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jeremyb1
01-05-2004, 06:33 PM
Rob Neyer writes about the Royals off-season moves and looks towards the central race next season, predicting the Sox to finish second to the Twins by a tiny margin.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=neyer_rob&id=1700824

TheRockinMT
01-05-2004, 07:01 PM
Wow! MLB's worse division according to Neyer. What a slam. Probably true, but still let us revel in our ignorance.

ondafarm
01-05-2004, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by TheRockinMT
Wow! MLB's worse division according to Neyer. What a slam. Probably true, but still let us revel in our ignorance.

The White Sox should absolutely RULE this division. Imagine if the White Sox made the commitment to winning that the Braves do. The Braves have won a dozen straight division championships (running away typically.) And they don't break the bank every year. their just not afraid to spend decent money for solid players. Really shows how sad the JR era has been.

ssang
01-05-2004, 08:13 PM
Originally posted by ondafarm
The White Sox should absolutely RULE this division. Imagine if the White Sox made the commitment to winning that the Braves do. The Braves have won a dozen straight division championships (running away typically.) And they don't break the bank every year. their just not afraid to spend decent money for solid players. Really shows how sad the JR era has been.

I agree. That is THE single most frustrating thing about the White Sox organization. We could own this division for years without having to spend crazy money. If the Sox just spent in the upper third of all MLB teams they could be perrenial front-runners. I'm guessing we'd be in the post season 2/3 of time. A world series appearance or victory could be just ONE hot postseason performance away. Imgaine if the White Sox spent like a real major market team should. October appearnces would be an annual event to look forward to.

chisox06
01-05-2004, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by ondafarm
The White Sox should absolutely RULE this division. Imagine if the White Sox made the commitment to winning that the Braves do. The Braves have won a dozen straight division championships (running away typically.) And they don't break the bank every year. their just not afraid to spend decent money for solid players. Really shows how sad the JR era has been.

Exactly, thats the frustrating thing. JR has no commitment to winning, and the fact that the AL Central is so under competitive and the sox arent willing to take control sickens me. This team would get smoked in any other division in baseball.

ondafarm
01-05-2004, 08:25 PM
Originally posted by chisox06
JR has no commitment to winning. . .

I think he has a commitment to finishing third!!!!

MarkV
01-05-2004, 08:32 PM
The NL Central is the worst division in baseball. Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh should all finish with 90+ losses. St. Louis will be lucky to finish .500 unless they get some pitching. Expect either the Scrubs or Houston to win that division with 86-88 wins. In the AL Central, KC should win 90 or more games. Unless the Sox can pick up a decent starter and reliever without losing Maggs, Minnesota will probably finish second. You'd think Reinsdorf would raise the payroll at least a little, especially since ticket prices are going way up for this season. Ah well. :(:

SouthSideHitman
01-05-2004, 08:39 PM
While it's true that JR has been abismal in terms of going out and getting the kind a players that a team like the Sox should have, this article also shows how the Sox have been champion underachievers in past years. Both last year and the year before the Sox had better run differentials than the Twins yet still lost to them. Last year, it was a matter of maybe picking up three more wins (two 1-0 Tigers games come to mind). So even though the ownership sells us short, it's not like they're the only ones.

Blueprint1
01-05-2004, 10:13 PM
Howcome the Royals with no pitching are going to win 90+ games but the Cardinals with no pitching are going to be a .500 team?

CubKilla
01-06-2004, 01:42 AM
Originally posted by Blueprint1
Howcome the Royals with no pitching are going to win 90+ games but the Cardinals with no pitching are going to be a .500 team?

Maybe because the Royals play in the weakest division in baseball but St. Louis have the Astros and Cubs to contend with.

hftrex
01-06-2004, 09:29 PM
The White Sox may not have the greatest starting rotation in MLB, but our pitching is much better than KC's and that combined with our offense, should give us the edge over the Royals.

Of course if Ozzie turns out to be as incompetent as widely feared, anything's possible.

Palehose13
01-06-2004, 09:52 PM
Originally posted by MarkV
The NL Central is the worst division in baseball. Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh should all finish with 90+ losses. St. Louis will be lucky to finish .500 unless they get some pitching. Expect either the Scrubs or Houston to win that division with 86-88 wins. In the AL Central, KC should win 90 or more games. Unless the Sox can pick up a decent starter and reliever without losing Maggs, Minnesota will probably finish second. You'd think Reinsdorf would raise the payroll at least a little, especially since ticket prices are going way up for this season. Ah well. :(:

I am confused. If Milwaukee, Cincy, and Pittsburgh should all finish with 90+ losses and the cards lucky to be .500, how do the scrubs and 'stros only get 86-88 wins?

Rex Hudler
01-06-2004, 10:06 PM
The White Sox should absolutely RULE this division. Imagine if the White Sox made the commitment to winning that the Braves do. The Braves have won a dozen straight division championships (running away typically.) And they don't break the bank every year. their just not afraid to spend decent money for solid players. Really shows how sad the JR era has been.

The fact the Braves built a brand new stadium in the middle of the run and drew 3 million fans a year for many years in a row, have nothing to do with that.

I'm sure their revenues were about the same as those of the White Sox.

ondafarm
01-06-2004, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by Palehose13
I am confused. If Milwaukee, Cincy, and Pittsburgh should all finish with 90+ losses and the cards lucky to be .500, how do the scrubs and 'stros only get 86-88 wins?

Because in th NL six team divisions you only get 16 games against divisional opponents. Thus, the 'strohs get rougly 9 wins against each of the Brewers, Reds and Pirates (90 of 162 = .444 ==> 7 wins in 16 games) and 8 against the Cards. Thus, 35 wins in 64 games. If they play .500 against the rest of the league (98 games) thats 49 more wins. This gives 84 wins.

hftrex
01-07-2004, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by Rex Hudler
The fact the Braves built a brand new stadium in the middle of the run and drew 3 million fans a year for many years in a row, have nothing to do with that.

I'm sure their revenues were about the same as those of the White Sox.


Don't tell the truth about the abysmal lack of fan support for the Sox here........it only confuses them.

Dadawg_77
01-07-2004, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by hftrex
Don't tell the truth about the abysmal lack of fan support for the Sox here........it only confuses them.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHW/attend.shtml

When management supports the team the fans will.

WhiteSoxWinner
01-07-2004, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by hftrex
Don't tell the truth about the abysmal lack of fan support for the Sox here........it only confuses them.

Nope no confusion. Look at Dadawg's link. The Sox were averaging 2.7 million people per year for the three years before the strike. A lot of fans felt that the rug was pulled out from under them when JR was leading the charge in the strike-shortened season. A season where Sox fans felt they had the best chance of winning a World Series. After that, the attendance fell, as it fell all around MLB. It started to creep upward after that time, but then, when they were in the heart of a pennant race, JR pulls the rug out from under fans again and makes the White Flag trade. Looking betond 1997, the attendance fell due to fan resentment, but it has increased when we won the division. With the disappointment of the season after the division title, of course support fell. The attendance over the last three years had an increasing trend, helped a lot by the All-Star game last year, but what has JR done to capitalize on this interest? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! This off season, he (with this "budget restraint") has done nothing to encourage these people to maintain an interest in this team. If there was ever a year to try to capitalize and increase payroll significantly, it is this year. Make a splash in the headlines or two by signing big name free agents before the deposit is due. But no, this whole free agent period has been marred with budget constraints, a lack of any activity, and to make matters worse, a flurry of activity on the Northside.

No, it is not the fans that have not supported this team. It is ownership that has not supported the fans.

Lip Man 1
01-07-2004, 07:11 PM
White Sox Winner's post is ding, ding, ding A WINNER!

Lip

Rex Hudler
01-07-2004, 07:27 PM
Nope no confusion. Look at Dadawg's link. The Sox were averaging 2.7 million people per year for the three years before the strike. A lot of fans felt that the rug was pulled out from under them when JR was leading the charge in the strike-shortened season. A season where Sox fans felt they had the best chance of winning a World Series. After that, the attendance fell, as it fell all around MLB. It started to creep upward after that time, but then, when they were in the heart of a pennant race, JR pulls the rug out from under fans again and makes the White Flag trade.

Let's see...... Yes, the strike hurt all of baseball, but the Sox were averaging 2.7 million because of the new ballpark, which was sure to fall off. Yes, their teams were good, but the ballpark had as much to do with the attendance than wins.

I hate to make enemies here, but if you think the Sox had a real shot in hell in 1996 at winning that division, you are nuts. They were hanging on by a thread and although Reinsdorf didn't do himself any favors in how he presented this trade, the trade wasn't a bad one at all.

The Sox have finished no lower than third and finished second more times than not. They have put a competitive team on the field. Like Reinsdorf or not, but until fans show up to the tune of 3 million of the year, stop comparing the moves the Sox make or don't make to the Braves. It's ludicrous because their revenue streams are nowhere near alike.

WhiteSoxWinner
01-08-2004, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by Rex Hudler
Let's see...... Yes, the strike hurt all of baseball, but the Sox were averaging 2.7 million because of the new ballpark, which was sure to fall off. Yes, their teams were good, but the ballpark had as much to do with the attendance than wins.

Nope, I don't buy that. Ask the Milwaukee Brewers if a new ball park sustains increased attendance beyond one year without putting a winning product on the field. They had 2.8 million fans in the first year of Miller Park, and it then fell to 1.9 million the following year and 1.7 the year after that. The Sox did not suffer that dramatic of a decline due to the product on the field.

Originally posted by Rex Hudler
I hate to make enemies here, but if you think the Sox had a real shot in hell in 1996 at winning that division, you are nuts. They were hanging on by a thread and although Reinsdorf didn't do himself any favors in how he presented this trade, the trade wasn't a bad one at all.

JR, is that you? I am going to assume you meant 1997 instead of 1996, a season where they finished 14.5 games back of the Tribe. In 1997, they were three games back in the standings behind the Tribe with a .500 record as of July 31. The rest of the way after the trade, they went 27-28, a nearly .500 record without a good portion of their pitching staff, their closer, and knowing that their owner had no confidence in them. Of the games they had left, they played only 22 of the last 53 games against teams that would finish over .500 for the season. They had 7 games to go against CLE in order to make up a 3 game deficit. If this does not mean you are in it as of July 31, then there are a lot of teams that should close up shop at the end of May when they are 5 or 6 games back.


Originally posted by Rex Hudler
The Sox have finished no lower than third and finished second more times than not. They have put a competitive team on the field. Like Reinsdorf or not, but until fans show up to the tune of 3 million of the year, stop comparing the moves the Sox make or don't make to the Braves. It's ludicrous because their revenue streams are nowhere near alike.

Right, a lot of second and third place finishes in a crappy division. Let's look back starting with

1994, the first year of realignment. Sox win the division. Nice start. Moving on.
1995 - Third place in a division where only the Tribe finished above .500. A dominant year for the Tribe, so maybe forgivable, but we were the division champs the year before and we wound up 8 games south of .500.
1996 - Second place to the best team in the AL, the Tribe. Sox were 8 games over. OK, forgivable.
1997 - Second place to lowest division winner in the AL. Finished one game south of .500. Maybe we shouldn't have made that trade...
1998 - Second place finish to the Tribe, who were only better than Texas by one game. Only took 89 wins to take the division. Sox finish 2 games south of .500. Not a second place to be real proud of.
1999 - Second place, 11 games south of .500. Second doesn't look so good here.
2000 - Win the division. Looking good for future years...
2001 - Third place, 4 games over .500, but only after a marvelous run in last 60 games or so when the Sox were so far behind they really didn't have a chance at the division. Much farther back than 1997.
2002 - Second place, .500 record. This in a year when were 7 games over .500 after 50 games. We decided to take June off and were 2 games below .500 at the end of the month.
2003 - Do we need to talk about how great that second place finish was?

So when you look at it in context, these aren't a lot of competitive second place finishes, they are more limping to the finish line, luckily finishing ahead of teams that should not be better of us. Why should fans show up to watch a perennial second place team in a division we should be capturing just about every year?

PS - Although I did not add links, all the stats and facts come from baseball-reference.com.