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A.T. Money
08-04-2003, 01:05 AM
OK fellas. I said I would write up a little rant, and I'm going to keep my promise. However, this isn't going to be a "rant" per say, but it's going to be my feelings of our road trip.

We began our road trip 4 games out of first place. I remember starting a thread about how nervous I was going into Kansas City because it seemed like we never played well there, and because this series may determine our chances in the division. Laying an egg in this series would be devistating. However, we achieved to the fullest extent. Whooping on the Royals in the first two games, and winning the third like a true championship-calibur team. I, myself, as a fan felt that if the White Sox would go into Seattle and win 2 of 3, it would be surreal. Assuming that the Royals would do well enough to win a series vs. the Devil Rays, we would still be 1 or 2 games back in the division. The way I see it, leaving Chicago 4 games out, and returning 1 or 2 games out would be a major success. Hell, even being 3 back would be fine in my book.

Winning 12-1 against Seattle made me feel that this team was just unstoppable right now. I didn't like Wright pitching on Saturday, and I made it clear in another thread that I started. But with Buehrle going on Sunday, 2 of 3 would have been very possible. It obviously didn't turn out as planned. We ended up hitting the crapper on Saturday, and almost got blown out on Sunday. Sure, 6 runs is a big loss, but with the way we've been swinging lately, it's not out of the question. The back to back losses ended the road trip on a sour note. There are fans on this board that seem to have lost faith in the Sox now. And yes, we all know that Manager Tinker gift wrapped Sunday's game by playing our Junior Varsity, as Procol Harum mentioned. But let's face it, Buehrle fell apart in the 5th inning, and Jose (our usual starter) had a horrible game in the field. He booted two grounders and failed to catch Olivo's strike on a base stealing attempt. Other than that, Seattle continues to punish us at Safeco. A bloop single here, a basehit there. Seattle has our number folks. They've kicked our butts since Safeco was built. I don't want to believe they are better than we are, but they have our number. And as hard as it seems, we have to understand it....even with all the annoying techno music they play when they score. If I have to watch the crowd of grandmas standing and clapping to Venga Bus another minute, I'm going to throw up.

Let's look at the big picture though. We left Chicago 4 out, and return 2 out. 4-2 on the road trip looks like a success to me. Especially against two division leaders. Sure, it didn't end pretty, but think about this for a second. What if we would have won 2 of 3 against Kansas City, and won 2 of 3 in Seattle. It would have resulted in the same outcome. We would have finished 4-2, and likely would have gained 2 games in the standings. It would have been a success among the fans and media, and we would have looked like we were in excellent shape to take on KC at the Cell.

Let's have faith in the Sox. Rather than see it as our failure to hold onto first place, look at it as a positive climb over the 6-game span. We swept the Royals 4 days ago. We're a better home team, and have our best guys on the mound at the Cell. If we swept them there, we can sweep em here. Let's bounce back and take the division lead on Wednesday.

Go Sox (man this was long).

doublem23
08-04-2003, 01:08 AM
While its dissapointing the way we lost the last 2, I'm still very pleased with a 4-2 road trip and chopping two more games off that Kansas City lead.

This team isn't going away.

TornLabrum
08-04-2003, 01:10 AM
Originally posted by SoxDemon
Let's have faith in the Sox. Rather than see it as our failure to hold onto first place, look at it as a positive climb over the 6-game span. We swept the Royals 4 days ago. We're a better home team, and have our best guys on the mound at the Cell. If we swept them there, we can sweep em here. Let's bounce back and take the division lead on Wednesday.

Go Sox (man this was long).

We were never in first place to hold onto it, but you have a point. It just pisses me off that a) we didn't get a fifth starter (see last week's "Fallen Arches") and b) Manuel is stupid enough to bench four regulars on the same day in a series against a division leader, i.e. one of the teams we might have to face in the playoffs, if we ever get that far.

A.T. Money
08-04-2003, 01:10 AM
And even though we were in first place at one time during this road trip, it was a lot like gambling. Sometimes you're up, and sometimes you're down. In this case, we left the casino ahead of when we started. We were smart enough to leave the game before we broke even.

A.T. Money
08-04-2003, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
We were never in first place to hold onto it, but you have a point. It just pisses me off that a) we didn't get a fifth starter (see last week's "Fallen Arches") and b) Manuel is stupid enough to bench four regulars on the same day in a series against a division leader, i.e. one of the teams we might have to face in the playoffs, if we ever get that far.

Yes, I understand both of those points. Manuel pretty much said from the beginning when he submitted the lineup that we're going to lose. That part is unacceptable.

fquaye149
08-04-2003, 05:04 AM
whoa whoa whoa hold up ladies and germs

manuel conceded the loss with the lineup? how doy ou figure


exactly what in the lineup conceded the loss?

aren't like 50-60% of the posters on this board clamoring for rowand to have amore active role with his hot bat?

was it graffanino who has been swinging a reasonably hot bat?

i can understand being upset over harris and daubach, but two players do not a concession make.

why the hairpin turnaround on graff and rowand? maybe it's armchair quarterback/hindsight saying jm wanted us to lose the game...


it seems to me rather that he merely had a mildly sunday lineup that didn't produce just like the regular lineup didnt' produce on saturday

soxrme
08-04-2003, 05:36 AM
Whoa, it is one thing to rest one guy, but to totaly change a lineup that won 12 out of 13 against one of the best teams in badball is crap. He just loves to tinker. He showed poor mananement sat leaving the pitcher in and in my mind gave two games away. He should be fired, I am so sick of this damn tinkering. Play Graf at short in late innings, he is a utility player not a starter.

Shoeless Joe
08-04-2003, 06:58 AM
Originally posted by doublem23
While its dissapointing the way we lost the last 2, I'm still very pleased with a 4-2 road trip and chopping two more games off that Kansas City lead.

I agree, especially the fact that we beat the most important team at the moment and swept them. I thought for sure the Sox were going to take 2 out of 3 from Seattle but it seemed like Danny Wright was still too wild to start pitching against a Major League team.

And yesterday was nothing short of atrocious, I usually don't bash Jerry as many of the faithful do here, but he was an absolute idiot for putting his spring training lineup in a pennant chase. There are not many games left in the season and to just waste a game or two here in there by putting your weakest lineup out there is detrimental to this team's chances. Still, the MAIN fault lies on the pitching (Buehrle) and defense(Valentin) this time. Two thing that have been nothing short of excellent in our whole run.

Alright 100 posts! :gulp:

MarqSox
08-04-2003, 07:08 AM
Originally posted by doublem23
While its dissapointing the way we lost the last 2, I'm still very pleased with a 4-2 road trip and chopping two more games off that Kansas City lead.

This team isn't going away.

Exactly. While it would be nice to be in first, as long as we stay within four games of KC heading to September, this is still our division to win. We've got six games against the Royals out of the last nine of the season -- that's it right there, an early playoff series, essentially.

Just stay close, and we can get stressed out then. But let's enjoy the ride for now.

soxtalker
08-04-2003, 07:12 AM
Let's look at this from a slightly different perspective. We have a tougher schedule for the rest of the year than our two division rivals. While that may bode ill for the Sox, it also gives us the opportunity to identify and correct our weaknesses against the stronger teams in the league. While it is wonderful to win the division, it isn't a lot of fun to get swept out of the playoffs quickly. (I always remember the celebration that the Cubs had a few years ago when they won that one-game playoff to get into the divisional playoffs. Looking from the outside -- as a Sox fan -- it seemed surreal. And they were quickly blown away in the divisional playoffs.)

OK, so what do we learn from these past two losses?

I don't think that it is so much that he "tinkered" with the line-up. He was responding to what appeared to be a fatigued ball club. They are coming right back to play KC, and those games are probably a bit more important right now. However, he might have avoided the large number of changes in the line-up by giving one or two players time off in the interim. I don't know what is optimal.

I'm not sure how important rest time is in the playoffs, however. So, a more important lesson is probably taken from how Seattle beats us. Their combination of excellent pitching and small ball seems to just kill us. On the pitching front, what is it that they do so well that other teams fail in? Earlier in the year or in prior years the prevailing wisdom seemed to be that the Sox had trouble with breaking pitches. But is that the case here? With regards to small ball, I've got to believe that we'll do better with Olivo behind the plate (good tosses to second) and RA at 2nd. Beyond that, I'm not sure what to say.

TornLabrum
08-04-2003, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by soxtalker
OK, so what do we learn from these past two losses?

I don't think that it is so much that he "tinkered" with the line-up. He was responding to what appeared to be a fatigued ball club. They are coming right back to play KC, and those games are probably a bit more important right now. However, he might have avoided the large number of changes in the line-up by giving one or two players time off in the interim. I don't know what is optimal.

I'm not sure how important rest time is in the playoffs, however. So, a more important lesson is probably taken from how Seattle beats us. Their combination of excellent pitching and small ball seems to just kill us. On the pitching front, what is it that they do so well that other teams fail in? Earlier in the year or in prior years the prevailing wisdom seemed to be that the Sox had trouble with breaking pitches. But is that the case here? With regards to small ball, I've got to believe that we'll do better with Olivo behind the plate (good tosses to second) and RA at 2nd. Beyond that, I'm not sure what to say.

My, God! These guys had a day off last Monday, and they have another day off on Thursday. Manuel has made it a point that he rested them in the first half of the season so that they'd be fresh the second half.

You can't have it both ways.

Jerko
08-04-2003, 08:41 AM
I'm at work right now, and I was kind of busy over the weekend. I'm fatigued. Anybody know Manuel's # so I can get a hold of him and maybe he can call my boss and ask if I can have the day off? Poor babies, fatigued. Oh, someone mentioned Valentin booted a few balls, which he always does, but made the point that he was a regular. True, but he seems a little more confident with Alomar next to him out there than Harris. I'm not saying he would have made those plays had Alomar been at 2b, but it would have been nice to have had a chance to find out. WILLIE HARRIS SHOULD NEVER START FOR A TEAM IN A DIVISION RACE! We're all on here whining about how much tougher our schedule is the rest of the way than KC and Min, and we THREW 2 games in a row by using Wright on Saturday and that God awful Sunday lineup. You CAN'T BE DOING THAT when you are a) behind the Royals, and b) have a tougher remaining schedule. Absolute joke no matter how hard you try to ignore it. Good thing we "tinkered" the entire first half of the season away; I can think of 10 games right now we would have won if Manuel would have just stayed asleep long enough to keep his nose out of it. Those 10 wins would be nice right about now, wouldn't they. Oh, but it's OK, it was early then.

kempsted
08-04-2003, 09:47 AM
I agree it was a successful rad trip. Before it started I said 4-2 would be great and it is what we got.

A couple of points from this and other threads (too tired to post to every thread - they all are saying the same thing)

1. Danny Wright - Not a good start but we would have lost that game even with Loaiza pitching - we did nothing on offense. So I can't see how Saturday's game generated so much we need a 5th starter man - crap. We are 6-6 when Danny Wright starts. Not great but it is what it is. Don't quote his win loss that is a stupid meaningless stat no one should pay attention to.

2. Resting guys. Robbie Alomar has been sat down quite often against left handers and that makes sense BUT THERE WAS A RIGHTY on Sunday. Sunday was the rubber game against one of the league leading team - THEY (Seattle) RESTED NO ONE. In fact all you people who say - Hey every manager rests players blah blah - should check. See how often they do it in tight races in rubber games. Also to put Willie Harris in as a LEADOFF hitter is a joke. He is batting under 200. Rowand, Graffanino and Daubach are fine but not all at once.