PDA

View Full Version : Interesting Column


Lip Man 1
07-29-2004, 12:49 PM
Greg Couch of the Sun Times was at the game yesterday (Wednesday) and has an interesting column on the dilemma that faces Ken Williams and the reasons behind it.

http://www.suntimes.com/output/couch/cst-spt-greg291.html

Lip

Baby Fisk
07-29-2004, 12:56 PM
Depressing stuff, Lip. :(:

Kogs35
07-29-2004, 01:01 PM
check out this column in the dailysouthtown

http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/columns/ladewski/x29-lad1.htm

Wealz
07-29-2004, 01:01 PM
Couch misses the point. The Sox system hasn't been depleted by trading those prospects as much as it's been depleted by a poor drafting and draft philosophy.

Lip Man 1
07-29-2004, 01:02 PM
Perhaps...but I give him credit. He explains exactly why the franchise is between a rock and a hard place and you can't argue with the numbers. I mean the Sox have an average record of 83-79 for the last six seasons.


Lip

Mickster
07-29-2004, 01:02 PM
Couch misses the point. The Sox system hasn't been depleted by trading those prospects as much as it's been depleted by a poor drafting and draft philosophy.
Thank you. Who have we traded away that has amounted to anything even close to a MLB player???

CHISOXFAN13
07-29-2004, 01:05 PM
Thank you. Who have we traded away that has amounted to anything even close to a MLB player???

I really don't think that's the point. Fact is, we traded away a lot of guys who we could be using for trade bait right now.

Most of those guys will probably never sniff the bigs, but it certainly limits the chances of making more deals.

I have faith that KW can still get something done to help us win this division.

Lip Man 1
07-29-2004, 01:09 PM
Maybe I'm reading the column wrong but I don't think the 'minor league problem' is at the core of what he's trying to say.

Re read the column and look at his comments about 'why' Williams has to keep trying to grab the brass ring by making bold moves and taking big gambles.

Re read the lines about 'big market' and 'attendence.'

Lip

poorme
07-29-2004, 01:13 PM
damn, that was a good article.

Wealz
07-29-2004, 01:24 PM
Maybe I'm reading the column wrong but I don't think the 'minor league problem' is at the core of what he's trying to say.

Re read the column and look at his comments about 'why' Williams has to keep trying to grab the brass ring by making bold moves and taking big gambles.

Re read the lines about 'big market' and 'attendence.'

Lip
The Twins aren't a 'big market', neither are the A's or Marlins. You just can't say 'we are going for it this year'. You win by collecting good players. That a 36-year-old Frank Thomas and a 30-year-old Magglio Ordonez are by far and away the best players on this team speaks poorly of Kenny Williams and Ron Schueler.

Baby Fisk
07-29-2004, 01:31 PM
Maybe I'm reading the column wrong but I don't think the 'minor league problem' is at the core of what he's trying to say.

Re read the column and look at his comments about 'why' Williams has to keep trying to grab the brass ring by making bold moves and taking big gambles.

Re read the lines about 'big market' and 'attendence.'

LipLip: those of us who have read your numerous books and pamphlets on the subject of Sox ownership know what you are getting at.

I'm just depressed because I'm not flying off the handle to dispute any of it... I was lying awake this morning reviewing what the hell Uncle Jerry has given us over the past 1/4 century. Needless to say, the review was pretty crummy... :(:

I hate losing streaks.

Wealz
07-29-2004, 01:35 PM
Most of those guys will probably never sniff the bigs, but it certainly limits the chances of making more deals.
If most of those guys won't sniff the majors, and I agree Reed is the only one I wish we had back, the question is who could they be dealt for this year if they still had them? The prize of the trade market is Johnson and it's been reported that he'll only agree to go to the Yankees. Just about everyone else can be had for next to nothing IF you're willing to take on an albatross of a contract.

Mickster
07-29-2004, 01:37 PM
If most of those guys won't sniff the majors, and I agree Reed is the only one I wish we had back, the question is who could they be dealt for this year if they still had them? The prize of the trade market is Johnson and it's been reported that he'll only agree to go to the Yankees. Just about everyone else can be had for next to nothing IF you're willing to take on an albatross of a contract.
Which JR is clearly not...

Frater Perdurabo
07-29-2004, 01:43 PM
Although the Sox are a "sleeping giant" in that they play in the #3 market, for the time being they play a distant second fiddle to the Cubs. A playoff appearance can best to begin to change that, short term. That's why a deal for some good OBP guys at the top of the order who play positions where the Sox are weak organizationally are so important right now. Players like Jason Kendall, Gregg Zaun, Jerry Hairston Jr., and Frank Catalanotto at the top of the lineup would be a tremendous boost and likely should not cost a lot in terms of prospects.

Meanwhile, I like that Brooks Boyer is trying to build a solid and inspiring PR campaign. This will win back fans and win many new fans over the years. This is a good long-term strategy that also pays dividends in the short-term.

For the long term on the baseball side, Kenny would be best served to follow a Twins/Yankees hybrid: That is, leverage your "big market" status and resources to get the best pitching staff money can buy, and then emulate the Twins in terms of drafting and developing position players.

The Sox always should have a larger payroll than the Twins, which means they always should be able to afford better pitching than the Twins. And we all know that pitching is the biggest part of baseball.

If they can follow this Twins/Yankees hybrid model, the money will take care if itself and the Sox will remain very strong in this division for a long time.

Based on recent evidence (trading for Garcia and signing Buehrle), Kenny may be trying to implement this model as we speak.

This is why I remain optimistic about the future even though I am disgusted at the current team's play on the field.

Wealz
07-29-2004, 01:48 PM
Which JR is clearly not...
True, but not taking on an albatross of a contract is absolutely the right thing to do. Preston Wilson, Jason Kendall, and Larry Walker aren't difference makers for this team with Thomas and Ordonez out.

gosox41
07-29-2004, 01:57 PM
Couch misses the point. The Sox system hasn't been depleted by trading those prospects as much as it's been depleted by a poor drafting and draft philosophy.
Thank you. The Sox have few prospects and they traded their 2 top ones.

We'll see in a couple of years how good KW is. SO far he's been in charge of 5 drafts. It's too early to tell on the last 2, but players from the 2000-2002 draft should start to stand out more now. Everyone raves about last year's draft. This year the Sox had a bunch of sandwich picks so let's see what comes of them. Next year the Sox can still have 5-6 early picks.


Bob

Lip Man 1
07-29-2004, 05:41 PM
Baby Fisk:

In all honesty my point wasn't to bash Uncle Jerry... but the philosophy right now because of the economic conditions (justified or not) means that for the Sox to get deep into the playoffs or get to a World Series, practically everything needs to go right because they have little or no room for error.

They can't have any serious injuries (a la 2001 and 2004) because the depth is lacking, trades that are made have to work out (and clearly deals like Wells, Ritchie and Koch didn't) and guys simply can't go into slumps (Konerko 2003, Foulke 2002).

The odds of going through a 162 game season and not have these things happen is pretty small. (I think that's part of what Couch was inferring...)

The Sox have had 13 winning seasons under this ownership with three playoff appearances which is pretty good considering the sorry state of Chicago baseball...but to take that next jump requires a lot more then just 'luck.'

Remember trades require giving something up, something that may create more holes. If you don't have much depth on the major league roster and your minor leagues aren't that good very often you have to overpay which makes things worse.

I think (and again I hope I'm not putting words in Couch's mouth) that there is a better way but it requires a financial committment. If not, this cycle of mediocrity probably will continue until, or if, the year comes when everything does go right for the Sox.

Lip

Flight #24
07-29-2004, 05:59 PM
Baby Fisk:

In all honesty my point wasn't to bash Uncle Jerry... but the philosophy right now because of the economic conditions (justified or not) means that for the Sox to get deep into the playoffs or get to a World Series, practically everything needs to go right because they have little or no room for error.

They can't have any serious injuries (a la 2001 and 2004) because the depth is lacking, trades that are made have to work out (and clearly deals like Wells, Ritchie and Koch didn't) and guys simply can't go into slumps (Konerko 2003, Foulke 2002).

The odds of going through a 162 game season and not have these things happen is pretty small. (I think that's part of what Couch was inferring...)

The Sox have had 13 winning seasons under this ownership with three playoff appearances which is pretty good considering the sorry state of Chicago baseball...but to take that next jump requires a lot more then just 'luck.'

Remember trades require giving something up, something that may create more holes. If you don't have much depth on the major league roster and your minor leagues aren't that good very often you have to overpay which makes things worse.

I think (and again I hope I'm not putting words in Couch's mouth) that there is a better way but it requires a financial committment. If not, this cycle of mediocrity probably will continue until, or if, the year comes when everything does go right for the Sox.

Lip
Or the Sox go through the period that almost every other team has goen through where the team has a few bad seasons (not bad by our standards, bad by baseball standards), but gets the type of draft picks you use to get the Josh Becketts, Mark Priors, Mark Mulders of the world.

If you focus $$$ on pitching until then and end up with a dominant staff in 3-5 years (with Garcia & Buehrle in their early-mid 30s and still effective), you're able to build an A's/Marlin's style staff.

But if you stay picking in the teens or higher, without a solid bump in attendance/revenues, you'll stay where we are now where we don't have the picks to grab young dominant players - so we pay for them, leaving no $$$ to build high quality depth.

Lip Man 1
07-29-2004, 10:41 PM
Flight:

Then I guess the million dollar question is how many people need to come in order to produce this revenue 'bump.'

I've been waiting for that answer from the Sox for years but they'll never give a definate number.

They drew almost two million last year, they are on pace to draw 2.2 million this year.

To me those are good figures. We'll see what the organization does this off season in player procurement. That may go a long way in determining if your philosophy is going to come to pass. Remember Williams publicly said this spring that if Sox fans showed up moves would be made.

If nothing else happens we'll see if that statement will carry over into the off season.

Lip

gosox41
07-30-2004, 09:40 AM
Baby Fisk:

In all honesty my point wasn't to bash Uncle Jerry... but the philosophy right now because of the economic conditions (justified or not) means that for the Sox to get deep into the playoffs or get to a World Series, practically everything needs to go right because they have little or no room for error.

They can't have any serious injuries (a la 2001 and 2004) because the depth is lacking, trades that are made have to work out (and clearly deals like Wells, Ritchie and Koch didn't) and guys simply can't go into slumps (Konerko 2003, Foulke 2002).

The odds of going through a 162 game season and not have these things happen is pretty small. (I think that's part of what Couch was inferring...)

The Sox have had 13 winning seasons under this ownership with three playoff appearances which is pretty good considering the sorry state of Chicago baseball...but to take that next jump requires a lot more then just 'luck.'

Remember trades require giving something up, something that may create more holes. If you don't have much depth on the major league roster and your minor leagues aren't that good very often you have to overpay which makes things worse.

I think (and again I hope I'm not putting words in Couch's mouth) that there is a better way but it requires a financial committment. If not, this cycle of mediocrity probably will continue until, or if, the year comes when everything does go right for the Sox.

Lip
Their payroll went from $52 mill to about $63 mill this year before they even got Garcia. That's a 20% increase in payroll.

Let's get real here. Do you get a 20% raise at work every year? Do you buy a new car every year that costs 20% more then the previous year? Are you returning anywherenear 20% in your stock portfolio in 2004?


Bob

Iwritecode
07-30-2004, 09:56 AM
Their payroll went from $52 mill to about $63 mill this year before they even got Garcia. That's a 20% increase in payroll.

Let's get real here. Do you get a 20% raise at work every year? Do you buy a new car every year that costs 20% more then the previous year? Are you returning anywherenear 20% in your stock portfolio in 2004?


Bob

That just proves how pitifully low the payroll has been the past few years.

A 20% increase just to make it to the middle of the pack...

gosox41
07-30-2004, 09:57 AM
That just proves how pitifully low the payroll has been the past few years.

A 20% increase just to make it to the middle of the pack...
Maybe so. I thought I read at the beginning of the season that the Sox were 12th in payroll. They're spending what they have.


Bob

soxtalker
07-30-2004, 11:04 AM
Interesting article. One question that comes to mind is what happens if things don't work out? What does KW do? As the article points out, he's been pretty consistent at "going for it". I know that we've started seeing threads, suggesting that we do a fire sale. But, as the article seems to imply, that's not KW's style. What would he likely do if he's spent all his minor-league "bullets"?

Cubbiesuck13
07-30-2004, 07:35 PM
Although the Sox are a "sleeping giant" in that they play in the #3 market, for the time being they play a distant second fiddle to the Cubs. A playoff appearance can best to begin to change that, short term. That's why a deal for some good OBP guys at the top of the order who play positions where the Sox are weak organizationally are so important right now. Players like Jason Kendall, Gregg Zaun, Jerry Hairston Jr., and Frank Catalanotto at the top of the lineup would be a tremendous boost and likely should not cost a lot in terms of prospects.

Meanwhile, I like that Brooks Boyer is trying to build a solid and inspiring PR campaign. This will win back fans and win many new fans over the years. This is a good long-term strategy that also pays dividends in the short-term.

For the long term on the baseball side, Kenny would be best served to follow a Twins/Yankees hybrid: That is, leverage your "big market" status and resources to get the best pitching staff money can buy, and then emulate the Twins in terms of drafting and developing position players.

The Sox always should have a larger payroll than the Twins, which means they always should be able to afford better pitching than the Twins. And we all know that pitching is the biggest part of baseball.

If they can follow this Twins/Yankees hybrid model, the money will take care if itself and the Sox will remain very strong in this division for a long time.

Based on recent evidence (trading for Garcia and signing Buehrle), Kenny may be trying to implement this model as we speak.

This is why I remain optimistic about the future even though I am disgusted at the current team's play on the field.


Frater, that was a good post and I agree with you. This team has some big bats even without Frank and Mags, what we need NOW is at least a number 1 or 2 guy that can get on base. What is another solo shot per game going to do for us? However, it may be too late to get a guy that we need but that, in no way, means that KW has failed us. He is doing everything right in my book. Realistically, I don't know of anything else he can do.