Links 10-01-2010: A quiet October in Boston

Well, we’ve been saying it for some time now, but it is now mathematically official – the Red Sox are out of it. Here’s Theo Epstein’s statement on their elimination. Nothing to do but root for the Rays against the Yankees now. And, of course, begin obsessing about the offseason. Sox Therapy is looking ahead too. Don’t cry over spilled milk, like this post does.

Notes on 2010

Go out and show some love for Mike Lowell on October 2, which has been dubbed, “Thanks, Mike” Night. He’s been a class character and I have the utmost respect for the man. And for God’s sake, someone get him his final home run ball.

Looking for a way to explain how the Red Sox could possibly have ranked second in offense after losing Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia for much of the year? Look no further than Adrian Beltre. His season had some of the hallmarks of an MVP year, with much of his success being found on hard-hit fly balls.

BP’s redux on the Red Sox this year was that it wasn’t just the injuries, but the poor starting pitching outside of Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz that doomed the Red Sox. All of the focus has been on the bullpen, but I think they looked extra bad because they were forced to pitch tired by the rotation. Things should right themselves next year as Josh Beckett and John Lackey regress back towards who they were (fingers crossed).

There were some rumblings that the Red Sox seemed to fare poorly against poor teams, while they played well against tough opponents. This study at Dugout Central shows them as middle-of-the-pack in this regard.

David Ortiz downplays his 100 RBI season. Good for him. 100 is just a number, as is 20 wins. Lester still matches up against anyone else just fine.

Terry Francona insists that Jonathan Papelbon is all growed up, but Paps’ complaints about the umpiring tell us otherwise. It’s the game, Paps. Just do your job.

For those of you wondering why the Red Sox claimed Felipe Lopez for a stretch run with little hope and little need for him, Francona notes that he was insurance for Marco Scutaro, who was apparently playing with a lot of physical problems for some time. That, and his departure could net the Red Sox a compensation draft pick. He passed up a chance at the playoffs with the Padres to be here, though, so we’ll see what happens.

Looking ahead

The crowd believes Beltre will command 3-4 years at $13M per season as a free agent. If it’s three years, I might do it, but if it’s four, I’d hesitate a bit at that price.

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Linkage: Lust for Teixeira, Crisp trade details

Some good reading available here:

Red Sox 23rd in defense? I think not.

Got turned on to these team defense rankings through Beyond the Box Score. Normally I let these kinds of things go, but this one is pretty egregious. Thanks for the nice try, Justin Inaz, but your defense rankings are totally whack. Is there anyone who truly believes that the White Sox have a better defense than we do? Nick Swisher over Jacoby Ellsbury and Coco Crisp? Paul Konerko over Kevin Youkilis? Seriously? Have you seen these guys play?

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Link: Examining Jon Lester’s season

Just how good has Jon Lester been for the Red Sox this year? Peter Bendix over at Beyond the Box Score has a nice analysis article. I think the title is a little bit exaggerated at this point, but Lester has been darn good. That Johan Santana non-trade just keeps looking better and better, don’t you think?

Links: Why Manny just had to go

For those Manny apologists still out there, here are some must-reads, now that the deed is done:

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Masterson versus Bowden

The blog Minor League Ball by John Sickels has a “Prospect Smackdown” article on two of the Sox’ top pitching prospects (and good friends), Justin Masterson and Michael Bowden. A nice read.