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View Full Version : Small- Ball Philosophy Throughout League?


Lip Man 1
04-18-2005, 12:52 PM
Given the questions according to some surrounding the Sox decision to change their philosophy this year, I found it interesting that in Sports Illustrated this week they have a story on the Astros and how they have changed as well.

The losses of Kent and Beltran and the injury to Berkman have caused them to become more of a slash and run club. The story quotes Jeff Bagwell as saying "we're going to have to win games differently...we have to win with clutch hitting, moving runners over, smart baserunning."

Sound familiar?

I think with the steroid fall out you are going to see more and more teams start adopting the philosophy that the White Sox are banking on. Also some may have seen the comments from Eddie Guardado of the Mariners talking about the Sox and how they appear to be a much tougher team then last year because of the pressure they put on opponents.

Lip

Frater Perdurabo
04-18-2005, 01:00 PM
I don't think it will become a dominant phenomenon until someone wins the World Series in this manner. The Beane-heads are a rival faction.

However, with the steroid fallout, I think we may see a few more teams adopt this approach, such as the Sox and Houston. We'll know there's a trend if and when Colorado goes away from the power game.

In any case, Lip, you've said before (and I agree with you) that the key is PITCHING.

Flight #24
04-18-2005, 01:03 PM
I don't think it will become a dominant phenomenon until someone wins the World Series in this manner. The Beane-heads are a rival faction.

However, with the steroid fallout, I think we may see a few more teams adopt this approach, such as the Sox and Houston. We'll know there's a trend if and when Colorado goes away from the power game.

In any case, Lip, you've said before (and I agree with you) that the key is PITCHING.

Which is funny since they Beane-heads have yet to win a WS as well. And no - Boston doesn't count because they didn't do it that way, they did it the Yankee way - $$$$$.

Baby Fisk
04-18-2005, 01:09 PM
Toronto's broadcasters are similarly touting the Jays' new "speed & defense" team following the departure of Carlos Delgado's big bat. However, that lends itself to the argument that some teams play small ball not by choice, but by necessity.

Frater Perdurabo
04-18-2005, 01:26 PM
Which is funny since they Beane-heads have yet to win a WS as well. And no - Boston doesn't count because they didn't do it that way, they did it the Yankee way - $$$$$.

Agreed. But with their money they got the best PITCHING. Is it any wonder the two best rotations in the AL faced off in the 2004 ALCS?

MRKARNO
04-18-2005, 01:44 PM
Toronto's broadcasters are similarly touting the Jays' new "speed & defense" team following the departure of Carlos Delgado's big bat. However, that lends itself to the argument that some teams play small ball not by choice, but by necessity.

The GM of the Jays is JP Riccardi, Billy Beane protege.

Baby Fisk
04-18-2005, 01:51 PM
The GM of the Jays is JP Riccardi, Billy Beane protege.
Correct. He wanted to get another arm for his rotation this off-season and focussed on Matt Clement. After Clement bolted to Boston, not for the money but to join a winning team, as he claimed, Jays' ownership opened its eyes and opened its wallet for Ricciardi. They are making an extra $21 million available to Ricciardi to play with over the next 3 years.

SoxSpeed22
04-18-2005, 02:52 PM
I don't think it will become a dominant phenomenon until someone wins the World Series in this manner. The Beane-heads are a rival faction.

However, with the steroid fallout, I think we may see a few more teams adopt this approach, such as the Sox and Houston. We'll know there's a trend if and when Colorado goes away from the power game.

In any case, Lip, you've said before (and I agree with you) that the key is PITCHING.The Angels and the Marlins did in '02 and '03 respectively. This was more of an 80's thing than the present. The Angels rode their bullpen and the Marlins went with starting pitching. The Sox can do it, but it has to be a combo of getting there and special moments. Every champion has them.:smile:

Banix12
04-18-2005, 03:46 PM
I think there has been at least a slight shift toward a team that has a mix of small ball with power in the middle of the lineup. We're never gonna see a pure small-ball team again like we saw in the 80's with the Vince Coleman's and the Wille McGee's and Whiteyball in St. Louis, but I think the Florida Marlins showed in 03' how important it can be to have guys at the top of your lineup who can steal bases and put some stress on the defense.

Of course they had the pitching as well, and that is always the key.

I think even if teams haven't actually switched to a small ball philosophy, I think a lot of teams are talking more about a small ball philosophy. Just as a kind of marketing campaign. Case in point, Dusty Baker up north has been talking a lot about creating runs and stealing bases etc., etc., but really he isn't doing anything like that because he doesn't have a team capable of backing up his talk. But he says it and if he says it enough, people will believe him even if he doesn't do it.

DaleJRFan
04-18-2005, 05:44 PM
Is it any wonder the two best rotations in the AL faced off in the 2004 ALCS?

They did? :?:

MRKARNO
04-18-2005, 05:54 PM
Is it any wonder the two best rotations in the AL faced off in the 2004 ALCS?

Minny and Oakland were the best two in the AL by starter ERA with Boston a close third. The Red Sox and Yankees were, however, 1 and 2 in offense in the AL.