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RKMeibalane
09-28-2002, 11:45 PM
The 2002 season ends tomorrow. What that in mind, it is necessary to review and analyse the performance of Jerry Manuel as the manager of the Chicago White Sox.

STRENGTHS: Manuel has been successful in helping to develop young players, as several have flourished under his guidance. Since his arrival in 1998, Manuel has assisted in the development of Carlos Lee, Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, Dan Wright, and most recently, Joe Crede. Although these young men have a long way to go before their development is complete, Manuel has given them an excellent start by allowing them to play everyday.

Manuel has also done an excellent job conducting himself in the face of enormous pressure from management, most notably, Ken Williams. Most men would have resigned their position long ago, but Manuel has remained determined to fullfill his obligation to the Chicago White Sox organization, in spite of the terrible job the current administration has done.

This season, Manuel was optimistic about the Sox chances of contending in the American League Central. The Sox were a dissapointment, but several positives have manifested themselves in the past six weeks, thanks in part to Manuel's willingness to gamble with young players, as well as showing confidence in veterans. For example, it looks as though Manuel's patience with Frank Thomas is beginning to pay off. That is bad news for the rest of the American League. Beware in 2003.

WEAKNESS: Jerry Manuel's faults may be summed up in one phrase: "Tinker, tinker, tinker." Manuel's tinkering obsession manifested itself earlier in the season, after the Sox were demolished during a three game set in Anaheim. He decided to move Thomas, Ordonez, and Konerko to different spots in the batting order, and the rest is history. Not a day goes by where the Sox players are left wondering who will play, as well as where they will play, in that evening's game.

It has been argued that Manuel's unwillingness to establish a set lineup disrupted the Sox offense. This arguement is valid, and certainly deserves consideration. However, Jerry has continued altering the lineup as the season has progressed, and the Sox have been able to improve offensively. The problems the offense faced in June are a distant memory.

There are also the issues of Thomas-Konerko and Royce Clayton to consider. When Konerko criticized Thomas for arriving late to a workout, Manuel did nothing to diffuse the situation. Rather, he allowed Ken Williams to interfere in the dispute, thereby giving the Chicago media more than enough material to write numerous stories about the demise of the Big Hurt.

Royce Clayton is another matter. It is though that Clayton received playing time for two reasons: 1. Williams demanded that his accquistion be given a starting position; 2. Manuel did not realize Clayton's lack of offense was hurting the team. Either way, most people were not sorry when Clayton was released earlier this month.

During the All Star Break, an article in the Sun Times refered to Clayton, saying he was "marching to the beat of his own drum." When Manuel opted to bench the shortstop in early June, Clayton complained. He was back in the lineup a few days later. Manuel has often shown that he does not stand by his decisions. This coincides with his tinkerng problem. Anything he says must be "taken with a grain of salt."

CONCLUSION: Manuel should remain with the White Sox. Although his tinkering will probably continue next season, it is clear that the Sox have benefitted from playing for a laid-back mananger. After all, anything is better than being subjected to the tirades of an incompetent general manger or an uncaring owner.

Many have said that Manue's tinkering alone is reason enough to fire him. I disagree. His constant tinkering has been frustrating at times, but he is no worse than anyone Williams would hire if given the opportunity.

PaleHoseGeorge
09-28-2002, 11:58 PM
I'm in favor of dumping Manuel on one condition: both Williams and Reinsdorf are sent packing, too.

As it is, I believe Manuel is the smallest problem of the Big Three (the other two being Williams and Reinsdorf).

If we only got rid of Manuel, I doubt the new manager could do much better. Worse, Williams would be picking the new skipper. That's a disaster for sure.

If we got rid of Williams, there is a small chance the Sox might improve and make a legitimate run in the playoffs. With Reinsdorf doing the hiring, chances are we'll be stuck with someone nearly as incompetent as the boob he replaced.

If we got rid of Reinsdorf, there is a very good chance the new owner would fix countless problems to deliver a winner and gain legitimacy with the team's fans. Dumping Reinsdorf is easily the biggest piece to solving the championship puzzle.

DVG
09-29-2002, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge

If we got rid of Reinsdorf, there is a very good chance the new owner would fix countless problems to deliver a winner and gain legitimacy with the team's fans. Dumping Reinsdorf is easily the biggest piece to solving the championship puzzle.


Then again, a new owner might decide that the team's problems
in Chicago can't be fixed and will move the team.

RKMeibalane
09-29-2002, 12:02 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
If we got rid of Reinsdorf, there is a very good chance the new owner would fix countless problems to deliver a winner and gain legitimacy with the team's fans. Dumping Reinsdorf is easily the biggest piece to solving the championship puzzle.

:reinsy

"Sox fans, if you want me to sell the team, then you need to come to the park for games. Once I have enough money, I will sell the team to someone who actually cares about winning."

cheeses_h_rice
09-29-2002, 12:03 AM
Slightly OT here, but I didn't see anyone comment on Dan Evans' $95M Dodgers getting eliminated from the playoff race today. Even Kenny Williams could have done pretty well with that much support behind him...at least I think so.

PaleHoseGeorge
09-29-2002, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by DVG
Then again, a new owner might decide that the team's problems in Chicago can't be fixed and will move the team.

If his fellow owners let him, he'll be the first one permitted to move a team in 30 years. I'm not sure a new owner would be blocked, but I guarantee Reinsdorf would not be allowed to move. He has made too many enemies.

Lip Man 1
09-29-2002, 02:07 AM
Folks:

This is an EXCELLENT subject to discuss, kudos to RK for starting it.

My thoughts (for what it's worth...)

Jerry Manuel is a National League style manager still trying to adapt to the American League even after five years. (Which shows his "baseball" intelligence quotiant.)

His constant "tinkering" confuses, angers and depresses the players under him.

He wasn't considered the top prospect on the staff, when he was assisting Jimmy Leyland in Florida, yet he got the Sox job. My personal opinion is because he was an African - American (Jerry Reinsdorf is on the committee to advance minorities in baseball--he may even chair it) and because he wouldn't ask for a lot of money nor be inclined to make "waves" since he owed his opportunity to Reinsdorf.

Perhaps most importantly, for the past FIVE YEARS, the Sox have been awful at baseball fundimentals. They can't bunt, hit and run, run the bases, or execute the little things that often decide close games. In those five years the Sox have had well over 100 different players on the roster. Now either ALL of those players are just plain stupid, or the manager isn't devoting the time to stress these things particularly in spring training. Since the law of averages states that the chances of all of the players not having baseball sense are practically zero, the other option looks like the cause.

Jerry Manuel's disposition is fine for a teacher, librarian, or social worker but NOT for a baseball manager, especially in a city as passionate and devoted to baseball as Chicago. For better or for worse, Sox fans want more of a Billy Martin / Earl Weaver / Lou Pinella / Larry Bowa type. Someone who won't constantly make "excuses" for failures or continue to try to see the positive in a situation that requires more drastic actions.

Chuck Tanner (another positive thinker) wore out his welcome with Sox fans after five years and only two winning seasons. Manuel has had two winning seasons with a 3rd possible if the Sox win on Sunday. HOWEVER two of those "winning" seasons will have had 83 and 82 wins .

It's clearly time for him to go. he has lost a large number of Sox fans, some of the media and I suspect some of his players.

Granted his replacement may be worse (as has been mentioned on this thread) but look at it this way. As long as ownership insists on keeping the payroll down does anybody HONESTLY think the Sox are going to win anything anyway? If the new guy is worse, who cares? The reality is that it doesn't really matter anyway.

Lip

WhiteSox = Life
09-29-2002, 03:05 AM
Yeah, I agree with Lip. JM's baseball acumen is about that of a little leaguer's when it comes to making good decisions.

The guy rarely puts on...
[list=1]
Hit and Run
Run and Hit
Straight steal/Delayed steal (besides the player choosing)
Safety/Squeeze/Suicide Bunt (besides the player's decision)
Drag/Push/Swinging Bunt (besides player's choice)
And, of course, etc.
[/list=1]

Does he have to do these all the time? No. Would it hurt to do them once in a while? Of course not.

Baseball is about mixing it up, trying to see what flies and what doesn't. It's not like other sports, where there are a lot of plays. Baseball today is what it was about years ago (except for the power hitting taking over the offensive category): hitting, running, pitching, playing defense.

If Jerry would just show a little creativity then maybe the White Sox might have a little bit better of a record. Oh, and it helps to actually know what you're doing instead of comparing baseball to passive resistance constantly.

Then again, showing creativity might not be the best thing for the White Sox.

Jerry Reinsdorf, of course, never shows any, unless creativity involves putting together a mediocre team.

Kenny Williams, unfortunately, showed some creativity.

:KW
"Hey, Royce was the best White Sox SS ever... fielding-wise. And David Wells. He stinks. That David Wells on the Yankees, it's another David Wells. Speaking of Wells, that Pittsburgh trade. Yep I got Marte. Pretty good, eh? Oh, and for the Ritchie trade, 5 words: Where's Sean Lowe Now, Huh?"

Paulwny
09-29-2002, 09:18 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Folks:

This is an EXCELLENT subject to discuss, kudos to RK for starting it.

My thoughts (for what it's worth...)

Jerry Manuel is a National League style manager still trying to adapt to the American League even after five years. (Which shows his "baseball" intelligence quotiant.)

Perhaps most importantly, for the past FIVE YEARS, the Sox have been awful at baseball fundimentals. They can't bunt, hit and run, run the bases, or execute the little things that often decide close games. In those five years the Sox have had well over 100 different players on the roster. Now either ALL of those players are just plain stupid, or the manager isn't devoting the time to stress these things particularly in spring training. Since the law of averages states that the chances of all of the players not having baseball sense are practically zero, the other option looks like the cause.



I think your statement above is contradictory.
Bunting, hit and run, etc are a nl style of play. Up until this year Torre played a nl style of game. With different players this year he plays an al game, long ball.
I don't know if it's the players on this team or the lack of teaching fundamentals during spring training. Some of the base running mistakes that were done last year were repeated by the same players this year. You'd think that eventually the'd learn by their own mistakes.

Tragg
09-29-2002, 10:01 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


As it is, I believe Manuel is the smallest problem of the Big Three (the other two being Williams and Reinsdorf).



I agree, although I think Manuel is a problem.

MarkEdward
09-29-2002, 10:48 AM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice
Slightly OT here, but I didn't see anyone comment on Dan Evans' $95M Dodgers getting eliminated from the playoff race today. Even Kenny Williams could have done pretty well with that much support behind him...at least I think so.


I don't think Evans is the owner many built him up to be. He hasn't built up much of a farm system, and traded most of his "top" prospects for bench players like Tyler Houston. I'd give Evans a couple more years before really evaluating him.

I give a lot of credit to Jim Tracy. He's built a winning team with everyday players like Eric Karros, Mark Grudzielanek, Caesar Izturis, Brian Jordan, and Marquis Grissom.