Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Remy Return

"Judge not that ye be not judged." - Matthew

I'm no Bible scholar, but I try to know common sense. Longtime Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy announced a return to his passion, his craft, his job. 

I don't know Remy as a person or a parent, but it's not my obligation or responsibility to judge him on anything personal. As a baseball insider and analyst, he has provided Sox fans win twenty-six years of expertise to our benefit. 

In a lengthy interview, he professed his sadness and his struggles with his son's murder accusation, his own cancer and depression. He acknowledged that the pain of Jennifer Martel's death and suffering for her family and his grandchild will never go away. What more can he do beyond try to live his life or retreat into his own pain and depression?

Remy's task will be hard. Will he and play-by-play man Don Orsillo be able to resume the light-hearted moments inherent and necessary to on-air spontaneity? Will the smallest slip of the tongue be viewed as insensitivity and inappropriate? 

Am I Jerry Remy's biggest fan? No. But I respect his right to work and his right to live, to find whatever peace he can in "Man's Search for Meaning." 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Kershaw Deal Throws Sox into Dollar Quandary

If you want economy, you have to pay for it. It's a seller's market, and after Clayton Kershaw's 30 plus AAV (average annual value), the Red Sox must address the "Lester Problem". Lester's career trajectory had a speed bump in 2012, but he rebounded last season, particularly with post-season excellence.

At his best, Lester is an ace, but for most of the past five years, he performs at a number 2 level, averaging 204 innings, almost 15 wins, and a strikeout to walk ratio exceeding 2.5. As periodic readers know, K/BB ratios predict ERA better than ERA itself. The ability to strikeout batters helps pitchers escape trouble and keeping runners off base is the extension of the Sox OPS offensive philosophy.

Kershaw, of course is substantially younger than Lester, although even at age 25 he has almost 1200 innings under his belt. His ERA, WHIP, and K/BB ratio all exceed Lester's, although Lester's two World Series rings outpoint Kershaw's Cy Youngs.

Here are the Baseball-Reference statistics for the southpaws. Kershaw's (above) clearly outpoint Lester, with the Dodger lefty well on his way to Cooperstown numbers.

Therefore, the question becomes both AAV and years. Lester's previous cancer does make a difference, as lymphoma survivors have both higher rates of second malignancies and subtle immune impairments that make them more susceptible to infection. I'd strongly doubt that 100 by 5 will get it done, but I'll speculate that an early 25 by 5 will. Gambling that Henry Owens will become Kershaw is far from a sure thing.