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View Full Version : A Specific Sox Problem w/No Apparent Explanation?


LVSoxFan
10-11-2004, 03:22 PM
While there were plenty of woes to blame the '04 season on, I thought it would be interesting to address one of them. IMHO, here's the list:

1) Losing Frank & Mags
2) Inability to put down the Twins
3) No 5th starter
4) Feast or famine offense (i.e., no smallball)
5) Inability to slap around others in the Comedy Central (Cleveland and ESPECIALLY Detroit)

Minnesota--what a bizarre team. They absolutely dominate during the regular season, then collapse in the playoffs. When they crush the Sox, they look unbeatable--then they get crushed in the first round.

Certainly, though, one of the most problematic, long-continuing problems for the Sox--and certainly one that did them in compounded with the others listed above--is their absolute inability to win in California. Seattle's just about as bad, but every time the Sox go to Anaheim and, particularly, Oakland, they get smoked.

Does anybody have any theory about this? Does the time difference make that much of a difference? How does one explain our abysmal record out West, year after year? One could say that it's simply a better division compared to the Comedy Central, but the Sox have proven they can beat the Red Sox and Yankees out East.

What gives? Series at these two teams' arenas was a virtual guaranteed loss, and it doesn't bode well for us if this pattern continues.

We'll talk about the other guys in our division later.

Shingotime!!
10-11-2004, 03:27 PM
I just think its all phycological. Also, Oakland has much better pitching and Anaheim has a better offense.

mweflen
10-11-2004, 03:52 PM
I think the 5th starter spot was the biggest problem this year. That was 10 games or so lost right there - and we probably had the offense to win at least 5 of them.

Pea-Pod
10-11-2004, 03:58 PM
While there were plenty of woes to blame the '04 season on, I thought it would be interesting to address one of them. IMHO, here's the list:

1) Losing Frank & Mags
2) Inability to put down the Twins
3) No 5th starter
4) Feast or famine offense (i.e., no smallball)
5) Inability to slap around others in the Comedy Central (Cleveland and ESPECIALLY Detroit)

Minnesota--what a bizarre team. They absolutely dominate during the regular season, then collapse in the playoffs. When they crush the Sox, they look unbeatable--then they get crushed in the first round.

Certainly, though, one of the most problematic, long-continuing problems for the Sox--and certainly one that did them in compounded with the others listed above--is their absolute inability to win in California. Seattle's just about as bad, but every time the Sox go to Anaheim and, particularly, Oakland, they get smoked.

Does anybody have any theory about this? Does the time difference make that much of a difference? How does one explain our abysmal record out West, year after year? One could say that it's simply a better division compared to the Comedy Central, but the Sox have proven they can beat the Red Sox and Yankees out East.

What gives? Series at these two teams' arenas was a virtual guaranteed loss, and it doesn't bode well for us if this pattern continues.

We'll talk about the other guys in our division later.


Losing frank and maggs was more than huge. here's why: our team does not play small ball, we hit homeruns and wait for big innings. This style of play gives us the advantage in us cellular and other homerun hitting parks like fenway and yanke stadium. This style is not an advantage when playing in ballparks like oakland. (i also think the oakland pitchers know how to pitch to us). Maggs and frank are two of the key components to this longball style offense. So when we lose them the team loses its power advantage it had over other teams. Thus we became average at home, and dismal on the road. (note however , we still sucked on the west with maggs and frank in past years so...?)

over a 162 game season , i dont think small ball is the best idea in the cell though.

Tekijawa
10-11-2004, 04:10 PM
Oakland has much better pitching and Anaheim has a better offense.
One also has a better GM and the other has an owner that is willing to throw some cash around

jackbrohamer
10-11-2004, 04:35 PM
Don't overlook their reliance on the one-man wrecking crew that Billy Koch was this season. IMO the Sox kept going to him to justify his salary and the Foulke trade, long after almost everyone else had conceded there was something wrong with him.

LVSoxFan
10-11-2004, 04:45 PM
Okay true, we can add Koch to the list.

But I'm still looking for a more complete idea as to why Oakland just has our number, year after year. And as somebody mentioned, we suck out there even with Mags and Frank.

We can take two out of three from the Red Sox as we're skidding out of contention, but we are hapless in Oakland even when we were cruising?

Just don't get it.

Ol' No. 2
10-11-2004, 05:09 PM
Okay true, we can add Koch to the list.

But I'm still looking for a more complete idea as to why Oakland just has our number, year after year. And as somebody mentioned, we suck out there even with Mags and Frank.

We can take two out of three from the Red Sox as we're skidding out of contention, but we are hapless in Oakland even when we were cruising?

Just don't get it.They traded Koch in mid-June, and began their swoon almost immediately afterward. Need another scapegoat? How about Joe Crede? He's the reason they were -5 in June. Oh, wait. He hit .329 in June. Who cares? Let's blame it on Crede anyway!!!

Lip Man 1
10-11-2004, 05:12 PM
In games started by pitchers other then Buehrle, Loazia, Garcia, Contreras, Garland and Schowenweis the Sox were 9-16 with three of those wins coming in September when for all intents and purposes the Sox were out of the race (2 were started by Grilli and one by Diaz)

Lip

PavanoBeltran'05
10-11-2004, 05:14 PM
Okay true, we can add Koch to the list.

But I'm still looking for a more complete idea as to why Oakland just has our number, year after year. And as somebody mentioned, we suck out there even with Mags and Frank.

We can take two out of three from the Red Sox as we're skidding out of contention, but we are hapless in Oakland even when we were cruising?

Just don't get it.It's all about Oakland's park in that case. We haven't been built for winning there in a while.
Also, there's a little to be said about the trip. I hate (and I mean HATE) going out there for conventions. Any West Coast trip sucks, and I feel totally wrecked for a day or so when I get there. That two hour difference really sucks. I don't think many teams from the central time zone east have any fun going to the west coast. I'd like to look at some numbers and see how many of those teams actually walk out of their west coast schedule with a stellar record.

Ol' No. 2
10-11-2004, 05:30 PM
It's all about Oakland's park in that case. We haven't been built for winning there in a while.
Also, there's a little to be said about the trip. I hate (and I mean HATE) going out there for conventions. Any West Coast trip sucks, and I feel totally wrecked for a day or so when I get there. That two hour difference really sucks. I don't think many teams from the central time zone east have any fun going to the west coast. I'd like to look at some numbers and see how many of those teams actually walk out of their west coast schedule with a stellar record.FWIW, the Twins didn't do any better in ANA and OAK.

PavanoBeltran'05
10-11-2004, 05:53 PM
FWIW, the Twins didn't do any better in ANA and OAK.I bet if you check everybody's record there, including looking at National League teams traveling to Cali, you'll see that every team east of that Mountain and Central time zone line probably doesn't fare too well over there.

Tragg
10-11-2004, 10:19 PM
I don't buy #2 this year- we did beat the Twins- 3/4 in Minny if I recall, to take a 2 game lead in the division. We were ready for them this year. Our ineptitude in the latter series' was really a symptom of the collapse we had (we were losing to everyone including the Tigers in late July). The late Sept series, well, we were down to the scrubs then too. So while we didn't beat them, I think this year it's more of we were in a slump when we played them and without frank and maggs we simply couldn't beat them.

I saw Minny play in early August- I couldn't believe, and still can't believe, that club I saw ran away from this division.

bigfoot
10-12-2004, 12:41 AM
If middle relief is not an absolute priority this off season, what ever else happens will have no meaning. The starters were adequate, the closers(post-Koch) were more than adequate, there were enough runs scored and with a bit better defense(see mid-relief, catching) the Sox could have had many more wins.
~See the entrants into the playoff, they all had good offensive teams, not a lot of sacrifices in the bunch, especially in the upper crust. That IS where we want the Sox, isn't it? Not just to beat Minn, but to win the Series!
~Any payroll/roster designed to only beat Minn, is totally inadequate. Does any business that aspires to the top allocate resources enough to become #4?
~Will this be the White Sox mantra? We're #4?
Count me out JR.

LVSoxFan
10-13-2004, 12:26 PM
I agree that the series is the end game, not Minnesota.

However, we can't get to the former without going through the latter.

mdep524
10-13-2004, 02:37 PM
This is a good thread LVSoxFan. Many interesting ideas here.

All 5 of your initial points (plus #6- West Coast failure and #7- Billy Koch) are valid, and played a role in the Sox failure. But I place most of the blame on #4, the offense. Too much is made of the 5th starter situation (which many teams face). The Sox were in first place on July 26 when the Twins came to town. Starting with their loss that day, the Sox went 3-11 over their next three series (Minn, Det and KC). That is where the season died, and that is where the problem must be pinpointed.

During that stretch, the Sox lost 4 straight one-run games, then a blowout, then four straight one- or two-run games. Over the 14 game span, the Sox average 4.28 runs/game, but that is misleading because it including one 12 and one 11 run outburst. Taking out those two games, the Sox averaged 3.08 runs/game. THREE RUNS IS NOT GOING TO WIN MANY MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL GAMES!!!

Those are a lot of close losses (aka very winnable games that the Sox starting pitcher kept his team in) that the Sox would have won if their offense had just shown up! And they weren't playing world beaters here- Detroit, Kansas City, Cleveland (admittedly this was the beginning of Cleveland's hot streak).

My point is, the Sox were trotting out crappy 5th starters for April through July, and were still in first place. But when the time came in late July/August when the real contenders step up their game to make their playoff push, the Sox did not step up their game. They were build as a treading water team, one with which you never knew who was going to show up to the park everyday- the 12-run team or the 2-run team. Their inability to get hot combined with their super ability to get cold cost them, and that reflects very badly on the hitters, not the pitchers.

Iwritecode
10-13-2004, 03:26 PM
It's all about Oakland's park in that case. We haven't been built for winning there in a while.
Also, there's a little to be said about the trip. I hate (and I mean HATE) going out there for conventions. Any West Coast trip sucks, and I feel totally wrecked for a day or so when I get there. That two hour difference really sucks. I don't think many teams from the central time zone east have any fun going to the west coast. I'd like to look at some numbers and see how many of those teams actually walk out of their west coast schedule with a stellar record.

Here are the records for the teams from the ALC and ALE against Oakland, Anaheim and Seattle. I left out games against Texas because they are still in the Central Time zone. I also didn’t do Tampa Bay because I got lazy…

Sox = 3 - 9 :(:
Twins = 4 – 8 (2 –1 @ D-backs)
Indians = 10 – 5 !!!
Royals = 3 – 11 (0 – 3 @ Padres)
Tigers = 8 – 10 (0 – 3 @ Rockies)
Yankees = 8 – 4 (2 – 1 @ D-backs and 1 – 2 @ Dodgers)
Red Sox = 8 – 7 (1 – 2 @ Rockies and 1 – 2 @ Giants)
Toronto = 6 – 6 (0 – 3 @ Giants and 2 –1 @ Padres)
Orioles = 4 – 9 (0 – 3 @ Dodgers and 1 – 2 @ Rockies)

Just for the heck of it I checked the Cubs record against the Giants, Padres, Dodgers, D-Backs and Rockies.

Cubs = 9 – 6 (also went 2 – 1 @ Angels) :angry:

This doesn’t take into account how good each team is overall or how balanced the schedules are. Looks like the only team that has a worse time on the west coast is the Royals. The Twins and O’s aren’t a whole lot better. The Indians and Yankees don’t seem to mind the trip though.