PDA

View Full Version : Who is the favorite in the A.L. central?


SoxxoS
01-15-2003, 04:32 PM
I just read Rob Neyer's article on the how White Sox are going to challenge the Twins for the division. In my opinion, I believe, we are now the favorites of the A.L. Central. If you read Neyer's article, he basically says according to the Runs Scored/Runs allowed last year, the Twins and White Sox should have had the same record. I think the only major subtractions from last year's teams being Ray Durham, and with our addtion of Colon, and the added maturity of our young players, we should be good for about another 10 wins. I think the Twins have too many offensive question marks, first off. Their timely hitting was unreal last year, and they cant count on that this year. I think counting on "everyday" Eddie guardado for 45 saves, Kyle Loshe for 14 wins, and J.P. Romero/Latroy Hawkins to have a 2.00 ERA is also a big mistake.
I think the only holes we have are:
1) Center Field
2) Lead-off man, although I think Jimenez will do just fine
3) 5th starter although I think Jon Rauch can exceed expectations.
4) Left handed power bat off the bench.

Not "dire" by any sense of the word.

All in all, I think we are actually the favorites to win the A.L. central, and anything else to me would be a huge dissapointment.

doublem23
01-15-2003, 05:09 PM
The Twins are still the "on paper" favorites. No question about that.

hold2dibber
01-15-2003, 05:16 PM
I think its up for grabs. The Twins have vastly superior defense and a line-up that is solid, if unspectacular, from top to bottom. Their bullpen was absolutely amazing last year, and I think Johan Santana is going to be one of the better starting pitchers around. With that said, they don't have much power, virtually everyone in their bullpen had a career year last year (unlikely to be repeated in '03), Radke, Milton and Mays have all been hurt and/or inconsistent recently and Reed is old as the hills and not likely to repeat his '03 performance.

The Sox have a monster line-up with 20+ home run potential at 7 positions, the two best starting pitchers in the division, the AL saves leader from '02, an above-average bullpen and 3 young starters who all have shown glimpses of brilliance. On the other hand, their defense is shody, their leadoff hitter is unproven, they have no depth in the rotation and not one of their nos. 3-5 starters has yet shown the ability to be consistent, effective major league pitchers.

Too tough to call at this point.

Daver
01-15-2003, 05:50 PM
The Twins are the division champs and return mostly the same team for this year,they are the favorite until proven otherwise.

SouthSideHitman
01-15-2003, 06:01 PM
I think the Sox have to be considered major contenders if not favorites at this point. According to Jason Styark, the Sox are now big names in not only the division, but the league. That being said, I like what seems to be the Sox policy of not fanning any flames In Re: the Twins. The Sox gotta get the job done before they start talking big. Fingers crossed here though. :D:

RedPinStripes
01-15-2003, 06:06 PM
The sox are contenders , but not the favorites till i see they have the twins #.

CHISOXFAN13
01-15-2003, 06:13 PM
The Twins haven't done anything in the offseason, but that being said, we need to get over the hump against them before we can claim the top spot.

I do think we will win the Central, but it's going to be a tight race.

Lip Man 1
01-15-2003, 07:11 PM
You read Rob Neyer but did you read Dave Campbell?

"With Colon, the White Sox now have the second-best starting rotation in the AL Central. The Minnesota Twins still have the division's best staff (with Eric Milton, Brad Radke, Joe Mays, Rick Reed and Kyle Lohse)."--Dave Campbell ESPN


The Twins STILL have incredibly better defense, execute the small fundamentals that win games, are perfectly suited for that abortion they call a ballpark and may very well have better starting pitching.

The Sox are closer but until they get more pitching (#5 starter, more middle relief help) and can show they know how to bunt, hit and run, and catch the ball, it's still questionable (in my opinion) about their divisional chances.

No worse then 2nd place but second doesn't get you much does it?

Lip

delben91
01-15-2003, 07:15 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
You read Rob Neyer but did you read Dave Campbell?

[B]
The Sox are closer but until they get more pitching (#5 starter, more middle relief help) and can show they know how to bunt, hit and run, and catch the ball, it's still questionable (in my opinion) about their divisional chances.

Lip

Well, I honestly like the chances of Rauch showing up big in the #5 spot of the rotation, though I would also argue that Minnesota only has 4 strong starters in that I don't expect Reed to keep holding up.

Regardless, as far as the bunting, catching of the baseball, etc. I agree, seeing will be believing, though after today, the Twins margin for error got a heck of a lot smaller.

Daver
01-15-2003, 07:15 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
You read Rob Neyer but did you read Dave Campbell?

"With Colon, the White Sox now have the second-best starting rotation in the AL Central. The Minnesota Twins still have the division's best staff (with Eric Milton, Brad Radke, Joe Mays, Rick Reed and Kyle Lohse)."--Dave Campbell ESPN


The Twins STILL have incredibly better defense, execute the small fundamentals that win games, are perfectly suited for that abortion they call a ballpark and may very well have better starting pitching.

The Sox are closer but until they get more pitching (#5 starter, more middle relief help) and can show they know how to bunt, hit and run, and catch the ball, it's still questionable (in my opinion) about their divisional chances.

No worse then 2nd place but second doesn't get you much does it?

Lip

Lip,Phil Rogers rated the the ten best infeilds in all of MLB,the Twins and the Sox were tied at tenth.

RedPinStripes
01-15-2003, 07:22 PM
Base running and little things at the plate is why the twins own the sox.

SoxxoS
01-15-2003, 07:34 PM
Baseball has a weird way of averaging itself out. In 2000, the Sox got all the breaks-The clutch hitting, relatively injury free, and the balls going foul hit the line. The past two years have been a mess. In 2001, everyone and their mom had labrum surgery. Last year was just a bad year. Between the Ritchie situation, Frank's not hitting, the Rauch and Parque situation, and just overall inconsistancy, last year sucked. This year, we are

Royce Clayton free
Jon Rauch 100% healthy
Our #2 pitcher is Bartolo Colon, not Todd Ritchie.
Garland and Wright have another year under their belts.
Koch is an improvement over Foulke in the closer role.

I think this is the year that resembles 2000. This is the year where we get the breaks again, and the Twins go through the crap. Plus, IMO, we are just the better team.

Lip Man 1
01-15-2003, 07:35 PM
Daver:

You also recall that Phil said he rated the Sox that high because of their OFFENSIVE capabilities. He also stated in the same story that the Sox infield quite often GIVE BACK as many runs as they produce.

Lip

PaleHoseGeorge
01-15-2003, 07:35 PM
Originally posted by daver
The Twins are the division champs and return mostly the same team for this year,they are the favorite until proven otherwise.

Thank you! I wish I had said that. The Twins have beaten us like dogs the past two years. Let's first lay the pipe across their skulls before we start talking loud. To do otherwise makes us sound like punks.

:ray
"I resemble that remark!"

jeremyb1
01-15-2003, 08:04 PM
Originally posted by RedPinStripes
Base running and little things at the plate is why the twins own the sox.

i'm sorry but i just don't buy that. maybe in head to head competition in the playoffs, things such as baserunning and good fundamentals can make a difference but i refuse to believe you can come out on top based on such things over the course of a 162 game season.

i can understand calling the twins the favorites. they won the division last season. it doesn't really matter to me. personally, i can see how the twins repeat last season. i've scrutinized their success in a number of ways over the last year and a half and i just don't seem them repeating last season unless they get a break out season from eric milton. that's the only way.

we now have two starters better than any starter on the twins. we also have at least 2-3 hitters better than any hitter on the team in maggs, paully, and frank if he comes back. clee could also find his way into that equation with a break out season many expect.

i'll give them the benefit of the doubt as the champs but my personal belief is that we'll come out on top. i can't see any area in which they have a better team than us other than defense and intangibles. i might give them a slight edge in relief pitching and maybe a slight edge in starting pitching but i give us a huge edge when it comes to hitting. i just don't think they have any offense to speak of. they didn't have one player than hit over .300, hit over 30 hrs, or knocked in over 100 runs last season and i don't think they have the pitching and defense to make up for that.

SoxRulecubsdrool
01-15-2003, 09:33 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
[B]Thank you! I wish I had said that. The Twins have beaten us like dogs the past two years. Let's first lay the pipe across their skulls before we start talking loud. To do otherwise makes us sound like punks.

I agree! That goes for beating up on the Royals too. We made them look good especially with the early season games last year and the year before. We could have picked up quite a few games if we had showed up to play them early in the season.
Maybe I'm rambling! :gulp:

Lip Man 1
01-16-2003, 05:24 PM
A history lesson for those of you ready to proclaim the Sox "World Champions" in 2003.

For whatever reason or reasons, this organization has done very poorly when they are EXPECTED to win.

I don't know why maybe it's the "Black Sox" curse. But those of us old enough to have been there remember:

1960
1965
1968 (losing record)
1973 (losing record)
1978 (losing record)
1984 (losing record)
1995 (losing record)
2001

Let's just hope the Sox can get to the playoffs and take their chances from there.

Lip

gosox3072
01-16-2003, 06:40 PM
We might be and probably are the better team but untill we beat the twinkies they are the favorites

GOSOX

doublem23
01-16-2003, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
i'm sorry but i just don't buy that. maybe in head to head competition in the playoffs, things such as baserunning and good fundamentals can make a difference but i refuse to believe you can come out on top based on such things over the course of a 162 game season.

I've seen the Sox lose so many games because they don't run the bases well, they don't make the right throws, and they just do not do the little, fundamental things championship teams do....

Josh Paul? Going for third base? TWICE? Carlos Lee? Getting picked off third in the bottom of the ninth? Royce Clayton? Challenging Torii Hunter's arm at the plate?

While I agree that the Twins may have played a little over their heads, I can also realistically see that team winning the most games in the American League if their horses (Radke, Mays, Milton) shore up. I can also see them struggling to win 70 games next year. Neither scenario would surprise me one bit, but RPS is right... The reason the Twins have just destroyed the Sox in the two years is the play smart, fundamental baseball while the Sox make dumb mistakes on the basepaths, play sometimes poor defense, and just try and mash the ball.

RKMeibalane
01-17-2003, 01:57 PM
Obviously, the favorite to win the AL Central is either the White Sox, the Twins, the Royals, the Indians, or the Tigers.

In all seriousness, I think it's too early to worry about this. Minnesota has owned the Sox the past two seasons, and until this team learns to run the bases and hit the cutoff man, there will be no post-season in the Sox future. The Colon trade was huge, but there is still much work to be done before anyone can start thinking about a division championship.

bc2k
01-17-2003, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
A history lesson for those of you ready to proclaim the Sox "World Champions" in 2003.

For whatever reason or reasons, this organization has done very poorly when they are EXPECTED to win.

I don't know why maybe it's the "Black Sox" curse. But those of us old enough to have been there remember:

1960
1965
1968 (losing record)
1973 (losing record)
1978 (losing record)
1984 (losing record)
1995 (losing record)
2001

Let's just hope the Sox can get to the playoffs and take their chances from there.

Lip

I'm not familiar with all of those years, but you tend to show years where the Sox did well in the previous year. Then you say that the Sox don't do well when they are expected to do so, but repeating great seasons back-to-back is difficult and anything less is considered disappointing. The 2003 season doesn't follow a successful 2002 season.

Besides, you can't criticize people for expecting a good season based on the previous season, when you're expecting a bad season based on a previous successful season.

But back on the topic of favorites in the division, I think it will come down to management. We have the smarter GM and an owner who won't let money stop him from winning. :o: Last week that sentence would have been in teal, but now could it be true?

CWsox45
01-17-2003, 02:49 PM
Why do we need a center fielder? When Aaron Rowand got consistent playing time last year he was tearing it up on both sides of the ball. The last week of the season he was gunning guys trying to tag up on his arm, and smashing the living hell outta the ball. Aaron Rowand should be our starter in center, and if he's not ready by opening day Rios can take care of it if we're desperate.

CWSOX45

Lip Man 1
01-17-2003, 11:43 PM
BC2K says:

Besides, you can't criticize people for expecting a good season based on the previous season, when you're expecting a bad season based on a previous successful season.

I'm not. I'm mearly pointing out that the record shows the Sox usually DON'T do well when it's expected and occasionally come up with glorious seasons when nothing is expected of them (a la 1972, 1977, 1990, 2000)

I'm just saying the Sox should actually MAKE the playoffs first before folks start going off the deep end about a World Series. Let's not put the cart before the horse, 162 games is a LONG season and ANYTHING can happen and go wrong.

Lip

voodoochile
01-18-2003, 12:25 AM
Originally posted by CWsox45
Why do we need a center fielder? When Aaron Rowand got consistent playing time last year he was tearing it up on both sides of the ball. The last week of the season he was gunning guys trying to tag up on his arm, and smashing the living hell outta the ball. Aaron Rowand should be our starter in center, and if he's not ready by opening day Rios can take care of it if we're desperate.

CWSOX45

Hey, welcome aboard. :D:

Rowand will be the starter in CF, but he definitely could be improved upon. Not saying he won't be a good player, but the odds are not with him, IMO...

voodoochile
01-18-2003, 12:28 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
I'm not. I'm mearly pointing out that the record shows the Sox usually DON'T do well when it's expected and occasionally come up with glorious seasons when nothing is expected of them (a la 1972, 1977, 1990, 2000)

I'm just saying the Sox should actually MAKE the playoffs first before folks start going off the deep end about a World Series. Let's not put the cart before the horse, 162 games is a LONG season and ANYTHING can happen and go wrong.

Lip

They did pretty good in 1994 and that year they were favorites to win it all. Yeah, it the fates or whatever stripped them of the chances to win it all, but it's not like they were falling apart when the season came to an abbreviated ending...

Dan H
01-18-2003, 08:05 AM
Even a cynic like me loves the two major off season trades the Sox have made. However, this is still team that took the pipe last July against such powerhouses as Kansas City, Baltimore and Detroit. Before they can call themselves favorites, they have to prove they can put a whole season together. Winning after you're out of it means little.

Lip Man 1
01-18-2003, 12:41 PM
Voodoo:

No question 94 was a fine season but I went back and looked just to make sure of something.

Sox fans have been guilty of doing this for a long time (myself included) by saying that 94 was the Sox year, they would have gone to the Series etc.

When play stopped on August 11, the Sox had a ONE GAME lead over Cleveland and only a FIVE GAME lead over Kansas City!

There was no guarantee, had the season kept going that the Sox would have won the division, or even made the playoffs as a Wild Card! I mean one bad week, lose five or six in a row and KC could have caught them.

I hear what you're saying but it's not like the Sox had a ten game lead or anything. That would have been a hell of a stretch run eh?

Lip

voodoochile
01-18-2003, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Voodoo:

No question 94 was a fine season but I went back and looked just to make sure of something.

Sox fans have been guilty of doing this for a long time (myself included) by saying that 94 was the Sox year, they would have gone to the Series etc.

When play stopped on August 11, the Sox had a ONE GAME lead over Cleveland and only a FIVE GAME lead over Kansas City!

There was no guarantee, had the season kept going that the Sox would have won the division, or even made the playoffs as a Wild Card! I mean one bad week, lose five or six in a row and KC could have caught them.

I hear what you're saying but it's not like the Sox had a ten game lead or anything. That would have been a hell of a stretch run eh?

Lip

Yeah, I know we weren't running away with the division, but at least when the pressure was on, the team came to play...

Lip Man 1
01-18-2003, 05:51 PM
In fact checking deeper showed that when the season stopped the Sox weren't even the best team (record wise) in the league.

The Yanks won three more games then the Sox so if the season resumed at a later point, it's possible the Sox would have had to go TO New York for the playoffs.

1st round would have been Texas #3 (10 games UNDER .500) at Sox #2

and Cleveland (WC) at New York #1.

Lip

Bisco Stu
01-18-2003, 11:09 PM
Right. And the 94 Sox, with their superior pitching/playoff experience would've trounced the competition and brought Chicago it's first MLB title since 1917.

CWsox45
01-19-2003, 12:20 AM
VDC- Thankyou, as for Rowand I think he will only improve at the Major League Level. If there's one guy out on that field that will run through a wall for his teammates, it's Aaron Rowand.
I think Aaron can be a major contributor for the Sox, and if he plays enough could easily bat around .280 and have around 12-15 homeruns this year.

CWSOX45

fuzzy_patters
01-19-2003, 12:58 PM
as for Rowand I think he will only improve at the Major League Level. If there's one guy out on that field that will run through a wall for his teammates, it's Aaron Rowand.

Similar statements could have been made about Chris Singleton after his rookie season.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-19-2003, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by fuzzy_patters
Similar statements could have been made about Chris Singleton after his rookie season.

Exactly. At least Singleton had developed major league fielding skills before reaching the show. This love for Aaron Rowand running into walls is grounded precisely in his failure to develop similar skills before reaching the Sox.

His teammates didn't nickname Rowand "Robocop" because of their admiration of his fielding skills, LOL!