Tuesday, June 03, 2003

I'm somewhat curious to see how things turn out today with the Red Sox draft board. The Sox have been identified as one of those teams that were witness to The Great Awakening. Plate discipline is a personality trait, college kids are lower risks than high school kids, especially with pitchers. Both Theo Epstein and John Henry are mentioned prominently in Moneyball, and everything that has been said of them suggest that they will continue to follow that course of action today. There's nothing suspicious here, except the Sox went out last year and hired David Chadd to be Scouting Director.

Chadd is best known in draft circles for selecting Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez, both non-college players, with Beckett a pitcher, and then came here and did the same thing. taking high school kids with three of his first four picks, and a pitcher with the first one. This is obviously before Epstein's ascension to power, but it makes me wonder about the backbone of Henry, who said in Moneyball that he couldn't get things done with the Marlins because he felt somewhat intimidated as an outsider telling all of these old ballplayers how to handle personnel. That's totally understandable, but then why bring anyone here from the Marlins? Or, why bring Chadd here, just to do the same thing? Also, according to Gordon Edes, Epstein even went as far as saying in a conference call last week that the draft is "Chadd's show". So, what's going on here? I'm expecting that it is really Epstein's draft board, and he was just being polite.

I also expect that this something our local media is supposed to figure out. It's interesting how we watch different drafts. The Red Sox get twice the coverage of any other team in town, they have two minutes to make each of fifty selections, and it is unclear who is doing the picking?! The Celtics get one important pick, and that would never happen. The Pats get 5-10 important picks, and this would be a soap opera for weeks! Yikes, we lost a a Super Bowl Coach over this! Who's Buying The Groceries?!

Edes is terrible in today's paper. He reports that "according to trade publication Baseball America, the Sox are leaning towards . . .Ryan Wagner . . .or David Murphy". Ah gee, thanks Gordon. Its nice to have access to such high-ranking information. But I was thinking maybe you could call Epstein on the PHONE, and try to get a STORY, like a REPORTER. Didn't you ever read Will McDonough?

Hopefully the Sox are working harder than Edes, and have plans to catch the Yankees, and stay ahead of the Blue Jays, and Orioles. Yes, I said Orioles. Yes, I know they did the same thing last year and collapsed completely. Stop laughing and I'll explain why.

The Orioles are one game over .5oo, and 4.5 out of first. They have scored 287 runs and given up only 266. But also:

There are 3 AL teams with K/BB ratios of 2:1 - New York, Minnesota, Baltimore
The 3 AL teams to give up the fewest homers - New York, Oakland, Baltimore
Team allowing the fewest unearned runs - Baltimore
Team to get the most walks - NY, Seattle, Toronto, tie Baltimore and Boston
Team with fewest strikeouts - Anaheim and Baltimore

I'm not saying they'll win it. I'm just saying there are some interesting things going on there.


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