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Lip Man 1
09-05-2011, 07:01 PM
And he's right.

Of course what Ozzie didn't get into is WHY the Sox have started mediocre at best for the last...not one, not two, but FIVE STRAIGHT YEARS.

You can't keep playing 'catch-up' all the time and expect to have anything left at the end.

The question remains, what is Ozzie and his staff doing or not doing in spring training to get these guys ready to go from day 1...not day 45 of the major league season.

This past off season, you may remember, Ozzie swore the last week of the spring he was only going to play his regulars. He said that publicly to the mainstream media to "get them ready..."

I looked at the box scores the last week and I still saw a bunch of double and triple A cannon fodder especially among the pitchers in the lineup.

Considering the slow start from the bullpen this year and Bill Melton himself the first week on a postgame show saying that the 'bullpen guys need more work' maybe Ozzie needs to look in the mirror.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/chi-guillen-slow-start-not-mental-woes-doomed-sox-20110905,0,6366394.story

Lip

16th&State
09-05-2011, 07:09 PM
Well ****, thanks for clueing me in Oz! Paging captain obvious. And what have we done as the ****ing manager to rectify and remedy? Oh wait...

johnnyg83
09-05-2011, 07:13 PM
My Ozzie threshold is full. Thanks for 2005. Best of luck wherever you land.

jdm2662
09-05-2011, 07:19 PM
It's good to know we still have insightful comments from the manager.

MtGrnwdSoxFan
09-05-2011, 07:21 PM
Yeah, Ozzie, I'm pretty sure that a lot of it has to do with you playing AA/AAA players throughout the end of ST, and the MLB players being rusty as a result.

Ozzie, you realize that slow starts have been the rule, not the exception, throughout your tenure here, right? Think...maybe it has something to do with the way you manage?

Dibbs
09-05-2011, 07:22 PM
I think it all starts in spring training. I know I get ripped for it, but I can't stand their nonchalant and lackadaisical approach in spring training. They haven't been able to do what everyone thinks they will, which is to "switch the button to on" as soon as the season starts.

Soxman219
09-05-2011, 07:27 PM
Thanks Ozzie, glad you finally figured out what you did wrong with 3 weeks left in the season, but better late than never! :rolleyes:

ilsox7
09-05-2011, 07:37 PM
My Ozzie threshold is full. Thanks for 2005. Best of luck wherever you land.

Yep. Leave now Ozzie so that the raw feelings are gone in a couple of years and the 10 year World Series celebration can go smoothly.

kittle42
09-05-2011, 07:38 PM
I thought those early-season games didn't matter.

Lip Man 1
09-05-2011, 07:41 PM
Dibbs:

Ozzie's attitude towards the spring is well known. He doesn't hide it, he's called it "worthless and meaningless" more than once.

Human nature being what it is if the guy at the top apparently doesn't give a damn why should the players who work under him care either.

It's apparent they can't just 'turn it on' when they need to. To me the tone is set in the spring from drills, to games to meetings.

Lip

Brian26
09-05-2011, 08:08 PM
No worries. Hawk's calling for a 21-out-of-22 Colorado Rockies-like run to end the season for the Sox. We're still in this.

SI1020
09-05-2011, 08:38 PM
No worries. Hawk's calling for a 21-out-of-22 Colorado Rockies-like run to end the season for the Sox. We're still in this. Ive always supported Hawk down through the years but his schtick has gotten old and stale too.

thomas35forever
09-05-2011, 08:41 PM
Well as the saying goes, you can't win a division early on, but you can sure lose it.

LongLiveFisk
09-05-2011, 08:41 PM
Ive always supported Hawk down through the years but his schtick has gotten old and stale too.

I tend to agree, although I've always believed that losing brings out the worst in people. While I find Hawk entertaining when things are going well, he gets pretty brutal when the Sox are playing poor baseball.

Boondock Saint
09-05-2011, 08:49 PM
:fireozzie

I get pissed every time I see him talking nowadays.

Red Barchetta
09-05-2011, 08:53 PM
I think it all starts in spring training. I know I get ripped for it, but I can't stand their nonchalant and lackadaisical approach in spring training. They haven't been able to do what everyone thinks they will, which is to "switch the button to on" as soon as the season starts.

I agree! They came out of the gate like gangbusters in 2005 and look what happened! All those early wins helped offset the charge by the Indians during the second half.

Every game counts. I understand baseball is more of a marathon vs. a sprint, however,if you lose the division by one game, it doesn't matter if the game was lost in September or lost in April. I'm so sick of hearing the "It's still early" excuse that has been echoed for the last 5 seasons on the South Side.

Early success also leads to better attendance.

Frater Perdurabo
09-05-2011, 09:19 PM
Ozzie's like the morbidly obese registered nurse who complains there aren't enough healthy options in the hospital cafeteria, and then bypasses the 15 different kinds of salad and instead buys not one, but TWO chili cheese dogs. With extra chili and cheese.

PalehosePlanet
09-05-2011, 09:36 PM
And he's right.

Of course what Ozzie didn't get into is WHY the Sox have started mediocre at best for the last...not one, not two, but FIVE STRAIGHT YEARS.

You can't keep playing 'catch-up' all the time and expect to have anything left at the end.

The question remains, what is Ozzie and his staff doing or not doing in spring training to get these guys ready to go from day 1...not day 45 of the major league season.

This past off season, you may remember, Ozzie swore the last week of the spring he was only going to play his regulars. He said that publicly to the mainstream media to "get them ready..."

I looked at the box scores the last week and I still saw a bunch of double and triple A cannon fodder especially among the pitchers in the lineup.

Considering the slow start from the bullpen this year and Bill Melton himself the first week on a postgame show saying that the 'bullpen guys need more work' maybe Ozzie needs to look in the mirror.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/chi-guillen-slow-start-not-mental-woes-doomed-sox-20110905,0,6366394.story

Lip

Of the last five seasons the only year that we were not anywhere from 9-12 under at some point in May was 2008 and we won the division that year. We were about .500 in mid May that year and that made all the difference. It's not a coincidence, the ****ty starts have doomed this team and I blame Ozzie and the coaching staff.

central44
09-05-2011, 09:46 PM
This has always frustrated me, as well.

A strong start imparts in a team the idea that "we can beat anyone on any given night." Fans get into it, the players play with confidence...the psychological effect can be huge down the road when players do struggle and the team does go on losing streaks, etc.

When you start off on the wrong foot, the season is spent on damage control and getting back on track which, to their credit, the Sox have done very well at the past few years. Less talented teams would have folded and been completely out of it, while the Sox generally fight back to around .500 by June or July. But there's no reason for every season to follow the same script. There's clearly a problem--address it!

Ozzie needs to be "reflective" in what he does, like all good professionals do. He needs to look at what works and doesnt work, and make adjustments. He hasn't done that at any point in his career with the Sox--he consistently gets off to slow starts and says "I don't know why it's happening."

He keeps doing the same annoying crap we've complained about all year ad nauseum by playing Dunn and Rios and batting them too high and refuses to adjust.

Like most people, I don't think Ozzie is a good manager. I think the Sox win in spite of him, not because of him.

A. Cavatica
09-05-2011, 10:40 PM
I think the slow start would point the finger right back atcha, Ozzie.

VMSNS
09-05-2011, 11:11 PM
I wish Ozzie would just shut his mouth for the rest of the season.

ilsox7
09-05-2011, 11:19 PM
I wish Ozzie would just shut his mouth for the rest of the season.

I'd be shocked if he made it a day.

doublem23
09-06-2011, 12:16 AM
This is kind of BS. The Red Sox started the season out horribly, too, and they figured out a way to turn things around in a much tougher division, I might add. The Sox just suck. Even if you blow the season up from May 6, when we were 11-22 and just restart it, the Sox would be trailing Detroit.

They're just not very good.

central44
09-06-2011, 12:24 AM
This is kind of BS. The Red Sox started the season out horribly, too, and they figured out a way to turn things around in a much tougher division, I might add. The Sox just suck. Even if you blow the season up from May 6, when we were 11-22 and just restart it, the Sox would be trailing Detroit.

They're just not very good.

It's true that they happen...but why do these Sox start slow every year? This shouldn't be a trend.

That said I agree with you--this year they never looked very good. This has been the only stretch I can remember where it hasn't been corpseball, two or fewer runs per game.

hawkjt
09-06-2011, 02:19 AM
The Sox come out of the first two weeks at 7-4 and then suddenly the spring training bad approach kicks in?

I do not know why they tanked for the next 6 weeks after being good the first two weeks...and if Thornton/the outfield had not blown 2-3 saves they would have had a great start...but I do not think there are any easy answers. It is a baseball mystery. Red Sox were what 0-9? to start?

Dan H
09-06-2011, 03:13 AM
The Sox come out of the first two weeks at 7-4 and then suddenly the spring training bad approach kicks in?

I do not know why they tanked for the next 6 weeks after being good the first two weeks...and if Thornton/the outfield had not blown 2-3 saves they would have had a great start...but I do not think there are any easy answers. It is a baseball mystery. Red Sox were what 0-9? to start?

The Red Sox were horrible at the start of this year, but they are not like that every year.

You're right. There are no easy answers. I don't know if spring training routines have anything to do with bad starts. But if I were Ozzie, I'd at least re-consider what happens in spring training. He's certainly not to blame for everything but so far he's not part of the solution either.

SOXSINCE'70
09-06-2011, 07:48 AM
Ive always supported Hawk down through the years but his schtick has gotten old and stale too.

Dear Hawk,

I don't care about Detroit anymore.
The Season, as you would say,
is "O-VAH"!! As Bill Murray said to the campers
in the movie "Meatballs",

"It just doesn't matter!!":angry:

kufram
09-06-2011, 08:01 AM
I don't care if they win more in May, July, or September. It's how many you win... not when. Of course you can afford to lose early because you have longer to make them up but that's not a reason to allow losses early and that's what we did this year.

If you're going to bother to have spring training then it should mean something and when you are historically slow starters then something should change in the spring program. It's all a question of balance.

As far as what Ozzie says... he faces the media every game day and I believe he is expected to do so pre-game and post-game. He's always good for a quote and I think everybody reads a lot more into them then Ozzie puts into them. He's an off the cuff guy and the media love those guys. I find it pretty easy to ignore. Ozzie's the face of the franchise, not the players, and if we win games no one would care about this stuff... if we lose games it is all they want to talk about sometimes.

veeter
09-06-2011, 08:14 AM
The slow start was caused by Ozzie's bullpen mismanagement to start the season. They blew four leads right out of the gate. They were undecided at closer. It was Thornton, then it wasn't. He put Sale in three games in a row late before Crane had an appearance. Ozzie came out of the gate asleep. He put the team in a hole and couldn't come close to managing them out of it. He just needs to go.

kufram
09-06-2011, 09:32 AM
I think we lost some games early because the relief corps gave up hits and runs late in the games.... I don't care what you call the guy... closer, set-up, starter... he's supposed to get the guy out that he's pitching to.

russ99
09-06-2011, 11:27 AM
The Sox come out of the first two weeks at 7-4 and then suddenly the spring training bad approach kicks in?

I do not know why they tanked for the next 6 weeks after being good the first two weeks...and if Thornton/the outfield had not blown 2-3 saves they would have had a great start...but I do not think there are any easy answers. It is a baseball mystery. Red Sox were what 0-9? to start?

The Sox also worked spring training much differently this year, with an emphasis on reporting early, a higher stress on fundamentals, the starters expected to work more often late in the spring, and few exhibition games with lower-minor lineups.

IMO the slow start this year had a bit to do with the pen being unsettled considering that a new closer had to be decided on, with the pitchers determining that with their performance just like they did in 2005.

But by far the biggest reason for our slow starts has to do with the same weak hitting approach we always see from this team combined with colder weather, making the offense much less effective.

You could even say that our first 2 weeks of success were the carryover from a better approach this spring, then the same old Walkerball kicked in. Had Ozzie gotten his wish and Walker been kicked upstairs last season, things may have turned out differently.

Jerko
09-06-2011, 11:48 AM
Ozzie's moves once the season started is, IMO, the main part of the reason this team went nowhere. Thornton never should have been named closer, but they still had time to overcome that. Ozzie the psychologist is what gets me; doesn't want to name Santos the closer because it's "too much pressure", doesn't bat Vicideo 4th because "it's too much pressure" leaves Dunn at 4th to bring up his confidence so he doesn't "feel too much pressure". **** that; the garbage that was trotted out until August wasn't working, it doesn't take a professional baseball guy to see that. I also don't like benching players after they get a few hits. Hitting is based on being "hot", don't take the bat out of a player's hand just because you want to manage like it's little league (or to get Omar at bats). I DO give Ozzie credit for sticking with Pierre, but other than that, his managing this season has been horse**** (his word). He even went against some of his long-term beliefs; such as using Sale 12 hours after he went 2 innings. Asking people to bunt that can't, and leaving certain relievers in for 2 innings when it's known they suck in their 2nd inning of work, etc. TOO much meddling. I miss the days of an "everyday lineup". All I hear is that today's athelete is biggerfasterstronger, yet everybody needs a rest all the time. The team needs a new direction. And yes, the division CAN be won in April, ask the Tigers who started out 35-5 that one year.

russ99
09-06-2011, 12:36 PM
Ozzie's moves once the season started is, IMO, the main part of the reason this team went nowhere. Thornton never should have been named closer, but they still had time to overcome that. Ozzie the psychologist is what gets me; doesn't want to name Santos the closer because it's "too much pressure", doesn't bat Vicideo 4th because "it's too much pressure" leaves Dunn at 4th to bring up his confidence so he doesn't "feel too much pressure". **** that; the garbage that was trotted out until August wasn't working, it doesn't take a professional baseball guy to see that. I also don't like benching players after they get a few hits. Hitting is based on being "hot", don't take the bat out of a player's hand just because you want to manage like it's little league (or to get Omar at bats). I DO give Ozzie credit for sticking with Pierre, but other than that, his managing this season has been horse**** (his word). He even went against some of his long-term beliefs; such as using Sale 12 hours after he went 2 innings. Asking people to bunt that can't, and leaving certain relievers in for 2 innings when it's known they suck in their 2nd inning of work, etc. TOO much meddling. I miss the days of an "everyday lineup". All I hear is that today's athelete is biggerfasterstronger, yet everybody needs a rest all the time. The team needs a new direction. And yes, the division CAN be won in April, ask the Tigers who started out 35-5 that one year.

As in my previous post, Thornton deserved the closer role, yet he wasn't up for it. He looked good all spring, but you don't know if a player can handle the role until he's put in to major league regular season conditions.

It's easy to say that Santos should have been closer from day one after the fact, but he got the role by 1) Thornton not being able to effectively close, and 2) performing well at the big league level. To say you knew that before the season or even after one week is ludicrous.

FYI - There's no such thing is a "everyday lineup". Look around the league. This is the most unreasonable of the demands made on Ozzie by certain fans who don't understand how a big league roster actually works.

Also in that vein is:
"nobody should ever bunt"
"a kid with 104 big league AB should bat cleanup"
"we shouldn't use our bench and lesser pitchers in the pen because they suck".

If the team needs a new direction, fine. But the fans need one as well.

doublem23
09-06-2011, 12:48 PM
If the team needs a new direction, fine. But the fans need one as well.

Definitely our fault the team is treading water around .500

DirtySox
09-06-2011, 12:50 PM
Also in that vein is:
"nobody should ever bunt"
"a kid with 104 big league AB should bat cleanup"
"we shouldn't use our bench and lesser pitchers in the pen because they suck".

Dayan bat cleanup last night. I was assured by Bland that it would ruin him. Hopefully we can find another power bat from Cuba to replace him.

russ99
09-06-2011, 12:56 PM
Definitely our fault the team is treading water around .500

No, but the daily gripes get old fast. At least people should look around and see what other teams do before assuming we're doing everything wrong.

hawkjt
09-06-2011, 01:14 PM
As in my previous post, Thornton deserved the closer role, yet he wasn't up for it. He looked good all spring, but you don't know if a player can handle the role until he's put in to major league regular season conditions.

It's easy to say that Santos should have been closer from day one after the fact, but he got the role by 1) Thornton not being able to effectively close, and 2) performing well at the big league level. To say you knew that before the season or even after one week is ludicrous.

FYI - There's no such thing is a "everyday lineup". Look around the league. This is the most unreasonable of the demands made on Ozzie by certain fans who don't understand how a big league roster actually works.

Also in that vein is:
"nobody should ever bunt"
"a kid with 104 big league AB should bat cleanup"
"we shouldn't use our bench and lesser pitchers in the pen because they suck".

If the team needs a new direction, fine. But the fans need one as well.

Coming into spring training,I thought it was a no-brainer for Chris Sale to be named the closer. Then he stumbled in spring training,so then I was on the Sergio bandwagon. I just did not trust Thornton off his second half performance last year,and his laser straight fastball.

I also liked the Dunn signing a lot, so I guess I am a baseball dunce?

SI1020
09-06-2011, 01:17 PM
No, but the daily gripes get old fast. At least people should look around and see what other teams do before assuming we're doing everything wrong. We're not doing everything wrong, just enough to cause some serious problems. Having a GM and a manager who can at least work together would be a nice start. As for me, I would like to see the Sox draft and develop young talent better and have a team that comes out of spring training being able to execute and do the things the manager wants them to do. It makes no sense to stress bunting when nobody seems to know how to lay a good one down. I would also like less childish drama and better in game strategy from the manager. We could all use a fresh start next year.

doublem23
09-06-2011, 01:23 PM
No, but the daily gripes get old fast. At least people should look around and see what other teams do before assuming we're doing everything wrong.

Just because we're following the "standard, accepted model" doesn't mean we're doing things right, either.

dickallen15
09-06-2011, 01:27 PM
How come now the start was so important? When fans and media were saying things like a series or a game was big back in April or May or June, Ozzie said it wasn't.

kittle42
09-06-2011, 02:02 PM
Dayan bat cleanup last night. I was assured by Bland that it would ruin him. Hopefully we can find another power bat from Cuba to replace him.

Paul Goldschmidt hit cleanup for the Diamondbacks the other day. He of 23 years of age and 107 MLB PAs.

How can a team in a pennant race ruin a young player like that?

kittle42
09-06-2011, 02:06 PM
How come now the start was so important? When fans and media were saying things like a series or a game was big back in April or May or June, Ozzie said it wasn't.

Thank you.

MikeKreevich
09-06-2011, 02:19 PM
Is it only my impression or does Ozzie not sense that certain games are more important than others? I believe that winning early is very important, not just for standings , but for a teams self confidence/self image. Ozzie starts resting starters right out of the gate, sometimes leading to losses. I know it's 162 games but get off on the right foot.

Jerko
09-06-2011, 02:36 PM
I never said not to bunt, not to use subs, or not to use the entire bullpen. However, if a guy is up that can't bunt, or the guy after him can't hit, or the guy on base can't run, yeah, I'd like to see 2 players swing away instead of giving up an out.

I never said to never use subs; I said that players who have a good game shouldn't be benched the next 2-5 games just so we can use players like Omar. Morel has a 3 rbi, walk-off homer game, then sits. Lillibridge has a good game, sits, has another good game, and gets pinch hit for by a guy who is worse in virtually every offensive category. De Aza has a good game, gets benched. Maddening.

I never said not to use our "lesser" pitchers. What I said was if a guy can't go 2 innings, or back to back nights, don't use him that way. You should know who these players are by May.

As for Viciedo batting cleanup, I don't really care if HE bats there or not, but to dismiss the idea because of what MIGHT happen (he might suck because he is young) instead of paying attention to what IS happening (Dunn and Rios stinking it up) is silly. Is he really "protecting" Viciedo by batting Dunn or Rios 4th? Is he protecting Dunn or Rios by batting them 4th? It's making them (Rios and Dunn) look even worse and pissing off 90% of the fans.

pudge
09-06-2011, 05:45 PM
This is kind of BS. The Red Sox started the season out horribly, too, and they figured out a way to turn things around in a much tougher division, I might add. The Sox just suck. Even if you blow the season up from May 6, when we were 11-22 and just restart it, the Sox would be trailing Detroit.

They're just not very good.

That's probably true, but I'm glad to see there is starting to be some recognition of the fact that the regular slow starts are really hurting this team year after year. The constant jabber about it being "early" is such hogwash, the stats back up the fact that teams that WIN in April and May tend to win divisions, with very few exceptions. The club needs come out ready to win from day one, and that has simply not been the case under this regime.

StillMissOzzie
09-06-2011, 10:29 PM
You can blame the slow start, you can blame the Thornton-as-closer experiment, you can blame that sour stretch that Rongey continues to harp on when the Sox went something like 8 - 18 or whatever, but I still think that all of that was overcomable had they brought up Viciedo at the All-Star break and parked Dunn's ass on the bench. Pencil in maybe 10-15 HRs, erase maybe 20-30 K's, and the division is still winnable. Alas, they waited for TCQ to go down, and now all we have are discussions for next year.


SMO
:mad::whiner::angry:

Lip Man 1
09-06-2011, 11:31 PM
Ozzie:

In that dismal stretch which basically ended realistic hopes for this season they went 4-18. That put them 11 games under and nine games out if I recall by May 6th basically one month into the season.

You wonder what might have happened if JR stepped up to the plate and actually did something when there was still a reasonable chance back in mid-May.

Lip

captain54
09-07-2011, 12:46 AM
The Sox were 11 out on May 7th of this year.. They were 8 out on May 9th of 2010.

JR must have been busy with NBA playoffs or something.

TDog
09-07-2011, 01:42 AM
And he's right.

Of course what Ozzie didn't get into is WHY the Sox have started mediocre at best for the last...not one, not two, but FIVE STRAIGHT YEARS.

You can't keep playing 'catch-up' all the time and expect to have anything left at the end.

The question remains, what is Ozzie and his staff doing or not doing in spring training to get these guys ready to go from day 1...not day 45 of the major league season.

This past off season, you may remember, Ozzie swore the last week of the spring he was only going to play his regulars. He said that publicly to the mainstream media to "get them ready..."

I looked at the box scores the last week and I still saw a bunch of double and triple A cannon fodder especially among the pitchers in the lineup.

Considering the slow start from the bullpen this year and Bill Melton himself the first week on a postgame show saying that the 'bullpen guys need more work' maybe Ozzie needs to look in the mirror.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/chi-guillen-slow-start-not-mental-woes-doomed-sox-20110905,0,6366394.story

Lip

The Twins had a great spring training. Maybe that's why they're where they are today. The Diamondbacks by many accounts had the worst spring in baseball, and they are on their way to the postseason. Alex Rios had a great spring training, and he was about the only White Sox player who wasn't hitting when the season started. The Sox as a team were hitting very well coming out of spring training.

The Sox won six of their first nine games. In two of those losses, the bullpen blew leads, but in one, the Sox beat an All-Star closer who many in the Kansas City media believe was overworked by the fifth game of the season.

Where the Sox got off to their slow start was when Dunn came back from his surgery. At that point they pretty much stopped hitting. There wasn't simply one reason they had a lousy April. If you don't actually watch baseball, if you take bits and pieces people say out of context, it's easy to confirm something you believe, which really can't be backed up with facts. Juan Pierre isn't with the Cubs because he got off to such a slow start that fans demanded his departure at the end of the season, despite the fact that he ended up leading the National League in hits. This year, there may be four or five April games that the White Sox could have, would have likely won if Pierre were playing as he is now, leading the White Sox in hits and playing major league defense.


The exhibition baseball season has little to do with preparing for the season. All teams limit their pitchers' work in the spring and ease them into the season. Rarely do you see opening day starters pitch complete games. It used to be quite common. Now they aren't strong enough. That isn't just true for the White Sox.

If players are being held out of exhibition games, that doesn't mean they aren't getting work. Often now, important pitchers don't go up against division rivals because teams want to limit their exposure to the opposition. Sometimes when they do, they aren't throwing certain pitches they have been working on.

Guillen is right, of course. The dismal April left the Sox playing catchup. But after losing on May 6, which was probably the season's low point, the Sox were only four games behind th Tigers. They were 11 games behind the Indians and made up that ground. They have gained considerable ground on ever team in the division.

And, really, if the White Sox had played better in July and August, they could easily have been up on the inconsistent Tigers going into last weekend's series. Then it would be the Tigers' slow start that would have doomed them. And the Tigers finished only a game behind the Twins in the Grapefruit League this year.

kufram
09-07-2011, 03:31 AM
The Twins had a great spring training. Maybe that's why they're where they are today. The Diamondbacks by many accounts had the worst spring in baseball, and they are on their way to the postseason. Alex Rios had a great spring training, and he was about the only White Sox player who wasn't hitting when the season started. The Sox as a team were hitting very well coming out of spring training.

The Sox won six of their first nine games. In two of those losses, the bullpen blew leads, but in one, the Sox beat an All-Star closer who many in the Kansas City media believe was overworked by the fifth game of the season.

Where the Sox got off to their slow start was when Dunn came back from his surgery. At that point they pretty much stopped hitting. There wasn't simply one reason they had a lousy April. If you don't actually watch baseball, if you take bits and pieces people say out of context, it's easy to confirm something you believe, which really can't be backed up with facts. Juan Pierre isn't with the Cubs because he got off to such a slow start that fans demanded his departure at the end of the season, despite the fact that he ended up leading the National League in hits. This year, there may be four or five April games that the White Sox could have, would have likely won if Pierre were playing as he is now, leading the White Sox in hits and playing major league defense.


The exhibition baseball season has little to do with preparing for the season. All teams limit their pitchers' work in the spring and ease them into the season. Rarely do you see opening day starters pitch complete games. It used to be quite common. Now they aren't strong enough. That isn't just true for the White Sox.

If players are being held out of exhibition games, that doesn't mean they aren't getting work. Often now, important pitchers don't go up against division rivals because teams want to limit their exposure to the opposition. Sometimes when they do, they aren't throwing certain pitches they have been working on.

Guillen is right, of course. The dismal April left the Sox playing catchup. But after losing on May 6, which was probably the season's low point, the Sox were only four games behind th Tigers. They were 11 games behind the Indians and made up that ground. They have gained considerable ground on ever team in the division.

And, really, if the White Sox had played better in July and August, they could easily have been up on the inconsistent Tigers going into last weekend's series. Then it would be the Tigers' slow start that would have doomed them. And the Tigers finished only a game behind the Twins in the Grapefruit League this year.


Look, you really can't expect to talk some sense and get anywhere around here. I think something is wrong in preparation for the start of the season but I wouldn't pretend to know what it is. There must be a reason why they don't win in Chicago this year, but do win everywhere else.

kittle42
09-07-2011, 10:30 AM
There must be a reason why they don't win in Chicago this year, but do win everywhere else.

It's a good question - is the team no longer tailored to the Cell? The makeup seems pretty similar to the last handful of seasons overall.

asindc
09-07-2011, 10:32 AM
Look, you really can't expect to talk some sense and get anywhere around here. I think something is wrong in preparation for the start of the season but I wouldn't pretend to know what it is. There must be a reason why they don't win in Chicago this year, but do win everywhere else.

It's a good question - is the team no longer tailored to the Cell? The makeup seems pretty similar to the last handful of seasons overall.

I think it's rather simple. Management issues aside, Dunn and Rios are chokers. That is a harsh assessment, but I can't think of any other way to put it. They are definitely not winners. Way too many Ks and GIDPs with RISP for me to think otherwise.

kufram
09-07-2011, 10:54 AM
I think it's rather simple. Management issues aside, Dunn and Rios are chokers. That is a harsh assessment, but I can't think of any other way to put it. They are definitely not winners. Way too many Ks and GIDPs with RISP for me to think otherwise.

But Dunn and Rios didn't make any difference between the road and home performance-wise, did they? They were equally bad at both, weren't they. I could be wrong.

I don't think management issues win on the road and not at home.

The team not suiting the park is certainly a possibility and bound to have an effect I'm sure, but for some reason I think it is deeper than that. Also, if they can win on the road at several different parks why can't they win on their own. Other parks are all different, aren't they. I don't know the geography to have an informed opinion on that. The players just didn't look very revved up at home a lot this year. It couldn't be the crowds... there weren't any!

VMSNS
09-07-2011, 11:47 AM
Ozzie:

In that dismal stretch which basically ended realistic hopes for this season they went 4-18. That put them 11 games under and nine games out if I recall by May 6th basically one month into the season.

You wonder what might have happened if JR stepped up to the plate and actually did something when there was still a reasonable chance back in mid-May.

Lip

Yep, if you really take a look at it by month, April was the killing blow for the Sox, right out of the gate.

2011 Sox Record by Month
April: 10-18 (8 games under .500)
May: 16-13 (3 games over .500)
June: 14-11 (3 games over .500)
July: 12-12 (.500)
August: 16-12 (4 games over .500)
September: currently 3-3

That dismal month of April sticks out like a sore thumb. With the exception of July (when we were .500) the Sox had a winning record in every other month.

People always say "It's only April, it's still early. Don't worry!" Well, when you look back at the 2011 Sox, the slow start in April is what killed us. This team really needs to put an end to their lackadaisical spring training performance and slow April starts.

Nellie_Fox
09-07-2011, 11:55 AM
But Dunn and Rios didn't make any difference between the road and home performance-wise, did they? They were equally bad at both, weren't they. I could be wrong.Pretty much equally bad, although Rios was a little better OPS-wise at home. Their OPS splits:

Dunn, home .560, away .590
Rios, home .657, away .535

doublem23
09-07-2011, 11:56 AM
Yep, if you really take a look at it by month, April was the killing blow for the Sox, right out of the gate.

2011 Sox Record by Month
April: 10-18 (8 games under .500)
May: 16-13 (3 games over .500)
June: 14-11 (3 games over .500)
July: 12-12 (.500)
August: 16-12 (4 games over .500)
September: currently 3-3

That dismal month of April sticks out like a sore thumb. With the exception of July (when we were .500) the Sox had a winning record in every other month.

People always say "It's only April, it's still early. Don't worry!" Well, when you look back at the 2011 Sox, the slow start in April is what killed us. This team really needs to put an end to their lackadaisical spring training performance and slow April starts.

Take April out and the Sox are only still 10 games over .500... Not exactly killing it. They'd still be games behind Detroit, who it should be pointed out, started the season almost as poorly as we did. April didn't kill the Sox this year, the Sox just aren't all that good.

Lip Man 1
09-07-2011, 12:07 PM
I was curious so I looked it up, on May 7th this year Detroit was 15-18.

Lip

Tragg
09-07-2011, 01:36 PM
. April didn't kill the Sox this year, the Sox just aren't all that good. Indeed.

SI1020
09-07-2011, 01:41 PM
The Twins had a great spring training. Maybe that's why they're where they are today. The Diamondbacks by many accounts had the worst spring in baseball, and they are on their way to the postseason. Alex Rios had a great spring training, and he was about the only White Sox player who wasn't hitting when the season started. The Sox as a team were hitting very well coming out of spring training.

The Sox won six of their first nine games. In two of those losses, the bullpen blew leads, but in one, the Sox beat an All-Star closer who many in the Kansas City media believe was overworked by the fifth game of the season.

Where the Sox got off to their slow start was when Dunn came back from his surgery. At that point they pretty much stopped hitting. There wasn't simply one reason they had a lousy April. If you don't actually watch baseball, if you take bits and pieces people say out of context, it's easy to confirm something you believe, which really can't be backed up with facts. Juan Pierre isn't with the Cubs because he got off to such a slow start that fans demanded his departure at the end of the season, despite the fact that he ended up leading the National League in hits. This year, there may be four or five April games that the White Sox could have, would have likely won if Pierre were playing as he is now, leading the White Sox in hits and playing major league defense.


The exhibition baseball season has little to do with preparing for the season. All teams limit their pitchers' work in the spring and ease them into the season. Rarely do you see opening day starters pitch complete games. It used to be quite common. Now they aren't strong enough. That isn't just true for the White Sox.

If players are being held out of exhibition games, that doesn't mean they aren't getting work. Often now, important pitchers don't go up against division rivals because teams want to limit their exposure to the opposition. Sometimes when they do, they aren't throwing certain pitches they have been working on.

Guillen is right, of course. The dismal April left the Sox playing catchup. But after losing on May 6, which was probably the season's low point, the Sox were only four games behind th Tigers. They were 11 games behind the Indians and made up that ground. They have gained considerable ground on ever team in the division.

And, really, if the White Sox had played better in July and August, they could easily have been up on the inconsistent Tigers going into last weekend's series. Then it would be the Tigers' slow start that would have doomed them. And the Tigers finished only a game behind the Twins in the Grapefruit League this year. W-L record in exhibition baseball is irrelevant, at least to me. What's important is coming out of it ready to play ball once the season starts. The Sox have failed to do that in recent years.

VMSNS
09-07-2011, 02:15 PM
Take April out and the Sox are only still 10 games over .500... Not exactly killing it. They'd still be games behind Detroit, who it should be pointed out, started the season almost as poorly as we did. April didn't kill the Sox this year, the Sox just aren't all that good.

I agree with you that the 2011 Sox simply aren't a good team. Rios and Dunn were expected to be massive contributors and they both **** their pants. Pierre was downright awful for a few months. Beckham isn't progressing as well as he should be. Morel is a rookie and was never expected to hit well anyway. PK has basically been carrying the team. Put that all together and you have...well, a bad team.

I also realize and agree with you that even had the Sox played .500 in April, they'd still be an average team. But, I was just pointing out that in relation to the rest of the season, April is clearly a large contributing factor to the Sox badness this season, at least statistically.

kittle42
09-07-2011, 02:17 PM
Rios and Dunn were expected to be massive contributors and they both **** their pants.

Do you think the stench in the clubhouse and on flights contributed to the team's lack of morale?

TDog
09-07-2011, 02:30 PM
Ozzie:

In that dismal stretch which basically ended realistic hopes for this season they went 4-18. That put them 11 games under and nine games out if I recall by May 6th basically one month into the season.

You wonder what might have happened if JR stepped up to the plate and actually did something when there was still a reasonable chance back in mid-May.

Lip


Going 11 games under .500 didn't end any realistic hopes for this season. They were 11 games behind the Indians. The White Sox in September are ahead of the Indians. The White Sox have picked up substantial ground on every team in the division and have surpassed them in the standings since going 11 games under .500 with the exception of the Tigers.

The White Sox were only four games behind the Tigers with one month to go in the season. At the time, there were people suggesting the division was over because the Indians were running away with it.

Realistic hopes for the season weren't over the White Sox any more than they were over for the Tigers.

Certainly, if the White Sox had gone 10-12 instead of 4-18, and without breaking down the specific games, it seems it would have been possible by protecting late leads and making contact instead of striking out with runners on third and less than two outs, they would have gone into Detroit in first place. If the White Sox had won three of the five home games they lost against the Red Sox and Yankees (having swept the Red Sox in Fenway and split with the Yankees in New York already) they would have been tied going into the Detroit series. When the season is over, you can look at losing stretches, specific losses that should have been won and blame this or that.

Certainly, if Juan Pierre doesn't drop a couple fly balls in early April, if -- forget about Matt Thornton -- if Sergio Santos doesn't give up a two-out home run to blow a save against the Dodgers and doesn't up two home runs to the Tigers in the ninth Saturday, if Carlos Santana doesn't make his do-or-die diving catch of an Alexi Ramirez bunt in the third game of the season, the White Sox would be very much in the race.

It isn't simply if they are 11 games behind the Indians and four games behind the Indians after a heartbreaking walk-off loss to the Mariners on May 6, there is no realistic hope for the 2011 season. A baseball season is a complicated, almost organic thing.

For that matter, considering the sweeping generalizations so popular here, maybe if Dunn had gone on the disabled list after his emergency, albeit minor surgery, if he had gone to rehab and not come up until he started hitting the ball, maybe the Sox wouldn't have been left a monumental four games behind the Tigers on May 6. The dismal stretch coincided with Dunn coming back into the lineup.