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View Full Version : Pick ONE player that is the key to the season


SoxxoS
02-04-2004, 01:03 PM
Let's all pick ONE player that you think is the key to the White Sox having a "successful" season. This player can be a pitcher or a position player, but should be the player you think will have the biggest impact in the season. It's a very tough choice...

Koch to see if he returns to form?
Loaiza...will he be '03 or before?
Konerko...turnaround?
Buerhle? will he peform like an ace?
Shoenweis? will he solidify the back end of the rotation?
Cotts? " "
Marte? Will he handle closing?
Takatsu? " "

My vote goes for everyone's favorite whipping boy...Willie "Mays-Hayes" Harris. Willie is the key to this season both offensively and defensively. Someone needs to get on base for CLee, Thomas and Maggs. Having an OBP of .315 isn't going to cut it. We also need him to steal some bases and to actually score from second base on a base hit! And just as important, he needs to show that "range" everyone is talking about and make the routine plays at 2B. We really don't have anyone else, other than Uribe, which really puts strain on Harris to perform. We are really up crap creek without a paddle if Harris struggles.

Now that I think about it, he is just like Willie "Mays" Hayes from Major League. Just like Hayes, Harris has unbelieveable speed. Also just like Hayes, Harris swung for the fences to often last year, when he should be (I can see it now):

Ozzie: With your speed, you should be hitting the ball on the ground and legging them out. Everytime you hit the ball in the air, you owe me 20 push ups."

He also obviously has the same first name and last name initial. I say instead of "Wee Willie" we call him Willie Mays Harris. Or something like that.

Anyway, I digress...who is the ONE key to the White Sox season...

fledgedrallycap
02-04-2004, 01:07 PM
I'd have to say Willie Harris. We need some speed, and defensive stability.

Lip Man 1
02-04-2004, 01:09 PM
Jon Garland...if he doesn't win 15 to 18 games WITHOUT losing 12 - 15 the Sox have no chance.

Lip

Kilroy
02-04-2004, 01:10 PM
:hurt

More than any other year in recent memory, he's gotta set the tone...

munchman33
02-04-2004, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Jon Garland...if he doesn't win 15 to 18 games WITHOUT losing 12 - 15 the Sox have no chance.

Lip

I agree....Garland is the key. He must be a number three.

quade36
02-04-2004, 01:16 PM
if Harris can be that lead off hitter we thought we were getting when we got an older Tim Raines. Man that would help this team so much. I feel thats the one thing they've been missing since 1992.

poorme
02-04-2004, 01:20 PM
I'd say if Harris can post a .400 OBP and steal 65 bases, we have a chance.

Hangar18
02-04-2004, 01:23 PM
Harris and Garland. Agreed.
but another bad year by Konerko, and were in huge trouble.
this team is taking too many chances this offseason by
simply doing nothing to address the holes they had, filled,
then let get open again.

lowesox
02-04-2004, 01:30 PM
Kenny has left us with too many question marks to pick just one player, but I'll say:

Paul Konerko

I say him, because I don't have a very good feeling about our chances this year and if he can raise his value, we could get something good in return for him. Although Loaiza, is also a similar case because, if I'm not mistaken, this will be the last year in his contract. If he pitches very well coming up to the All-Star break, we will have to trade him because his contract will be expensive the year after.

Irishsox1
02-04-2004, 01:33 PM
I would say every player and how they react to crazy Ozzie. Since Ozzie is the exact opposite of Jerry Manual, then everything is up for grabs.

CubKilla
02-04-2004, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by munchman33
I agree....Garland is the key. He must be a number three.

With career numbers..... numbers of a #1 or #2 SP considering our #4 and #5 are question marks at best.

depy48
02-04-2004, 01:55 PM
Garland and Crede
Crede has to break into his potential

skottyj242
02-04-2004, 02:01 PM
I think Garland will be alright he'll be a solid three, win 13-15 games and lose about 10-11. I think Shownweiss is the biggest concern, we need someone in the bottom of the rotation. I also hate to say it but we need a HUGE year from my guy number 44. Billy needs to get at least forty saves and confidence if we want to do anything beyond September. As far as Willie Harris whoever said he needs to steal 65 bases needs to put down the pipe.

voodoochile
02-04-2004, 02:11 PM
Harris and/or #4 starter (Scoenweiss).

Sox desperately need a leadoff hitter and a 4th starter. Either of those positions works out, they should be in contention for the ALC.

Maximo
02-04-2004, 02:18 PM
Garland....for all of the previously mentioned reasons. However, Loaiza is a close second. He is now the "tablesetter" for the pitching staff and he will need to perform like it.

MisterB
02-04-2004, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
Now that I think about it, he is just like Willie "Mays" Hayes from Major League. Just like Hayes, Harris has unbelieveable speed. Also just like Hayes, Harris swung for the fences to often last year, when he should be (I can see it now):

He hit twice as many groundballs as flyballs - doesn't sound like someone who's swinging for the fences.

My vote is Garland. The pitching staff was able to cover for some of the offensive inadequacies last year, but with the loss of Colon and the likelyhood of Loaiza dropping off at least some from last year that won't happen again unless Garland becomes the upper-half-of-the-rotation starter that he's been projected as (for seemingly forever). Besides, if we don't have three quality starters we'll go nowhere even of we do manage to win the division. It's always easier to get another bat if Konerko blows chunks the first couple of months than to pick up a better than average starting pitcher. And if Koch is throwing BP again, we have at least two options to close games instead.

soxfan26
02-04-2004, 02:42 PM
Willie Harris or someone that can set the table at the top of the lineup

carusochop
02-04-2004, 02:44 PM
Wow, we really have a lot of question marks. One of the keys is going to be can we get any production out of CF? However, I think the player that is the key to our season will be Jose Valentin. Jose is going to have to be the leader of a very young IF. He has to continue to produce like he has the past few years, if his prodcution slips, we're gone. Finally being a Latin player, he'll pry be some sort of liasion between Ozzie and the rest of the team. I'd be willing to be a lot of money, that if Jose is still a White Sox at the end of the year, he ends up being the team leader.

lowesox
02-04-2004, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by soxfan26
Willie Harris or someone that can set the table at the top of the lineup

Does anybody have any idea what the backup plan is if Harris fails? Doesn't seem to me like there is one and there should be, considering Harris' past major league numbers.

carusochop
02-04-2004, 02:49 PM
Uribe.......that would be bad..........then Ozzie becoming a player manager

MisterB
02-04-2004, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by lowesox
Does anybody have any idea what the backup plan is if Harris fails? Doesn't seem to me like there is one and there should be, considering Harris' past major league numbers.

:KW
"The what? I'm not familiar with this 'backup plan' concept..."

maurice
02-04-2004, 03:10 PM
Marvin Benard. But seriously, folks . . .

From a position-player standpoint, the Sox would get a huge jolt if Reed or LTP becomes a productive starter in June. Since the Sox apparently are not going to add the top-of-the-rotation starter they need, my pitching key would be for somebody from the group including Rauch, Cotts, Pacheco, Diaz, Person, and Grilli to pitch 120+ innings with an ERA under 4.

The sad thing is, realizing these two keys only gets the Sox maybe 90 wins. They need career years from several other guys to have a truly elite team this season.

hillbilly
02-04-2004, 03:35 PM
I think it's a toss up between garland and having a decent closer. Whoever that may be throughout the season. We can have a good closer and go nowhere without garland. And garland can have his breakout year , but without a decent closer, its gonna go for naught. IMO

KingXerxes
02-04-2004, 03:35 PM
Crede is getting better with time - so I expect he'll be okay this year. I am also assuming that they won't trade away Frank Thomas (which would be a HUGE mistake IMO) all that being said, we absolutely need Paul Konerko to snap out of it and have a 25/100 year- I don't know why either, but I think he's going to do it. If that happens we win the division.

beckett21
02-04-2004, 03:38 PM
Garland must emerge this year. Personally I have hopes he will, but he is the key IMO.

hold2dibber
02-04-2004, 04:05 PM
Originally posted by poorme
I'd say if Harris can post a .400 OBP and steal 65 bases, we have a chance.

Are you serious? If you think that's the only way the Sox have a chance, you might as well call it a season. If he put up those kind of numbers, he'd far and away be the best lead off man in all of baseball. That's asking a bit much.

But I do think Harris is the key. If he doesn't get it done at the top of the order, they're hosed. An OBP in the .350 range should do the trick, but I'm not confident he'll be able to do much better than .310 or .315.

I don't see Konerko is THE key because there are plenty of other right handed sluggers in the line-up to pick up the slack. Same goes for Crede. (Although if BOTH of those guys suck, the Sox are in big trouble).

Similarly, it would be great for Koch to return to form, but I have a lot of confidence in Marte as a closer, so I can't say Koch is THE key.

Garland's performance is critical, but even if he continues in line with his career performance to date (e.g., 190 IP and an ERA in the 4.50 area), the Sox still could win this lousy division as long as the other starters are decent. So I can't say he's more important than Harris either.

MRKARNO
02-04-2004, 04:12 PM
It's gotta be Garland. This I think is the first year he's been as high as 3 in the rotation. He needs to do better than 4.5ish. We need him to post about a 4 ERA

CWSGuy406
02-04-2004, 04:31 PM
Garland and whoever's behind him in the rotation. We need Scott Shoen and Cotts/Diaz/Person to pitch well.

I think Garland and Buerhle will be stable for us this year. I think Loaiza will be alright to but am not 100% sure, and I have no confidence in our fourth or fifth guys.

On offense it's Crede. He's gotta be a real good hitter this year. In a weak division that's winnable, I think with those things we'll be successful. (Should that have been in pink?)

MisterB
02-04-2004, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
It's gotta be Garland. This I think is the first year he's been as high as 3 in the rotation. He needs to do better than 4.5ish. We need him to post about a 4 ERA

I believe Garland was 'officially' #3 in '02 behind Ritchie and Buehrle. (at least out of ST he was)

poorme
02-04-2004, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
Are you serious?

I was wondering when someone would notice that....the odds that Willie Harris becomes the best leadoff man in baseball are about the same as the odds we make it to the series. Somewhere between slim and none.

SoxxoS
02-04-2004, 05:56 PM
As for the ground balls to fly balls comment...if you saw Harris hit at the beginning, he was really swinging for the fences...he got a little better towards the end when someone obviously told him he is 170 pounds.

Does it scare anyone else that almost everyone on our whole team is listed as a key player. Looks like we need career years from a lot of guys.

WinningUgly!
02-04-2004, 06:23 PM
The 2 Jons. (Sorry, I picked 2)

I agree with what Lip said about Garland. He's been a .500 pitcher the last 2 seasons with about a 4.50 era & averages 190+ innings. It's time for him to improve on that. He needs to win at least 5 more games than he loses this season. A 15-10 record would be a nice step in the right direction.

Jon Rauch needs to give us 30+ starts, pitch 190+ innings & post an era of 4.50 or better. basically a "Jon Garland Season". I can live with from our #4 starter.

jeremyb1
02-05-2004, 11:17 AM
Garland's a good pick. It'd be a huge boost if he comes into his own. However, I feel like we could still be successful if he improves only moderately with an ERA around 4.3. That'd still be a good season.

The guy I'm going to go with is Mark Buehrle. This season appears to be a big one for him as he's regressed somewhat the past two. He needs to stop that trend. If he can somehow have a dominant season like '01 we'll have as good a one two punch as anyone in baseball and we'll be tough if we can make the playoffs as the D-Backs were with Johnson and Schilling.

fuzzy_patters
02-05-2004, 11:20 AM
I believe the key to this season will be Willie Harris. The Sox have far too many offensive question marks in their lineup, and he is the biggest one.

Palehose13
02-05-2004, 11:29 AM
I am writing this without reading any of the replies. I'll go back and read them after I post this.

I think the player that will be "key" to this season is Carlos Lee. He needs to perform as well as if not better than he did last season. He needs to keep improving defensively and be patient at the plate hitting for both power and average. I also think he needs to be aggresive on the basepaths and avoid baserunning blunders.

Of course, I wanted to pick a pitcher, but I think if our defense is improved we just need our pitchers to be solid...they don't have to be "special".

I am thinking that Maggs and Frank will have seasons like they always do and even if Konerko doesn't rebound, I think we can still win without him if C. Lee steps it up and performs better than last year. With Maggs, Frank, and hopefully Lee the Sox can afford to have Harris, Olivio and maybe even Rowand not having good years offensively. The latter three mentioned strengthen our defense so much that we need the former three mentioned to produce at the plate giving us a balanced team.

Frater Perdurabo
02-05-2004, 11:48 AM
Pick ONE player? Gotta be Garland. If he finally lives up to his potential and wins 15-18 games, the Sox should win the division. If he gets under 15 wins, the Sox probably will not win the Central.

jordan23ventura
02-05-2004, 12:06 PM
The key to this season is Billy Koch.

If Marte and Takatsu both perform well and Koch returns to form we should be able to make a nice trade or else give him up and use that money to sign one or two key players for the second half.

As it stands now, I would say our bullpen looks better going into '04 then it did going into '03. 3 closers and a possible fourth plus set-up man Wunsch looks like the only area where we aren't lacking something.

jeremyb1
02-05-2004, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by Palehose13
I am writing this without reading any of the replies. I'll go back and read them after I post this.

I think the player that will be "key" to this season is Carlos Lee. He needs to perform as well as if not better than he did last season. He needs to keep improving defensively and be patient at the plate hitting for both power and average. I also think he needs to be aggresive on the basepaths and avoid baserunning blunders.

Yeah, if Carlos decided he wanted to walk 100 times next season instead of 30 that'd help our club a great deal.

Frater Perdurabo
02-05-2004, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Yeah, if Carlos decided he wanted to walk 100 times next season instead of 30 that'd help our club a great deal.

Excellent point.

habibharu
02-05-2004, 04:41 PM
defintely either: :walnuts :jon

ChiWhiteSox1337
02-05-2004, 05:18 PM
I'll jump on the Garland bandwagon. I'm assuming Buehrle and Loaiza will be good at the top of the rotation. Garland needs to be around 4 ERA and have 15+ wins without losing a double digit amount of games. I also hope that we can get more than 2 wins out of our 5th starter this year, too.

StillMissOzzie
02-06-2004, 12:12 AM
I'm gonna jump on the Garland/Harris express, too. Garland is the KNOWN commodity that must IMprove, while Harris is the UNKNOWN commodity that must PROVE his annointment.

At SoxFest, Hawk said that Garland is the key. I think that if he improved to, say, 16-8 from 12-12, that's an eight game swing.

I don't know what to expect from Harris, but solid defense and a decent OBP will be important for Lee, Thomas & Ordonez to get RBI's.

And maybe a well-rested Koch can help out a little, too.

SMO
:gulp:

Chisox353014
02-06-2004, 09:12 AM
It's impossible to pick just one, but I'll go with Loaiza. If he reverts back to mediocrity it will be a long season on the south side. Garland would be a close second. At some point all that potential has to turn into wins. I think if our top 3 starters pitch well, we still have just enough offense to win the worst division in baseball.

Mickster
02-06-2004, 10:36 AM
This might sound strange at first but it is burley-mon. Why? He needs to get off to a quick start. April is the only month in which he has a losing record. It doesn't come as a surprise that in the last 3 years, the sox have left the gate stumbling. When your #1 is losing in April & May, it sets the tone for the season. Last year, KC left the gates strong. R. Hernandez set the tone for the entire year, even though he ended up getting injured and out for the year. Take away his 1st 6 starts and the KC is nowhere in the race in June, much less in Sept.

Thunderstruck30
02-06-2004, 11:55 PM
Harris is a good pick, but Ill have to say Garland. Hitting isnt a problem, starting pitching is. And since our 4 and 5 starters, whoever they are, cannot be counted on for too much, Garland must be consistent. He need at least 14-15 wins and no more than 10 losses.

A. Cavatica
02-07-2004, 12:06 AM
I'll agree with most of you that it's Garland. Consider that I'm expecting 77 wins. If Garland can step up and go 28-3 instead of the 14-11 I'm expecting from him, that ought to be enough.

wassagstdu
02-07-2004, 06:46 PM
The key to this season is Ozzie Guillen. The Sox haven't been limited by talent on the field for the last several years and they won't be in 2004. They have underachieved because they failed to play a team game. If Ozzie can turn that around they will be successful.

chisoxmike
02-07-2004, 11:38 PM
Geez, there's so many players that either need to play up to their potential (Crede, Koch, Garland, Konerko) or players that need to keep preforming like they usually do (Thomas, Maggs, Lee, Buehrle, Loaiza) or players that have to show us they can play at the major leauge lever (Harris, Rowand)

That's the whole FREAKIN' TEAM!

Anyway, Garland needs to win 15 games without losing more than 9. He needs to be a solid 3rd starter.

For the offense... Konerko needs to bounce back and bat .300 with over 20HR's.

Nick@Nite
02-08-2004, 01:33 AM
It's pretty obvious that Miguel Olivo is the straw that stirs the drink.

HITMEN OF 77
02-08-2004, 01:58 AM
Paul Konerko

pearso66
02-08-2004, 10:44 AM
I went in going to say Garland. But now i believe it would be Ozzie. I think we have enough talent to win this division, I think we are frontrunners, nobody scares me this year. And if Ozzie can get them to play like they own the division, it will be an easy year for us.