That is actually something Theo has expressed concern over in recent comments. Im not convinced it was a tactical error that resulted in this situation. IMHO, A lot of it can be traced to guys who struggled overall but Fenway hid their ailments… so… mostly Mike Lowell and Big Papi.
I do not really see the evidence of a widening gap. In 05 they were awesome on the road but the next 4 years they were pretty consistent, especially the last three which included a title. They should always be significantly better at home given their park. For some reason people seemed to care more about it this year than others. The one thing I see is a noticeable drop in slugging on the road last year. It still was not a big drop maybe .010 likely tied strongly to Ortiz and Lowell as suggested.
Comment by walkoffblast — November 24, 2009 @ 2:53 am
If I wasn’t so incredibly lazy and dependent on RJ Anderson to make my days complete, I’d be interested to see how that compares to other teams. Have Epstein’s teams provided the most consistent offenses of any other current GM?
This might be an excellent use for a Hodrick-Prescott filter applied to a time series, allowing for an examination of variability within certain GM administrations.
So if you like OPS then notice it actually increased each year in that sample on the road except for last year. So a more accurate assessment of your initial point is less indicting of the front office. If the splits are increasing then the team continues to get better at home but it is not really changing what they do on the road.
Comment by walkoffblast — November 24, 2009 @ 11:04 am
I’m not sure whether this is a question or a comment, but I can’t help but wonder if this remarkable consistency can in any way be related to the fact that the Red Sox are among the most sabermetric-focused teams in major league baseball.
Well check out their 9 regulars going into 2010 (as is stands, so it’s Youk 1B Lowell 3B and not some crazy hypothetical Adrian Gonzalez 1B Youk 3B scenario) and their walk rates
C: Martinez, 11.3%
1B: Youkilis, 13.6%
2B: Pedroia, 10.6%
3B: Lowell, 6.9%
SS: Gonzalez (I guess? No clue right now), 4.9%
LF: No one yet, but Bay in 2009: 15.0%
CF: Ellsbury, 7.3%
RF: Drew, 15.4%
As a Sox fan, some things about Epstein remain clear
1) He loves big walk rates, especially from his corner IF/OF spots, aka the traditional power position players
2) He likes strikeout pitchers
3) He likes having a defensive-inclined corner player for a reserve (M’alphabet, Hinske, Kotsay, now Kotchman)
As a fan, I know my GM can’t always be right about a guy, but I enjoy knowing my GM has a plan, and it’s one that’s been proven to succeed. Our SS situation has been a mess since he got here, but when that’s the only knock you have on the man’s performance, well, you don’t have much to complain about.
(oh and of course not having a great defensive catcher, but that’s only because sports radio stations have an excuse to Joe Morgan out with a ZOMG STOLEN BASES discussion every time the Red Sox play anyone w/ a speedster).