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View Full Version : Who's thirsty for cool-aid ?


White Sox Randy
02-19-2005, 07:27 AM
I have so much optimism for this year's White Sox team that I actually consider them to be the 4th best team in the AL (behind N.Y.,Boston and Anaheim).

Naturally, I am slightly concerned that few "experts" even consider the Sox to be ....above average.

So, I decided to turn the tables on myself and ask "What are my biggest fears for the Sox that could make me regret my optimism ?"

Here they are in order of devastation:

1. El Duque. I fear that he will not be healthy enough to make most of his starts. Ofcourse, I would like him to make all of his starts and be strong for the post-season as well.
However if he misses many starts, then the solid 5 man Sox rotation that we finally have in place becomes last year's nightmare again. We begin the Adkins, Hermanson, Diaz, McCarthy shuffle. Grrrrr.

2. Back-ups at shortstop and third base - also known as "no utility infielder".
I am convinced of Uribe's abilities offensively and defensively. But, what if he goes down with injury ? I'm sorry but I can't see how anyone can view Valdez as anything other than a massive drop-off from Uribe. Valdez soon turns 27 and never would have had his 43 big league at bats had it not been for his being traded from Florida late last year. Clearly, Florida's orginization is a poor judge of talent - they've won "only" 2 World Series in the last 8 years.
Iguchi's arm is questionable at turning the double play from second base so it's doubtful that he could make his retun to shortstop from his 4 year hiatus for any lengthy period.

3. This leads us to third base. I believe in Joe Crede. Excellent defense and a guy that has always hit thruout his career - but very inconsistent at the major league level the past two seasons. I'm confident that he will change that this year. But, what if he doesn't or goes down with injury ? Other than Uribe, who on the Sox has played more than a couple of games at 3rd base in the major leagues ?

Clearly, there is potential for disaster here. What shocks me the most about this situation is how easily this could have been avoided. Why couldn't we sign a F.A., veteran, utility man that has played all 3 positions adequately such as Ramon Martinez ? A number of similar players signed for a $ mil or less. Maybe KW is not done here. I hope not.

4. Podsednik. I like the Carlos Lee trade and am excited to see Pods play for the Sox. However, this trade only works if Pods is the leadoff man that the Sox have been searching for. I'm hearing that Ozzie is considering Uribe here if Pods doesn't impress. The Sox need Pods OBP to exceed .350 to really help the team score a load of runs and put pressure on the defense. If he plays like last year, as many fear, the Sox will regret this trade and playoff chances will significantly dim.

These are all of the realistic concerns that I have about our team and this seems like a small amount compared to most teams. I feel very confident about several areas including our bullpen, team defense, speed and adequate power. I can't envision how this team could win less than the 83 games that were won by last year's team that opened the season with a starting rotation of Buehrle, Loaiza, Garland, Shoney and Wright - backed up by a bullpen of Koch, Mike Jackson, Marte, Politte, Adkins and Takatsu.

I say that if Hernandez, Uribe and Crede stay healthy and Pods gets on base, this team wins atleast 90 games. The Sox bench is so deep that we can weather injuries to an outfielder, a relief pitcher or first baseman. And, our catcher has no history of injury.

So, the question is ; am I drinking too much cool-aid or are the naysayers not familiar enough with the White Sox and their improvements ? And, don't the Twins have far more question marks than we do ?

Jabroni
02-19-2005, 07:42 AM
First of all, "Kool-Aid" is spelled with a K. :wink: But I do have all the same concerns as you. That's why I think Kenny needs to trade for Alex Cintron of the Diamondbacks (see sig). He can play SS, 2B, and 3B and he's exactly what we need. He could give Uribe a day off at SS, fill in for Iguchi at 2B if he struggles with MLB pitching, or play 3B if Crede struggles period. Cintron can switch-hit and he's very good against left-handed pitching. He could be the righty bat off the bench that we are looking for.

As far as Podsednik goes, we have the benefit of having Carl Everett. If Pods struggles, Everett could play LF and Gload or Frank (when healthy) could DH. Then either Rowand or Iguchi could leadoff with the other one batting second.

I'm not as worried about El Duque getting injured. I think that's why Kenny paid a bit more money for Hermanson. Hermanson could spot start if El Duque goes down and Adkins could take Hermanson's spot in the bullpen.

Fake Chet Lemon
02-19-2005, 11:28 AM
I think Aaron Rowand is the key this year. If he goes down we lose what could be our: Highest BA guy, a HR leader, a SB leader, Our best Grinder-leader, and our best defensive outfielder. Anybody replacing him would be a HUGE step down. Think about it, you could argue he is a 5-tool guy. That's my greatest fear. Forget these national writers, the Sox are going to sneak up on a LOT of people this year. These national guys probably have no clue how good guys like Rowand really are. They tend to focus on the established stars. How many of the national writers wrote about Carlos Beltran when he was on KC- NONE?!!

CubKilla
02-19-2005, 11:48 AM
Don't forget about Dye either. When was the last time he played an entire season? This White Sox squad has as many "?'s" as it does "should happen's". I, unlike some Sox fans, am taking the wait-and-see approach. The last time I got my hopes up, the Sox were dead by May.

White Sox Randy
02-19-2005, 02:11 PM
If Rowand goes down, atleast we have Pods to play center and Everett can play left.

If Dye goes down, Pods plays center, Rowand plays right and Everett plays left.

If Pods goes down, Everett plays left. Gload becoms the DH under all of these scenarios. Atleast we are covered without a huge dropoff here.

Unfortunately if we lose Pods, there is no other legitimate leadoff hitter. If we use Rowand here then we lose a lot of RBI's from his high slugging percentage.

Obviously, any team will be hurt by injury. However, I think that we are pretty well covered except, as I said, on the left side of the infield.

SoxxoS
02-19-2005, 02:20 PM
If Rowand goes down, atleast we have Pods to play center and Everett can play left.

If Dye goes down, Pods plays center, Rowand plays right and Everett plays left.

If Pods goes down, Everett plays left. Gload becoms the DH under all of these scenarios. Atleast we are covered without a huge dropoff here.

Unfortunately if we lose Pods, there is no other legitimate leadoff hitter. If we use Rowand here then we lose a lot of RBI's from his high slugging percentage.

Obviously, any team will be hurt by injury. However, I think that we are pretty well covered except, as I said, on the left side of the infield.

Agreed. Although losing Rowand would really hurt (obviously) I am not to worried about OF depth, b/c Pods and Rowand are interchangeable at CF...not to mention we have Brian Anderson waiting the the wings if he is tearing up AA. OF depth shouldn't be a problem, especially with Everett in shape.

shoota
02-21-2005, 03:01 AM
3. This leads us to third base. I believe in Joe Crede. Excellent defense and a guy that has always hit thruout his career - but very inconsistent at the major league level the past two seasons.

Why couldn't we sign a F.A., veteran, utility man that has played all 3 positions adequately such as Ramon Martinez ? A number of similar players signed for a $ mil or less. Maybe KW is not done here. I hope not.

Wow, that's a good idea I like it. I saw parts of a number of Cubs games last year and remember Ramon Martinez doing a steady job as a utility player. I don't remember if he played third base but if he did I'd like to see the Sox and get him. If nothing else maybe it'll motivate Crede to get better with his bat.

White Sox Randy
02-21-2005, 09:13 AM
yes, he did play 3rd base and I've seen him play all 3 positions. What I was saying is that all of the players of this caliber have already signed elsewhere and each time that it happened, I wondered what KW was thinking.

I just hope that he picks up a veteran utility player that gets released or makes a little trade for one because I feel that this is a key position for any team.

vance
02-21-2005, 09:47 AM
Ramon Martinez has signed with the Tigers.