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FightingBillini
07-07-2004, 02:32 AM
I write this knowing people are going to go nuts about it, but I dont think that Ozzie has done that good of a job so far. The Sox are a few games better than they were at this time last year, but is that his doing?

The three biggest worries of mine about the Sox have carried over from last season:

!. Inconsistent hitting. Last year, we scored a lot of runs, but were humiliated in a pair of 1-0 losses to the Tigers. The bats come alive in garbage time, but very few men have been clutch. It seems like we almost always win if we score in the first inning, but lose if we dont score in the first three. If anything, Our hitting is streakier than last year. Withought Juan Uribe hitting out of his mind earlier in the season, we wouldnt have had as many wins as we do know. I understand the ups and downs of a 162 game season, but there is a problem if your team scores 40 runs in 4 games and 7 runs the next 4. Whether it's Ozzie or the hitting coach, large improvements need to be made.

2. Inability to win on the big stage. Nationally televised games. To add insult to injury, our last two ended with the Sox walking in the winning run. It seems like this has been a problem ever since the playoffs in 2000; we dont come to play in front of the brightest lights. We need to start showing the nation that we are serious contenders. If we are going to win this year, we need to get it done when people are watching (not to mention in national league parks). I understand it is largely coincidence that our worst moments have happened on ESPN, but it's still something that needs to be addressed. Ozzie has to get the team ready to play for those games, too.

3 Slumps. We have bad, enlongated slumps. Slumps that effect the hitters and pitchers. There are just some games where they honestly look like they arent trying. Last year we all wanted to strangle Manuel, as he sat by emotionless, letting his players "work their way out" of the slumps. We missed out of the playoffs because he couldnt control the slumps. It was clear that iit was becuase of his laid back attitude, he wouldnt challenge players. However, Ozzie is in your face. He keeps the guys loose in the dugout and in the clibhouse. He is a players' manager, and a good motivator. That being said, I dont understand how we go on these etravagant slumps like nobody else seems to. While I am thrilled that we have team unity, that doesnt mean too much in the standings. The peaks seem a little higher this year, but the valleys have been just as low.

Let me say, I love Ozzie's attitude. He has a lot of upside, and he has made a team out of the Sox. I dont want him fired, I believe he is the coach that can eventually take us where we need to be. While he is clearly not the best strategic manager yet, he is learning on the job, and he is ceartainly better than that fat, toothpick eating bastard in Boystown. I just want everyone's take on his managerial job so far. We have an opportunity this year that Chicago hasnt had in a long, long time, and in my eyes, we have underachieved so far.

We have the best team in the AL Central, hands down. I can say with all confidnce that we will win the division. The bad part is, I said the same exact thing last year. Minnesota had no chance, we were much better on paper. The problem is, we never got straightened out, and the problems listed above continued into the second half, causing us a playoff spot. If something doesnt change, we will miss the playoffs again.

Midpoint Ozzie Rating - 6/10
Go out there and prove me wrong. Please.

BainesHOF
07-07-2004, 02:51 AM
Anyone would have been an improvement after Manuel. The fact is we're underachieving again and blatantly gave some games away. Once again we're trailing Minnesota, which lost some of its key players, was socked by injuries and has struggled at times coping with its new turf.

That equals a D for Guillen in my book. I don't see how anyone could give him anything higher.

jeremyb1
07-07-2004, 03:05 AM
I would say Ozzie has done a good job letting the starters go deep in games without particularly high pitch counts as discussed in a thread earlier this week and he's done a good job fostering a good team attitude. His biggest mistakes have been the handling of the pitching staff. Whatever his role was in giving prospects one start tryouts before shipping them back down cost the team a bunch of wins. Furthermore, on a number of ocasions he's been too slow to pull a starter that just doesn't have it (Munoz, Garland when he gave up 8 ER, Buehrle once or twice) and he's mismanaged the pen often. He suffers from the same problem many managers do that he evaluates late inning situations not by how close the game is but by whether or not we're winning. He thinks it is more important to have a good reliver in the game when we're up by four than when we're down by one which is completely illogical. Bringing in Cotts tonight down only two runs is a perfect example.

cbrownson13
07-07-2004, 03:05 AM
I agree with pretty much everything except #2. Winning on national TV means nothing. The Sox don't need to prove anything to anyone, except themselves.

hawkjt
07-07-2004, 03:08 AM
The sox have been an offensive juggernaut this year compared to last year. We were hitting .239 as a team last year at this time compared to .277. I think Greg Walkers arrival last year is when we finally started to hit last year and he has continued his good work this year. I just hope the sox are not a team that can hit for only half the year. Last year the pitching was great the first half. No 1 in quality starts. It was better than this year with a decent colon and Loaiza out of the world. What impact has cooper had. I think he has done ok. That leaves ozzie who I think has made rookie pitching mistakes but has livened up the team.
Bottom line is that the sox are doing better than last year with argubly less talent as Flash.Colon and Tony G are gone. We got hot in late july and aug and first half of sept only to fold in the last 2-3 weeks.

Ozzies grade depends on the next 3 months -can he get them to play in Sept? The twins will be there -they get shannon stewart back soon. he makes them go and anyone that thinks they will roll over with Radke and Santana is deluding themselves. Nathan is a good closer and they know how to win in the pennant race. We have tightened up too many times to assume we will play great down the stretch. The twins play the sox 6 and the yankees 3 in the last two weeks. That should give us the chance to stand up and play in the clutch. Go Sox

gosox41
07-07-2004, 08:51 AM
Anyone would have been an improvement after Manuel. The fact is we're underachieving again and blatantly gave some games away. Once again we're trailing Minnesota, which lost some of its key players, was socked by injuries and has struggled at times coping with its new turf.

That equals a D for Guillen in my book. I don't see how anyone could give him anything higher.
Sitting Frank all 3 games against the Cubs last weekend really pissed me off. It was a bad, stupid move.

Overall I've been surprised by Ozzie. He has done a good job of keeping the team together and having a positive attitude.

I don't like the way he has handled the use of some players. Gload is not a good OFer, don't play him out there. Frank needs to play everyday and not pinch hit. He does leave his starters in too long when they're getting shellacked. He has as love affair with 3 catchers for some reason. Before the Olivo trade there was only a need for 2 up here and putting Reed/Borchard up here as an everyday RFer. We're 17-18 without Magglio, but that record may have been slightly better if Reed/Borchard were given a shot as I think both will be productive players. Let Time/Rowand platoon CF.

But it's too late now and we'll never know.


Bob

Iguana775
07-07-2004, 09:23 AM
I agree with pretty much everything except #2. Winning on national TV means nothing. The Sox don't need to prove anything to anyone, except themselves.
Yea, like a playoff game??

Iguana775
07-07-2004, 09:25 AM
Sitting Frank all 3 games against the Cubs last weekend really pissed me off. It was a bad, stupid move.

Overall I've been surprised by Ozzie. He has done a good job of keeping the team together and having a positive attitude.

I don't like the way he has handled the use of some players. Gload is not a good OFer, don't play him out there. Frank needs to play everyday and not pinch hit. He does leave his starters in too long when they're getting shellacked. He has as love affair with 3 catchers for some reason. Before the Olivo trade there was only a need for 2 up here and putting Reed/Borchard up here as an everyday RFer. We're 17-18 without Magglio, but that record may have been slightly better if Reed/Borchard were given a shot as I think both will be productive players. Let Time/Rowand platoon CF.

But it's too late now and we'll never know.


Bob
That's what I dont get. *** isn't borchard playing RF while Maggs is out? Perfect opportunity for borchard to show what he can do. You CANNOT tell me that Gload is better than LTP!

eurotrash35
07-07-2004, 09:26 AM
C+

Dadawg_77
07-07-2004, 09:45 AM
First off let me say I think you are complete off base with your first point. This is baseball which means you will fail 6 out of 10 times and still be very good. By making your "clutch" statement, you ignore the fact that the Sox lead the majors in OPS with runner in scoring postion and RISP with 2 outs. The Sox are 7th in the majors in close and late situations. You are getting trapped by focusing too much at the interleague games.

Ozzie's Grades
In Game strategy
Offense
F Too much small ball for a team that isn't built to play it.
Pitching
B
Defense
C

Clubhouse Atomsphere
A

mcfish
07-07-2004, 09:52 AM
I agree with pretty much everything except #2. Winning on national TV means nothing. The Sox don't need to prove anything to anyone, except themselves.
Every playoff game is on National TV. #2 is very important. Winning the division is worthless when we get to the playoffs and can't even challenge the other team because we can't win on national tv. And it will be cold again. And we will be facing good pitching. And we have to play in NL parks.

cbrownson13
07-07-2004, 11:24 AM
Every playoff game is on National TV. #2 is very important. Winning the division is worthless when we get to the playoffs and can't even challenge the other team because we can't win on national tv. And it will be cold again. And we will be facing good pitching. And we have to play in NL parks.

Yeah, I guess I interpreted the post more as a "we have to win on national TV to show other people we're good" than a "we have to win on national TV because they are mostly important games". However, I don't think our performance on nationally televised games thus far is a precursor for how we would play if we made the playoffs. Those are just two isolated incidents that happened to be on national TV. Or is the consesus here that we played that way because we were on national TV?

Dice
07-07-2004, 11:39 AM
Strategy wise? He's still a rookie manager and has a lot to learn. BUT as far as attitude? This is something that has definitely improved since last season. We now have players who want to play. Ozzie has a long way to go as a great manager but he started with improving the biggest problem we've had in the last 4 years: Players attitude. And with his improvements of attitude it has a positive affect on the team.

Grade: B

mcfish
07-07-2004, 11:51 AM
Yeah, I guess I interpreted the post more as a "we have to win on national TV to show other people we're good" than a "we have to win on national TV because they are mostly important games". However, I don't think our performance on nationally televised games thus far is a precursor for how we would play if we made the playoffs. Those are just two isolated incidents that happened to be on national TV. Or is the consesus here that we played that way because we were on national TV?
It's many more than 2 just this year. And so far IIRC we have never won on Fox (0-3), which just happens to be the station that airs the playoffs. They are better on ESPN, I think they won 1 of 4. This is all just coincidence and superstition, but I'm not the only one hoping it doesn't stay true come October.

Lip Man 1
07-07-2004, 01:20 PM
The greatest manager in baseball history can only do so much.

Ozzie can't hit, pitch or run for the players. They have to take a certain amount of responsibility.

Ozzie has motivated this team light years ahead of Manager Gandhi but you have to have the talent to win.

It's not Ozzie's fault the Sox threw away so many games because they didn't have a 5th starter, it's not Ozzie's fault they don't have a lead off man, it's not Ozzie's fault they can't bunt, hit and run, steal bases or go the other way to advance runners.

To play the game the way Ozzie wants to play it, is going to take time, the roster has to be reshaped.

When that happens then you can better judge whether or not he is a good manager. Right now this isn't a full deck for a team.

Ozzie himself said at Sox Fest that you can't win the Kentucky Derby by running mules, that you have to have the right horses.

Lip

Frater Perdurabo
07-07-2004, 01:42 PM
The greatest manager in baseball history can only do so much.

Ozzie can't hit, pitch or run for the players. They have to take a certain amount of responsibility.

Ozzie has motivated this team light years ahead of Manager Gandhi but you have to have the talent to win.

It's not Ozzie's fault the Sox threw away so many games because they didn't have a 5th starter, it's not Ozzie's fault they don't have a lead off man, it's not Ozzie's fault they can't bunt, hit and run, steal bases or go the other way to advance runners.

To play the game the way Ozzie wants to play it, is going to take time, the roster has to be reshaped.

When that happens then you can better judge whether or not he is a good manager. Right now this isn't a full deck for a team.

Ozzie himself said at Sox Fest that you can't win the Kentucky Derby by running mules, that you have to have the right horses.

Lip

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.

Given the construction of the team and its glaring deficiencies (lack of left-handed power, lack of situational hitting/swinging for the fences, lack of team speed, lack of leadoff man and #2 hitter, questionable bullpen), I give the Ozz a B+. If they were in first place right now, he'd deserve an A.

oldcomiskey
07-07-2004, 06:28 PM
That's what I dont get. *** isn't borchard playing RF while Maggs is out? Perfect opportunity for borchard to show what he can do. You CANNOT tell me that Gload is better than LTP!
First of all Borchard aint shown anything expet he knows how to strike out--at least Gload can hit a little

ode to veeck
07-07-2004, 06:44 PM
Ozzie's Grade: A minus

We have basically the same set of horses we had last year, but have won a helluva lot more close games, lead the division for a fair bit of time, and have made tremendous improvements in the bottom line offensive numbers.

Yeah, on paper we don't have a small ball team, but playing that way has helped the offence in immeasurable ways. The attitude of the team is can do, in spite of a poor showing in cross league and say on West Coast tour. Even with the poorer O stats of the NL games wit no Frank and our best hitter in knee rehab, we are still near the top in most offensive categories (well maybe not SB)

Overall the Sox have looked better in longer stretches, vs the few games where some might have felt corpse ball returned, but there's still a lotta season left, and even without Olivo, more lefthanded power, etc., I like our chances better than I have in last few years ...

Ozzie's final grade will greatly depend on what happens in the next three months, and could go either way

jeremyb1
07-07-2004, 06:46 PM
Ozzie's Grades
In Game strategy
Offense
F Too much small ball for a team that isn't built to play it.

Yeah, you reminded me of a few awful strategic moves that Ozzie makes. First of all, killing big rallies early by bunting. We can have no outs and a runner on first and bunt in the first inning. Everyone should be able to agree with that whether you like bunting or not. With our offense it's a tactic that's good for late in the game when you need one run and no other time. If we have the first a guy on in the first and no one else with our killer offense we should be looking to score 3 or 4 runs not to get him over to second and give up an out so early in the game and the inning.

The other similar strategy that kills me is pulling the infield in during the first inning!! Ozzie seems to do this more often than not. We score 6 runs a game, why not avoid the big inning when it's early?

Shoeless Joe
07-07-2004, 07:16 PM
I've been pleased with Ozzie, I mean it's his first year after all, so I think I'll take it easy on him so far. However, he's made some bad decisions that have impacted our position in the standings to a certain extent. That being said, I've been pleasantly surprised at how much he's has changed the tone of ballclub and in the clubhouse (especially after Jerry Manuel, although that should have been expected). You can clearly see a mutual acceptance and respect from most if not all the players in the clubhouse. Overall Grade: B-

Overall Team Grade: F-
Ever since 2001 this team refuses to be consistent. This year is no different. The only consistent element they have in their arsenal is to be consistently mediocre. And every loss just compounds the disgust of losing ground to the Twins.

But hey least Esteban is going to the All-Star game right? :cool:

A. Cavatica
07-07-2004, 09:21 PM
B-. Much better than I expected from him, actually.

I expected him to cost us games with over-aggressiveness, lineup selection, and handling of pitchers -- and he has, but not all that many. He has had a more beneficial effect on team morale than I expected, and the team is more resilient than under Manuel.

Cubbiesuck13
07-07-2004, 09:45 PM
The greatest manager in baseball history can only do so much.

Ozzie can't hit, pitch or run for the players. They have to take a certain amount of responsibility.

Ozzie has motivated this team light years ahead of Manager Gandhi but you have to have the talent to win.

It's not Ozzie's fault the Sox threw away so many games because they didn't have a 5th starter, it's not Ozzie's fault they don't have a lead off man, it's not Ozzie's fault they can't bunt, hit and run, steal bases or go the other way to advance runners.

To play the game the way Ozzie wants to play it, is going to take time, the roster has to be reshaped.

When that happens then you can better judge whether or not he is a good manager. Right now this isn't a full deck for a team.

Ozzie himself said at Sox Fest that you can't win the Kentucky Derby by running mules, that you have to have the right horses.

Lip
that is exactly right. he has done better than anyone expected, especially with the pitchers. everyone thought that would be his downfall and he would excell in getting the players to play good D and have a solid grasp on fundementals.

i like the way he leaves a pitcher in for more than the 'big' inning, most times they come back to pitch 3-4 more good innings and it saves the bullpen. which leads me to my next point, i think that he has not mangeld the pen any worse then the best manager ever on the other side of town.

the offense is not built to move the runner over as many have allready said, but that doesn't mean they don't have to learn to bunt. i thought that the first time someone popped a bunt up that he would be as irate as I am but he has proven to be more even keel than anyone has predicted.

don't forget that this team was going to finish behind the twins and royals at the start of the season, if we were the scrubbies then this season would allready have been a success.

pudge
07-07-2004, 09:57 PM
To play the game the way Ozzie wants to play it, is going to take time, the roster has to be reshaped.

Lip

Good point Lip, too bad we just traded away a young lead-off OBP type. We're well on our way to re-shaping our roster!

gosox41
07-08-2004, 09:04 AM
The greatest manager in baseball history can only do so much.

Ozzie can't hit, pitch or run for the players. They have to take a certain amount of responsibility.

Ozzie has motivated this team light years ahead of Manager Gandhi but you have to have the talent to win.

It's not Ozzie's fault the Sox threw away so many games because they didn't have a 5th starter, it's not Ozzie's fault they don't have a lead off man, it's not Ozzie's fault they can't bunt, hit and run, steal bases or go the other way to advance runners.

To play the game the way Ozzie wants to play it, is going to take time, the roster has to be reshaped.

When that happens then you can better judge whether or not he is a good manager. Right now this isn't a full deck for a team.

Ozzie himself said at Sox Fest that you can't win the Kentucky Derby by running mules, that you have to have the right horses.

Lip
But it is Ozzie's fault that Bruke was the DH yesterday.


Bob

TornLabrum
07-08-2004, 10:43 AM
But it is Ozzie's fault that Bruke was the DH yesterday.


Bob
So, Bob, who would you have used as DH?

TornLabrum
07-08-2004, 10:49 AM
Overall, I'd give Ozzie a B+.

I break it down two ways: Team morale compared to the Manuel years: A+
In game: C+

Ozzie still doesn't have a quick enough hook to suit me when a pitcher goes bad. That's a fault of Sox managers going back decades.

I'm going to cut him some slack for not starting Thomas during the Cubs series for one reason only: that corizone shot he took yesterday. It seems to me he might have been hurting too much to play first.

gosox41
07-08-2004, 11:12 AM
So, Bob, who would you have used as DH?
Is this where I get to give the vague answer of 'Rowand' and then you tell me Rowand played CF yesterday. Of course I know that as I just said it. Or maybe I'd say Perez, but of course he played RF

Where am I going with this point? Losing Frank with a sore foot hurts since Magglio is already out with his knee. So now the Sox roster is that much thinner.

But of course it was thinned out as soon as Magglio went down. Why? Because the Sox chose to call up a .220 hitting catcher from AAA instead of one of our 2 (at the time) top OF prospects.

Where does this leave us? With the possibility of a dinged up Frank, PK, Lee, or Valentin the Sox are dangerously thin and lack offense as they are forced to take another bench player and rely on him to produce.

But Ozzie came out and said he wanted a third catcher (Burke). And he got it. So in answer to your question, the DH should have been Rowand or Perez. Or even at a third name to it: Borchard. Ozzie didn't want him when Magglio got hurt, even though odds are he could have provided more offense then Gload, Perez, Rowand, or Burke.

With Magglio out the Sox need as many quality bats as possible to replace him, especially knowing there's a chance another of the Sox stud hitters could get dinged up and miss some time Instead we get Burke. This is what happens when the importance of a third catcher is greater then replacing the bat of your #3 hitter: less depth. I'm not saying Borchard is going to be a superstar right away but I feel much better seeing him in the line up then Burke.

Ozzie wanted Burke. Ozzie got him. Based on that decision Ozzie had little choice but to strt Burke or Gload. Neither one thrills me.

Granted it wouldn't have matterred if a young Babe Ruth was alive and well to DH yesterday as it's hard for one person to make an impact of 12 runs a game. But of course when the line up card was made, we had no way of knowing it was going to be a 12-0 rout. With a good offense and better pitching a more realistic score could have been 5-4. An extra bat sure would be nice in one run games.


Bob

TornLabrum
07-08-2004, 11:45 AM
Is this where I get to give the vague answer of 'Rowand' and then you tell me Rowand played CF yesterday. Of course I know that as I just said it. Or maybe I'd say Perez, but of course he played RF

Where am I going with this point? Losing Frank with a sore foot hurts since Magglio is already out with his knee. So now the Sox roster is that much thinner.

But of course it was thinned out as soon as Magglio went down. Why? Because the Sox chose to call up a .220 hitting catcher from AAA instead of one of our 2 (at the time) top OF prospects.

Where does this leave us? With the possibility of a dinged up Frank, PK, Lee, or Valentin the Sox are dangerously thin and lack offense as they are forced to take another bench player and rely on him to produce.

But Ozzie came out and said he wanted a third catcher (Burke). And he got it. So in answer to your question, the DH should have been Rowand or Perez. Or even at a third name to it: Borchard. Ozzie didn't want him when Magglio got hurt, even though odds are he could have provided more offense then Gload, Perez, Rowand, or Burke.

With Magglio out the Sox need as many quality bats as possible to replace him, especially knowing there's a chance another of the Sox stud hitters could get dinged up and miss some time Instead we get Burke. This is what happens when the importance of a third catcher is greater then replacing the bat of your #3 hitter: less depth. I'm not saying Borchard is going to be a superstar right away but I feel much better seeing him in the line up then Burke.

Ozzie wanted Burke. Ozzie got him. Based on that decision Ozzie had little choice but to strt Burke or Gload. Neither one thrills me.

Granted it wouldn't have matterred if a young Babe Ruth was alive and well to DH yesterday as it's hard for one person to make an impact of 12 runs a game. But of course when the line up card was made, we had no way of knowing it was going to be a 12-0 rout. With a good offense and better pitching a more realistic score could have been 5-4. An extra bat sure would be nice in one run games.


Bob
Kenny Williams said just the other day on the radio, "Ultimately, I'm the one who makes the decisions [regarding personnel]."

gosox41
07-08-2004, 01:02 PM
Kenny Williams said just the other day on the radio, "Ultimately, I'm the one who makes the decisions [regarding personnel]."
You know I love to bash KW so I'll be more then happy to put the blame on him for this too. But Ozzie did come out and say in the papers that he wanted Burke up here and that he did have a say in the matter.

Ultimately it is KW. Just like ulitmately it is KW for drafts, trades, etc.

But I'm fine with placing the blame on both.


Bob

TornLabrum
07-08-2004, 01:17 PM
You know I love to bash KW so I'll be more then happy to put the blame on him for this too. But Ozzie did come out and say in the papers that he wanted Burke up here and that he did have a say in the matter.

Ultimately it is KW. Just like ulitmately it is KW for drafts, trades, etc.

But I'm fine with placing the blame on both.


Bob
That's something I can agree with.

Cubbiesuck13
07-08-2004, 05:43 PM
how would he be doing if he had his bench coach that retired right before the season started? Does anyone think that he would be doing better than he is right now?