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RealFan
04-27-2008, 05:42 PM
I just walked the dog and was thinking all things Sox during the trot. Here is what surprised me thus far and how I see things progressing:

- there is more parity throughout the AL than I have ever seen (I've been a baseball fan since the late 70s); it seems as if all teams have a decent chance to remain in the hunt; Sox on top in the ALC; Devil Rays/Orioles sharing the ALE lead; and the As and Angles on top in the ALW

- given who the Sox have played, including a Detroit team that happened to get hot the minute we got through with them, we've played a fairly tough schedule this first month and gotten through it OK

- Sox are on pace to win between 90 - 95 games (15 a month = 90; .583 winning percentage equates to 95 victories)

- the consistency from Danks, Floyd, and Contreras (including today's performance against the Os) appears to be here to stay

- the consistency of Carlos Quentin appears to be here to stay

Given all the above, I think the Sox will be in the hunt but I'd still won't be surprised by Detroit and Cleveland catching up or passing us by. What I thought for sure would be a transitional season for the Sox is turning into a pleasant surprise. Now that parity is a reality with no breakaway teams as in the past, everyone has a shot.

I know it's just the first month, but that's the way I recap it.

turners56
04-27-2008, 06:08 PM
There has been a lot of surprises this year that were beyond my imagination. The two most important ones are obviously Danks and Floyd. Although both only have 2 wins apiece, they should be 3-1 and 4-0 respectively. Their Combined ERA is under 3 and together, they have not only shocked us, but the baseball world as well. Coming into the season, I thought that having either Danks or Floyd succeed would mean a competitive season with the offensive tools the White Sox have. By the end of April, it seems that I have gotten twice the amount that I've asked for. Let's not forget Contreras has also been quite impressive in his last 4 starts against the A's, Yankees, and Orioles. If you were to tell me that Mark Buehrle would be the worst pitcher on the starting rotation by the end of April, before the season, I would of just stared at you and walked away.

The bullpen has also come through quite well. Until recently, the bullpen, as a whole, had been great. But that Yankees series, along with the first and second game of the Baltimore series made me very weary of guys like Thornton, MacDougal, Logan, and especially Dotel. But as a whole, guys like Linebrink, Masset, and Jenks make this bullpen a lot more reliable than it was last year, which means that Kenny did his job this off season.

Offensively, it hasn't been that much of a surprise. Coming into the season, I knew we were going to have a lot of power and be able to drive in a lot of runs. However, I would of never imagined that we would score this many runs, while posting the lowest batting average in the AL. What's even more surprising is that most of the hitters on this team were cold this month. Guys like Thome, Konerko, Cabrera, and Uribe were abysmal for a good part of these past 28 days (Uribe is still abysmal). Quentin has been a huge surprise, I knew the guy can hit, but I had no idea he would show it this early, at such a high magnitude. Swisher has also surprised me as a lead-off man. I wasn't a big fan of the idea early on, but I guess it's turned out pretty well. Of course, there's that guy at 3B called Joe, who has 21 RBIs. But eh, who cares about him right?

Basically, this first month has been quite a surprise, I was expecting this team to compete (because I thought Danks was going to come through), but atop the AL Central at the end of April? That was definitely unexpected. I didn't expect Detroit to be 3 games under .500, nor did I anticipate Cleveland to play 12-13 baseball. Maybe this is the year where the entire American League beats up on each other (just like the NL last year). Maybe the talent is now shared in the AL, instead of being possessed by 6-8 teams. Hopefully, this won't undermine the actual strength the AL holds.

hawkjt
04-27-2008, 06:10 PM
If the Sox could go 15-10 the next five months like I think we will this month(c'mon Javy) I will be very pleased. I agree that a quick glance at the standings tell you that it is currently balanced,especially in the Central. I do think the payrolls of NY and Boston will have their way and the Angels money wins in the West but the Central is wide open, I hope.

Biggest April Sensation has to be Carlos. Swish has been very good and Orlando has not warmed up yet,really. Joe Crede has to be coMVP with Carlos for April..21 rbis!.
Floyd has been spectacular and Danks not far behind. Jose is in the groove and Javy has been solid. MB has had a couple of clunkers but I never worry about him. If this starting rotation somehow pitched like this the whole year..we would be fine.

Bullpen is leaking oil of late, and we cannot hit for average. Both have reared their heads this last stretch. Both plagued the Sox last year. But hey, clutch hitting and good starters can compensate for all the above. It has been a fun season so far and I like our chances to stay in the hunt.

thomas35forever
04-28-2008, 12:20 AM
The rotation as a whole has surprised me except for Vazquez, whom everyone expected to do well. Buehrle's had a rocky month (except for his last start), but I have every confidence that he will rebound and return to the form we all know and love. Contreras has been somewhat surprising, but Danks and especially Floyd have been really surprising. If Danks continues putting up his current numbers and Floyd keeps doing his best 2005 Jon Garland impression, we are going to be in the race for the long run.

The bullpen has had issues over the past week, but I have every reason to believe it'll recover very soon. I just hope Dotel and Logan get their **** together and Wassermann proves he belongs so we can go to just about anybody at the appropriate time.

Pay no attention to the fact that we have the worst batting average in the AL. Our clutch and timely hitting nullifies that. Thome just broke out of his slump, Paulie's on his way out of his, and Dye should come back from his groin injury soon. AJ's high average and Crede's RBI total have been very surprising. I knew AJ was a good hitter, but who expected him to hit over .400 for awhile? If Crede were putting up these numbers during the spring, he'd be elsewhere by now.

Finally, the defense has been very impressive so far. I know it's the only reason Uribe is still out there, but hey, every team has a bad hitter, right?

That said, I like our chances more by the day, so the rest of the AL better watch out.

soxinem1
04-28-2008, 04:19 PM
Here is on equation that is looking mighty scary:

So far:

http://chicagoist.com/attachments/Mark%20Boyer/2008_3_20.Uribe.jpg minus 100 lbs. = http://images.sportsline.com/images/baseball/mlb/players/60x80/1507970.jpg

One belongs on the Devil Rays, the other in AA.

Bob G
04-28-2008, 04:49 PM
So far I like what I'm seeing from Swish, Carlos, and Linebrink as far as our new acquisitions go.

Not sure yet about OC if he was worth the price of losing Jon.

Overall starting pitching has been better than expected. The bullpen is hanging in there but remember last year they were solid for about the first 5-6 weeks before falling apart so we'll need to wait and see.

We're managing to get on base and score runs despite the fact we're not hitting so I'll take that as a positive but I hope our hitters get going soon.

Mr. White Sox
04-29-2008, 12:04 AM
Here is on equation that is looking mighty scary:

So far:

http://chicagoist.com/attachments/Mark%20Boyer/2008_3_20.Uribe.jpg minus 100 lbs. = http://images.sportsline.com/images/baseball/mlb/players/60x80/1507970.jpg

One belongs on the Devil Rays, the other in AA.

The thing is, Alexei has shown more potential at the plate as an all-around hitter than Uribe ever has. He takes pitches when he should, goes with the pitch, etc. Heck, he either lays off the high fastball or actually makes contact, which is something Uribe can't do. The problem is, pitching in the Show is not pitching in Cuba, both in terms of location and breaking stuff. He definitely needs to be in AAA, if only for the confidence boost and extra ABs. I like him for next year or later in the year, though.

Bucky F. Dent
04-29-2008, 07:16 AM
IMHO, the three biggest suprises have been Floyd, Danks, and Quentin.

I'm not worried about the offense, yet.

My biggest worry, the bullpen.

Metalthrasher442
04-29-2008, 04:13 PM
Quentin is definitely my biggest surprise. The man is simply on fire.. hopefully to never be put out. I knew Danks would have success and Floyd has already blown my mind almost as much as Quentin has.

If the starting pitching keeps this up. We should have no problems continuing what we're doing.

Bigfoot38
04-29-2008, 04:22 PM
So far I like what I'm seeing from Swish, Carlos, and Linebrink as far as our new acquisitions go.

Not sure yet about OC if he was worth the price of losing Jon.

Overall starting pitching has been better than expected. The bullpen is hanging in there but remember last year they were solid for about the first 5-6 weeks before falling apart so we'll need to wait and see.

We're managing to get on base and score runs despite the fact we're not hitting so I'll take that as a positive but I hope our hitters get going soon.


1st point about that trade:

-Who drops out of the rotation Floyd or Danks. Contreras is a lock because of his contract, and he sure as hell aint going to the 'pen it takes him 4 days to get warmed up

2nd point about that trade:

-Our defense is vastly improved everywhere. And apparently our clubhouse is "better", and he is a veteran. He supposidly is a great number 2 hitter, and can't really disagree at this point

3rd point about that trade:

- Garland sucks so far>> 3-3 5.94era 36.1 ip 51 h 12 bb

2 quality starts in 6 outings...

http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/stats/individual_player_gamebygamelog.jsp?c_id=ana&playerID=279782&statType=2


I like the trade, I think our rotation and team is better off.

I hated the trade at first and was like who is in our rotation now FLOYD??

Now im like, FLOYD is in OUR rotation!!

NADA SURF
04-29-2008, 04:29 PM
The good...1. Danks, 2. Floyd, 3. Contreras, 4. Quentin...5. Crede
The not so good...1. the bullpen (and this scares me). 2. Konerko, 3. Cabrera.
Hoping to see soon...1. Owens, 2. Fields. 3. Richar

kittle42
04-29-2008, 04:31 PM
My two cents on the season thus far...

I am very happy to have them at 14-10 so far. Only two games have really pissed me off - the blown game to the O's in Baltimore and the To Be Continued matchup the other day. I am numb to the "get shut down by Joe Mays" theme, though 3-4 times in a month is way too much for that to happen.

Offense: Overall, OK. But they went from scoring with men on base constantly to never driving anyone in. Find a damn middle ground. Most of the guys are about hitting their weight, so those averages are bound to go up, one would hope. Still too much solo HR-minded crap. I do like the new acquisitions' (TCQ, OC, Swisher) mindset re: getting on base. Despite not getting hits, our 1 and 2 men are still getting on well, and Quentin has been a very pleasant surprise. OF is solid enough where if Dye hadn't gotten hurt, people around here could have finally stopped having stupid 4th outfielder debates. Fundamentals still lacking. Unbelievable. In short, the first two weeks helped, but there is a ton of room to improve.

Defense: Some solid play from Crede (depsite a few errors that weren't costly), great 2B from Uribe, and Swisher seeems surprisingly capable in CF. Dye has lost a LOT in RF. Several plays this season he would have had 1-2 years ago, easy, but that happens. Cabrera has been OK, but not gold glove. The botched rundowns were abysmal. AJ still doing his patented "kinda flip the ball in the air from my glove to my throwing hand but don't really ever throw to 2B" move, and I really don't know why teams don't run all over the Sox except for when Buehrle is out there. Overall, absent the rundown nonsense, good enough.

Starting pitching: Can they keep this up? The biggest disappointment has actually been our best pitcher (Buehrle). Optimism abounds, here. Very encouraged by the low walk totals overall. Great April - too bad they couldn't get a little more run support.

Relief pitching: Started well, now has been iffy - which is what I actually expect all year. Linebrink will be fine, but has generally shown he can't pitch into a second inning. Jenks will be OK as long as we never play Baltimore again! Logan is scary. Thornton is scary. Masset has been good, but is really the last man out of the pen. Dotel is terrible. Wasserman is still un unknown commodity this season. Overall, like the offense, good for two weeks and horrible for the rest. Jury is out, but I am not optimistic.

Ozzie: Glad he's staying with lineups. It's not his problem he has no viable MLB option offensively at 2B. Bullpen handling has had a few ???s. If that suicide squeeze is the most questionable call of the year by the end of the season, I'll be happy.

Walker: Fire him.

Frontman
04-29-2008, 05:04 PM
Hey,

One month in and the Sox are in first, and with a winning record. Some of the games they lost could of gone the Sox way, but no matter how good a team is, they will lose a game here and there.

I'm concerned that some quality starts have been wasted (Mark on Saturday, Javy yesterday) and that can wear on a team. Although yesterday was a God awful day for baseball, that game should never have been started; much allowed to progress as long as it did.

OC at the plate reminds me of Uribe too much, and his defense has driven me crazy. I want a full season from him before I go thumbs up/down on the trade. I do believe as far as clubhouse attitude is concerned, I like him more than I like Garland. Jon annoyed the stuffing out of me with his commentary about being traded/contract talks when he was pitching poorly. I have a feeling he didn't do wonders for his teammates by talkiing like that either.

Swish? 'nuff said. He's a breath of fresh air on this team, and has really shown he's going to do all that he can to help this team win.

Anderson? Sans the bad bunt, has impressed me off the bench. He's a solid defensive player (we knew that) but he rose to the occassion on Saturday night. That bad bunt again goes to "never should of been playing in the first place" commentary.

Mark has concerned me, but I feel he'll be fine. Jose has impressed me, as he looks far better than he did last year. Floyd and Danks are the shockers, as I never expected them to come out firing like they did.

All in all, my Sox are in first, the team and the fans are having fun. All that matters that they keep on trying to win series, get the shot at a playoff appearance, and we can enjoy the ride.

GO GO WHITE SOX!!!