Quick Hits: Epstein, Ozzie, Beltran

Links for Tuesday, as the Red Sox and Braves try to fend off several wild card challengers…

  • Red Sox GM Theo Epstein failed to accumulate the necessary pitching depth, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Epstein has become a popular target this month, but the criticism holds more water for me if the author was pointing out the team's depth issues before the season or in July.  Morosi, to his credit, questioned Boston's rotation in April.
  • On a similar note, the John Lackey contract looks ugly right now.  But it wasn't regarded that way when Lackey signed in December of 2009.  In fact, ESPN's Jayson Stark did a poll of "20 wise baseball men" prior to the 2010 season, and Lackey's contract was voted the best signing of the offseason (right before Chone Figgins).  
  • White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen hopes to learn about his future before leaving for a trip to Spain in early October, he told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.  Guillen has a year left on his contract, so the White Sox don't necessarily have to follow that timeline.
  • Scott Boras will have lunch with the GiantsCarlos Beltran today to determine the right fielder's free agency goals, he told the Associated Press yesterday at the Moneyball premiere.
  • ESPN's Buster Olney tells stories of how Padres GM Randy Smith came to acquire Trevor Hoffman from the Marlins, and how the Yankees considered trading Mariano Rivera before they realized what they had.

85 Responses to Quick Hits: Epstein, Ozzie, Beltran Leave a Reply

  1. MadmanTX 4 years ago

    My money is on Boras making Beltran pick up the tab for lunch…

    • Nah, Boras will pick up the check, but when he goes to write it off he’ll say that $200 lunch was really worth $400.

      • vtadave 4 years ago

        Yeah because he’s going to risk getting busted by the IRS over pocket change.  :-)

        • captainjeter 4 years ago

          haven’t  you heard that the rich don’t  pay their fair  share?

  2. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    “but the criticism holds more water for me if the author was pointing out the team’s depth issues before the season or in July”

    Right on Tim.  Funny how all these people had the Red Sox 100 game winners and winning the east easily when they looked at the TEAM THEO BUILT before the season.  Now that they look at the results, everyone is saying he has done a poor job.  The Red Sox are still one of the best teams in baseball and it is absurd all the crap Theo is taking.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      there was one guy talking about the lack of pitching depth being a concern before the season, but his comments were sort of ignored since boston had 8 starters at the time and other teams seemed to be in greater need:

      I think there are a lot of things that can go wrong. We don’t have as
      much depth in certain areas as we’d like. You always try to plan for
      not just the 25-man roster, but you ask yourself, “What happens if this
      guy gets hurt? What if this combination of injuries occurs?” Obviously
      last year, we couldn’t withstand what we went through. Starting pitching
      depth after our top five guys, we have [Tim] Wakefield, who can start for us.

      We have [Felix] Doubront, who may be in a position to start some games for us. And we have [Alfredo] Aceves, who may be able to start some for us.
      But we don’t have a lot of young starting pitching in the upper
      minors ready to step in. I listed eight guys. The average big league
      team goes through 10 or 11 starters over the course of the season, so I
      don’t know where those starts are going to come from.

      – Theo Epstein, February 2011

      link to mlbtraderumors.com

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        ^and that doesn’t mean he’s exempt from criticism, of course. it just means he knew where his failures were even back when the today’s critics were washing his balls before the season

        it was and is a question of risk managment: how much do you give up to hedge your bets, how much insurance coverage do you need? you can’t know in advance, so you balance present risk (from injuries etc.) with future risk (of trading away future assets now to get that insurance)

        haters understand this concept perfectly well when e.g. brian cashman makes no moves at the deadline (or before the season even), opting instead to depend on the arms of garcia and colon. that’s risk management just the same – maybe even taking on more risk. it’s working out really well in new york and things are not so smooth in boston, but there’s only so much you can do in advance. injuries happen

        • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

          But isn’t knowing yet not acting an even worse crime? Cashman was the butt of all jokes in the off season, but stock piling low cost veteran arms in hopes one works out should have been what Theo did also. Besides Millwood, I can’t think of any other SP they signed. (I haven’t checked though)

          Edit: Aceves is considered a starter, so he counts too, I guess.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “knowing” here doesn’t mean “knowing this is likely to turn out badly”, it means knowing where the weakness is and what could go wrong. obviously if it was as easy as “signing low cost veteran arms”, he would have done that right?

            but which low-cost veteran arms are you suggesting he should have signed? and where are you suggesting he could have played them? he had 5 starters – lester, beckett, buchholz, all untouchable – and then lackey and matsuzaka making 15 and 10 million respectively. then he has wakefield, aceves, miller, and felix dobrount in the wings. that’s 9 starters already

            wakefield and aceves could be kept in the bullpen, miller and dobrount in the minors (although even that meant risking losing miller to an opt-out). but where are you going to stash these theoretical veteran arm insurance policies he should have signed?

            it’s easy to say “sign veteran arms” – and it sounds good in retrospect – but the arms you’re talking about didn’t want to play in pawtucket all year. see millwood, who theo did sign and who then left after awhile because there was no place for him

            again, it’s just risk management. he could have traded prospects for a big name too, theoretically. but there was no place for it, and no good reason to waste those future resources just in case matsuzaka blows out his arm and buchholz is out for the season. those are low-likelihood scenarios. you can’t be trading for ubaldo just in case

            and even at the trade deadline, who was he supposed to get? bedard was just about the best thing available. there was a lot of squawking about harden four starts after the deadline passed, but nobody has said a word as harden has fallen apart since then

            taking calculated risks is what it’s all about. there’s a big difference between a bad outcome and bad decision. i think it’s really hard to argue he goofed something big in 2011. maybe you can go back to the lackey signing and make the argument, but i don’t think you can go back to april when everybody except epstein thought the team was in top form

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            I don’t see how Pawtucket is THAT much worse than Scranton Wilkes Barre. All these veteran arms were okay playing there, so why not for Boston? gaudin, prior, colon, garcia, millwood, silva, mitre #justsayin

            Obviously you can’t replace someone from the current roster, but just plan ahead for injuries, etc. It’s the same thing that happened that year when Wang and everybody else went down for the Yanks that one year.

            This is a great quote by Theo that sums up my point:

            I listed eight guys. The average big league
            team goes through 10 or 11 starters over the course of the season, so I
            don’t know where those starts are going to come from.

            He’s basically admitting there is a lack of backups available, yet does little to handle the problem. Admitting is only step one, right?

            So we handled who he could have signed, and where he could have stashed them. Yeah, they’re not flashy names, we know that, but they’re just insurance in case someone doesn’t perform to their potential. Again, 11 instead of 8.

            No problem with the trade deadline. Bedard was a solid pick up. My qualms are with the start/middle of the season more so than the end.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “All these veteran arms were okay playing there, so why not for Boston?
            gaudin, prior, colon, garcia, millwood, silva, mitre #justsayin”

            bending the facts a bit here aren’t you?

            garcia and colon pitched 4 minor league innings. they signed in new york because new york had open spots in the rotation. this isn’t debatable

            how many did millwood pitch in the minors before he left? 16 (3 starts). and boston signed him anyway – he left boston too

            sergio mitre was acquired by the yankees, not signed. not an option

            chad gaunin and mark prior haven’t done anything anywhere this year – prior’s even been pitching as a reliever. i’ll concede they were theoretical options, but are you saying if theo had signed those two, he wouldn’t deserve criticism? but because he didn’t he does? that would be amazing

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            bending the facts a bit here aren’t you?

            Am I?

            Everybody except Red Sox nation knew Dice-K was on a short leash, that was one [potentially] open spot. Yankees rotation had CC, AJ, Hughes and Nova locked up 1-4. One spot remaining. Who ever did not crack the rotation would go to the bullpen between Colon and Garcia. Or the minors to stay stretched out. Yes, the fact is that Colon and Garcia barely pitched in the minors, however don’t discredit that they knew there was a big chance they would spend time in the minors until needed as a starter. Remember, the bullpen was a strength, those guys were not a necessity in a relief role.

            Millwood, they signed. That’s fine.

            Mitre was acquired by the Yankees, correct, but why does that mean Boston could not have acquired him?

            Yes Gaudin and Prior haven’t done anything. Neither have Duscherer, Bonderman, Davis, Maine, etc etc. I’m not arguing the result. I’m arguing the process.

            If you know your team has a weakness, do what you can to rectify it. If you have 8 SP, when you should have 11, get more pitchers. They were clearly available, and willing to take minor league deals. So…?

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            Everybody except Red Sox nation knew Dice-K was on a short leash, that was one [potentially] open spot.

            how does that constitute an open spot? he’s on the active roster, not gonna get taken off. not an injury concern, just a $10M tends-to-suck concern

            Mitre was acquired by the Yankees, correct, but why does that mean Boston could not have acquired him?

            oh, it doesn’t. but we were talking about guys he should have signed, and then you added in mitre. if you’re saying he should have traded for sergio mitre…alrighty.

            “If you know your team has a weakness, do what you can to rectify it. If
            you have 8 SP, when you should have 11, get more pitchers. They were
            clearly available, and willing to take minor league deals. So…?”

            see the comment below about the minors. there’s a reason nobody fills their AAA club with washed up veteran insurance policies. competing priorities

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “Again, 11
            instead of 8.”

            so who are we bumping then from the AAA rotation to give spots to prior and gaudin? i mean these aren’t imaginary factors; they’re as real and as significant as it gets

            it sounds to me like the two mistakes he made boil down to those two arms in your view. even if we ignore the fact that those two arms didn’t do anything for anyone all year, and even if we ignore the fact that they may have left like millwood if they’d been able to pitch effectively anyway, where would he have put them in the meantime? bump dobrount? bump weiland? bump duckworth, who pitched better than those two?

            i dunno dude. i see your point, but i just can’t see coming down on him very hard at all for not signing mark prior and chad gaudin just because clay buccholz and daisuke suffered season-enders

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            You’re fixating on Prior and Gaudin because they’re failures. My point is that he should have signed someone – anyone – to make sure they have enough of a safety net if someone in the rotation goes down or doesn’t perform to their potential.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            i’m fixating on those two because they’re the only two viable options on the list you came up with. since then you’ve mentioned bonderman, davis, and maine

            i’m wondering how you would have worked that out that theo didn’t. who would you have bumped from AAA? who would you have bumped from the 40-man roster when push came to shove?

            it’s very easy to just say “well, if they had signed this guy, then they’d have this guy”. but the time for that decision was many months ago when the rotation was full, the bullpen had two starters crammed into it, and there were two extras taking rotation spots in AAA. adding more meant taking innings from prospects and potentially losing players off an already cramped 40 man

            it hasn’t worked out, clearly. theo does not get an A. but given that he identified the very weakness he’s being criticized for, it’s reasonable to think that if it were as simple to solve as you’re making it seem he would have just solved it. he wasn’t being frugal or cavalier, there are real roster issues at work when you’re running an entire organization from the front office instead of the backseat

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            True, but you’re basically saying that while he knew the lack of pitching depth was an issue, he did not think it was a priority to address it. Hence other more important factors kept him from addressing it. Yes?

            I’m saying there was a lack of due diligence, or effort, or shrewdness that he did not go after starting pitchers knowing that he did not have enough starters.

            I’ll post it again. I listed eight guys. The average big league
            team goes through 10 or 11 starters over the course of the season, so I
            don’t know where those starts are going to come from.

            5 starters, wake, dubront, and ace. That makes 8. Not 11, as in the number he himself he would want going into the season. Yet nothing was done. Except Millwood. I’m certain you could have signed league minimum guys to stash in the minor leagues until necessary, or cut them if you don’t need them. THAT, in essence, is my entire argument. He did nothing, knowing there was a problem.

            Well, he did sign Crawford and AGon… but they can’t pitch.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “he knew the lack of pitching depth was an issue, he did not think it was
            a priority to address it. Hence other more important factors kept him
            from addressing it. Yes?”

            yes exactly. it was a theoretical issue given the way things tend to unfold. that doesn’t mean it was a season-threatening issue in his mind – or that it should have been. again, when he says “11 starters over the course of the season”, he doesn’t mean “2 of your top 4 will be lost for the year.” that’s not what you prepare for

            anyway i think we understand each other’s positions here by now. there’s plenty of things to criticize epstein for in the last couple seasons, but because of the roster issues and other reasons i’ve described, pitching depth in 2011 isn’t one of those things

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            I disagree, obviously, but yeah, we get each other.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            “True, but you’re basically saying that while he knew the lack of pitching depth was an issue, he did not think it was a priority to address it.”

            How exactly do you get that from his statement. It seems to be a pretty clear cut case of “he saw it as a POTENTIAL issue, but didn’t have the means to do anything about it.”

            We had plenty of “warm bodies” going into the season, which you’re stating he failed to have. What we needed was guys who could come in and pitch reliably, which was simply not out there, heck I’m pretty sure you made note of that back when other people were calling for Cashman’s head early on over relying on Colon and Garcia for his rotation.

            Our pitching depth went to the tune of Lester, Buchholz, Beckett, Lackey, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, Aceves, Doubront, Atchison, Weiland. That’s ten and there were no indications that Colon, Garcia, Prior, Gaudin, Millwood or any of the other guys sitting on the trash heap would’ve been any better of a bet than those options. Unfortunately, we lost Buchholz for half the year, Matsuzaka for the whole thing, Lackey for a good chunk to injury and underperformance, Wakefield fell apart as he tends to do after a while, Doubront battled injuries all year and Aceves was pretty much necessary for the bullpen to not collapse (Though we’re at the point with rosters expanded that Francona probably should’ve started using him to start weeks ago and using a comparatively fresh Atchison as the swing man).

            Last year was a bust due to losing about half of our position player lineup. This year, the injuries to our pitching have been pretty excessive. Hopefully Bedard shook off some rust last night, because if he can get going and the Yankees continue to slap the Rays around, we could have a good shot at starting fresh for the playoffs. We’re not in an enviable position right now, but if the Sox can win each of Beckett and Lester’s remaining starts and the Rays and Yankees split their remaining games, we should be okay.

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            I don’t know why you and srs think Theo is infallible. He dropped the ball. It’s ok. It happens. He’s done a lot of good things, this just wasn’t one of them. But if you must defend even his failures like he’s the second coming of Jesus, then I cannot talk objectively with you two.

            Bottom line is, going into this season with Beckett’s back, Lackey’s underperformance last year, Buch’s injury stint, Ace’s huge back injury that made him miss 2010, Dice-K being Dice-K, etc etc. I mean the only one reliable is Lester, so obviously you should plan for this and get a few good men JUST IN CASE something happens, which it was sure to.

            It’s not about warm bodies. Do you really want to throw your underdeveloped prospects into the AL East race prematurely to mess with their confidence and psyche? He should have done something about it, and didn’t.

            But hey, if you think Theo did everything right, and can do no wrong, then by all means, pass the koolaid.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “I don’t know why you and srs think Theo is infallible.”

            that’s pretty lame dude

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            You guys are acting like Theo did the right thing by not adding anyone, despite knowing that rotation would not hold up, and knowing reserves were not fully there.

            Spin it any way you want. Risk management. Prospects. Blahblahblah. End of the day, he dropped the ball.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            ^TL:DR – he had nowhere to put any backup arms and no reason to trade
            prospects for a name starter when his rotation was already full. thems
            the breaks

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            “Cashman was the butt of all jokes in the off season, but stock piling low cost veteran arms in hopes one works out should have been what Theo did also.”

            This is a huge example of revisionist history.

            Cashman signed Colon, Millwood and Garcia to battle it out for the fourth and fifth spot with Nova, NOT as rotational depth in case of injury and serve as a stopgap until a trade could be made (One that never materialized). The reason Cashman was the butt of multiple jokes was because his five man was a HUGE question mark, not because his 6-11 was up in the air (Which it very much was). In fact, not only was his depth even more of a question than Boston’s going into the season, reports are that Colon and his agent never divulged the stem cell situation to Cashman going into his contract, meaning he was going in without knowing the extent of Colon’s potential.

            He went in with A.J. Burnett as his third starter, who was just as much of a question mark as you state Matsuzaka was (Even more extensive injury history and coming off of an absolutely awful season).

            Cashman was the beneficiary of some EXTREMELY good luck this year in terms of his rotation’s health and performance considering the probabilities. If Colon and Garcia performed to expectation, they’d be in fourth place right now (And that’s accounting for the fact one would have to assume Hughes living up to HIS expectations).

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            Sorry but… where exactly is the revisionist history in what I said?

            To respond to your post, both teams had question marks. One took action, while the other didn’t. That’s basically the most simplest way to put it.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            I think you missed the point of my post. Even AFTER signing every single also-ran pitcher he could track down, the Yankees still went into the season with less pitching depth than the Red Sox. Cashman just got extraordinarily lucky that Colon and Garcia both pitched waaaaay above expectations and maintained relatively good health, something absolutely nobody expected and I know you’re too smart to believe that Cashman expected anything more than some spot starting out of those two until he found a better option.

            To imply that Cashman did something that Epstein didn’t is ludicrous and a case of revisionist history. Epstein had question marks for his 6-11 starters, Cashman had question marks for his 4-11 starters, one got extremely good luck (Colon and Garcia both panning out, though he had the misfortune of Hughes having a lost season), the other extremely bad (Buchholz missing half the season and Lackey’s season being a complete bust).

            (And before anyone calls me on Lackey being a complete bust, anyone who watched his peripherals in the second year knows he was at the least capable of being a solid workhorse, this year he’s been nothing short of terribad, big difference)

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            So, according to you, revisionist history is me saying Cashman did something that Theo didn’t?

            Even when I said the same thing at the start of the season? That Cashman did the right thing by stockpiling arms? How is that revisionist?

            I don’t really care how Colon and Garcia turned out. It’s not about that. It’s about doing your work on the front end, regardless of how it turns out. Even if Garcia and Colon did their best Gaudin and Mitre impression, still would be good moves because of the process, because Cashman at least did something to rectify his team’s shortcomings.

            I forget that year when Theo signed Colon, Penny, Smoltz… same concept. Insurance.

            Seriously guys, it isn’t brain surgery. I don’t know what the hell you’re not getting.

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          I think Cashman did just that during the season it just wasn’t with high end guys.

          Starters on the 25 man on opening day: CC, AJ, Hughes, Nova, Garcia and Colon.

          In the minors AAA: Noesi, Phelps, Mitchell, Warren and at times Banuelos, Milwood and the guy from the Cubs/Marlins who I can’t remember.

          Certainly he took a huge shot depending on Garcia, Colon and Nova to produce though. I think he thought there would be more on the market this summer than there was and the price for Jiminez was too high.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            exactly right. the price was “too high” given a level risk he’s willing to take on. if colon’s arm had fallen off, the price would have seemed more reasonable. he obviously had the pieces to trade for e.g. jimenez and wouldn’t have been criticized for doing so given the rotation, but it’s risk management: assume greater risk in the present in order to preserve those future assets and hedge risk in the future

            it’s a very similar decision working out in a very different way

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            I’m not sure where the risk management comes into play. I don’t think anyone is suggesting giving up the farm for top end talent when you already have 5 viable starters. You already did that for AGon, and that was totally worth it. The case is more with LOW RISK players to bring in as backups in case those starters don’t work out, those that cost close to nothing (relatively speaking).

            You keep bringing up risk management like everyone is disagreeing with you when it is the total opposite.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            the players you’re talking about have to be kept somewhere. you have to give them innings that would otherwise go to prospects and you have to lose someone from your 40 man in order to promote them. it’s not a video game; you can’t just sign a bunch of cast-offs without consequence. as obsessions noted, cashman didn’t do that either. there’s a reason and it’s the same one epstein would give you. he didn’t identify the weakness and then go “oh well who cares lol”

            how much risk you take is a function of how much you spend to limit it. but the value of each extra washup signed & stashed is marginal once you get over, say, 9 starters. you’re still paying the same price (not talking about salary here), but you’re getting a diminishing and still theoretical return

            and as it turns out, there’s nothing to suggest any of the guys you named could have pitched effectively anyway. and i very much doubt the critics would be any quieter if boston had 2 extra useless starters. but hey, maybe

            2011 is a bad break on a decent bet. and it could still turn out a hell of a lot better than that. go yankees =

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            So adding 2 pitchers is going to throw off your entire farm? AAA, AA, and single A? You’re really reaching here, bro. If Theo signed a few veteran arms for the minors, it would not throw the whole farm off balance like you’re suggesting. Prospects would still be on a very similar track as they are now. You’re obviously not going to sacrifice top talent in the minor leagues, but there are ways to hold on to arms. It’s been done before and it will be done again. nbd

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “So adding 2 pitchers is going to throw off your entire farm? AAA, AA, and single A?”

            …yes? i mean you’re using a term as vague as “throw off” to seem reasonable, but absolutely if you boot two prospects from your AAA rotation, the impact of that is felt all the way down. how could it not be?

            dunno why this is throwing you off when it is exactly what happened this year both in boston and new york and practically every other organization with less starting pitching depth than BOS. AAA rotations are not filled with wash-ups just in case. you keep a couple around, as boston did

            obviously you would take on even less risk (whee!) if you signed even more backups after the 2 you’re talking about, but you don’t dedicate your entire AAA club to has beens just in case. it’s almost never going to be worth it. competing priorities is the name of the game

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            See, that would make sense if Theo did not already admit that they don’t have enough pitchers ready to support the big leagues. Again. 8. 11.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            you are stretching that comment so thin. what do you think he’d say about that quote now? seriously. you think his explanation would be “well, i stopped caring”? “well, it never occurred to me to send milwaukee 5 dollars for sergio mitre”?

            i actually really want to know what you think his rationale would be, since you don’t accept the idea that he determined it was a risk worth taking. the quote was from february. he had time left to sign whatever awful pitchers you say he should have signed. did he just forget?

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            I’m repeating it because it is the crux of my argument. If those numbers are not there, I’m on your side. But different situations call for different actions. And I honestly think he just miscalculated. Or got beat to the punch by other GMs. Or decided it was not worth it, when it clearly should have been.

            As for what he would say now… I’d be very curious to hear it.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            I don’t really think that the number of starting pitchers is/was the issue anyway (they currently have 8 starting pitchers on their roster) it’s that none of the pitchers they have tried have been effective for them.  And it doesn’t help that they keep running Wakefield out there every 5 days.  Adding more guys to the mix may have allowed them to find someone effective, but I don’t think it would have been worth giving up prospects (even fringy ones) or roster space for a guy(s) who may or may not have been slightly more effective, assuming they even got the chance.  Doubront showed potential last year in a short stint and hasn’t been given a chance to see if he could be effective in the rotation, so I don’t know why someone else would have got the chance.

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            I am with you on not giving up prospects for anybody. It isn’t worth it. I’m just saying if I saw this rotation not holding up, why couldn’t the guy in charge (who is a lot smarter than me)?

            But these guys refuse to believe Theo can make a mistake and will defend him to the death.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            “I’m repeating it because it is the crux of my argument.”

            The problem is that said crux is a very weak thing to keep leaning on.

            Two guys go to 7-11 to pick up some lottery tickets. One of the buys eight, one of them buys eleven. The odds are in favor of the guy buying eleven, but he’s still in the same position when his lottery tickets turn up nothing. Additionally, those three extra lottery tickets took up resources he could’ve better used elsewhere.

            Eleven guys in your rotational depth chart isn’t going to save you from your second or third best starter missing half the season and the back two guys performing like garbage. The reason those six guys were behind your terribad fourth and fifth is because they’re not likely to outperform your fourth and fifth. If your argument is based entirely around the simple difference of the number eight versus the number eleven, we can resolve this debate by simply pointing out that the Sox would’ve been just as well up calling on three guys from AA as they would’ve with what was available out there from a standpoint of expectation. In fact, watch me go:

            Wakefield, Aceves, Atchison, Doubront, Weiland, Wilson. Bam, look at that! A six through eleven that we had on staff going into the season! Now, tell me with a straight face that there was a single starting pitcher available going into the season that was odds on likely to outperform any of them.

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            horrible example. you took quality of tickets right out of the equation. Still waiting on the revisionist history part. Or are you going to revise history and say you never said or meant that now? Ironic, huh?

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            Quality of tickets is irrelevant when accounting for my last sentence. NOBODY expected Colon and Garcia to perform well, not even Cashman (It’s on record that he was unaware of Colon’s stem cell procedure). What I’m saying is is that all that was available last offseason was guys that are basically warm bodies. We have a farm system full of warm bodies that, under normal expectations, were odds on likely to perform as well or better than Colon. In short, the lottery tickets were all of the same value.

            In regards to the revisionist history, you’re repeatedly implying that Cashman did something while Epstein dropped the ball when that is not even remotely close to what actually happened. Cashman went into the season with a rotational depth chart that looked like it might work out, on paper, if it were still 2004 (Epstein had question marks at 9-11? Well Cashman had question marks from 4-11). Essentially, you’re acting as if Cashman drastically outmanuevered Epstein when, in fact, he basically benefited from a huge amount of luck.

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            You keep mentioning performance of Colon and others like it has any semblance to the argument. I’m talking about the thought process, not the results. If Colon failed miserably, I would still give Cashman credit because he at least recognized a problem, and tried to fix it. Theo only did the first half.

            Cashman needed to fill x amount of slots. Epstien needed to fill y amount of slots. Cashman filled x amount of slots. Epstien did not fill y amount of slots.

            I honestly don’t know how to present it any simpler.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            For the love of…

            It’s not a matter of simplicity, it’s a matter of ACCURACY. The simple fact of the matter is that you’re mincing figures.

            Epstein, going into the 2011 Major League Baseball season, had eight starters he felt he could count on. Behind them were a bunch of guys that with questionable depth behind that.

            Cashman, going into the 2011 Major League Baseball season, had four starters he felt he could count on with questionable depth behind that.

            Available on the market was a series of extremely questionable options, guys like Bonderman, Garcia, Colon, Prior, Gaudin, etc. In other words, a bunch of guys who were considered, essentially garbage.

            Epstein felt that, playing the odds, what he had 9-11 wasn’t likely to be outperformed by a bunch of guys who hadn’t pitched quality innings in multiple years.

            Cashman, was still looking to fill out his starting rotation. He wasn’t looking for depth, he wasn’t signing a bunch of “just in case” guys in case his rotation faltered as you’re purporting he did while Epstein didn’t. He was looking for a pair of guys to fill the fourth and fifth spots in his starting rotation, a VERY DIFFERENT beast from getting rotational depth to stash in the minors.

            In other words, your algebra is wrong. There is a third amount of slots seperate from x and y that is equal to what Cashman ACTUALLY filled.

            Cashman needed to fill x amount of slots. Epstein needed to fill y amount of slots. Cashman filled z amount of slots. Epstein did not fill y amount of slots.

            In Cashman’s case, he needed something for slots five through eleven (Whether that involved pushing Nova into the rotation or out is a matter of seperate debate). Cashman filled slots 5-8 with a combination of Colon, Garcia, Prior and Gaudin.

            Now, based on notsure’s quote, I believe that quote may have been from before Aceves signed, meaning 6-8, the Sox had Wakefield, Doubront, Atchison and Weiland. So he had 8 and he acquired 1 bringing him to 9.

            So, we have Epstein actually having come out ahead in terms of filling his empty slots. Epstein needed to fill three slots, he filled one in acquiring Aceves. Cashman needed to fill seven slots and he filled four.

            In short, your math is WAY off. The entire point of your argument is based off of some imaginary algebraic equation which you’re calculating incorrectly to begin with. Now, let’s hop in the wayback machine and see if we can find a single unbiased individual hanging out in early February of 2011 who would rather go into the season with the Sox’s rotational depth versus the Yankees’.

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            It’s kinda like passing on Millwood because you would be taking away innings from Banuelos, Betances, or Brackman.

            Yeah, ideally, you want to develop the kids, but you also need to think about your big league club, especially if you only have 8 viable starters instead of 10 or 11 to begin with. Ya dig?

            PS: Tough position for you guys hahaha Nova’s dealing though!

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            we are officially on the same page, but have very different priorities. it would be like already having millwood and miller and dobrount and then taking innings from banuelos and betances (don’t i wish!) so that gaudin and friggen bonderman could come crap the bed in pawtucket juuuuust in case the first 4 backups didn’t pan out for the, what, 30 innings over the course of the season that they’re typically needed when you have 5 spots filled

            i don’t get it and apparently epstein didn’t either

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            Yes, difference of opinion. I want the AL East Crown for the Yankees, and you want the trophy for Pawtucket.

            If they had enough pitchers in the minors to promote in case of emergency, I’m with you. But… they didn’t. So the prospects you are protecting probably shouldn’t be in AAA anyway, and need more time in AA, which gives you room for Millwood and Gaudin.

            But yeah, different viewpoints. It’s all good.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            there’s no way to know if they had enough in advance; that’s the whoooole point. the average — based on his homework, not yours — is 11. that’s for spot starts, not taking over two spots in the rotation. the yankees have needed 6 this year. most teams haven’t needed more than 7. boston had 8 or 9

            i just read that bedard’s ex-gf served him child support papers before his start tonight. and she had her lawyer do it. her lawyer, the yankee fan – who wore a yankees shirt while serving the papers. awesome

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            hahaaha wow

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            is that for real?

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            yup. sox legal dept asked him to wait another day until after his start, but he insisted it be done right then

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            And then decided to go on Facebook and brag about it while outright admitting he did it for selfish and personal reasons, apparently. I seriously did not believe a word of this until I saw it’s being reported nationally.

            I have to imagine there are a few conflict of interest and privacy laws this guy’s violating and I hope he gets what’s coming to him, the guy’s a grade A you-know-what-bag.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            I’d get big papi to sleep with his wife. That’ll teach him.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            Guy needs to guy talk to Beckett and learn how to channel that kind of thing into decimation.

            Seriously, nothing will ever beat Beckett’s postgame after game 5 of the 2007 ALCS.

      • johnsilver 4 years ago

        Kind of makes one want to see all those “Wake haters” come out of the closet from early in spring training who say they are Sox fans does it not? How many times was he counted on the last few seasons to fill the 5-6 role as a SP?? Not that he has been good at it this year, he has finally really gotten old it seems, but he was kept around with good reason when Epstein did not go out and find that old, injury rehab veteran  that he likes to find every year to give some relief in the rotation as a plug in.

        The one positive thing if the Sox DO have a massive, 70’s style backwards spiral this September, is we will see many of these “fair weather” fans disappear, right after they yackety, yack and cry about the team and how awful they were in September.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          i wouldn’t trade 2004&2007 to get it back, but i definitely miss pre-2003ish fenway and baseball before “red sox nation” and all that crap

          • It’s a shame the red sox loaded up on PED’s and sent the payroll through the roof or you’d still have your precious pre-2003 fenway.

          • Ben_Cherington 4 years ago

            got proof?

    • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

      Actually, all Yankees fans were clamoring that the Red Sox pitching is not that great [also], but it was more in a “I know you are but what am I” kind of way.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        “red sox pitching is not that great” != “the red sox do not have enough starting pitching”

        • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

          debatable, but I’ll let it slide. I’d rather talk issues than linguistics.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            literally impossible to talk issues without paying mind to linguistics

            you’re saying yankees fans were saying the red sox lacked pitching depth? maybe they were, i dunno. i remember a lot of “lackey and matsuzaka suck!!! and buchholz is just lucky!!! and beckett is DONE!!!!” stuff, but not a lot of “you guys should sign mark prior and chad gaudin!”

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            What is amazing to me of all the play off races is how the arms of Colon and Garcia have held up, Hughes came back and held up. The NYY shoulkd be thanking their luckiest of stars with the depth that they had and that counts the minor league level.

            On the other hand (twisted around) The Red Sox depth was at least as deep (if not deeper with people other than Matsuzaka who were not already walking wounded and with solid credentials to rely on. It is indeed baffling how the chips can fall in this grand old game we all enjoy sometimes.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            That’s exactly my point. Very few people seem to want to acknowledge that one of two things happened with the Yankees, either A:

            The Yankees have gotten EXTREMELY lucky in terms of rotation health.


            Brian Cashman was visited by George Carlin in a Phone Booth some time in December telling him it was in his best interest to back off on Lee and sign Garcia and Colon instead. The two then rocked long into the night.

          • acyually they hit the lottery with nova…

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            I think that most Sox fans were looking at the best case scenarios rather than looking at what happened in 2010. 

            Most of us felt that Lackey wasn’t going to be as good as he was prior to 2009. Maybe no one predicted he would be a 6.00 ERA pitcher but I think most of weren’t going to be shocked if he was well north of 4.00. 

            Most of us felt that Dice-K was a wild card at best, which is what he has always been except for one year. No one expected him to miss most of 2011 but he did miss most of 2007 as well.

            Most of us felt that while Buchholz was going to be a great pitcher he just wasn’t 2.33 ERA type of good. No one predicted the injury however.

            Most of us felt Beckett would be decent but nowhere near the Cy Young level pitcher he’s been this year…and THAT, along with a great offense and a solid Lester has been what’s kept the Sox in the thick all year.

            Who knows how the rest of this year will play thru but it’s ironic how the team thought to be the thinnest has managed to endure this year and the Sox are SEEN as vulnerable. But that’s why they play all 162 right? 

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            exactly. i remember a conversation with you about the odds of the rays making a run at taking the yanks’ playoff spot this year. serves me right, dunnit?

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            “I think that most Sox fans were looking at the best case scenarios rather than looking at what happened in 2010. ”

            Many of us tempered some expectations. Best case scenario would’ve, without a hint of exaggeration, been something along the lines of a 110-115 win team. Tempered expectations of Lackey being average, Matsuzaka being mediocre, but healthy-ish and Buchholz having a slight regression but staying on the field still translates to a 95-100 win team. Instead, Lackey was awful, Matsuzaka missed the whole season, Buchholz missed half a season, Crawford has underperformed to an incredible degree.

            “Maybe no one predicted he would be a 6.00 ERA pitcher but I think most of weren’t going to be shocked if he was well north of 4.00″
            Considering the way the offense has performed for most of the year, “well north of 4.00″ would’ve been perfectly fine. Nobody with realistic expectations saw Lackey’s year being as bad as it’s been.

            “he did miss most of 2007 as well.”

            I imagine you’re thinking 2009, he made 32 starts in 2007.

            “Most of us felt that while Buchholz was going to be a great pitcher he just wasn’t 2.33 ERA type of good. No one predicted the injury however.”

            Yeah, we all saw regression coming, but even regression puts him as a solid two or three. Losing him has been a HUGE problem for the team. Not only did he put the rotation in question, losing him also overloaded the bullpen by forcing us to go with a cavalcade of starters who can’t get out of the sixth.

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            No doubt on Bucholz and beckett. Nobody figured Bucholz would have held batters to that sparkling season he did last season, but project what he was doing this season over around 25 or so starts and is what I was figuring on all along, as what probably most other regular folks as well and beckett.. His healthy seasons.. Say 2009 stat wise would have been a blessing you know? Then hoping Lester was just “Lester” per see…

            Matsuzaka was one of those guys I (at least) was hoping would disappear from the rotation ASAP somehow ANYHOW and Wake would take his spot, little did I know that Wake was on his last legs…

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            How could you not know? Wakefield has done the same act for like four years running now: takes rotation spot, pitches lights out for like a month, remembers he’s old, pitches like I assume Clemens would’ve pitched in those “I wanna pitch” videos.

            I love Wakefield and everything he’s done for us, but his role should never exceed “bullpen with a handful of spot starts in June or July.”

  3. $7562574 4 years ago

    i posted at the beginning of the season that sox would have trouble going to the post season because they lacked quality starters and sometime around july i said the same thing. sox fans were on me like flies on a piece of rotten meat.

    • stl_cards16 4 years ago

      Actually you posted that they WOULD miss the playoffs, and at the moment, they’re in.  But mostly just whined about them signing Carl Crawford “until he’s 70″

      • $7562574 4 years ago

        well, how is crawford doing these days?

      • JacksTigers 4 years ago

        They didn’t clinch the wild card. Therefore, they are not in.

        • 0bsessions 4 years ago

          They didn’t, no, but they’re “technically” in better position than the Rays. We’re up by a game in the loss column and the Rays have a much tougher schedule going forward.

          The Sox have four games against Baltimore and three against NY with an off day tomorrow. Both series are on the road, but neither one is a long distance trip.

          The Rays, conversely, have six left against the Yankees and three against the Jays. They’re all at home, but the Rays don’t have any off days left, have to travel from NY to Tampa after playing three games in two days AND don’t get to face any more sub .500 teams.

          The only way I see that schedule as partially advantageous to the Rays is that the Yankees should have a playoff spot clinched by the time they go to Tampa and will likely just play backups in that series.

          If the Sox can avoid being swept by NY or Baltimore, the Rays have to take five of their last nine against two .500+ teams in only eight days to tie force a one game playoff. The Sox have almost zero margin for error, but the Rays have even less.

    • 0bsessions 4 years ago

      And I bet someone out there predicted that Bartolo Colon would be the second best starter on the Yankees’ staff. Just because an absurd theory is given (And I bet a big part of your theory had to do with the quality of Beckett and regression of Buchholz and little to do with our number three missing half the season, because Beckett and Buchholz both pitched well and Lester’s Lester) and comes true doesn’t mean it was ever a probable outcome.

      Despite the fact Colon worked out and the Sox are struggling with big rotation injury issues doesn’t make people who predicted those things Nostradamus, it just means they let enough ridiculous theories out of their mouths to nail one or two.

  4. bigpat 4 years ago

    Lackey is a good pitcher, he’s just been “unlucky”. (rolls eyes)

    • Threat_Level_RedSox 4 years ago

      Whats more concerning, His performence or the fact there has been little to no word on what exactly Lackeys problem is?

  5. Jeff 4 years ago

    I think Beltran on a 2 yr/$10mil per deal would be a good fit the Braves.  Unsure if he can get more then that.

    He would play LF though.  He’s the missing piece the Braves need, and the offense would prevent another September fail. 

    • Amish_willy 4 years ago

      It’ll take a good deal more then that to sign Beltran. My money is Sabean giving him a 3/39m deal.

  6. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    People blaming Epstein for the current state of the Sox need to get their heads out of their backsides.

    Yes, there’s blame to go around, but Epstein? Really? The guy put a product on the field that the experts were predicting as capable of 100 wins, and that was assuming Beckett would pitch at an average level, Papelbon would be 2010 Papelbon and Salty getting run out of town by mid-May. He did everything humanly possible to put an absolute juggernaut on the diamond in Fenway.

    If you want to point fingers, how about the medical staff for poor conditioning (A conspiracy theory in terms of rationale, but it holds more water than blaming Epstein) or Francona for a few mismanaged opportunities (The losses Bard racked up against Toronto and Tampa last week fall 50% on his shoulders for poor bullpen management) or the team themselves for underperforming in key spots (Bard’s meltdown of late, Crawford’s season, Lackey’s terrible season)? There are so many reasons the Sox are having trouble right now, but Epstein is practically dead last on the “people to blame” list.

  7. Fangaffes 4 years ago

    It should be noted that most of the Theo critics who disliked the Crawford signing at the time, wanted Werth instead.

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