Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Weirdness of the 2011 Baseball Season

Weird. Not because the Sox and Braves, both teams I root for, failed miserably down the stretch.

Weird. Not because Tito Francona, the most successful RedSox manager of them all, was not talked out of leaving the dysfunctional clubhouse for good yesterday.

Weird. Not because I'm now rooting for the Brewers to win it all.

Weird because of numbers.

I didn't get the mlb package on cable this year. Not sure why, just didn't or never got around to it. Saved me from screaming at the tv in April for sure. Saved me again in September. No matter. To keep up with the Braves and the Sox I often would check their scores on the internet while reading, posting, whatever. I use ESPN's scoreboard. Both teams are listed in my profile as favorites so their scores show up at the top of their respective leagues.

I'm guessing at least 10 times, probably more this season I found myself looking at the same score for both the Sox and Braves. If the Sox were up 3-1, the Braves were too at the same time. Once or twice is cool, interesting. This summer I swear it was often. Not just once in a game. Using that same example, the Sox might score a couple more and be up 5-1. A few minutes later I'd notice the Braves up by the same score. Weird. Wednesday night's games reminded me a bit of that. I had both the Braves and the RedSox games on the tv, flipping hundreds of times between them. Yankee game running on espn3 on-line live feed. Sox up 3-2, Braves up 3-2. Even the Yankees and Cardinals got in on the action for a while when both were up 7-0 in their respective games. Odd. Weird. Of course none of those scores held, only the Cardinals actually won their game.

Weird how Carl Crawford apologized a week or so ago for his season (before it was over). Was exchanging thoughts with some co-workers and spurred me on to look up some numbers during lunch. Check this out:

Here is a fun fact on Carl Crawford:

If he hit .250 in April instead of the .155 he put up his season total batting average would have been .273 - not so bad, not up to the $$$ spent but not terrible.

That difference? 9 lousy hits, in 24 games, one hit every 2.6 games more than he had.

Another fact- Crawford hit .296 with an .821 OPS in games Sox won and .201 / .526 in games they lost.

Me thinks Tito ain’t to blame.

Know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? It's 25 hits. 25 hits in 500 at bats is 50 points, okay? There's 6 months in a season, that's about 25 weeks. That means if you get just one extra flare a week - just one - a gorp... you get a groundball, you get a groundball with eyes... you get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week... and you're in Yankee Stadium.
-- Crash Davis

I looked and looked for some split stats to give hope on John Lackey…still looking.

Here is a stat that will amaze you : first batter in the game against lackey in his 28 starts hit .423 this year. In all - leadoff batters for all innings – they hit .318. He was always in trouble.
Lackey was 11-1 if the Sox scored 6+ runs for him, 1-11 if they did not.

Weird. Just plain weird.
Have a good weekend.


  1. You've had a very tough season, dude. Sox and Braves tanking at the same time. Hang in there, there's always next year :-)


  2. funny, seems like the old days which I'm sure you are happy about

  3. Actually, I'm not happy about it in the way you think and here's why. In the "old days" Sox fans used to tolerate the fans of other teams to a much greater extent. And the Sox players were hard working guys who never whined or behaved like spoiled brats.

    Then, 2004 happened, and the Sox fans (the nouveau ones at least) started to strut like peacocks thinking their body odor was perfume and they started being really obnoxious to another team's fans at Fenway - and on the streets in and around New England. It's like they assumed that not only were things great but they were going to stay great "foreva". They behaved like a young guy who just won $100K, full of himself thinking that he was set for life. Arrogant and stupid.

    The positive that I take away from this collapse (and it rivals the Mutts collapse), is that some sanity seems to be creeping back into some local Sox fans, they're starting to be civil again. Some of my friends have actually swallowed thier hubris long enough to say "sorry, I lost control there for a while"

    And btw, if you think it's been always roses for Yankees fans, then you aren't remembering life in the 80s to mid 90s for us and you've must never have been a NY (football) Giants fan suffering through our annual battles for the cellar with the Eagles. We know losing ... we know the cyclical nature of the game.



  4. I will agree with you that maybe it isn't a terrible thing to have some of the bandwagon fans jump off now.

    Funny feeling of September is that it brought back the paranoia and feeling of dread of how the Sox would blow it (again). Can't say I missed those feelings for the last 6 years.

    The 80's and up to '96 were miserable for the Yankees for sure. '96 to current is quite a run though. Time for that cycle to come around, right?

  5. Yeah, I understand that feeling, it's how I feel more often than not when my Giants start strong and then seemingly invariably fall apart the last five weeks. My best friend has the same tremors about his beloved Mets. I have the same feelings now about the Wolverines. I only knew Schembeckler - and then the dark times came and lasted and I was humiliated by my Buckeye rivals - for a very long time,

    Sorry, I don't think the Yankess cycle back to the dark times unless/until the Steinbrenner family sells the club to some entity that runs the club by financial spreadsheet. Remember, when you combine smart stats knowledge with a big budget fed by what is probably the biggest media market in the country, you've got a very good chance to contend more often than not. The team can nominally lose money, but the owner can make it back with the media money. Also, the municipality has to have the commitment to create and back some nice Industrial Development Bonds. NYC does that, Boston does nothing like that. Want to know more about Boston's financial history? Then please Google the Curley Effect. The Red Sox need to leave Beantown and move to a more modern facility, undeniaby.

    Your team will always be struggling uphill as the stadium is sub-optimal (communal urinals notwithstanding) and the media market is just good, not superb.

    By the way, were I you? I would direct my thoughts to Varitek, the Captain, who did squat to keep the Brats (formerly known as the Idiots) focused on the team instead of the brand of beer they had in the clubhouse or the seating arrangements on the team's bus. And Happy Papi, and Pedey the Pest - these guys make a lot of money and couldn't stop whining long enough to win a few more tight games. None of that has got anything to do with the Yankees, that has to do with the Sox players and who they really are as teammates.


  6. just trying to get under your skin, I don't think the Yankees are going backwards to the 80's anytime soon.

    I posted on that Varitek needed to be off in the sunset and Pedroia named immediate captain.

  7. Pedey is the head of the Brat Pack. You may want to re-think that.


  8. hmmm, I still say his desire to win will trump anything you may know/have heard

  9. I have zero doubts that Pedey wants to win, that he hates to lose, that he loves to compete - the question is, as always, does he have what it takes to lead a team. Can he put himself as a role model for a "team first" kind of player. I don't see that, at all.

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