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Don't get defensive over Red Sox's moves

Jan 8, 2010, 12:45 AM EDT

For those Red Sox fans out there grousing about Theo Epstein electing to replace Jason Bay with Mike Cameron, and Mike Lowell with Adrian Beltre (for far less money, too), remember that a run prevented is just as good as a run scored.

And with Cameron in center field pushing Jacoby Ellsbury to left, and Beltre taking over the hot corner, Epstein got himself two very nice upgrades on the defensive side of things.

Cameron covers so much ground he once literally broke his face on a horrific collision with Carlos Beltran (who also covers a lot of ground) when both were with the Mets. The play came on a ball Ellsbury and Bay wouldn’t have been close to catching.

And Beltre, for his part, can pick it and throw it like few other at third base. He is also quite adept at ranging far down the left field line and catching balls over his shoulder.

The folks at Red Sox Monster are plenty aware of Beltre’s talents, posting a video of his defensive highlights while with the Mariners. It’s a little on the lengthy side (8-plus minutes), but oh-so-impressive.

So don’t despair Boston fans. The Red Sox’s improved defense should help offset the loss of offense, and the money saved helped bring John Lackey to town. Now if Lackey’s elbow will just hold up, and if Beltre would just wear a cup …

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks.

  1. Stone - Jan 8, 2010 at 3:50 AM

    Holy Christ! Just seeing that video makes me wonder if the Mariners can eclipse last year’s win total; even with their offseason signings.

  2. billybill - Jan 8, 2010 at 4:28 AM

    Consider yourself lucky you have a job you idiot.

  3. James - Jan 8, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    Red Sox Monster didn’t post the 8-minute Beltre highlight reel. They just embedded it on their blog. It was actually posted by a Japanese Seattle Mariners fan with the YouTube handle “Mariners2009″. He’s going to miss Beltre, that’s for sure :-)

  4. Lardin - Jan 8, 2010 at 8:48 AM

    “remember that a run prevented is just as good as a run scored.”
    The above quote is not even close to being accurate. If it were true, it would be possible to win a game 0-0. You need to score runs to win games. End of story..

  5. Old video - Jan 8, 2010 at 9:15 AM

    He has lost a step since most of those highlights. Not many were from 2008 or 2009.
    Andy Phillips? wow that was a few years back….

  6. Matt M - Jan 8, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    In order to get a 0-0 game, you have to, you know, PREVENT runs. If you don’t prevent runs, the score is, well, infinity to 0. That seems worse than 0-0, no?

  7. Mark - Jan 8, 2010 at 9:27 AM

    “The above quote is not even close to being accurate. If it were true, it would be possible to win a game 0-0. You need to score runs to win games. End of story..”
    Of course, if we’re just picking arbitrary hypothetical situations than a run saved when you’re leading 9-8 is just as valuable as a run scored.

  8. Jake - Jan 8, 2010 at 9:40 AM

    You can have Cameron, guy is good for like 150 strike outs a year at the plate and for 20 homeruns and a .240 batting average. Beltre isnt a lot at the plate either and thats gonna be a big problem for boston with Ortiz being finished.

  9. David - Jan 8, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    You know, Bob, considering from a rational/logical standpoint what is required to win a game of baseball, I’d agree with you that a run saved is the same as a run earned. Unfortunately, Major League Baseball is very concerned with the almighty dollar, and we live in a society where far too many people would rather go with their “gut” (read: lazy) instincts and therefore focus on who can mash the baseball the farthest, rather than consider things like defense that are harder to quantify but might be more valuable to actually WINNING a game of baseball. Such an view manifests itself in comments like this:
    Consider yourself lucky you have a job you idiot.
    So, as you can see, because enough fans would rather turn the game of baseball into a perpetual home run derby, there may still be something to be said for “a run scored is a little better than a run saved.” More fans are interested in scoring than defense, which means a run scored probably earns more almighty dollars than a run prevented. Seems like those days are nearing an end, though. Personally, I think it can’t come soon enough.
    Attention Boston fans who are complaining: Stop. I’m insanely jealous of your offseason acquisitions. I was praying the Twins would get Beltre. I don’t want them to touch Lowell. I would have been thrilled with a Cameron pickup. Bay would have been a nice upgrade over Delmon Young, but I’d rather take the defense and spend the dollars saved by not overpaying Jason Bay on something else. Your team is going to be really fun to watch next year. Look forward to it.

  10. Ace - Jan 8, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    I know we’re veering off topic a bit here, but I’d just like to note that from June 6 on, Ortiz did lead the AL in home runs and tied for the lead in RBIs. I don’t think he’s totally finished yet.

  11. themarksmith - Jan 8, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    Some of you are acting as if the Red Sox now have the Giants lineup. They’re still running out this lineup –> Ellsbury, Pedroia, Youkilis, Martinez, Ortiz, Drew, Cameron, Beltre, Scutaro. No, there aren’t any big boppers, but they;re not exactly chopped liver. They’ll be in the top 5 of offense while having a top 3 defense and pitching staff. That’s still pretty impressive.

  12. lardin - Jan 8, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    To Themarksmith:
    Who in the lineup strikes fear into you? Yes it is a good lineup, but no one in that lineup scares you like Manny and Ortiz did 3-4 years ago. Everyone in that lineup you mentioned can/will be pitched to in a big spot.

  13. lardin - Jan 8, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    Whoever ever scores more runs wins. Sounds simple enough. even if the other team scores no runs you still need to score one. But since no team averages an ERA of One, you will need to score more than One run a game. A quality start is 6 innings of 3 runs or a 4.50 era. I will give the sox the benefit of the doubt with their pitching and defense, and project a TEAM era of about 4. This means the sox need to score on average 5 runs a game. I have doubts this lineup can do that.

  14. Dave G. - Jan 13, 2010 at 7:07 PM

    “Who in the lineup strikes fear into you? Yes it is a good lineup, but no one in that lineup scares you like Manny and Ortiz did 3-4 years ago. Everyone in that lineup you mentioned can/will be pitched to in a big spot”
    And this is bad? So when Manny and Papi were playing the opposing team KNEW who to avoid, therefore makes it easier to plan around. How do you plan around good but not great hitters? You don’t! The opposing team won’t know WHO to pitch around and therefore pitch to a good but not great hitter.
    I’d rather have a team that hits .272 1-9 rather than .248,.254,.275,.290,.298,.237,.180,.178.,.210.
    You can plan around the 2nd lineup. you CAN’T plan around the first (except for the speed factor).

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