By Gerard Lombardo – @wickedlinedrive
Yesterday, Bronson Arroyo was honored by the Cincinnati Reds, following the pitcher’s retirement after 16 quietly productive baseball years.
He was the last of the infamous “idiots”.
Theo Epstein, Terry Francona and a few members of the championship coaching staff are still making a living in the baseball world, but no bat swinger or ball slinger that endeared themselves to Sox Nation 13 years ago will ever perform in a major league game again. It’s not as if they popped smoke and vanished into the Field of Dreams cornfields, as V-Tek, Pedro and Papi are still active in the Red Sox front office; Wakefield has a role on NESN, and Curt Schilling is like a bad migraine: he may be gone right now, but it’s only a matter of time before he becomes an incredulous inconvenience.
So with the departure of Arroyo, I thought it might be a timely opportunity to nerd up, and share some lesser known statistics regarding the World Champions.
Schilling was their WAR lord, (have been dying to use that term in a sentence) leading the charge with a 7.9 Wins Above Replacement figure, ahead of even Pedro Martinez who came up with a 5.5. Conversely, Cesar Crespo was utterly useless posting a negative WAR, lowest amongst all positional players.
Most “Valuable” Player: Mark Bellhorn. Crazy, right? Well, Bell actually had an OPS over .800, 81 RBI, 88 BB, 93 R, and even chipped in with six steals in seven attempts. His salary? $490K. The value was strong with this one.
The threesome of Mike Timlin, Alan Embree, and Keith Foulke combined for 219 appearances, finishing off 84 out of the 162 regular season matches, totaling 34 saves.
In a pinch, who did Tito turn to off the bench? Surprisingly, Dave McCarty. He led the team with 23 pinch hit at bats, delivering four home runs along the way.
Shutouts? Who needs ’em! Boston logged an impressive total of one, by the hand of Pedro. It was the only complete game of the season for him, and one of just four thrown by Boston all year.
Didn’t see a day of first place throughout June, July, August or September, managed just a 16-18 record in one run games, and suffered a 15-2 blowout on May 27th. Not bad, for a team that ended an 86 year championship drought.