Tagged: Josh Beckett

“The Trade”

Staying on our Dodger Blue theme…

I peiced this together from various sources, including Gordon Edes and ESPN Boston.

On August 25, 2012, the Dodgers and Red Sox completed a 9-player deal which sent past-present-and probably future All Stars Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and (indepensible utilityman) Nick Punto to Los Angeles for the (until then) forever underperforming James Loney and four minor leaguers.

Traded Trio

Entering 2013, Gonzalez had $127 million remaining on his contract and Crawford had $102.5 million remaining. This was the first time in MLB history in which two players were involved in a trade with $100 million remaining on their contracts.

* Carl Crawford (via ESPNLA.com):  “That was one of the toughest times in my life, ever, from when I was a little kid, 1 year old. It definitely was one of the best things that ever happened to me in my life to be traded over here. You make $20 million, but it’s not like they’re begging me to hit a home run every time I go up there, you know what I’m saying? It’s not like I need to go 5-for-5 every at-bat and, if I don’t, I’m considered the worst player on the planet.”

Jonny Gomes was a teammate of Carl Crawford with the Tampa Bay Rays, but the Red Sox outfielder said he can’t relate to where Crawford is coming from when he talks about about how “bad” he wants to beat his former team, the Red Sox.  “To tell you the truth, every team and organization and manager and GM I’ve left, I’ve left on good terms,’’ Gomes said. “I talk to ’em all, talk to a lot of ’em in the offseason, reach out to ’em all. No hard feelings against any of ’em. I’m grateful for the opportunity they gave me. The last thing I want to do is ‘try harder’ against my [former] teams. I try hard every night.’’

* Josh Beckett (via WEEI.com):  “It just got way too personal for me,” he said while rehabbing in the Dallas area. “It wasn’t just like, ‘Hey, you suck on the baseball field.’ It was now, ‘Hey, you’re a bad person.’ It was getting personal. It wasn’t even about baseball anymore. It was definitely time to make a change. I think everybody from the front office to the players recognized that, we’ve moved on and now here I am.”

The Red Sox are 84-80 since the deal (remember, part of that includes the Bobby Valentine regime), the Dodgers 91-70, with each in playoff position at the moment.

The financial impact
The Dodgers had a 2013 Opening Day payroll of $216.6M, the second-highest in MLB behind the Yankees ($228.8M). That was a significant increase from their 2012 Opening Day Payroll of $95.1M, which was 12th-highest in MLB.

The $121.5 million opening day payroll increase was easily the largest in baseball between the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Next on the list is the Toronto Blue Jays, who increased their payroll by $42 million.

There’s still quite a bit of money left over on the contracts of the players the Dodgers acquired. Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett will be owed a combined $213 million after the 2013 season ends.

With those savings, the Red Sox were able to re-load in the offseason, spending more than $125M on impact free agents such as Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Ryan Dempster, David Ortiz, Jonny Gomes, Stephen Drew, David Ross and Koji Uehara.

Victorino has posted 4.4 WAR this season, better than any player the Red Sox sent to the Dodgers has performed this season.

The star: Adrian Gonzalez
Gonzalez at FirstOf the five major-leaguers involved in the trade, Gonzalez has been the most valuable for his team this year, with 3.3 Wins Above Replacement. Gonzalez’s value has come in the form of big hits. He has six game-tying or go-ahead hits in the seventh inning or later, the most of anyone on the team. Gonzalez rates fourth in the majors and second in the National League in Win Probability Added, a stat that sums the value of every plate appearance (and stolen base/caught stealing, based on how much it adds to that team’s chance of winning). The only players who rate higher than Gonzalez are Chris Davis, Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt.

Though Gonzalez has provided value, his power numbers are still not to the level that they were from 2009 to 2011 (and, by his own admittance after his arrival in L.A., probably never will be the same following his shoulder surgery while a member of the Padres).  Gonzalez had a .536 slugging percentage and .231 isolated power (extra-bases per at-bat) over those three seasons. The last two seasons, those numbers are .460 and .162.

* Adrian Gonzalez (via ESPNLA.com):  “For the most part, we underperformed last year in Boston and we didn’t win. The year before, we won. We just didn’t make it to the postseason at the end. I had a good time. The only things I had there weren’t really a big deal.”

Nick Punto
Both Crawford and PuntoBeckett have dealt with significant injuries that have been hindrances to their value. But another player has been a surprise contributor.Punto has been worth 1.9 Wins Above Replacement for the Dodgers this season. If that holds up, it would be the third-highest single-season total of his 13-year career, his highest since posting a 2.4 WAR in 2008.
Punto’s value stems from that he can play a pair of positions adequately. He’s contributed five Defensive Runs Saved at both shortstop and third base, two spots where he’s had to fill in due to injuries.

Punto may not be an imposing hitter, but he’s an annoying one for pitchers to face. His 4.29 pitches per plate appearance rank tied for fourth in the majors, among those with at least 250 plate appearances this season. In addition, in 13 games this month, Punto has a .475 on-base percentage (fifth in the NL among players with at least 30 plate appearances) and eight RBI.

* Nick Punto (via ESPNLA.com):  “Pedroia is the heartbeat of that club, and when he’s not happy, it’s not a good thing. He was definitely not very happy.”

Gonzalez Punto Dodger Blue

And the results have definitely shown for both teams.

The Red Sox are looking to become just the seventh team since the current divisional format began in 1995, and the first in the AL since the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, to go from worst-to-first in their division.  This would be the first time in franchise history that the Red Sox won their division/league the year after finishing in last place.

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Just Killing Time While Time Is Killing Me…

To think, the waning days of the Hot Stove are upon us.  The Sox haven’t made any earth-shaking moves with but a single remarkable transaction to show this off-season.  That, and who’d have thought both Prince Fielder and Roy Oswalt would still be on the market..?

Speaking of that single remarkable (or even better, marketable) transaction: Josh Reddick is in town for the annual Boston Baseball Writers’ Dinner, where he’s being honored as the Red Sox Rookie of the Year. (Yeah, really.)   The Red Sox traded the former prospect, along with two minor leaguers, to the Oakland Athletics in December in exchange for closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney. Reddick was surprised when he was told of the transaction.  “Shock.  I had a feeling I was going to get traded at the winter meetings, but once it didn’t happen, I was at ease with it and didn’t worry about it a whole lot.”  Reddick spoke with A’s GM Billy Beane and manager Bob Melvin on the day of the trade and the outfielder was given the impression that he should prepare to start every day.  “Obviously, that was good news to hear, especially when that was a question mark with the Sox. Once the shock kicked in, I realized, once I talked to Billy Beane and Bob Melvin, that it was going to be a good opportunity to play every day.”

In parts of three seasons with the Red Sox, Reddick combined for a .248 average with 10 homers and 37 RBIs in 143 games.

While questions remain in regards to the Red Sox’s starting rotation, general manager Ben Cherington said he is confident that both Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz will be healthy and productive once spring training begins.  “They’ve both had really good offseasons, Our new pitching coach [Bob McClure] has been in touch with both, as has the medical staff. It’s been a really good offseason for both and we don’t expect any issues with either of them going into camp. We know they’re both motivated to have a good year.”

Beckett, Buchholz and Jon Lester make up the top three of the rotation, but there are still questions on the back-end. Right-handers Daniel Bard and Alfredo Aceves will come to spring training as starters, along with Felix Doubront, Vincente Padilla, Aaron Cook and Carlos Silva.  “We feel really good about the front of the rotation. We feel like we have a collection of guys that can win jobs and help us in spots,” said Cherington. “We feel confident both Bard and Aceves are capable of doing it, but that’s not to say they will definitely be in the rotation. But they’re both capable and will come to spring training as starters.” Cherington said there could be other options as well..  “We’ll keep our eyes open as we get closer to spring training, or even in spring training, if there are ways to strengthen the rotation.”

The Scarlett Hose have not had an arbitration hearing with a player since 2002, but it appears this could be the year under their new general manager.  “We wouldn’t rule out a hearing,” Cherington said Thursday. “We had more cases this year than we’ve had in a while. We were able to settle five of those and we have four remaining and we’ll continue dialogue to see if there’s a settlement with any of those four.” The Red Sox have four players who are arbitration eligible, including David Ortiz, Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard and Andrew Bailey.  Of course, Ortiz is the biggest name. The DH accepted arbitration last month and rejected the team’s two-year, $18 million offer. The sides exchanged offer sheets this week and are $4 million apart, with Ortiz asking for $16.5 million and the Sox offering $12.65 million.

While Cherington downplayed the need for adding another outfielder in the wake of Carl Crawford’s wrist surgery Tuesday, the Red Sox can be expected to continue their search for outfield help before the Feb. 19 opening of spring training. The Sox have Jacoby Ellsbury in center field and recently added the left-handed hitting Ryan Sweeney, who was an above average defender in Oakland and was expected to get first crack at the majority of playing time in right field. The team also has Darnell McDonald to play against left-handers; Ryan Kalish, who is recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder; and Mike Aviles, an infielder who has been playing outfield in the Puerto Rican winter league.

The best available free agent remaining on the market would appear to be Cody Ross, who was paid $6.3 million by the Giants last season. Of course, the Sox could also look for help via trade.

Welcome back Double D…

I guess as the saying goes… “We almost forgot about you, but that’s probably because you’re almost forgotten.”

As many of us in The Nation know, even if you did listen to all that Theo hype as he accepted the move to Chicago, Dan Duquette was the man who (seemingly under the cone silence) built the foundation for the 2004 World Champion Red Sox.  Sure, Theo took her to the prom and Tito Francona helped deliver two of her children but Dan Duquette was the first to get into her pants and knock her up.

In a span of two days… a millisecond on the Hot Stove clock, Dan interviewed, re-interviewed, was offered and accepted the offer from the Baltimore Orioles to take over as chief of Baseball Operations / General Manager (full details not yet announced).  Now, I think Double D is a smart baseball guy, sure he’s not too keen with the media (doesn’t have to be) but does his job and backs it up.  Maybe that’s why I don’t quite get it.

First, let’s take a brief look at his credentials.

The Montreal Expositions:  In 1987 he became Montreal’s director of player development and drafted players such as Marquis Grissom, Cliff Floyd and Rondell White while also signing Vladimir Guerrero, Javier Vazquez and Orlando Cabrera to name a few.  Duquette replaced Dave Dombrowski as Expos’ GM in September of 1991, going on to acquire elite pitchers Ken Hill, John Wetteland, Jeff Shaw and traded for Pedro Martínez from the Dodgers for second baseman Delino DeShields. Duquette also built the infamous ’94 Expos team which had the best record in baseball at the time of the 1994-95 Major League Baseball strike.

The Boston Red Stockings:  Duquette became the GM of his hometown Red Sox and built a baseball operations department which was upgraded at every level during his tenure with favorites such as Nomar Garciaparra and Kevin Youkilis being drafted into the system. Other notable draftees included future MLB shortstops David Eckstein, Adam Everett and Hanley Ramirez as well as second baseman Freddy Sanchez.  The Sox traded over 35 players in Duquette’s farm system to staff the team including LHP Jorge De la Rosa who was traded for Curt Schilling and the afore-mentioned Hanley Ramirez who was later traded to the Marlins for Josh Beckett.  Duquette is also noted for several major acquisitions that would ultimately play a part in the Red Sox 2004 World Championship, including knuckleballer Tim Wakefield in 1995, Pedro Martínez acquired from Montreal in 1997 as well as the 1997 trade with Seattle for both pitcher Derek Lowe and All-Star catcher Jason Varitek, the free agent signings of Manny Ramírez in 2000 and Johnny Damon in December 2001…

… In 1996 Duquette signed Jaime Moyer to a free agent contract and then traded him to Seattle for outfielder Darren Bragg when manager Kevin Kennedy didn’t pitch him much and Moyer expressed he didn’t like playing in Boston.  Moyer went on to win 139 games in just over 9 seasons with the Mariners and achieved over 250 wins in his career…

… Duquette is also famously known for his quote about Roger Clemens in which he said that “we had hoped to keep him in Boston during the twilight of his career” in 1996 after Clemens left as a free agent following a 39-40 record over his last four seasons pitching in Boston (Clemens remains under indictment for lying to Congress that he used performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) beginning in the period immediately following his departure from Boston to Toronto) …

… The free agency losses of Clemens and first baseman Mo Vaughn were major points of discontent amongst some Red Sox fans, while he also did not resign Jose Canseco or Mike Greenwell (all of which proved to be wise moves).

 

So, you take the good and take the bad and there you have Dan Duquette.

Now, Dan has been removed from MLB since he was relieved of his duties by the Red Sox in 2002 following the sale to John Henry & Co. from the JRY Trust… so one might wonder, why now?  Was it all this ‘Theo’ talk which made the sports talk rounds and saw miles of footage on ESPN, MLB Network and so on?  Is it envy to the fact that when the experts say “Theo inherited a great team…” that the same experts usually omit the ‘from Dan Duquette’ part?  I only ask because it is a very well-known fact that the Baltimore Orioles are, in todays vernacular, a Hot Mess.

Peter Angelos has, on many occasions, been regarded as a baseball owner you don’t want to work for and backed up by the fact that supposedly one or two candidates just recently declined the team’s offer for the GM position.  Since he took over the team and put ‘his stamp on it’ way back in 1993 the O’s have, for the most part, sucked.  Aside from the consecutive playoff years of ’96 & ’97,  the Orioles have done little more than show up and trade marketable talent to bigger market teams who can pay the younger rising stars.  Sure they sign older, declining stars with a possible upside who might put a few a$$es in the seats, but have done little to surround them with talent.

However…. Double D is taking over a young and fairly potent Orioles team which has shown streaks of brilliance in the last two seasons.  With Buck Showalter already in place he has a manager who has mentoring and seasoning the kids as needed and has them ready for a real push in 2012.  Can he find the veteran peices to compliment them?  Well, since the budget in O-Town doesn’t look to be expanding, Dan will have to use his documented prowess to trade (or in some cases steal) or sign a few of those possible Wakefields and Pedro’s.

Baseball in general, nevermind in front-office dynamics, has changed in his decade away.  He’ll have a limited pocketbook and a meddling owner to deal with as he tries to turn one of baseball’s oldest teams around and feed a starved fan base who’s turned, ironically, to the former Montreal Expos franchise residing in Washington D.C. in the guise of the Nationals.  I’d wish him luck, but he’s back in the AL East and that’s just too bad.

 

“Gentlemen, start your engines…”

The clock is slowly ticking down to the start of September and the 2011 season is about to hit its stride.  However, there is one helluva straightaway before we get to turn four.

Now granted, be it in NASCAR terms or whatever vehicular jargon you like, the Sox are in pit row.  The pitching has since sputtered, the line-up is thumping over a blown tire and while the fuel has been fine, thinning the mix for the length of the race has been a problem.  Luckily, at this point anyway, we’re not alone as our neighbors roughly 150 miles to the southwest have been in the same race.

Lackey has been anything but the ‘second ace’ we expected were getting when the ink dried on the contract.  In fact, from one start to another, you’re not sure which version of the big hoss will show.  Wakefield has been stuck, seemingly, in nuetral.  However, in Wake’s defense, the Time Lord has pitched fairly well and kept opponents at bay as well Miller or the semi-Lackey but just hasn’t had the stability behind him.  Lester is for a better word ‘back’ and Beckett is looking as if he’ll be completing a great ‘comeback’ year.  Bedard, well, there is yet another question mark.  Yeah, the ERA isn’t horrific but do we have time for a ‘work in progress’ we may only be renting anyway?

Youk, who’s been in and out of the line-up with various injuries (which to his credit he has attempted to play through) may have picked a ‘good’ time to go out on the DL.  Big Papi was already riding the bench and should be back and well into getting his swing on by the time Youk returns.  A-Gon has been hampered by a neck problem which has stolen his home run stroke and now Jacoby ‘The Machine’ Ellsbury is hitting a slight breakdown.  Well, believe it or not, we should still be OK.  Petey rode in the slow lane early and has picked up an MVP caliber season since while Crawford, extremely slow to adapt to his new surroundings, is again hitting his stride following the mid-season  injury.  Combine that with Marco, Reddick, Salty/Tek’ and the on and off mix n’ match pieces we’ve been plugging in… along with A-Gon’s ability to still hit for average if not power… we’re hanging in there.

But not by much.

Now comes the time of year where you need to take every series.  Splitting a four game series won’t be enough.  Now its three out of four or two of three.  Sure, you can’t sweep every series, not should you expect to, but taking the series is without a doubt.  So the question is… who do we need to line up in our sights and show no mercy..?

We open a four game set with the Rangers of Texas in Arlington who will obviously be no push-over and then return home for a month-ending home stand.  First we see the Athletics, late of Philly and Kansas City (and possibly soon of Oakland), for a three game series and after an off day welcome the New York Highlanders for an all important AL East match-up (of course, we visit the Bronx Zoo in late September for the final weekend of the season, amidst a Baltimore sandwich series).  We then open September with the final game of the Pinstripes series in the friendly confines and then welcome… guess who, the Texas Rangers for yet another volley of Defending AL Champs stew.  The remainder of the month is as it should be, an AL East love-fest where we play what seems like 400 games against the Blue Jays and Rays (strangely, both teams having towns that begin with ‘T’ and names that end in ‘..’ays’) with the aforementioned Baltimore sandwich with Yankee filler.

Those same Pinstripes will be home for a series against the wandering A’s, a visit to the O’s and then have the aforementioned sleep-over at Fenway.  There month however… isn’t as AL East lovey-dovey as ours.  In fact, they have a West Coast road trip amidst the love-fest to visit Seattle and the Los Angeles Americans (as compared to the Los Angeles Nationals).  The ‘Bombers also will play the final two weeks of the season with no day off as a one-game visit from the Twinkies will fill that date on the calendar.

So all we really need at this point is for the pitching woes to sure-up, the bullpen to get some new life and the hitting to get back on track while the opponents from the city so nice they named it twice to get some serious fatigue and jet lag, but with some of the seniors playing on their team, that might not be a problem.

The Red Sox Hall of Fame…

With questions of ‘The Best’ or ‘Top 5’, ‘Top 10’ and so on I figured I’d take a moment to look over the hallowed halls of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.

These are the basics…

The Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame was instituted in 1995 to recognize the careers of former Boston Red Sox baseball players. A 15-member selection committee of Red Sox broadcasters and executives, past and present media personnel, and representatives from The Sports Museum of New England and the BoSox Club are responsible for nominating candidates.

The criteria for selection into the Hall is as follows:

  • Player to be eligible for nomination must have played a minimum of three years with the Boston Red Sox and must also have been out of uniform as an active player a minimum of three years.
  • Non-uniformed honorees such as broadcasters and front office execs are inducted by a unanimous vote of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame selection committee. The memorable moment will be chosen by the committee as well.
  • Former Boston Red Sox players and personnel in the National Baseball Hall of Fame (NBHOF) in Cooperstown, New York will be automatically enshrined in the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.
1995
  • Tony Conigliaro
  • Joe Cronin (1956 NBHOF)
  • Dom DiMaggio
  • Bobby Doerr (1986 NBHOF)
  • Jean R. Yawkey (front office)
  • Frank Malzone
  • Johnny Pesky
  • Jim Rice (2009 NBHOF)
  • Babe Ruth (1936 NBHOF)
  • Ted Williams (1966 NBHOF)
  • Smoky Joe Wood
  • Carl Yastrzemski (1989 NBHOF)
1997
  • Carlton Fisk (2000 NBHOF)
  • Jimmie Foxx (1951 NBHOF)
  • Harry Hooper (1971 NBHOF)
  • Dick O’Connell (front office)
  • Mel Parnell
  • Rico Petrocelli
  • Dick Radatz
  • Luis Tiant
  • Cy Young (1937 NBHOF)
2000
  • Ken Coleman (broadcaster)
  • Dwight Evans
  • Larry Gardner
  • Curt Gowdy
  • Jackie Jensen
  • Ned Martin (broadcaster)
  • Bill Monbouquette
  • Reggie Smith
  • Tris Speaker (1937 NBHOF)
  • Bob Stanley
2002
  • Rick Burleson
  • Boo Ferriss
  • Lou Gorman
  • John Harrington
  • Tex Hughson
  • Duffy Lewis
  • Jim Lonborg
  • Fred Lynn
2004
  • Wade Boggs (2005 NBHOF)
  • Bill Carrigan
  • Jimmy Collins (1945 NBHOF)
  • Dennis Eckersley (2004 NBHOF)
  • Billy Goodman
  • Bruce Hurst
  • Ben Mondor (Pawtucket Red Sox owner)
  • Pete Runnels
  • Haywood Sullivan (front office)
2006
  • Dick Bresciani (front office)
  • Ellis Kinder
  • Joe Morgan (manager)
  • Jerry Remy (player and broadcaster)
  • George Scott
  • Vern Stephens
  • Dick Williams (manager) (2008 NBHOF)
2008
  • George Digby (scout)
  • Wes Ferrell
  • Mike Greenwell
  • Edward Kenney, Sr. (front office)
  • Bill Lee
  • Everett Scott
  • Frank Sullivan
  • Mo Vaughn
2009
  • Jim Rice (2009 NBHOF)
2010
  • John Valentin
  • Don Zimmer
  • Tommy Harper
  • Eddie Kasko
  • Jimmy Piersall

Memorable moments

  • 1995: Roger Clemens’ first 20-strikeout game in 1986
  • 1995: Carlton Fisk’s game-winning home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series
  • 2000: Dave Henderson’s game-winning home run in Game 5 of the 1986 American League Championship Series
  • 2002: Earl Wilson’s no-hitter on June 26, 1962
  • 2004: Bernie Carbo’s pinch-hit home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series
  • 2006: Dave Roberts’ steal of second base in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series
  • 2008: Ted Williams’ home run in his final Major League at-bat on September 28, 1960, versus the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park
  • 2010: Tom Brunansky’s diving catch of Ozzie Guillén’s line drive in the ninth inning of the season ending game that preserved the Red Sox victory sending them to the 1990 playoffs

And all of this information, sadly, still doesn’t lend itself to the easy selection of ‘Top Something Red Sox of all-time’.  So I guess we’ll have to do it the hard way and look at the facts, stat for stat, player by player… oh boy.  Now, to weave through the enormous bulk of the statistics and the lesser players who exist in the higher end of all-time numbers through the merit of less time served, I’m planning on setting a minimum of 800 games played in a Red Sox uniform.

Batting Average:                          Home Runs:

1. Ted Williams      .344                  Ted Williams         521

2. Wade Boggs       .338                  C. Yastrzemski      452

3. Tris Speaker       .337                  Jim Rice                 382

4. N. Garciaparra   .323                 Dwight Evans        379

5. Jimmie Foxx       .320                 David Ortiz*          310

6. Johnny Pesky      .313                 Manny Ramirez    274

7. Manny Ramirez  .312                 Mo Vaughn             230

8. Fred Lynn            .308                Bobby Doerr           223

9. Billy Goodman    .306                Jimmie Foxx         222

10. Mo Vaughn        .304                Rico Petrocelli      210

Runs Batted In:                           Games:

C. Yastrzemski      1844                  C. Yastrzemski     3308

Ted Williams         1839                  Dwight Evans       2505

Jim Rice                 1451                   Ted Williams        2292

Dwight Evans        1346                   Jim Rice                2089

Bobby Doerr          1247                   Bobby Doerr         1865

David Ortiz*           987                    Harry Hooper      1647

Manny Ramirez    868                    Wade Boggs          1625

Jimmie Foxx          788                    Rico Petrocelli      1553

Rico Petrocelli       773                    Jason Varitek*      1520

Mo Vaughn            752                     Dom DiMaggio    1399

Doubles:                                          Triples:

1. C. Yastrzemski      646                 Harry Hooper        130

2. Ted Williams         525                 Tris Speaker          106

3. Dwight Evans        474                Buck Freeman        90

4. Wade Boggs           422                Bobby Doerr           89

5. Bobby Doerr          381                 Larry Gardner        87

6. Jim Rice                 373                 Jim Rice                   79

7. David Ortiz*           331                 ‘Hobe’ Ferris           77

8. Dom DiMaggio      308               Dwight Evans          72

9. Jason Varitek*       305               Ted Williams            71

10. N. Garciaparra     279               Freddy Parent          63

Bases on Balls:                                Runs Scored:

Ted Williams         2019                     C. Yastrzemski      1816

C. Yastrzemski      1845                      Ted Williams        1798

Dwight Evans        1337                      Dwight Evans       1435

Wade Boggs          1004                       Jim Rice                1249

Harry Hooper        826                      Bobby Doerr        1094

Bobby Doerr          809                       Wade Boggs         1067

Dom DiMaggio      750                       Dom DiMaggio    1046

David Ortiz*           734                       Harry Hooper       988

Jim Rice                 670                        David Ortiz*          812

Rico Petrocelli       661                        Johnny Pesky       776

For the same reason of wading through the massive amount of statistics, I limited my selections of pitchers to a minimum 200 appearances in a Red Sox uniform.

Wins:                                             Earned Run Average:

1. Roger Clemens      192               Joe Wood                 1.99

2. Cy Young                192               Cy Young                  2.00

3. Tim Wakefield*     184              Dutch Leonard         2.13

4. Mel Parnell             123              Pedro Martinez        2.52

5. Luis Tiant                122              George Winter         2.91

6. Pedro Martinez      117               Tex Huson               2.94

7. Joe Wood                 117              Roger Clemens        3.06

8. Bob Stanley             115              Ellis Kinder              3.28

9. Joe Dobson             106             Lefty Grove               3.34

10. Lefty Grove            105             Luis Tiant                  3.36

Strikeouts:                                     Complete Games:

Roger Clemens         2590               Cy Young               275

Tim Wakefield*       1993                George Winter      141

Pedro Martinez        1683                Joe Wood              121

Cy Young                   1341                Lefty Grove           119

Luis Tiant                  1075                Mel Parnell           113

Bruce Hurst             1043                 Luis Tiant              113

Joe Wood                  986                  Roger Clemens     100

B. Monbouquette     969                 Tex Huson              99

Frank Sullivan          821                 Dutch Leonard       96

Jim Lonborg             784                 Joe Dobson            90

Innings Pitched:                               Shutouts:

1. Tim Wakefield*         2933.0          Roger Clemens          38

2. Roger Clemens          2776.0          Cy Young                    38

3. Cy Young                    2728.1           Joe Wood                   28

4.  Luis Tiant                  1774.2           Luis Tiant                   26

5. Mel Parnell                 1752.2          Dutch Leonard           25

6. Bob Stanley                1707.0          Mel Parnell                 20

7. B. Monbouquette      1622.0          Tex Huson                   19

8. George Winter           1599.2          Joe Dobson                 17

9. Joe Dobson                1544.0          B. Monbouquette       16

10. Lefty Grove              1539.2           Lefty Grove                 15

Saves have been included simply for historical significance.  I’m listing the full top ten, but lowering the minimum to 100 appearances in a Red Sox uniform.

Saves:

1. Jon Papelbon*               208

2. Bob Stanley                    132

3. Dick Radatz                    104

4. Ellis Kinder                      91

5. Jeff Reardon                    88

6. Derek Lowe*                    85

7. Sparky Lyle                      69

8. Tom Gordon                    68

9. Lee Smith                         58

10. Bill Campbell                 51

Now a lot of names repeat themselves in these lists of all-time stats, while a few names were omitted for lack of appearances, such as Pete Runnels for a few hitting categories and pitchers Jon Lester and Josh Beckett for strikeouts as well as Babe Ruth for a number of pitching categories including ERA (4th with 2.19), complete games (8th with 105) and shutouts (11th with 17).  I left out stats such as Extra Base Hits, Slugging and On-Base percentages as they were simply more of the same names in different order.  You can view them yourself here:  http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/history/all_time_leaders.jsp

Okay, there are the stats for the most part (no, I’m not including fielding stats because a few of the categories are geared towards infielders, particularly first basemen and catchers), so lets take a look at award winners.

Most Valuable Player: This is the BBWAA MVP award created in 1931, and does not include the Chalmers Award (1911–1914) or the League Awards (1922–1929).

Dustin Pedroia* (2008), Mo Vaughn (1995), Roger Clemens (1986), Jim Rice (1978), Fred Lynn (1975), Yaz (1967), Jackie Jensen (1958), Ted Williams (1949 & 1946) and Jimmie Foxx (1938).

Rookie of the Year:

Dustin Pedroia (2007), Nomar Garciaparra (1997), Fred Lynn (1975), Carlton Fisk (1972), Don Schwall (1961) and Walt Dropo (1950).

Now lets take a look at a few more historical league leaders…

… We’ll cover hitting first…

Batting Champions
Year Player Average
2003 Bill Mueller .326
2002 Manny Ramirez .349
2000 Nomar Garciaparra .372
1999 Nomar Garciaparra .357
1988 Wade Boggs .366
1987 Wade Boggs .363
1986 Wade Boggs .357
1985 Wade Boggs .368
1983 Wade Boggs .361
1981 Carney Lansford .336
1979 Fred Lynn .333
1968 Carl Yastrzemski .301
1967 Carl Yastrzemski .326
1963 Carl Yastrzemski .321
1962 Pete Runnels .326
1960 Pete Runnels .320
1958 Ted Williams .328
1957 Ted Williams .388
1950 Billy Goodman .354
1948 Ted Williams .369
1947 Ted Williams .343
1942 Ted Williams .356
1941 Ted Williams .406
1938 Jimmie Foxx .349
1932 Dale Alexander .367
Home Run Champions
Year Player HR
1984 Tony Armas 43
1983 Jim Rice 39
1981 Dwight Evans 22
1978 Jim Rice 46
1977 Jim Rice 39
1967 Carl Yastrzemski 44
1965 Tony Conigliaro 32
1949 Ted Williams 43
1947 Ted Williams 32
1942 Ted Williams 36
1941 Ted Williams 37
1939 Jimmie Foxx 35
1919 Babe Ruth 29
1918 Babe Ruth 11
1912 Tris Speaker 10
1910 Jake Stahl 10
1903 Buck Freeman 13
Triple Crown: Batting
Year Player Avg., HR, RBIs
1967 Carl Yastrzemski .326, 44, 121
1947 Ted Williams .343, 32, 114
1942 Ted Williams .356, 36, 137

… And now the Pitching…

ERA Champions
Year Player ERA
2003 Pedro Martinez 2.22
2002 Pedro Martinez 2.26
2000 Pedro Martinez 1.74
1999 Pedro Martinez 2.07
1992 Roger Clemens 2.41
1991 Roger Clemens 2.62
1990 Roger Clemens 1.93
1986 Roger Clemens 2.48
1972 Luis Tiant 1.91
1949 Mel Parnell 2.78
1939 Lefty Grove 2.54
1938 Lefty Grove 3.08
1936 Lefty Grove 2.81
1935 Lefty Grove 2.70
1916 Babe Ruth 1.75
1915 Joe Wood 1.49
1914 Dutch Leonard 0.96
1901 Cy Young 1.62
Strikeout Champions
Year Player Strikeouts
2002 Pedro Martinez 239
2001 Hideo Nomo 220
2000 Pedro Martinez 284
1999 Pedro Martinez 313
1996 Roger Clemens 257
1991 Roger Clemens 241
1988 Roger Clemens 291
1967 Jim Lonborg 246
1942 Tex Hughson 113
1901 Cy Young 158
Triple Crown: Pitching
Year Player Wins, ERA, Ks
1999 Pedro Martinez 23, 2.07, 313
1901 Cy Young 33, 1.62, 158
Cy Young
Pedro Martinez 2000
Pedro Martinez 1999
Roger Clemens 1991
Roger Clemens 1987
Roger Clemens 1986
Jim Lonborg 1967

Now, for the sake of being fairly thorough and not wanting to completely leave the legendary defensive efforts in limbo, here are the list of Gold Glove Winners…

Gold Gloves
Player Pos Year
Dustin Pedroia 2B 2008
Jason Varitek C 2005
Tony Peña C 1991
Ellis Burks OF 1990
Dwight Evans OF 1985
Dwight Evans OF 1984
Dwight Evans OF 1983
Dwight Evans OF 1982
Dwight Evans OF 1981
Fred Lynn OF 1980
Fred Lynn OF 1979
Dwight Evans OF 1979
Rick Burleson SS 1979
Fred Lynn OF 1978
Dwight Evans OF 1978
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1977
Dwight Evans OF 1976
Fred Lynn OF 1975
Doug Griffin 2B 1972
Carlton Fisk C 1972
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1971
George Scott 1B 1971
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1969
Reggie Smith OF 1968
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1968
George Scott 1B 1968
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1967
George Scott 1B 1967
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1965
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1963
Jackie Jensen OF 1959
Frank Malzone 3B 1959
Jim Piersall CF 1958
Frank Malzone 3B 1958
Frank Malzone 3B 1957

So, has any of this cemented anything?  No… but it has provided a little bit more depth into the varied history of the players who have worn the Red, White and Blue of the Boston Americans across the many decades.  Looking at a few of these league leading categories, it also sheds some light on periods where offense seemed to overshadow pitching and how both seemed to dwarf defense… but then again, the Yawkey regime was always known for the sizzle of the home run show over the actual steak of baseball.

Okay, for the next installment I’ll be looking at those who are inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and probably a few players who should have been but weren’t.  Hey, you can’t make an omelete without breaking some eggs and sure as hell can’t have any sort of ‘Best of…’ or ‘Top (insert number here)..’ list without a little controversy.

That’s A Good Question….

With the Pinstripe Captain reaching his 3000th hit in such ‘Grand’ fashion (as any New York scripted Yankee milestone would be), there has been a lot of talk, blogging and general conversing on where he ranks all-time for the game’s most historic team.

This tidbit is lifted from www.thepostgame.com :

Where Does Derek Jeter Rank On The List of Greatest Yankees Ever?

Written by: Steve Henson

Now there are six.

The greatest New York Yankees have long been counted on one hand. Babe Ruth is the unquestioned No. 1, after which the order is debatable but not the names: alphabetically, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle.

Add Derek Jeter to the mix.

Jeter became the first Yankee to accumulate 3,000 hits in pinstripes when he hit a solo home run off Tampa Bay lefty David Price in the third inning Saturday in the Bronx. Jeter, who just returned after spending three weeks on the disabled list with a calf injury, singled in the first inning for No. 2,999. In his next at-bat, Jeter ripped a full-count slider from Price into the leftfield seats.  And despite the recent cyber-trend to disparage Jeter’s game and accomplishments, he deserves mention alongside the best to play for baseball’s most storied franchise.

Precisely where does he rank? From a poetic standpoint, No. 2 would be the perfect perch. Cue a tape of Bob Sheppard to make the announcement:

“The shortstop, number 2, Derek Jeter, number 2.”

But that’s a difficult case to make. To eclipse every Yankee except Ruth, Jeter would need to bounce back offensively through 2013. He’d need to change positions so his deficient range at shortstop recedes into memory. And the Yankees would need to win two more World Series with Jeter a driving force through those postseasons.

Today, though, Jeter has gained entry into the land of the elite. A Fab Five is now a Sparkling Six.

Here’s our list, in reverse order. Class, grace and a certain “Yankee-ness” count. So do stats. Only accomplishments with the Yankees are considered.

It all adds up to “greatness,” an admittedly imprecise blend of hard numbers and subjective notions.

6. Yogi Berra

Berra was part of a major league record 10 World Series champion teams, was named American League Most Valuable Player three times and played the most demanding position on the field. He also developed an iconic oracle-like persona with his fractured speech and hilarious yet astute observations. And at 86, he’s not only the lone living member of the Sparkling Six besides Jeter, he still wears pinstripes. Berra anchored the team during its late-1940s and 1950s heyday, succeeding Hall-of-Famer Bill Dickey at catcher and playing alongside DiMaggio and Mantle. He has the fourth-highest Wins Above Replacement of any catcher in history.

5. Derek Jeter

Jeter’s stature and leadership are unsurpassed. His production in the media hellfire of the Bronx has been phenomenally consistent. His five World Series titles and overall postseason excellence set him apart from other active players. In 2001, his flip of a relay throw to home plate and his walk-off home run in Game 4 of the World Series are among the most memorable moments in Yankees history. Of course he’s slipping at 37: Mantle, DiMaggio and Gehrig were retired at that age. Yes, he’s made more outs and hit into more double plays than any other Yankee and he’ll probably pass Mantle for most strikeouts. One milestone begets others for the player with the most plate appearances, official at-bats, hits and stolen bases. Each category speaks to longevity, durability, toughness and resilience.

4. Mickey Mantle

Like DiMaggio, Mantle retired at age 36. Like Jeter, his defensive skills eroded with age and — in Mantle’s case — injury. But like Berra, Mantle played 18 Yankee seasons because he broke in at age 19. He and Willie Mays vied for the title of best player on the planet through the 1950s and much of the ’60s. The switch-hitting Mantle was AL MVP three times and he led the Yankees to 12 World Series, winning seven titles. He might have had more natural ability than any player ever, but he frittered away some of his talent partying. Who knows the numbers he could have amassed had he not been such a carouser? That question need never be asked of Jeter, who by remaining productive for two more seasons could swap places with Mantle.

3. Joe DiMaggio

The Yankee Clipper was the team’s most majestic player, and only Gehrig and Jeter approach his stateliness. DiMaggio’s greatest accomplishment is his record 56-game hitting streak. A close second is his nine World Series titles, behind only Berra in Yankee history. DiMaggio’s offensive numbers across the board are exceptional per season, but his career totals are lacking because he retired after 13 seasons, at least four fewer than the others on the list, primarily because he missed three years serving in World War II. At age 35 in 1950 DiMaggio had a stellar season that mirrored his career numbers. A year later his performance declined because of nagging injuries and he hung ’em up after helping the Yankees to one more World Series championship.

2. Lou Gehrig

As he was in the Yankees lineup from 1925 to 1934, Gehrig is immediately behind Ruth on the list of Yankee Greats. When the measure is a blend of batting statistics, World Series titles, impact on baseball, impact on New York, larger-than-life persona and unforgettable nickname, The Iron Horse noses out the rest of the pack. Gehrig’s greatness was perhaps best displayed after Ruth left the Yankees. Gehrig led the team to three more World Series titles for a total of six, and he batted .361 with a staggering 1.208 OPS in the postseason. His career was tragically cut short at 36 after 17 seasons because of the rare disease that bears his name.

1. Babe Ruth

Besides singlehandedly introducing home run power as the game’s most lethal weapon and gate attraction, Ruth also made the Yankees the greatest team in baseball. Before his arrival in New York in 1920, the franchise had a losing record. In Ruth’s 15 seasons with the Yankees, and for the next 30 years beyond his departure, they had only one losing season. His career offensive Wins Above Replacement of 143 is easily the franchise best and he holds the trifecta of highest batting average (.349), on-base percentage (.484) and slugging percentage (.690). Ruth won fewer World Series titles with the Yankees (four) than any of the others on this list. But he delivered, hitting 15 homers in 117 at-bats. .


 With all of these talks of greatness and stats to prove it.. it begins the question (again) of who may qualify for top five or six for the greatest Red Sox of all time.  Obviously, the list is started with the unquestionable Number One in Ted Williams (not bias just fact), but who falls in after that?  Yaz makes the list somewhere in the 2 to 3 range, maybe even a Jim Ed or Dewey… names like Fred Lynn or Jimmy Foxx may spring to mind, members of Million Dollar Outfield maybe?  Carlton Fisk would seem to be a thought, and even though many will list him as the greatest Sox catcher just ahead of ‘Tek, the fact remains, he spent more years of his career in Bleached Hose than Scarlett.  Of course, talk then drifts towards Cy Young, Roger Clemens (who judging by his weight and much of the court documents was clean while in a Boston uniform), Bill Lee, maybe even Tim Wakefield..?
This will require much more investigative effort.
Moving on to other thoughts….
It’s the All-Star Break and the Sox have taken over first place in the American League East.  Sure, it isn’t a commanding lead, but hell we’re leading the ‘Bombers and even a half game up is still up, so a whole game is all the better.  The Sox have a very good number of worthy players attending the Midsummer Classic either through voting, manager’s decision or replacement.  However it happens, congrats to them!
1B Adrian Gonzalez:  In his first year with the Boston Americans, A-Gon has made an easy case in his first half season to make the list of top five or six Red Sox of all time.  Though many said he started the season a bit cold and required a month or so to adjust to Fenway’s dimensions (he, Ortiz and Lowry the only ones hitting in the first month or so…), he easily established himself as the anchor of the team having a profound effect on not only the line-up but his teammates, Big Papi inparticular.  His standing as top-vote getter at first, beating out the likes of uber popular Pinstripe Mark Teixeira and Miguel Cabrera was indeed worthy.
DH David Ortiz: The last few seasons had not seen the kindest starts for Big Papi, however this year proved much different.  Either through improved conditioning, different mental approach or as he has said, a bit of both combined with the surprising mentoring from A-Gon, Ortiz has reinvented himself as the premier DH in the League and once again one of the most feared clutch hitters, far different than the questionable talk from BoSox management to end last season.  With this youthful resurgance, Papi & A-Gon could become a more historically feared tandem than Papi & Manny, giving the Sox yet another power driven throwback to Mantle & Maris.
CF Jacoby Ellsbury:  His name being such a well known one in The Nation, it’s often hard to remember just how long he’s been in the big leagues.  Having led the CF voting for a majority of the time, his loss to a returning Josh Hamilton (of the disabled list Hamiltons) was a bit sour, however his being pencilled in as a postion reserve is just as good. This marks Ellsbury first trip to the Midsummer Classic and is well deserved especially when looking at the injury plagued career setback known as the 2010 season.
3B Kevin Youkillis: Now, obviously Youk is not having his best year… he’s been taking a beating physically at the plate (foul balls, HBP, twisted ankles) and making an honest attempt to re-adjust to 3B while hbbling on and off the field… but he’s been doing it quietly and with his normal intense passion.  Often overlooked by the majority of the League, having been surrounded by names such as Ramirez, Bay, Ortiz, Lowell, Pedroia, Lester, Beckett and Papelbon, he’s made top five in MVP voting a few times but is annually deserving of a trip to the Midsummer Classic.
RHP Josh Beckett:  A few seasons ago, there was question if the Sox should even resign him, nevermind to the contract he actually got.  Last season brought even more of the same.  If he wasn’t fighting a plague of nagging injuries it was almost as if he was fighting himself… a bit of that comfortability that plagued The Rocket in his final few years in Fenway.  But Beckett, like Ortiz, has re-lit the fire and showed up to camp a few years younger and as a re-invented player.  Despite the flu and a few passed starts due to various ailments, he’s shown himself once again as an elite pitcher and an anchor in the (when healthy) Trifecta of Boston’s starting rotation.
Honorable mention should of course go out to Jon Papelbon.  Even though the ‘Tower of Terror” has hit a pothole or two along the way, he is enjoying a resurgence as a premier closer once more, putting the bumps and dropping velocity of the past few seasons behind him.

Meanwhile, in The Hall of Justice….

(That’s a Super Friends reference by the way…)

Well, that’s the first Duckboat Parade down… and one to go.  Josh Beckett apparently had that mind this evening down in Tampa, allowing just one hit and collecting his first complete game since 2009.  Even sweeter coming against an AL East foe, dropping the Rays some 41/2 back in what will be a stretch where 14 of their next 30 some odd games come against the Scarlett Hose and The Pinstripes.  The season is a marathon and this could be the lead in to Heartbreak Hill where we can create some distance.  To me however, the best part is seeing a finally healthy, mentally focused Beckett looking like the Beckett we traded for oh so long ago and not the Beckett we were fairly hesitant to extend just a few off-seasons ago.

Meanwhile Kevin Youkilis has been nice enough to remind everyone that you just can’t pitch around this Boston Americans line-up.   Well, not anymore… the adjustment period is over.  If you walk one, you still have to face another.  And even when you walk the AL batting leader, you have to face a guy who is not exactly a slouch and is often forgotten for being in the top 5 of AL MVP voting for a few years… sure, you can walk him too.. but then you still have the ever rejuvenated Big Papi…. and should you go around him you have the fire-starting Crawford… of course this all contingent upon the fact you haven’t been initially torched by Ellsbury and Petey in the one two holes…

… Sh!t… we have a damned good line-up.

We’re getting hip deep into the season when the All-Star game is roughly a month away and the weather ain’t the only thing heating up (especially here in Vegas).  The Red Sox were enjoying the longest winning streak in the Majors this season, having outscored opponents 83-36 during that span but hit the wall against the Floridians who have been a tough play for them to date.

But streaks are like that… streaky.  When one ends, you might just start another.