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redsmetz
02-28-2007, 11:55 AM
Like the swallows of Capistrano, the Bosox fan base asks the same questions long asked by Reds fans for years.


He has a bat, needs a position
By Dan Shaughnessy, Globe Staff | February 28, 2007

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Where to put Wily Mo Peņa? Right field? Center field? DH? First base? Tight end? Power forward? Bench?

And how to get him 400 at-bats on a team that already has three front-line outfielders, the best DH in baseball, and an everyday first baseman?

Peņa is one of the more intriguing players in the Red Sox clubhouse. He's bigger than John Coffey of "The Green Mile" fame and hits longer home runs than anyone who has ever played at Fenway. Folks are still talking about his 498-foot shot in Cincinnati in 2005, and the 451-foot thunderbolt in Kansas City last summer. And let's not forget the heat-seeking missile he hit at Fenway -- the one that hit the back wall of the Monster seats and bounced almost all the way back to the shortstop.

Pena hit 11 homers in 276 at-bats with the Sox last season, when he missed about six weeks after having surgery on his left wrist. He hit 26 homers in 336 at-bats with the Reds in 2004. He has 62 major league home runs and he's 25 years old. Big league pitchers have virtually stopped throwing fastballs to him.

Then there's his defense. His attempts to play the difficult green acres in right field in Fenway have produced some memorable moments, including Opening Day at Fenway last April when he tipped a Frank Catalanotto fly ball into the visitors' bullpen. Keith Foulke didn't hide his disgust. The replay lives forever.

"I don't care if they show that video," Peņa said yesterday. "When you do something wrong, people just jump on you. They are going to talk about that. What can I do? The fans were nice to me when I was in Boston and I have to be nice to them back.

"They say I look better in center field. I just have to get better in all three positions because last year I played all three and this year is going to be the same thing. That's why I work with DeMarlo [Hale] on defense. I want to get better in right and left field, but center is more easy for me."

"He's done a great job working at it," said manager Terry Francona. "He stays after every day and works with DeMarlo, and his attitude toward getting better has been awesome. And that's what we want him to do. He overthrew a few cutoff men today, but he knows it."

At 6 feet 3 inches, 245 pounds, Peņa is one of the largest men in baseball history to play center field. But he makes for good insurance should Coco Crisp struggle or suffer another injury.

"Wily Mo is our fourth outfielder and hopefully will get a lot of at-bats," said Francona. "But hopefully not too many. That would mean somebody got hurt."

"They've been talking like I'm going to get an opportunity for more at-bats," Peņa said. "I'll be happy if I get 400-something at bats. Last year it was the same thing, but I have to be ready whenever they need me."

He says he has a first baseman's mitt, but he didn't bring it to Florida. Not part of the plan.

Favorite home run last year?

"I guess the one in Kansas City [off Luke Hudson Aug. 8]," he said.

How's he handling the curveball diet?

"It doesn't matter what's coming," he said. "I have to be ready."

Peņa will be in right field tonight when the Sox kick off their Grapefruit League campaign at City of Palms Park against the Minnesota Twins.

dougdirt
02-28-2007, 12:21 PM
I miss Wily Mo.....

Joseph
02-28-2007, 12:23 PM
I miss Wily Mo.....

Ditto

HumnHilghtFreel
02-28-2007, 12:23 PM
I really want to see him go somewhere where he'll get a chance to shine.

westofyou
02-28-2007, 12:29 PM
"Wily Mo is our fourth outfielder and hopefully will get a lot of at-bats," said Francona. "But hopefully not too many. That would mean somebody got hurt."

Wily is looking a lot like he's on the Bo Jackson career path.

ED44
02-28-2007, 12:30 PM
Count me in on missing Wily Mo. I wish he would come into his own.

I saw a quote yesterday from him raving about Dice-K's stuff.

HumnHilghtFreel
02-28-2007, 12:43 PM
Wily is looking a lot like he's on the Bo Jackson career path.

He worked out at the NFL Combine?! :)

cincrazy
02-28-2007, 12:58 PM
Wily Mo Pena is one of the most overrated players in Major League Baseball. The guy can hit some absolute blasts, but he's awful defensively, and his number's against right-hander's leave much to be desired. The only reason people like him is because of his monster home run shots. And don't get me wrong, they left me of us in awe, but I'm sure Big Baby from LSU could hit some monster shots, but I would never want to see him do anything else. We got a top notch pitcher for him, and while he still has potential, I'll take a pitcher like Arroyo any day over a hitter with yet to be realized potential. We got Arroyo for the next few years, who will win us 15 games a year and help solidify our rotation. Arroyo, IMO, is much much more valuable than Wily Mo will ever be.

blumj
02-28-2007, 01:09 PM
Count me in on missing Wily Mo. I wish he would come into his own.

I saw a quote yesterday from him raving about Dice-K's stuff.

Not to get too far OT, but it looks like the Reds might get their own glimpse of Matsuzaka-mania on March 17 if the Sox rotation stays on it's current schedule.

If Wily Mo can stay healthy himself, there are worse 4th OF jobs than one where he only has to wait for JD Drew to get hurt or Manny to take a spontaneous vacation.

dougdirt
02-28-2007, 01:16 PM
Wily Mo Pena is one of the most overrated players in Major League Baseball. The guy can hit some absolute blasts, but he's awful defensively, and his number's against right-hander's leave much to be desired. The only reason people like him is because of his monster home run shots. And don't get me wrong, they left me of us in awe, but I'm sure Big Baby from LSU could hit some monster shots, but I would never want to see him do anything else. We got a top notch pitcher for him, and while he still has potential, I'll take a pitcher like Arroyo any day over a hitter with yet to be realized potential. We got Arroyo for the next few years, who will win us 15 games a year and help solidify our rotation. Arroyo, IMO, is much much more valuable than Wily Mo will ever be.
No one said they wanted the trade back, just simply that some of us miss Wily Mo. With that said, Big Baby couldnt hit anything near what Wily Mo did. He may be raw still, but he has talent. He also is a decent-good centerfielder. Last season WMP did hit .301/.349/.489. What is wrong with those numbers? I would take them every day of the week.

maniem
02-28-2007, 02:15 PM
I'd love to have Wily Mo's bat back in the lineup. If the Sox would bite on a package of Cormier, Freel, and a prospect, I'd be all for it. Move Dunn to first, Hatte to the bench, and suddenly we have the makings of an offense again.

BCubb2003
02-28-2007, 02:17 PM
Let me be first to ask if they can rewrite his contract and send him to the minors.

Gainesville Red
02-28-2007, 02:17 PM
Move Dunn to first,

Here we go.................

Isn't this one of the sins?

-Dunn to first

-Marty vs. Dunn

-Dunn K's to much

etc.........

paintmered
02-28-2007, 02:28 PM
Let me be first to ask if they can rewrite his contract and send him to the minors.

Ya know, that's an interesting idea. I wonder why that hasn't been thought of yet.




;)

maniem
02-28-2007, 02:29 PM
Here we go.................

Isn't this one of the sins?

-Dunn to first

-Marty vs. Dunn

-Dunn K's to much

etc.........


Ok, leave Dunn in left and have Wily Mo play 1st. Finding a way to get both of them in the lineup at the same time would greatly benefit a club that sorely needs more firepower, imo.

TRF
02-28-2007, 03:42 PM
Wily Mo Pena is one of the most overrated players in Major League Baseball. The guy can hit some absolute blasts, but he's awful defensively, and his number's against right-hander's leave much to be desired.

2006 against RH Pitchers.

172 AB's .326 BA .359 OBP .587 SLG .946 OPS

Yep... those absolutely suck. He's developing. I'd take him in CF over Crisp every day of the week.

Puffy
02-28-2007, 04:03 PM
2006 against RH Pitchers.

172 AB's .326 BA .359 OBP .587 SLG .946 OPS

Yep... those absolutely suck. He's developing. I'd take him in CF over Crisp every day of the week.

Coco was hurt last year but he sucked it up and played. He'll OPS .820 this year with slightly above average D. As much as I love Wily Mo I wouldn't play him over Crisp at this point in their careers.

bradmu
02-28-2007, 04:11 PM
Wily really needs to find a team in need of a DH. (Boston already has their guy in that position).

I bet Wily was raving about Dice-K because he throws 4-5 different pitches that don't go straight, which he cannot hit. Bet he's really glad to not have to face him when he bats.

I miss wily too. however, having Bronson makes it a whole lot easier to accept the fact.

westofyou
02-28-2007, 04:14 PM
Coco was hurt last year but he sucked it up and played. He'll OPS .820 this year with slightly above average D. As much as I love Wily Mo I wouldn't play him over Crisp at this point in their careers.

Plus despite last year he's still .258/.302/.482 lifetime against RH's

Not to mention that .301 BA in 2006 is 35 points above his high at any level in pro ball, it could just as easily go the other way... just ask Adam Dunn.

TRF
02-28-2007, 04:23 PM
Coco was hurt last year but he sucked it up and played. He'll OPS .820 this year with slightly above average D. As much as I love Wily Mo I wouldn't play him over Crisp at this point in their careers.

Well since his career best is an .810 OPS, I guess .820 is doable. But I'd bet that WMP would be closer to .900, say an .850ish OPS. But probably higher. especially if he really is developing an eye for RH pitching.

Handofdeath
02-28-2007, 04:53 PM
I really want to see him go somewhere where he'll get a chance to shine.

There are reasons why he's never gotten that chance. The reasons have been repeated ad nauseum. In regards to his 2006 numbers against righties, that is a small sample size. But if you want to use the numbers, fine. Then use the numbers against lefties as well. Pena was atrocious against lefties last year. Starting OF's don't hit for an OPS of .660 against lefties and expect to start for long.

TRF
02-28-2007, 04:58 PM
There are reasons why he's never gotten that chance. The reasons have been repeated ad nauseum. In regards to his 2006 numbers against righties, that is a small sample size. But if you want to use the numbers, fine. Then use the numbers against lefties as well. Pena was atrocious against lefties last year. Starting OF's don't hit for an OPS of .660 against lefties and expect to start for long.

much smaller sample. And the only reason he's had no place to play is simple. He wasn't going to play ahead of Kearns, Dunn, Jr. In Cincinnati.

He's got a real shot at 400 AB's this year with Drew a Red Sox. Dude is more brittle than my grandmother.

It's the same arguement as letting EE play every inning at 3rd base. How can he develop if he doesn't play. He's an enourmous talent with an incredible (by all accounts except Marty B.) work ethic.

WMR
02-28-2007, 05:22 PM
I'm pulling for you Wily Mo!

It's amazing how much better he looks in CF versus the corners. Whether it's him seeing the ball more clearly and getting better jumps or just an overall comfort level, the difference is striking.

blumj
02-28-2007, 05:23 PM
He is starting in RF tonight against the Twins, if you have mlb.com.

Puffy
02-28-2007, 05:37 PM
Well since his career best is an .810 OPS, I guess .820 is doable. But I'd bet that WMP would be closer to .900, say an .850ish OPS. But probably higher. especially if he really is developing an eye for RH pitching.

Yeah, but then you take into account the D and that 30 point difference in OPS swings the other way.

Listen, I love Wily Mo - I was one of the ones who hated the trade right with you and we were wrong. Arroyo, in turns out, was worth more than Wily Mo. And I still think Wily Mo is going to be a force in this league, its just I think you are undervaluing Crisp - thats all.

Gainesville Red
02-28-2007, 05:56 PM
He is starting in RF tonight against the Twins, if you have mlb.com.

Here's a quote from a guy on sons of sam horn:

I'm trying to purchase Mlb.tv to watch the first games on...and the damn server is down. Anyone watching/able to buy? This is not a good sign.


So good luck if you're trying to watch Wily Mo tonight.

westofyou
02-28-2007, 06:01 PM
Here's a quote from a guy on sons of sam horn:

I'm trying to purchase Mlb.tv to watch the first games on...and the damn server is down. Anyone watching/able to buy? This is not a good sign.


So good luck if you're trying to watch Wily Mo tonight.

It's on NESN (IIRC) which I get.

westofyou
02-28-2007, 06:02 PM
Kevin Goldstein wrote this today and I have to agree


February 28, 2007, 09:17 AM ET
My Name Is Kevin, And I’m A Baseball Dork

by Kevin Goldstein

I have a satellite dish, and as part of my package I pay a little extra for all the regional sports networks. I do this primarily for watching college baseball and getting some local coverage of teams, as well as the occasional minor league game during the summer. I have a system set up to show me all the upcoming baseball programs, and imagine my surprise when I saw that today, at high noon here in Chicago, on channel 625, is baseball. Real, live baseball as the Tigers take on the Mets in Port St. Lucie. It’s not the Sunday opener on ESPN, and the matchup of Oliver Perez and Chad Durbin doesn’t exactly make one raise the roof, but again, it’s baseball – and after four months without it (it always seems so much longer that that), I’m downright giddy.

blumj
02-28-2007, 06:35 PM
Here's a quote from a guy on sons of sam horn:

I'm trying to purchase Mlb.tv to watch the first games on...and the damn server is down. Anyone watching/able to buy? This is not a good sign.


So good luck if you're trying to watch Wily Mo tonight.
I bought it this morning, and got to see about half the Mets-Tigers game. If anyone is planning to buy it, I wouldn't want to try it right before or during the Sox-Twins, or the first NYY game, or anything like that. I think they just got deluged by people showing up right at game time all trying to buy it or log on at once. Mlb.tv certainly isn't the most reliable thing in the world, but hopefully this is just the first day jitters.

TRF
02-28-2007, 06:39 PM
I might be undervaluing Crisp, but I think overall everyone is undervaluing WMP's defense in CF. He's not bad in CF at all. And his offense would likely at worst make him a wash with Crisp IMO.

So, Since he's younger and cheaper, I'd go with WMP.

RedEye
02-28-2007, 07:29 PM
I'd love to have Wily Mo's bat back in the lineup. If the Sox would bite on a package of Cormier, Freel, and a prospect, I'd be all for it. Move Dunn to first, Hatte to the bench, and suddenly we have the makings of an offense again.

Why is this magical "package of Cormier, Freel, and a prospect" such a common occurence on this board? Does anyone really think we could get good value in return for a package like that? If we could, wouldn't Wayne have already done it yesterday?

Comments like this always remind me of the ill-fated trade offers I make in my fantasy league: "Hey dude, do you want to trade me A-Rod for Carlos Lee, Zack Greinke, and Willy Taveras?" It's like scanning our roster and picking out the pieces that we wouldn't mind giving up too much. Know what? No one else wants them either--especially not in that combination!

Handofdeath
02-28-2007, 10:11 PM
I might be undervaluing Crisp, but I think overall everyone is undervaluing WMP's defense in CF. He's not bad in CF at all. And his offense would likely at worst make him a wash with Crisp IMO.

So, Since he's younger and cheaper, I'd go with WMP.

Check out Terry Francona's left ring finger. See that big shiny thing? Francona's a good manager and he's no fool. Don't you think, for all of Pena's power, that he would put Pena ahead of Crisp if he could? If you start WMP at this point, you might get at least 30 homers out of him. He would also break Dunn's K record for a season and quite possibly kill Manny Ramirez running after a fly ball. (Insert Manny fielding joke here.) It would be better to steal Jobu's rum at this point. However, if he gets 400 AB's and does well then he deserves the starting nod. He'll get those AB's this season. Redszone should have a pool. When will J.D. Drew get hurt and where? My guess June 6 and the dugout water fountain.:devil:

blumj
03-03-2007, 12:09 PM
During the Red Sox-Boston College exhibition game, the announcers pointed out that Wily Mo was a big hit with the college kids during BP and he gave them one of his bats. I just thought that the Sox might have dropped the ball a bit in entertaining the kids by having most of their regulars play their other game, so it was really great that Wily Mo picked up the slack.

dougdirt
03-03-2007, 12:15 PM
During the Red Sox-Boston College exhibition game, the announcers pointed out that Wily Mo was a big hit with the college kids during BP and he gave them one of his bats. I just thought that the Sox might have dropped the ball a bit in entertaining the kids by having most of their regulars play their other game, so it was really great that Wily Mo picked up the slack.

I bet he was a big hit during BP.... they have never and probably will never see another human being hit a baseball that far in their entire lives.

OnBaseMachine
03-03-2007, 12:17 PM
I wish the Reds could have traded Casey for Arroyo and kept Wily Mo. I was so looking forward to Pena and Dunn belting around 100 homers a year between them for the next decade. I miss Wily Mo but I love Arroyo...but I just wish the trade would have been Casey for Arroyo. Or even Kearns (whom I also miss).

Gainesville Red
03-03-2007, 12:32 PM
What makes you think they would have taken Casey for Arroyo?

Not saying they wouldn't have, just wondering why you think they would have?

blumj
03-03-2007, 12:35 PM
I bet he was a big hit during BP.... they have never and probably will never see another human being hit a baseball that far in their entire lives.
Yeah, I'm sure that's true, that's what the Jays announcers were talking about during another game a few days ago. The BC kids couldn't get over how heavy his bat is, and I really wonder if something a little lighter wouldn't help him out more.

OnBaseMachine
03-03-2007, 12:36 PM
There were some rumors of a Casey for Arroyo deal in December of 2005. Not sure how serious they were but I remember reading about it.

adampad
03-03-2007, 12:36 PM
I really really miss watching Wily Mo. And I hate when people dog him for his defence. Especially when we have a player with no arm that is just as bad (maybe worse) who doesn't show half the hustle or will to improve in left field right now.

Gainesville Red
03-03-2007, 12:43 PM
There were some rumors of a Casey for Arroyo deal in December of 2005. Not sure how serious they were but I remember reading about it.

Huh. I don't remember hearing them. Would have been cool.

But wasn't a big part of the Wily Mo/Bronson trade clearing up the outfield glut of the time/get pitching for it?

Turn a strength into a weakness?

uks2h
03-03-2007, 01:33 PM
Wily Mo Pena is one of the most overrated players in Major League Baseball. The guy can hit some absolute blasts, but he's awful defensively, and his number's against right-hander's leave much to be desired. The only reason people like him is because of his monster home run shots. And don't get me wrong, they left me of us in awe, but I'm sure Big Baby from LSU could hit some monster shots, but I would never want to see him do anything else. We got a top notch pitcher for him, and while he still has potential, I'll take a pitcher like Arroyo any day over a hitter with yet to be realized potential. We got Arroyo for the next few years, who will win us 15 games a year and help solidify our rotation. Arroyo, IMO, is much much more valuable than Wily Mo will ever be.

I agree that Arroyo is more valuable than Pena for the Reds at this time. If I was building an outfield, I'd include Pena. I have always liked him from the time I first saw him play. He is not overrated, just an underachiever. I hope he is in a situation now that will let him flourish and reach his maximum potential. Anyone who watches him without any pre-existing opinions about him will be impressed, I think.