PDA

View Full Version : Why dont the Sox take advantage of the DH position?


RedPinStripes
10-08-2003, 06:10 PM
Ever since i've been a Sox fan , Uncle Jerry has owned the team. And there has always been 2 guys they switched at dh/1b. First it was luzinski squires walker, Kittle in teh early - mid 80's. And then Frank has been strictly a dh since Konerko is here. I think this idea is rediculous after seeing the weak spots on the Sox for the last 20 years. This team NEVER played small ball except for 1990 with torborg.

After seeing how Oakland used Ray Durham in the 2002 playoffs , i cant see why this team would want Konerko or anyone who is completly slow beside Frank.

Who said a DH has to be big and slow? Remember how we all used to get so pissed at JM for "resting players" ? I saw the twins moving the DH around more then anything. What's wrong with Tony G. playing 3rd or SS for a night or 2 and have Valentin / Crede DH? Or whenever they give Harris PT , DH Lee or Maggs. I dont see a point in a guy like Konerko who can hit for a half season and kills you on bases in key situations.

In a nut shell, I would like to see Frank play 1b on a regular baisis and use the DH to rest people instead of putting a hole in your lineup 3 times a week.

Any thoughts?

poorme
10-08-2003, 06:43 PM
while i can't figure out exactly what you're trying to say, i wish the sox didn't have about 3-4 dh's on thier roster every year.

RedPinStripes
10-08-2003, 07:01 PM
Originally posted by poorme
while i can't figure out exactly what you're trying to say, i wish the sox didn't have about 3-4 dh's on thier roster every year.

Exactly. replace those dh type players with small ball players.Home runs will come. Stranding runners is too frustrating to watch.

USe the dh to rest players, not as a set position for 2 guys

poorme
10-08-2003, 07:16 PM
i guess you haven't been brainwa...err exposed to Moneyball yet.

RedPinStripes
10-08-2003, 07:19 PM
I dont build my fantasy teams around small ball. :D:

voodoochile
10-08-2003, 10:31 PM
Originally posted by poorme
i guess you haven't been brainwa...err exposed to Moneyball yet.


Originally posted by RedPinStripes
I dont build my fantasy teams around small ball. :D:


How many of the runs scored so far in the two championship series have come via the long ball?

Keep dreaming about those small ball teams guys. It isn't 1950 anymore...

voodoochile
10-08-2003, 10:36 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
How many of the runs scored so far in the two championship series have come via the long ball?

Keep dreaming about those small ball teams guys. It isn't 1950 anymore...

Never mind, answered my own question...

23 or the 39 runs score have come because of a homerun - either the guy who hit it or the people who were on base when it happened.

RKMeibalane
10-08-2003, 10:36 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
How many of the runs scored so far in the two championship series have come via the long ball?

Keep dreaming about those small ball teams guys. It isn't 1950 anymore...

As I alluded to in another post, this business with the DH position has been discussed on more than one occasion. Whoever the new manager happens to be, I hope that he is able to find a way to resolve this situation. Obviously, something needs to be done about the Thomas-Konerko mess at first base. Frank needs to be at first more often than he was, so that he will be able to avoid pro-longed slumps.

If the Sox can find a way to move Konerko, this point will become moot. The same is true if Frank leaves. If both are still around when Spring Traning starts, then the new manager will have somet thinking to do.

Notice that I said he will have some thinking to do. I didn't say the "other" word.

:jerry

"I know what you mean. Hehehe!"

soxtalker
10-08-2003, 10:47 PM
The Sox have struggled for most of the Thomas years with the DH issue. As has been discussed many times this year, it would help Thomas' batting average to have him play first. But several managers have had a problem with this, as Frank is not the best-fielding first baseman. The problem has been exascerbated during the past couple of years due to (a) Frank's struggles at the plate particularly during his injury and divorce seasons (and hence a desire to do anything to increase his average) and (b) Konerko's half-season struggles at the plate (and hence a frustration that he was playing at all).

I suspect that the solution depends a lot on how the Sox resolve the Thomas and Konerko contract issues. If they both remain on the team, we'll have the same problem.

voodoochile
10-08-2003, 10:51 PM
Originally posted by soxtalker
The Sox have struggled for most of the Thomas years with the DH issue. As has been discussed many times this year, it would help Thomas' batting average to have him play first. But several managers have had a problem with this, as Frank is not the best-fielding first baseman. The problem has been exascerbated during the past couple of years due to (a) Frank's struggles at the plate particularly during his injury and divorce seasons (and hence a desire to do anything to increase his average) and (b) Konerko's half-season struggles at the plate (and hence a frustration that he was playing at all).

I suspect that the solution depends a lot on how the Sox resolve the Thomas and Konerko contract issues. If they both remain on the team, we'll have the same problem.

Could you list the several other managers besides Manuel who had a problem with Frank at 1B?

Are you defending Manuel? Just curious...

kermittheefrog
10-09-2003, 01:57 AM
Originally posted by RedPinStripes
I dont build my fantasy teams around small ball. :D:

Ironically you'd probably do well that way. Stolen bases are a much bigger factor in fantasy than on the diamond.

fquaye149
10-09-2003, 07:35 AM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Could you list the several other managers besides Manuel who had a problem with Frank at 1B?

Are you defending Manuel? Just curious...

i think everyone in the world should have a problem with frank at first.

doesn't anyone remember the 2002 cubs sox series?

frank can't do jack crap out there in the field.

now i know 1b is not a huge skill position, and i know paul konerko is not much better than avg, if not worse. but first base is still an important position to be able to field, especially with a hard throwing but not always accurate ss like valentin.

paul is still heads and shoulders above frank defensively

poorme
10-09-2003, 08:10 AM
frank thomas is a butcher at 1B. but since we're in no position to compete for a championship anyway, you might as well put him at first to solidify his hall of fame credentials. that's the most exciting thing we have to look forward to. unless of course he leaves the team and goes to cooperstown with a devil rays hat.

soxtalker
10-09-2003, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Could you list the several other managers besides Manuel who had a problem with Frank at 1B?

Are you defending Manuel? Just curious...

I am by no means defending Manuel. In fact, during the latter third of the past season, I really couldn't understand his rigid insistence at keeping Konerko at first base, particularly as Frank's hitting seemed to be slipping back.

My comments weren't intended to focus on the managers. As I recall, there has been a continual debate during the 90's as to whether Frank should play first base or DH. For much of that time he has indicated that he'd prefer to play the field. It may have only been recently -- I just don't remember -- where the statistical difference between his DH and 1B hitting has been so clear.

I'm not trying to attack Frank on this. Except for the couple of years that he struggled, his OBP and influence on batters that precede and follow him in the line-up have been incredibly valuable. However, he isn't a great fielder. I vaguely remember attempts to teach him how to better field the position during the 90's. The debate -- whether here, in the media, or, more important, in the manager's mind when he makes up the line-up -- has always been whether the Sox should live with the less-than-average fielding or put him at DH. Often that decision has been to put him at DH -- particularly as he moved on in his career.

If the question (of this thread) is why we have had inflexibility at the DH, much of the reason is that we have had this incredibly valuable hitter penciled in at that position. Now, if he stays with the team next year, should he DH or play 1B? I don't know right now. However, the difference in his batting average at 1B vs. DH is certainly pushing the argument for 1B. That would also give us more flexibility at DH.

RichH55
10-09-2003, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by soxtalker
I am by no means defending Manuel. In fact, during the latter third of the past season, I really couldn't understand his rigid insistence at keeping Konerko at first base, particularly as Frank's hitting seemed to be slipping back.

My comments weren't intended to focus on the managers. As I recall, there has been a continual debate during the 90's as to whether Frank should play first base or DH. For much of that time he has indicated that he'd prefer to play the field. It may have only been recently -- I just don't remember -- where the statistical difference between his DH and 1B hitting has been so clear.

I'm not trying to attack Frank on this. Except for the couple of years that he struggled, his OBP and influence on batters that precede and follow him in the line-up have been incredibly valuable. However, he isn't a great fielder. I vaguely remember attempts to teach him how to better field the position during the 90's. The debate -- whether here, in the media, or, more important, in the manager's mind when he makes up the line-up -- has always been whether the Sox should live with the less-than-average fielding or put him at DH. Often that decision has been to put him at DH -- particularly as he moved on in his career.

If the question (of this thread) is why we have had inflexibility at the DH, much of the reason is that we have had this incredibly valuable hitter penciled in at that position. Now, if he stays with the team next year, should he DH or play 1B? I don't know right now. However, the difference in his batting average at 1B vs. DH is certainly pushing the argument for 1B. That would also give us more flexibility at DH.


I agree he is less than average there....but are Konerko or Daubach the second coming of Keith Hernandez? And if Playing 1B helps Frank's average at all...doesnt that offset any loss from defense?

poorme
10-09-2003, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by RichH55
And if Playing 1B helps Frank's average at all...doesnt that offset any loss from defense?

not necessarily. you'd have to do an analysis. win shares might be useful

RichH55
10-09-2003, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by poorme
not necessarily. you'd have to do an analysis. win shares might be useful

I think I threw you off saying average

Frank hits better (any stat you want to use) when he plays 1B...I think its psychosomatic...but it is still relevant

poorme
10-09-2003, 12:33 PM
well, i'm saying you'd have to compare his added offensive production to what he costs you on defense.

using the interesting, but not perfect win share metric:

a good defensive 1B isworth about .017 defensive WS per game.
last year thomas had .015 defensive WS/game.

thomas had about .15 offensive WS/game, but i don't have the breakdown of what he did when playing 1B or DH. i suspect the difference was greater than .002 WS/game.

just one way to think about it.

voodoochile
10-09-2003, 12:39 PM
Originally posted by poorme
well, i'm saying you'd have to compare his added offensive production to what he costs you on defense.

using the interesting, but not perfect win share metric:

a good defensive 1B isworth about .017 defensive WS per game.
last year thomas had .015 defensive WS/game.

thomas had about .15 offensive WS/game, but i don't have the breakdown of what he did when playing 1B or DH. i suspect the difference was greater than .002 WS/game.

just one way to think about it.

I agree and all this talk about how pathetic Frank is at 1B defensively really becomes laugable when the total impact he has defensively compared to an average 1B comes out to 0.3 games over the course of a season. You can't even round that up to a full game lost because of his defense.

soxtalker
10-09-2003, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by RichH55
I agree he is less than average there....but are Konerko or Daubach the second coming of Keith Hernandez? And if Playing 1B helps Frank's average at all...doesnt that offset any loss from defense?

As I hope I made clear, I would agree with you on that point for the past season.

For earlier seasons, I just don't know. I don't recall the argument being made -- at least not as strongly -- that Frank hit better as a first baseman. Now, while Frank has always been an awesome hitter, he has changed over the years. He has adjusted his style at times. And his numbers have declined somewhat, although he is still among the elite.

For next season, we'll have to see what cards we are dealt. If it is Konerko and Thomas, we probably need to do a similar analysis for Konerko. I seem to recall Manuel trying to use the justification that Konerko also hit better when playing first base, but he wasn't very convincing. But I suspect that the cards will be different...

soxtalker
10-09-2003, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by poorme
well, i'm saying you'd have to compare his added offensive production to what he costs you on defense.

using the interesting, but not perfect win share metric:

a good defensive 1B isworth about .017 defensive WS per game.
last year thomas had .015 defensive WS/game.

thomas had about .15 offensive WS/game, but i don't have the breakdown of what he did when playing 1B or DH. i suspect the difference was greater than .002 WS/game.

just one way to think about it.

Can you cite a reference for these numbers? Not questioning them, just interested.

poorme
10-09-2003, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by soxtalker
Can you cite a reference for these numbers? Not questioning them, just interested.

http://www.baseballgraphs.com/winshares/

xil357
10-09-2003, 01:06 PM
Perhaps Frank is a butcher in the field, but Konerko was a butcher at the plate in 2003 and the 2nd half of 2002.

I perfer speed, defense and plate discipline over relying on the long ball. But I absolutely believe that if Frank wants to play 1B, and historically produces better at 1B, then he should be at 1B.

If Konerko was a Gold Glove 1B who consistently hit .315 with 20-25 homers, then I would support keeping Frank at DH to allow Konerko to play the field.

Except for the first half of 2002, Konerko's production has not warranted keeping Frank off the field where he hits better on a full time basis.

If I had Albert Pujols on my team -- a guy who could produce mammoth numbers at any position (including DH) but was a butcher in the field -- then he would be the full-time DH. If Frank put up great numbers regardless of his position, I would put him as a full-time DH.

But as long as the only player on the team with strong HOF credentials produces much better when he plays 1B, then he ought to play the field and the DH position should be rotated among other players to give them "rest" but keep them in the game at the plate.

Frank ought to play 1B four to five times per week and DH one to two times per week.

If Konerko doesn't pull out of his 1.5 season-long slump by April 30, 2004 (and assuming no other team agrees to take on his albatross of a contract in a trade), he ought to be sent down to Charlotte. If he refuses, he ought to ride the bench. The 2004 AL Central is ripe for the taking, just as it was in 2003. Stupid losses in April, May and June cost the Sox the division this year. Many of these losses likely could have been wins (especially in Detroit, Cleveland and Tampa Bay) if Frank was allowed to play the position where he always has produced better numbers and PK did not have so many opportunities to ground into so many double plays.

bc2k
10-09-2003, 01:33 PM
For some reason I feel as if I've heard this discussion before. The only new idea discussed in this thread is the quote below by poorme.

If Frank puts up obvious better numbers playing First in 2004 the case is closed. If he doesn't, well, I'm sure we'll be here defending Frank anyway. I'm not the biggest Frank fan, but I'd like to see him given another chance at First base if only to help his Cooperstown odds, like poorme said.


Originally posted by poorme
frank thomas is a butcher at 1B. but since we're in no position to compete for a championship anyway, you might as well put him at first to solidify his hall of fame credentials. that's the most exciting thing we have to look forward to. unless of course he leaves the team and goes to cooperstown with a devil rays hat.

RedPinStripes
10-09-2003, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Ironically you'd probably do well that way. Stolen bases are a much bigger factor in fantasy than on the diamond.

True. era and lack of stolen bases killed me this year.

RedPinStripes
10-09-2003, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
How many of the runs scored so far in the two championship series have come via the long ball?

Keep dreaming about those small ball teams guys. It isn't 1950 anymore...

I dont want a complete small ball team. I just dont want 4 guys slower then me in the lineup .

Crede is no speed demon, but he 's developing a nice bat and has a great glove. (Keep that slow guy) Same with Thomas. My problem is with Konerko. He's too slow and his production dont make up for the speed since we already have a guy who can play first who is bigger, faster , stronger, better hitter, and wont kill you at 1st. Changing the way 1 position is used changes a lot in your lineup.

Bottom line, dump konerko while some people might think he's good. Move the dh around. Use it to rest players. not as a set position for 1 player. It's not like we have to play Greg Luzinski and Ron Kittle anymore. :D:

voodoochile
10-09-2003, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by RedPinStripes
I dont want a complete small ball team. I just dont want 4 guys slower then me in the lineup .

Crede is no speed demon, but he 's developing a nice bat and has a great glove. (Keep that slow guy) Same with Thomas. My problem is with Konerko. He's too slow and his production dont make up for the speed since we already have a guy who can play first who is bigger, faster , stronger, better hitter, and wont kill you at 1st. Changing the way 1 position is used changes a lot in your lineup.

Bottom line, dump konerko while some people might think he's good. Move the dh around. Use it to rest players. not as a set position for 1 player. It's not like we have to play Greg Luzinski and Ron Kittle anymore. :D:

You and I are in complete agreement on the dump Konerko, play Frank at 1B concept.

RedPinStripes
10-09-2003, 05:09 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
You and I are in complete agreement on the dump Konerko, play Frank at 1B concept.

And the rest of my ideas are horse **** right? :)

soxtalker
10-09-2003, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
You and I are in complete agreement on the dump Konerko, play Frank at 1B concept.

OK, this is probably the most repeated sentiment on the board since Manuel's fate was clear. And we've debated a lot on the ability to get rid of Konerko. But what if we have Konerko on the team next year and he starts hitting the way that he's shown he can? Does this "dump Konerko" sentiment still hold, or do most people who want to get rid of him now change their tune?

I know that people are frustrated with Konerko. But I don't understand this focus on just what players have done lately. That just leads to constantly selling high and buying low.

voodoochile
10-09-2003, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by RedPinStripes
And the rest of my ideas are horse **** right? :)

You said it, Mike, not me... :D: (just joking). Actually, I have always been of the mindset that if someone doesn't reply to something, then they accept it.

voodoochile
10-09-2003, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by soxtalker
OK, this is probably the most repeated sentiment on the board since Manuel's fate was clear. And we've debated a lot on the ability to get rid of Konerko. But what if we have Konerko on the team next year and he starts hitting the way that he's shown he can? Does this "dump Konerko" sentiment still hold, or do most people who want to get rid of him now change their tune?

I know that people are frustrated with Konerko. But I don't understand this focus on just what players have done lately. That just leads to constantly selling high and buying low.

For me it more about the money. He isn't worth the money and probably only will be if he has a career year. I think the Sox are better served using that money elsewhere. They have too much money wrapped up in DH/1B and Frank is the more productive player. Plus there's the sentimentality factor I admit. I like Frank and want him to finish his career on the southside of Chicago...

RichH55
10-09-2003, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
For me it more about the money. He isn't worth the money and probably only will be if he has a career year. I think the Sox are better served using that money elsewhere. They have too much money wrapped up in DH/1B and Frank is the more productive player. Plus there's the sentimentality factor I admit. I like Frank and want him to finish his career on the southside of Chicago...

Back to normal is what? .850 OPS, way too many DPs, disappearing act for at least part of the year....For some reason I think 8 million dollars can do more....hell 500 K on Daubach can do about the same with less DPs

soxtalker
10-09-2003, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
For me it more about the money. He isn't worth the money and probably only will be if he has a career year. I think the Sox are better served using that money elsewhere. They have too much money wrapped up in DH/1B and Frank is the more productive player. ...

I actually agree with that rationale. Of course, one could reasonably question why KW signed that contract in the first place. As I recall, there was a lot of sentiment among fans for giving Paulie a long-term contract. He'd had a break-out year, and we wanted to keep him. But a big factor is that the FA market was about to change. At that point, KW and the players with their agents probably thought that the prices for FA's could only go up. Now, it looks like the vast majority of teams are close to the limits of their salary totals, so there won't be many big offers.

OK, what about Frank? In contrast to Konerko, he had been injured and struggled before that. So, it looked like he was an albatross around the neck of the White Sox -- a player whose skills were rapidly declining with a large long-term contract.

In a year or so, everything has turned around. So, I'll reiterate my point that focusing just on the recent past is not necessarily the best course.

There's another possible conclusion to be drawn from this. Rather than just dumping Konerko, is there any motivation to restructure his contract like JR did with Frank? Of course, Frank may have needed the cash more than Paulie -- I don't know. But right now, the overall market for players has been changing. If you are a major league player and you really want to play (not sit on the bench), perhaps you'll be willing to restructure a contract to make yourself more attractive to teams.

RichH55
10-09-2003, 07:59 PM
Originally posted by soxtalker
I actually agree with that rationale. Of course, one could reasonably question why KW signed that contract in the first place. As I recall, there was a lot of sentiment among fans for giving Paulie a long-term contract. He'd had a break-out year, and we wanted to keep him. But a big factor is that the FA market was about to change. At that point, KW and the players with their agents probably thought that the prices for FA's could only go up. Now, it looks like the vast majority of teams are close to the limits of their salary totals, so there won't be many big offers.

OK, what about Frank? In contrast to Konerko, he had been injured and struggled before that. So, it looked like he was an albatross around the neck of the White Sox -- a player whose skills were rapidly declining with a large long-term contract.

In a year or so, everything has turned around. So, I'll reiterate my point that focusing just on the recent past is not necessarily the best course.

There's another possible conclusion to be drawn from this. Rather than just dumping Konerko, is there any motivation to restructure his contract like JR did with Frank? Of course, Frank may have needed the cash more than Paulie -- I don't know. But right now, the overall market for players has been changing. If you are a major league player and you really want to play (not sit on the bench), perhaps you'll be willing to restructure a contract to make yourself more attractive to teams.

A few points

A) Frank has a different contract then when it was bad times
B) Frank's bad years are better than Paulies good years at this point
C) Paulie's upside is what .860 OPS?
D) The wisdom of keeping Paul has NOTHING to do with KW signing him in the first place....Well I agree KW made a bad decesion on signing Paulie to that deal...keeping him because of it is simply compounding the problem.

Say what you will, but a good management trait is to admit faults and take steps to correct them rather than being stubborn.

I think Paulie can be dumped....maybe you take on an overpaid guy...Not Jason Kendall bad mind you, but a guy you would like to see making less than he is

RKMeibalane
10-09-2003, 08:06 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
You and I are in complete agreement on the dump Konerko, play Frank at 1B concept.

I agree with that, as well. If Konerko can be moved, great. If not, then he should be the DH, or he should ride the bench. Frank needs to be at first base at least ninety percent of the time.

Manuel's refusal to play him there this past season is indefensible. If the new manager even thinks of repeating that behavior, I'll... do something. I don't know what, but I will do something.

soxtalker
10-09-2003, 10:10 PM
Originally posted by RichH55
A few points

A) Frank has a different contract then when it was bad times
B) Frank's bad years are better than Paulies good years at this point
C) Paulie's upside is what .860 OPS?
D) The wisdom of keeping Paul has NOTHING to do with KW signing him in the first place....Well I agree KW made a bad decesion on signing Paulie to that deal...keeping him because of it is simply compounding the problem.

Say what you will, but a good management trait is to admit faults and take steps to correct them rather than being stubborn.

I think Paulie can be dumped....maybe you take on an overpaid guy...Not Jason Kendall bad mind you, but a guy you would like to see making less than he is

A) I'm not sure what you mean here. Frank does have a different contract. When he hadn't been playing that well (had been injured), JR (I don't think it was KW) renegotiated the contract that helped both sides.
B) + C) OK, I'll agree.
D) I very much agree. We don't need another Royce Clayton. However, I'm not totally convinced that PK is another Clayton. He has shown an ability to be a very good hitter. People seem to be assuming that he has absolutely no value or possible upside at all (the old "bucket of balls" in return comment). My objection is that many people seem to be looking only at the recent past; he may turn around (and I hope he does). If KW can get something of value, go ahead and trade him. (I suspect that will be difficult, but I'm not the GM.) If KW can't trade him, can he somehow restructure the contract in a way that will make PK more attractive to both us and other teams given the risk imposed by the volatility of his hitting.

voodoochile
10-09-2003, 10:16 PM
Originally posted by soxtalker
A) I'm not sure what you mean here. Frank does have a different contract. When he hadn't been playing that well (had been injured), JR (I don't think it was KW) renegotiated the contract that helped both sides.
B) + C) OK, I'll agree.
D) I very much agree. We don't need another Royce Clayton. However, I'm not totally convinced that PK is another Clayton. He has shown an ability to be a very good hitter. People seem to be assuming that he has absolutely no value or possible upside at all (the old "bucket of balls" in return comment). My objection is that many people seem to be looking only at the recent past; he may turn around (and I hope he does). If KW can get something of value, go ahead and trade him. (I suspect that will be difficult, but I'm not the GM.) If KW can't trade him, can he somehow restructure the contract in a way that will make PK more attractive to both us and other teams given the risk imposed by the volatility of his hitting.

The only reason I suggest trading Paulie for a bucket of baseballs is that I don't know how much you can get for him with his current contract. I would love to see them get more for him and would prefer they do like the flubbies did with Hundley and get some other overpaid player who will fill a different position and MIGHT end up justifying the contract. However, in a pinch, the bucket of baseballs will do so long as the other team pays all of his contract thus freeing $16M over the next two years to sign a CF, SP or franchise SS. Heck, get creative and sign two merely good versions of the aforementioned positions.

jabrch
10-10-2003, 10:34 AM
ZZZzzzzzzz :threadsucks

RedPinStripes
10-10-2003, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by jabrch
ZZZzzzzzzz :threadsucks

Well it took ya long enough.