Bloody Sox Laundry - 8/20/09

Going for the sweep today, which would be a nice way to wrap up the road trip. Then we head back to Fenway, where we'll be for a good long while. Perhaps some of the guys we've been missing of late will be back?

Injury updates all around - Extra Bases

Wake's going to pitch in Pawtucket on Friday, and could be back with us after that (!). Francona also put his Benjamin Franklin glasses to use and broke down Wake's nerve condition in detail. Take that, Johnny Cash Joe Maddon.

Extra Bases also thinks Dice-K will return on September 9th, based on his current rehab schedule and our schedule - we're off on the 10th, so the pen could be ready to put out the fire.

Tek's day-to-day, Rocco should be back on Friday (1st eligible day), and Kott had a good night last night - see USG for details, kids.

Not mentioned in that link, but elsewhere, Pedroia will be back today.

More after the jump - The Book's blog goes through multiple attempts to answer some recent UZR criticisms, the Tek vs. Vic battle heats up, and should we have let Smoltz go?

Starting from that last bit, since it will be the most contested, here's what Harry Pavlidis and other BtBers have to say:

John Smoltz: What's Left in the Tank? - Beyond the Box Score
Now that he's on the Cards, time to take the retrospective look back and see whether or not we should have given him more time. Read the comments as well, to get the full story.

I'll leave it up to y'all to start the debate if you want to, but that's some strong evidence that we weren't patient enough. Onto another sabermetric topic that requires patience - should we be using UZR? Or are we just doing it wrong?

If a metric for a player is "all over the place" after a few years, what does that mean? - Inside The Book
Straight from the... keyboard of UZR's creator, here's MGL's semi-defense of his metric and it's variance. And then, a few hours later...

Is UZR limited because the baseline is zeroed-out to that year’s average? - Inside The Book

Kinda what I was talking about a few days ago - but they weren't done there. No, they went on to provide more evidence using the actual UZR data from the past three years (about the recommended sample size, naturally):

Best-fielding 1B over the last 3 years - Inside The Book
Shows that, with a large enough sample size, UZR generally agrees with perception. Lost in the middle of all the UZR posts at The Book, there was this:

Awards schmawards - Inside The Book

YAY, baseball writers bashing! Always fun. Although, the "experts" do seem to have a good grasp on the intangibles. Maybe that's why we've been seeing all the material about the decision between starting Tek or Vic at catcher.

Victor or Varitek? - Full Count
Two quick polls by WEEI - but, before you vote, I present a moving piece on why Tek should be your choice, for the second question, at least:

Varitek’s value - Clubhouse Insider

"Vick [sic] did a great job. My stuff didn’t equal what he was doing," said Beckett, who noted that Martinez caught Cy Young Award winners C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee in Cleveland, "so he must be doing something right."

Oh, so he could play receiver. But seriously, I don't know if I want Vic learning to catch the best stuff on the team when we're in the middle of a pennant race - like Papi says, "Simple."

For Ortiz, simple is best - Extra Bases

Aside from one unloading of his frustrations, Ortiz has kept most his feelings to himself, his comments quiet and short. But one gets the sense that hitting a low point or talking with Kalkstein or some combination of the two helped Ortiz restart himself. He is swinging with confidence and conviction, and over a short time span, he has reasserted himself as a force in the Sox lineup.

No real transition here... To the prospects!

Players of the Week, August 10-16: Daniel Nava & Derrick Loop - SoxProspects.com

Ecstatic Truth Pitchf/x: Daniel Bard’s slider - THT Live

Yes, Bard counts as a prospect still. And this article is the opposite of my Pitch F/X stuff - minimal graphs, and actually writing. Oh, and it's ghost written by a German filmmaker. I don't know, either.

Drop links in the comments, or just discuss the links I've shared.

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