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View Full Version : The key to winning (not complicated at all)


PaleHoseGeorge
08-07-2004, 08:18 AM
The key to winning is not "grinders" as Kenny and some others seem to think. The key is to relentlessly replace mediocre performers with ballplayers capable of doing better. There is no big secret, just a committment to winning. That's something the Sox haven't taken serious in several generations.

The Sox *always* have holes, far more than our competitors who finish ahead of us have , year after year, decade after decade, century after century.

Entering 2004 the Sox had *nobody* to lead-off except the hope Willie Harris would step up his game. Juan Uribe was acquired to help at shortstop, but this was motivated mostly because Valentin's bat was becoming filled with more K's than HR's.

We lost Alomar, so Harris was promoted. We lost Everett, so Rowand was promoted. We lost Colon, so we replaced him with... Schoenweis? We never had a fifth starter and we entered 2004 without one, too. The bullpen was a mess in 2003 and it remained one in 2004.

Is it too late to send out a missing person APB for Joe Crede?

Do you see a pattern here? We're not adding **** to make our team better. The Sox are as likely to sit on their hands than to fix a roster hole.

Give Kenny credit for trying to pull this together during the season. The division was there for the taking but not without another starting pitcher, so he made a move to get Garcia. He jettisoned Koch and promoted Shingo, giving the Sox their most effective closer since Thigpen. He got Everett to tide the team over while our sluggers recovered from injuries.

Then the wheels fell off. Maggs went back to the DL, and Frank is lost for the duration of the season. Had any of the previously mentioned holes been filled sooner, the Sox win the division regardless.

Could the 2004 Sox have won the division with a healthy Frank and Maggs? Sure. Could the 2005 Sox do it? No, not if the commitment to winning is as pathetic as it was in 2004. KW didn't get committed to winning until *after* the division was there for the taking. He did nothing to win until *after* he thought he had a chance.

2005 is a whole new year and it will play out completely different. If the Sox aren't committed to winning from the start, they'll finish out of the playoffs again. A healthy Frank and a healthy Maggs (assuming he is back) won't make the difference. It's the commitment to winning that makes the difference. "Grinders" has nothing to do with it.

The Sox are losers. It's been this way for many years, and many decades, and if nothing changes for many centuries to come, too. I suggest everyone stop fretting about it. It's really pathetic to read some of the rants and mental masturbation some here are indulging in.

idseer
08-07-2004, 08:27 AM
I suggest everyone stop fretting about it. It's really pathetic to read some of the rants and mental masturbation some here are indulging in.

well hell! you're no fun at all.

how do you expect people to raise their post totals? :cuss:

samram
08-07-2004, 08:53 AM
Great post PHG. I love the Sox, but why should I care so much if they don't? At this point, the only thing making baseball tolerable is WSI and the fact that I live 850 miles from Cubby fever. I think Ozzie is also learning a good lesson this year- White Sox baseball is really not fun. Even if you think it is at one point, eventually things go bad.

Palehose Pete
08-07-2004, 09:38 AM
I agree with your post 100%. If I could give 110%, I would. I can't stand that fact that the White Sox front office (read: JR) doesn't see that if he builds a winning team, people will come to the game. Look at this year: We were in first place and people came out to the park in droves. It was great. Now that we're in third, watch the attendance slide. And then watch JR say that he's not going to spend any money on a team that doesn't draw enough in attendance. Then watch our team slip into a mediocre season in '05 like an old man getting into a warm bath. JR: Put the horse in front of the cart and fill the holes before the season begins. Pick us out a winner, Jerry.

beck72
08-07-2004, 11:00 AM
I don't agree with your premise. Adding pieces to the same core of 2000 players didn't work, not because the pieces were wrong but because the core was too flawed to begin with. Some of that core [Lee, Pk and Jose] must be broken up. Maggs would be expendable if another big FA was signed to replace him [not his position but his salary--Beltran, Renteria, Nomar, etc]

With the overreliance on streaky power hitters, the sox haven't been able to win going up against the Twins. Changing managers, coaches, and bit players hasn't worked. With the Sox loading up on pitching, high average, OBP, contact type hitters are needed.

Nothing short of a WS title should keep this team together

CubKilla
08-07-2004, 11:26 AM
JR: Put the horse in front of the cart and fill the holes before the season begins. Pick us out a winner, Jerry.
There will sooner be peace in the Middle East before JR lays it all out on the table and goes all or nothing in the '04-'05 offseason.

Hangar18
08-07-2004, 11:34 AM
PHG's post says it all. My BIGGEST problem with his post? This
shouldve been said about 1,000 times by now ........ by the Chicago Media.
As long as that stupid other team is here, the SOX will fly under the Media
Radar and continue doing Stupid Things until A: The Cubs move B: Jerry Reinsdorf Dies C: Jerry Reinsdorf Sells D: The Chicago Media finally starts doing some work and gives Real Unbiased Coverage. As you can see, choices A, C, and D will NEVER HAPPEN, so we have to sit around and wait for choice B. Im sick of how this team gets away with doing NOTHING.
If we were in ny, JR wouldve been crucified and run out of town.

Dan H
08-07-2004, 11:36 AM
I agree with George in that there is no real committment, just filling holes with question marks that usually don't come through. Hoping that so-so players step and do something isn't realistic; it's pie in the sky thinking. Garland still isn't there, Schoenweis didn't belong in the starting rotation, Wright couldn't even pitch, Koch had no business being a closer and the Sox didn't even have a servicable #5 starter for the first few months of the season. Wonder why fans were angry at Sox Fest? Because the team sat on its hands and did nothing, and now the team is exposed for the weaknesses it has.

The team has to spend more money and do it wisely. Trades have to be made. Spend another off season on the sidelines, and Sox fans will get more of the same in 2005, I don't care what injured players are returning. 10 years since the strike and still no World Series. Enough is enough. It's time for results, not losing to Cleveland and Detroit.

CubKilla
08-07-2004, 11:41 AM
Wonder why fans were angry at Sox Fest? Because the team sat on its hands and did nothing, and now the team is exposed for the weaknesses it has.
Wait'll SoxFest '05

:ozzie

"Why is everyone so angry and negative?"

Wealz
08-07-2004, 11:48 AM
I don't agree with your premise. Adding pieces to the same core of 2000 players didn't work, not because the pieces were wrong but because the core was too flawed to begin with. Some of that core [Lee, Pk and Jose] must be broken up. Maggs would be expendable if another big FA was signed to replace him [not his position but his salary--Beltran, Renteria, Nomar, etc]

With the overreliance on streaky power hitters, the sox haven't been able to win going up against the Twins. Changing managers, coaches, and bit players hasn't worked. With the Sox loading up on pitching, high average, OBP, contact type hitters are needed.

Nothing short of a WS title should keep this team together
Williams was left a pretty damn good core by Schueler, comparable to what Himes left Schueler. The pieces Williams added, S. Alomar, Clayton, and Wells for the critical 2001 season were all garbage. Thomas getting hurt pretty much doomed the team that year however.

Gimm
08-07-2004, 12:18 PM
The key to winning is not "grinders" as Kenny and some others seem to think. The key is to relentlessly replace mediocre performers with ballplayers capable of doing better..Robbie was a good, dirt-cheap acquisition - you replace Crede's .0000021 OBP with Robbie's 2-hole skills, OBP, solid speed and bunting ability - everything we've been missing lately. He's worked hard on conditioning in the 2004 off-season and now he's got 375 OBP to show for it even after being knocked out of the action with a broken hand. The only knock on Robbie is that he is weak against LHP, but what happened when he faced Sabathia with a big run at 3rd and 1-out? He hit a missile to OF - if that was Crede of the recent weeks up in that situation, it would have been a pop-up or a K and no run scored. Now Sox have to pray that Juan Uribe gets hot again, so Sox can sit Robbie against tough lefties and maximize his value to this ballclub.

The problem is, Robbie is NOT a lead-off hitter, it was painfully obvious last year. Willie (against RHP) and Rowand (LHP) have been doing a good job, but I think this is where Kenny Lofton would be absolutely perfect in that role down the stretch as Giants and Cubs found out in the last 2 years. It puts Willie into a low-pressure #9 spot and Rowand - into # 2 slot against lefties where he can stop worrying about taking pitches and instead concentrates on spraying hard line-drives all over the place, hopefully with Lofton on base. :smile:

I am sure I posted this before, but this is what I had as the line-up that could take the division (this was before the Larry Walker trade to St.Louis on 08/06):

RHP

1. Lofton CF
2. Robbie 3B
3. Lee LF
4. Walker RF
5. Konerko 1B
6. Valentin SS
7. Everett DH
8. Davis C
9. Harris 2B

LHP

1. Lofton DH
2. Rowand CF
3. Lee LF
4. Walker RF
5. Konerko 1B
6. Crede 3B
7. Uribe 2B
8. Valentin SS
9. Burke C


See the problem is, with each passing day of inactivity this team as it is sinks further and further into corpseball Hell. Already 5 one-run losses in the last week alone. FIVE! If Sox stand pat and deliberate some more, by the time they make the decision to go for it, we could well be 7 games out with 35 games to go. Too late, in other words. Hell, it might be too late now, but at least there is a fightin' chance - Atlanta Braves with their undewhelming rotation and injuries went from 5 games under to 15 games over in like in a span of a month. This is baseball, we're only 5 games out in the loss column, have 6 more games with Twinkies and an easier schedule.

Dub25
08-07-2004, 12:22 PM
I agree with most of these comments but I think we need to remember is Kenny is playing with JR's budget. I really believe KW is committed to winning but nobody else in upper management is. If JR would have paid Everett and Alomar to begin with KW would not have had to give up more minor leaguers to get them back. If JR would open up the wallet maybe some of these holes would not be so bad. But as mentioned numerous times that is not going to happen which leaves KW to be creative in trades. No doubt some have backfired but he is trying. I don't blame him for weakening the farm system, I blame JR for that because the man won't spend what it takes to get this team over the top.

Lip Man 1
08-07-2004, 01:04 PM
PHG and Dan are completely correct in their posts. Absolutely 'spot on.'

Nothing changes until ownership changes because nothing is going to change in the current ownership's thinking.

I gave up 'hoping' for a miracle decades ago. It's time to get a boatload of real talent.

Lip

idseer
08-07-2004, 01:14 PM
PHG and Dan are completely correct in their posts. Absolutely 'spot on.'

Nothing changes until ownership changes because nothing is going to change in the current ownership's thinking.

I gave up 'hoping' for a miracle decades ago. It's time to get a boatload of real talent.

Lip
so we're caught between a rock and a hard place because the sox make money and that's all jr really cares about. why should he go out on a limb and spend a lot of dough when all it takes is an injury or a player going to seed to ruin the whole thing? no .... as long as jr turns a profit we will not be spending a lot on 'real talent'.

the answer is still what it's been for 20 years now ........ SELL THE TEAM!

poorme
08-07-2004, 01:31 PM
Most of the above is correct, but it's been that way for the past 19 years.

Win1ForMe
08-07-2004, 01:34 PM
The Sox *always* have holes, far more than our competitors who finish ahead of us have , year after year, decade after decade, century after century.

Entering 2004 the Sox had *nobody* to lead-off except the hope Willie Harris would step up his game. Juan Uribe was acquired to help at shortstop, but this was motivated mostly because Valentin's bat was becoming filled with more K's than HR's.
To be fair PHG, I think those words describe every team outside of the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Cubs. Just about every team has holes and has to *hope* certain players "step up." The Cardinals hoped Suppan, Carpenter, and Marquis could solidify their rotation despite showing no real previous evidence of performing successfully. They also dug up Tony Womack out of his grave and he's been great in the lead-off position. But since they didn't acquire more sure-fire players in the off-season (i.e. Colon, Pettite, Luis Castillo), does that mean they didn't have a commitment to winning? It sure seems like it, yet they've still won. So maybe some luck is just as important?

And furthermore, are the Twins beating the White Sox because of a commitment to winning? I mean they let their 2 best relievers get away (only to end up with the AL Central's version of Mota-Gagne) and had to hope their replacements could fill in. They also traded away a top starter in Eric Milton but have been fortunate enough to receive similar production from Carlos Silva, far from a sure thing.

Yes, the White Sox are cheap, but they're not the only ones playing that game.

It's really pathetic to read some of the rants and mental masturbation some here are indulging in.
It's a freakin' message board, what do you want us to do?

PaleHoseGeorge
08-07-2004, 02:02 PM
It's a freakin' message board, what do you want us to do?I'm trying to imagine a more weak argument for why it's okay to act like God disconnected our brains when we started posting here... "It's a freakin' message board..."

Sorry, other boards welcome that sort of traffic. We don't.

soxtalker
08-07-2004, 02:15 PM
..
Nothing changes until ownership changes because nothing is going to change in the current ownership's thinking.
...

Lip
I'm tending toward a similar conclusion about JR, though probably for very different reasons. In the past 10 years, we've had GM's with very different approaches. Broadly speaking, Schueler wanted to stock up players in the farm system, and KW prefers to go for veterans through trade (and, when possible with budget limitations, FA signings). I tend to prefer the Schu approach, but I'm not trying to argue the point here. My impression, however, is that the organizations that both of these guys have presided over really haven't been very good. Lots of people criticize Schu's approach, but I prefer to dig deeper to focus upon the poor drafting and development in the organization. KW gets a bit of a pass, since he relies upon the trade more, and one can argue that he's still learning. But he was in charge of player personnel before that, and the trades rely upon player evaluation (both scouting and internal). While he is at the center of any decisions, he has an entire organization around and under him. The GM is responsible for that in large part, so both RS and KW bear a lot of the responsibility for organizational failure. But the one constant throughout the last 10 (actually 20) years is the man at the top -- JR. The organization is largely what he put together and allows to remain in place.

Wealz
08-07-2004, 02:47 PM
The Twins and A's don't outspend the White Sox. Reinsdorf's problem is continuing to employ talent evaluators year after year who have failed at their jobs. Gambles have replaced reasoned decisions with this group. One good start by Contreras and he's being hailed as a pitching building block by many on this board. The Sox need a better plan and more competent decision makers.

soxtalker
08-07-2004, 02:53 PM
The Twins and A's don't outspend the White Sox. Reinsdorf's problem is continuing to employ talent evaluators year after year who have failed at their jobs. Gambles have replaced reasoned decisions with this group. One good start by Contreras and he's being hailed as a pitching building block by many on this board. The Sox need a better plan and more competent decision makers.
Following on my post that just preceded yours, I also suspect that many of these decision makers are not at the top of the organization. We see and focus on the GM's, and, while they are certainly a large part of the decisions, they are probably relying upon people spread throughout the organization. Have those changed? I don't know. We really don't know much about who these people are and how the organization works in making such evaluations and developing the talent.

beck72
08-07-2004, 03:05 PM
Williams was left a pretty damn good core by Schueler, comparable to what Himes left Schueler. The pieces Williams added, S. Alomar, Clayton, and Wells for the critical 2001 season were all garbage. Thomas getting hurt pretty much doomed the team that year however.
Except it's the core [Pk, Lee, Jose, Frank and Maggs] that isn't working, and hasn't since 2000. KW did keep this group together, though.

Then the questions become who do they keep, who has the most trade value, what other players are available, etc.

Gimm
08-07-2004, 03:06 PM
It's a freakin' message board, what do you want us to do?http://www.site73.com/images/post_pics/rd17_8.jpg

I want you to die and be a cheap funeral !!

Wealz
08-07-2004, 03:11 PM
Following on my post that just preceded yours, I also suspect that many of these decision makers are not at the top of the organization. We see and focus on the GM's, and, while they are certainly a large part of the decisions, they are probably relying upon people spread throughout the organization. Have those changed? I don't know. We really don't know much about who these people are and how the organization works in making such evaluations and developing the talent.
Yeah, my guess is there hasn't been much turn over with scouts, etc.. Bob Fontaine was farm director for a bit and Doug Laumann ran the '02 & '03 drafts. The three guys who have the most influence on baseball operations are Williams, scouting director Duane Shaffer, and farm director Dave Wilder. Shaffer's been around forever and headed the Ron Schueler era drafts. If you can't get fired for that . . .

Williams can stay for now, but I'd like to see an organizational shake up underneath at season's end.

minastirith67
08-07-2004, 04:12 PM
Sometimes I wonder why I'm still a Sox fan. These guys don't have the right attitude or the winning mentality. I can't wait for this nightmare to be over, but it doesnt' really matter, because it looks as thought it may never end, if the team keeps this way of thought.

When's the last time this team had an extended commitment to winning? 1919?