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View Full Version : Why is Everyone So down on Willie???


SoxOnTop
08-10-2004, 04:46 PM
I still don't understand all of the negativism surrounding Willie Harris. This has been his first year as a full time starter/leadoff hitter and I believe he's made some major strides as a major leaguer. He's played solid D at 2nd base and despite his struggles at the plate lately, he is still getting on base at a .419 clip in the last 30 days. Isn't that what your leadoff hitter is supposed to do? To me that smacks as a considerable amount of professionalism when you can still do you job despite not being able to get your bat on the ball.

This kid plays Ozzie's style of baseball, is good in the field and a lefty bat to boot. He still has a .366 OBP for the year which is very respectable. To not keep him at the top of the lineup is a mistake IMO. Why is everyone so eager to kick this kid to the curb?

misty60481
08-10-2004, 04:47 PM
Hes not a smart ballplayer and has no power at all

Rocky Soprano
08-10-2004, 04:49 PM
Hes not a smart ballplayer and has no power at all
Since when do you have to have power to be a leadoff guy?

I totally disagree with your comment. I think he has a whole lot of potential but he has not been given consistent playing time. Look at Rowand, he finally has gotten to play and he's doing a pretty solid job.

I say give Willie a shot.

Gimm
08-10-2004, 04:53 PM
Down on Willie? Who is?

I would love to have this combo:

9. Harris
1. Lofton
2. Robbie

against RHP. That's how you win - OBP, speed, instincts and lots of contact at the top-of-the-order.

9. Burke
1. Rowand
2. Cruz

against LHP.

SoxxoS
08-10-2004, 04:55 PM
He is an OK hitter and OK fielder that is streaky and can't steal bases...even with great speed. He isn't a very smart or clutch ballplayer, either.

If he stole 25-30 bags ala Podsednik, nobody would want him to be replaced.

Harris=God
08-10-2004, 05:01 PM
I think he has a whole lot of potential but he has not been given consistent playing time. Look at Rowand, he finally has gotten to play and he's doing a pretty solid job.

I say give Willie a shot.
Look at what he did in the early part of the season when he played on an everyday basis. He sparked the offense when jose went down Him and Uribe were Awesome. He was batting around .333

Aidan
08-10-2004, 05:10 PM
He is an OK hitter and OK fielder that is streaky and can't steal bases...even with great speed. He isn't a very smart or clutch ballplayer, either.

If he stole 25-30 bags ala Podsednik, nobody would want him to be replaced.Problem is that Podsednik currently has 42 stolen bases. Willie's OBP (.361) is actually higher than Podsednik's (.319) so if Willie could get anywhere near Podsednik's SB total, we would all be happy with him as our leadoff man.

maurice
08-10-2004, 05:11 PM
I'm not down on him at all. He's exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations and, IMHO, should be at least a solid platoon 2B or CF for the next several years.

He steals at a pretty good rate, but drives Ozzie nuts because he does not run often enough. That shouldn't be too hard to fix.

Also, he's just about the only guy on the 25-man roster who likes to take a walk. He has twice as many walks as anybody else on the Sox since the All Star break, though he's seen only limited action.

Rocky Soprano
08-10-2004, 05:12 PM
Problem is that Podsednik currently has 42 stolen bases. Willie's OBP (.361) is actually higher than Podsednik's (.319) so if Willie could get anywhere near Podsednik's SB total, we would all be happy with him as our leadoff man.
Again, I feel lack of playing time has a lot to do with him not feeling all the comfortable stealing bases. Just my opinion.

SoxOnTop
08-10-2004, 05:24 PM
Again, I feel lack of playing time has a lot to do with him not feeling all the comfortable stealing bases. Just my opinion.
I recall seeing an article that mentioned that his ankles have been a problem for the last few months. If that's the case, then I think that has a lot to do with is SB totals. The first month of the season, when we were truly playing Ozzie-ball he was running all over the place.

Can anyone confirm this ankle issue?

starboy0
08-10-2004, 05:43 PM
You simply have to let rookie players eventually play every day to realize thier potential. There will be ups and downs that they will have to learn to play through.

I thought I heard on the radio a couple months ago that Ozzie and/or management were disturbed by Willie "big-leaguing it." It sounded like that phrase meant he was in some way being arrogant in a disrepectful way and therefore sat down. Anyone else hear this or know the low-down?

(I concede this could be something somebody just made up.)

BainesHOF
08-10-2004, 06:14 PM
Because Willie Harris is part of the problem of us being once again a hugely underachieving team. He's a so-so hitter (which for him has been a big improvement) who's fast but doesn't use his speed. Even at this stage of his career, Alomar is 10 times the player.

To boil it down, Alomar helps you win while Harris helps you lose.

SoxOnTop
08-10-2004, 11:31 PM
Because Willie Harris is part of the problem of us being once again a hugely underachieving team. He's a so-so hitter (which for him has been a big improvement) who's fast but doesn't use his speed. Even at this stage of his career, Alomar is 10 times the player.

To boil it down, Alomar helps you win while Harris helps you lose.
He sure helped us lose tonight...

The kid gets on base like a leadoff hitter should. Plain and simple. Plus, he plays solid D. Are you sure you're not mistaking him for "All or Nothing" Valentin or "No Stick" Crede? Perhaps, "AAAA" Gload is your man?

bafiarocks03
08-10-2004, 11:33 PM
I still don't understand all of the negativism surrounding Willie Harris. This has been his first year as a full time starter/leadoff hitter and I believe he's made some major strides as a major leaguer. He's played solid D at 2nd base and despite his struggles at the plate lately, he is still getting on base at a .419 clip in the last 30 days. Isn't that what your leadoff hitter is supposed to do? To me that smacks as a considerable amount of professionalism when you can still do you job despite not being able to get your bat on the ball.

This kid plays Ozzie's style of baseball, is good in the field and a lefty bat to boot. He still has a .366 OBP for the year which is very respectable. To not keep him at the top of the lineup is a mistake IMO. Why is everyone so eager to kick this kid to the curb?
I have been asking the same question for a long time now.....same with Juan Uribe!!:dunno:

Aidan
08-10-2004, 11:35 PM
I wonder if we could see Robbie Alomar at 3B with Willie at 2B. I doubt it happens but Ozzie and KW said it could be a possibilty. I still think it will be a Uribe/Crede platoon at 3B since Robbie Alomar has never played 3B in his career. Willie jacked up his numbers like crazy tonight. He raised his average from .266 to .279 in just tonight's game...

Willie Harris (http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/team/player.jsp?player_id=407483)
276 AB
.279 AVG
.371 OBP
13 RBI
13 Doubles

sld7c
08-10-2004, 11:47 PM
Harris did so well for a little while there and I really believed in the guy, but even I have to admit Harris had been slumping recently. Let's hope tonight was him showing his true talent and not a fluke. I know he can't do that good every game, but if he did even half that well he'd be a d*** good playter. Whatever it was, wow.
Oh yeah as for SoxOnTop's comment on Valentin it reminded me of the best thing I heard on the El in a long time:
Angry fan 1 [sarcastically]: Come on we need Jose; he's a team leader. He brings everything together.
Angry fan 2: Except the bat and the ball.

WHarris13
08-10-2004, 11:59 PM
Quick...name a hitter on the 25 man roster with a better OBP than Willie.

Parrothead
08-11-2004, 12:41 AM
He is an OK hitter and OK fielder that is streaky and can't steal bases...even with great speed. He isn't a very smart or clutch ballplayer, either.
yeah but besides that he is great.

Harris=God
08-11-2004, 01:25 AM
Quick...name a hitter on the 25 man roster with a better OBP than Willie.
Im a huge Willie fan but just to be a smart a$$ Neil cotts does

WHarris13
08-11-2004, 01:25 AM
Im a huge Willie fan but just to be a smart a$$ Neil cotts doesI knew someone would say that.

Dice
08-11-2004, 01:34 AM
Because Willie Harris is part of the problem of us being once again a hugely underachieving team. He's a so-so hitter (which for him has been a big improvement) who's fast but doesn't use his speed. Even at this stage of his career, Alomar is 10 times the player.

To boil it down, Alomar helps you win while Harris helps you lose.Yeah! Alomar sure paced Arizona to a 100 win season this year.:redneck

Gimm
08-11-2004, 02:44 AM
Note: Willie Harris has reached base in his last 9 plate appearances.

gosox41
08-11-2004, 09:10 AM
I still don't understand all of the negativism surrounding Willie Harris. This has been his first year as a full time starter/leadoff hitter and I believe he's made some major strides as a major leaguer. He's played solid D at 2nd base and despite his struggles at the plate lately, he is still getting on base at a .419 clip in the last 30 days. Isn't that what your leadoff hitter is supposed to do? To me that smacks as a considerable amount of professionalism when you can still do you job despite not being able to get your bat on the ball.

This kid plays Ozzie's style of baseball, is good in the field and a lefty bat to boot. He still has a .366 OBP for the year which is very respectable. To not keep him at the top of the lineup is a mistake IMO. Why is everyone so eager to kick this kid to the curb?
Ther are times when he looks like a deer in headlights. He needs some confidence. If he doesn't get it this year, then I don't know when he will.

Also, why is a guy with Willie's speed not stealing a ton more basis. Ozzie wants him to and gives him the green light. Ozzie says it's because again, Willie lacks confidence. It's a shame because with that speed Willie can be good for 45-50 SB's a year and still be successful about 80% of the time.

I can live without power if a hitter gets on base a lot.



Bob

ode to veeck
08-11-2004, 11:08 AM
Ther are times when he looks like a deer in headlights
last night I think it was the opposing pitcher that was the dear in the headlights ... when Wille was at the plate

Gimm
08-11-2004, 11:21 AM
Note: Willie Harris has reached base in his last 9 plate appearances.
Correction: make that 11. Wow.

MisterB
08-11-2004, 11:38 AM
Willie's lack of SB may well be lack of confidence. As was said before, he was running often early in the season, but he also got picked off like a half dozen times and might be a little gun-shy about getting a good jump. He definitely has a decent eye at the plate (and a small strike zone helps), and if he could learn to bunt and hit lefties he'd be a solid everyday player.

Gimm
08-11-2004, 11:54 AM
Willie's lack of SB may well be lack of confidence. As was said before, he was running often early in the season, but he also got picked off like a half dozen times and might be a little gun-shy about getting a good jump. He definitely has a decent eye at the plate (and a small strike zone helps), and if he could learn to bunt and hit lefties he'd be a solid everyday player.
Screw stolen bases. The last thing I want is for him to run for the sake of running and get caught 50% of the time (see: Olivo, Miguel, Uribe, Juan, Ordonez, Magglio Lee, Carlos) - and I count pick-offs as CS.

Let Willie work on stealing bases wholesale in the off-season.

JDP
08-11-2004, 11:58 AM
Note: Willie Harris has reached base in his last 9 plate appearances.
I read that when I first looked at it as "reaching the plate in his last 9 plate appearances." Ha. I was like "Yeah, everyone reaches the plate everytime they get to the plate, don't they? :smile:

balke
08-11-2004, 12:13 PM
I create theories for players when their play weakens, it's a habit. Sometimes it makes sense, like for shoney, he seemed to struggle a start or two before he went on the DL, and after, struggled about every night. Frank was pullin a bunch of 0-fers and riding pine just before he went on the DL. Maggs wasn't lookin good when he first came off the DL.

Admittedly, mid-season I haven't seen many games. I've missed a bunch from about two before that maggs-Harris collision, including that game itself. All I know is, there were two people involved in that high speed bang, and on replay, I thought willie might have gotten the worst of it.

The games I saw after that were when Willie started to get caught stealing, taking weak swings, and not running out as many infield hits (from the few games I saw). Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

But that's kind how I attribute SOME of his slump. He's a speed guy, who probably had a banged up knee for a while. Maybe he would've been on the DL too, if the sox could've afforded it. I definitely like what willie brought to this fully healthy team, speed on base and range in the field. Someone who when he was on base, was a threat to steal or score from first on a double. SO much more productive overall for the team than Everett, when you consider all around play. He has been playing well lately, maybe that is due to Robbie, if Willie keeps hitting, he'll be a star in all our minds soon.

owensmouth
08-11-2004, 12:27 PM
Why am I down on Willie? Willie is the personification of the two month slump that the White Sox have been in.

Willie steps to the plate, hoping for a walk. He fakes a bunt, strike one. He fakes another bunt, strike two. He lets a pitch go by without swinging, ball one. He taps a weak grounder to the second baseman.

For the months of June and July, Willie led the team with a batting average of less than .190. That's why I'm down on Willie.

Harris=God
08-11-2004, 12:49 PM
Nobody can be down on a guy who had a web gem

misty60481
08-11-2004, 12:56 PM
I think Uribe should be playing regular and let Willie PR in later innings Uribe has won games for us with Home Runs Willie hasnt

owensmouth
08-11-2004, 01:10 PM
I think Uribe should be playing regular and let Willie PR in later innings Uribe has won games for us with Home Runs Willie hasnt
Uribe has looked just as bad, if not worse for the past two months. If you want home runs, Valentin is more productive.

Willie lets a couple of strikes go by then grounds out to 2d. Uribe flails away at anything within a foot of the strike zone, then pops out to center field.

Valentin strikes out.

Crede can't hit the baseball on a regular basis.

DUMP THEM ALL!!!

Cubbiesuck13
08-11-2004, 07:53 PM
My only beef with Harris is his stealing ability. Yesterday he could have ran all day but the only time he did was on a full count. People like Lee and Mags and Jose and Crede run on a full count. Guys like Harris should run as soon as the player makes that move to first. One day he will be running wild I just hope he is wearing black and white.