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Yanks About to Put Sox to Bed Early

By Mike Silva ~ May 8th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees.

Anything can happen in baseball. The Yankees know that as they came back from a 14 game deficit in July of 1978 to win the division. Just three years ago the Yankees looked dead on Memorial Day, 14.5 games out of the division and miles away from the Wild Card. Joe Torre’s final season still resulted in a playoff appearance. With that said, you have to believe the AL East is going to come down to two teams, and both very well may make the playoffs. Some would figure this would be the Yankees and Red Sox, but the Rays hot start puts them on a 98′ Yankees type pace. This leaves the Yankees, who just continue to find ways to win in the most boring fashion. The AL East in 2010 promised the possibility of a three team dogfight. After last night, and the early results from Boston, it appears the matchups with the Red Sox will be important in name only. The Red Sox look like a frustrated and confused team.

I have felt the Red Sox had this coming to them. They decided to reinvent themselves from the slugging offense to a team predicated on run prevention. While the Yankees continued to get stronger offensively, the Sox brought in mediocre offensive players, let one of their better hitters go, and preached how a run saved is as good as a run scored. I almost believe that Mike Cameron had these super long arms that would stretch above the Green Monster and save every homerun ball.

Early into the season it was apparent the Sox lineup wasn’t as deep as before. Even worse, their bullpen is spotty, and their one strength, the rotation, was underperforming. Josh Beckett and Dice-K both seem to have begun an early decline. Sure, there still is Buchholz, Lester, and Lackey, but three starters in the AL East is not going to be enough unless you have the 2009 Yankees bullpen. Even though the offense continues to manufacture runs, their pitching hasn’t held up its end of the bargain. It appears when the Sox score runs their pitching lets down and when they pitch, their offense performs as most would expect. There is also injuries some unexpected (Ellsbury) others not a surprise (Cameron). When you bring in older players you have to expect some aches and pains. In other words, sounds like a .500 team.

I am all for having a good defensive team, but at the key positions, not as some sort of plus/minus ideology. John Dewan, the stat guru, sent out an update on the top 5 teams in run prevention earlier this week. Two of the top teams, Seattle and Colorado, are having very pedestrian seasons because other aspects of their club have fallen apart. With the Sox new defense where were they? Middle of the pack. Again, defense can’t replace good pitching and offense.

Theo Epstein doesn’t deserve all of the blame. Who could have predicted the demise of Beckett? Matsuzaka perhaps, but not Beckett. I believe letting Jason Bay go, although he isn’t setting the world on fire, will wind up hurting them in the long run. We all know David Ortiz will not let his career go into the night quietly and will continue to be disruptive in the clubhouse. The Sox are the prototypical great team on the decline. In a lot of ways they remind me of the 05-08 Yankees. They still have great talent, but the sum is less than the whole of the parts.

So who cares if Josh Beckett threw at the Yankees? They did their talking on the field by scoring 10 runs and making the game a laugher. Boston fans were more interested in singing “Sweet Caroline” than concentrating on the rivalry. You don’t get worked up over other .500 teams, why get crazy about one because they have Boston across their chest. The Sox are where the Yankees were a couple of years ago. They need their Teixeira and Sabathia to turn it around. Maybe 2011 will be better if Adrian Gonzalez and Cliff Lee are acquired. I do know the fix is going to take more than some statistical analysis. Term papers don’t win divisions, good players do. Right now the Sox don’t have enough of them.

Maybe the PA announcer at Fenway should play Enter Sandman, not for Rivera, but for the Yankees putting the 2010 Red Sox to sleep early this weekend.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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4 Responses to Yanks About to Put Sox to Bed Early

  1. Fernando

    Here’s a quiz for you. Which team in baseball is third in OPS, 4th in home runs and 4th in walks?

    That would be the Red Sox. Their offense is fine and will get better once their average with RISP improves to the mean.

    Meanwhile, please present one piece of evidence of David Ortiz being disruptive in the clubhouse. You can’t because there isn’t any. You’re making it up.

    And trying to extrapolate defensive stats on a 30-game sample is a fool’s errand. Anybody with a speck of common sense knows that defensive advantages play over 162 games, not 30. Mitchel Litchman has said that looking at UZR or any other defensive metric now is a waste of time and cautioned people against it. But you’ve decided their defense isn’t any good. I’m sure you know better than the guy who does UZR.

    Finally, the Yankees were five games out of a playoff spot on June 23 last year and Brian Cashman had to fly to Atlanta to give the team a chewing out.

    How did that work out?

    So the Yankees were five games out of a payoff spot last June 23 and they were fine but the Red Sox are six games out on May 8 and they’re finished?

    That makes sense.

  2. Steve M

    Mike sounds like no more than a wishful-thinking Yankees fan…

  3. Mike Silva

    The Sox have scored 41 runs in 3 games this season which accounts for 27% of their production. Take out those three games and they are averaging 4.1 runs per game which would be in the bottom half of the league.

  4. Steve M

    and it’s still only May 8th…

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