Monday, June 15, 2009

Should we go ahead and worry about Youk?

Yes, he was hitting like the maximum Ted Williams when he went on the DL.

Yes, his overall numbers are still good.

But in 3 1/2 weeks since returning from the DL, Youkilis has lost .042 in batting average, .062 in on-base percentage, and .109 in slugging. He's batting .220 for June.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

How good was Jim Rice?

My earlier posts on all-time Sox lineups and rosters got me thinking: how good was Jim Rice really?

I don't ask out of any disrespect to #14. He was a great player. He was better than the other two guys in the picture here, which is saying something.

But he's no better than third on the all-time list of Sox left fielders, because Williams and Yastrzemski were simply better. It's no shame to come in behind those guys.

And if we include all Sox outfielders who played at least, say, five years with the team and had a big impact on its fortunes, Rice wasn't as good as Tris Speaker -- who was, in the judgment of Bill James, better than Joe DiMaggio.

And then there's the question from the current day: was Rice better than Manny?

My thumbnail guess: considering all phases of the game, Rice was the sixth-best fifth-best [note: I can't count] outfielder the Sox have had. (Oh, and he wouldn't crack my lineup at DH, either -- Foxx was better.)

Or am I missing something?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Most Pleasant Surprise of far

Tell me your most pleasant surprise thus far in 2009 for the following:

  • Red Sox Player
  • Non-Red Sox Player
  • Team other than the Red Sox

I'll start us off.

For the Sox I'm pleasantly surprised with the play of Hideki Okajima. After such an amazing 2007 we saw Oki go down a notch in 2008, but now he's made 23 appearances with 22 innings pitched and has only given up 6 ER for a 2.45 ERA. Very similar to his 2007 numbers. If the Sox are going to go deep this year he's got to be the man in the 7th/8th.

Non-Red Sox player is easy for me, Zack Greinke in Kansas City. SICK. I mean 8-1 with a 1.10 ERA...we haven't seen something like this since Pedro days.

As for the team I'm pleasantly surprised to see, maybe it's the heat but I have to go with Texas at this point. I know the Angels have been struck by bad luck and horrible tragedy, and the AL West is weak in general, but the Rangers have still won 30 games, best in the AL. Give them their due, even if all the Rangers fans I talked with this past weekend told me that there was a better chance of three days of rain than that team keeping up the pace ;)

Bonus if you can name the ex-Patriot in the picture above...the eyes certainly give it away.