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faneidde
01-24-2004, 10:34 AM
I keep reading on here about how weak the AL Central is going to be, and I must say that as a whole I agree. The Twins and White Sox have, on paper, become worse teams and the Indians and Tigers are both going to be terrible no matter who they signed, but the Kansas City Royals should be a very good team this year.

Ok, they lost Ibanez, but they signed Juan Gone to replace him, and maybe he'll actually play this year if KC is in the pennant race. KC didn't really lose anyone else of substance. In addition to that, they took Tony G from the Sox, something that I think is really going to hurt. Graf was a very reliable player and a great "clubhouse guy." In addition to that, Beltran was injured for part of last year and still put up outrageous numbers.

I know their pitching will be shaky, but last year KC was a young team that didn't know how to close the deal, they should have learned something and be a better team this year.

I am not predicting doom and gloom before the season starts, but I just don't buy what a lot of people are saying about how bad everyone in the Sox's division is. I almost guarantee KC wins 90 games this year.

voodoochile
01-24-2004, 10:37 AM
Right now, I see the Sox third and I try to be optimistic, but unless Koch and Konerko both rebound big time and they get good numbers from their mystery #4 & #5 starters and someone takes over the leadoff slot and really makes things happen, the Sox are not going to be competing for a playoff spot.

SEALgep
01-24-2004, 10:51 AM
Just a comment on Graff, because a lot of people's impression is that KW just let him walk. That's not the case. He told KW he wanted to see if he could start somewhere. KW respected that, and they cut their ties. The D-Rays were thought to be interested, but it didn't work out. Us losing him does hurt, and it stings more that the Royals got him, but it wasn't because KW didn't think we needed him or a money issue. In fact, JR has been said to be a huge Graff fan. Apparently not enough to be the starter, but my unpopular opinion of thinking Harris can be the future second baseman and perform well still stands. It would have been nice to have Graff just in case though. Hopefully Uribe will fulfill his potential the Sox believe he has. They believe he has tried to be a power hitter because it was Coors field. They think as a contact hitter, he perform very well. Defense hasn't been a problem for him.

jeremyb1
01-24-2004, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by faneidde
I keep reading on here about how weak the AL Central is going to be, and I must say that as a whole I agree. The Twins and White Sox have, on paper, become worse teams and the Indians and Tigers are both going to be terrible no matter who they signed, but the Kansas City Royals should be a very good team this year.

Ok, they lost Ibanez, but they signed Juan Gone to replace him, and maybe he'll actually play this year if KC is in the pennant race. KC didn't really lose anyone else of substance. In addition to that, they took Tony G from the Sox, something that I think is really going to hurt. Graf was a very reliable player and a great "clubhouse guy." In addition to that, Beltran was injured for part of last year and still put up outrageous numbers.

I know their pitching will be shaky, but last year KC was a young team that didn't know how to close the deal, they should have learned something and be a better team this year.

I am not predicting doom and gloom before the season starts, but I just don't buy what a lot of people are saying about how bad everyone in the Sox's division is. I almost guarantee KC wins 90 games this year.

I agree KC is much improved, I love their moves this offseason. I'd also call them the favorites right now but the reason they're only slight favorites at most in my opinion is that they played way over their head last season so some of their improvements will simply make up for their luck last season.

SEALgep
01-24-2004, 12:19 PM
I also agree. To assume the Royals have a distinct advantage, you are esentially assessing that the Royals will repeat a majority of the criteria that made them competitive, but you are also figuring the Sox will repeat much of their misfortunes. I'm not so positive both will happen. Even if they do though, the Sox still brought it down to the wire. KW has said acqusitions like the ones last year could be repeated if need be to remain in the race.

doublem23
01-24-2004, 12:20 PM
I'm not even going to bother dancing around the bush. The Royals aren't that good. Maybe good enough to win this division good, but not "clear AL Central favorites" good. They probably have just as many question marks as we do.

StepsInSC
01-24-2004, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by doublem23
I'm not even going to bother dancing around the bush. The Royals aren't that good. Maybe good enough to win this division good, but not "clear AL Central favorites" good. They probably have just as many question marks as we do.


Exactly...their pitching staff makes ours look well rounded and complete. Who is their #1, Kevin Appier, Brian Anderson? Then when you consider they played WAAAAY over their heads last year...

This division is equally pathetic all around. Just because the baseball gods seem to have a sick sense of humor I wouldn't be surprised if somehow the Indians came out of nowhere and took the division. Just to makes the rest of us (sans the Tigers) feel even more like crap.

SEALgep
01-24-2004, 12:26 PM
They also haven't brought back Lima ( I hated that guy). I don't think he would have repeat success, but last year he went 8-3 for them. Not stellar, but pretty significant. I don't know if they can easily replace that. So far they haven't.

WSox8404
01-24-2004, 04:17 PM
Originally posted by SEALgep
I also agree. To assume the Royals have a distinct advantage, you are esentially assessing that the Royals will repeat a majority of the criteria that made them competitive, but you are also figuring the Sox will repeat much of their misfortunes. I'm not so positive both will happen. Even if they do though, the Sox still brought it down to the wire. KW has said acqusitions like the ones last year could be repeated if need be to remain in the race.

The whole problem of doing the same thing as last year is that we are not going have huge attendances until the middle of the year when KW finally does something. Management keeps talking about low attendance so why doesn't it do something about it now? If they made a few transactions now, they could almost asure themselves of staying in first place for most of the year. If we are almost the same as KC and Minnesota now, then one or two players would take us over the top. This way we would constantly be in first place and have larger attendaces. I mean we may not have larger attendances while being in first place, but I would assume we would. More people would come out to see a team that is in first rather than in second or third. Why do we always have to wait until late in the season to make a run at first? I say we do it now and stop wasting time.

CWSGuy406
01-24-2004, 07:17 PM
Exactly who is going to pitch for KC? They have an OK pen with McDougal and Sullivan, but you need people to get to that bullpen first. I think that KC's 'pen is really gonna be tired in the later months. That is why I don't see them as potential favorites, because when you have Kevin Appier as your number 1, you have problems...

beckett21
01-24-2004, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by WSox8404
The whole problem of doing the same thing as last year is that we are not going have huge attendances until the middle of the year when KW finally does something. Management keeps talking about low attendance so why doesn't it do something about it now? If they made a few transactions now, they could almost asure themselves of staying in first place for most of the year. If we are almost the same as KC and Minnesota now, then one or two players would take us over the top. This way we would constantly be in first place and have larger attendaces. I mean we may not have larger attendances while being in first place, but I would assume we would. More people would come out to see a team that is in first rather than in second or third. Why do we always have to wait until late in the season to make a run at first? I say we do it now and stop wasting time.

How right you are. I don't buy the fair weather fan argument one bit, either. I still root for the Sox when they are down, but it is a lot more fun when they are winning. Why do I want to watch them lose-- :?: That hurts.

If this division is so *winnable* then we should be going for the throat--stepping on their necks, so to speak. Remember '83--what, we won the division by over 20 games, I forget exactly--THAT is what we need to do, and not be content to just win our sorry division. That thought process will get us 3 and out, best case scenario. Minnesota's regression is no excuse for our own.

Sorry, I seem to be on a negativity-roll tonight! :D:

flo-B-flo
01-24-2004, 07:59 PM
As assembled right now the Sox will not make the playoffs much less win a world series. It seems to be the goal of many for the Sox win the weak division. And JR is sticking to his "if the folks come out,than we'll spend some money" script. It's the other way around. If they have ANY kind of start, the crowds will be there and thru the summer. The Sox need to win early and often. Winter or spring.

doublem23
01-24-2004, 08:37 PM
Originally posted by StepsInSC



Exactly...their pitching staff makes ours look well rounded and complete. Who is their #1, Kevin Appier, Brian Anderson? Then when you consider they played WAAAAY over their heads last year...

This division is equally pathetic all around. Just because the baseball gods seem to have a sick sense of humor I wouldn't be surprised if somehow the Indians came out of nowhere and took the division. Just to makes the rest of us (sans the Tigers) feel even more like crap.


Originally posted by SEALgep
They also haven't brought back Lima ( I hated that guy). I don't think he would have repeat success, but last year he went 8-3 for them. Not stellar, but pretty significant. I don't know if they can easily replace that. So far they haven't.


Originally posted by CWSGuy406
Exactly who is going to pitch for KC? They have an OK pen with McDougal and Sullivan, but you need people to get to that bullpen first. I think that KC's 'pen is really gonna be tired in the later months. That is why I don't see them as potential favorites, because when you have Kevin Appier as your number 1, you have problems...

These are the only folks in this thread that have made sense yet.

Right now the Royals' staff is Brian Anderson, Kevin Appier, Runlevys Hernandez, Jeremy Affeldt, and then a scrum of Miguel Ascensio, Darrell May, and Jimmy Gobble for #5.

I'm quivering.

beckett21
01-24-2004, 08:41 PM
Originally posted by doublem23
These are the only folks in this thread that have made sense yet.

Right now the Royals' staff is Brian Anderson, Kevin Appier, Runlevys Hernandez, Jeremy Affeldt, and then a scrum of Miguel Ascensio, Darrell May, and Jimmy Gobble for #5.

I'm quivering.

Well then, I suppose we should just be content to win this division. After all, if that's all we expect, then why should management have any higher aspirations?

The division is the worst in baseball. If we don't win it, we should be ashamed.

doublem23
01-24-2004, 08:44 PM
Originally posted by beckett21
Well then, I suppose we should just be content to win this division. After all, if that's all we expect, then why should management have any higher aspirations?

The division is the worst in baseball. If we don't win it, we should be ashamed.

I don't quite follow you. I never said the Royals wouldn't win and I never said the Sox would. I'm just saying that everyone is making Kansas City out to be some sort of undefeatable bohemath when it should be clear to anyone that they aren't. They have some very, very weak points. Right now I would pick the Royals to win the division, but if they fell apart and finished 4th, that really wouldn't surprise me either. The Central is pretty much a toss-up between 3, possibly 4 teams.

beckett21
01-24-2004, 08:51 PM
Agreed. Kansas City has no pitching. They should not be a favorite. I for one think they are beatable. My point is that just winning the division should not be enough. There is no way we can compete with Boston, NYY, Oakland, Anaheim, Seattle and the like. Don't get me wrong, it is a long season and winning the division would be satisfying--I would go nuts! But if and when we get to the playoffs, my gut tells me we are doomed. And after all, isn't the goal the World Series? Look at Atlanta...they win their division year after year after year...and I believe the fans there are bored to tears with that. Of course you cannot compare Atlanta fans to Chicago fans, but that's my point. If you set your goals too low, that is all you will achieve.

Forgive me if I have been off on some tangents tonight! :D:

RKMeibalane
01-24-2004, 09:26 PM
The only way the Sox can't win this division is if they beat themselves, as they did last season. I am convinced that they have enough right now to win. It's just a question of getting everyone to play to his potential. That was a serious problem last season, one that must not repeat itself. Having Guillen around to light a fire under this team might help, assuming Frank doesn't kill him first.

JRIG
01-24-2004, 09:33 PM
Originally posted by doublem23
These are the only folks in this thread that have made sense yet.

Right now the Royals' staff is Brian Anderson, Kevin Appier, Runlevys Hernandez, Jeremy Affeldt, and then a scrum of Miguel Ascensio, Darrell May, and Jimmy Gobble for #5.

I'm quivering.

Last year Darrell May's ERA was 3.77. Brian Anderson's was 3.78. Jeremy Affeldt's was 3.93 and he was looking very good until a blister problem. Hernandez' ERA was 4.61.

By no means am I saying these guys will definitely repeat those performances. But these aren't exactly the weak sisters of the poor KC is throwing out there. It's a halfway decent rotation that needs a few guys to step up...much like ours.

And in addition to Sullivan and MacDougal, they also re-signed Curt Leskanic to shore up the bullpen.

MarkEdward
01-24-2004, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by doublem23
These are the only folks in this thread that have made sense yet.

Right now the Royals' staff is Brian Anderson, Kevin Appier, Runlevys Hernandez, Jeremy Affeldt, and then a scrum of Miguel Ascensio, Darrell May, and Jimmy Gobble for #5.

I'm quivering.

I think you may be underrating the Royals' pitching staff just a bit here. Last year, Darrell May was one of the best starters in baseball. Brian Anderson also pitched well, and he's a competent number two. They'll have Runelvys Hernandez back from injury and ready to pitch a full year. Their fourth starter/fifth starter situation is very similar to ours. They have a lot of pitchers available to fill these spots: Appier, Asencio, Carrasco, Gobble, and Snyder.

Their pen should be decent also. Leskanic and Sullivan are the aces. MacDougal and Grimsley aren't great, but both should probably provide at least league-average numbers. Jeremy Affeldt, because of his blister problem, will probably pitch in the pen. They also have Joey Dawley, Mike Venafro, and Ryan Bukvich to round out the staff. Nothing great, but arguably as good as the Twins' or Sox pen.

Finally, an important thing to remember is that Kauffman Stadiums' walls will be moved back. This should help May and Anderson, since they've been susceptible to giving up the long ball in the past.

doublem23
01-25-2004, 03:24 AM
I'll believe they have good pitching when I see them do it consistenly. Darrell May isn't going to be confused with Roger Clemens or Pedro Martinez any time soon. Remember in 2000 when we had Mike Sirotka, Jim Parque, James Baldwin, and Cal Eldred? Picthing comes and goes. Right now, KC don't got it.

SouthBendSox
01-25-2004, 01:36 PM
Last year, the Sox were clearly the strongest team, and found a way to give it away... a season of underachieving, and then a meltodwn against the Twins

the Sox didnt improve, but they might get some breaks (and then que all the "OG is a genius" stories)

I wanna see Gullien manage this pitching staff... actually i dont, because i still think he was a moronic hire