Saturday, December 11, 2004

First. Post. Ever.

Welcome to Fenway Park Effects, my World Champion (can't write that enough) Boston Red Sox blog.

First, a few things about me, which will become obvious to anyone who reads this on any type of regular basis. I'm not writing this to win any poetry awards, or to get a job at as a columnist. As such, I'm not going to try to blow anyone away with my mastry of grammar or spelling, or my grasp of the english language. This is because I have no mastry of grammer or spelling, or the english language. In fact, I'm terrible at all three. I often switch tenses in the middle of a paragraph, or even in the middle of a sentence. As for spelling, I often misspell the word "misspelling." I offer this as a warning.

As for baseball, I consider myself somewhat educated on the topic, as I pretty much read everything I can find on it. I'm not a math genius, but I do have some grasp of newer baseball metrics as well as a general grasp of normal baseball statistics. Much like everyone else, I did read "Moneyball" and was blow away. I'm not Bill James or the guys at Baseball Prospectus, though I wish I was.

As for the Red Sox, I've been a fan since I was drafted by the Annandale (VA) Red Sox in Little League back in the early 1980's. I've written some pieces on this before, and will probably post them here when I get a chance. I lived in Boston for a short while, saw Pedro throw eight shutout innings against Bartolo Colon (then of Cleveland) from about 6 rows behind the Sox dugout. I now live in Philadelphia, where there are a suprising amount of Red Sox fans, though due to our proximity to New York, fans of the Evil Empire are abundant as well.

As for this blog, I've never done a blog before, but I have written articles about the Red Sox, and I hope that someone out there in internet-land will enjoy what passes for insight here at Fenway Park Effects.

Thanks for Reading.

It's a strange time to be a Boston Red Sox fan, thats for sure. Not only did we beat the Yankees, but we won the World Series. I'm sure there will be more posted on this site about that, but for now I'll just address the Red Sox's offseason moves. In that vein, the Red Sox latest move was giving David Wells a two year deal worth as much as $13Million a year. Thats David Wells who said he wanted to blow up Fenway Park. Thats David Wells who pitched for the Yankees not once but twice. Thats David Wells who will be 42 years old when the season starts.

Despite all that, I do like this deal, and I like it on a few different levels.

First, vindictively, I'm sure this will somehow serve to upset George Steinbrenner, and anything that upsets him is great by me. Hopefully Steinbrenner gets so upset that he decides to give Carl Pavano a ten year $200 Million deal.

Second, I don't have Well's stats in front of me now, but I know he had a sub-4.00 ERA last year for the Padres, which is very good. I do think that it would be a miracle if he was able to put up numbers like that pitching in Fenway Park, which contrary to popular opinion is actually a pitchers park, but is not nearly the pitchers park that Petco in San Diego is. Also the change to the American League will inevitably drive his numbers up, and pitching four or five times against the Evil Empire will also drive his numbers up too.

But, all that aside, Wells eats innings, and he's not going to be called on to be the number one or even the number two pitcher in Boston. The Red Sox are aparently very close to resigning Pedro Martinez (more on this topic later) and they also have Curt "Bloody Sox" Schilling to top off their rotation. Wells most likely won't be facing the top pitchers in the league, and if he is able to throw six innings and give up three or four runs he'll likely win a lot of games for Boston.

I think this signing signals the end to Theo Epstein's pursuit of Carl Pavano. Pavano is a good pitcher, but probably not the pitcher that everyone thinks he is. He had a great year last year, but there are a number of questions about him that would preclude giving him $10Million a year for the next four years. Not that I'd be upset if he decided he wanted to sign with the Red Sox, in fact I think he could be very successful in Boston (or NY for that matter), but I'm not sure he's worth what he's asking for, and it is entirely possible that half a season into his four year deal everyone will be looking at him like they are now looking at Javier Vazquez. In other words, he doesn't strike enough guys out that he's likely to be a number one guy.

But I'm getting off topic. Wells. The big question about Wells is his conditioning and therefore his health. If Wells is healthy I have no doubt that this is a good signing for the Red Sox. But, if he's not, he's not going to be a big huge drain on the Red Sox salary-wise because his contract is heavily incentive-laden. We'll see how this works out, but like the Mantei deal (only $750K for a guy who could be a great setup man) the Red Sox have added another guy who can flat out pitch, and for not too much money. Theo wins another one.