Bernie & Filled: Carbo Didn't Need No Stinkin' Steroids With Everything He Was On
Stan Grossfeld: Carbo Now a Cleaned-Up HItter | Photos Real '75 Game 6 Hero Bernie Carbo Now Admits He Was High on Drugs at the Time of his Famous 8th Inning, 2-Out, 3-Run Blast
Bernie Carbo on the night of his famous Game 6, game-tying three-run homer in the 8th inning: "I probably smoked two joints, drank about three or four beers, got to the ballpark took some Dexedrine and Benzedrine (amphetamines), took a pain pill, drank a cup of coffee, chewed some tobacco, had a cigarette and got up to the plate and hit."
(Stan Grossfeld / Globe Staff)
And After a Weekend at Bernie's, You'll Find It
Former Red Sox Bernie Carbo started the Diamond Club Ministry to worship Jesus Christ. He recently ran a baseball fantasy camp at Hank Aaron Stadium to mix baseball and religion.
-- 4.1.10, Stan Grossfeld, Boston Globe
Much has been made of the Red Sox’ strategy in the 2009–10 offseason. It’s all over the new media, it’s all over the old media. You can’t turn on sports radio or browse the Internet without knowing it. Defense, defense, defense.
From Theo Epstein’s late-September comments up through the moment the Red Sox inked renowned gloveman Adrian Beltre, it has been clear defense was going to the be the priority, unless a bat fell into Boston’s lap. Jason Bay and Matt Holliday did not take deals the Red Sox found attractive and the team moved on, making their free agent splash with starter John Lackey, arguably the top run-preventing talent on the market.
This strategy, so different from the popular perception of recent Red Sox teams, has a lot of people gnashing their teeth. Some don’t believe in the improvements and think that, despite spending money, the team will be worse. After all, the Red Sox made very few errors last year and gave up the second-fewest unearned runs in the league, so why improve the fielding? Well, there are reasons to believe that those numbers do not tell the whole story, which you can read about in this Annual. You can also read about the strength and depth of the 2010 pitching staff, perhaps the best the Red Sox have ever assembled.
But what about the offense? After all, while Jonathan Papelbon’s implosion provided an ugly exclamation point to the Red Sox’ playoff exit, the real problem was a lineup completely stifled in the first two games of the ALDS. And going back to the 2008 season, we all remember how the offense struggled at times against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS.
Since then, the Sox have subtracted Bay, one of their more potent bats, and added Mike Cameron, a solid two-way player but not a slugger of Bay’s caliber. Mike Lowell is losing his full-time job in favor of Beltre, a defensive wizard (ranking #2 among all players in UZR/150 last season), but one who put up a .683 OPS last season.
Thus, some argue that Theo has failed to address the fatal flaw of the Red Sox, or even made the offense worse. Others point to the improved defense and pitching, but will that be enough to overcome a weak offense? There is another, frequently overlooked possibility—that the 2010 offense will not actually be significantly weaker than it has been in recent years. Sound far-fetched? It’s not.
RUNS SCORED, RUNS ALLOWED, AND PYTHAGORAS
As a framework for this argument, let’s start with some hypothetical situations. One way to measure team quality is to look Runs Scored (RS), Runs Allowed (RA), and a metric calculated from these two: Pythagorean Winning Percentage. Some of those dismayed at the direction the team has taken have made dire predictions of an 85-win season for the 2010 Red Sox. Others have made the argument that with a break here or there the Sox could be so good on defense that they win 100 games. Barring catastrophe or divine intervention, the truth will lie somewhere in the middle. Let’s take a moment to look at some possible scenarios through the eyes of Pythagoras.
In 2009, the Red Sox scored 872 runs and gave up 736, which the Pythagorean method projects to a 93–69 record. The table below looks at the expected wins and losses based on some possible RS/RA scenarios for 2010.
It’s likely that the focus on improving the defense should at least get the Sox back to giving up runs at the same rate they did in 2008. If that happens, even if they lose 50 runs at the plate, they will still arrive at the same expected record—93 wins. Moreover, if the defensive metrics are to be believed, there is reason to think that the 2010 Red Sox should be as good or better than the 2007 Red Sox. If that’s the case then even losing 100 runs on offense, which is just about the worst case realistic scenario, the Sox can again expect 93 wins.
The 2008 Blue Jays are also listed in the table because their 610 runs allowed represents the lowest team runs allowed in the AL East in the 2000s. This seems like a good practical limit for how good the Red Sox could be if everything on the defensive side falls into place. We can see that if the Sox are that good at preventing runs (and there is a chance, however slight, that they will be), then it would take an almost inconceivable col-lapse on offense (or really bad luck) to prevent this team from winning 95 or more games.
Danny Ainge Is Looking for Some Help as the Celtics Get Ready for Postseason... And He Thinks the World of the Globetrotters
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The Harlem Globetrotters, who are in town for two shows at the TD Garden this weekend, were in the house for Wednesday night's game between then Celtics and Nuggets. The legendary Curly Neal and "Hot Shot" Branch said hello to Danny Ainge and Rex Chapman, the former Kentucky star who's now VP of player personnel for the Nuggets.
The 2nd Half Of Theo's Most Important Contract Starts Today And Hopefully We Can Stop Wondering If The $103 Million Man Is a Colossal Bust for the Red Sox
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Tampa Bay 11, Boston 9 | Boof, Boof... Out Goes the Ball Tazawa Gets Tagged, Shouse Was Sharp Why Can't We Get Back Players Like Kelly Shoppach? Bright Side: Mr. Personality Mike Cameron Hitting .423 This Spring St. Louis 13, Boston 8 | Bad Outing for Bowden What's Eating Ramon Ramirez Besides Batters? Hermida and Hulett Can't Carry Us Forever Penny for Your Thoughts on Losing Brad Now Large Gives Up Big Runs
"And when [the Rays] got it in the air, a lot of balls left the ballpark, starting with Boof. When he came out he revealed a little bit his right groin was grabbing at him a little bit. So, we'll look at him tomorrow and see where that goes." -- Terry Francona, giving Bonser an out ... (he needed a few more today)
"My agent called and asked me if I wanted to do it. I don't how they came up with me to do it. I think Victor [Martinez] was supposed to do it, but he couldn't at the last minute. So they asked me to, and it was pretty fun. You see all those funny commercials they do, and it something you always want to be a part of." -- Clay Buchholz, via CSNNE.com
"...this is spring training 2010, and Ortiz is coming off two seasons of injuries and reduced offensive performance. His on-base percentage has dipped from a career-high .445 in 2007 to .369 to .332, his slugging percentage from .621 to .507 to .462. And he is 34 years old now - not exactly senior-citizen status by professional sports standards, but nonetheless an age in which bulky sluggers often break down, lose a step or develop an inability to crank an opposing pitcher’s good inside heat. Think Mo Vaughn, Cecil Fielder or Kevin Mitchell." -- 3.18.10, Buckley brings the heat to Big Papi
No More Pleading the Fifth for Wakefield Tim Gets Tagged By Birds
Someone's Got a Really Bad Case of the Mondays: 3 2/3, 9 Hits, 5 Earned Runs for Long-Reliever Tim Luke Scott Takes Wake Deep for 3-Run Bomb in 3d Odd Man Out: Because Buchholz Is Awesome; and Matsuzaka Makes Too Much Stop the Presses on His Baseball Card: Add a Homer to Papi's Horrific Spring Stats The Kid Stays in the Picture: Reddick Knocks Out a 2-Run Shot, Too Heeeeeere's Johnny! Pesky Gets a Warm Welcome at City of Palms Another Delay for Dice-K: Pain in the Neck to Throw BP Wednesday Lowell and Behold: Mike Grabs a Glove, Fills in at First Say Hey: Cla Meredith Part of Birds Flock