Friday, October 31, 2008

This One is For the 'Tek Backers

This is going to sound completely dick of me, but whatever. I have to do it. I simply cannot stomach another season of Jason Varitek playing 130 games and hitting .220. I can't do it.

1) If 'Tek's leadership is so invaluable and the Sox can't afford to see him go, keep him around. As the highest paid bench coach in MLB. I would have no problem with that.

2) If 'Tek's pitch calling is so outstanding, riddle me this. In 2008 the Sox pitching staff had an ERA+ of 114 and Jason Varitek appeared in 131 games. In 2005 the staff had an ERA+ of 96 and Varitek appeared in 131 games.

For the record, in 2005 Varitek had an outstanding year at the plate. His OPS+ of 122 was third on the team that year behind Manny and Papi and it would have been well higher if not for a disastrous September where he posted a frightful OPS+ of 47. In the five months prior he went 164, 137, 141, 141, 146. Amazing. All this has nothing to do with my original point though. I tell you this just so you don't think I have some sort of vendetta. Jason Varitek used to be an excellent major league player.

Back to my original point though and that is 'Tek and his pitch calling. Why would there be such a massive fluctuation between 2005 and 2008? Did Varitek get better with age or does the ERA+ of the staffs have everything to do with the pitchers and not the catcher? I'm sorry folks it's the latter. You see, the Sox staff had an ERA+ of 116 in 2004. So was '05 an "off" year? Of course not. In 2005 the only Sox pitchers that logged 150+ innings were Matt Clement, David Wells, Tim Wakefield, and Bronson Arroyo. Not exactly a murderer's row. Of that foursome, do you know who the best was? Tim Wakefield, who actually lead the team in wins, ERA, innings, and K's that year. So where's the love for Doug Mirabelli's pitch calling right?

Anyway, in 2004 the Sox had 5 pitchers log 150+ innings. Those five were Pedro, Schilling, D-Lowe, Bronson Arroyo, and Tim Wakefield. In 2008 they had four and those were Beckett, Lester, Dice-K, and Wakefield. You see where I'm going with this? Amazingly, when the Sox have good pitchers, their staff ERA is great. When they have shit pitchers, their ERA sucks. It is really that simple. Sorry Varitek lovers, but the pitching staff won't crumble with out JV around. The pitching staff will only crumble if it sustains a bunch of injuries and puts out a bunch of fifth starters every day. It really is as simple as that. How do you prove me wrong?


Anonymous said...

Maybe you'll get lucky and the Sox will bring in Ivan Rodriguez. Then you can blog next season about how bad he is!

Neil Williams said...

one can hope, right? Gotta live for something.