PDA

View Full Version : I'm optimistic about now and the future


Frater Perdurabo
07-09-2004, 10:24 PM
Maybe someone needs to remove my deeppink rose-colored glasses, but I'm optimistic about the Sox for this season and the future:

1. KW seems committed to building a strong starting rotation. Call me crazy, but he could be assembling a team modeled after the 90s Braves. Buehrle could be a home-grown poor-man's southpaw Maddux. Garcia could be the Sox version of Smoltz. Now that Garland is starting to believe in himself, thanks to Ozzie, he could emulate Glavine. It was the nucleus of Maddux-Smoltz-Glavine that allowed the Braves to compete for a decade. How KW approaches longer-term contracts with Buehrle and Garland will be telling.

2. The Sox play in a division full of small market teams. If they have the best rotation in the division, they always will be in the hunt and will win more times than not.

3. With a strong starting rotation, their bullpen pitchers will not have to pitch as many innings. The less other teams see their bullpen pitchers, the more effective they will be. A strong rotation makes the bullpen stronger.

4. The Sox have a good offense now. They do need to address the leadoff and #2 spots, as Harris and Uribe are not producing at levels approximating their performances in April and May, when the Sox offense absolutely smoked. The good thing is that they have a surplus of power to address these holes via trade if needed. (Finley? Kendall?)

5. They are drafting and developing power hitters who can thrive at the Cell. They are placing emphasis on power now that the Cell has become a launching pad (again, not unlike Atlanta).

6. This is a big "if," but they seem to have a nice stream of talented position players coming up through the minor leagues. Crede in 2002, LTP this year or next, Anderson in 2006, Sweeney & Fields in 2007, Lucy & Valido in 2008. Or, promising prospects can be dealt for other needed parts (like Garcia). Because Atlanta had a strong rotation, they could be patient with developing young position players who generally hit well, played their positions well and came up through the system together. If the Sox can promote one good position player each season or every other season, they will be able to replace most of their current players when they retire or become too expensive to justify a long-term contract. (We all know that Frank probably won't be playing in 2010, for example.)

7. Again with player development, I think Rowand is a prototypical fourth outfielder who won't kill the Sox defensively at any OF position. Strong teams have good role players as well as stars, and Rowand can play a valuable role on this team. Same with Uribe and Harris in the infield.

8. Ozzie seems to be a good mix of both a butt-kicker and a players' manager. He keeps guys loose but knows exactly how to motivate them. He knows when to be a "rick" with a silent "P," and when to let a guy sleep on his couch. He may not be the best field tactician yet, but he will learn, and he learned from Bobby Cox and Jack McKeon.

9. Nothing succeeds like success. Winning brings fans. Fans spend money. Revenues increase payroll. Payroll signs home-grown stars and buys free-agents to fill areas of need.

10. Long-term competitiveness gives more opportunities to get to the World Series. The Braves may have only won one Series during their run, but they were there every year. How many Sox fans would give their first born for just one World Series victory?

I'm not saying the Sox definitely will become a latter-day 90s Braves. But it's good to see that KW might be following that kind of model for organizational development. The disciples of Billy Beane should acknowledge that Oakland's real strength lies in their axis of Mulder-Hudson-Zito. The Yankees built their dynasty on a rotation of Pettitte, Mussina and Clemens/Wells. Anaheim, Arizona and Florida all built strong starting rotations and won a World Series. Pitching wins.

:supernana:

Frater Perdurabo
07-09-2004, 10:25 PM
To really build on the success of the Sox starting rotation, I'd recommend signing both Buehrle and Garland to three-year deals this year, with increasing salaries each year, and then trying to re-sign them to more lucrative three-year deals each year thereafter as long as they continue to produce and improve. That way they will get rewarded for performance AND have long-term security, and will avoid the free-agent market. That's how to maintain cost certainty, fiscal responsibility and develop loyalty. It all starts with the pitching.

WSox8404
07-09-2004, 10:33 PM
Couldn't have said it better myself. You summed everything up. I feel really good right now. Thanks.

pudge
07-09-2004, 10:33 PM
For the most part, I agree with your reasons for being positive. The most interesting thing you mention is the Sox desire for power hitters because the Cell is a launching pad... you compare that to Atlanta, who, despite all their success, won ONE world title. Thinking back to the Mariners of late '90s who clobbered the ball in the Kingdome, they were always in the playoffs but never went anywhere, and they had Randy Johnson. My only concern is the organization's apparent lack of respect for the type of player we just traded in the Garcia deal. I don't want to get into a whole Jeremy-Reed-is-God argument, but I wish the Sox would cultivate a more well-rounded lineup instead of a power-focused one.

OEO Magglio
07-09-2004, 10:35 PM
For the most part, I agree with your reasons for being positive. The most interesting thing you mention is the Sox desire for power hitters because the Cell is a launching pad... you compare that to Atlanta, who, despite all their success, won ONE world title. Thinking back to the Mariners of late '90s who clobbered the ball in the Kingdome, they were always in the playoffs (http://www.adsrve.com/linkredirect.php?h=119,28012355,whitesoxinteractiv e.com,1) but never went anywhere, and they had Randy Johnson. My only concern is the organization's apparent lack of respect for the type of player we just traded in the Garcia deal. I don't want to get into a whole Jeremy-Reed-is-God argument, but I wish the Sox would cultivate a more well-rounded lineup instead of a power-focused one.Hey, I think we'll all take one world series. But I do understand and agree with what your saying. It's definitely better not to build your offense around all power hitters but for now that's how this offense is built.

WSox8404
07-09-2004, 10:47 PM
Hey, I think we'll all take one world series. But I do understand and agree with what your saying. It's definitely better not to build your offense around all power hitters but for now that's how this offense is built.
One is better than none. Always remember that.

Frater Perdurabo
07-09-2004, 10:50 PM
For the most part, I agree with your reasons for being positive. The most interesting thing you mention is the Sox desire for power hitters because the Cell is a launching pad... you compare that to Atlanta, who, despite all their success, won ONE world title. Thinking back to the Mariners of late '90s who clobbered the ball in the Kingdome, they were always in the playoffs but never went anywhere, and they had Randy Johnson. My only concern is the organization's apparent lack of respect for the type of player we just traded in the Garcia deal. I don't want to get into a whole Jeremy-Reed-is-God argument, but I wish the Sox would cultivate a more well-rounded lineup instead of a power-focused one.
You can't win the Series without getting there first. You can't win multiple Series until you win one. You can't make the Series unless you make the playoffs. Almost all World Series winners are built on pitching. The Braves had the most chances during the last 15 years, followed by the Yankees. The Yankees are in a class by themselves with their financial resources. But the common thread between the 90s Braves, the 95-03 Yankees, the 89-91 and present Athletics, the 97 and 03 Marlins, the 02 Angels, the 01 Diamondbacks and so many other teams was their strong starting pitching.

As far as the lineup, just an ability to score runs is the most important. I would be much happier if the Sox lineup was more balanced and multidimensional (power and OBP, patience and speed), but if given the choice between having the best offense and the best pitching staff, I'd choose the best pitching staff. Plus, given the fact that the Cell is becoming a launching pad, it only makes sense to develop power hitters from both sides of the plate. Of course they need a leadoff hitter and a #2 hitter to get on base for their current and future mashers, so that role players like Uribe and Harris can bat 8 and 9.

As we move into the future, Crede could develop into a Lowell or right-handed Ventura. He could be a pretty good #5 hitter. Someday Borchard could hit cleanup with his power from both sides of the plate (not unlike Texas' Mark Teixiera?). Anderson, Sweeney, Lucy, Fields and Valido all look promising right now. I've read too much from Daver and Randar to foolishly assume that all these youngsters will develop into stars, but given the sheer numbers and the law of averages, it only makes sense that at least some of them will develop into solid everyday players. Strength in numbers. And some can and will be traded for solid major league players that will help the Sox as well.

:)

OEO Magglio
07-09-2004, 10:51 PM
One is better than none. Always remember that.Exactly.

Cowch44
07-09-2004, 10:53 PM
Thinking into the future makes our lineup TOTALLY different:?:

Frater Perdurabo
07-09-2004, 11:01 PM
Thinking into the future makes our lineup TOTALLY different:?:Of course Frank will not be playing in 2010. Maggs may be winding down by then. Lee and Konerko could be gone by then, too. We'll miss them but as long as the starting rotation remains strong, the Sox will compete -- and should dominate -- in this division filled with small-market teams.

The only constant with the Braves throughout the 90s was Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz, and World Series appearances. The offense gradually turned over several times, but they kept on winning.

pearso66
07-10-2004, 12:03 AM
IIRC didnt the White sox have the 2nd best record in the 90's, following only the Braves? It's just too bad that it never went anywhere besides 93. As for what was said, if we can make the playoffs the next 5-10 years, thats all it takes, once you get into the playoffs anything can happen.

I just have 1 question. If Crede is still around, where does Fields fit in? is he DHing? is he at 1st? Also by assuming that those OFers will be up, we will be losing Lee and Maggs along in there. Its great to think about, but the one thing that worries me is relying too much on prospects. Now I'm not trying to be negative, I just don't want to get my hopes up yet, lol

Bisco Stu
07-10-2004, 02:50 AM
Sox had the 4th best MLB record in the 90's. Braves, Skankees and Injuns were all ahead of us.

TaylorStSox
07-10-2004, 04:29 AM
I like your optimism. However, your evaluation of the pitchers is a little off IMO.

First, Smoltz has plus stuff all the way around. Garcia has 1, maybe 2, plus pitches. They're completely different. Smoltz is a complete power pitcher. Garcia's a power pitcher without the talent IMO.

Garland, while being inconsistant (obviously due to age and lack of minor league experience) has better stuff than Glavine. Actually, with his movement, he should be compared to Maddux. RH pitchers that don't throw hard, but have movement on every pitch they throw. They both have slow FB's that dominate. He'll be a solid top of the rotation guy, but it probably won't be for a few years, late 20's.

MB and Glavine are comparable. Both are LH'ers with decent stuff. The thing that makes both so good is their pitching IQ. If you took either of their brains and put them in Wood's body, they'd be unhittable.

SEALgep
07-10-2004, 08:33 AM
One is better than none. Always remember that.Especially if we get it first.

jabrch
07-10-2004, 08:54 AM
Great post! I agree with most of it. The team has a chance to win this year - and certainly has a bright future despite any prospects we have given up over the past three years.

After seeing Thursday and Friday's wins it refreshes my belief that this team is a contender. We played like garbage vs the Cubs and the Angels, but I don't think that is the type of team this is. I think this team will continue to play well, offensively and pitching, and make a strong run this year.

I'm looking forward to Kenny Williams' next big move - let's see if he gets us a catcher, more pen help, or a 5th starter.

jeremyb1
07-10-2004, 01:12 PM
Great post! I agree with most of it. The team has a chance to win this year - and certainly has a bright future despite any prospects we have given up over the past three years.

I don't really understand how anyone could make that statement with Shingo, Maggs, Loaiza, and Valentin all unsigned for next season.

elrod
07-10-2004, 01:24 PM
Beginning next year the main competition is going to be Cleveland. Minnesota has a bunch of players arbitration eligible and Pohlad won't resign any of them. This may be the last year the Twins compete for first. The Indians have a great lineup and have a fantastic 1-2-3 rotation (Sabathia, C. Lee, Westbrook). They just have to build a bullpen and they'll be solid.

CallMeNuts
07-10-2004, 03:20 PM
1. KW seems committed to building a strong starting rotation. Call me crazy, but he could be assembling a team modeled after the 90s Braves. I agree 100%. Even if we can't land Randy Johnson, I love to hear there was some talk. We probably can't have a team that will win games 9 to 3. I'll take the team that wins 4 to 3 over the team that wins 9 to 8 any time. The team built to win 4 to 3 is a team that can win in October. With mediocre competition in the AL Central, we should be building the team we'd like to see in the Series! Even with Frank on the DL, we should continue to shoot for one more number 1 or 2 kind of pitcher.

Dub25
07-10-2004, 03:28 PM
To really build on the success of the Sox starting rotation, I'd recommend signing both Buehrle and Garland to three-year deals this year, with increasing salaries each year, and then trying to re-sign them to more lucrative three-year deals each year thereafter as long as they continue to produce and improve. That way they will get rewarded for performance AND have long-term security, and will avoid the free-agent market. That's how to maintain cost certainty, fiscal responsibility and develop loyalty. It all starts with the pitching.
I thought Buehrle was signed until 06 with an option for 07.

cornball
07-10-2004, 04:57 PM
I thought Buehrle was signed until 06 with an option for 07.
I thought the same thing.


I agree with much of the original post, with the addition of this: The Sox need to use free agency to their benefit.

It is nice to add to the team without subtraction in many cases.

Frater Perdurabo
07-10-2004, 06:07 PM
I thought the same thing.


I agree with much of the original post, with the addition of this: The Sox need to use free agency to their benefit.

It is nice to add to the team without subtraction in many cases.
I know Buehrle is locked up for a while. I'm just trying to think ahead about how the Sox could keep their rotation together for the long haul, with fiscal responsibility and providing security to Buehrle, Garland and Garcia. I don't want Buehrle leaving for St. Louis until he's on the decline...hopefully 2014 or later.

Yes, they need to use free agency to their benefit. Using free agency to your benefit is using it wisely, filling in positions where you haven't got a promising youngster ready to produce. I can see that happening in the middle infield, for example, or at catcher and the back end of the rotation. I just don't want them emulating the Rangers of 2000-2003, or the mid-90s Orioles, who spent unwisely on over-the-hill and/or overpaid sluggers who made those teams just collections of ill-fitting parts.

As for Fields, if in two years he looks to be a stud, and Crede shows improvement every year, then there are worse things in the world than having two good third basemen. One of them can play first (when Frank retires) or can DH.

On a similar note -- if Frank misses a long period of time due to his foot/ankle injury, the Sox have no choice but to sign Maggs. If Frank's injury is as bad as today's Trib article says, this may be an injury that could nag him for the rest of his career. I wish to make it absolutely clear that I desperately want Frank to finish his career in a Sox uniform, hit 600 homers and make the HOF on the first ballot. However, if his injury is a long-term degenerative issue, his production (and payroll numbers) will decrease. Therefore, signing Maggs is both more important to the Sox offense and at the same time "more affordable."

If Frank is out for a while, they need to make a deal for Jason Kendall and/or Steve Finley, and not give away any of their top prospects.

Flight #24
07-10-2004, 08:13 PM
I don't really understand how anyone could make that statement with Shingo, Maggs, Loaiza, and Valentin all unsigned for next season.
IIRC, don't the Sox have like a 2.5mil option on Shingo for 05?
And the way Loaiza's going, he's not that hard to replace. Of course if he gets back closer to his 03#s, that's a lot tougher to do.

I think the point is that it doesn't appear Maggs resigning or lack thereof is due to payroll limitations (i.e. it's more a case of him wanting more than we think he's worth). So there should be $14mil or so to spend on Maggs or whoever we can find to better this team. So I guess the answer to your point is that I personally feel good about this team's prospects because we'll either have Maggs or similar value in players, we can replace Loaiza, and Shingo's back. Val's a potential loss, but one that's manageable and keep us a contender.

Now Valentin - IMO, he'll be back if he's willing to take a slight cut. And I think he'll do it.