Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dear God Michael Kay Is An Idiot

I know bashing Michael Kay is not exactly as challenging as splitting the atom, but every once in awhile I just need to clear the air about him for my own sanity. It's cathartic. Anyhoo, during his radio show today, a show I normally enjoy, Kay continued to rip the Red Sox bullpen, saying that the reason this weakness of the sox (the bullpen) hasn't been exposed is because the Sox starters have gone so deep into games. He went on to say that they only have two guys in the bullpen who can do anything: Okajima and Papelbon (he went on to call JC Romero horrible despite the fact that he has 18 appearances and an ERA at 2.45). Well, he's half right, or at least a third right.... make that about a fifth right. The Sox starters have gone deep into games, he got that part right. The problem is that the bullpen is not a weakness. The Sox have 4 guys in the bullpen who have 14 or more appearances with ERAs under 3 (and two other guys with ERAs of 3.38 and 4.15 respectively). And unlike the Yanks, one of those guys, Kyle Snyder, can pitch longer than one inning. He's what is known as a "long man." Someone should send a fax to Brian Cashman explaining the position of long man and why it is sometimes helpful to have one. Plus, Tavarez is so versatile he could throw a couple innings in between starts and still make a start on the sixth or seventh day if the Sox have an extra off day. The Sox bullpen is put together very well. Pineiro is the most inconsistent of anyone in the bullpen and his ERA is a full run lower than Rivera's. So while the Sox bullpen is being used less than the Yanks', we're almost a third of the way through the season. I'm not sure we can fall back on the flukey start thing with them. I think it's fair to say that they are pretty good.

Speaking of the Yanks' bullpen overuse, the way Torre has used the bullpen is starting to effect the way the booth calls the game. About midway through the 5th inning, with the Sox carrying a 4-2 lead and having just given up a double, two walks and a run, and having thrown about 80 pitches, Kay started questioning Francona's decision to keep Tavarez in the game. He said, "Geez, Francona must have an awful lot of faith in Tavarez to keep him in." Mind you that Tavarez had given up 3 hits total over the entire game and the Sox have a little more than 100 games left to play. It's not a playoff series and wouldn't be even if the standings were tighter. Why would Francona pull Tavarez? IT WAS THE FIFTH FUCKING INNING, THEY WERE WINNING AND IT'S MAY FOR CHRIST'S SAKE! Just because Torre panics and pulls his starters in the fourth of a one run game in April doesn't mean that that's what you're supposed to do. In fact, given how the Yanks are playing, couldn't you suggest that maybe Torre should leave a guy in and sacrifice him for the betterment of the team once in awhile. This game didn't mean shit to the Sox and didn't mean a whole lot more to the Yanks in the grand scheme of things. Suggesting that you pull your fifth starter in the fifth in a game you're winning is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. Come on Mikey, don't let Torre's idiocy rub off on you.

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