News, Notes, and Observations

For someone who gets up at 5:00 am everyday during the week, these four-plus hour games between the Yankees and Red Sox have wrecked me this week.  At this point, I’m a shell of my former self, and I really don’t have the energy at this point to put together a full article.  That may change later today, but for now, I’m going to take the easy way out.  Here are a few more news notes and observations (with a few links sprinkled in).

  • The ending to last night’s game was disappointing to say the least.  When home plate umpire, Alfonso Marquez, gave Mariano what seemed to be an incredibly generous strike three call on a pitch that was clearly off of the plate to end the game, I was violently pissed.  (Let’s just say this.  If we did the live game chat last night, I would have cursed out every Yankee fan on the chat.)  I nearly threw the remote at my TV in disgust.  Looking to have my anger justified, I sauntered over to Brooks Baseball to review the pitch f/x data.  When I got there, here’s what I found:
Do you see pitch number five in the lower left hand corner of the strike zone?  Yeah, me too.  Needless to say, Marquez made the right call, and neither A-Gon nor I (nor anyone else) were justified in our irritation.
  • Initially, J.D. Drew was expected to be activated from the disabled list prior to last night’s game against the Yankees.  Now, it looks like those plans are on hold for at least another week, maybe longer.  Playing in a rehabilitation game for Pawtucket on Tuesday night, he sprained a knuckle on his right index finger during his third plate appearance.  It’s always something with him, right?  The good news though is he’s no longer suffering the effects of shoulder impingement.  The bad news?  The team hasn’t announced a time table for when they expect Drew to start hitting again.  If Drew’s reaction is any indication, it could be a little while.
  • As we all saw last night, Felix Doubront was recalled from AAA Pawtucket.  By all accounts he pitched pretty well going 1-1/3 innings giving up no runs on no hits, while striking out two and walking one.  His four-seamer (FF) and two-seamer (FT) were pretty effective, accounting for all three of his swinging strikes.  If he can continue to pitch effectively and remain healthy, he could replace Franklin Morales and Andrew Miller as the “go to” guy in high leverage situations facing lefties.
  • If you’re anything like me, you saw the Red Sox traded for Conor Jackson, and promptly responded with, “What the…”   To say the least, it was a bit confusing.  While they desperately needed a right-handed corner outfielder that could play multiple positions, I’m not sure Jackson is the right answer.  He’s below average defensively at both corner outfield positions and first base, and doesn’t create enough offense with his bat to cover the difference.  Though he does have decent on-base abilities, his power output is woefully mediocre.  Considering the timing and the cost of the trade (AAA RP Jason Rice), I suppose it’s worth a shot.
  • Over the Monster’s Ben Buchanan makes a convincing case why no one on the Red Sox will win the MVP this season.
  • Dustin Parkes of The Score breaks down Gordon Wittenmyer’s latest article on the Cubs GM search, and exposes the inherent flaws in his argument.
  • If you were to mate Fire Joe Morgan with Corky from Life Goes On, you’d get Sabeanmetrics.  This week, they “mourn” the loss of Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada, and unveil their new metric, evERAes+.  To put it simply, evERAes+ is the new OPSBI.  Sabeanmetrics is required reading for any smart ass.
  • Larry Koestler of the Yankee Analysts wrote a tremendous piece last week comparing the 2011 Yankees to teams previous since the start of the division era.  It’s really great stuff.
  • Lastly, Mark Smith of the Platoon Advantage (and also my co-writer at IIATMS) put together a particularly amusing Xtranormal video about Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and sabermetrics.  Check it out.
That’s all for now.  Share your thoughts on the ending of last night’s game.  What did you think?

Categories: Boston Red Sox

After being slapped with a restraining order for stealing Nick Cafardo's mail, I was forced into retirement for a brief period of time. As fun as it was to lounge around the community pool and play shuffleboard with noted internet columnist, Murray Chass, I quickly felt a yearning to write again. Now in my second tenure with Fire Brand, I have set lofty goals of achieving world domination, ending the plight of the hipsters, and becoming BFFs with Mike Trout. I am fluent in two languages (Sarcasm and English, in that order); have an intimate relationship with M&Ms; firmly believe that Lucille is the best character on Arrested Development; and spend my spare time trolling select members of the Boston media. You can follow me on Twitter @Chip_Buck.

3 Responses to “News, Notes, and Observations” Subscribe

  1. Dale Sams September 2, 2011 at 10:37 AM #

    You really thought that was a ball at first? Maybe you were watching mlb's feed and nesn has a different angle.

    Ump called a great 9th inning. Several times Mariano threw pitchs that made me cringe as they were called strikes on Tuesday…and it's hilarious how entitled Mariano AND Girardi have become.*

    *But any excuse to show that cute girl standing right beside Joe is fine with me.

    • darryljohnston September 2, 2011 at 1:09 PM #

      Plus, all of those pitches way inside tricked the human eye into thinking that pitch #5 was a ball. Crazy sequence!

    • ChipBuck September 2, 2011 at 1:26 PM #

      Yeah, I was watching the MLB feed.