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View Full Version : Does anyone else think we have a chance at the wild card?


SoxxoS
03-26-2003, 11:42 AM
Obviously, everyone wants to beat the Twins. It is becoming a rivarly now, started by us, instigated by them. However, in our division, if the Twins are as unbelieveable as everyone thinks... I think we still have a legit chance for the wild card. We are obviously in the worst division in baseball. We play the Royals, Tigers and Indians about 75-80 times? We all know about our team, and who we are facing. I was just wondering if anyone else also agrees that we have a legit chance to make the wild card.
Boston, Oakland/Angels are going to be tough, but I think we can do it? I mean Boston has to play the Yankees and the Blue Jays (no pushover), and Oakland/Angels are in one of the toughest divisions in baseball. Anyone else agree?

Iwritecode
03-26-2003, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
Obviously, everyone wants to beat the Twins. It is becoming a rivarly now, started by us, instigated by them. However, in our division, if the Twins are as unbelieveable as everyone thinks... I think we still have a legit chance for the wild card. We are obviously in the worst division in baseball. We play the Royals, Tigers and Indians about 75-80 times? We all know about our team, and who we are facing. I was just wondering if anyone else also agrees that we have a legit chance to make the wild card.
Boston, Oakland/Angels are going to be tough, but I think we can do it? I mean Boston has to play the Yankees and the Blue Jays (no pushover), and Oakland/Angels are in one of the toughest divisions in baseball. Anyone else agree?

Even though the West is one of the toughest divisions, it seems like every year they have at least 2 teams with wins in the high 90's. It's probably going to take almost 100 wins to get the WC this year. I'm not sure the Sox have that in them even with playing in the weak ALC. They are going to have to beat the Twins to get to the post-season. Period.

czalgosz
03-26-2003, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
Even though the West is one of the toughest divisions, it seems like every year they have at least 2 teams with wins in the high 90's. It's probably going to take almost 100 wins to get the WC this year. I'm not sure the Sox have that in them even with playing in the weak ALC. They are going to have to beat the Twins to get to the post-season. Period.

I'm not so sure; the Angels might well be a one-year fluke, and the Mariners are continuing to get older and not any better.

That's not to say that they stink, because they are both still good teams and not to be taken lightly, but I don't think it's beyond the Sox to finish with a better record than the Angels and Mariners. As for the Red Sox, they do have a history of falling on their faces...

hold2dibber
03-26-2003, 12:28 PM
I think the Sox (or the Twins) have a chance at the wild card. Assuming (as most do) that the A's and the Yankees will win the other 2 divisions, the primary wild card contenders appear to be the Angels, Mariners, 2nd place finisher in the Central, and Boston. Boston has an amazing line-up and great depth. Their top 2 starters are terrific, but the back of their rotation and their bullpen are big question marks. I think they're a 90 win team. The Angels rotation is, IMHO, on thin ice. Washburn is good, but I'm guessing that Appier declines significantly this year. Ortiz is okay, but no world beater and I don't see Lackey being anything special. They have a good line-up and they don't make mistakes, but I think they caught lightening in a bottle last year. I don't see them winning much more than 90 games. The same for the Mariners, who have a little of everything, but a lot of nothing. They have some nice hitters, but they're old and don't have any great hitters. They have pretty good starters, but none who are great. They have a good bullpen, but Sasaki is hurt and aging. Again, I see them as no better than a 90 win team. I also think that both the White Sox and the Twins will win between 86 and 92 games this year. I think all of these teams will be battling for the wild card as the season winds down. I like the Sox chances because of the big 2 at the front of the rotation, but again, they need Garland/Wright/Loaiza/Rauch to give them something at the end of the rotation and they need Jimenez to get on base frequently enough to give the big boppers someone to drive in.

Lip Man 1
03-26-2003, 02:22 PM
I don't think the Sox or Twins will be able to match the number of wins posted by the other clubs. I think it's win the division or go home (again)

Lip

jeremyb1
03-26-2003, 03:11 PM
considering our schedule if we can play as well or nearly as well as the wild card contenders in the west and east we should be able to win the wild card.

Unregistered
03-26-2003, 03:57 PM
No way we're winning the wild card... Between the 100-win club that is the AL West and Boston, I agree with Lip... It's win the division or go home.

LuvSox
03-26-2003, 04:12 PM
Wild Card -- Schmild Card, let's take the division!

hold2dibber
03-26-2003, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by Unregistered
No way we're winning the wild card... Between the 100-win club that is the AL West and Boston, I agree with Lip... It's win the division or go home.

You really think anyone in the West other than the A's could win 100? I don't see it. Same with Boston - if you compare the White Sox to the Red Sox on paper, they look very similar to me. Two really good starters and then a lot of questions in the rotation. Very powerful line-ups, but not great defense. However, I think the White Sox bullpen is better than the Red Sox bullpen and the White Sox likely have a weaker schedule in light of our division.

Tragg
03-26-2003, 10:36 PM
Sure we have a chance. And it's true we get 54 or so games with the tribe, tigers and royals. Of course Boston and NY get 54 or so games with the blue jays, orioles and, ouch, devil rays. And the west teams have won 90+ with only the rangers as the divisional patsy. So, given all of that, I think we probably have just as good a chance of beating the twins.

Jerry_Manuel
03-26-2003, 10:37 PM
Not a chance.

I think the A's will take the Wild Card.

TheBigHurt
03-26-2003, 10:48 PM
In my opinion since this div. is so weak with cle, kc and det whoever doesn't win the div will win the wild card

BE GOOD

TheBigHurt
03-26-2003, 10:51 PM
Originally posted by Tragg
Sure we have a chance. And it's true we get 54 or so games with the tribe, tigers and royals. Of course Boston and NY get 54 or so games with the blue jays, orioles and, ouch, devil rays. And the west teams have won 90+ with only the rangers as the divisional patsy. So, given all of that, I think we probably have just as good a chance of beating the twins.

YUP, true but i would much rather play cle, kc and det (possibly the 3 worst teams in the AL [EXCLUDING THE D-RAYS :) ) then Toronto-will play 500 ball and BALTIMORE-could also play 500 ball.....but the D-RAYS are just the D-RAYS and are terrible

BE GOOD

T Dog
03-27-2003, 01:22 AM
When the Cubs opened the season a few years ago after losing to Atlanta in the playoffs, Steve Stone, I think, opened the first telecast by saying the Cubs were out to defend their wild card title. I still laugh at that.

Teams don't aspire to the wild card. They scramble for it. There is more competition for the wild card than for the division title. In March, you never really know how the races are going to come out, but if each division has a two-team race, a contender will be battling one team for the title and two teams for the wild card. If all three divisions are settled in runaways, you could have six or seven teams battling for the wild card. The unbalanced schedule enhances the importance of luck in the wild card race because there are so few head-to-head meetings.

The nature of the statistical distribution of 14 teams playing 162 games will tend tend to bunch more teams toward the wild card record than toward the top.

voodoochile
03-27-2003, 09:43 AM
For the Sox to win the WC or for that matter the division, they have to prove they can stay focused and win when they have to. There have been times they have struggled with that and I lay the blame squarely at Manuel's feet. He has to instill a sense of urgency in the club from day one and find a way to get that extra gear out of them during the pennant run. Great teams do exactly that. Teams like the A's, M's, Yankees and (last season) the Angels are always making late season pushes to win the division or make the playoffs. The Sox have rarely been challanged like that and have historically either run away with the division or failed to make the playoffs. This year they are going to have to prove they can keep it together during a dogfight, because I don't think the Twins are going to roll over and give up and the other divisions are going to be close, which will push the second place teams to higher win totals.

The Sox have the talent to compete. The question is, can Manuel harness it and make this team play at a higher level consistently. They did it in 2000, but that was mostly the joy of a bunch of kids finding an early season groove and running away with the division. All Manuel had to do was watch. It won't be so simple this year and he has to find a way to keep the players focused if the team isn't walking away with the division in July...

Dan H
03-29-2003, 07:42 AM
I agree with voodoochile. The Sox have to prove they can go wire to wire. Having the talent isn't enough. A team has t demonstrate it knows how to use that talent.

And I won't satisfied with just merely getting into the playoffs. We were told that 1997 White Flag was part of a rebuidling process, that building from within is the best way to assemble a real winning franchise. The Sox have had some success, but it's time to deliver. If this ownership doesn't have the World Series as its main goal, it is time to sell to someone who will have that goal.

Lip Man 1
03-29-2003, 12:37 PM
Dan:

Always a pleasure to speak with you.

You are correct on Sox ownership and I was going to say the same thing only you beat me to it.

As your book pointed out, the root of the Sox troubles the past thirty years has been either undercapitalized, dim witted or vindictive ownership that cares more about profit margins then pennents.

Since Jerry Reinsdorf has made clear time and time again that he will not allow the payroll to go over 55 million (1997), the reality is that the best the Sox can hope for is to win a weak division or grab a wild card and maybe win a series in October.

I wish it were otherwise, but the bottom line in baseball is that money talks and the rest walk.

Sure exceptions have happened (see Angels last year although even they had a 65 million dollar payroll) but the overall numbers have shown who wins and who loses. The teams that win World Series (not just make the playoffs) have top ten payroll totals. The numbers overwhelmingly show that.

Since Uncle Jerry won't sell (ego) and won't spend (bottom line), I don't know what else Sox fans can hope for then the discussion theme. Win the division / wild card, win a home game (to remove that embarassment). and be happy.

We can try boycotting again like was done for three or four years in the late 90's, but even that doesn't work because of Uncle Jerry's sweetheart lease, and now revenue sharing. Even in that situation Uncle Jerry wins (he'd probably make more money if we DID boycott).

I guess all Sox fans can hope for is that time passes quickly for current ownership. He's 67.

Lip

PaleHoseGeorge
03-29-2003, 12:55 PM
The biggest problem for the Sox under Reinsdorf has been his refusal to pay the going rate for top starting pitchers. We're never a contender for acquiring the best of the free agent pitchers, and Reinsdorf is notorious for nickel and diming the best of the young prospects that the Sox farm system develops into bonafide major league talent.

Trading for Colon was a masterstroke because he came so cheap for the talent we received. Thus there is always hope, but history says...

The Sox are going to mash the ball this season. However we'll only go as far as the pitching staff takes us. I guess you can say that about 29 other teams too, so I'm concerned but not resigned to our fate. Our current record is 0-0, tied for first.

I would be careful about pooh-poohing the value of a superior offense. The Sox were world beaters back in the dead-ball era, but trying to limp along with pitching and defense has won us exactly one pennant in the 83 years since that era passed. The Yankees didn't win 26 world championships and earn the nickname "Bronx Bombers" because of their superior pitching staff or their stellar defensive prowess. Let's get a clue already!

This is the American League where the pitcher never bats and half the league's hitters (?) are juicing. You need to MASH THE BALL if you're going to win! Today's Sox, more than any Sox team of the recent past, are in a position to do just that.

It's spring and there is hope.

Dan H
03-30-2003, 10:10 AM
Lip

Let's hope, that for a change, that the Sox make some late season moves that could put them over the top. I know that is asking a lot, but maybe Jerry will see the light. That is provided this team is as good as it appears to be.

George

Yes, the Yankees used to hit the hell out of the ball, but they had great defensive players like Clete Boyer, Bobby Ricardson and Mickey Mantle. And today many teams score a lot of runs. Teams don't win anything meaningful by throwing to the wrong base or running themselves out of innings. You still have to execute some fundamentals. The Sox hit over 200 homers last year and finshed dead even.