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Sox Radio Bryan
04-17-2005, 10:57 PM
What are the thoughts of Sox fans as to how the team has played through 12 games?

Banix12
04-18-2005, 12:17 AM
12 games, 8-4, 4 series wins, I can't complain about any of it.

When the biggest complaint you can have about a team is "They are only winning 2 out of 3" I'd say your team is doing ok.

I'd kinda like a few other hitters to heat up other than Carl Everett, but the pitching has done well and the team seems to be gelling into a cohesive unit.

To top off how good things seem to be going, the weather in Chicago has been better than I can ever remember it being in April and Joe Crede has an 8 game hitting streak. Two unexpected but very welcome surprises.

The only things I sox concerns I worry about are "Can Shingo turn things around?" and "Will opponents start crushing balls out of the Cell when the weather changes to unbearably hot from disturbingly pleasant?"

popilius
04-18-2005, 12:23 AM
I'm pleasantly surprised with the starting pitching- who wouldn't be? The Sox have won most of their games thus far with solid starting pitching, and the games they've won have been close. Which means the Sox need to start capitalizing on scoring opportunities (like they failed to Sunday) if they want to keep some pressure of the pitching staff.

:gulp:

ChiWhiteSox1337
04-18-2005, 12:59 AM
Definitely the ability to stay in ballgames. The game on April 13 when Jose Contreras pitched was a perfect example. Last year when a Sox starting pitcher would give up a few runs at the beginning of the ball game, the offense would usually surrender and tank for the rest of the game. I know some people on Wednesday who said that "oh well..you can't win them all" after Jose Contreras gave up some runs. The White Sox came back to win that game. An interesting fact...the white sox have led in all 12 games so far, so it's not as if they've just given up in the four losses.

JRIG
04-18-2005, 05:58 AM
The team is 8-4, which is tough to complain about. But it seems if they kep playing this way, it won't continue.

The team has shown almost zero plate discipline. They have a league-worst OBP, and it's hard to see it getting much better until Frank returns. Dye has looked pretty awful at the plate, but if memory serves, he's a Crede-style streaky hitter. We need him now.

The bench is a huge concern. There's no right-handed stick. You've got Widger, Ozuna, Harris, Perez, and Gload. This is how we end up with Ozuna at the plate needing a big hit yesterday.

Ozzie's handling of the bullpen, an underrated strength in his first year, has been awful so far. I'm certain at some point this year he's going all six pitches in one inning.

I hope there's a way to keep Everett in ther lineup when Frank comes back. But that probably means he has to play outfield, which is not good for anyone.

On the whole, this is about how I expected the team to be playing. Better than decent starting pitching, weak hitting with nobody on base at all, a shaky bullpen, and a second-year manger still making mistakes. They're 8-4 but fairly lucky to be there. Improvement is needed.

Lip Man 1
04-18-2005, 11:40 AM
Bryan:

My concern is that the offense still hasn't bought completely into the style that Ozzie wants to play. Is it because they have been facing tough pitchers? Maybe... although you'd be hard pressed to say that Franklin and Meche are among the 'elite' in the American League.

There were some legitimate questions about some of the Sox players going into this season, namely Uribe, Rowand and Crede. Were the first two named, flukes from last season or the start of something solid? Will Crede ever make the grade? These guys don't have a track record so it's hard to try to figure out how they will do.

Ultimately guys like A.J., Dye, Big Frank when he returns, are going to hit, but without the other guys hitting it's going to be very difficult. In my opinion THEY are the key offensively.

Starting pitching has been everything you could hope for, the bullpen is not where you want it to be yet. Like with Rowand and Uribe, was last year a 'fluke' for Shingo? If so, coupled with Neal Cotts' inability to throw strikes, that would force the Sox to start hunting for help. (Kerry Lightenberg? if he hasn't been signed...)

Hard to complain about an 8-4 start, yet I can understand the issues brought up about the Sox by the media and fans. A lot of question marks...serious ones, about the individual parts. How they do will determine if this new approach works or not for this season.

Lip

LVSoxFan
04-18-2005, 11:46 AM
I hope Takatsu regains his form; he's one of my favorites. I was shocked to be there for that three-homer excursion--that just never happens.


I hope Ozzie doesn't mess with his head by bypassing him to use Hermanson instead; let's give Shingo some time to iron things out before getting all panicky.

Lip Man 1
04-18-2005, 12:20 PM
LV:

That's a tricky proposition. Remember Bill Koch? How many games are you willing to lose or risk losing to determine if Shingo has it or not? (Especially if this divisional race remains close all season...)

I don't have an answer, all I'm saying is that it is one of the factors that has to be considered by the field manager.

Lip

Brian26
04-18-2005, 12:26 PM
What are the thoughts of Sox fans as to how the team has played through 12 games?

There is far more to be optimistic about than to complain about. There are far more pleasant surprises than unpleasant ones. The starting pitch has looked astonishgly good. Friday night, our fifth starter went 6.1 innings of perfect baseball, and the next day our #1 starter pitched a masterpiece. In between, the other three guys have shown signs of brilliance, and at the worst they been totally competent. This pitching staff is going to take this team a very, very long way. The bullpen is loaded, and the only concern there should be whether Ozzie can use them in the right situations. As far as using the "small ball" approach, there are many examples of the Sox doing this all year. It's just an irony that they've several games now on homeruns. The Sox are stealing bases, pushing the ball to the opposite side, laying down nice bunts, being aggresive all-around on the bases as opposed to the station-to-station approach that has been evident since, really, 2001. Overall, I'm happy with the performance and confident it can continue.

Brian26
04-18-2005, 12:28 PM
I hope Ozzie doesn't mess with his head by bypassing him to use Hermanson instead; let's give Shingo some time to iron things out before getting all panicky.

I think the horse has already left the barn on this one.

How many times have you seen Gagne or Rivera taken out to be relieved by someone else? Dustin and Shingo are co-closers right now, and I think there's a good chance Hermy will take over the role completely before too long.

PatK
04-18-2005, 12:33 PM
The only thing that I'm not happy about is the horrible OPS and hitting in general.

I'd like to see that we can still keep it close if one of the starters gets lit up.

Knucksie
04-18-2005, 12:55 PM
A couple of issues that I am very concerned with.

1) The offense has been aweful. Can any of these guys hit? They are doing some little things well and the style of ball is OK. They just aren't hitting right now. If they don't start hitting, the pitching staff will start to suffer once they realize that giving up 3 runs means a loss.

2) The bullpen. Key person is Cotts. I'm not as worried about Shingo. If he can't get the job done, give him the hook and settle with Hermanson. Fine! But Cotts is the achilles heal. The need to go to a lefty other than Marte and the call going to Cotts is costing Ozzie his entire bullpen right now. Can this guy get through an inning without giving up a run or walking guys? They need to address this situation ASAP or the entire pen could fall apart (an effective Kelly Waunch would fit the bill, but...).

3) I wonder if all the hoopla over Ozuna and the release of Valdez was a good thing right now.


The good...

1) Starting pitching...Obviously!

2) Everett's hitting.

3) Team chemistry seems to be good.

4) They seem to be playing hard and are competitive although there is no one stepping up in situations where they could go for the kill (they just aren't hitting anything).

5) Can anyone say "WINNING UGLY!"

Chicago83
04-18-2005, 01:14 PM
A couple of issues that I am very concerned with.

1) The offense has been aweful. Can any of these guys hit? They are doing some little things well and the style of ball is OK. They just aren't hitting right now. If they don't start hitting, the pitching staff will start to suffer once they realize that giving up 3 runs means a loss.

2) The bullpen. Key person is Cotts. I'm not as worried about Shingo. If he can't get the job done, give him the hook and settle with Hermanson. Fine! But Cotts is the achilles heal. The need to go to a lefty other than Marte and the call going to Cotts is costing Ozzie his entire bullpen right now. Can this guy get through an inning without giving up a run or walking guys? They need to address this situation ASAP or the entire pen could fall apart (an effective Kelly Waunch would fit the bill, but...).

3) I wonder if all the hoopla over Ozuna and the release of Valdez was a good thing right now.


The hitting has not been great, but despite that we have won 8 games which shows me that we can actually produce some runs and win the low scoring games when the homers aren't flying. To me this is a good sign. Also it is early and their are a lot of teams not hitting, just look at the Indians, they are hurting.

I wouldn't worry too much about Cotts, as I don't think he will be used that much, especially in close games. I think he will just be used for blowouts to eat up some innings. I just hope Ozzie realizes that he can't get the job done and does not use him as he has before.

I don't see a problem with Ozuna. He is a utility man who we know can hit the ball. He plays an Ozzie type of baseball. Please explain to me what you don't like about Ozuna.

DumpJerry
04-18-2005, 01:20 PM
I know some of the key stats are not where we would want them (OBP, for example), but I'm a big-picture kinda guy. Here is what I see: with yesterday's loss to Seattle, the Sox are at the same point there were after 12 games last year (8-4). Last year's team made a first place run that lasted until shortly after the ASB. However, last year's team was a three pony show:Thomas, Ordonez and Buehrle. I addition, we had Mike Jackson and Billy Koch blowing games left and right (take away the blown games by those two and we win the division since we finished 7 games back and they caused more than 7 losses).

This year's team does not rely on three guys to make it happen and the bullpen does not remind us of the scary rides at Great America. For example: Pods is central to our success, he went down and we still won. Last year when Maggs or Frank went down, we were toast. Also, I am reading that this year's team has much better chemistry than the past few years' teams. Another plus.

Bottom line: we can absorb injuries better (if a SP goes down, McCarthy is on the next flight up), better chemistry, Ozzie is more experienced and this is our year!:D:

Kadafi311
04-18-2005, 01:38 PM
Top 10 Reasons for Optimism :D:

gosox41
04-18-2005, 01:43 PM
What are the thoughts of Sox fans as to how the team has played through 12 games?

Any day the hitters want to start hitting is fine with me. Other then that I can't complain too much. We may not be seeing as much of this so-called Ozzie ball because no one is getting on base.



Bob

hawkjt
04-18-2005, 02:03 PM
I like the piching so far but the hitting has been anemic. I dont care if it is long ball or not you still have to be able to hit for average. Will this team hit .250 as a team? OBP is ridiculous.

MRKARNO
04-18-2005, 03:49 PM
Well the starting pitching has been amazing for the most part to start the year, but I dont know if it's going to hold up, especially Contreras, but I'm not saying that it's impossible.

In the bullpen, I've been happy with Politte, Marte and Hermanson (I'll give Marte a break on that one hit batter), but unhappy with Vizcaino, Cotts and Takatsu. I think Shingo will turn it around, but not as the closer. He will be the righty setup man to compliment Marte with Hermanson as the closer. Vizcaino will turn it around too, but Neal Cotts...already 12 games in and I'm already sick of him. It's about time to pull the plug on this experiment. Kevin Walker may deserve a second look at the major league level.

Hitting has been pathetic. The OBP has been absolutely brutal (.275) and the fact that we're in the middle third in runs scored is incredible. It hasnt just been "smartball," but the fact that the Sox are tied for fifth in the majors in home runs with 14 and are just 3 off the major league leader Texas. The other factor is a lot of sacrifice fly situations, which is definitely due to playing "smartball." The White Sox lead the majors in Sacrifice flies with 9. There are some negative factors, but getting the runner to third with less than two outs and the long ball has brought the White Sox to this 8-4 record. The hitting will come around sooner or later and should balance out the regression we might see in the pitching staff, and then some possibly.

The main questions I have are:

-Will the pitching hold up through the warmer weather?
-When will the hitting come around?
-Who will close and how many relievers can we count on in close games?

Overall I'm very pleased with this team that I had low expectations for based on the dissapointments of 2003 and 2004 and I think they have a better chance than I may have thought before the season started to make the postseason.

Knucksie
04-19-2005, 10:35 AM
I wouldn't worry too much about Cotts, as I don't think he will be used that much, especially in close games. I think he will just be used for blowouts to eat up some innings. I just hope Ozzie realizes that he can't get the job done and does not use him as he has before.

I don't see a problem with Ozuna. He is a utility man who we know can hit the ball. He plays an Ozzie type of baseball. Please explain to me what you don't like about Ozuna.

Cotts stats for the year. 4 Games, 3.2 IP, 4 H, 5 BB, 3ER. This doesn't even take into account the inherited runners that scored. Which of these 4 games were the were not close games and were just blowouts? Eat up innings? He can't get through an inning, let alone eat them up. I hate the idea of bringing him in everytime we get behind by 3-4 runs and have to pull a starter. We will have no chance to win any of those games and because he is so bad, Ozzie will be forced to use up other parts of the pen in a lost cause. He is the only lefty option other than Marte. What if Marte goes down? IMHO, Cotts is a very weak link in the pen.

My point about Valdez was more about Valdez than Ozuna directly. Valdez is good enough to be a stating ss at the major league level right now. How many other ss do the sox have in the system that are serviceable at the ML level right now? We got rid of Valdez to make room for an UNPROVEN Ozuna. We really don't know, yet, if he can hit any better than Valdez. Yes, he had a great spring and yes, perhaps he did earn the opportunity. Do you think we will see him around for another year, two, three? I doubt it. Ozuna will not be a difference maker for this team so, why not keep the younger guy? I'm sure there are many good reasons for keeping Ozuna if for no other rerason than he earned it in the spring, but we got nothing for Valdez.

Valdez is/was a wasted venture for the Soz. They spent time, resources and money deveoping him and just cast him away for nothing in return. I think that is a mistake.