Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spin Cycle: What's Not to Like?

Here's how it works, borrowing from behavioral finance. What's mine is good, what's yours is okay, and possession affects perception. . Boston: We get a former Cy Young Award pitcher to bolster our staff down the stretch run. We trade an outstanding young defender with limited offensive production and some minor leaguers including a young power arm. We deal from a position of strength and get stronger. We have major league ready players to step in. We take on salary without trading our elite prospects. We are confident that we have strengthened our team. What's not to like? . Detroit: We protect ourselves (with a suspension coming in all likelihood) by getting the top infield defender in baseball. This bolsters our pitching and we have a strong offense that needs to be supplemented by augmented run prevention. We surrender a promising young outfielder. What's not to like? . Chicago mentality: We get a top outfield prospect and other prospects. We trade a starting pitcher with a high salary and a history of arm trouble on the back nine of his career. We're not going anywhere and we get prospects and economic flexibility going forward. What's not to like?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I'm Not a Believer

The Red Sox have enjoyed a wonderful season...and all the players, coaches, and management deserve a healthy dose of credit. But I'm not a believer. Over the long pull, team spirit and very good players can win a lot of games, but talent wins championships and the Red Sox don't have enough as currently constituted.

Their pitching, especially the starting pitching without Clay Buchholz is not championship caliber, despite good efforts from Lackey, Lester (recently), Doubront, Dempster, and Workman. In a short series how do you feel against Verlander and Scherzer, or Price and Moore...and more?

Their offense, despite leading the league in runs, has been spotty more recently. You say "it's good pitching." Well that's what you face in the playoffs.

Michael Young, greybeard, for Will Middlebrooks? That's asinine. There isn't one player they can get who puts them over the top, and if Ben Cherington drives up to my house and tells me differently, I'll know he needs psychiatric help.

Do I think they will make a "show the fans they care" move? Yes. But I don't think trading anyone meaningful (including Middlebrooks) for a stopgap prayer makes sense. Iglesias' hot start has cooled, one day from Drew doesn't make him better, and both Nava and Saltalamacchia have struggled big time recently. When virtually half your lineup is weak, you shouldn't mortgage the future for rental property.

The Sox are fifth in runs scored and fifth in OPS in July. They are sixth in ERA and eighth in batting average against in July. John Henry made his bones as a trend-following commodity trader. Well, the trend is not working in the Sox favor lately. Yes, they face an easier schedule soon, which may only enhance the "fool's gold" thinking so prevalent now.

But the Sox need to work on the long-pull revitalization...and if that means trading any of the Bogaerts, Cecchini, Owens, Barnes, Bradley, Vasquez ilk, I think we're going to regret it.

The Sox have played great for what they are...but management going for a Hail Mary in a p.r. move makes all the sense of MLB's slow playing the PED scandal...just plain dumb.