The Instigator
Con (against)
7 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
14 Points

The Red Sox have a weak offense.

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/7/2010 Category: Sports
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,228 times Debate No: 11676
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)




I am new on this site and this is my first debate on this site, so I want to make this clear: I do not believe that the Red Sox weak offense. Also, I am not just doing this because they scored nine runs against the Yankees Sunday night.

Here is the lineup:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury is one of the best young leadoff hitters in the game. He is capable of hitting over .300 in a season (he hit .301 last season) and has been far above the league average in batting average in both of his full seasons. His OBP last season was .355, above the league average.

Ellsbury is very good at getting on base. This is absolutely vital for a leadoff hitter. You may point to his sub-par SLG and OPS numbers, but keep in mind that he is a leadoff hitter. His primary job is to get on base. Besides, Ellsbury led the MLB in steals last season with 70. He can get into scoring position even if he doesn't get an extra base hit.

Ellsbury's speed is his biggest asset. He runs the bases very well, which is evident after looking at his stolen base numbers (120 total in '08 and '09) and his maturation will lead to better decisions, less times caught stealing, and more runs scored.

2. Dustin Pedroia

Is there any question about Pedroia's hitting? He has already won a Rookie of the Year, an MVP, a Silver Slugger and has made two All-Star games.

Pedroia hit .296 last season and had a bad season in that respect! He is a career .307 hitter who was above the league average in BA, OBP, SLG and OPS each of the last three years!

Pedroia is capable of hitting over .300, hitting 20 homers, 50 doubles and 20 stolen bases! The former Silver Slugger can do it all and is the heart and soul of this Red sox lineup.

3. Victor Martinez

Finally, Varitek is out of the starting lineup! This will be Victor's first full season with the Red Sox and he is a vast improvement over Varitek in every single major hitting statistic. It is not even close.

In his half season with the Red Sox, V-Mart .336 with a .405 OBP, 8 home runs and 41 RBI in 56 games. If he can come even close to this production throughout the entire 2010 season, he will be an excellent addition to the lineup.

Look for Martinez to one-up his '07 stat-line which included 25 home runs, 114 RBI, a .301 BA, a .374 OBP and a ridiculous .505 SLG.

4. Kevin Youkilis

I know what you are thinking; "A #4 hitter whose career high in home runs is 29? That's terrible!" It's not as terrible as you might think. Yes, his home run numbers aren't very impressive, but Youkilis could definitely hit at least 30 homers. He hit 27 in '09 despite missing a number of games due to injury and playing injured part of the season as well.

Youkilis is an absolute OBP machine. Here are Youk's stats 162 game averages since '07 compared to Mark Teixiera's:
Youk (Teixeira)
BA - .302 (.302)
OBP - .397 (.398)
SLG - .523 (.560)
OPS - .920 (.957)
2B – 44 (43)
HR – 28 (38)
RBI – 111 (127)

Not as big of a different as you might think right? Tex is one of the best hitters in the MLB, you can't expect every #4 hitter to be as talented as him.

5. David Ortiz

Ortiz is not the feared hitter he once was. He had a dismal season last year and has zero hits in the first two games of this season. His recent ineffectiveness is part of the reason that some people believe the Red Sox have a lack of offense this season. However, David Ortiz isn't hitting third anymore and the Sox aren't relying on him to be the best on the team anymore.

Ortiz' 1st half stats:
23.17 AB/HR
.58 RBI/G
.222 BA
.317 OBP
.416 SLG

2nd half:
15.5 AB/HR
,75 RBI/G
.258 BA
.350 OBP
.516 SLG

As you can see, there is a vast improvement from the first half to the second. If the Sox tough out the first half, Ortiz will reward them again. Also, Ortiz had the lowest BAbip of his career since 2001, which means he was extremely unlucky. His luck should improve and therefore, his stats should as well.

6. Adrian Beltre

Was anyone else surprised to see Beltre batting before Mike Cameron and J.D. Drew? I know I was, but I can see the why the lineup was set up this way. First of all, it separates the lefties (Ortiz and Drew), but also, Beltre is a very underrated hitter.

If you look at Beltre's stats last season, they are quite enderwhelming. However, Beltre had an injury-plagued season in '09 and played in one of the worst parks for a hitter in the Majors. His BA away is .029 higher and his sOPS+ was 28 points higher on the road! Now Beltre is going to one of the best parks for hitters in the league.

From '06 to '08, Beltre's three last completely healthy seasons, he hit 25 home runs twice and 26 once, he also had 77+ RBI each of the three seasons, on top of a .270 BA. Beltre is a Comeback Player of the Year candidate.

7. J.D. Drew

A batter like Drew hitting 7th? How can anyone think that this is a weak lineup? I know that everyone believes that Drew has been terrible since joining the Sox, but answer this. Since '07 (the year he joined the Sox) Drew has hit .276 with a .390 OBP and a surprising 124 OPS+! His home run numbers have increased every year, as has his SLG.

Drew had a very bad '07, but both of his years since then were strong. He is not a #3 hitter, but he is a far above average #7. Show me another team with a #7 hitter as strong as J.D. Drew and I will show you a very, very good offense.

8. Mike Cameron

Cameron is a freak. I know he is 37 years old, but the guy does not play his age. He finished second in Red Sox speed and agility drills, behind only the MLB stolen base leader, Jacoby Ellsbury. Pretty crazy, right? In fact, '09 was a better season, hitting-wise, for Cameron than each of the last two previous years.

Cameron is a career .250 hitter and averages 17 homers per season. However, look at the teams he has played for: Brewers, Padres, Mets, Mariners, Reds and White Sox. Most of these ballparks are pitchers' parks. The biggest hitters' park was the White Sox, but those were only his first four seasons (he averaged just 206 AB per season with the Sox). Ever since '06, Cameron hasn't had a season with less than 21 home runs.

A number #8 hitter who averages 23 home runs, 82 RBI and 26 steals per 162 games? Sounds good to me.

9. Marco Scutaro

Last season Scutaro hit .282 with a .379 OBP, 12 homers and 60 RBI as a leadoff? And now he is the 9th hitter?? Sign me up to manage that lineup! His numbers last season were above average for him, but even his average stats per year since '04:

.267 BA / .338 BA / 92 OPS+ / 8 HR / 47 RBI / 24 2B

Don't doubt Scutaro. He can hit and so far this season, he has proven just that, getting three hits in seven at bats and one walk. He is excellent for a #9 hitter.

This starting lineup is also very balanced.

1.Jacoby Ellsbury - L
2.Dustin Pedroia - R
3.Victor Martinez - S
4.Kevin Youkilis - R
5.David Ortiz - L
6.Adrian Beltre - R
7.JD Drew - L
8.Mike Cameron - R
9.Marco Scutaro - R

That makes five right-handed hitters, three left-handed hitters and one switch hitter. Therefore, the starting lineup is 55.6% righties, 33.3% lefties and 11.1% switch hitters. Very balanced.

A lefty starter will not be able to dominate this lineup with favorable match-ups, nor will a righty be able to. Also, because the lefties are separated by at least one right-handed hitter, specialty relievers that shut down lefties will not be able to take advantage. They will either have to struggle with a righty or pitch just one batter and then come out.

David Ortiz is probably the worst hitter in this lineup against lefties. Good thing he is the designated hitter because any bench player will be able to come in. Mike Lowell hit over .300 against lefties in 2009 and with a higher OBP, SLG and OPS than against right-handers.

There are zero easy outs in this lineup. This is not a weak offense.

More to come.


Thank you for the challenge, opponent, I look forward to your reply:
1.Flawed rhetoric of the topic.
It is incredibly hard to quantify what a "weak" offense is in the MLB. Considering that every batter typically hits less than .350 year after year, with no one ever even hitting .500 by season end, it is fair to vote neg that Boston has a "weak" offense in terms of overall statistics.
2.Comparisons to other teams (thus far in 2010)
Considering that the topic is also implying this season, I should only have to prove that the Red Sox are weak as of the four or so games that they've played. It would be unfair to have to take multiple seasons of the club into question because of roster changes/fluctuations with other teams/coaching changes/other tangibles. If I can prove that the Red Sox have a "weak" offense from what they've shown us so far, then you should vote for me.
3.Don't vote on his statistics.
Jacoby- He talks about how Ellsbury can hit about .300 for season because he hit .301 last years. This isn't true; he can't see the future, in fact in the realm of professional baseball, typically players that are hyped to do better the year after they have good seasons fall in stock the year after due to hype. Not to mention he's hitting .200, under the league average currently.
Pedroia – Dustin is a tougher case to crack. He is pretty respectable around the league at being one of the better players, but look for him to start slacking off this year. He has historically had a bad attitude and lack of work ethic. He has worked on this while in Boston, but who knows, he may relapse. Other than that, he has a TON of pressure on his back this season to do well. It can be fair to assume that he'll blow it and suck this year. He is only hitting .308 right now and that could very well drop considering the schedule they have coming up. He also hasn't hit a home run, so it's fair that his weakness in power hitting proves that the Bo Sox are weak.
Youkilis- Youkilis may be the most overrated player in all of MLB right now. Look at my opponent's own evidence that supports this. He is trailing Texieria in every category. This doesn't make him "strong" by any means. In his comparative position to other reams, he's lacking.
Ortiz – He's hitting .081. REALLY. I think that proves my point. He's even on steroids and still hitting that. Not to mention he'll hurt himself like every other year. He'll show up in September hit 2 home runs, Red Sox nation will call him the second coming of Christ and the only ones who will be able to see through the lackadaisical player will be people who simply aren't Boston fans.
I don't think I need to go on. You get to the bottom of the lineup that is traditionally used for the worse players. So if I can prove that the Sox are weak at what they claim to be "strong" then I shouldn't have to prove what weak is weak.

In conclusion, there should be no vote for my opponent because of the flawed rhetoric of the topic and my player by player analysis of why Boston is a "weak" offense.

I look forward to my opponent's reply. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting and arguing this debate.

My counters:

"1. Flawed rhetoric of the topic"

"Weak" is not meant to have a specific number. Weak can be defined simply as not strong. This is still not supposed to be a specific number. Typically, in baseball, weak is normally considered a team that either scores in the bottom half of the league, or scores less runs than they give up.

"2. Comparisons to other teams (thus far in 2010)"

You are right in saying that the topic is implying this season and I am glad that you took it this way rather than picking a different year in which they had a truly awful offense. Thank you. However, it also implies the entire season. It is ridiculous to use stats from this season thus far.

Since this is meant for the entire season, you can not base your arguments on the four games (including the one they are currently playing in) played this season. I used 2009 statistics only as an indicator of what the player is capable of. Stats at this point in the season prove absolutely nothing. See the first half/second half stats I posted for David Ortiz? That shows how drastic of a change can occur after the All-Star Break. A much more drastic change can occur after just the first four games of the season.

"3.Don't vote on his statistics"

Now I will address your player-by-player analysis:

Jacoby - When did I say that Jacoby will hit over .300? I simply said that he can, as in he is capable of, hitting over .300. I do not need to see the future to know this, seeing as he did it just last season.

You also say: "typically players that are hyped to do better the year after they have good seasons fall in stock the year after due to hype".

There are plenty of exceptions to this rule, therefore making it a horrible indicator of any future performances. Albert Pujols and Hanley Ramirez have lived up to the hype recently.

Pedroia - Show me one instance that Pedroia has ever displayed a bad work ethic or bad attitude in Boston. Can't do it? Because there hasn't been one. I really don't know where you are getting this information. Only .308? Are you kidding me? When did that become bad? As for the home runs, when did the #2 hitter in the lineup become a power-hitting position? Go see how many players have 0 home runs so far. You're going to find a lot of supposedly "weak" offensive players.

Youkilis - Most overrated player in the MLB right now? I'm beginning to believe that you just don't like the Red Sox, because this is a rdiculous statement.

Really? He's worse than Teixeira? That is your argument for him being weak? Teixeira is one of the best offensive players in the entire MLB! The players who are statistically better then Teixeira would be Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and not many more.

Ortiz - Once again, you are using stats from this season which is just stupid.

"He's even on steroids..." Proof? Where is your proof that he is currently on steroids? You are making baseless accusations.

He will hurt himself like every other year? Only twice since 2003 has Ortiz had under 500 at bats in a full season. Your statement is completely and utterly false.

You then prove that you have a dislike for the Red Sox by insulting the judgement of the fans.

"I don't think I need to go on. You get to the bottom of the lineup that is traditionally used for the worse players. So if I can prove that the Sox are weak at what they claim to be "strong" then I shouldn't have to prove what weak is weak"

One of the strengths of the Sox lineup is depth throughout. Last season, 5 of the players on the Sox hit over 20 home runs. Only three other teams in the entire MLB can say that.

You conveniently ignore J.D. Drew, Mike Cameron and Marco Scutaro, who are far above average for their spots in the lineup.

I deserve the vote over my opponent for the following reasons:

1. Flaws in Statistical Analysis - My opponent has done a terrible job of using facts to support his argument. Yes, they look bad, but you are taking stats from just three games! These stats are flawed. Show me one time that the first three games of a season have been an accurate way of predicting the rest of the season. You simply need to look at the stats I posted for David Ortiz in my first argument to prove my point.

2. Baseball Knowledge - My opponent has shown a complete lack of baseball knowledge throughout his argument. During his case for why Pedroia is "weak" he says "He is only hitting .308 right now..." .308 is an outstanding batting average and the fact that my opponent used this against Pedroia is very telling of his knowledge of the sport.

Also, he declares that Youkilis is "weak" by saying that since he is worse than Mark Teixeira, he is not a good offensive player. Teixeira is one of the top offensive player in the entire league and it is absurd to use being slightly less successful offensively to Tex as a bad thing. He also calls Youkilis overrated, despite the fact that he is excellent at two positions defensively and consistently ranks among the top players in the MLB in terms of OBP and OPS.

3. False Statements - In his argument against David Ortiz, he states "Not to mention he'll hurt himself like every other year." Ortiz has only played under 149 games in a season twice in his entire Red Sox career. I seem to be missing the part where he hurts himself every year.

4. Biased - My opponent shows a clear disdain for the Boston Red Sox and it is influencing his arguments. He insults the judgement of Red Sox fans in terms of how they view Ortiz and he calls Youklilis overrated with no statistical back-up.

5. Selective Judgement - Rather than arguing the offense as a whole, my opponent has argued the weaknesses of each individual player. He calls Pedroia "weak" because he does not hit enough home runs. However he ignores the fact that the combined home runs of Youkilis, V-Mart, Ortiz, Drew, Cameron and Beltre make up for Pedroia's lack thereof. By my opponent's evaluation, every single MLB offense is weak because there are hitters on every team that have weaknesses. This is silly.

Furthermore, he ignores some of the biggest strengths of the Red Sox offense. He ignores the depth of the lineup. The Red Sox have Mike Cameron hitting #8, but he could easily be #4 or #5 in most offenses. J.D. Drew hits #7, but there are some teams who could use him at #4 or even #3, for the really weak teams. Scutaro could be a leadoff hitter, but is #9 for the Sox.

Thank you.


us5halls forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Alright, I am not sure what to say now as I have no rebuttal to make, but here I go.

C: Victor Martinez

V-Mart is the third-best hitting catcher in the entire MLB. McCann and Mauer are the only ones better. He hit .331 last season with the Red Sox. This is the first time the Red Sox have had a good hitting catcher since Carlton Fisk. The Red Sox hitting from this position has improved from last year. Instead of half-Varitek, half-Martinez, it is now 100% Victor's job.

1B: Kevin Youkilis

Youkilis, whom you for some inexplicable reason call underrated, has the highest OPS+ of any American League first basemen over the last three years. He is an absolute on-base machine. He will do whatever it takes to get on base. He walks, he hits for average and he hits for power. This is his first year hitting fourth, and his RBI numbers are going to skyrocket.

2B: Dustin Pedroia

Pedroia had his worst offensive season last year. He has done a great job in Boston. Remember when you said he has a lack of home runs? Yeah, well, he is leading the team with THREE home runs already this season! He can crush the ball, and he makes contact every at bat.

3B: Adrian Beltre

Beltre is not very good offensively, but he will be much improved going from a year in Seattle to Boston. Boston is an exponentially better hitter's park than Seattle and Beltre had one of the lowest BAbip's of his careers last year. His luck will turn around. He hit fourth at times in Seattle, now he is all the way down to sixth.

SS: Marco Scutaro

Best Boston shortstop since Nomar? It could be close between him and Orlando Cabrera, but Scutaro will give O.C. a run for his money. Scutaro is 34, but last year was the best season of his entire career offensively. He is a #1 hitter who is batting NINTH!

RF: J.D. Drew

Drew is one of the more underrated hitters in the league. He has not lived up to his contract, but he is not even remotely close to bad. He has a consistently high average, high OBP, high SLG, high OPS+ and a good amount of home runs. What more do you want from your #7 hitter?

CF: Mike Cameron

Power, power and more power. That's what Cameron has. His batting average is just plain bad, I admit it, but he can crush the ball and he has been very close to hitting a lot out, but the flyballs are not falling in his favor. That will change and he will rack up the homer totals, especially at a hitter's park like Fenway.

LF: Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby is one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball and is one of the top two or three basestealers. He has a total of 120 in '08 and '09. He is a special base stealer and his blazing speed will result in a lot of extra runs for the Red Sox.


There is more to offense than hitting the ball. The Red Sox and Theo Epstein are well aware of this fact.

Ever heard of running up the pitch count? That's what the Sox are capable of. The Red Sox have five players who were in the top 40 of pitches per plate appearance last season and six in the top sixty. The "overrated" Kevin Youkilis was second in all of baseball.

Based on last season's statistics, it would take an average pitcher over 35 pitches to get through the lineup just once. And it is safe to say that Beltre, Cameron and Scutaro will all prove to be more patient at the plate because that is what the Red Sox stress.

Thank you for the debate.


I'm kinda too bored to respond. So.... I guess you can have this one, buddy.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by TBD3 9 years ago
Does a forfeited turn mean basically an automatic win on this site? It did on the other site I was on and you only had twenty four hours for each argument.
Posted by TBD3 9 years ago
There. I didn't realize that you could edit the debate before it was accepted, that's pretty cool.

Thanks for the suggestions.
Posted by Ore_Ele 9 years ago
I would recomend changing to "weak" or "insufficient to make playoffs" or something like that. The semantical arguement "they have just as many plate apperances as every other team, so there is no lacking."
Posted by TBD3 9 years ago
Well, I did this on another debate site (although it had a 1,200 character limit so I could write more here) and I lost pretty handily.
Posted by wjmelements 9 years ago
It would be hard to argue for a "lack"; maybe change "lack of" to "weak".
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by TBD3 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Krouse 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by us5halls 9 years ago
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