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soxinem1
12-15-2005, 04:25 PM
While I am still thrilled (I wake up to Gene Honda doing the starting lineups with the 'Star Wars' intro all the time!!) about how this season went, I have to throw up a hint of caution: Let's be optimistic, but not take things for granted.

For example, I hear a lot of us saying we got rid of the 'dead end' of the bullpen, but frankly, Marte and Vizcaino have had better careers in most respects than Hermanson and Pollitte have. As a group, Cotts, Hermie, and Cliff entered the year with a career ERA of just under 5.00, and in 2005 they came in at under 2.00. Can this realistically be expected again? Especially with a closer with a month of experience (albeit solid) under his belt? It seemed to me Pollitte bacame an off-speed guy in the second half after featuring a very lively FB in the first half. In other words, not to many journeymen like Hermie and Cliff become 'nails tough' in their 30's quite often.

I remember the 84 and 95 White Sox, both with solid BP's the prior years, fell to pieces with primarily the same front men from the year before. Relievers are naturally erratic. And don't think the other teams in the ML are not watching tapes over and over of all these guys trying to pick up any little thing.

As far as our starters, let's not forget that other than Garland, they allowed more SB's than anyone else last year. Look for that to be exploited this year. Buerhle was run on last year sucessfully for the first time in his career last year and will need to adjust. And as much as I like AJ, he is NOT a thrower. Again, other teams are making note of this stuff.

The last couple rookie starters I remember that pitched some good games like McCarthy when he came up were McDowell and Fernandez. Brandon is very similar to McDowell, and both Alex and Jack took three years to establish themselves, and even got sent down a few times.

Again, this is not to dull our amazing accomplishment or dampen anyone's enthusiasm, but this is a game of luck, adjustments, and changes. Some work, some don't.

The other intangible is Ozzie. We all know he is a players' manager, but if things ever get rough and he starts spewing, that chemestry thing will go up in flames very very quickly. His 'We Stink' remark in September could well have blown this whole thing up. So he has to remember this is a team effort.

But on paper, you have to love these moves, and not just the players, but getting the money to pay for them from the other team. In all honesty, what KW trade has really burned the Sox? Wells? Ritchie? Try neither. I'm sure he'll make another aquisition and have us going 'Wow, that might just work' again.

So while we are positioning ourselves to be a three-peat team and all, let's take it a game at a time when the bell does ring, and remember even our beloved White Sox have to do more than show up to win.

Madvora
12-15-2005, 04:28 PM
There's absolutely no reason to assume they won't win again. The won in 2005 and they are coming back with a better team in 2006.

I want them to win every year and I'm going to expect it again like usual.

na_na_na_na
12-15-2005, 04:30 PM
I expect them to win every year. And I plan on holding them to that standard for the rest of my life.

voodoochile
12-15-2005, 05:16 PM
Okay...

WOOHOO!!! Sox are going to dominate the ALC and stomp their way into their playoffs again next year!

Now if I were being overly excited that would have read:

WOOHOO!!! Sox are going to dominate the ALC and stomp their way into their playoffs again next year!

heartslasher
12-15-2005, 05:23 PM
cockiness if for yankee fans.... as they overpay for their yuppie hot dogs and sit in their ridiculously priced average seats.

Hangar18
12-15-2005, 05:39 PM
Lets be Realistically and Cautiously Optimistic. Sure
Sure Beats the Over-the-top-every-year-is-our-year-we-believe mentality
displayed by some sheep-like fans I know

longshot7
12-15-2005, 05:48 PM
good post soxinem!! I cautiously agree. One thing is for certain - however they play, no complaining is allowed in 2k6.

soxinem1
12-15-2005, 07:23 PM
good post soxinem!! I cautiously agree. One thing is for certain - however they play, no complaining is allowed in 2k6.

Your first piece of, eh sorry, World Series is always the sweetest. Everything after that is icing on the cake.

PaulDrake
12-16-2005, 08:46 AM
Excellent soxinem1.

asindc
12-16-2005, 09:36 AM
The other intangible is Ozzie. We all know he is a players' manager, but if things ever get rough and he starts spewing, that chemestry thing will go up in flames very very quickly. His 'We Stink' remark in September could well have blown this whole thing up. So he has to remember this is a team effort.

I generally agree with your sentiments, but I want to comment on one thing.

Actually "WE stink" is very much unlike "THEY stink," which is why I think the players did not revolt on him when we said it. That remark does not sound like it came from someone who forgot he is part of the team. Contrast that remark with Garner's remarks after WS game 3. Bottom line, they know he is on their side.

Tragg
12-16-2005, 09:40 AM
The other way to look at the pen is that we got rid of the two worst performers last year in the pen. Further, Hermanson may be able to stay healthier by pitching less frequently than he did last year. In addition, our offense is better, our bench is better, and our defense is just as good.

On the other hand, the 4 we had left had "career pen years" last year.

soxinem1
12-16-2005, 11:40 AM
The other way to look at the pen is that we got rid of the two worst performers last year in the pen. Further, Hermanson may be able to stay healthier by pitching less frequently than he did last year. In addition, our offense is better, our bench is better, and our defense is just as good.

On the other hand, the 4 we had left had "career pen years" last year.

You are right, Cotts, Cliff, Hermie all had career years. We have to be careful not to EXPECT them to do the same. I actually think we have better balance in our rotation now than at the end of the season.

As excited as I am about the bold moves KW has made to fortify this team, the games are not played on paper, they have to go out and produce.

On we go to 2006 as defending champions!

Maximo
12-16-2005, 11:55 AM
No disagreement on being "cautiously optimistic". However, words cannot begin to describe the feeling I get when I remind myself that the Sox will be "defending World Champions" in 2006.

That coupled with the fact that we appear to a "major player" in the world of acquiring "impact" players......i.e. Thome, Vasquez......possibly, Tejada.....and the world looks pretty damn good right now. It wasn't that long ago when the Sox fell into the category of "In Your Dreams".

Knucksie
12-16-2005, 12:26 PM
I am thrilled with the Sox prospectus for 2006....

They are the defending CHAMPS...

Unlike many Champs that decline trying to keep the pieces together , they have been proactive in acuiring and upgrading talent...

No one else in the division has done anything to make me think they have made any significant improvements...

I like the continued attitude of "win now". All of the great franchises operate with this philosophy. I want to part of 4-5 year plans at this point...

This organization reminds me more of the Bulls than the Bears in their Defending Championship years...

They are still being fiscally responsible, w/o hurting the competitiveness of the team...

Maybe this years theme song should be "Lets Twist Again"...Like we did last summer!

miker
12-16-2005, 12:40 PM
Cautious optimism is a good thing.

In my twisted manifestation of Zen, everything that went right last year goes horribly wrong next. (Insert "Dark Cloud" theme music here.)

In reality, I won't be crushed if we don't repeat, but I WILL be twice as excited if they pull it off.

Here's hoping they do it. Go Sox!

Lip Man 1
12-16-2005, 02:09 PM
The goal should be to make the post season for the first time in consecutive years in franchise history.

As Bill Walsh once said, 'just get to the playoffs....anything can happen.'

Right now the only area that appears to be thin (and this was discussed Thursday on Chicago Tribune Live!) is the bullpen. Williams says he'll be taking care of that by hoping to get one of two veterans to compete with his in-house kids. McCarthy can also help that area in the event the Sox do not trade any starters before opening day.

Injuries are always the 'wild card.' Remember 1997? or how about 2001?

Assuming the Sox don't get hammered in that department they have a very solid club and have a very good chance to return to the post season which again is the main goal, especially when you are trying to take back your own city.

Lip

Fake Chet Lemon
12-16-2005, 02:11 PM
I'm already wondering if we can three-peat in 2007.

mcfish
12-16-2005, 02:35 PM
You are right, Cotts, Cliff, Hermie all had career years. We have to be careful not to EXPECT them to do the same. I actually think we have better balance in our rotation now than at the end of the season.I'm sorry, but how exactly is the rotation more balanced? The only changes have been the removal of Marte and Vizcaino. I thought that dumping Marte was improvement via subtraction, but it certainly doesn't make the pen more balanced.

Maximo
12-16-2005, 03:12 PM
The goal should be to make the post season for the first time in consecutive years in franchise history.

As Bill Walsh once said, 'just get to the playoffs....anything can happen.'

Right now the only area that appears to be thin (and this was discussed Thursday on Chicago Tribune Live!) is the bullpen. Williams says he'll be taking care of that by hoping to get one of two veterans to compete with his in-house kids. McCarthy can also help that area in the event the Sox do not trade any starters before opening day.

Injuries are always the 'wild card.' Remember 1997? or how about 2001?

Assuming the Sox don't get hammered in that department they have a very solid club and have a very good chance to return to the post season which again is the main goal, especially when you are trying to take back your own city.

Lip


This "trying to take back your own city" thing........I'm beginning to think this is doable. I'm starting to set my sights on taking over the country....or least all of the country located west and south of New York and Boston.

TheVulture
12-16-2005, 03:15 PM
You are right, Cotts, Cliff, Hermie all had career years. We have to be careful not to EXPECT them to do the same.

I agree there's a good chance of Politte and especially Hermanson back-sliding but I think it's a bit early to label '05 a career year for a 25 year old, previously highly-touted Cotts, or Jenks for that matter. There's no doubt in my mind losing Marte and Viz does at this point hurt the bullpen, it's pretty ridiculous those who say 'good riddance, we're better off without you'. Marte may have been dissappointing, but those are pretty good guys to have as your 5th and 6th guys, but they're not irreplacable. I expect Kenny to pick up another solid arm and hopefully Bajenaru or Tracy can hold down the last spot.

soxinem1
12-18-2005, 01:27 PM
I'm sorry, but how exactly is the rotation more balanced? The only changes have been the removal of Marte and Vizcaino. I thought that dumping Marte was improvement via subtraction, but it certainly doesn't make the pen more balanced.

I was referring to the starting rotation, and it is more balanced and has a good degree of insurace too. If someone gets hurt, traded, or is ineffective, there is a degree of backup.

My main point is that the bullpen is thin, and three of the remaining guys never performed to the level they did in 05 in the past, and Jenks has never experienced the rigors of a full season as a stopper.

Remember that stacked lineup going into Spring 1997? How about the improved 2001 team? Injuries, innefectiveness, and sometimes bad luck can act in strange ways, much like some of the karma the White Sox had this year in their favor.

I actually thought the 2003 White Sox would match up with anyone in the playoffs that year, but they couldn't win the games they should have won. That roster in September looked better that this years, but this team won.

Again, cautious optimism is the key. On paper we are better than this year's team, but they still have to show up and play (ala such recent teams as 1984, 1995, 2001).

RallyBowl
12-18-2005, 01:30 PM
Cautiously optimistic? I prefer to be overly enthusiastic, and eternally optimistic, with just a little bit of "We're gonna win this ****ing thing again" confidence.

Blob
12-18-2005, 08:01 PM
Actually "WE stink" is very much unlike "THEY stink," which is why I think the players did not revolt on him when we said it.

I think the players didn't revolt because either way they knew he was right.

D. TODD
12-18-2005, 08:17 PM
A 162 game regular season is always a tough thing to get through. Many different scenarios can play out. I know it will be a struggle, but I am definatly optimistic. I'm curious to see how I react to the ups and downs of the season with the joy of knowing the Sox are defending the world championship. It sure will be fun to find out though. Can't wait until opening day, I think "we" will do just fine! I guess that qualifies as cautiously optamistic.

GoSox2K3
12-30-2005, 03:01 PM
I'm definitely optimistic about 2006. Here is a list of "questions" I have for the Sox in '06.

1. Thome healthy? If Jim Thome can return to pre-injury form, then look out. If not, then we'll be worse off at DH than last year.

2. Brian Anderson ready for the big show? Lots of potential but not yet proven. Will he hit .275? Or .200?

3. Jenks the real deal? He was awesome down the stretch last year, but how will he do in a full major league season. Can he keep up that velocity over the long haul of a season?

4. Sophomore setback or progress for Iguchi? Some players seem to struggle in their 2nd year in the majors. Then again, he really wasn't a "rookie" in that he had lots of experience in Japan.

5. Crede back troubles? We have a good insurance back up in Mackowiak.

6. Hermanson back troubles? Will his back problems continue in '06?

7. Starting pitching. Will Garland continue his '05 sucess? Will Contreras (if not traded) continue his 2nd half '05 success? Will Vazquez return to all-star form? With 6 solid starters, the Sox are in very good shape here and can easily absorb one starter going down or underperforming with BMac waiting in the wings. If MB, JG, JC, and JV all have all-star quality seasons and FG continues the way he's pitched - all I have to say is WOW!

Please don't look at this list as implying that I have a "laundry list" of concerns about the Sox. I think they are in as good a position as any team at this point to win the WS next year. But, there will always be unknowns for any team going into a season.

ShoelessJoeS
12-30-2005, 03:08 PM
As long as the Sox stay healthy in '06, I don't think any team can stop us from winning it again.

"We're talkin' minimum 8-peat" :cool:

downstairs
12-30-2005, 03:16 PM
How's this for cautious optimism... The White Sox will break the Yankee's record of 5 straight World Championships...

Your 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 World Championship Chicago White Sox.

Chicken Dinner
12-30-2005, 03:26 PM
I guess the big question is........Who's better??????????? As stated, injuries are the key, stay healthy and I don't see a team out there that has a better shot than us.

GoSox2K3
12-30-2005, 03:53 PM
As long as the Sox stay healthy in '06, I don't think any team can stop us from winning it again.

"We're talkin' minimum 8-peat" :cool:

How's this for cautious optimism... The White Sox will break the Yankee's record of 5 straight World Championships...

Your 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 World Championship Chicago White Sox.

Does anyone know the number for the Deep Pink Police? :wink:

TomBradley72
01-02-2006, 02:35 PM
I am cautiously optimistic for 2006 as well. "On paper" this is a much better team than the 2005 World Champs. But the same could be said of other WSox teams following Division Championship/Contending seasons: the 1973, 1984, 1991, 2001 WSox were all better "on paper" than the previous season's team...but did not do as well. To me the #1 issue is health. Crede's back, Iguchi's overall stamina, Pod's legs, Dye has a history of being injuty prone, Jenks elbow, Hermanson's back, Thome's back/elbow, the overall odds of the starting rotation staying healthy. If they stay as healthy as they did in 2005...no worries. My overall approach is win the Division...then see what happens in "anything can happen short series" that make up the post season. Hell...when's the last time any Chicago baseball team went to the post-season two years in a row?

batmanZoSo
01-02-2006, 02:43 PM
I am cautiously optimistic for 2006 as well. "On paper" this is a much better team than the 2005 World Champs. But the same could be said of other WSox teams following Division Championship/Contending seasons: the 1973, 1984, 1991, 2001 WSox were all better "on paper" than the previous season's team...but did not do as well. To me the #1 issue is health. Crede's back, Iguchi's overall stamina, Pod's legs, Dye has a history of being injuty prone, Jenks elbow, Hermanson's back, Thome's back/elbow, the overall odds of the starting rotation staying healthy. If they stay as healthy as they did in 2005...no worries. My overall approach is win the Division...then see what happens in "anything can happen short series" that make up the post season. Hell...when's the last time any Chicago baseball team went to the post-season two years in a row?

You'd probably have to go back to the 40s for the cUbs and the White Sox have never gone to the postseason in consecutive years. I'm sure that'll change this year. I don't care about cautious optimism, this is a great ****ing team. It'll take a gypsy curse to keep us from seeing baseball in October again.

TornLabrum
01-02-2006, 04:05 PM
You'd probably have to go back to the 40s for the cUbs and the White Sox have never gone to the postseason in consecutive years. I'm sure that'll change this year. I don't care about cautious optimism, this is a great ****ing team. It'll take a gypsy curse to keep us from seeing baseball in October again.

Actually you'd have to go back to 1906-1908 for the Cubs to have gone to the postseason in consecutive years.

fquaye149
01-02-2006, 04:20 PM
You'd probably have to go back to the 40s for the cUbs and the White Sox have never gone to the postseason in consecutive years. I'm sure that'll change this year. I don't care about cautious optimism, this is a great ****ing team. It'll take a gypsy curse to keep us from seeing baseball in October again.

What about 1983-1984? I'm a Chicagooooo fan!:o:

batmanZoSo
01-02-2006, 04:30 PM
Actually you'd have to go back to 1906-1908 for the Cubs to have gone to the postseason in consecutive years.

'Ey, even better! :cool:

Palehose13
01-02-2006, 04:39 PM
Cautiously optimistic is for the weak! I'm planning my wedding (if that's what you call it) around the playoffs of 2007! (notice the lack of deep pink)

Dynasty!

batmanZoSo
01-02-2006, 05:18 PM
Cautiously optimistic is for the weak! I'm planning my wedding (if that's what you call it) around the playoffs of 2007! (notice the lack of deep pink)

Dynasty!

That's damn right. And good luck with the wedding. Do it at the Cell!

The Sox have a chance to be the Patriots of MLB. No one accepts that they're the best team because they just barely beat you (albeit every time). Teams walk away thinking we got lucky. No luck, my friend, just dominance. :cool:

Palehose13
01-02-2006, 05:32 PM
That's damn right. And good luck with the wedding. Do it at the Cell!

The Sox have a chance to be the Patriots of MLB. No one accepts that they're the best team because they just barely beat you (albeit every time). Teams walk away thinking we got lucky. No luck, my friend, just dominance. :cool:

I like that: No luck, just dominance. :D:

I can't have it at the Cell, even though I have tried to talk her into it! :(:

RedHeadPaleHoser
01-02-2006, 05:35 PM
I like that: No luck, just dominance. :D:


Agreed. Dominance is built upon, not wished for.

Hitmen77
01-02-2006, 09:14 PM
Injuries are always the 'wild card.' Remember 1997? or how about 2001?

Assuming the Sox don't get hammered in that department they have a very solid club and have a very good chance to return to the post season which again is the main goal, especially when you are trying to take back your own city.

Lip

I also remember 1992. Everyone was salivating at our "dream" lineup after we added former all-star Steve Sax. Well, Sax turned out to be a big flop with the Sox and Ozzie missed most of the season after getting injured colliding with Raines.

kevin57
01-02-2006, 10:07 PM
Cautious optimism is a good attitude to have, not so much because the Sox are weaker on paper or by any serious analysis, but because baseball is a quirky game and it is very tough to repeat.

That said, one can always come up with "what if's" enought to scare one into a catatonic state. I mean, one can say, "Well, now that Konerko has signed a fat contract, he'll get lazy and hit .235 and not be clutch at all." Every player on every team could have in any particular year a bad year...or even just a bad playoff series.

The secret potion for the Sox was their chemistry. They picked each other up and did not cast blame when bumps in the road occurred.

Jerome
01-02-2006, 11:27 PM
I am a little worried about the bullpen, as bad as they were at times Marte and Viz did eat a lot of bullpen innings. However, I am confident in the combination of Nice Neal and Bad Bobby. Also, BMac will be lights out in the bullpen until he is called on to start.

Hitmen77
01-06-2006, 11:03 AM
I'm pretty optimistic about 2006 - so don't take this as a "dark cloud" statement.

But before anyone thinks that our starting rotation will make us a shoe-in, remember than down the stretch in August and September we had a red-hot Contreras and McCarthy and a perfectly healthy Buehrle, Garland, and Garcia ..... and we still lost 13.5 games in the standings.

I'm not saying that this will happen again. But anything can happen even without injuries. I'm going to hold off on the "dynasty" talk until we've actually done something in '06.

kraut83
01-06-2006, 11:15 AM
IMO, the Sox are the only team in the ALC that have really improved themselves this offseason.
The Toons pitching staff is still questionable.
Minny is relying on a fairly young offense & outside of Santana, average pitching.
Det is still a couple of good veteran arms & a few years away.
KC is KC.

There's no reason not to expect at least another divison title this year.

soxfanatlanta
01-06-2006, 12:32 PM
I agree with most of the posting here. My mind says that it really REALLY hard to catch lightning in a bottle and win it all for just one year, let alone two. Injuries, slumps, complacancy, are major threats to these guys. They are going to have it tougher this year; Cleveland is going to be there in September for the division, and the Angels are going to be dying for a rematch come October.

That being said, my heart really wants this team to repeat, and thumb thier noses at all of the jerks in the media who barely paid attention to one of the better sports stories of the year. Is anyone else still mifed about SI not giving the Sox their World Series Champions picture on the cover?

Aw, I'm just getting worked up again. Fast forward to February!