Jimy, Jose Can't Contain Sox

Date: Tuesday, August 7, 2001
From: Kevin Hench
Subject:  Jimy, Jose Can't Contain Sox

The diabolical duo tried, God knows they tried.  But despite Jimy Williams' best efforts and yet another one-fer from his favortie leadoff man, the fellas completed their first four-game sweep of the Rangers since Fred Lynn's one and only MVP year.

Oh, and about that, how the hell does Fred Lynn not win MVP in 1979?  I hate, hate, hate the idiots who will not vote for a player whose team does not go to the playoffs.  These morons actually believe that a DH who hit .296 with 36 home runs and 139 RBIs (Don Baylor) is more valuable than a Gold Glove centerfielder who wins the batting title at .333, hits 39 home runs and drives in 122 runs.  So Freddy hits for a higher average and hits more home runs - and while I agree that RBIs are more relevant, isn't it safe to assume that Lynn more than made up that margin in the field? Sadly, many of the clodpates carrying BBWA badges don't know much about the game.  Then again, some managers don't know much about the game either.

Back to the 21st century.  Let's set the situation:  Bottom four, runners on first and second, none out, Texas starter Rob Bell hanging on by a thread, piling up the pitches as the Sox build a 4-2 lead.  Brian Daubach is the runner on second, Scott Hatteberg the batter.  With Daubach on second, a lefty at the plate and Pudge behind the dish, it is a certainty that if Hatte fans, Dauby will be hosed by 40 feet at third base.  Presumably, the idea of starting the runners is to stay away from the double play. 

Okay, fair enough.  Hatteberg has struck out 20 times in 201 at-bats this season and 203 times in 1233 career at-bats, so there is about a 10-to-16 percent chance that we'll get a strike 'em out-throw 'em out double play, higher perhaps if you consider that Bell had fanned Hatteberg in his first at-bat.  So let's look at Hatte's GIDP numbers.  This season he has grounded into five DPs and for his career 40, so we're looking at under 3 percent.  Never mind the other reason for the hit-and-run since the middle infielders will stay put with a donkey on second.  The odds of Hatteberg grounding into a double play were roughly one-fifth the chances of him striking out into a double play.  Now of course the baseball Gods, vexed by Jimy's idiocy, came up with an even crueler result.  Couldn't you just imagine the Texas broadasters saying, "Well, unless Rob Bell comes up with a way to get three outs with one pitch, he probably won't finish the inning."  Jimy found a way.  It's what he does... help the other team.  There is no good argument for starting the runners there.

Just as there is no good argument for batting Jose Offerman in the lead-off spot as Jimy did for the 59th time this season.  After his 1-for-5, yes he was once again the only Red Sox hitter to get five plate appearances, he is now hitting .216 as our "table setter" with an unfathomable .290 on-base percentage.  For the record, .300 is the Mendoza line of on-base percentage.   Jose Offerman had a poor second half in 1999.  He had a bad year in 2000.  He's had an abysmal two-thirds of a season in 2001.  Signing him was a mistake, but playing him only compounds the mistake.  There are four players vying for at-bats at two positions.  The depth chart should read:  Stynes, Lansing, Hillenbrand, Offerman.  Unlike D-Lew, who is actually acceptable defensively (though overrated), I cannot think of a circumstance that would call for Offerman's "talents."  He has no range on ground balls.  He has trouble turning double plays.  He strikes out a lot (on pace for 100+ K's).  He doesn't hit for power.  He doesn't run well anymore.  Why, Jimy, why?

Rhymes with Awesome

Casey Fossum looks for real... that curveball is tight with the major late snap you need for a lefty to get righties out with it.  He needs to spend a little time at the training table with Guapo because right now he doesn't have enough ass to last long in the Show, but if he builds up his lower body, he could be a real stud for years to come.

Back Off, Carl

Everett might think it macho, or perhaps he's misinterpreting Deuteronomy, but either way the dude has got to back off the plate.  The league has figured this guy out and now it's time for Carl to adjust.  I'd suggest backing off the plate and swinging a bigger, longer, heavier stick.  He actually has too much bat speed given how overly agressive he is.  He jerks so many foul balls over the dugout and into the right-field grandstand because he is constantly out in front.  A heavier bat would help him look less foolish on changeups too.  There is still no reason to throw this guy a strike.

Stats Entertainment

This stat would be more disconcerting if I knew exactly what to make of it, but I'm not sure how strange it is:  Manny has 117 strikeouts and 1 sacrifice fly...  more Awfulman:  Of the American League second baseman with enough plate appaarances to qualify for the league leaders, Jose Offerman is 15th in slugging percentage and 15th in OBPS (On-base + slugging).  There are 14 teams in the American League... Mike Lansing had more extra-base hits in 17 hours this weekend, than Jose Offerman has had in his last 146 at-bats dating to June 21...

The Dirt Dogs will be underdogs in all three games against the A's:  Mulder-Sabes; Hudson-Wakes; Zito-Cone.  The series will tell us a lot about our October prospects.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think we play 19 of our remaining 51 against the Orioles (13) and Devil Rays (6).

Kev

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. The site is not produced by the Boston Globe sports dept.

Boston Globe:

Red Sox agree to deal with Pierzynski > Sox non-tender Bailey, Kalish > Sox face arbitration decisions

Boston Herald:

Sox set Bailey, Kalish free > Doug Fister dealt to Nats > White Sox agree to 1-year contract with C Flowers

ProJo:

Pierzynski reaches deal with Red Sox > Kalish, Bailey non-tendered > Mike Napoli still ideal at first base > Middlebrooks, Red Sox both looking for improvement

NY Post:

Cashman pessimistic on Yankees re-signing Cano > Report: A-Rod called PEDs 'Food'

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