blunder of Theo Eptsein's career and argues that the Red Sox GM deserves all of the criticism he is facing for Boston's fading pitching staff.
  • Not sure whether you agree with Passan? Check out every move Epstein has made with the help of our Transaction Tracker.
  • Carl Crawford, who signed a $142MM contract with the Red Sox last offseason, apologized to fans for his season in a blog post at ESPNBoston.com. "I'm sorry for the year I've had,” he said. “You guys have been really supportive and I appreciate that. Hopefully when we get into these playoffs, I can be the real Carl Crawford that I know I am."
  • Ray Bartoszek, a former commodities trader, bought a minority share of the Yankees, according to the Star-Ledger.


46 Responses to AL East Notes: Epstein, Crawford, Yankees Leave a Reply

  1. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    That transaction tracker is one of the coolest features of this site.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      seconded

      • You’re fired.

        • Ben_Cherington 4 years ago

          how long have you been waiting to say that?

        • wickedkevin 4 years ago

          I feel like I’ve seen this before.

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          I like that you atleast gave it an attempt.. Like Steve O’s attempt at comedy on the charlie sheen roast… we didn’t laugh, but we like that you tried. 

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            I think I liked Shatner’s bit the most, or maybe Amy Schumer’s.

          • JacksTigers 4 years ago

            The Hugo Chavez looking dude was awesome.

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            hahaha That’s Jeff Ross. You should look up some of his other roasts, he’s the king of celebrity roasts. The Shaq one is my favorite.

  2. johnsilver 4 years ago

    The Francona criticism is justified and about time. it took until SEPTEMBER and the playoff race to get close before he actually PH for tek with a game on the line and late.. Like post 7th inning with Salty available.. Just flabbergasting.. Having mcdonald on the roster, much less in games is beyond belief. reddick.. The Rookie at least can hit and play defense. just why is mcdonald playing when he can do neither? Could it be francona going with his “old favorites” again?? Much like he went with the utterly useless Billy Hall last season when he maybe could stand out on the field at 7 positions, but could not catch a ball league average at any and was as awful with the bat as McDonald is.

    The pitching being “awful” as described i cannot (at least) throw all at Epstein. Sure he gave Lackey and Matsuzaka those deals, but he is not responsible for all the other injuries to the rotation and jeeezz.. Thinking Millwood would be worth anything in the AL East with that rubbish.. he can get away with that garbage in the NL, lots of useless pitchers do. They might as well made a phone call to Paul Byrd and been better of than letting Millwood have a chance, at least Byrd can ‘scuff” up the ball if he gets into trouble 😉

    • CAD_Monkey 4 years ago

      Milwood had a 5.10 ERA for Baltimore last year, which is way better than Lackey’s 6.19 right now.  And considering that he’d be pitching for Boston and against Baltimore, I don’t imagine he would have done worse than last year.

      • johnsilver 4 years ago

        Boston thought that Lackey would rebound some and he has been “some” better in the 2nd half and they were pretty sure that Millwood would get ripped to shreds as do most junk ballers do in the AL. Even if they DID want a pitcher of that ilk.. They currently have Brandon Duckworth at Pawtucket who throws the exact same garbage and had a upper “3’s” even throws a tad harder with a sinker/slider mix..Exactly like Millwood if they were totally desperate for a garbage thrower.

        IMO..The WORST mistake they made was holding onto to Millwood as long as they did, cause he was a “blocker” for a REAL prospect at AA in Alex Wilson that might have helped right now. Young Wilson was called up right after they canned millwood and continued his domination of AAA, exactly as he was dominating AA this season and he throws 93-95 with 2 other good pitches to boot.

        Had wilson gotten more starts at Pawtucket.. Then possibly they would have had a starter about now.

        With regards to the post below on Hall. my point was that many of his HR were in garbage time situations, same with his RBI. he ad a horrendous K rate as well, plus was awful with the glove at every position. If a team has a utility guy, u want someone that at least can play a position, not stick a Julio Lugo hands type at every position.. Think Willie Bloomquist utility is who I always think of for utility and now they have 2 which is great in Aviles and Lowrie.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        he was doing about that badly in AAA for boston, so there was plenty of reason to believe he could be worse than their other options

        • johnsilver 4 years ago

          Exactly. And it has gotten ohhh sooo tiring to see all the rubbish on how Millwood would help out the Sox right now with how pathetic he pitched at Pawtucket, in the International league which is known as a fairly decent pitcher’s league anyway and he couldn’t even get people out.

          Duckworth was even putting him to shame, as was his team mate Fox, yet another retread.

        • johnsilver 4 years ago

          Exactly. And it has gotten ohhh sooo tiring to see all the rubbish on how Millwood would help out the Sox right now with how pathetic he pitched at Pawtucket, in the International league which is known as a fairly decent pitcher’s league anyway and he couldn’t even get people out.

          Duckworth was even putting him to shame, as was his team mate Fox, yet another retread.

    • Although I agree with most of this, I’m not sure you’re giving Hall enough credit. He really wasn’t that bad, and did provide some offense

  3. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    thanks i guess, but shut up and play carl or there will no playoffs to be “your real self” in

    • Unless if the sox massively implode at this point, they will be snagging the wild card spot. So he will have a shot to return to his real self,  but my question is: Is it a long shot? I don’t think that he could meltdown, but anything is possible in postseason play. Or as they say on TV: You can never ever script October.

      • dc21892 4 years ago

        They are and still are massively imploding. Did you not see what happened this weekend when they lost 3 of 4 against Tampa who is RIGHT behind them in the wild card? It’s not looking good right now.

      • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

        Have you been watching them play recently…? If they’re not massively imploding right now, I’d hate to see what you’d consider massively imploding.

        • johnsilver 4 years ago

          Imploding is what they did from 71-74.. They blew huge leads every single season, then would do it again in 77-78 with the Yanks. Those also were due to weak SP and this time it is from a “weak/injured” staff.. Funny how it seems to be a deja vu thing here.

          Edit:

          Don Zimmer and his total ineptitude did not help any in 77-78. THAT was a manager without a clue and almost think Francona is taking lessons from him by wearing out his BP, much like Zimmer did Bill “Soupy” Campbell.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          i would call this a medium implosion and the problem is pretty limited in scope: virtually no starting pitching (something like 2 quality starts in all of september)

          fortunately, that’s not a playoff problem. beckett-lester-bedard with the boston offense and aceves-bard-papelbon can hold their own against anybody. everybody else just has to patch enough crap together in the meantime to get there. emphasis on crap

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Yeah. Now just hope yet another mysterious injury does not befall bedard and all those innings piling up on Aces and Bard.. It’s like WOW.. Aceves has already thrown over 100 IP, Bard’s velocity is down to 95 tops.. The BP is showing waer and tear and Albers has shown nothing since June, Morales cannot be trusted, Wheeler either really.

            Just an awful lot of cracks unless both Lester and becket can go 8IP in the 1st 2 games, a very tall order considering lester also is showing signs of being tired (or another problem) since the tail end of july.

            I really hate to sound like a pessimist here, but there are a lot of cracks forming that were really not there and not counting Bucholz, who they had covered fairly well before things went like this a bit.

            Francona really needs to start using his talent an awful lot better and stop playing favorites as he normally does, or else the people in Boston are going to forget those 2 titles really quick.

            Call me a pessimist (again) but have seen this many times before. Not that francona is the lousy manager that Zimmer, even darrell johnson was, but if he ain’t careful he’s gonna blow it really fast.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            they’ve been babying bedard for the past few weeks mostly so that they won’t have to in the postseason

            don’t know where you’re getting you’re numbers from bard, who was sitting at 97 his last outing. aceves innings total is high, but that’s mostly a concern for next year – and for his career, unfortunately. he hasn’t shown any signs of tiring, throwing three full (very good) innings today

            my biggest concern believe it or not is gonzalez’s shoulder, which he has admitted is weak right now. with youkilis gone and crawford confused, the top 3 or 4 guys will have to carry the load in the postseason. i know he’s still an awesome .400 OBP force with a weak shoulder, but we could really use some power from him

            the postseason is really just about who gets hot. lester beckett and bedard are fully capable of crapping the bed in the first round and that’s all and that’s it. but they’re also more than capable of coming up big and taking a lot of pressure off of what is still a very strong offense. those odds are close to the most you can ask for in the playoffs. unless you’re philly

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Bard has not been 97+ in all of his games maybe I should have said. he has been 95 tops in some.. Such as vs NY.

            Hear you loud and clear with Agone, same with Petey having hot and cold spells the entire month, CC having troubles.. Does it not sound as if the team is being carried by Big Papi yet again? Can he do it even?

            The team really really needs to work on lester and getting his early game issues worked out, but not sure exactly what Young can do. Almost makes one wish John Farrell was back in this case just for this one thing.

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Bard has not been 97+ in all of his games maybe I should have said. he has been 95 tops in some.. Such as vs NY.

            Hear you loud and clear with Agone, same with Petey having hot and cold spells the entire month, CC having troubles.. Does it not sound as if the team is being carried by Big Papi yet again? Can he do it even?

            The team really really needs to work on lester and getting his early game issues worked out, but not sure exactly what Young can do. Almost makes one wish John Farrell was back in this case just for this one thing.

          • Vmmercan 4 years ago

            Bedard has done absolutely nothing to demonstrate he can be anything above average in the playoffs. 

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            despite disagreeing with you.. i will tell you that an average pitcher + an elite offense is usually a ticket for success.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            unlike ivan nova, for example? or colon or garcia for that matter, unless you want to make some hilarious argument based on their 2005 performances

            back in reality, every single one of those pitchers have demonstrated their ability to pitch effectively, which is what they’ll need to do in the postseason. despite your superstition, it’s still just baseball they play in the playoffs

            in bedard’s case, his last 6 seasons (~800 innings) are all of a ~3.50 ERA, ~3.50 FIP, ~3.50 SIERA quality. he’s too much of a creampuff to be an ace and i wouldn’t even be too excited about him as a #2. but he’s a formidable #3 against anyone except philly

          • Vmmercan 4 years ago

            Who mentioned the Yankees’ pitching staff? Did I? I don’t remember seeing that. You just automatically took offense like a hormonal girl because you think it’s a personal attack that nobody fears Eric Bedard and his ability to be precisely mediocre since joining the Red Sox. I don’t care what he did in Seattle, or what he did four years ago, I care what he’s done when it matters, now. 

            Nova, Garcia and Colon probably aren’t scaring anyone, but Nova has been healthy and effective all season long and the Yankees have a superior bullpen. A vastly superior and deeper bullpen than the Sox. They’re also not completely free-falling because they’ve had two quality starts as a staff this month. They’re pitching hasn’t been great and they’re finding other ways to win.

            Straight up rotations? Both have issues. Lester and CC haven’t been dominant of late, Beckett has been in decline since a stellar first half and is coming off his ankle injury, Garcia has been awful this month, Colon has been inconsistent, Burnett is an embarrassment to the human race along with Lackey. Nobody brought the Yankees into this except you.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            to repeat myself, all three of those yankee pitchers and bedard have demonstrated an ability to pitch effectively. do you follow me? it’s not a criticism of the yankee pitchers, but a compliment

            the funny thing here is that you, reacting defensively, accused me of
            reacting defensively. so meta

            i brought the yankees up because i remember you being a fan (am i wrong about that?) and i assumed you wouldn’t say you had no reason to think three of their four playoff pitchers had done “absolutely nothing to demonstrate they could be above average in the playoffs”. because like bedard, they have!

            Eric Bedard and his ability to be precisely mediocre since joining the Red Sox

            nope! bedard with boston: 3.66 ERA 3.05 FIP 3.42 SIERA

            if that sounds familiar, it’s because those are the career numbers i just quoted to you above, the ones you don’t care about. you understand those are far from mediocre, don’t you?

            but let’s go ahead and assume he’s gonna be mediocre from now on, just for argument’s sake. he’s a #3 with a great offense and a strong bullpen; he doesn’t have to be a whole lot better. he matches him up with scherzer in detroit (whose numbers are significantly worse), colon or nova in new york (whose numbers are similar, a little worse), and hamels in philly (gulp)

            so, like i said originally: beckett-lester-bedard with the boston offense and aceves bard-papelbon can hold their own against anybody (except maybe philly). but they gotta get there first. go yankees!

          • Vmmercan 4 years ago

            You are correct.

            But no, I would not consider Freddy/Colon/Nova guys I’m leaning on in the playoffs. Nova, but the Yankees have adapted to adjust to their starter shortcomings and thus far to varying degrees all three of those guys have demonstrated they can keep their team in the game. 

            Bedard hasn’t lasted longer than six innings in two months and he has yet to best a 6IP, 3ER performance against a good lineup (granted, tremendously small sample size). Anyway, for a three starter he’s OK assuming the 1 and 2 are 1 and 2, but he’s still not something other than a pitcher who could keep his team in the game, which was my original point you disagreed with. 

            Sox SHOULD have a solid back end of the bullpen, but even when it’s not struggling horrible like it is right now, it’s still not deep. It has three guys you trust tops, Yankees have a major advantage there. At this point, NY can tab Rivera, Robertson, Soriano, Wade, and Logan in high leverage situations. Not to mention my assumption Hughes will be back there in the postseason (nothing the Sox send back there except Buchholz if he comes back healthy will be anything impressive in October).

            I guess my opinion is, saying you have 2.5 good pitchers for the playoffs to go with a thin but reliant back of the bullpen is not something I’d rally my cap around. 

            Effectively we disagreed on a double assumption. It happens. 

            Out of curiosity, of all the offenses in October (including the Tigers one you would face in the first round and the Yankees/Rangers ones you would face in the second round, why does Phillies’ offense scare you?

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            oh, no – the phillies lineup doesn’t worry me. it’s the prospect of 4-7 games against an ace that sucks, particularly when half of them would be without a DH

            in the end, though, that’ll be a nice problem to have. boston isn’t a world series team right now

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        i’m the furthest thing from a small-sample alarmist, but there is no “if they implode” at this point; it is merely a question of degree

        as we saw when the year began, they can end up being the hottest team in baseball within a week or two and none of it will matter. but right now there are definitely a few things to be concerned about

  4. EdinsonPickle 4 years ago

    Future Hall-of-Famer? That’s debatable. I think Mo needs AT LEAST 603 saves before he can even be considered for the Hall of Fame.

  5. dc21892 4 years ago

    Congrats to Mo. Sure the Lackey signing hasn’t been good so far but look on the bright side guys, we have 3 more years of him! All joking aside, him and Crawford just don’t seem like they have adjusted to Boston yet. Once and if that happens, maybe their play will speak for itself as it once did.

  6. Wait, Red Sox Nation is on the verge of mass hysteria?  Would have never guessed.

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

      Always

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      you are basically encouraging all the worst things about red sox fans when you refer to them as ‘red sox nation’. man do i hate that crap

  7. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    Red Sox Nation is the most dramatic and bi-polar fanbase in sports. They claim to be the best team ever when they win a game 10-2 and then when they lose 4-0 the next day, half of them are ready to jump ship. It’s crazy.

  8. Rabbitov 4 years ago

    This is pretty much the first time in 15 years us Orioles fans have had something to root for in September. 

    • MB923 4 years ago

      And I think it will be the first time EVER that Red Sox fans will be rooting for the Yankees in 7 of the final 10 games

    • MB923 4 years ago

      And I think it will be the first time EVER that Red Sox fans will be rooting for the Yankees in 7 of the final 10 games

  9. Bled Orange 4 years ago

    Is it just me or does the boston red sox have a miami heat feel to them. I feel like they bought up all the best talent in the offseason and hoped they could buy the trophy.

    I do believe this team as it is currently made up can and probably will win some championships but…….

    I would love to see them fall short this year

    • Dynasty22 4 years ago

      If you feel that, blame ESPN for suggesting this would be the greatest offense of all time.

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