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Tragg
01-15-2002, 10:28 AM
Are our moves completed? ARe we now contenders?

Let's look at our weakensses:

Poor offensive production by 1/3 of the lineup - we have done nothing to improve this. If we try to improve it by moving in Rowand for Singleton, we get worse defensively. The return of Frank SHOULD improve the offense. But that's uncertain.

Defense: Still below average. As per above, could get worse.


Pitching Ace: No movement

Left handed relief: Nothing. We hope Wunsch comes back, but we still have a problem. Last year Embree and Pulsipher were the best we had.

How did we improve ourselves?
We signed an inning-eating average pitcher. We hope a couple of more average pitchers recover from injury. And Frank, who, of course, could add 5 or so wins to the ledger.


Does that win the division?

Well, the TWins killed us last year.
The Indians are worse, but will still be competitive
We won 95 games 2 years ago by sopping every ounce of energy from the team (as per our impotence in the playoffs).

I think we have a shot at the division - no certainty by any means - I'd rate the Twins as favorites. Other than that, it may be a year to bide time, hope for the playoffs, until a couple of other young players are ready.

And I would be okay with that, if I saw young players on the horizon that would, indeed, improve our defense and improve our obp at center field, shortstop and catcher (at least 2 of the 3). But to my knowledge, we have no such players on the horizon.

Soxboyrob
01-15-2002, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by Tragg
Are our moves completed? ARe we now contenders?

I think we have a shot at the division - no certainty by any means - I'd rate the Twins as favorites. Other than that, it may be a year to bide time, hope for the playoffs, until a couple of other young players are ready.

And I would be okay with that, if I saw young players on the horizon that would, indeed, improve our defense and improve our obp at center field, shortstop and catcher (at least 2 of the 3). But to my knowledge, we have no such players on the horizon.

I'm sorry but this crap of biding time and waiting for a couple of young players to be ready is getting to me bigtime. What will happen when those young guys are ready?.....Foulke will leave via Free agency. We'll be trading guys like Garland and Buehrle rather than have them kill us in arbitration and then where will we be? We'll be talking about the next big thing that's gonna come out of the minors and save the day for the Sox. We're always waiting for the youth to develop and have become willing to accept that as our team of choice. I want this team to win a pennant and I'm tired of waiting. This organization has given us absolutely no reason to consider buying tickets for this upcoming season. No marketing. No new or exciting players....just biding time. I plan to repay the organization by not spending my money for tickets this season. I'll buy tickets when they commit to winning and not just existing.

Soxboyrob
01-15-2002, 11:44 AM
I'm sorry to sound so negative in the above post, but I've just become jaded and fed up w/ this club lately. I'm currently reading Through Hope and Despair and it's just compounding my misery. The Sox haven't learned from their prior mistakes.

RichH55
01-15-2002, 11:47 AM
What have the twins done this offseason? They lost a big piece of stablity without Kelly...and they didn't exactly upgrade anywhere....Their 2nd Half was rather telling as they were better off with Lawton than with Reed....The Indians have downgraded quite a bit, and the Sox haven't hurt themselves.....Not counting pitching injuries, alot of the guys we have are young...thus growth can reasonably be expected..ie Garland as a legitimate top 4 guy and more of the same from Buerhle...plus the Ritchie addition is akin to what Cal Eldred delivered here when he wasn't hurt...plus you start off the year with less question marks in the lineup....Singleton/Rowand cant play as bad as CF for the start of last year and Royce Clayton would literally have to be a decaying corpse to play worse than the start of last year......I think its reasonable to assume Frank will come back and add more than his counterparts did(of that I'm almost certain)

Kilroy
01-15-2002, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by RichH55
What have the twins done this offseason? They lost a big piece of stablity without Kelly...and they didn't exactly upgrade anywhere....Their 2nd Half was rather telling as they were better off with Lawton than with Reed....The Indians have downgraded quite a bit, and the Sox haven't hurt themselves...

That's right. We never actually saw the Sox team we were supposed to see last year, in more ways than one. I think you have to give those players that were out last year a chance to be the difference this year. Then if they get nowhere and do nothing in the next off season, you have grounds to be pissed.

AsInWreck
01-15-2002, 12:31 PM
The sox may be keeping their cards to play in the trade game for later in the season, to see how the pieces fit and then maybe give up a lee or singleton and prospects for someone to fill the gaps before the trade deadline. Also I could see a trade during spring training, but i can't believe the sox are looking to go late into season w/o a little more tinkering/ Someone like clayton might look a lot more attractive in july to a team fighting for a wildcard whose regular shortstop tore a hammy and their young prospect is hitting a .150 and averaging 3 or 4 errors a week,for example

ma-gaga
01-15-2002, 01:13 PM
Originally posted by RichH55
What have the twins done this offseason? They lost a big piece of stablity without Kelly...and they didn't exactly upgrade anywhere....Their 2nd Half was rather telling as they were better off with Lawton than with Reed....

The Twins have been completely handcuffed by MLB/Pohlad. Competitive balance? hmm, no. Absolutely unfair by ANY standard. They can't even make 'bad' decisions. The question is, after all this roster freezing and uncertainty about their future, will that help the Sox beat the Twins this year?

Assuming they play. I think it'll come down to which team can dominate the other. If this year repeats last year (highly unlikely IMHO) the Sox will only win 85-87 games again. If the Sox can figure out how to beat the Twins half the time+ they could easily have the division.

The Twins ate up Detroit, KC and the Sox last year. Probably 50 of their wins came against these three teams. Cleveland traded their two best hitters, so the Twins should fare better against them this year. Whatever. Assuming they play, each team has a chance to win this year.

hold2dibber
01-15-2002, 01:51 PM
It is definitely true that with the Indians downgrading and the Twins handcuffed by MLB (and showing signs of weakness during the 2nd half last year), the Sox could win the Division this year without any more moves. Of course, they also could finish a few games under .500 with the roster as it stands. There are simply too many "if"s on the roster, particularly with respect to the starting pitching. And even if they do make the playoffs, I can't see Buerhle, Ritchie and Garland beating Mulder, Zito and Hudson, or Clemens, Mussina and Petite, or even Radke, Milton and Mayes in a short series. The problem is, after waiting for 80 years for a title, when the division is wide open and there for the taking, when a bold move could make this a season to remember, the Sox do very little to upgrade. Of course, KW made such bold moves last off season and has been widely vilified for it (I for one think his moves last off season were perfect -- they didn't work out, but that doesn't mean they weren't the right moves). Players like Kevin Appier, Scott Rolen, Aaron Sele, Johnny Damon, Hideo Nomo, Brian Giles, and Roberto Alomar were available for the right price. Add a couple of those guys to the mix and the Sox are legit contenders. Instead, we wait and hope, and the best we can realistically hope for is to win a weak division and lose yet another first round play off series. That said, I will be in attendance at as many games as possible next season. I love the make-up of this team, and guys like Ordonez, Valentin, Foulke, Konerko, Buerhle and Big Hurt are great fun to watch and I will continue to support them. I just wish management would take this opportunity (which are few and far between) to make something special happen. It's right there for the taking.

Kilroy
01-15-2002, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
I just wish management would take this opportunity (which are few and far between) to make something special happen. It's right there for the taking.

But that's the rub. Exactly which move is going to be the one that gets them to the promised land? And how do you know that the move that does that isn't the one that they don't make?

Look at Oakland last year. It sure seemed like they made the moves, didn't it? Damon and Dye added to an already strong team. That made them the favorites in lots of people's eyes.
But they still didn't get there.

kermittheefrog
01-15-2002, 02:20 PM
Okay as far as the Indians, lets take a look at their expected starting lineup:

LF Brady Anderson
SS Omar Vizquel
RF Matt Lawton
1B Jim Thome
3B Travis Fryman
DH Ellis Burks / Russ Branyan
CF Milton Bradley
2B Ricky Gutierrez
C Einar Diaz

Their top three just might have one productive major league hitter in Lawton but he's still not exactly what you'd call an ideal #3. The only clear offensive strengths the Tribe has are Thome and Burks and Burks is a lock to miss 20 or 30 games, maybe more. I mean the guy expected to be their leadoff man hit .202 last year and he'll be 38 this year. Anyone else thinking Harold Baines Cleveland Ed.? I wouldn't be surprised if Cleveland dropped below .500, we're talking a team that lost Robby Alomar and Juan Gonzalez, two guys who had MVP type seasons last year.

The Twins on the other hand improved 16 games from 2000 to 2001. That pretty much means they are screwed. Teams that improve like that always drop back towards mediocrity like the 2001 Sox. We saw the Twins come back to Earth in the second half of 2000 and I think that team is what we can expect out of Minnesota this year.

So my point is, sure we haven't improved much but we're getting Thomas back and the other "contenders" in the division have dismantled themselves or sat pat after a cinderella season.

ma-gaga
01-15-2002, 03:09 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
The Twins on the other hand improved 16 games from 2000 to 2001. That pretty much means they are screwed. Teams that improve like that always drop back towards mediocrity like the 2001 Sox. We saw the Twins come back to Earth in the second half of 2000 and I think that team is what we can expect out of Minnesota this year.

Twins are based on pitching and defense. I know that on average teams tend to gravitate to 0.500, but I'm also looking at the recent stretch of Atlanta. They were/are able to stay on top of their division because of great starting pitching.

Yes, I'm comparing Radke, Milton and Mays to Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz... and that's pretty funny because Atlanta's big three were/are more dominating. But the Twins have good starting pitching. Isn't that the primary concern when putting together a good team?

hold2dibber
01-15-2002, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by Kilroy


But that's the rub. Exactly which move is going to be the one that gets them to the promised land? And how do you know that the move that does that isn't the one that they don't make?

Look at Oakland last year. It sure seemed like they made the moves, didn't it? Damon and Dye added to an already strong team. That made them the favorites in lots of people's eyes.
But they still didn't get there.

I didn't say it would be easy to decide which move to make, and I didn't say it would guarantee success. Nonetheless, the Sox have an opportunity, and while it might take some deft maneuvering by KW to take advantage of that opportunity, that's his job. I just don't think it's smart to stand pat and wait for the purported talent in the minors to make the Sox champions. I remember when the Britt Burns/Richard Dotson/Ken Kravec/Ross Baumgarten, etc. crop of young pitching was coming up through the system, and everyone said "Just wait, once those guys get into the majors, we'll be unbeatable." I also remember all of the teams that were desparate to pry minor league sensations James Baldwin and Scott Ruffcorn away from the Sox in the early '90s, but the Sox refusing to deal them because of their unlimited potential. The point is, I'm tired of waiting for potential to come through, because it so rarely does. I know it is not without risks, and I know it doesn't guarantee success, but the other teams in the division are down, and if the Sox could have traded away some potential for some proven, quality players, and/or made some savvy free agent moves, they would have been in a wonderful position to bring some post season success to the South Side. We still have some reason to be hopeful for the upcoming season; it just could have been so much better.

hold2dibber
01-15-2002, 03:20 PM
Originally posted by Kilroy



Look at Oakland last year. It sure seemed like they made the moves, didn't it? Damon and Dye added to an already strong team. That made them the favorites in lots of people's eyes.
But they still didn't get there.

And another thing ... while its true that the A's didn't get it done last season, they've still been pretty aggressive in trying to improve again this off season. They acquired Justice, that Pena stud from the Rangers, Billy Koch, and I think I'm forgetting someone else. They know, with their starting pitching, that their window of opportunity is still open and they are aggresively trying to make it happen. I would rather do that, even if it fails, than just stand pat and hope for the best.

kermittheefrog
01-15-2002, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by ma-gaga


Twins are based on pitching and defense. I know that on average teams tend to gravitate to 0.500, but I'm also looking at the recent stretch of Atlanta. They were/are able to stay on top of their division because of great starting pitching.

Yes, I'm comparing Radke, Milton and Mays to Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz... and that's pretty funny because Atlanta's big three were/are more dominating. But the Twins have good starting pitching. Isn't that the primary concern when putting together a good team?

I think the two big differences here are that Maddux and Glavine are likely hall of Famers and for most of the run the Braves offense was good. The Braves runs scored rank for the last decade:

91 - 2
92 - 3
93 - 3
94 - 5
95 - 9
96 - 4
97 - 3
98 - 4
99 - 6
00 - 6
01 - 13

Minnesota was 8th in runs scored last year. Only two of the Braves seasons were worse than 6th. Last year when they won the division by the skin of their teeth and were tied for just the 5th best record in the NL and in 94 when the strike saved them from losing the division to the Expos.

Tragg
01-15-2002, 08:02 PM
Kermit you may be right about the tribe.

You also may be right about the twins inevitable swoon - but I disagree on the timing - I think we already saw it. I think they'll be refreshened this year and will be tough. I can't forget two facts: although they finished just a game or so ahead of us in the standings, they contended and we didn't; also, they beat the crap out of us during the season.

On another note, please don't tell me this "let's give the braves great players" stuff is starting again. We went through this 10 years ago.

Cheryl
01-15-2002, 09:10 PM
Originally posted by Tragg
Kermit you may be right about the tribe.

You also may be right about the twins inevitable swoon - but I disagree on the timing - I think we already saw it. I think they'll be refreshened this year and will be tough. I can't forget two facts: although they finished just a game or so ahead of us in the standings, they contended and we didn't; also, they beat the crap out of us during the season.


Two things about the Twins:

1. No Tom Kelly. Unless this new guy is the 2nd coming of Joe Torre, that's gotta hurt.

2. They still have contraction hanging over their heads. It won't happen this year (probably) but it hasn't really gone away either. That can either demoralize a team OR we've got 40 guys all needing to have career years so they end up somewhere next season.

cornball
01-16-2002, 05:56 PM
I believe everything you guys are saying right and that is THE TIME IS NOW!!!!

KW and other management have to know this.... a frontline starter (which I know everyone wants) and improving the middle of the field both defensive and with the bat via trade.

Valintine or Clayton or Durham one of those guys has to go...let Crede play.

As far as I am concerned Lee, Durham, Singleton, Howry, and several others can be used as bait..

Our cornerstones for upcoming years are on the corners of the diamond in Mags, Bourchard, Crede, Kornerko.......

Make the right moves now and we can win this year and several. It is obvious KW has a bug up his rear for a left handed hitting outfielder....any ideas for trades? GO SOX!!!!

RichH55
01-16-2002, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by cornball
I believe everything you guys are saying right and that is THE TIME IS NOW!!!!

KW and other management have to know this.... a frontline starter (which I know everyone wants) and improving the middle of the field both defensive and with the bat via trade.

Valintine or Clayton or Durham one of those guys has to go...let Crede play.

As far as I am concerned Lee, Durham, Singleton, Howry, and several others can be used as bait..

Our cornerstones for upcoming years are on the corners of the diamond in Mags, Bourchard, Crede, Kornerko.......

Make the right moves now and we can win this year and several. It is obvious KW has a bug up his rear for a left handed hitting outfielder....any ideas for trades? GO SOX!!!!

I don't understand how you can call this the year to go fro broke and then call on Crede to be starting 3B at the expense of maybe Valentine(among others)...I want Crede to play 3B as well, but the odds of him having his best year, let alone a year where 3B is a plus position for us aren't incredibly high...If we bench Clayton we might have a better formula...I think 2003 is the more realistic WS year, but no reason to not make the playoffs this year...I still think CF will be addressed before the season, so lets see what happens there

cornball
01-17-2002, 07:33 AM
Rich the time is now due to default....the division has never been weaker....and we are close

what amazes me is we all talk of prospects and how we shouldnt trade them(for the future), but we cant find a place for a former 2 time MVP in the minors. I agree it is difficult to win with rookies, however in 2003 Bourchard will be here, you will have most likely have a new second baseman, maybe short and catcher.. and who knows what else....by 2003 there will probably be contraction and the players of those teams will stregthen the weaker teams the most...we are only a few people away for having a run...why wait?
The landscape will change so much.... real soon...the future is now...

RedPinStripes
01-17-2002, 08:03 AM
Originally posted by cornball

by 2003 there will probably be contraction and the players of those teams will stregthen the weaker teams the most...we are only a few people away for having a run...why wait?
The landscape will change so much.... real soon...the future is now...

If they do contract teams in 2003, Texas will be in the Central from what I understand. Tom Hicks is not too far away from having a good team in Texas. If they come here blowing money like they have been, be prepared to take 2nd and like it because the jagoff that owns this team just wants to keep it competitive and make is money. I don't believe JR's B.S. that he would trade all 6 bulls rings for 1 WS ring.

:reinsy
"You bunch of suckers!" hahaha