Saturday, April 07, 2012

Red Sox Magic Number - 163 (Still)

Did you know that according to Wikipedia - Cy Young and Tim Wakefield both hit 163 batters in their careers? Well that's crap. Cy Young hit 161 batters in his career and Tim Wakefield hit 186 (how do you confuse 186 with 163?). As Abraham Lincoln is famous for saying - it just goes to show how much trust you should place in things you read on the Internet.

Seeing Tim Wakefield and Cy Young mentioned in the same sentence may look strange to people outside of Boston but Red Sox fans are well aware that Tim Wakefield was actually only 6 wins behind Cy Young (and Roger Clemens) for the team record for wins at 192 (Wikipedia probably has that number listed as 162).

Truth is Tim Wakefield never should have been allowed to get close to that number. The last two seasons in Boston were just bad. In 2010 Tim had an ERA of 5.34 and a WAR of -.07 and in 2011 he had an ERA of 5.12 with a WAR of -1.2. Tim Wakefield is a very likable guy but the naked truth is letting him have a combined 42 starts the last two season probably kept the Red Sox out of the playoffs both seasons. Sorry but that's just the truth.

Another uncomfortable truth for Red Sox fans is the fact that JD Drew was more valuable in his 5 years in Boston than Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek combined over that same period. As a member of the Red Sox - JD Drew had a combined WAR of 14.6 while Varitek (4.3) and Wakefield (4.2) had a combined 8.5. Yet on Opening Day at Fenway I'd guess that JD Drew's name won't even come up even though he also "retired" after last season just like Wakefield and Varitek. Yeah I know that Drew was overpaid and that WAR isn't the most accurate barometer of success but it just struck me strange that JD Drew probably will be a complete afterthought to almost everyone.

What does all this mean? Who knows. Nothing makes sense this early in the season. For example - the Baltimore Orioles are currently in first place.