The outside of the playoff picture doesn't look so pretty. Maybe it needs a fresh coat of paint? Anyway, whenever the Sox slump, the crazies come out of the woodwork to find scapegoats for the team's issues. This time around, it appears Tek has been the player that the media hit on the dart board. Let's see who can be the most radical with the Tek hate:
And exactly how much of that is Varitek's fault? If you can give me a rational answer, I will personally vouch for you when they are asking for nominations for Nobel Prizes.
NESN - Time for the Red Sox to Say Goodbye to the Captain
Bill Chuck argues that Tek needs to be benched in favor of Victor Martinez for the rest of the season and next. This isn't COMPLETELY crazy, as Tek would still be able to give Vic some days off. The biggest issue I have here is that Vic has been playing less and less catcher for a reason - it's not a very easy on the body.
In fact, this issue's been on my mind a lot recently - with all the young catchers who are being converted to 1B, maybe someone should look into improving the way the position is played. I mean, I can't really think of a big innovation other than equipment upgrades that has made today's catchers any better than previous years' backstops. Anyone got any ideas?
Speaking of innovations - we've got some stories that will surprise you after the jump.Hadn't thought of that before...
"I was just sort of walking around in the dugout, and they were like, 'Hey, go get your jersey and cleats on because...if [Varitek] gets on second, you're going to pinch run for him,'" Buchholz told the Boston Globe on Saturday. "So I ran up in [the clubhouse] all in a frenzy and the first thing that came in my head was, 'Road game, we're away.' So I got down there and [Francona's] like, you got the wrong jersey on. I was like, 'Oh my God,' so I had to run back up here, put the blue one on. Finally I got back down there -- obviously I got back down there an at-bat late -- but I went out there anyway."
So apparently Buch doesn't think outside the box much. Might explain some of his pitching issues. Anyway, there are players who don't think about the game in conventional fashion, and they aren't always given the same treatment as other innovators of the sport. I'm talking about the players who use advanced statistics in attempts to gain an edge into understanding the game and how they can perform better:
For decades fans have grasped the need for advanced analysis of the numbers behind baseball in hopes of better understanding the game. Now, there are three young pitchers who have come out and said that they use saber-esque stats in analyzing baseball, and sometimes their own game: Brian Bannister, Ross Ohlendorf, and Max Scherzer. Their similar backgrounds are intriguing (all close-aged, right-handed starting pitchers with college educations), as is the way in which they go about their analysis. However, another interesting theme is how the media has gone about reporting and portraying these players.
Even if you think stats are for tinkerbells *cough*Sandy*cough*, you should check that article out. It's also kinda interesting to see which stats each of the pitchers favor - explains a lot about how they pitch.
The Hardball Times had another interesting story, but one that requires MUCH less statistical knowledge to understand: THT Live - Your random fact of the day. Maybe Russell Martin will have some competition from Bryce Harper next season?
We've mentioned this before in the Laundry, but now there's more talk of Smoltzie becoming a beach bum, sans retirement.
They couldn't move him before the deadline, but Bell could be on the move soon. He'd have to clear the entire NL and most of the AL first, but the Sox could potentially pick up a strong bullpen arm if they would be willing to give up a good chunk of young prospects.
Well, that would certainly make the AL East a lot more difficult next season - just what we need, right? At least he would get more chances to hurt the MFY as opposed to signing with and helping them.
Some prospects getting their first games in as Sox; one celebrated prospect finally gets a chance to show off some other tools, while another explains his lack of progression; more vets getting ready by playing with the kids
Miles Head, Brandon Jacobs, and Doug Wogee all debuted in the GCL today. #RedSox
Ryan Westmoreland finally debuted in the field tonight, starting in LF. #RedSox
Manifest Destiny claims new territory?
"I really dislike all of that [hype]," Anderson said with a face that could have melted ice. "It's made me more of a recluse, which I don't know if that's the right word. I don't think I embrace that kind of stuff as much as other people. I don't really think its accurate stuff."
Don't worry, Lars - just hit a couple 450 foot bombs and we'll be satisfied.
Not entirely sure how much either will be a factor the rest of the season, but it never hurts to have depth.
I don't like this losing thing. Can we stop soon?
For the second consecutive season, winning on the road has been a primary issue for the Red Sox. They fell to 28-33 away from home, the 14th best road record in the major leagues, compared to 38-18 at Fenway Park.
NESN - Tazawa's Fastball Couldn't Heat Up in Humid Texas Battle
Heidi interviewed Tito and he had some thoughts about the young Japanese pitcher. Video too, so you guys can get your Heidi fix.
Off day today, so there should be a lot of stories coming out of the crazies, given our current position - post'em in the comments.