Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part III
posted at 10/31/2013 9:14 PM EDT
Perhaps what surprised me the most about our finish to 2013 was that no player really had a shocking season.
Yes, Uehara had the best WHIP ever, but he had 2 really good seasons before 2013.
Papi had a great year, but if you prorate 2012 to 600 PAs, then 2014 was no surprise.
Pedey, Ellsbury, Middlebrooks, Bailey, Hanrahan, Miller, Morales and Aceves actually fell below half to most people's expectations (some due to injury).
Salty, Nava, Breslow, Lester, Lackey, Iggy (while here) and Doubront did marginally better than expected, and Buch's injury cut his numbers down. Non were shockingly great.
The winter additions:
Carp was probably the most shocking surprise, but had under 250 PAs.
Gomes did not give us what we expected vs LHPs and his .771 OPS was under most projections, but he did bring a lot of intangibles. Nothing shocking.
Dempster certainly did not bring us more than expected, and on paper was not worth the contract amount.
Drew only played in 124 games and barely got over 500 PAs, His defense shocked me, but not everyone here. Overall, he did not produce much more than expectations.
Napoli broke his record for career PAs in a season by 68. This was a bit shocking after the injury discovery. His career high RBIs was not shocking. His OPS was below his career OPS. Not shocking.
Victorino might have shocked some of us on defense, but he really shouldn't have. He's been a great defensive player for years. His fragility was in question last winter, and that did become an issue this year. He only played in 122 games and missed time in the WS. His .801 OPS was much better than 2012, but was 46 points belwo his 2011 number, so it's hard to say his 2013 season was shockingly good.
Uehara was awesome, but his numbers in 2012 were some of the best of all time as well, and his 2010 season was very very good as well. Shocking? I guess so, but he wasn't even our closer until the end of June!
The season came down to everyone contributing, and nobody except maybe Middlebrooks having a shockingly bad season, though he still hit 17 Hrs and 49 RBIs in just 94 games.
Great coaching, managing, team chemistry, and dogged determination all came together to put us over the top. We had the numbers on paper. This year was not a fluke. We did not win, because other teams made mistakes. We won because we were the best team in MLB. We had the best record in MLB playing in the toughest division in MLB agkainst the toughest schedule of any playoff team. We had the best run differential. We had great home-road splits. Our rotation matched up well with even the best in MLB, and our 1-2 punch of Breslow and Uehara had perhaps the best 2nd half numbers in MLB history. Our middle men held their own, particularly Tazawa and Workman. Our bench carried us at times: Iggy, Carp, Nava, Ross, Bogey and more.
Great team effort from a great team!
Thank you Red Sox!