By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

How’s that trade working out? (VI)

Great game, obviously. David Ortiz’s heroics aside, this would have been an automatic “L” if Theo hadn’t gotten Doug Mirabelli back. But the only reason to overlook this is if you think the Red Sox have, you know, too much pitching.

Oh, wait. Obviously I’m wrong. David Wells says he feels better. Problem solved!

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Squirming in D.C.


An Andy Kaufman moment


  1. Wes

    Yeah! Too many pitchers. Pray for rain tonight.Sort of feel as though the fans were acting bush league vis-a-vis Damon. Especially after the backstab that was given Bronson a few short weeks ago, and the gouge given the fans over seats. I really like the team, but think that any current player witnessing the loutish behavior would get a frisson.

  2. mike_b1

    Let’s just hand him the Cy Young right now, Dan. No point in seeing how the rest of the season plays out.

  3. Anonymous

    Mike is absolutely eating his heart out! Hey Mike – did you see where Arroyo’s ERA is now?

  4. Steve

    Dan – your “automatic L” comment is way off base. You think Boston wouldn’t have scored 7 runs without Doug’s 0-4? You think enough passed balls would have given the Yankees 5 more runs, even though they managed just 4 hits?And Wes – although I think some of the “traitor” signs were way bush league, I agree with Jon Keller (now, THERE’s a first) that a heart-felt round of boos is a complement to Damon’s Red Sox service (as a mark of how much the fans care), and I think maybe Damon took it that way too. And the “money” on the field was hilarious.And face it, no Boston player (or Yankee for that matter) is ever going to use the word “frisson“.

  5. Paul@01852

    And y’all call yourselves baseball fans?#1 Doug Mirabelli has not forgotten in just a few short months hos to call a wakefield game. His pitch calls were exceptional! Evene Wake before the game stated that with last night’s wind he probably would be throwing a lot of fastballs. Well…. I would say I saw maybe 5 of the 100 or so pitches that were anything but knucklers!#2 Wake has supreme confidence in Mirabelli. Last night Wake had the best control that I’ve seen since last October! Not one knuckler as up in the strike zone. And as far as passed balls/wild pitches? There was only one ball that got by Doug all night and he made an exceptional stop on the one “wild” pitch in the dirt that Wake threw all night (with runners on base no less).#3 With that entrance Doug Mirabelli can go 0 for the next week and STILL inspire this team to a winning streak!

  6. mike_b1

    Mike is absolutely eating his heart out! Hey Mike – did you see where Arroyo’s ERA is now?Boston’s poor schools strike again. Grow up and learn some simple math.It’s almost enough to make you forget Pena is slugging .529 for the season (and even higher since he started playing with some regularity) for a team that is showing a serious power outage.That, plus (sans the great Arroyo) the Sox are in first place.Sheesh.

  7. Anonymous

    Mike, fortunately, I didn’t attend Boston schools! In case you haven’t had time to look it up, Arroyo’s ERA is now 2.06.

  8. Dan Kennedy

    Mike — Here’s where you keep falling down: Yes, Arroyo’s numbers this season are much better than his career average, and he’ll probably return to earth at some point. Even so, he — along with Wakefield and Wells — was among the Sox’ most reliable pitchers last year, and he obviously showed nerves of steel in the 2004 post-season as well. This is not a guy who should have been dumped in favor of a long-term project like Pena by a team looking to win this year.You keep bringing up the fact that the Red Sox are in first. Good for them! Also utterly irrelevant to the matter at hand.

  9. mike_b1

    Dan, winning is not only relevant, it’s really takes precedence over everything else. We don’t watch the players, we watch the team, especially in this day and age! Arroyo’s value to the team last year was an aberration based on the fact that Schilling was injured. This year, with Schilling back on his game and Beckett on board, Arroyo would have been relegated to the bullpen to start the season, and would likely have only 2 to 3 starts by now.And Pena, as I noted, is contributing now. Or does a .529 slugging percentage on a team that is 9th in run scoring no longer mean anything?

  10. Anonymous

    Mike! Whatever starts Arroyo would have made with the Sox would have come in pretty handy, what with Wells out of the picture indefinitely, don’t you think? And Arroyo has shown he can pitch effectively out of the bullpen as well.Doesn’t the way Arroyo has pithed so far this year, especially against good lineups like the Cubs (before Lee’s injury, mind you) and the Cardinals, suggest he’d be able to contribute here?

  11. mike_b1

    Anon! Who you calling good? The Cubs have scored the 3d fewest runs in the National League. Who would Arroyo have displaced, had he stayed on the Sox? Schilling? No. Beckett? No. Clement? No. Wakefield? No.He would have started the same number of games that Wells/DiNardo have. Yes, the record is clear that he has pitched effectively. I would wait until he goes around the league again before making any pronouncements. He has a quick curve that could very well be effective against hitters who have never seen it. But give them time and Arroyo will likely revert to his norm.The Sox need Pena more than they need Arroyo (even this year Dan).

  12. Dan Kennedy

    Mike: You misunderstand me. Winning is obviously the only thing that matters. Arroyo would have contributed to more wins this year than Pena will. We won’t see much of Pena once Crisp gets back. Arroyo’s job this year would have been to provide solid middle relief and an occasional spot start.

  13. Anonymous

    Mike, maybe the Cubs scoring stats are about as irrelevant as any of the stats you’re choosing to dismiss on the basis of it’s too early in the going? I look at the Cubs lineup and I see guys who can hit. Arroyo beat them soundly twice. And how did you like the way he handled Pujols last night?Arroyo is locating all his pitches well and changing speeds. Good thing he hasn’t been around here, right?

  14. mike_b1

    Anon, you look at the Cubs and see guys who can hit. Short of Neifi Perez’s mother, you are the only one.Using the Cubs collective stats for a month-plus is much more valid than using 6 games of any one player. I checked BP’s equalized stat comparison and the Cubs tied for 3d from last for the entire majors. Corrected for the bandbox they play in, the Cubs are hitting a collective .246, tied with Pittsburgh, with Minnesota and San Diego one point behind. And outside of Lee, only Ramirez has proved to be a solid year-in, year-out hitter (unless you’re a fan of the .325 OBP that pretty much every other starter on that team puts up). And I can see why you brought up Pujols. For the season, Poo-holes is 1 for 5 with a homer, 2 walks (and 0 Ks) and an OPS of 1.229 against Arroyo. He’s making Arroyo look like a Little Leaguer, although the sample size is too small for any grand projections.The Cubs can’t hit. Arroyo is an average pitcher. And as the season progresses the norms will bear this all out.

  15. mike_b1

    By the way, in saying “Arroyo is locating all his pitches well and changing speeds,” do you really think I believe you are watching the Reds games?Give us a break.

  16. Anonymous

    I am not sure what does this mike have with Bronson??We get it. This 5-0 2.00-or-so ERA start is uncharacteristic and he was annoying when he was here with his sideshow stuff, but he is still a nice kid and very serviceable fairly reliable, productive in the past pitcher that will have been more precious in the Sox rotation than Pena will in the line up , a couple of weeks from now, after you’ve seen a couple more crummy Wells and Clement starts.One sidebar here, listening to cocky but good guy Greg Dickerson the other day, he said something like “…now a lot of people piled on him for his performing and music and promoting his band…”Huhhhh??? Isn’t FSNE SPorts Tonight the main culprit in pushing the crap in our face? Wasn’t that program Greg co-hosts with Gary the most frequent venue for Arroyo’s boring performances??? Now he is distancing himself from all that. What an idiot!One advice for you, Greg. STICK to sports and stop going offscript with all that extra-curricular crap, like the gimmicky and forced Friendly’s BS. Millar’s appearences were growing extremely uncomfortable towards the end of his last season when he was taking in so much beating and criticism all day long in print and radio, but then he’d come on Greg’s show and they’d masquerade and lionize the guy.Totally duplicitous boring crap. Talk about sports, stop poking fun at others and your idiotic jokes, flipflops and “that’s not what I said.” Better yet, maybe the “hardworking” that he is should enjoy some more time off with his wife in favor of the more honest and informative Felger. (It’s only time before he and Ryen have their own show on TV.)- I am glad the Sox did not get wrapped up in pride and moved quickly to undo Dougie’s banishment. It turned out to be a bust: they ended up giving young prospects and cash for an aging Loretta who is going to be here max for one or two seasons.Theo is probably kicking himself that Bronson is having such a great start already, making him indispensable to the Indians. Otherwise, I bet he’d try to bring him back here too after his Bellichickian moves backfired on him big time.Larry, get your leash out and don’t let any such hasty moves happen for this season at least. Contend. Forget about rebuilding for now. That’s on track fine. Beat the Yankees and pile up Pennants while they are weak.If anything, Mirabelli’s presence was a big psychological boost to Wake who seemed more in his comfortable element.One more point on Theo’s growing bad moves column.- With the recent focus on immigration issues all across idiot media that has proven wrong on about every single other issue, it is worth directing people’s attention to John Molori’s recent column about the two bafoons on Weei morning drive radio. The pride of fascist enablers Julie and Jason.They were literally kissing them for the “good ratings” instead of pushing for better quality radio programming. Good ratings by default since there is not even decent competion out there and Howard is long gone. sane person would describe WEEI/WRKO as great radio, even if they espoused their views. But hey, they can bill the heck out of it for now, so let them cash in before the party is over next year.How would you like to be Jason or Julie now with locking in the Big O for a big fat contract when the Sox are jumping ship next year? Or wasting money on the Celtics contract?I’d like to see how they do and how strong is their billing when the Sox set up shop on FM.Too bad an insecure Ivy league snob is not capitalizing at the helm of the newest sports station. No major talent has joined ESPN and no major programming change and most importantly, stll a crappy signal. Felger is great but if they don’t redress ship, they will tang down.But imagine if the Sox set up shop on FM and pried Neumy, Ryen, Michael Smith, Ryan or even Pete Shepard away for a local lineup. They could have a radio version of Hazel Mae that will have 95% of the Mass Male population swooning over the phone lines ( a good portion of the female one too probably…ha ) For football, they could lure Smerlas with his own shtick and would love the independence and frequent (well-paid) appearences.How about a Bruschi after he retires in a year or two due to his weakened health condition. Or Ted Johnson. (Ted needs more pizzazz or a couple of drinks to liven him up a bit more) Butch Stearns. Steve Burton (great pick)Or how about Wendy Nix; shed be a major hit. she is sharp and likebale over the airwaves, grounded and a great draw for women listeners.Or how about the great Ted Serandis to cover the many New England college sports teams.Then we’d see how WEEEI survives on crap like D&C, pseudo-politics as the Mikes like to say. Already Carr’s show has been unlistenable lately with his angry, crass, biased (for a kind word), inaccurate rants and insults, EVERYDAY. He even signaled he will be scaling down. I bet his listeners and advertisers have let him know how fed up they are with this crap.So we’ll see how this Molori column raises awareness of this Entercom garbage. Depetro, Feinburg, the two media blog clowns…I mean enough is enough. To be sure, Hispanics and their detractors both have blame to go around, but come on…there are other things to talk about and enough radio personalities substituting insults and propaganda and smears for programming.N.

  17. whispers

    I have to admit that I favored the Arroyo trade when it happened. My thinking wasa) Arroyo was going to be, at best, a #4 starter/long reliever the way he had been the past two seasonsb) Pena has the potential to hit 35+ HRs/season, and was likely to be playing every day. Thinking of trading a second-tier starter for a solid power hitter is a good deal. In retrospect, though, Arroyo is pitching lights out this season, and Pena is not playing every day. Well he is now, but presumably he won’t be when Crisp comes back, except against lefties to platoon Trot. The only way this trade works is if Pena makes a dramatic improvement in the fashion that Ortiz did when he came to Boston from Minnesota. If that happens, use him as the DH, play Ortiz at first, move Youkilis back to third, etc. But over the course of a season, somebody’s always going to be injured. And if/when Manny leaves at the end of the season, Pena can take over LF next year. Sure, the trade looks bad if Bronson Arroyo continues to pitch better than Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana. That’s not likely to continue (and it certainly wouldn’t have continued if he were pitching half his starts at Fenway). If Arroyo turns into a legitimate #1 starter, then we can blame the management for not having recognized that potential, but we have to admit that none of us saw it coming either. So, I’m still hopeful. As for the pitching situation, I think our best hope is that Foulke will get his groove back, so Pap can slide into the starting rotation. That should be his long-term destiny in any case.

  18. mike_b1

    Uh, N, Arroyo is a Red, not an Indian. Although to some people that’s the same thing (hahahahaha!). Not me, though.

  19. Steve

    What whispers said.Arroyo was the #6 starter when the trade was made. And Pap was #7. Arroyo was going to see the starting rotation only if 2 bad things happened. And they did – Foulke’s struggles and Wells’s injury (though neither of them should be classified as surprising).The trade has worked out great for Bronson, though. He’s got a solid spot in a starting rotation and he’s benefiting by pitching in a new league. (Remember how Clement’s year started last year?)Papelbon’s success at closer has to be classified as a surprise. I expected to suffer through Foulke until Hansen was ready, with Pap being the 6th starter. I still don’t expect Papelbon to be the closer in September – he’s going in the rotation after Wells comes back and get hurt again in July, especially if Foulke continues to pitch well.If Pena turns into Ortiz, the trade’s going to be a big win. If Pena turns into Sam Horn, not so much.But whispers – as much as I love Papi, I do NOT want to see him playing 1B and neither do you. 🙂

  20. Anonymous

    Mike, yes, I have watched all of Arroyo’s starts, as archived broadcasts on Subscription for the whole season is only about 80 bucks, and I enjoy keeping up with players I like. You should see how hard Nomar is hitting the ball these days – even the outs are loud.And if you go look at Arroyo’s starts, you’ll notice he is locating all his pitches really well and changing speeds.

  21. Anonymous

    Mike, you should check it out. I am fortunate in that I have very, very, fast internet connections at home and at work. My iMac running OSX at home and my Windows machine at work both do fine, although with my Windows machine, I have to reset the resolution of the monitor to make the video image clear.Obvisouly, I don’t watch every game I’m interested in from start to finish. Often, when there’s a hitter (or hitters) or a pitcher I want to check out in an archived game, I’ll use the game log that is featured on a lot of baseball scoreboards (,, etc.) to identify the innings I’m most interested in seeing. Or, while I’m working, I’ll let an archived game run over in a corner of the screen, and only pay attention when the player I’m interested in catching up with is hitting or pitching.Once you figure out the screen resolution issue (try 200 percent video zoom with lower monitor resolution on your Windows PC), it looks great, as long as your connection is fast. has made some significant improvements in the video feeds – they seem to be partnering with ESPN on the technology.

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