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View Full Version : Big Frank is going back to DH


ChiSox14305635
07-20-2003, 04:40 PM
Just heard this on the Score.

And Konerko's returning to 1st. Good idea or bad idea?

RKMeibalane
07-20-2003, 04:42 PM
Bad. Bad. Bad.

****ing idiot ------------------------------------> :jerry

gosox3072
07-20-2003, 04:46 PM
If he plays the way he did today its fine, but i dont see that happening, thomas has proven throughout his carrer hes a better hitter playin 1st instead of DH

RKMeibalane
07-20-2003, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by gosox3072
If he plays the way he did today its fine, but i dont see that happening, thomas has proven throughout his carrer hes a better hitter playin 1st instead of DH

Sadly, everyone except Jerry Manuel sees this.

ChiSox14305635
07-20-2003, 04:51 PM
I don't see why he can't platoon them. I'm pretty sure Konerko wouldn't mind only playing 3-4 times a week at 1st, and that way you keep Frank fresh.

RKMeibalane
07-20-2003, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by ChiSox14305635
I don't see why he can't platoon them. I'm pretty sure Konerko wouldn't mind only playing 3-4 times a week at 1st, and that way you keep Frank fresh.

I think that was what Manuel originally had in mind, but now he's managed to screw that up by keeping Frank at DH. I hope this is just another one of those times where he says something and does the opposite, because I am tired seeing Frank as the designated hitter.

PaleHoseGeorge
07-20-2003, 05:18 PM
Manuel has been obsessed with getting Konerko "started" since the beginning of the year. Basically everything else comes second in his list of priorities. Both Daubach and Thomas have repeatedly gotten their chain pulled since early-May while Jerry searches for Konerko's bat. It's mid-July. Can you name any other firstbasemen in the history of baseball that has gotten as many opportunities as Paul Konerko?

He's approaching the Mendoza Line so now I'm suppose to say everything is okay? Sorry, fish ain't bitin' on that one. Thomas's average has fallen nearly 200 points from where he was four weeks ago when Manuel shoved him back at DH. Shouldn't we deduct those points from the value of Konerko's average? LOL! He would be batting .014 if we did! :smile:

Deadguy
07-20-2003, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Manuel has been obsessed with getting Konerko "started" since the beginning of the year. Basically everything else comes second in his list of priorities. Both Daubach and Thomas have repeatedly gotten their chain pulled since early-May while Jerry searches for Konerko's bat. It's mid-July. Can you name any other firstbasemen in the history of baseball that has gotten as many opportunities as Paul Konerko?

He's approaching the Mendoza Line so now I'm suppose to say everything is okay? Sorry, fish ain't bitin' on that one. Thomas's average has fallen nearly 200 points from where he was four weeks ago when Manuel shoved him back at DH. Shouldn't we deduct those points from the value of Konerko's average? LOL! He would be batting .014 if we did! :smile:

Konerko is making 6.125 million dollars this year, and is guaranteed 17 million over the next two seasons. Thus, he is of bigger concern to the Sox as far trying to get him back on track.

Thomas' contract, however, is much different. It's pretty much year to year, with options from both the Sox and Thomas. Thomas has a much bigger incentive to put up big numbers, since he has the option of leaving, and signing for a lot more money next season. By keeping him at DH, they keep his numbers relatively low, thus lowering interest in him from other teams in the off season, and then they can opt to pick up his option of around 6 million next season. Thomas at 5 million dollars a year, isn't even one of the top 150 highest paid players in the game, so if he can put up big numbers, there is very little doubt that he can get more money elsewhere.

I think we're way past the point of even having to question whether there is a cause and effect relationship with respects to Thomas hitting better as a 1B. As a 1B, he is one of the greatest hitters ever, with a career .337 BA, .453 OPB, and a .623 SLG. As a DH, he has just a .282 BA, .404 OBP, and a .500 SLG. While some of the difference in those numbers can be attributed to the fact that when Thomas was a full time 1B, he was younger and simply a better player than he is now. However, the splits for just about every year indicates that he hits better as a 1B. This year he is hitting .352 as a 1B, with a 1.212 OPS, while before today, he was hitting just .235 with a. .836 OPS as a DH. He did good today, but that was against a LHP, and he does most of his damage against LHP anyway, but thats another topic altogether.

RKMeibalane
07-20-2003, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Can you name any other firstbasemen in the history of baseball that has gotten as many opportunities as Paul Konerko?

Back in 1986, the New York Yankees conducted one of the strangest lineup experiements I've ever seen. They were trying to get Steve Balboni more at-bats, so they moved Don Mattingly to third base (Mattingly is left-handed) in order to give Balboni playing time at first. Whether such a move is "in the cards" for Konerko or Thomas remains to be seen. Knowing Manuel, he will read this post and put Frank at 3B for the rest of the year. :D:

Thomas's average has fallen nearly 200 points from where he was four weeks ago when Manuel shoved him back at DH.

It's beyond question now that Thomas is more effective when he plays in the field. The qustion is, is Manuel smart enough to put him out there? All signs point to "no" as the answer to that question. I'm beginning to think that someone should sneak into the Sox clubhouse and fill out Manuel's lineup card for him so he can't screw things up any worse than he already has.

ChiSox14305635
07-20-2003, 06:04 PM
I wonder if Manuel is trying to get himself fired on purpose. 'Cause some of the moves he made, are beyond questionable. Frank said he hits better when he's out in the field, and I haven't heard Konerko make any bones about DH'ing. So what does Manuel do? He puts Konerko out at 1B, and keeps Frank at DH. Does he want his batting average to dip? Is he trying to keep this team from playing deep in October? What the hell gives?

RKMeibalane
07-20-2003, 06:58 PM
Originally posted by ChiSox14305635
I wonder if Manuel is trying to get himself fired on purpose. 'Cause some of the moves he made, are beyond questionable. Frank said he hits better when he's out in the field, and I haven't heard Konerko make any bones about DH'ing. So what does Manuel do? He puts Konerko out at 1B, and keeps Frank at DH. Does he want his batting average to dip? Is he trying to keep this team from playing deep in October? What the hell gives?

I am beginning to wonder if Manuel suffers from some sort of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which manifests itself in the form of his tinkering with the lineup. I can't think of any other reason why he would do any of the things he's done over the past three years. His tinkering really started back in August, 2000 when the Sox accquired Harold Baines and Charles Johnson from Baltimore.

Manuel was concerned about Konerko's lack of playing time, so he started platooning him at 1B/DH with Baines. Frank alternated between DH and 1B depending on which of the other two was playing. After awhile, Manuel just started shuffling people in and out of the lineup at random, and he hasn't stopped since, save for a brief stretch in April of last season. The Sox were 15-7. Kenny Lofton and Ray Durham were wreaking havoc on the American League, and the Sox offense was pilling up runs in bunches. So what did Manuel do?

:jerry

*TINKER* *TINKER* *TINKER*

jeremyb1
07-20-2003, 07:06 PM
its easy to blame manuel here and i do blame him for not playing frank more but i think you have to acknowledge the fact that 1) its possible konerko hits better when he's at first just as frank does 2) it is very important to get konerko going and 3) konerko badly wants to play first base and feels it will help him at the plate where as frank more or less shurgs off the fact that he hits better at first and is indifferent at best about the idea of playing there.

if manuel were smart he would get frank there at least 2 to 3 times a week to get him going but what are you going to do. frank did play mostly dh in '00 and he hit well, we'll have to see how it ends up.

RKMeibalane
07-20-2003, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
its easy to blame manuel here and i do blame him for not playing frank more but i think you have to acknowledge the fact that 1) its possible konerko hits better when he's at first just as frank does 2) it is very important to get konerko going and 3) konerko badly wants to play first base and feels it will help him at the plate where as frank more or less shurgs off the fact that he hits better at first and is indifferent at best about the idea of playing there.

if manuel were smart he would get frank there at least 2 to 3 times a week to get him going but what are you going to do. frank did play mostly dh in '00 and he hit well, we'll have to see how it ends up.

Konerko does hit better when he plays first base, just as Frank does. Having said that, it makes sense to have Frank playing first than it does Konerko. Frank Thomas, simply put, is a better hitter than Paul Konerko, and is capable of providing more offensive production in the middle of the Sox lineup than Konerko. That isn't a knock on Paulie. It's a fact. Konerko has been a terrific hitter over the course of his career, and the Sox need him to get going; however, it looks as though the Sox are better off with Frank carrying them than Paulie.

Jjav829
07-20-2003, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge

He's approaching the Mendoza Line so now I'm suppose to say everything is okay? Sorry, fish ain't bitin' on that one. Thomas's average has fallen nearly 200 points from where he was four weeks ago when Manuel shoved him back at DH. Shouldn't we deduct those points from the value of Konerko's average? LOL! He would be batting .014 if we did! :smile:

Wow, Frank was batting .474? Man, how did I manage to miss that story. I don't know what you really meant but that was a funny typo. :smile:

Jjav829
07-20-2003, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
Konerko does hit better when he plays first base, just as Frank does. Having said that, it makes sense to have Frank playing first than it does Konerko. Frank Thomas, simply put, is a better hitter than Paul Konerko, and is capable of providing more offensive production in the middle of the Sox lineup than Konerko. That isn't a knock on Paulie. It's a fact. Konerko has been a terrific hitter over the course of his career, and the Sox need him to get going; however, it looks as though the Sox are better off with Frank carrying them than Paulie.

But at the same time, if you are thinking long term, there is a chance Frank is gone after this year. So, wouldn't it make more sense to get Konerko going knowing you control where he is next year as opposed to Thomas who controls where he plays next year? I don't know, just trying to figure this out.

PaleHoseGeorge
07-20-2003, 07:57 PM
Originally posted by Jjav829
Wow, Frank was batting .474? Man, how did I manage to miss that story. I don't know what you really meant but that was a funny typo. :smile:

No silly, I was talking about his .330 average in June that has now dropped to .130 as the new everyday DH. If we take 200 points from Konehead, he's batting .014.

I know. It's a long way to go for a joke that lame. Never mind.

:D:

RKMeibalane
07-20-2003, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by Jjav829
But at the same time, if you are thinking long term, there is a chance Frank is gone after this year. So, wouldn't it make more sense to get Konerko going knowing you control where he is next year as opposed to Thomas who controls where he plays next year? I don't know, just trying to figure this out.

You are correct in saying that Frank may be gone after this year. Therefore, it does make sense to try and get Konerko back on track, because he will be the first baseman full time next season if Thomas isn't around. Having said that, this season isn't over yet, so I think the Sox should still try to do whatever they can to reach the postseason. Based on what I've seen this year, they stand a better chance of getting there if Frank is swinging the bat well. Frank had a good month of June, and the Sox played better baseball that month than they have most of the season. And so, I think Frank can do more for their chances of winning.

This, of course, may all become moot if the Sox tank again when they go to the West Coast. They haven't been able to win out there since the 2000 season.

Jjav829
07-20-2003, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
No silly, I was talking about his .330 average in June that has now dropped to .130 as the new everyday DH. If we take 200 points from Konehead, he's batting .014.

I know. It's a long way to go for a joke that lame. Never mind.

:D:

Ahhh, ok. Now I see what you mean. Thought you had lost it there for a minute. :smile:

RKMeibalane
07-20-2003, 09:06 PM
I suppose if the Sox really needed to play both Thomas and Konerko in the field, they could decline the right to use the DH and just have Frank pitch. I tried this earlier in a baseball video game. Frank has one pitch: a fastball. But his fastball tops out at only seventy miles per hour.

WhiteSox = Life
07-20-2003, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
I suppose if the Sox really needed to play both Thomas and Konerko in the field, they could decline the right to use the DH and just have Frank pitch. I tired this earlier in a baseball video game. Frank has one pitch: a fastball. But his fastball tops out at only seventy miles per hour.

:butter
"With competition like that, no wonder I'm not on the team. Wow. Frank can really blaze a fastball, I tell ya."

doublem23
07-20-2003, 09:32 PM
Originally posted by WhiteSox = Life
:butter
"With competition like that, no wonder I'm not on the team. Wow. Frank can really blaze a fastball, I tell ya."

But can he last more than five innings?

WinningUgly!
07-20-2003, 09:57 PM
Originally posted by Deadguy
Konerko is making 6.125 million dollars this year, and is guaranteed 17 million over the next two seasons. Thus, he is of bigger concern to the Sox as far trying to get him back on track.

Thomas' contract, however, is much different. It's pretty much year to year, with options from both the Sox and Thomas. Thomas has a much bigger incentive to put up big numbers, since he has the option of leaving, and signing for a lot more money next season. By keeping him at DH, they keep his numbers relatively low, thus lowering interest in him from other teams in the off season, and then they can opt to pick up his option of around 6 million next season. Thomas at 5 million dollars a year, isn't even one of the top 150 highest paid players in the game, so if he can put up big numbers, there is very little doubt that he can get more money elsewhere.

I think we're way past the point of even having to question whether there is a cause and effect relationship with respects to Thomas hitting better as a 1B. As a 1B, he is one of the greatest hitters ever, with a career .337 BA, .453 OPB, and a .623 SLG. As a DH, he has just a .282 BA, .404 OBP, and a .500 SLG. While some of the difference in those numbers can be attributed to the fact that when Thomas was a full time 1B, he was younger and simply a better player than he is now. However, the splits for just about every year indicates that he hits better as a 1B. This year he is hitting .352 as a 1B, with a 1.212 OPS, while before today, he was hitting just .235 with a. .836 OPS as a DH. He did good today, but that was against a LHP, and he does most of his damage against LHP anyway, but thats another topic altogether.

I'm wondering if JM's hands are somewhat tied here. I wouldn't put it past JR/KW trying to limit Frank's offseason options by not letting him play 1st. It will make it a bit harder for NL teams to offer Frank a fat contract, when he doesn't see any time at 1B in the second half of the season.

RKMeibalane
07-20-2003, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by WinningUgly!
I'm wondering if JM's hands are somewhat tied here. I wouldn't put it past JR/KW trying to limit Frank's offseason options by not letting him play 1st. It will make it a bit harder for NL teams to offer Frank a fat contract, when he doesn't see any time at 1B in the second half of the season.

It's definitely a possibility. Reinsdorf is notorious for playing these types of sick little games with big-name players, and KW does whatever the Chairman tells him to do.

Reinsdorf is the only person who loses if Frank plays first base every day. JR may be a lot of things, but he isn't stupid. He knows that Frank has been a big part of this organization for the past decade, and he also knows that Frank's departure would mean that the Sox fanbase would probably become even smaller if the Big Hurt decided to bolt.

If I were Frank Thomas, I would seriously be considering leaving after this season. Frank is thrity five years old, so he doesn't have that much time left before his career is over. If he wants to win a championship, Chicago isn't the place to do it, not as long as Reinsdorf is in charge.

As far as Jerry Manuel is concerned, I don't see what he has to lose by playing Frank at first. Reinsdorf is too cheap to pay two managers, so he isn't going to fire JM until after the season is over at the earliest. Williams would probably like to see Manuel fired, but that would mean that his head would be the next one on the chopping block if the Sox struggle again next season.

WhiteSox = Life
07-20-2003, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by doublem23
But can he last more than five innings?

:jerry
"Well, I figure it he doesn't cut it for half a season, I'll give him a shot in the closer's role."

jeremyb1
07-21-2003, 02:14 AM
Originally posted by Jjav829
But at the same time, if you are thinking long term, there is a chance Frank is gone after this year. So, wouldn't it make more sense to get Konerko going knowing you control where he is next year as opposed to Thomas who controls where he plays next year? I don't know, just trying to figure this out.

something else to consider is that up until very recently konerko looked like he was going to put a major hurt on this team for several years with the contract he just signed during the offseason and the numbers he'd been putting up. maybe the club figures with a good second half they could get a team to take him off their hands and find a much cheaper alternative without the risk of being stuck with a gigantic, immovable contract.

jeremyb1
07-21-2003, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
Konerko does hit better when he plays first base, just as Frank does. Having said that, it makes sense to have Frank playing first than it does Konerko. Frank Thomas, simply put, is a better hitter than Paul Konerko, and is capable of providing more offensive production in the middle of the Sox lineup than Konerko. That isn't a knock on Paulie. It's a fact. Konerko has been a terrific hitter over the course of his career, and the Sox need him to get going; however, it looks as though the Sox are better off with Frank carrying them than Paulie.

i'm not sure that argument necessarily holds true. is an excelltent thomas and a horrendous konerko better than a very good thomas and a very good konerko? frank still has an .836 ops as dh which isn't that good for him but still is above average for the league. even after a good week paully has a .597 ops making the average of frank's ops at dh (1.212) and paully's in the first half approximately .900. paully's ops last season was .857 and .950 in the second half, implying that if paully were to get very hot as a result of being hot at first base it would at least come close to offsetting franks drop in production from playing dh and the overall lineup would also be stronger since hitters couldn't be pitched around to get to paully. the reason its still better to hit frank at first is that paully can be replaced with daubach or rowand and either hitter's production combined with frank's at first would be better than a hot paully and frank at dh. that said, i'm not sure its quite as simple as you assume.

jeremyb1
07-21-2003, 02:39 AM
Originally posted by Deadguy
As a 1B, he is one of the greatest hitters ever, with a career .337 BA, .453 OPB, and a .623 SLG. As a DH, he has just a .282 BA, .404 OBP, and a .500 SLG. While some of the difference in those numbers can be attributed to the fact that when Thomas was a full time 1B, he was younger and simply a better player than he is now. However, the splits for just about every year indicates that he hits better as a 1B. This year he is hitting .352 as a 1B, with a 1.212 OPS, while before today, he was hitting just .235 with a. .836 OPS as a DH. He did good today, but that was against a LHP, and he does most of his damage against LHP anyway, but thats another topic altogether.

i think there is some truth to the fact that frank hits better at first but i also think the stats have been somewhat exagerated. as you correctly pointed out frank played mostly dh during what is typically a baseball players prime (until he turned 30).

additionally, frank began to stop playing first base regularly coinciding with what would've most likely been a slowdown in his production anyways due to age and injury. there have been claims he was bothered by his foot spurs in '98 and '99 when he was playing mostly dh and he was bothered by his healing tricep last season when he again played dh. if he did play almost solely dh for three seasons when he was at less than full health that certainly skews his career splits.

personally i''ve been unable to find many splits for frank early in his career but i did discover than in 1991, his ops was .077 points higher in approximately 100 games at dh than it was at 50 games at first. frank has hit much better at first as compared to dh this season but through only half a season those stats aren't really significant. this is especially true because frank played has played first and dh for long stretches of time throughout the season meaning that its entirely possible he simply had a hot streak which happened to coincidently coincide with manuel's decision to play him at first. frank did have a 1.193 ops at first base in '00 compared to 1.023 at dh but again with only 113 at bats at first, that's only one fifth of a season so its not exactly a significant sample size.

voodoochile
07-21-2003, 07:29 AM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
i'm not sure that argument necessarily holds true. is an excelltent thomas and a horrendous konerko better than a very good thomas and a very good konerko? frank still has an .836 ops as dh which isn't that good for him but still is above average for the league. even after a good week paully has a .597 ops making the average of frank's ops at dh (1.212) and paully's in the first half approximately .900. paully's ops last season was .857 and .950 in the second half, implying that if paully were to get very hot as a result of being hot at first base it would at least come close to offsetting franks drop in production from playing dh and the overall lineup would also be stronger since hitters couldn't be pitched around to get to paully. the reason its still better to hit frank at first is that paully can be replaced with daubach or rowand and either hitter's production combined with frank's at first would be better than a hot paully and frank at dh. that said, i'm not sure its quite as simple as you assume.

Which ignores the idea of putting Frank at 1B and letting someone else DH who doesn't need to play 1B to put up an .800 OPS.

D'Angelo F Death
07-21-2003, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Which ignores the idea of putting Frank at 1B and letting someone else DH who doesn't need to play 1B to put up an .800 OPS.

You mean someone like Daubach (1.000 + OPS for June & July) or Rowand (close to 1.000 OPS for June & July) or Tony G (.826 OPS for the season)?

Sounds like a solution!

HaroldFan
07-21-2003, 01:00 PM
personally i''ve been unable to find many splits for frank early in his career

I have the White Sox media guides going back to 1995. Here are his 1st base/DH splits going back to 1994.

Stat AB AVE OBP SLG OPS
1994:
1st 351 370 494 769 1263
DH 47 234 373 447 820

1995:
1st 316 329 478 687 1163
DH 177 271 411 463 874

1996:
1st 527 349 459 626 1085
DH 0

1997:
1st 355 363 467 662 1129
DH 175 314 435 509 944

1998:
1st 53 302 406 547 953
DH 532 261 378 474 852

1999:
1st 188 346 422 553 975
DH 295 281 412 424 836

2000:
1st 113 354 432 761 1193
DH 467 321 436 587 1023

2001:
1st 9 000 100 000 100
DH 58 259 353 517 870

2002:
1st 13 308 444 615 1059
DH 506 253 361 472 833

2003:
1st 91 352 487 725 1212
DH 226 244 372 491 863

jeremyb1
07-21-2003, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Which ignores the idea of putting Frank at 1B and letting someone else DH who doesn't need to play 1B to put up an .800 OPS.

i thought i edited the post to say that but yeah that was the point i had intended to make at the end. the obviously problem with that though is benching the guy you're playing for 20 mil for 2/3rds of a season. it destroys any chance you may have of moving him and hurts his potential for production in the future.

jeremyb1
07-21-2003, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by HaroldFan
I have the White Sox media guides going back to 1995. Here are his 1st base/DH splits going back to 1994.

those stats are certainly more convincing but i still have some doubts about how significant the data is since frank didn't 200 at bats in each position in any of those seasons and only had 100 ore more at bats at first base in four of those season. like i said before 150 at bats isn't a very large sample size since its only about one fourth of a season. however, the fact that he's consistently hit better at first base in all four of the seasons in which he did have over 100 bats is definately somwhat persausive.

voodoochile
07-21-2003, 05:02 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
those stats are certainly more convincing but i still have some doubts about how significant the data is since frank didn't 200 at bats in each position in any of those seasons and only had 100 ore more at bats at first base in four of those season. like i said before 150 at bats isn't a very large sample size since its only about one fourth of a season. however, the fact that he's consistently hit better at first base in all four of the seasons in which he did have over 100 bats is definately somwhat persausive.

I was looking for career splits, but ESPN doesn't have them and neither does that Baseball reference site (that I could find). Anyone got Frank's career splits handy, or know a place to find them?

RKMeibalane
07-21-2003, 06:48 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
I was looking for career splits, but ESPN doesn't have them and neither does that Baseball reference site (that I could find). Anyone got Frank's career splits handy, or know a place to find them?

IIRC, CNNSI has career splits.

D'Angelo F Death
07-22-2003, 08:38 AM
So does Yahoo. (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlbpa/players/4527/splits?year=career&type=Batting)

It's actually a "Since 1987" split, but that works as career for everyone but Jesse Orosco, pretty much.

voodoochile
07-22-2003, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by D'Angelo F Death
So does Yahoo. (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlbpa/players/4527/splits?year=career&type=Batting)

It's actually a "Since 1987" split, but that works as career for everyone but Jesse Orosco, pretty much.

Thanks.

It's at the bottom of the page (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlbpa/players/4527/situational?year=career&type=Batting)

Frank's career OPS by position:

1B: 1.075
DH: .907

case closed...