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jeremyb1
01-03-2003, 05:59 PM
jim caple has an entire article about how great the twins are going to be next season which furthers the false impression that the twins have a ton of young players on their team when all of their best regulars are in their late 20s (their only young regulars are cuddyer, rivas, guzman, and lohse).

despite the fact that the article is about twins' chances of repeating caples only mention of the rest of the central is While the AL Central competition doesn't figure to be any better than last year, the Twins will be if they can simply stay healthy. even if the sox fail to offer much competition for the twins, we should improve from last year to a greater degree than the twins' will for all of the same reasons caple claims the twins will be an improved team. we have more young regulars than the twins (rowand, jimenez, garland, olivo, wright, buehrle, rauch, crede, and possibly willie harris) and we were also at least slightly affected by health issues in the case of thomas, konerko, wunsch, osuna, rauch, and biddle last season.

i wouldn't expect anyone to pick us to win the division but at least acknowledge the fact that we won 81 games last year and are better in many aspects of the game. you have to pick us to finish at least in the mid and possibly even upper 80s as far as win goes and i fail to see how that wouldn't be improved competition within the division and an obstacle to winning the division the twins did not fact last season.

tbradDPC
01-03-2003, 07:04 PM
I completely agree. While the Twins are the favorite to win the central, i think it will not be a runaway like last year. The sox should be a lot more competitive. Looking at some of last years stats we weren't to much different than the Twins.

Hitting
R/G R H BA OBP SLG
CWS 5.28 856 1475 .268 .338 .449
MIN 4.77 768 1518 .272 .332 .437

Pitching
R/G ERA H/G BB/G
CWS 4.93 4.53 9.0 3.3
MIN 4.42 4.12 8.8 2.7


Our pitching should improve without Rocket Ritchie, and with the growth of Garland and Wright. If we can put it together and do some of the little things (like the Twins have a reputation for) there is no reason why we shouldn't be very competitive in the central.

Lip Man 1
01-03-2003, 07:15 PM
Time will tell of course but without adding any quality pitching to the back up of the Sox rotation, the Twins very well could run away with it again. (can't wait to hear the excuses this season!)

The Twins ran away with it last year when their starting rotation suffered numerous injuries, what's going to happen if they stay healthy?

By the way this was in The Sporting News for this week: "RHP Jon rauch appears to be the #4 starter, with RHP Rocky Biddle and LHP Josh Stewart fighting for the 5th spot. That's a pretty questionable back end of the rotation."

Yea but they work cheap and that's all Uncle Jerry cares about!

Lip

RKMeibalane
01-03-2003, 07:48 PM
I'm not convinced the Sox are good enough to win the division. They have done nothing to improve their starting rotation, which was the area where they needed to upgrade the most. Ken Williams continues to sit on his rear end. He has yet to make a serious run at any starters remaining on the market. I have a feeling that by the time he does anything, all of the quality pitchers will have been signed by other teams. KW will end up overpaying for someone who isn't worth signing in the first place.

The Twins, for the moment, have an excellent chance of winning the division again. The Sox just have holes.

kermittheefrog
01-03-2003, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
I'm not convinced the Sox are good enough to win the division. They have done nothing to improve their starting rotation, which was the area where they needed to upgrade the most. Ken Williams continues to sit on his rear end. He has yet to make a serious run at any starters remaining on the market. I have a feeling that by the time he does anything, all of the quality pitchers will have been signed by other teams. KW will end up overpaying for someone who isn't worth signing in the first place.

The Twins, for the moment, have an excellent chance of winning the division again. The Sox just have holes.

Ya know, our rotation is already better than last year. Garland, Wright and Buehrle are all a year older. While it isn't all that reasonable to expect Buehrle to be better, Garland and Wright should be. We also no longer have Todd Ritchie in the rotation and Ritchie was literally one of the worst five starters in baseball. We haven't made any moves (yet, I'm convinced a veteran starter is coming) but we've already gone through addition by subtraction and maturation.

Chisox_cali
01-03-2003, 07:57 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
I'm not convinced the Sox are good enough to win the division. They have done nothing to improve their starting rotation, which was the area where they needed to upgrade the most. Ken Williams continues to sit on his rear end. He has yet to make a serious run at any starters remaining on the market. I have a feeling that by the time he does anything, all of the quality pitchers will have been signed by other teams. KW will end up overpaying for someone who isn't worth signing in the first place.

The Twins, for the moment, have an excellent chance of winning the division again. The Sox just have holes.

Doesn't anybody remember that it was the "Big O" that completely crapped out last season around memorial day, which caused the sox huge fall, not the pitching so much, don't get me wrong they were both sub-par, but alot of the corpseball was from the "Big O" I don't know how many games we lost 3-1, 4-2, 2-0 last year.

Daver
01-03-2003, 08:00 PM
Originally posted by Chisox_cali
Doesn't anybody remember that it was the "Big O" that completely crapped out last season around memorial day, which caused the sox huge fall, not the pitching so much, don't get me wrong they were both sub-par, but alot of the corpseball was from the "Big O" I don't know how many games we lost 3-1, 4-2, 2-0 last year.

You are correct cali,and most of those games seemed to be pitched by Todd Ritchie if my ancient memory serves me.All the more reason I think he will be back for this seasons campaign.

jeremyb1
01-03-2003, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
The Twins ran away with it last year when their starting rotation suffered numerous injuries, what's going to happen if they stay healthy?


the thing is the twins had two pretty good pitchers filling in with matt kinney (4.24 era in 12 starts) and santana (3.13 era in 13 starts). those eras are lower than the career eras of the twins first three starters. its hard to argue that a healthy rotation will make the twins better because they were almost better without their best starters last year considering how well their replacements pitched. unless mays repeats '01, i don't see their rotation improving all that much.

tbradDPC
01-04-2003, 01:04 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Chisox_cali
[B]Doesn't anybody remember that it was the "Big O" that completely crapped out last season around memorial day, which caused the sox huge fall

Also before the offense went south we had one of the best teams in the majors. Granted the season is a marathon and not a sprint, but I think it at least shows that when this team is clicking we can compete with anyone (young rotation or not). If we play to our potential why couldn't we at least stay with the Twins. I don't know, I just think we played below our potential last year in a lot of ways. Besides we are already a little better offensively when you consider that the sox won't have to put up with Royce's annual sub .200 first half. The Sox sure will be lost without his record setting glove work though

hold2dibber
01-04-2003, 01:26 AM
The Twins' success last year was due, in large part, to having virtually every single guy in their bullpen having a career year. That won't be repeated. On the other hand, virtually all of their veteran starters had crap years and will likely be better. The Twins are still clearly the team to beat, as the vast majority of their regular position players are reaching their "prime" years (late 20s). I would expect them to win anywhere from 88 to 92 games.

The question is, as currently constituted, can the Sox reach that level. Possible, but pretty unlikely. They need Buehrle to remain at the same level, while having at least 2 of the other starters become solid, dependable major league starters (which none of them have ever done in the past). And at least one of the back of the rotation guys has to at least be decent. And they can't suffer ANY injuries in the starting rotation. Also, Jimenez has to be a good lead off hitter, Rowand has to be at least serviceable in CF, Frank needs to rebound to some extent, and Pauly, Maggs and CLee need to stay at or above the level the played last year. Manos needs to justify his sure-to-be-lousy defense with a good year with the stick. Crede needs to show he's no just a flash in the pan. Olivo needs to prove himself major-league-ready. Koch needs to pitch at a high level, and the rest of the bullpen needs to prove itself consistent and dependable. Lot of "ifs". Yet KW continues to sleep walk through the off season. Argghh.

jeremyb1
01-04-2003, 02:29 AM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
The Twins' success last year was due, in large part, to having virtually every single guy in their bullpen having a career year. That won't be repeated. On the other hand, virtually all of their veteran starters had crap years and will likely be better. The Twins are still clearly the team to beat, as the vast majority of their regular position players are reaching their "prime" years (late 20s). I would expect them to win anywhere from 88 to 92 games.

good point about the pen. i think romero is quite good and hawkins probably is too at least in the setup role but guys like fiore won't repeat. if i'm correct jackson's not coming back. also, everyday eddie is no guarantee to repeat.

as for the rotation, the twins top three starters did have poor years and should improve but if you look at their track records all three pitchers have been anything but consistent. mays has had eras of 4.37, 5.56, 3.16, and 5.38 in his career. radke's have been 5.32, 4.46, 3.86, 4.30, 3.75, 4.45, 3.94, and 4.72. he improved his first three years but has been alternating good and mediocre seasons ever since then. additionally, he's they're ace but in his first two full seasons buehrle has already had two seasons better than radke has had in seven years. milton is a guy with great stuff but he's never really put it together. his 4.32 era in '01 is his best season so far. basically all three of these guys could be really good or below average.

mrwag
01-04-2003, 10:21 AM
I think if our starters show any improvement, which they should with another year under their belts, and a healthy Frank Thomas working with Walt, they should be able to get near the upper 80, maybe 90 win mark. With Royce outta the picture, I think our lineup is a little more potent too. Let's keep our fingers crossed that we can still land that #2 starter. I don't think the Twins can write off the division at this point.

T Dog
01-04-2003, 11:50 AM
At least the 2003 White Sox are getting more preseason respect than the 1984 Royals did.

gosox41
01-04-2003, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by mrwag
I think if our starters show any improvement, which they should with another year under their belts, and a healthy Frank Thomas working with Walt, they should be able to get near the upper 80, maybe 90 win mark. With Royce outta the picture, I think our lineup is a little more potent too. Let's keep our fingers crossed that we can still land that #2 starter. I don't think the Twins can write off the division at this point.

I think last September gave Sox fans false hope. The fact is, outside of losing Royce, this team has done nothing to improve itself. If anything, the Foulke trade made them worse. Instead of having Foulke and Mark Johnson on the team, the Sox now have Koch, Alomar, and Paul. That's another lost bat off the bench.

Also keep in mind the Sox had a weak September schedule and inflated their numbers against bad teams playing minor leaguers. Sure they beat the Yankees 2 out of 3 in Yankee stadium, but they also got swept in Minnesota against the Twins. This team may be a few wins better, but I find it hard to see a 90+ win team because of another year of experience for the pitchers.

Bob

jeremyb1
01-04-2003, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by gosox41
I think last September gave Sox fans false hope. The fact is, outside of losing Royce, this team has done nothing to improve itself. If anything, the Foulke trade made them worse. Instead of having Foulke and Mark Johnson on the team, the Sox now have Koch, Alomar, and Paul. That's another lost bat off the bench.

Also keep in mind the Sox had a weak September schedule and inflated their numbers against bad teams playing minor leaguers. Sure they beat the Yankees 2 out of 3 in Yankee stadium, but they also got swept in Minnesota against the Twins. This team may be a few wins better, but I find it hard to see a 90+ win team because of another year of experience for the pitchers

we started winning games before september. if you can remember manuel talked about how he wanted to let the kids play before september so we could see if they could play against major leaguers and not callups.

as for the team, i don't think we need to improve that much on paper because i think we've had a great team all along. if we play to our potential we don't need anyone else for the most part. i don't think its unreasonable by any means to expect improvement from carlos, frank, garland, and wright at a minimum next season and perhaps more consistency from paully. we should also be looking at improvement at the third base, shortstop, and perhaps also catcher and cf positions over the course of a season. obviously some players will have down seasons and we won't improve at all of these positions but considering how much we underacheived last year and how poor some of the now departed veterans performed last year (lofton after this first month and clayton) there's no reason you couldn't expect at least some improvement from an 81 win season which puts us right in the hunt.

hold2dibber
01-04-2003, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
we started winning games before september. if you can remember manuel talked about how he wanted to let the kids play before september so we could see if they could play against major leaguers and not callups.

as for the team, i don't think we need to improve that much on paper because i think we've had a great team all along. if we play to our potential we don't need anyone else for the most part. i don't think its unreasonable by any means to expect improvement from carlos, frank, garland, and wright at a minimum next season and perhaps more consistency from paully. we should also be looking at improvement at the third base, shortstop, and perhaps also catcher and cf positions over the course of a season. obviously some players will have down seasons and we won't improve at all of these positions but considering how much we underacheived last year and how poor some of the now departed veterans performed last year (lofton after this first month and clayton) there's no reason you couldn't expect at least some improvement from an 81 win season which puts us right in the hunt.

I don't necessarily disagree with everything you say, but it is also quite possible that none (or maybe only one) of the young pitchers will improve, that Jimenez will fail miserably, that Rowand will hit .220 and Jose will be a nightmare defensively, that Koch will break down due to over work over the last few years, etc., etc. The Sox have a good core that could, if everything breaks right, contend for the division title. But if Sox management had been aggressive this off season, I think they could have molded this team into one of the best in the AL.

gosox41
01-04-2003, 04:30 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by jeremyb1
[B]we started winning games before september. if you can remember manuel talked about how he wanted to let the kids play before september so we could see if they could play against major leaguers and not callups.

as for the team, i don't think we need to improve that much on paper because i think we've had a great team all along. if we play to our potential we don't need anyone else for the most part. >>>

I wish I could be as optimistic. This team is far from a great team. If they were such a 'great' team all along, what's holding them back from achieving that greatness? This is a team that won 81 games in the weakest division in all of baseball!!! What would their record had been if they had played in the AL West. Nothing has changed about this team to convince me that these young pitchers are going to live up to the hype we've been hearing about for the last 3 years. The management team is still in place, and I don't see that helping the team win more. There are still holes on this team that will prevent them from winning until they're filled.

doublem23
01-04-2003, 04:35 PM
The pitching has a pretty good shot at being better than last year. Buehrle is probably still a rock, Garland and Wright are both a year older and wiser, Ritchie is addition by subtraction, Biddle is underrated, IMO, and is a decent pitcher, and Rauch is a complete mystery. He could live up to his hype and pitch stellar now that he's continuing to progress from shoulder surgery; however, he could also bust.

Only time will tell.

Very easily, this Sox team could put it together and win well over 90 games... Unfortunately, this Sox team could also fall apart at the seems and struggle to win 70.

GO SOX!

kermittheefrog
01-04-2003, 05:28 PM
I think the 2003 Sox are going to experience at lot of addition by subtraction. Clayton, Alomar, Lofton and Ritchie were all mediocre at best and gone. I think Jiminez, Rowand, Olivo and Rauch will be much much better. I'm pretty excited about the Sox this year. I'm just hoping for one guy like Valdes, Suppan or Wilson to round out the rotation.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-04-2003, 05:35 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
I think the 2003 Sox are going to experience at lot of addition by subtraction. Clayton, Alomar, Lofton and Ritchie were all mediocre at best and gone. I think Jiminez, Rowand, Olivo and Rauch will be much much better. I'm pretty excited about the Sox this year. I'm just hoping for one guy like Valdes, Suppan or Wilson to round out the rotation.

Try and keep up on current events, Kermie. :smile:

:sandy
"I'm Ba-aack!"

I agree with your "addition by subtraction" theory about our chances in 2003. Ridding the team of over-the-hill veterans in favor of kids with potential is definitely a reason for optimism. Will this be enough to win 90+ games and a shot at a South Side championship? I doubt it.

OEO Magglio
01-05-2003, 12:30 AM
Out of all the question marks the sox have, I really am not worrying about Center Field at all, I really think Rowand is a quality player as long as he recovers from his little accident, as for catcher I'm really not sure about Olivo, I really think he can be a good offensive player, but as long as he's solid at defense I'm happy with that at the catcher position. Now for the rotation I really think Garland is going to have a great season, and I also think Rauch will also be effective, I still think the sox should sign a Valdes or Person, for if nothing else to get rocky in the pen. I don't think the Twins are going to run away with the division, I think they might be a little worse then last year, I think their division is not going to be as close to as good as last year, and I think they have the most overrated pitching staff in baseball, but after saying all of that, they are still the team to beat in the AL Central

kermittheefrog
01-05-2003, 03:01 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Try and keep up on current events, Kermie. :smile:

:sandy
"I'm Ba-aack!"


I guess I got so eager to put Sandy's return out of my mind that I simply forgot about it. On the bright side he should be getting much less PT as Olivo's backup as he got as the starter.

jeremyb1
01-05-2003, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
I don't necessarily disagree with everything you say, but it is also quite possible that none (or maybe only one) of the young pitchers will improve, that Jimenez will fail miserably, that Rowand will hit .220 and Jose will be a nightmare defensively, that Koch will break down due to over work over the last few years, etc., etc. The Sox have a good core that could, if everything breaks right, contend for the division title. But if Sox management had been aggressive this off season, I think they could have molded this team into one of the best in the AL.

its possible. i'm counting on the fact that luck ussually tends to run in cycles. we've had terrible luck the last two seasons (2001 in particular) and if we have at least average luck next season, we'll be a lot better. you can also trace this to specific pitchers. garland had an era under 4 in '01 so you could argue that he had some struggles last season (which he did a decent job of overcoming) and that it is unlikely for him to take a step back two seasons in a row considering how much he seemed to improve last season. you could argue the same for frank and jiminez that its more unlikely to have back to back poor seasons than it is to have just one poor season.

koch's health is one thing i don't view as an issue of anything related to luck. he's pitched a lot of innings and we should've known injury was a possibility considering how much he's been worked.

cornball
01-05-2003, 02:59 PM
As optimistic as I can be, any expert at this point would have to give the nod to the Twins. To me, to win in the majors consistently, you have to have starting pitching. We have alot of if's. You can look at at from many ways, we come up short on starting pitching.

Frankly, from my point of view it is a shame we don't try to make a move to take the division. Like last year it is there for the taking.

jeremyb1
01-05-2003, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by cornball
As optimistic as I can be, any expert at this point would have to give the nod to the Twins. To me, to win in the majors consistently, you have to have starting pitching. We have alot of if's. You can look at at from many ways, we come up short on starting pitching.


i more or less agree with that. if i was writing an unbiased prediction about the division or if my life depended on it i'd probably pick the twins. that's part of being defending champions. you have to give them the benefit of the doubt. however, i see a lot of holes in their team that others - including the majority of the media - refuse to acknowledge. before assessing their prospects for this year you can't just look at areas in which they may improve last year and assume that its a constant that everything else that went right last year will go right again. look at our 2000 team. certain things which helped the twins win last year such as the performances coming from their bullpen, the performances by their spot starters, their luck, and their ability to win close games very well may not be repeated and that should be taken into account. you have to ask why they were so successful last season and then whether that can be repeated before you merely assume they'll repeat as division champs.

doublem23
01-05-2003, 10:51 PM
I don't know if this has been posted eslewhere, but it says that the Sox may be in a better position to dethrone the Twins (man, there's something I didn't think I'd ever say) than some of us like to believe...

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-030104mlbreport,0,5045438.story?coll=cs%2Dhome%2Dh eadlines

Brief excerpt:

Minnesota could be in trouble. An unexpectedly strong bullpen and the emergence of the unsung Kyle Lohse hid the fact Joe Mays, Eric Milton and Brad Radke went backward during the Twins' division-winning season. Minnesota will likely enter spring without a 30/190 starter.

For another, the White Sox are in excellent shape to dethrone the Twins. Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland and Dan Wright all carried 30/190 workloads last season.

jeremyb1
01-08-2003, 02:05 AM
if anyone's interested, here's a letter i sent to caple regarding the article:

I took issue with your statement that "the AL Central competition doesn't figure to be any better than last year, the Twins will be if they can simply stay healthy." in your article about the Twins' chances of success next season. While I agree the Twins have to be considered the favorites to win the AL Central at this point, the White Sox have a team that's even younger than the twins and have finished at least .500 for the past three seasons. Due to their abundance of young talent and their injury problems last season (Thomas, Rauch, Osuna, Biddle, and Wunsch were all recovering from serious injuries while Konerko fought nagging injuries in the second half), the Sox should stand to improve for the same reasons at the Twins which would at least moderately increase the level of competition in the division despite the ineptitude of the division's other three teams. Also of note is the fact that on Rob Neyer's page, the White Sox and Twins finished with the same Pythagorean record last season.

As for the argument that healthy seasons from Radke, Milton, and Mays will improve the Twins' performance next season I feel that its important to look at how badly the Twins' performance was hurt by these three players injuries last season. In the 31 starts missed by Radke, Milton, and Mays last season, their replacements combined for a 3.98 ERA, a figure better than both the ERAs of all those three starters last season as well as their career marks.

Thanks. I enjoy your work.

Jeremy

and his response:

thanks for the excellent note. great stat on the replacement starters. and
while the sox are young, i just don't think they have the pitching. but
that's why they play the season, right?

take care

i really like it when writers respond like that. some don't or others merely ignore what you said and emphatically state that they're correct. caple seems to be a class act.

michigan84
01-08-2003, 02:17 AM
Originally posted by tbradDPC
I completely agree. While the Twins are the favorite to win the central, i think it will not be a runaway like last year. The sox should be a lot more competitive. Looking at some of last years stats we weren't to much different than the Twins.


You mean the horrible Indians, Royals and Tigers have no chance? LOL!
Maybe in a few years when KW has destroyed this team completely?

moochpuppy
01-08-2003, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
Ken Williams continues to sit on his rear end. He has yet to make a serious run at any starters remaining on the market.

Of the starters that are left out there I would hope that KW remains sitting on his hands. I much rather go into this season with what we already have than to waste money to bring in a Kenny Rogers or Ismail Valdes.

I'm sick of hearing about wanting the Sox to make a trade or sign a FA just for the sake of doing so. What are we, the Cubs?

Cheryl
01-08-2003, 09:08 AM
This (http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/neyer_rob/1483345.html) guy should be our next GM.

harwar
01-08-2003, 09:21 AM
What it all boils down to is that it can go either way.Although speculating on the up-coming season is a good way to get through this down time(Hawks & Bulls? give me a break),its just another trip up the down escalator.Its so frustrating being a long-time White Sox fan that i can't even put it into words.Its all,hope for the best but expect the worst.I think we may have one of the best offensive teams this year and our pitching is going to be better.What scares the hell out of me is the fact that KW & JM seem to be piloting this ship thru dangerous seas with hidden reefs and shoals without a chart,while i see ships all around us steaming confidently thru as their ships officers seem to have some access to charts and knowledge unkown to our fearless leaders.Why do i have the feeling that i've been shipwrecked before i've even got aboard.