Monday, June 18, 2012

Rox Talk - Week 11

The Week That Was
A 1-5 week against the A's and Tigers. The Rox currently stand at 25-40.  Sixteen games behind the Dodgers for the division lead in fourth place. Currently 15-21 at home and 10-19 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 373-329 (expected wins is 29 versus historical wins at 30). On pace for 62 wins with 820 runs scored and 930 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.88 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Wow I am just blogless (yes not speechless, but blogless) on how to describe this season.  With the clarity of hindsight, I am not for sure how I really thought Rox were going to be competitive with the pitching staff as constructed.  When Moyer made the team, I think the alarm bells should have been loud enough to make me run for cover.  I will give some credit to the management because after last season's debacle they did try and make some things happen.  When the season is an obituary the acquisition of Cuddyer will be a positive although overpriced (check out what Seth Smith did in Oakland).  I won't touch the Guthrie trade other than someone missed something and they should not have a job moving forward.  Reading the tea leaves, management must have thought that pitching would be adequate to keep the team at least competitive and that theoretically the offense could mask some of the growing pains on the mound (?). Again someone is being paid a lot of money to make baseball decisions.  Forget loyalty someone botched a whole lot of money at this point.  Either way the offense has done spectacular.  It has scored the 3rd most runs in baseball with only Boston (1 more run) and Texas ahead.  Anyone want to guess how many runs will be scored by Texas this upcoming weekend?

I won't throw the staff under the bus again but the Rox pitching is last in the league in runs allowed.  Having allowed 373 with Minnesota trailing at 349 (So much for that mid-market magic working, seems the pot at the end of the rainbow has dried up in Twinland).  So to beat a dead horse, Rox pitching isn't so good.  Purple Row has a nice article on the inexplicableness of Guthrie and where his confidence went.  Chacin was suppose to offer something but is on the scrap heap.  Raise your hand if you thought Francis would be wearing purple pinstripes this year?  So after 11 weeks offense is doing real well and pitching as done real horrible.  Pitching wins games, so what now?  What makes this even worse is how dominant pitching in MLB has been this year with two perfect games thrown already.

100 Losses in 162 Games?
With 100 losses looming this year, the graph below shows a rolling 162 winning percentage over the 20 years of the Rox existence.  Rox worse 162 game stretch occurred in the 2004-2005 seasons.  Their record was 59-103 which stretched from August 22, 2004 (lost against Montreal!) through August 20, 2005.  On the bright side we also had one 100 win 162-game stretch from the 2009-2010 season.

What I get most from this graph is the dismal direction we have been going since June 1st, 2010.  Since that highpoint Rox have gone 153-184 and are challenging the worse teams in Rox history.  And the frightening thing is that Rox are playing this way with an $81M payroll.  Would I feel better if we were crashing and burning with a $40M payroll?  At least then I would know there was a reason and a sense to all of this madness!  With their current contract structures Rox have $77M on the books for 2013, $85M for 2014, and frightening $101M in 2015.    The 2004 team had an adjusted 2012 dollar payroll of about $77M and 2005 of $55M.  How this can't get the attention of ownership is beyond me.  If above represents your stock price, I would say your stockholders would be going ballistic right now.

With our current contracts this graph could potentially stay bad for a very long time.  With CarGo and Tulo contacts growing there is some true inflexiblity.  Rox aren't going to be able to sign a pitcher nor sign to keep any of them (assuming one of the many acquisitions last year actually amount to anything).  Funny thing is when O'Dowd was hired, Rox were in a similar inflexible pay structure.  After a complete overhaul we find ourselves in the same scary place.  Not to add a nail to the coffin but come on this is beyond loyalty...make a change and give our club a chance.

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