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CorkNKerrys
09-20-2005, 04:20 PM
Does it seem to anybody else like the "small ball" style has diminished? Ozzie said in May that the White Sox try to score a run an inning, anyway possible. In the first half they moved runners with sacrifices, steals, hit and runs, anything. The second half seems to have been marred with the Ol' Jerry Manuel fallback: Get somebody on base, have the next three batters swing for the fences.

Has anyone noticed this big change in offense?

TaylorStSox
09-20-2005, 04:23 PM
We don't have very much speed on this team...

Pods - fast, but not running
Iguchi - above average speed, but not fast enough to steal a ton of bags
Crede - slow
PK - slower
Dye - average at best
Uribe - average
Rowand - a little above average
AJ - likes to race Konerko
Crazy - slow and hurt

samram
09-20-2005, 04:36 PM
Let's face it, the whole small ball thing is a fallacy. This team wins with pitching and homers, which is absolutely fine by me, but let's realize that there's two guys that have played small ball this year (Pods and Iguchi) and they don't really do it anymore. In fact, I would tell Iguchi to quit trying to hit behind Pods, take pitches, etc., and start trying to drive the ball in the gaps even if Scott's on base.

Lip Man 1
09-20-2005, 05:17 PM
Which is why win or lose, choke or not, I think you'll see more changes this off season.

I'd guess they would be looking for a shortstop who can hit .280 and run, perhaps ditto for a 3rd baseman and if they think Rowand's 2004 season was a fluke and 2005 is more of what is 'normal' for him, they may try to get a center fielder who can run. Rowand would slide to the 4th outfielder or perhaps be involved in a deal.

Lip

wdelaney72
09-20-2005, 05:22 PM
Last night was good enough small ball compared to games past. They scored 5 runs and only 1 was from a HR. The offense worked the count well and seemed to concentrate on making content and hitting the ball hard and level, as opposed to just swinging for the fences.

They don't need to steal a million bases. They do not to avoid double plays and strike outs, though.

oeo
09-20-2005, 05:24 PM
Let's face it, the whole small ball thing is a fallacy. This team wins with pitching and homers, which is absolutely fine by me, but let's realize that there's two guys that have played small ball this year (Pods and Iguchi) and they don't really do it anymore. In fact, I would tell Iguchi to quit trying to hit behind Pods, take pitches, etc., and start trying to drive the ball in the gaps even if Scott's on base.

I agree you can't call it small ball because it never was, but I also believe you can't say they win with homers. It's kind of a combination, with not too much from either side. But without the pitching, we go to the crapper. I also don't believe it was just Pods and Iguchi with some sort of "small ball" approach. We were winning games with sacrifices and timely hitting all year, and it wasn't just Pods and Iguchi. We don't rely on the long ball like in years past....they showed that last night. Now if the timely hits were a little better last night, we could have had a surplus of runs.

Flight #24
09-20-2005, 05:25 PM
Which is why win or lose, choke or not, I think you'll see more changes this off season.

I'd guess they would be looking for a shortstop who can hit .280 and run, perhaps ditto for a 3rd baseman and if they think Rowand's 2004 season was a fluke and 2005 is more of what is 'normal' for him, they may try to get a center fielder who can run. Rowand would slide to the 4th outfielder or perhaps be involved in a deal.

Lip

We'll see, but Uribe's new stance seems to have improved his production significantly (.368BA in September, albiet a small sample size), so I could see them giving him another shot at the job.

Also, with Anderson & soon Young waiting in the wings, I doubt you'd see them acquire another OF without giving up one in return to either shore up somewhere else or defray the cost (in event of trade).

As a final note, I don't recall there being any real impact FAs this offseason, so any significant moves will be made via trade.

Lip Man 1
09-20-2005, 07:23 PM
Oeo:

There was a stretch starting I think around mid June and going through around mid July where a very high proportion of Sox runs came solely via the home run. That's why I say this 'conversion' is still an on-going process. You can't play 'small-ball' when you only have one guy capable of stealing 30 bases. To do it right you need three or four.

Lip

Frater Perdurabo
09-20-2005, 08:58 PM
Oeo:

There was a stretch starting I think around mid June and going through around mid July where a very high proportion of Sox runs came soley via the home run. That's why I say this 'conversion' is still an on-going process. You can't play 'small-ball' when you only have one guy capable of stealing 30 bases. To do it right you need three or four.

Lip

Lip is right. The early Sox surge really can be traced to two first-half offensive developments, with strong starting and bullpen pitching being the constant until recently.

In April and May, the Sox definitely executed "Ozzieball" to perfection, with Pods stealing tons of bases, Iguchi moving him over and Everett and PK driving them home. Crede also had a nice 14-game (IIRC) hitting streak early in the season.

In June and early July, as soon as Frank Thomas returned to the lineup, the Sox began dominating other teams by re-introducing the long ball into their attack. There were a few games where he single-handedly won the game with clutch, late-inning three-run homers. This coincided perfectly with the warmer weather as the ball started carrying. Paulie and Dye got hot, too.

Then Pods and Frank got re-injured around the same time. Pods continued playing for a while but his steal numbers stagnated. Meanwhile, Paulie got hot and carried the Sox offense in August and early September, but it hasn't been the same since.

In truth, the Sox really haven't played smallball since Frank Thomas returned at the end of May.

1951Campbell
09-20-2005, 09:56 PM
In truth, the Sox really haven't played smallball since Frank Thomas returned at the end of May.

Bingo.

Lip Man 1
09-21-2005, 12:22 AM
Frater:

I'm not automatically saying you are wrong but Frank has been gone since mid July. Why haven't the Sox been able to return to that style?

Lip

TDog
09-21-2005, 12:30 AM
Last weekend's Twinks series was pretty small ball. Taking 2 of three only scoring four runs in three games, and scoring those on Sunday with a 2-out hit and a 2-out error.

Even Friday's extra-inning win involved a run after only the first two hitters managed to get the ball out of the infield. Small ball isn't either-or, shunning big flies. It's finding runs when you have little to work with.

But you're right, Lip. There hasn't been much of that going around.

nodiggity59
09-21-2005, 12:40 AM
In a perfect world, the Sox would jettison Rowand or Dye and get a corner outfield thumper who can bat 3rd. But those two guys seem to be part of Kenny's "core".

ode to veeck
09-21-2005, 01:39 AM
Pods is still in a funk wrt to steals, though his BA is not suffering, and why the heck was Willie in there in the 9th for Paulie if he couldn't steal 2nd or score from 1st on a double (either one would have ended the game)

ode to veeck
09-21-2005, 01:42 AM
I don't think they'll getrid of Crede at third, his unsurpased solid D is something that fits right into the smallball scheme on the D side, even if he got no wheels, a long as he keeps hi BA and OBP in the respectable range and keeps getting those clutch hits

Frater Perdurabo
09-21-2005, 09:28 AM
Why haven't the Sox been able to return to that style?

Lip

1. Beacuse Pods tweaked his groin either just before or just after the All-Star break and has not been the same since, even with the stint on the DL. He hasn't run as much and when he has, he's been thrown out at an uncharacteristically high rate.

2. Because Sox hitters haven't tried to hit line drives as much as they have tried to hit home runs. They've seen how the ball carries in warm weather at the Cell and therefore have swung for the fences.

3. Because their other guys with some speed haven't gotten on base as much as the Sox need them to, and when they do, Ozzie hasn't asked them to steal bases. Iguchi, Rowand, Dye and Uribe don't have the automatic green light like Pods does. Harris recently got back to Chicago and hasn't played much. We all know that Everett, A.J., Paulie, Widger and to an extent Crede aren't fleet of foot.

maurice
09-21-2005, 01:27 PM
4. Because guys have failed to advance runners in key situations, costing numerous runs.