What does 2023 look like?

BaseballJones

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4-17 in their last 21 after they were at 72-66, and have lost more than 10 games in the standings over that time frame. LOL
 

8slim

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4-17 in their last 21 after they were at 72-66, and have lost more than 10 games in the standings over that time frame. LOL
Are you saying that 2023 doesn't look good?!

What a horrific end to the season. They really should be ashamed of themselves for quitting, which they clearly have.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Are you saying that 2023 doesn't look good?!

What a horrific end to the season. They really should be ashamed of themselves for quitting, which they clearly have.
Cora is playing the long-con. Other teams in '24 will just take it easy on them for the first month or so.

Seriously.... this is unreal that he appears to have the managing job in his hand for next season. If he could have kept the team just looking alive the last month but the players have clearly quit. I'm just so puzzled by what's happening.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Cora is playing the long-con. Other teams in '24 will just take it easy on them for the first month or so.

Seriously.... this is unreal that he appears to have the managing job in his hand for next season. If he could have kept the team just looking alive the last month but the players have clearly quit. I'm just so puzzled by what's happening.
I heard this yesterday and I think it makes sense, the Sox are going to hire a Brian Sabean type (older front office person) as President of Baseball Ops, Cora will manage for a few more years and get experience in the FO and once Sabean (or whomever) is ready to retire, Cora will move upstairs.

With the way that the owners seem to love Cora, it makes sense TBH.
 

8slim

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I heard this yesterday and I think it makes sense, the Sox are going to hire a Brian Sabean type (older front office person) as President of Baseball Ops, Cora will manage for a few more years and get experience in the FO and once Sabean (or whomever) is ready to retire, Cora will move upstairs.

With the way that the owners seem to love Cora, it makes sense TBH.
That sounds horrible. If they want Cora in the FO they should just kick him up there now to some Assistant GM type position. The idea that he'd be managing *and* spending time learning the GM ropes is lunacy.
 

Auger34

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I heard this yesterday and I think it makes sense, the Sox are going to hire a Brian Sabean type (older front office person) as President of Baseball Ops, Cora will manage for a few more years and get experience in the FO and once Sabean (or whomever) is ready to retire, Cora will move upstairs.

With the way that the owners seem to love Cora, it makes sense TBH.
I like Cora...I am pretty ambivalent on him returning to manage the team next year. If he's brought back, I get it and if he's fired, I get it. I think the coup talk is crazy.

However, that plan is absolutely awful. If they go through with that, I have to seriously question ownership and what they are doing. What is even the point of hiring Sabean? Just leave the people in place that have been with the team if that's the only other option...I don't think this team needs an old figure head or someone that could potentially stop the innovation and progress made recently in the front office.
 

Papo The Snow Tiger

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I'm also puzzled as to why any individual player would simply give up. Baseball may be entertainment, a distraction or whatever you'd like to call it for us fans, but for the players it's their livelihood. Maybe elite athletes, and if you make it to the major leagues you may be considered an elite athlete, take it for granted, but their careers do have a shelf life and as soon as somebody better comes along they're out of a job. Their results from this season are on their permanent records and will be taken into consideration for all future job openings and contracts. Sure, guys like Raffy with his $300 million contract, or guys who've been around for a while like Turner, Duvall, Kenley and even Verdugo may have squirreled enough away to be set for life, but guys who aren't established or are on the fringe aren't. Not to single these guys out, and I'm not accusing any of these particular guys of giving up, but I Google searched the career earnings of some of the current Red Sox; Wong is 27 years old and has career earnings of about $1.5 million, Reyes is 30 years old and has career earnings of $2.4 million and Dalbec is 29 years old and has career earnings of $2.4 million. Any of those earnings would be great for anyone who's 30 years old or younger, but those amounts aren't nearly enough to set them up for the rest of their lives. Hopefully they have sound financial advisors and are investing their money wisely. If their baseball careers ended after this season they'd have to find another line of work. I don't know any of their educational backgrounds, but what would they be qualified to do after baseball? Average salaries vary from state to state, and even more from nation to nation, but for the sake of argument if you figure a 25 year old works for 40 years and averages $70K a year that would be $2.8 million for their careers.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I'm also puzzled as to why any individual player would simply give up. Baseball may be entertainment, a distraction or whatever you'd like to call it for us fans, but for the players it's their livelihood. Maybe elite athletes, and if you make it to the major leagues you may be considered an elite athlete, take it for granted, but their careers do have a shelf life and as soon as somebody better comes along they're out of a job. Their results from this season are on their permanent records and will be taken into consideration for all future job openings and contracts. Sure, guys like Raffy with his $300 million contract, or guys who've been around for a while like Turner, Duvall, Kenley and even Verdugo may have squirreled enough away to be set for life, but guys who aren't established or are on the fringe aren't. Not to single these guys out, and I'm not accusing any of these particular guys of giving up, but I Google searched the career earnings of some of the current Red Sox; Wong is 27 years old and has career earnings of about $1.5 million, Reyes is 30 years old and has career earnings of $2.4 million and Dalbec is 29 years old and has career earnings of $2.4 million. Any of those earnings would be great for anyone who's 30 years old or younger, but those amounts aren't nearly enough to set them up for the rest of their lives. Hopefully they have sound financial advisors and are investing their money wisely. If their baseball careers ended after this season they'd have to find another line of work. I don't know any of their educational backgrounds, but what would they be qualified to do after baseball? Average salaries vary from state to state, and even more from nation to nation, but for the sake of argument if you figure a 25 year old works for 40 years and averages $70K a year that would be $2.8 million for their careers.
I don't want to get into personal financial stuff but if I had $2.5M at age 29 and didn't have an eye on living like a millionaire, you could pretty easily invest $2.25M day one and live quite well off the interest if it's halfway intelligent investments. That's not even considering taking some other job if you even actually wanted to. Yeah... even with kids.
But these guys all likely have eyes on living a bit larger so I get your general point. When you could earn several times over that for a few more years playing a sport AND live REAL high on the hog, you put yourself into a different class of people.
 

sezwho

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Obviously they are falling apart record wise down the stretch, but curious are there individuals not making the effort on field? It seems consensus the ‘team’ and managers are mailing it in, but I’m no longer tuning in to see for myself.
 

chawson

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I haven't been watching games the last few weeks but I'm confused why everyone is so sure that A) the team has collectively "quit," B) it's Cora's fault, and C) it matters.

The Red Sox had the most difficult September strength of schedule in baseball—we all read those articles, didn't we?

Over the last month, Turner is playing hurt. Yoshida is exhausted. Story is still working his way back from injury. Duvall is in one of his slumps after three weeks of Bonds-level play. Casas is done for the year. Devers, Abreu and Valdez are raking.

On the pitching side, Jansen was pretty gassed, hurt, and then had COVID. Bello and Houck have been BABIP'd to death. And Llovera and Schreiber have some of the highest total batters faced marks in MLB relievers in the last 30 days. Sale, Winckowski, Martin, Pivetta and (for the most part) Crawford have all pitched well.

We also have no idea who's playing through injury, playing through illness, etc. And we lost our GM in a high-profile canning, which I'd think naturally has an effect on the direction, identity and spirit of the team.

YMMV, but I'm totally okay with a soft tank once the team is out of it. (By which I mean, playing the kids, resting hurt players, etc.). If we can't make the postseason, I'd rather finish fifth worst than 15th. But I don't think baseball players ever really stop trying, especially not anymore. These days, everything is so tightly analyzed that every pitch and PA is tied to future earnings.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I haven't been watching games the last few weeks but I'm confused why everyone is so sure that A) the team has collectively "quit," B) it's Cora's fault, and C) it matters.

The Red Sox had the most difficult September strength of schedule in baseball—we all read those articles, didn't we?

Over the last month, Turner is playing hurt. Yoshida is exhausted. Story is still working his way back from injury. Duvall is in one of his slumps after three weeks of Bonds-level play. Casas is done for the year. Devers, Abreu and Valdez are raking.

On the pitching side, Jansen was pretty gassed, hurt, and then had COVID. Bello and Houck have been BABIP'd to death. And Llovera and Schreiber have some of the highest total batters faced marks in MLB relievers in the last 30 days. Sale, Winckowski, Martin, Pivetta and (for the most part) Crawford have all pitched well.

We also have no idea who's playing through injury, playing through illness, etc. And we lost our GM in a high-profile canning, which I'd think naturally has an effect on the direction, identity and spirit of the team.

YMMV, but I'm totally okay with a soft tank once the team is out of it. (By which I mean, playing the kids, resting hurt players, etc.). If we can't make the postseason, I'd rather finish fifth worst than 15th. But I don't think baseball players ever really stop trying, especially not anymore. These days, everything is so tightly analyzed that every pitch and PA is tied to future earnings.
I agree with almost all of this. I don't know that I'd prefer to finish 5th worst over 15th necessarily, as there's nothing really significant to gain (or lose) once post-season play is ruled out. Getting reps for the young players is about all that's left to play for. Wins and losses don't really matter as far as that goes. They could go 5-10 or 10-5 over their last 15 games, what difference does it really make?
 

JM3

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I agree with almost all of this. I don't know that I'd prefer to finish 5th worst over 15th necessarily, as there's nothing really significant to gain (or lose) once post-season play is ruled out. Getting reps for the young players is about all that's left to play for. Wins and losses don't really matter as far as that goes. They could go 5-10 or 10-5 over their last 15 games, what difference does it really make?
I just needed them to go 6-18 to finish the season to have a nice, profitable season lol

But yes, from a non-selfish perspective, it's whatever.
 

chawson

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I agree with almost all of this. I don't know that I'd prefer to finish 5th worst over 15th necessarily, as there's nothing really significant to gain (or lose) once post-season play is ruled out. Getting reps for the young players is about all that's left to play for. Wins and losses don't really matter as far as that goes. They could go 5-10 or 10-5 over their last 15 games, what difference does it really make?
I just mean for draft pick purposes. I'm hardwired to want the team to win nightly no matter who puts on the uniform, but it'd be nice to get a Walker Jenkins next summer like Minnesota did.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I guess the question would be, why are the Sox so much more injured, gassed, and exhausted than the teams they are playing? Shouldn’t the Sox vaunted pitching program, ideally, have their pitchers prepared to compete for an entire season?

Playing pitifully down the stretch, though, is nothing new for this team. They’ve had so many terrible Septembers in recent memory that it’s hard to keep track. Does it matter? I dunno, I guess not but finishing above .500, ahead of the Yankees, etc are things that were within reach a month or so ago and could have been goals if the team wanted something to play for, but it seems like Cora and his team gave up when they didn’t get reinforcements at the deadline and are more concerned with things like who pitches opening day next year.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I just mean for draft pick purposes. I'm hardwired to want the team to win nightly no matter who puts on the uniform, but it'd be nice to get a Walker Jenkins next summer like Minnesota did.
I knew what you meant. I just don't find draft position all that compelling if they're not in a lottery position (top-6). Odds of moving up to such a position don't really improve significantly if they're in 10th position instead of 12th.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Obviously they are falling apart record wise down the stretch, but curious are there individuals not making the effort on field? It seems consensus the ‘team’ and managers are mailing it in, but I’m no longer tuning in to see for myself.
I don’t know that I’d call what’s happening “quitting.” But the thing with any high level athletics (high level anything, really) is that it requires an enormous amount of mental preparation and concentration. If that slips even a little, a slip that may never be perceptible to someone watching from the outside, for whatever reason (because it’s been a long season and you’re tired or hurt or know that the playoffs aren’t happening, etc…) the guy you’re up against can beat you. Hitters maybe can’t grind out at-bats, pitchers maybe miss their spots, whatever.
Look at Houck against the Rays the other day. He had pretty good stuff, threw lots of good pitches. But also left a bunch of pitches middle-middle. Looking at that Rays lineup, they had one or two starters with OPSes over .800 and a bunch below .700. The Sox didn’t have a hitter under .700 and several over .800. I’m looking at that thinking, we should be able to take these guys. Yet their weakest hitters were pouncing on Houck’s mistakes, and our hitters weren’t doing likewise.
Winning snowballs, and so does losing.
 

sezwho

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I don’t know that I’d call what’s happening “quitting.” But the thing with any high level athletics (high level anything, really) is that it requires an enormous amount of mental preparation and concentration. If that slips even a little, a slip that may never be perceptible to someone watching from the outside, for whatever reason (because it’s been a long season and you’re tired or hurt or know that the playoffs aren’t happening, etc…) the guy you’re up against can beat you. Hitters maybe can’t grind out at-bats, pitchers maybe miss their spots, whatever.
Look at Houck against the Rays the other day. He had pretty good stuff, threw lots of good pitches. But also left a bunch of pitches middle-middle. Looking at that Rays lineup, they had one or two starters with OPSes over .800 and a bunch below .700. The Sox didn’t have a hitter under .700 and several over .800. I’m looking at that thinking, we should be able to take these guys. Yet their weakest hitters were pouncing on Houck’s mistakes, and our hitters weren’t doing likewise.
Winning snowballs, and so does losing.
Thanks for that, and it makes sense. Any obvious lack of effort would be just that…and widely castigated. An occasional lack of mental focus is much harder to pinpoint in the moment, but the drips add up in the box scores and standings.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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That sounds horrible. If they want Cora in the FO they should just kick him up there now to some Assistant GM type position. The idea that he'd be managing *and* spending time learning the GM ropes is lunacy.
I like Cora...I am pretty ambivalent on him returning to manage the team next year. If he's brought back, I get it and if he's fired, I get it. I think the coup talk is crazy.

However, that plan is absolutely awful. If they go through with that, I have to seriously question ownership and what they are doing. What is even the point of hiring Sabean? Just leave the people in place that have been with the team if that's the only other option...I don't think this team needs an old figure head or someone that could potentially stop the innovation and progress made recently in the front office.
I don't disagree with either of you, but Cora has said that "now is not the time" for him to go upstairs, which I think has something to do with his family--frankly, depending on the age of his kids, you could make pro and cons for both side of this coin. But my last name isn't Cora so I have zero clue of his family dynamics.

I would think that apprenticing as a FO type while managing would be tough. I'm not sure how it would work, but I'm not sure if it would work great. Whoever comes in would need to have a great relationship with Cora. He seems to be the favored son of ownership.

As for why the Sox collapsed? I think part of it is strength of schedule like @chawson said and another is that the players see the finish line, know that they're not really playing for anything and just want to go home. None of us have been MLB players but we've all worked for companies when we knew the end was near. You take your foot off the gas and you're just coasting into that last day. Granted, we didn't work in front of 35k people but as the great Depeche Mode once sang, "people are people".
 

chawson

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I guess the question would be, why are the Sox so much more injured, gassed, and exhausted than the teams they are playing? Shouldn’t the Sox vaunted pitching program, ideally, have their pitchers prepared to compete for an entire season?

Playing pitifully down the stretch, though, is nothing new for this team. They’ve had so many terrible Septembers in recent memory that it’s hard to keep track. Does it matter? I dunno, I guess not but finishing above .500, ahead of the Yankees, etc are things that were within reach a month or so ago and could have been goals if the team wanted something to play for, but it seems like Cora and his team gave up when they didn’t get reinforcements at the deadline and are more concerned with things like who pitches opening day next year.
Reminds me of the discussion you and I had about the pitching staff last November—specifically re Pivetta, who I thought we should trade, and Eovaldi and Wacha, both of whom I thought we should QO.

From Nov 9, 2022:

I know you’re concerned that Bloom is content to bring the same rotation back, but I don’t think this outcome is alarming at all. It’s a great place to start from, and gives us more options, especially if we get Hill back too.

The only concern I have is that the majority of our starters will have innings limits next year. We’re gonna need a real horse or two if we have playoff aspirations, and the only guy who can throw a heavy workload of innings, Pivetta, doesn’t seem to me like a very strong one.
It seemed like the goal for the year was to give Bello, Whitlock, Houck and Crawford as close to a full workload as possible, and see who stuck. Two of them did, which is pretty decent.

My understanding is that the vaunted pitching program is more about minor league development. But seeing how everything is about maximization (of release point, extension, velocity, ride, break, etc.) It's probably worth looking into whether pitching development is at cross-purposes with endurance and stamina.

I agree that it's a problem, but it seems like a league wide problem, not a Red Sox thing. UCL injuries are on the rise. The number of pitchers to take the mound across the majors in a single season these days (856) is about 30 percent higher than it was 15 years ago (651 in 2008), and about 50 percent higher than in 1995 (552). Some of that is the extra roster spot, but it's mostly about replacing injured pitchers, all of whom throw at max effort all of the time.

Greater pitcher injury frequency --> enhanced risk --> less investment, and a pitching staff with less financial investment tied up in it is innately more fungible. I think @jon abbey has posted about the need to expand roster size a few times, and that should help. But it's kind of in the nature of the game right now to cycle through pitchers.
 

AB in DC

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I don’t know that I’d call what’s happening “quitting.” But the thing with any high level athletics (high level anything, really) is that it requires an enormous amount of mental preparation and concentration. If that slips even a little, a slip that may never be perceptible to someone watching from the outside,
So....quiet quitting.