Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bill James is an Idiot

Baseball numerologist and Red Sox adviser Bill James was being interviewed on ESPN Radio the other day, and very passionately defended Joe Paterno:

"It's very hard, in fact it's impossible, to explain why Paterno should have been the person to go to the police. Paterno didn't see anything. Paterno was not the reporting authority. Sandusky did not work for Paterno. Paterno had no supervisory authority over Sandusky. It's extremely difficult to explain why it was Paterno's responsibility to go to the police. He knew less about it than anyone else there...

"You're saying everything revolves around him. (Paterno) had very few allies. He was isolated and he was not nearly as powerful as people imagine him to have been...

"They kept it quiet because they had no idea what was happening... they just thought they were dealing with a little misunderstanding."

Bill James has never been afraid to go against the trending sentiment, but this is beyond reasonable. Paterno not only failed to notify authorities, he actively ended any investigation into what Sandusky was doing. He didn't turn a blind eye, he turned a seeing eye.

Anyway, James' defense of Paterno is outdated. And late.

He's entitled to his opinion, but he's also a prominent member of the Red Sox organization. So yesterday, the Sox told him to shut up. Then issued a statement publicizing their request that he keep silent about Paterno:

"This afternoon, Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry and Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington spoke to Bill James regarding him making public his personal opinions on Joe Paterno. In that call, Mr. James was informed that his comments in no way reflect the opinions or positions of the Red Sox; and, because he is perceived as a representative of the Red Sox, he was asked to refrain from any further public comments on this matter."

Smart move by the Red Sox. While James is entitled to his completely wrong and illogical opinions, he is perceived as a representative of the Red Sox. Him being a jackass makes the Red Sox look bad.

James should have at least known his opinion was controversial and not widely held. But judging from the opinion itself, it's hard to imagine him being rational about it in any way.

Yes, I am calling him an irrational numbers man.

Red Sox Win Thanks to Home Cooking

There are two types of players on the Red Sox: those who have exceeded expectations and kept the team afloat, and those who have disappointed and been a drag. Last night the Red Sox won because a starting pitcher exceeded expectations, and also because one of those previously disappointing draggers stepped up and contributed.

Aaron Cook went 7 innings, allowing only 1 run that was due entirely to defensive miscues. While the infield was shifted, Will Middlebrooks made a mistake in covering the wrong base. Adrian Gonzalez compounded the mistake by throwing to the uncovered 3rd base. Either that or Middlebrooks went to the Chad Ochocinco school of route running and wasn't on the same page as Gonzalez.

Fittingly, that run-scoring play was on a groundball out. Because Cook induced 15 of those, and only allowed 6 fly-outs. So even though he didn't strike anyone out, he kept the ball low, and the White Sox couldn't lift it off the ground.

Cook, then Vicente Padilla, kept the White Sox from scoring long enough for Adrian Gonzalez to get his clutchest hit of the season. He blasted a deep homerun to left-center and blew the game open in the 8th.

It was Gonzalez's first homerun since June 24th, the day Youkilis was traded.

This was the type of win I like to see from the Sox. They've gotten some good outings from Aaron Cook, and finally highly paid stars like Gonzalez are taking advantage of the opportunities given to them by the hungry role players.

David Ortiz extended his hit streak to 11 games, and his walk streak to 10 games. Then he injured himself rounding 2nd base on Gonzalez's homerun. I think he's listed as day-to-day with a Classic Baseball Injury (CBI).

Pedro Ciriaco was 3 for 4 with a double and is currently hitting .464.

Carl Crawford returned to the lineup and was 1 for 3 with a single. He scored twice and drew a walk. He only walked 23 times last season.

The Red Sox made Dylan Axelrod look like a Cy Young candidate, but that tends to happen when they face someone they have little experience facing. And that also makes this win even more satisfying because it was a game that easily could have gone the other way.

The Red Sox need Jon Lester to start pitching like Aaron Cook. Lester is on the mound tonight, facing Philip Humber. Humber is 3-4 with a 6.01 ERA and hasn't had a Quality Start since May. Adrian Gonzalez and Jarrod Saltalamacchia have done well against him in the past.

This is a great chance to secure at least a split in this series.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo