The Patriots had their way offensively with the San Diego Chargers yesterday, and an opportunistic defense made just enough big plays to keep San Diego safely out of range for much of the afternoon. The defense once again gave up a lot of yards, but also had a pair of interceptions and a goal line stop on 4th down to stymie Charger drives in a 35-21 win at Gillette Stadium.

This W comes with plenty of worry – After saying all week that the defense played better than it looked in Miami, Greg A Bedard is officially worried about the Patriots defense after yesterday’s effort. Ron Borges says that if you think this defense is opportunistic, then you have your eyes closed. Jackie MacMullan says that it is OK to have a bendable defense so long as the wins keep coming. Rich Garven says that the defense is clearly still a work in progress. Tom E. Curran isn’t penning love letters to the defense, but notes that they did help Tom Brady and the offense yesterday. Michael Hurley has the defense showing that stats are for losers.

Finishing touch among Patriots highlights – Karen Guregian says that how the Patriots closed this one out should be encouraging. Bob Ryan wonders if the Patriots can continue to win when Tom Brady isn’t throwing for 400 yards every week. Andrew Tornetta says that the offense looks unstoppable. Dan Duggan has Tom Brady and Deion Branch in perfect harmony yesterday. Mark Farinella has the Patriots feeling like they’re just scratching the surface of their potential. Tim Whelan has the Patriots and their fans making noise yesterday. Ian R. Rapoport has the offense and defense working well together.

Wilfork life of the party – Russ Charpentier has the Patriots defensive lineman enjoying his time in the spotlight yesterday. Chad Finn says that Wilfork’s first interception was a career highlight. Kevin McNamara has Wilfork enjoying the moment.

Ten Things We Learned Sunday: In a pinch, Jerod Mayo rises to the challenge – Christopher Price has the linebacker with a big afternoon. The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune has always been very critical of Mayo during his career, but today Hector Longo has praise for Mayo, wondering where this guy has been all these years, and David Willis says that yesterday we finally saw the Jerod Mayo we’ve all been waiting for.

Tom Brady continues to amaze – Mike Reiss has the Patriots QB better than ever. Jeff Howe has Brady and Deion Branch rekindling their connection. Bill Burt thinks Branch is worthy of the nickname “prime time.” Jim Fenton has more on Brady and Branch.

A transcendent, transitional figure – Scott Barboza with a nice piece on Drew Bledsoe and his Patriots Hall of Fame induction. Mark Farinella is proud to have been part of the selection committee.

Patriots defense best when backed up – Rapoport’s notebook has the unit coming up big in key spots. The Patriots journal looks at Sergio Brown’s first interception. The Gatehouse notebook from Glen Farley has the Patriots defense showing big-play ability. The Globe notebook from Shalise Manza Young and Monique Walker has more on the Branch/Brady connection.

The Red Sox continued their stumble right out of the postseason with another loss to the hard-charging Tampa Rays yesterday. Boston’s lead in the Wild Card spot is a mere two games with ten to play. The Sox play a double-header with the Baltimore Orioles today.

A pennant race primer: What the Red Sox are up against – Rob Bradford looks at the spot the Sox find themselves in this morning.

Red Sox try to leave Rays behind – Gordon Edes has the Sox trying to keep Tampa in their rear view.

These Red Sox should be embarrassed – Christopher Smith says it all.

Confident Rays look like the superior team – Tim Britton has the Ray enjoying their role as the chasers.

Weiland helps fill a twinbill – Peter Abraham’s notebook has the Sox trotting out the uninspiring duo of Kyle Weiland and John Lackey for today’s doubleheader. The Herald notebook from Scott Lauber has Carl Crawford getting benched against David Price yesterday. The Red Sox journal has Jarrod Saltalamacchia having a rough time with the knuckleball yesterday.

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45 thoughts on “Patriots Sail Past Chargers, Sox Still Stumbling

  1. Good win for the Pats yesterday. The offense is ridiculously balanced and prolific. Defense played well enough to win. Looks like it's going to be the same type of season as last. IMO we'll have to reserve judgement until the playoffs. In the playoffs, can the offense continue to score enough points against good defenses without a stud receiver who can create separation and beat one on one coverage … and can the Pats defense rush the passer and stop a playoff team? We'll find out in Jan. Should be an awesome season though.

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    1. The one thing that will linger all year is the Defense. Remember, last year was the same type of season. A balanced offense that could not be stopped and an opportunistic defense who forced many turnovers.

      The problem was in the playoffs, the Defense still gave up yards but DID NOT force any turnovers at all. The offense then left a few plays on the field and turned the ball over, leading to a loss. Can the Defense tighten when they have to? I'm still not seeing it…yet.

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  2. The easiest story in the world to write must be "The Pats defense continues to play bend don't break" even though they aren't. In the Miami game after they gave up the opening 70 yard drive where Miami made them look silly…the pats then gave up a total of 169 yards, only 30 of it on the ground to non QB's, while forcing the dolphins to punt on 6 straight drives for the next 2 1/2 quarters. When the game was basically over then Miami was able to pass for another 200 yards but by then the pats were more interested in killing clock than anything else.

    In the SD game the pats defense had two different concerns. Phillip Rivers quick release and making sure Antonio Gates did not kill them. So what did the Pats do…they committed a LB and Safety to shutting down Gates. They calculated that if they sent more than 4 bodies at Rivers SD would pick up the blitz (remember 2 bodies are already on Gates) and that would leave receivers running free. Instead the Pats played more coverage and got beaten on some good plays made by some good receivers. When the field got shorter…the Pats philosophy changed a little because the SS did not have to worry as much about over the top coverage…this let them pressure a little more with Mayo as the SS slid up into the MLB spot for coverage. What happened inside the red zone? SD was atrocious and that is where the Pats won the game.

    You would think seasoned writers like Borges or even Bedard would see this. Instead we get…"issues with the defense" pieces. What I really, really am begging for is context. Put the defense's performance in context with who they played and how they played them before squawking that the sky is falling. Like the offense the defense changes/morphs each week based on matchups, weather and health. I can't believe I am about to type this sentence: Next week the 2-0 Bills play the Pats…they have been moving the ball well through two weeks. We will see how Chan Gaily attacks the Pats defense. He has always been a pretty good offensive minded coach…just a lousy head coach. (as an aside…a coaching staff with both Chan Gaily and Dave Wandstadt… BWahahahahaha.) I do think the Pats will come out…control Buffalo's running game and then force Fitzpatrick to beat them in the air. This will give us a different snap shot as to where the Pats defense stands.

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    1. I agree in general. I'd also add that Vincent Jackson (10/172) is the kind of big, agile receiver that the Pats and Belichick have always had problems with, so nothing new there.

      But I'm not sold on this D quite yet. I'm still seeing (in both games) a lot of the same issue they had last year: way too many converted 2nd-and-longs and — especially worrying — 3rd-and-longs. That will kill you in the long run.

      Buffalo's a better team this year, but they've just gotten through with beating two of the worst teams in football. (And had to come back from a 21-3 deficit against one of them.) I don't think the Bills are as good as the Dolphins this year, and they're definitely not as good as the Chargers The Pats should beat them handily…. but you never know.

      I'm not talking about the Sox at all. Bad mojo. Bad feelings. Positively Mets-ish.

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      1. Dave:All the Pats d did take a step backwards in 3rd down defense. Against Miami they held Miami to 2-14 against SD 12-14. It was yucky. But they had 4 turnovers vs 1 in the Miami game and they owned SD when they went for it on 4th down…while Miami was 4-5 in 4th down conversions. But again I think a lot of it had to do with the way they defended Antonio Gates. As you correctly point out they left Vincent Jackson in 1 on 1 coverage with Devon McCourty. Not the best matchup the Pats have…and once the 6'1 Dowling gets dinged…they really have no other option. They need Bodden in the slot so Arrington ends up on the other side and he is a worse match up to the SD receivers. I really think this was just bad match ups. I totally agree with you that Buffalo has beaten bad teams…but that is what you are supposed to do. I think FItzpatrick is better than his last years numbers show but he hasn't played a good defense this year. That is why I think Buffalo is a good test for NE. If the Pats win a 31-10 game and Fitzpatrick has 250 Yards 1TD and 3 Picks then I am right about the defense. If they win 41-24 and Buffallo puts up 400 yards of offense again…then I still think this defense is better than last years but maybe there are still some questions.Having said all of this…please Boston Sports Media…before you condemn the Pats…please look at context. As for the Sox…I wrote on Friday I was shocked about the lack of outrage. At this point I want Theo's head on a platter. The depth at both the major league and minor league levels is atrocious. Let him got to Chicago and hire Brian Cashman…at least he knows how to spend $180 mil correctly. The more I watch the more I think the 2004 and 2007 teams won in spite of management. This is killing me.

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        1. Yes, please bring us the guy who gave A.J. Burnett a market-busting 5-year deal. I'm curious to see whether he'll give Varitek a 3-year $45m deal to be the once-a-month DH because "he's a true Red Sock" or something. Or maybe he'll just give Posada the same deal to back up Big Papi. (Who'll get 3-$25M with a $10M 4th year player option.)

          Please. Cashman was handed the Jeter/Posada/Rivera core that won those World Series titles (all of them scouted/signed under Gene Michael's regime). On his own, he managed to win….. wow, ONE whole World Series title in 11 seasons! Yes, by Jove, please give me that guy instead of the one who assembled two World Series champions in that timeframe!

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          1. Fine bring in someone other than Cashman. I am just annoyed that they have fallen off a cliff because they have no depth on the big league roster and then again in the minors. Its killing me.

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          2. They traded away their minor league depth for AGon and their depth really wouldn't be tested had the roster stayed relatively healthy.

            And they're not out of it…not yet.

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          3. "Depth" is replacing one or two guys when they're injured. NO TEAM has the "depth" to replace 5-6 starters for extended periods of time. You're thinking like a Yankee fan, LTD. "Why can't we just go pay Pujols $40m a year to fill in while Youk is on the shelf?" And nobody wants to think that of you….

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          4. No Dave…I am angry that the closest minor league player they have ready for the Major League mound is Kyle Weiland. I am upset that the closest position players they have don't include anyone with power and those with power either suck (Anderson) or are overmatched and a year away (Lavarnway). With the amount of money they have to spend on minor league depth…they should have much better player development. I don't accept that with the injuries they have they should piss away a 9 game lead in 14 days. With the money and resources they have available they should be able to overcome any injury issues.

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          5. So developing two possible Cy Young caliber pitchers in Lester and Buchholz, plus a quality starter in Justin Masterson, plus starter-turned-closer Jon Papelbon, plus Daniel Bard, Felix Doubront, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, Jed Lowrie, David Murphy, Nick Hagadone, Cla Meredith, plus Rizzo and Kelly (who were only turned into one of the best hitters in the NL)…. is lousy player development. Gotcha.

            Oh, and of course it's all Theo's fault that Ryan Westmoreland had to have brain surgery.

            The Rays have the depth of pitching talent they have BECAUSE THEY WERE GODAWFUL FOR 10 STRAIGHT YEARS. When you draft between #1 and #4 in the draft for a whole decade, yes, you wind up with a lot of talent. Do you want Theo to restock the minors by blowing up this team and having a full roster of Kyle Weilands? The next Mike Moore can be yours for the low, low price of 61-101. Because that was the Rays' record when they drafted David Price.

            You CANNOT just go out and throw money around and get a ton of good young players. There's a draft, and there's an order in that draft, and you do your best with the picks you have knowing, full well, that (a) you're going to surrender a lot of those picks if you're signing high profile free agents, as teams that wish to contend must do, and (b) that maybe one or two players out of your ENTIRE draft will ever play consistently in the big leagues — 3 or 4 if you're lucky. Yet here were the five draft picks for the Sox in 2005 — a surplus they got by allowing free agents to be signed by other teams, mind you: Ellsbury, Buchholz, Bowden, Lowrie, and Craig Hanson. Bard was 2006. Their 2007-2009 first rounders were all traded in the Martinez and Gonzales trades.

            The Rays parked their 2005-2009 draft picks in the minors for as long as they could, in order to keep them arbitration-eligible as late into their 20s as they could. Which is why you see a huge clot of talented players at the ML level right now — that has been their plan. Because they have a smart GM, they actually jumped the gun a bit with their success, adding some unexpected pieces like Garza and Bartlett. But this is not the norm — this is a planned spurt of talent enabled by years of failure and deliberate hoarding of players at the minor league level.

            You can bemoan the fact that acquiring power bats cost us the short-term depth that would have been helpful today — that's fine, I agree with that. But saying that the Sox have poor player development because we don't have anyone better than Kyle Weiland (and by the way, look at Weiland's ML numbers vs. tonight's starter for the Orioles, Matusz — and keep in mind Matusz is one of the Orioles' top pitching prospects) when half our starting rotation goes down at once…. that's just ridiculous.

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          6. Well I thought we weren't going to argue about the Sox because they were in free fall…but since it has gotten this far and you mocked my choice in replacing Theo with Cashman…let's really look at Theo.He gets credit for winning in 2004 with a Roster that is mostly Dan Duquettes construction. He does get credit for getting the alleged steroid abusing no heart hack Nomar out of town. I am not sure how much credit he should get for signing Schilling who really understood baseball history and his ego was such that he really wanted to be the factor that allowed the Sox to win for the first time in 86 years.In 2007 an argument can be made that the best offseason move that year, trading for Beckett happens when he is off having a hissy fit over control and his relationship with larry Luccicino. Jed Hoyer and Ben Charrington actually pull that trigger giving the Sox a replacement arm for Pedro (who Theo correctly lets walk a year earlier but without a plan as to how to replace him). 2007 is the only year the Sox under Theo win the division, although they do it with a team that had its major offseason parts acquired by someone else.Speaking of walking after 2007…tell me how Johnny Damon did in NY?You mocked Cashman's signing of AJ Burnett…lets look at some of Theo's stellar FA signing (or as I call them burnings of John Henry's ill gotten money):Julio LugoJoel PinereoDavid WellsMatt ClementEdgar RenteriaJD DrewJohn LackeyCarl CrawfordLugo and Renteria are but two of a cast of thousands he has brought in to play short stop. You would think he would get it right eventually…and no Scutaro is not the answer either. I didn't include Dice K on the list because I think there is an extra special place in hell for a GM who spent $100 mill on a pitcher who never threw a MLB baseball prior to coming to Boston. In Japan the ball is slightly smaller. They then take this pitcher and change his throwing regiment and delivery. Then they wonder why he has arm problems and control issues.But my biggest criticism of Theo has to do with player development and the farm system. Because draft picks are not tradable each team gets the same number of picks each year. What sets aside good organizations from bad are three things, scouting, money and money. A team like Tampa can't afford to sign half their picks never mind all of them. Boston can. There is no excuse for them to not sign everyone they draft. Then they should be able to afford the time and resources to develop them… where they draft in each round is irrelevant because there are so many players taken and they can afford all of them. The fact that they traded away some top prospects thereby leaving the cupboards dry is a reflection of poor player development. The Sox system with its resource advantage should never be dry…ever. I will say this…Theo has been much better at spotting pitchers than position players. They also should have an advantage in Dominican academy players, Latin players and Asian players…but they don't. As this team crashes…if they lose tonight they are tied in the loss column after having been up 9 14 days ago…I think Theo should be on the hot seat. I agree with Felger that Francona and the players deserve a large piece of blame as you have to be trying to suck to be this bad…but Theo has been exposed…as such I will shed no tear when he walks or is fired at the end of this year. He wasted $180 mill. Actions should have consequences…and before you say it…what has he done for us lately!

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          7. I think your way off base on this LTD. I agree with Dave's post and don't have much more to add because he summed it up pretty much. You have to decide what you want. We could have two premiere studs in Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo but we wouldn't have Gonzalez. Then we would be sitting here debating why the Sox don't package their prospects for a big star. "Theo isn't using all the chips to win." Why are we waiting for next year, the time to win is now.

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          8. Winning…to be honest…I think the answer is something in the middle. I think Theo has made some good decisions and made some mistakes. I think on whole its hard to argue two championships is not impressive. But for some reason they can't play well for a whole year. They have one one division title under his stewardship. And this year they are on pace for an epic collapse….although they did win the night cap so maybe there is hope. My larger point was two fold… 1) The media in town are giving Theo a free ride…one they would never give Belichick if his team fell apart (heck they win two games with overwhelming offense and all I read about is the concerns for the defense) and tried to use the injury excuse. 2) Sox management is getting a free ride even though they spent $180 mill but did not have any back up or contingency plans. Their minor league operation is a mess and trading away pieces is not an excuse. With the money they have they should be able to restock and constantly have players in the pipeline.I don't think I am way off base. I am frustrated that there does not seem to be any accountability when you fail. The media and fans seem to be giving Theo and the Sox organization a free pass because of the two championships coupled by the injuries. I don't. I think they should be winning…not trying to win. I won't get into Tony Mazz's and Mike Felger's toughness/heart argument. I will say I do not believe the manager is willing to force a player to play hurt. Read that as you wish.

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          9. Theo and ownership get a pass because they set the table. It's on the manager and players. This is the player's and manager's fault.

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          10. "I didn't include Dice K on the list because I think there is an extra special place in hell for a GM who spent $100 mill on a pitcher who never threw a MLB baseball prior to coming to Boston."

            "In hell"? Wow…just wow.

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          1. With a $180 mill payroll and their ability to afford minor leaguers they should have 9 major league capable arms if not more.

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  3. Late to Dinner, however way you want to put it, the Pats are still a team that for the most part relies way too heavily on their offense to win games. Until they prove it in the playoffs, the defense is going to be under scrutiny. Maybe they'll round into form in the playoffs and develop a strong pass rush and create turnovers (I sure hope they do)… but whatever the case, they are are not that defense right now. It doesn't really matter what the game plan is week to week..taking out gates, etc… IMHO they still don't force enough turnovers or rush the passer enough to win in the playoffs against good teams. It'll be interesting to see how this defense evolves as the season goes along.

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    1. Johnny….I do not deny that they can score points. I just think this is a significantly better defense than last year's model. I also think that with the new rules offenses around the league are going to explode. 300 yards are the new 200. 400 yard passing losses are not uncommon (Carolina has two of them so far this year). Your defense I think needs to get a few stops…thereby allowing your offense to get ahead in the track race, and stop the run. So far no one has run on the Pats. WIth Haynesworth and Vince up front…it is very difficult to run on them.

      Getting away from the x's and o's for a second. My comments had much more to do with the coverage than the actual play. I think that writing the "Defense worries me story" is lazy without context. That is my bigger point. Show why it worries you on a level deeper than "because it does".

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  4. Random Thought: I'm reading "Those Guys Have All the Fun" and was wondering what a book about WEEI/TSH would be like. Obviously, outside of this market, it would bring 0 interest. It would be interesting (for me) to hear stories of the early years at WEEI, then how they got caught pleasuring themselves too much to notice TSH. And now the recovery. It'll never happen but it would be an interesting 200 page read. Just think of those behind the scenes stories of Alex Speir giving Rob Bradford a footrub while Minihane feeds him grapes, and DJ Bean waving a fan over him.

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  5. Guys… I didn’t watch the game, I just watched Borges on Sports Sunday. Man, sounds like a tough loss for the Pats. I mean what, with the penalties the Chargers gave them, plus the turnovers and obviously, the Chargers didn’t even try on defense, so no wonder Brady played well. Oh well, better luck next time.

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  6. Ya seriously… it's the injuries that's killing them… not their depth. No team can replace all the injuries to the starting pitching and the lineup with solid every day players. Good grief… so the team has terrible luck with injuries this year and suddenly it's Theo's fault?? I think the lack of outrage with the Sox is because most fans realize that all the injuries are killin them. It's not like the entire team is healthy and the team is just mailing it in.

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    1. I can't believe i am about to type this…Felger is right…you all have gone soft. "Oh woe is me…they have injuries…well it was a good season…we don't have enough youngster coming up to offset the injuries …so its okay we gave up a 9 game lead with 22 games to play….better luck next year". You are making me sick. We are Red Sox fans not Cubs fans. With the amount of money spent this team should have 3 major league capable rosters ready to go. The blame should fall squarely on the GM and the players/managers on the field. Injuries would never be tolerated as an excuse by the Patriots…but its okay to let the Sox off the hook because of them…That is so pathetic. You are telling me the Sox organization can't find 9 guys with enough heart and talent in their organization to defend a 9 game lead with 22 games to play and this is acceptable to you as a fan?

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      1. You're right, after aligning a starting staff of Becket, Lester, Buckholz, Lackey, Dice K, with Wakefiled as a backup 6th started, Theo should have known to trade and sign additional starters like Bartolo Colon, trade for Dan Haren, and trade for Tim Hudson. Lets get 9 starters just in case we get destroyed by injury.

        I will not excuse this collapse however as I feel the RedSox have lacked heart or spirit in the last two weeks. With the roster they currently have, they should be good enough to win the WC and be aligned for the playoffs. I am just in total disagreement with your logic and assessment of Theo this year.

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        1. If you are not willing to excuse the collapse then how am I wrong? I was not arguing for them to have 5 ex big leaguers in Pawtucket waiting. I am saying there should be young arms developing that can pinch in for a game or two if they need to. Great…so you are happy with the arms they had stocked in Pawtucket? The development of Dubront, Weiland, or Tazawa? Or the fact that no one in Portland is close. You can wave Theo's pom poms if you want…this year was the final straw for me. I am tired of this organization being content. I think it is time for new blood maybe someone who wants to win rather than just fill seats.

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          1. And you are missing the point. Theo has developed talent over the years, it been either at the big leagues already or used at trade chips for other pieces. So stop playing both sides of the argument and answer this: Would you rather have Adrian Gonzalez or Anthony Rizzo and Kelly. If you say Gonzalez, then you have just blown a hole in your entire logic. And No you're not even close to being right.

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          2. We will have to agree to disagree because I believe that the Sox should have Gonzales and players similar to Rizzo and Kelly (not them because they were trade pawns). That is my point…with the resources they have they should be able to make 1 or 2 block buster trades and not be bereft of talent in their minor league organization. I am amazed at the free pass you all want to give management in this and their lousy job building the back end of the roster and the farm system. I am willing to blame the players on the field and Francona. The players for poor fundamentals and conditioning, Francona for babying players and not trying to win every game. But in the end Francona can only trot out who The gives him thus Theo should get the majority of the blame.

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          3. It's not a free pass. You keep wanting to paint a picture both ways. You say its fine that Kelly and Rizzo are 'trade pawns" then you scream about not having any young arms. This is the way MLB works. Big market teams sign the most expensive and not always the best talent. When that talent fails, they use trade chips to acquire replacement talent. Often they will develop 2-3 MLB stars but often those young players start out in other organizations. You want to give Theo no credit for Lester or Papelbon or Buckholz. Yeah Duquette era is overlapping, but they were DEVELOPED under Theo's watch. You just want to discount those players.

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          4. Second, look at other Big market teams like the Phillies, Yanks, Angels. I wont count the Mets cuz they suck. Other than Cole Hamels, and 1 other #5 starter whose name escapes me, they have FA signings or pitchers via trade. Should we say Phillies GM sucks. They have Oswalt, Halladay, Lee. The Yanks developed Nova, but they traded away Ian Kennedy who looks real good, They're replacement arms are Freddy garcia and Colon. Lucky for them, they are actually pitching well.

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          5. You seem to have a general/personal gripe with Theo. I am not saying he's the best at all, but your particular gripe with player development is so far off base. Complain about FA signings and I'll be along side you. Complain about spending too much on Crawford. But assessing his minor league development of players as you are is completely unfair. If you want an organization with a solid minor league system, I suggest following KC, TB, OAK, or Pitt. You'll find everything you need there!

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          6. Winning…I already ripped the FA signings in reponse to Dave's comments about Cashman's signing of Burnett and I think my rating in that post is -7. I do have it in for Theo at this point because I think he is doing any part of his job well. I don't want JUST a farm system…I want a farm system, good FA signings AND player development. I think Theo's track record these past two years has been horrible. As an aside…I like Theo…he is a member of my cousin's temple. He seems like a nice guy. Its not my fault either his head is looking at greener pastures, he is still fighting with Luccicino or he has just forgotten how to be a GM. To be honest…I don't care. If the Sox don't make the playoffs…as far as I am concerned…its all on him.

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          7. I am willing to give Theo credit for developing lester, Buchholz, Pap, Bard…I am saying he is not developing enough based on the resources available to him. I don't want it both ways…I want Theo to do a better job.

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  7. you make it all sound so easy. you can't just buy a world series. that's why a lot of times, the teams who remain healthy (along with being talented obvoiusly) end up winning the world series. if all it took were money, why did the yankees go so long w/o winning a world series?? it takes luck, health, and chemistry. Everything needs to come together. I agree that Francona has gone a little soft… but when you don't have the players, you don't have the players. If the Phillies lost Halladay and Cliff Lee a few weeks ago or a month ago, I'd guarantee they'd be having troubles. They wouldn't be able to call down to the minors and pull up another Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay just like that.

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    1. I am not saying you can buy a world series…its still a game with a ball and anything can happen. I am saying that they should be able to buy a playoff appearance. I don't understand why Sox fans all of a sudden are willing to settle for ridiculous excuses like injuries. The minor leagues are a mess. The roster was poorly constructed…they throw all this money at Crawford and once Ellsbury proves he is healthy they don't have a place for him to hit. They got lucky Ortiz seems to have found the "fountain of youth" and Gonzo has not hit with any power in 2 months. They new Drew would not play 160 games and yet they did not have a quality 4th outfielder on the roster because they blew the Cameron signing. We have been all over the pitching. If you want to throw your hands up and give Theo a pass…fine…I think he should take the fall. i am disgusted with this team and their performance to open the season coming out of camp and then again for the last month as the injuries mounted up.

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      1. No, that's PRECISELY what you're saying. Everything you've posted has included "with this payroll"…. "with this payroll"….. As if you could jam a bunch of $100s into Youkilis' back and it would be all better, or just walk up to Evan Longoria with a briefcase of money and have him throw off his Rays uniform. That's utterly, utterly, ridiculous. People should be "accountable" when they do something wrong. And apparently, in your view, what Theo has "done wrong" is "he hasn't used money to subvert the rules of the draft, the rules of player tampering and free agency, the vicissitudes of player development, and the biology of the Red Sox players in order to ensure a team of Supermen at every position and backup". That's mouth-breather talk radio sort of talk, and it's beneath you, because you've got plenty of posts demonstrating that you're not that stupid.

        Sorry to be harsh, but you need some tough love here….

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        1. Defend them all you want Dave…they spent the $180 mill incorrectly. Specifically Theo did. He did not have contingency plans. He used the Colts model…throw big money at a few stars and fill in the rest of the roster with filler; rather than using the Pats model of spreading the money around to a strong middle class and plenty of depth both on the 53 man roster and on the practice squad (where the Pats traditionally pay more than PS minimum to keep better players). I am not suggesting they subvert any minor league drafting rules…I am saying that because of their resources they can sign more players than other teams…as such their minor leagues should always be deeper than Tampa's regardless of draft spot. I am saying their scouting has sucked at both the major and minor leagues this year, their minor league player development is in shambles, injuries happen and they had several players on their roster (Drew, Beckett, Scutaro, Lackey, Dice K, Lowery, Jenks, Wakefield) who have had a history of breaking down while they had several players getting older…Youk, Ortiz, Veritec. To think they were not going to need replacement parts for more than several of these guys is just wishful thinking. Its Theo's fault those parts aren't being developed. I am not willing to let Theo off the hook…you are. We disagree.As for the tough love…I don't mind a good argument…its not my fault you are wrong this time…I still respect you and your opinions and I always learn something new when i read your stuff. You might want to take off the Theo colored glasses and take a good long look at how this team was constructed and how they have played down the stretch. I am not wrong and the fact that seemingly rational guys who's opinions I do respect blindly are accepting the injury excuse is baffling to me.

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          1. Its not our fault your wrong LTD. No-one is wearing Theo colored glasses here. We just feel that your assessment is founded on personal biases and illogical facts and presumptions.

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          2. Winning…it doesn't bother you that the philosophy of the GM and manager seems to be to not care about winning the division? Year in and year out they have what looks like the best team in June only to run out of gas in September and then either back in as the wild card or miss it altogether. It doesn't bother you that this mentality has seeped into the players who aren't playing with any sense of urgency? It does not bother you that there are no contingency plans when they had constructed a roster with at least 9 players on the 23 man roster who have a history of being somewhat brittle? I am not wrong on this. We can disagree but I am being neither illogical or biased. I can't for the life of me see how you are blind to the effort and performance of this team this last month. It sucks that guys like Felger and Mazz are on the correct side of this issue…it doesn't happen often. I think you are being way to accepting of mediocrity.

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          3. The philosophy about not winning the division does bother me. If you are critiquing the organizations "angst" for winning the division them I'm with you. If you want to say Theo doesn't put enough pressure on Francona (who I think is largely to blame, along with the players) then I agree. Different topics are getting blended into one. In my mind Theo gets a B+ for his overall tenure as a GM. Player Development and scouting get an A-. Big Free agent acquisitions gets a D+ (Renteria, Drew, Lugo, Lackey. I will leave off Crawford as it is year 1). Smaller lower impact FA signings gets a B (Ortiz, at the time turned into a monster, Scutaro, Mueller, Millar). Trades he gets a B (trades he made were very good) though his lack of pulling the trigger on others brings him down.

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          4. As for accepting mediocrity, you have me all wrong. I do not accept this terrible slump. I just don't throw the blame or outrage where you want to heave it. At the end of the day, players need to play. They need to stop making excuses, fight through "neck" pain, and give it their all. The manager needs to get on these guys, rally them together, motivate, do whatever his job title says. To a lesser extent, management needs to hold the players and management accountable. They can only do so much at this point, it comes down to the players and manager.

            My breakdown of blame:

            Players 80%
            Manager 15%
            GM 4%
            Ownership 1% (They spent the money, but do have a happy go lucky attitude that could trickle down)

            However, if these players have any sort of spine, heart, or guts, they don't let laissez-fairre trickle down effect their play. And I'm officially done posting on this thread lol.

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  8. C'mon?? Nothing on the ego of Farinella making himself the focus of Jon Morris' Hall of Fame induction story. That's a tough one and he pulled it off flawlessly–or is it fearlessly?

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    1. L3s you are right we should have pounced on Farinella but we were busy hand wringing the Sox collapse. Most of us have recognized that mocking Farinella for being a self serving tool who writes "look at me" pieces because he is irrelevant on the Pats beat is kinda like kicking a dead dog.

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