Tag: John Lackey

Daily Noontime – October 26, 2011

Ben Cherington is in and Theo is out!

Happy Wednesday to everyone and welcome into another splendid edition of the Daily Noontime! Here’s some great news and notes to kick-start your day! 

Headlines: 

* The Boston Red Sox introduced the team’s new General Manager on Tuesday, Ben Cherington, while the Chicago Cubs named Theo Epstein their president of baseball operations.

* According to the Red Sox, John Lackey will undergo Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow and will most likely not pitch again until the 2013 season.

* Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell has made it clear – he’s staying with his team, and won’t relocate to Boston or Chicago.

* Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and quarterback Joe Flacco admitted they both deserve the blame for Monday’s loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

* Apparently Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden are interested in obtaining the Miami Dolphins head coaching job next season.

Games to Watch: 

* Philadelphia at Montreal (NHL) – 7:30pm eastern 

* Texas at St. Louis (MLB/World Series/ Game 6) – 8:05pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

What’s better – the broadcast or Hail Mary? 

Theo’s Out, Ben’s In – Time For Cherington To Lead The Red Sox To Victory

Ben Cherington will officially become the next Red Sox GM on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011! (Picture courtesy of MassLive.com)

By Matt Noonan 

I think it’s fair to say, we won’t be seeing Theo Epstein anymore, as reports on Friday evening confirmed the Red Sox General Manager has officially packed up and departed Fenway Park for good. And now that Theo’s left the building, (sorry Elvis), I think it’s time to begin the next phase with Ben Cherington.

Cherington will officially be introduced to the media on Tuesday, as he’ll be sworn into office, but after every handshake, smile and question, he’ll need to hunker down and get his team back on track. And the first order of business is finding a new manager.

Terry Francona won’t be coming back, and neither will John McNamara or Don Zimmer, but what Boston needs is a hard-nosed tough guy that can make an immediate impact, and help players understand that the clubhouse isn’t a country club.

They need someone who’ll throw out the empty boxes of chicken, and pour the beer down the sink. They need someone who has dealt with “head cases” before and is ready to take on the great Josh Beckett and John Lackey, but really, they need someone who can turn this sinking ship around immediately.

For the past two seasons, Boston fans have watched their team suffer, and finish in third place, which isn’t exactly where Theo and his cronies imagined they’d be after 162-games. However, Cherington knows what it takes to win. He’s been apart of this organization since 1999 and has experienced two World Series titles in 2004 and 2007, so I’d imagine that he’d like to win another championship soon.

Hopefully Boston fans will adopt Cherington’s methods, especially since his former co-worker won’t be stirring up media drama in Boston, but instead, Chicago. Cherington will certainly need to reshape this roster, as well as find a way to get rid of players that aren’t committed to winning.

The drama on Yawkee Way will certainly continue for the next few months, but at least the men and women who work for this fine organization can say, “We’ve officially found our new GM.”

Noonan: This Red Sox Team Is A Mess

The 2011 Boston Red Sox was a complete disaster!

By Matt Noonan 

Let’s face it – the Boston Red Sox are a complete disaster.

General Manager Theo Epstein constructed this mess and now, he’s most likely headed to Chicago to resurrect the “Loveable Losers,” but it’s not exactly certain.

Yes, sources have confirmed that he’s gone, and have packed his bags, which leave many Sox fans quite disappointed, especially since we all adopted the idea that in Theo we trust, right? OK, he’s not Bill Belichick, but he did win two World Series titles, so I am sure some believed he was the man who was going to turn two back-to-back losing seasons into gold, as well as another championship too.

Yet, while Theo played hardball with the media, beat writers, correspondents and bloggers fired back at the front office and their team.

On Thursday, the Boston Globe’s Bob Hohler provided the ultimate press-pass to  his readers, which had plenty of dirt and information on this so-called “collapse.” Hohler reemphasized the drinking issues, which was mentioned in a Boston Herald article recently, as well as highlighted Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey’s fraternity parties in the team’s clubhouse during games. Finally, we also learned that team owner John Henry bribed his bunch of ignorant brats with $300 headphones and night on his yacht, but that didn’t help Boston overcome their September swoon.

So, while the days get shorter and the nights get longer, Red Sox fans are faced with many tough questions and thoughts.

Why exactly did Theo decide to interview for the Chicago Cubs General Manager position?

Why didn’t anyone in the Red Sox front office consider re-signing Manager Terry Francona to a new contract?

Can someone explain to me, why Beckett, Lester and Lackey felt it was necessary to play video games, drink beers and play videogames during Sox games?

Finally, where do we go from here? Also, who’s going to manage this club and who’s most likely to be the squad’s next GM?

Well, for starters, it seems most likely that Ben Cherington will be Boston’s newest version of Theo, yet that leaves one big void… a manager.

Don’t try to convince me by saying, “Joe Torre or Tony La Russa are the right guys for this team” because really, they’re not.

The Red Sox need a Bill Parcells or a Bobby Knight to come into this disgruntled clubhouse and change things around. Hey, maybe Knight would be the right guy, especially since he’s a master at throwing chairs.

Yet, while we wait patiently and ponder, what will the next move be in this epic game of “baseball chess,” I think it’s fair to state once again, this Red Sox team is a complete dysfunctional family. They need help. They need someone who can clean house, and press the restart button. Yet, unfortunately, this isn’t a videogame or monopoly, so we can’t avoid take fake money and throw it out the window, but the Sox do need someone who’ll get the team back on the right tracks.

It’s going to be a long off-season, so put on your seatbelt and enjoy the ride because come February and March, we’ll have a brand new ballgame.

Rubin: Red Sox Pitching Was The Achilles’ Heel

Would you say, the Red Sox failed to win games because of their pitching?

By Dan Rubin 

It’s easy to point the finger at the 2011 Boston Red Sox by blaming the front office, the manager and his staff, or any one of the free agent busts they’ve signed over the past two years.

Detractors will be extremely quick to tell Red Sox fans they lost the season because of a clubhouse filled with overpriced babies, whining brats, and players who couldn’t get along. They’ll use that as fodder to lob at Theo Epstein and Terry Francona, and they’ll do it by saying, the Red Sox essentially became the New York Yankees.

Although, the real reason the Red Sox failed wasn’t because of a lack of output, yet instead – pitching.

Championships aren’t won without a lockdown bullpen and a good starting rotation. As Sox fans in the ‘90’s remember, it was easy to have a terrible season when you had one great starter and four mediocre arms.

The ‘02 Red Sox failed to qualify for the postseason even though they had two 20-game winners in Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe and the American League batting champion, Manny Ramirez. Boston failed to qualify for the playoffs that year because of their third, fourth and fifth starters, along with their bullpen that couldn’t close the door on any opponent.

The ‘04 Red Sox had multiple front-end starters, headlined by the aces of Martinez and Curt Schilling. Behind them, every starter won 10-games and pitched over 175 innings, while the bullpen shut the door at key times thanks to Mike Timlin and Alan Embree.  Only one Boston starter that year had a WHIP over 1.5 (Lowe). Also, Lowe, Tim Wakefield, and Bronson Arroyo gave the Sox a chance to win games too.

The ‘07 edition was even better, as their rotation included Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka, (making his cameo appearance for being great by pitching a team-high 204 innings). Behind them, Wakefield and Schilling, as well as Julian Tavarez and Jon Lester. With the exception of Tavarez, no pitcher had a WHIP of 1.50 or higher on the ’07 squad. Also, the bullpen that year had a well-balanced attack of relievers, as every single pitcher practically finished with – 50+ innings pitched, 3.00-4.00 ERA, 2-3 wins, and a WHIP of 0.90-1.50.

The Red Sox of ’11 featured four starters down the stretch with WHIPs over 1.5 – John Lackey, Andrew Miller, Erik Bedard, and Kyle Weiland. Their bullpen had three relievers combine for more than 50 innings, while Alfredo Aceves recorded more innings pitched than both Miller and Bedard combined.  Jonathan Papelbon was forced to finish 54 games, appear in 63, and save only 31 – and he blew three saves. Also, at the end of the season, he became used too often because Dan Wheeler, Scott Atchison, and Felix Doubront couldn’t do what the team did in ’04 and ’07, which was win games.

So, now we hit the offseason. Francona appears all but gone, and the front office is left with a number of different questions. They’ll probably go out and sign some splashy free agent, which should make everyone feel great coming into spring training next year, but until they get those workhorse guys in their clubhouse, the current roster and new additions will most likely be looking up at Tampa Bay and New York again next September.

Dear Red Sox…Really?

By Andy Lindberg

I had to sit back and think on this one for a little while.

After the Yankees blew a 7-0 lead to Tampa Bay (which would most likely never happen if the Sox didn’t need NY to win) and the Red Sox kept stranding runners, I got that sick feeling of the inevitable.  I went through all the stages of grief in about 3 minutes, finally culminating in the acceptance that my favorite baseball team was about to complete the most epic collapse in their history, and they were going to do so is stunning Hollywood fashion.

Seriously, if they made a movie about Moneyball, last night is already in production.

The Red Sox didn’t just screw up, they re-defined the word.  From now on, a complete and total epic, disastrous let down should be known as a “Red Sox.”

Boston had the Wild Card in the bag and were very much in contention for the division in early September.  Instead, Boston went 6-20 in the month.  Try counting their wins on their schedule page.  It’s heart-wrenching.

If you’re a Yankee fan–like my cousin–you now have fuel for the fire for decades of verbal torture.  In all honesty, this even may trump the 2004 playoff comeback, because as big of a choke as that was for the Yankees, teams have won four games in a row plenty of times before.  Blowing a 9.5 game lead in less than one month of play?  Not so frequent.

I don’t know whether I’m really all that mad or if some small portion of my brain had me prepared for this.  I’m in a a state of shock, no doubt, but angry, how can you be angry at this team?  Extremely disappointed is the better term for how I feel.  Massively disappointed, like if your kid jacked the keys to your car and went on a bender after dropping out of law school with a 4.0 GPA and a sure fire job offer at a top-tier firm disappointed.

I don’t have kids, but I imagine the feeling is comparable.

Red Sox fans should demand a shakeup.  There is no question the Boston brass has made terrible moves in the last two years that have directly led to this collapse.  Spending a combined $224.5MM on Carl Crawford and John Lackey being the most brazen of them.

$224.5MM.

On two players.

Are.  You.  Serious.

The Red Sox got away from what had made them a premier franchise in the first place.  They once had a stocked farm system rated near the top every single year.  Boston groomed studs far more often than they bought them and extended them for relatively cheap compared to market value.  The Red Sox have tried to slug it out over the free agent market with the Yankees to flex their wallets.  That is a fight few teams, if any, can win.

There is a considerable amount of money coming off the books for Boston, and there must be a rift in the clubhouse.  Players know how each other performs.  To the Boston brass, sometimes it’s better to cut your losses.  You’re going to end up paying obscene money anyway, sometimes it’s better to pay these guys NOT to play, and I’m not talking about Crawford.

This post may be incoherent, but such are my thoughts on this Red Sox season.  I can’t wrap my head around it.  They came in with a whimper and left limping even worse.  For a team that held so much promise, we may now realize that this franchise may be suffering for the long haul.