Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2005: Alex Rodriguez to the Red Sox, The Curse Continues

Time for the next installment of this "What if" scenario involving the then year anniversary of the trade that never happened, Alex Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox.

The 2004 season brought a Red Sox division title but a first round exit in the playoffs.

The 2005 regular season was impressive for the Red Sox as they won 106 games and won the AL East by 18 games.

The Red Sox lineup was potent. David Ortiz had another huge year, Hanley Ramirez would win Rookie of the Year, Carlos Beltran who signed as a free agent would be well worth the money and Alex Rodgriguez put up MVP type numbers. Hanley was the full time DH this season as AROD is the SS. Will be interesting to see if the Sox move him to third base in the future.

Mark Teixeira of the Texas Rangers would end up winning the AL MVP for the Texas Rangers along with the Triple Crown. A strong case could be made for AROD being the MVP. AROD had the highest WAR in baseball at 11.6 to Teixeira was at 10.2. Both really impressive seasons. Alex led the Red Sox to a division title and 106 wins while Tex led the Rangers to a last place finish and a record of 62-100.

1918 was the last Red Sox title and 2005 would not be a title year either as the Sox lost in the first round of the playoffs, this time to the Oakland A's. Alex Rodriguez can't be blamed though as he played well in the series. David Ortiz struggled and the Red Sox were without Curt Schilling who was injured. Pedro Martinez did not pitch in the playoffs because he was involved in a brawl during the final regular season game and was suspended for five games. Talk about some controversy! Pedro will be a free agent now. Will he come back?

The Atlanta Braves would go on to win it all behind Eric Chavez. Chavez won it all with the A's the year before and then signed a big free agent deal with the Braves moving Chipper Jones back to left field.

 Being a big Nomar Garciaparra fan I was hoping that this new history would play out differently for him. It appears that he is headed on a huge demise. The Cubs finally signed him to a 2 year deal worth $5 million just before the season began and then traded him to the Houston Astros for Wade Miller. Nomar is not in the best of moods and his numbers at the plate look pretty bad.

Manny Ramirez had another solid year but he is playing for a last place team and appears to be eclipsed in stardom by his teammate Teixeira..  Don't forget to follow me on twitter @thepeskypole6

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The 2004 Red Sox Can't Get It Done

Quick refresher, we turned back the clock to 2004 and made the Alex Rodriguez trade to the Red Sox happen. Is the trade a bust already? Alex Rodriguez and the Boston Red Sox were not able to win it all in 2004. It is hard to blame Alex though as he had a great season.

Johnny Damon CF15666112919644922983247978195.297.370.490.860
David Ortiz 1B161638139204367551724198212601.320.396.6571.053
Alex Rodriguez SS1566111381902834211635092118159.311.405.573.978
Bill R Mueller 3B1585851001683812193271937001.287.386.463.849
Jason Varitek C1275099114924017842245312414.293.370.440.810
Mark Bellhorn 2B1465057011735314742009512422.232.355.396.751
Magglio Ordonez RF123447731292641884217415300.289.350.485.836
Trot Nixon RF10938062922121357156427500.242.320.411.731
Kevin Youkilis 3B852934577190946123425310.263.364.420.784
Kevin Millar LF702834386240942137335001.304.395.484.879
Miguel Cairo 2B48190365510292496122871.289.344.505.850
Doug Mirabelli C5413423284072553143700.209.301.396.696
Pokey Reese 2B11110915273111235122331.248.328.321.649
Gabe Kapler RF3093623311123162301.247.301.333.634
Brian Daubach RF507917239041844131900.291.400.557.957

David Ortiz had a monster season as well. It was enough for the Red Sox to win the division and tally 100 wins but not win a title.

Moneyball finally paid off as the Oakland Athletics finally won it all. The Cardinals, just like in real life in 2004, would fall in the World Series.

Barry Bonds and Travis Hafner would take home MVP for the NL and AL while Curt Schilling would win the AL Cy Young Award.

The surreal moment of the season was a trade between the Red Sox and Yankees. The Red Sox shipped prospect Kevin Youkilis to the Yankees for second baseman Miguel Cairo and pitcher Brad Halsey. The Yankees were obviously in need of a third baseman and the Red Sox lost confidence in Mark Bellhorn. Remember when every Red Sox fan in the world lost confidence in Bellhorn during the 2004 postseason. Thankfully Terry Francona did not. 

Manny Ramirez had a good year but nothing spectacular and his team was never in contention

Nomar Garciaparra had a below average season for him and could this be the rapid decline that we saw in real life?

Offseason News
Magglio Ordonez signed with the defending World Champion A's but the Sox signed prized free agent Carlos Beltran while they let Johnny Damon walk.

Nomar Garciaparra has yet to sign with a team as we get ready for the 2005 Opening Day.

The Red Sox are picked to win 96 games but finish behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. The Yankees signed Jeff Bagwell in the offseason but did not upgrade their pitching.

Randy Johnson signed a free agent deal with the Mariners

Hanley Ramirez is slated to play third base and DH for the Red Sox in 2005. Will the Red Sox use him as trade bait? Stay tuned.

Don't forget to check out a site dedicated to the replay of the 1948 Season

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Derek Jeter Retirement: Setting the Record Straight

Derek Jeter announced that 2014 will be his final season and the media began to wax poetically about his greatness. Don't get me wrong, Jeter is a great player and had a great career and he won the great shortstop debate between Nomar Garciaparra and Alex Rodriguez. I tip my hat to him. He played hard and did play the game the right way. I have posted many times about Derek Jeter on this blog. You can see all my posts about him right here.

However, the nonsense about his leadership and unselfishness makes me want to puke. Derek has an ego and is selfish just like any other pro athlete. The media likes to compare him to Joe Dimaggio with his "quiet class". I agree with that comparison. He is a lot like Joe, and that is not a compliment. I blogged about this in my post called The Captain?

Rick Sutcliffe gushed about how Jeter was all about winning and if he felt the Yankees were better off without him ten years earlier he would have retired then. Really Rick? It was interesting he picked ten years ago since that was the year the Yankees traded for the best shortstop in the game and Jeter did not move from his position. What a leader. I blogged about his lack of leadership in a post titled The Derek Jeter Debate Continues.

Jeter was a great player but he was overrated. That is not his fault. That is a product of playing for the Yankees. He had his flaws, mainly defensively where he was below average his whole career. I addressed that in a blog post when it was suggested by some that he was better than Chipper Jones. In that post titled Why Chipper Jones is Better Than Derek Jeter, it becomes clear that he is not in the class of Larry Wayne Jones.

I also blogged Will Derek Jeter Prove Me Wrong? By retiring, he has in a way. I really thought he would hang on to the real bitter end and really put the Yankees in an awful situation. Maybe he finally did put the team first.

I don't hate Derek, I just hate this false narrative. I even wrote him a love letter which is fitting since tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Here it is My Love Letter to Derek Jeter. Happy retirement Derek.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Alex Rodriguez Traded to the Boston Red Sox: A What if Simulation

Ten years ago the Boston Red Sox were close to pulling off a blockbuster trade that would have sent Alex Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Manny Ramirez.

The trade did not go through because of the financial aspect of the deal. The Player's Union would not allow Alex to take a slight pay cut.

What if this trade did go through? Would the Red Sox still have broken the curse? Would AROD's career have turned out differently?

With the help of Out of the Park Baseball we get to find out all the answers. It is time to simulate the deal just as it was supposed to go down.

Alex Rodriguez goes to the Red Sox and will wear his customary #3 and play shortstop. Remember, AROD was coming off a monster 2003 season at the plate and in the field. He was the best defensive shortstop in the game. I have always had an issue with Derek Jeter for not being the one to volunteer to change positions. I blogged about it in a post called The Captain?

With Rodriguez on board, the contingency trade also went through as Nomar Garciaparra was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Magglio Ordonez.

Alfonso Soriano who was dealt to the Rangers in the real life trade that brought AROD to the Yankees is now returned back to the Yankees in this simulation.

The real deal fell apart because of the contracts, for this simulation I have kept the contracts exactly the way they were. The Red Sox will not get an AROD contract discount. Here is how the contracts of the traded players look:

Alex Rodriguez
2004: $22 million
2005: $26 million
2006: $21 million
2007: $22 million
2008: $28 million
2009: $33 million
2010: $33 million

Nomar Garciaparra
2004: $11 million

Manny Ramirez
2004: $22 million
2005: $22 million
2006: $18 million
2007: $17 million
2008: $19 million

Alfonso Soriano
2004: $5 million
2005: $8 million
2006: $10 million

Magglio Ordonez
2004: $15 million

The preseason predictions are very kind to the Red Sox predicting them to win 98 games and run away with the AL East. The 2003 team was pretty good but now they are adding Keith Foulke, Curt Schilling and Alex Rodriguez. Of course, the 2004 Red Sox will be without Manny Ramirez.

Stay tuned. The plan is to simulate one season a week. Follow me on twitter @thepeskypole6