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voodoochile
07-09-2010, 12:20 PM
"Underperformed" is a relative term in this case and I'm not sure what it's reference point is. According to some poster's pre-determination of what this team was capable of this year one would have to say they have OVERperformed lately.

I think that's an interesting point. People who expected the Sox to do well were starting to reach the end of their rope (me included) when the team took off, so all we've done is readjust to our original mindset and assumed that "yeah the run was coming all along" (though I think most of us - me included - will admit that this is a bit more than we hoped for - not that any of us (DC or PA) are complaining), BUT...

How do the folks who thought this team would suck explain this run? I know most of you have admitted you miscalculated your earlier assessments, but up until June it looked like all of you were right and the team was proving that point night in and night out. Now that things have turned around, what parts of your assessment were wrong?

I'm not looking for self flagellation, abasement, groveling, whimpering or simpering. I honestly want to know what you think you screwed up on when you made your assessments this past Winter and Spring. If you don't think you did, feel free to say that and that the inevitable recrash is coming too. I for one won't hold it against you...:D:

Edit: I originally had this in another thread but I think it's dying and wanted to give it a fresh life. That's why it starts with an abbreviated quote and please don't take the title seriously. I've come to think of both of the faction names as something to chuckle over...

october23sp
07-09-2010, 12:30 PM
It's pretty simple for me. I thought this team would win the division behind their starting pitching. When we got off to a slow start it was due to the starting pitching just not being there.

I thought Buehrle just didn't have it anymore. I thought Danks had just been solved. I thought Floyd just flat out sucked now and same with Garcia and Peavy.

When they all started pitching well, I just thought well that's what I thought we would get early in the year. Hence my "100 losses" and "When will they make the playoffs again?" threads.

I am fully behind this team once again and I will probably never be as down on them as I was earlier. I am sure we will cool down a bit but I am just glad that I can watch games that matter again.

BadBobbyJenks
07-09-2010, 12:39 PM
In Spring Training I thought we could find a way to 90 wins with a dominant staff, but had severe doubts the offense could do enough.

I let our anemic offense get in the way of seeing how truly awful our pitching was the first month and a half. We knew how bad the offense was and it was still more frustrating than our pitching struggling for some reason. I guess because I knew going into the year it was going to be a struggle to score and I knew the pitching staff was more talented than the results.

This team just had 25 quality starts in 28 games. It is no secret why we are winning, the pitching is finally performing up to their potential.

Craig Grebeck
07-09-2010, 12:47 PM
The defense has been better during this stretch. Save Beckham, who is mediocre at 2B, Quentin, who is an absolute butcher (though not Dye-esque), and Pierre, who has mishandled enough balls to make his range seem negligible, the team has been very good defensively since Mark Teahen was put out of his 3B misery.

Also, we've had no injuries of consequence prior to Jake going down.

voodoochile
07-09-2010, 12:51 PM
The defense has been better during this stretch. Save Beckham, who is mediocre at 2B, Quentin, who is an absolute butcher (though not Dye-esque), and Pierre, who has mishandled enough balls to make his range seem negligible, the team has been very good defensively since Mark Teahen was put out of his 3B misery.

Also, we've had no injuries of consequence prior to Jake going down.

Wow I admit I'm shocked by your assessment of Beckham, Quentin and Pierre. Considering I wasn't expecting much I think they've all be well above what I was hoping for. Quentin and Beckham that's mostly been happening in the last month or so but they both seem to be getting comfortable and extending their range a bit as a result. Pierre has been a solid surprise all year, IMO.

Craig Grebeck
07-09-2010, 12:53 PM
Wow I admit I'm shocked by your assessment of Beckham, Quentin and Pierre. Considering I wasn't expecting much I think they've all be well above what I was hoping for. Quentin and Beckham that's mostly been happening in the last month or so but they both seem to be getting comfortable and extending their range a bit as a result. Pierre has been a solid surprise all year, IMO.
Pierre's been rangy, but he has a hard time picking up the ball and his arm is only made worse by his incredibly long "hand ball from glove to hand" motion.

Beckham's been whatever. He hasn't been bad, hasn't been great. Not a strike against him necessarily.

Quentin is awkward, has awful footwork, and almost killed himself making a catch this week an average MLB right fielder would have caught in stride.

Noneck
07-09-2010, 01:00 PM
I always saw this team as a +-3 .500 team. At the beginning of the season I was disappointed because I thought they would just be a plodder to reach this mark. This would have given no summer enjoyment which to me is the key to a successful season. I still see this team as a +-3 .500 team.

WhiteSoxFTW
07-09-2010, 01:08 PM
I thought by mid-May that they would under-perform all year. I knew Alexei is always a slow starter (and I still think that is an perennial problem for him to suck for two months), I thought Quentin had lost a lot of pop, I wasn't sure if Peavy or Buehrle or Floyd could turn their **** around. I didn't expect Garcia to pitch this well, this long (I don't think many of us did, though).

I honestly think it took playing against ****ty NL teams to get their confidence back. I think having Vizquel play everyday for 2+ weeks, and thus the better defense, helped. I don't think the coaching staff had anything to do with this turn-around. I think the clubhouse finally stopped looking like a funeral and players removed their collective heads from their collective asses and started looking like the baseball team that many of us thought they could be before the season started.

voodoochile
07-09-2010, 01:09 PM
Pierre's been rangy, but he has a hard time picking up the ball and his arm is only made worse by his incredibly long "hand ball from glove to hand" motion.

Beckham's been whatever. He hasn't been bad, hasn't been great. Not a strike against him necessarily.

Quentin is awkward, has awful footwork, and almost killed himself making a catch this week an average MLB right fielder would have caught in stride.

Wow, I disagree about the catch Q made. That ball was crushed. When it left the bat I thought it was trouble all the way. He was also shading to CF because Hunter has a tendency to be a pull hitter at least from my experience.

Jurr
07-09-2010, 01:17 PM
The answer is simple - the history of this team since around 2000 has been that of a very fragile mental makeup. If they get the right mindset in place, it seems like everybody performs at or above their capabilities. On the other hand, no matter how much talent is on the roster, the Sox beat themselves up too much during bad streaks, and the mentality has been VERY hard to break.

Juan Pierre was good in LA, but really showcased that skill out of a supporting role. He came on when Manny was suspended. Before that, he had shown a decline in production (see the Chicago sections of his baseball card).

Quentin was incredible in '08 before his injury and has been looking for his dominant swing since. PK is a different player from one season to the next.
We were counting on Teahen, Omar Vizquel, and Andruw Jones to help the offense.

These are all HUGE question marks, and that's before the pitching came out of the gates suspect.

At the beginning of the year, it seemed like a losing mentality was taking over the ballclub. Nobody was pulling on the same end of the rope. If the offense struggled, the pitching was good, or vice versa. This is the definition of a bad team. The Pirates have games where the hitting takes off but the pitching falters, much the same as they lose 2-0 ballgames all the time.

Somehow, the team's psyche was lifted around the time Guillen and KW got into a fight. I don't know how you can explain it, but the team has been in "pick up your teammates" mode since.

Did we see this coming? Hell no. Do we love it? Hell yeah!

mzh
07-09-2010, 01:26 PM
Are we really still harping about Pierre and his defense? Pierre has a .993 fielding %, 1st among AL left fielders. For the sabermetricians, his UZR/150 is 19. Which, for the non-sabermetricians, is pretty damn good. 2nd in the league, in fact.

Quentin is not particularly good, but he's been better lately. Ask Torii Hunter.

Beckham is average. 'Nuff said.

Domeshot17
07-09-2010, 01:38 PM
Atleast for me its about consistency. The starting pitching has saved the team. This run doesn't exist if the pitching doesn't pick the offense up every few nights when they put up 1 or 2 runs.
Ultimately, when things are going good, you win games like yesterday, When the offense scores 1 run, the pitcher shuts out, when the pitcher gives up 4 the offense scores 5.
We have also "bridged" very well. Vizquel got hot vs the NL (although hes cooled down big time), Lillibridge is picking up Beckham. If we get a legit DH, we could win the division. We can't count on Vizquel or Lillibridge or Kotsay or Jones down the stretch, but they provided a little boost at the correct time.

TheVulture
07-09-2010, 02:17 PM
Pierre, who has mishandled enough balls to make his range seem negligible

Wasn't it just a week or two ago when you posted that you were surprised and eating crow about Pierre's defense, that aside from his arm his defense has been very good?

What's happened since then to change your assessment?

Hitmen77
07-09-2010, 02:29 PM
At the beginning of the season, I think I picked the Sox for 84 wins or so. I wouldn't call that being a "dark cloud", but I didn't expect them to be one of the AL's elite either. It's hard for me to figure this team out because they've gone from colder than I expected to hotter than I expected.

I didn't think this team was as bad as they were performing in April. This team looked terrible after that 6-0 opening day victory.

In May, the Sox were about .500 for the month. So, not a horrible month, but the problem was that they lost another 3 games in the standings to the Twins. At this point, it wasn't so much their .500 performance as their being 8 games out. Playing .500 ball from there on out wasn't going to cut it.

Then they stumble at the beginning of June going 2-4 in that first week (dropping to 9.5 games out) before going on a tear. Obviously they've been wildly successful since their June 6 win, but most of that was racking up wins against NL teams that the Sox have often done well against....but it's not just about beating NL teams since they have taken 6 of 7 from two good AL teams. Really, the key was wiping out that 9.5 game deficit. The Sox have given themselves a "do-over" on this season when it looked like they had buried themselves in the standings.

How do I explain it? I can't other than to say that having the 5 starters plus Putz-Thornton-Jenks all doing great is the key to our success now. Yes, the offense has stepped up too. Quentin and Ramirez have turned things around. Vizquel has hit well and stabilized our defense, but having all 5 starters putting in quality starts and then being able to turn it over to the better portion of our bullpen (the 3 already mentioned plus Santos and Pena) are the key to victories.

Now that Peavy is out, that obviously throws a wrench in our pitching engine. But, I think Dan Hudson can come in and at least hold down the fort as our 5th starter with the help of our good bullpen.

russ99
07-09-2010, 02:34 PM
Juan Pierre was good in LA, but really showcased that skill out of a supporting role. He came on when Manny was suspended. Before that, he had shown a decline in production (see the Chicago sections of his baseball card).


I find it ironic that both Chicago fanbases soured on Pierre for pretty much the same reasons.

But the guy is who he is. We're not going to get the performance of an Ellsbury or Reyes from him.

Sure, his numbers are lower than expected (and climbing), but overall no complaints. He's doing better than Pods in the field and leading the league in steals.

Craig Grebeck
07-09-2010, 02:35 PM
Wasn't it just a week or two ago when you posted that you were surprised and eating crow about Pierre's defense, that aside from his arm his defense has been very good?

What's happened since then to change your assessment?

A few weeks ago. Been able to watch more games, daily rather than weekly.

Ranger
07-09-2010, 02:40 PM
The defense has been better during this stretch. Save Beckham, who is mediocre at 2B, Quentin, who is an absolute butcher (though not Dye-esque), and Pierre, who has mishandled enough balls to make his range seem negligible, the team has been very good defensively since Mark Teahen was put out of his 3B misery.

Also, we've had no injuries of consequence prior to Jake going down.


Yeah, I kind of think you're way off on your assessment of those three, except for maybe Beckham. He hasn't been terrible, hasn't been great, but he's done pretty well considering it's his first time there.

But while Quentin is not a Gold Glover, he is certainly not a "butcher". That's hyperbole. Pierre has not mishandled much since the first month of the season. Not sure what you're talking about there.

mjmcend
07-09-2010, 03:10 PM
Going into the year, I thought that this was a team with a great pitching staff and a mediocre offense if everything went right. No great nor original insight there. I was upset that we were 'wasting' this staff with a potentially unproductive offense. I thought we had a chance at a weak division, though. If a few things went wrong with the offense (which they have) I thought we would be a mediocre team hovering around .500.

During the first part of the year when we were horrid more than a few things were going wrong with the offense. I didn't think we could stay that bad for the whole year, but I did believe that we had built such a hole that we were not coming back this year. As such, I wanted to trade what we could (Jenks, Putz, Konerko) and play for next year. I thought we would play better the rest of the year, but not this good.

Normally teams space their wins out a bit more evenly. As hot as we are now, we were cold in the beginning. If it was reversed and we started out hot as **** and built a huge lead and now we were about back to par, everyone would be apocalyptic.

As we sit now though, I think we are still just a mediocre to a bit above average team. Again, thanks to the weak division, we are right in this thing. Improving the offense by putting one of Jones and Kotsay on the bench and the other on the waiver wire and acquiring a good hitter should be priority #1.

fram40
07-09-2010, 03:24 PM
A few weeks ago. Been able to watch more games, daily rather than weekly.

I have just the opposite reaction the more I watch Pierre. Sure - he has a horrible arm. Nothing he can do about that. But he covers a lot of ground and he makes the catches he is supposed to make. He's not a gold glover, but he is better than adequate. And a huge improvement over last year.

Mingo
07-09-2010, 04:18 PM
Yeah, I kind of think you're way off on your assessment of those three, except for maybe Beckham. He hasn't been terrible, hasn't been great, but he's done pretty well considering it's his first time there.

But while Quentin is not a Gold Glover, he is certainly not a "butcher". That's hyperbole. Pierre has not mishandled much since the first month of the season. Not sure what you're talking about there.

I agree with these comments - Beckham - I think has shown some toughness on the double play pivot - I don't think he - rightnow - has the best range I've seen at 2nd - experience can give him an edge on that aspect into the future. You appreciate Beckham better when you see Lillibridge make the relay to first (or doesn't). From my observatons Pierre at least makes up for the arm and throwing motion problem with his ability to run balls down. Quentin - is doing a credible job -not a liability and not a Swan.

pudge
07-09-2010, 04:31 PM
This team is right now about where I'd thought they'd be all along - it's just that when they started so poorly, I did not expect a historical winning streak to get them back into the hunt. Alex Rios has clearly played far beyond my expectations, while Beckham, TCQ and even Jones to an extent have been worse.

I think a healthy Peavy was essential for this team to be able to make a deep playoff run. I don't know what the mitigation plan is for that, but I wonder how healthy Peavy ever was this year.

areilly
07-09-2010, 05:03 PM
Are we really still harping about Pierre and his defense? Pierre has a .993 fielding %, 1st among AL left fielders.

Any defensive statistic that paints Carlos Lee as the best left fielder of 2004 or Juan Pierre as the best of 2010 is a defensive statistic I can't put too much stock in.

PhillipsBubba
07-09-2010, 05:09 PM
Given the terrible performance of the WS early on, I had no confidence they would be in this position. So, major kudos to them:gulp:

Frater Perdurabo
07-09-2010, 05:15 PM
The Sox are peaking too soon.