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View Full Version : Why Sox Fans Shouldn't Worry


infohawk
04-08-2006, 07:48 PM
This post is for all good Sox fans who need to take an antacid right now!!!

I am frustrated by the slow start, but not overly concerned. The quality of the team practically guarantees a successful season. In all seriousness, it's hard to look at this team and conclude that changes need to be made in any particular area. It's a very solid, talented and balanced team. I don't really know how you realistically improve it. KW did a great job assembling the talent. They just have to find their flow -- and they will. Here are some things to consider:

Really good teams that won 90+ games and went to the playoffs have started slowly in past seasons. The Cardinals in 2004 started slowly, Oakland used to traditionally start slow with some of their teams in the early 2000's.

As much as early season games seem magnified, the first couple weeks to a month doesn't really speak to the quality of a team because of the relatively small sample size of games. Does anyone really think the Tigers (4-0) will play lights out for next six months? Or that the Yankees record over six months will reflect their 1-3 start? 162 games seperates the contenders from the pretenders. As recently as 2003, the Royals jumped out to that ridiculous lead only to regress to the mean and finish in third place. They won 16 of their first 20 games and ended up with 83 wins.

We have to remember that the overall quality of the division has gotten better. The team winning the division is unlikely to win 99 games this year (it could happen, but I'm guessing 93-94 wins clinches. One of the biggest mistakes is to assume that the dynamics from a previous year transfer over to the new year. The Royals and Tigers are better clubs -- not enough to win a division, but enough to possibly prevent a division rival from rolling up 100 victories.

The Sox problems so far can be summed up with one number -- 6.57 (primarily because of poor starting pitching). That was our team ERA going into today. Does anybody really think that our team ERA is going to stay anywhere near this high? Our biggest strength is the starting rotation. Over 162 games it will be very, very good. I wouldn't take anyone's rotation over ours.

Despite the poor starting pitching during the first week, this team has already hinted that it might be vastly improved in an area where it was poor last year -- team .OBP. Last year's .OBP was .322. This year's .OBP is .356. Much of this is because we are drawing more walks. We can thank Jim Thome for that. I know it's early, but at no point during the regular season last year did we have an .OBP that high. A higher .OBP is a decent indicator that a team will score some runs. Again, our problems have been with the starters (except today).

I know that weather conditions are the same for both teams, but I really do think that, under normal conditions, we would have had 2-3 more runs today. I am pretty sure that both Crede and Uribe hit two balls hard enough and deep enough to have been comfortable homers on an average night. We probably would have won Friday's game as well had the wind not been a factor. Again, I know its the same for both teams and it's the result that ultimately matters, but I think that we've also had a bit of bad luck. It happens to every team at some point and is part of the game. In our case, however, bad pitching and bad luck have a very good team at 1-4.

The line-up will be even better when Jermaine Dye is regularly patrolling right field. Thome and Konerko are great. Thome, Konerko and Dye are outstanding!!!

Bottom line, let's just ride this out and know that this team is too damn good to struggle for too long.

RadioheadRocks
04-08-2006, 07:52 PM
I'll say Amen to that!

downstairs
04-08-2006, 07:56 PM
Sure... but no one can predict the future. So all we have to go off of in terms of analyzing the 2006 White Sox is their performance in 2006.

Will they be a .200 team all year? No. But maybe they're a .500 team. That would be a rather bad thing.

As well, we all know the Central division will be close. It could be that 1-2 games seperate the playoff bound from the guys who will watch the playoffs on TV.

Thus, every game- especially against the Celevelands of the world- count big time.

DickAllen72
04-08-2006, 08:06 PM
You don't win games on paper, you have to play the games.

As one wise former Sox player recently pointed out, the team with the best talent is not necessarily the team that wins.

The Sox need to show up every day and grind it out. They're not so good that they can play sloppy baseball and still win.

Also, for a team that's supposed to be built around speed and defense, they don't seem to have much speed and their defense so far has been less than great.

The pitching should be good, but again you still have to play the games...

JB98
04-08-2006, 08:12 PM
You don't win games on paper, you have to play the games.

As one wise former Sox player recently pointed out, the team with the best talent is not necessarily the team that wins.

The Sox need to show up every day and grind it out. They're not so good that they can play sloppy baseball and still win.

Also, for a team that's supposed to be built around speed and defense, they don't seem to have much speed and their defense so far has been less than great.

The pitching should be good, but again you still have to play the games...

I think both Scott Podsednik and Jermaine Dye are a big part of our speed-and-defense equation. It's not an excuse for blowing a 6-0 lead last night, but the little nagging injuries are not helping our cause.

cbotnyse
04-08-2006, 08:13 PM
I really think our expectations are extremely high right now.....as they should be, but with this much proven talent I think we'll be fine, especially in our division.......so far, our offense has been a bright spot, once our defense and pitching comes around, we can go on some long winning streaks....

as much as I really hate to see this losing early on, its a marathon not a sprint.

SOXSINCE'70
04-08-2006, 08:15 PM
I'd like to see a few more W's.but I will not panic now.
If the team is playing like this in June,we'll talk.
But I am not a dark cloud.:cool:

cheeses_h_rice
04-08-2006, 08:22 PM
The season is made up of roughly 34 5-game periods. The Sox lost this one, leaving just 33 5-game periods for them to catch up.

I think they can do it.

samram
04-08-2006, 08:25 PM
The season is made up of roughly 34 5-game periods. The Sox lost this one, leaving just 33 5-game periods for them to catch up.

I think they can do it.

Sweet, I didn't know they expanded the season to 170 games.:D: But point taken.

Bobbo35
04-08-2006, 08:28 PM
This post is for all good Sox fans who need to take an antacid right now!!!

I am frustrated by the slow start, but not overly concerned. The quality of the team practically guarantees a successful season. In all seriousness, it's hard to look at this team and conclude that changes need to be made in any particular area. It's a very solid, talented and balanced team. I don't really know how you realistically improve it. KW did a great job assembling the talent. They just have to find their flow -- and they will. Here are some things to consider:

Really good teams that won 90+ games and went to the playoffs have started slowly in past seasons. The Cardinals in 2004 started slowly, Oakland used to traditionally start slow with some of their teams in the early 2000's.

As much as early season games seem magnified, the first couple weeks to a month doesn't really speak to the quality of a team because of the relatively small sample size of games. Does anyone really think the Tigers (4-0) will play lights out for next six months? Or that the Yankees record over six months will reflect their 1-3 start? 162 games seperates the contenders from the pretenders. As recently as 2003, the Royals jumped out to that ridiculous lead only to regress to the mean and finish in third place. They won 16 of their first 20 games and ended up with 83 wins.

We have to remember that the overall quality of the division has gotten better. The team winning the division is unlikely to win 99 games this year (it could happen, but I'm guessing 93-94 wins clinches. One of the biggest mistakes is to assume that the dynamics from a previous year transfer over to the new year. The Royals and Tigers are better clubs -- not enough to win a division, but enough to possibly prevent a division rival from rolling up 100 victories.

The Sox problems so far can be summed up with one number -- 6.57 (primarily because of poor starting pitching). That was our team ERA going into today. Does anybody really think that our team ERA is going to stay anywhere near this high? Our biggest strength is the starting rotation. Over 162 games it will be very, very good. I wouldn't take anyone's rotation over ours.

Despite the poor starting pitching during the first week, this team has already hinted that it might be vastly improved in an area where it was poor last year -- team .OBP. Last year's .OBP was .322. This year's .OBP is .356. Much of this is because we are drawing more walks. We can thank Jim Thome for that. I know it's early, but at no point during the regular season last year did we have an .OBP that high. A higher .OBP is a decent indicator that a team will score some runs. Again, our problems have been with the starters (except today).

I know that weather conditions are the same for both teams, but I really do think that, under normal conditions, we would have had 2-3 more runs today. I am pretty sure that both Crede and Uribe hit two balls hard enough and deep enough to have been comfortable homers on an average night. We probably would have won Friday's game as well had the wind not been a factor. Again, I know its the same for both teams and it's the result that ultimately matters, but I think that we've also had a bit of bad luck. It happens to every team at some point and is part of the game. In our case, however, bad pitching and bad luck have a very good team at 1-4.

The line-up will be even better when Jermaine Dye is regularly patrolling right field. Thome and Konerko are great. Thome, Konerko and Dye are outstanding!!!

Bottom line, let's just ride this out and know that this team is too damn good to struggle for too long.

Thats what I'm talking about. Reading that post made me feel ten times better. Things said in there are true. There are way to many more games to be played yet. Actually I think it is better this happens right now. This team is good enough to come out of this and blaze the trail. Ozzie and KW will not settle for anything less.

DickAllen72
04-08-2006, 08:28 PM
I think he will carry the team this year.... if he and Konerko don't get caught into too many double plays.

Welcome to WSI!

I wouldn't spam this board if I were you.

Lip Man 1
04-08-2006, 08:35 PM
Info:

I agree in principle with your post. It's hard to predict anything after only one week however to me there have been some disturbing tendencies.

These tendencies began in spring training and if they are valid or even somewhat valid that means the Sox have in essence, been playing this way for five weeks.

Their play in the spring was ragged, fundamentals were missing and guys didn't seem to get a lot of at bats. Also the bullpen was awful. Those things have carried over at least in the first week.

The Sox have been incredible in one run games the past two years. In 2004 they started off 11-1. In 2005 they started off 9-1. Already this week they have lost a pair of them.

Law of averages?

Maybe but unlike the stat geeks at Baseball Prospectus, I think you can win a lot of one run games if you have timely hitting, air tight defense and a good bullpen.

So far the Sox have had none of those three items.

You don't have to go back far the last time the Sox started like this. 2001 they were the consensus favorites, coming off a division title. They started 1-4, were 7-14 when Frank got hurt and by May were 15 games under .500 and being booed mercilessly at home.

The big difference is that team was ripped apart by pitching injuries suffered in 2000.

In fairness, questions are already being asked about Garcia and Politte and Hermanson is hurt. Coincidence? I don't know.

I'm just getting some bad vibes. I see similarities to some other 'high expectation' Sox years that ended badly.

I think 'it's time,' Ozzie went off in a clubhouse meeting and Kenny made his presense felt. 2005 means nothing now. Like a previous poster stated games are won on the field not on predictions.

Lip

Corlose 15
04-08-2006, 08:48 PM
Call me crazy but Politte didn't do that poorly today. He jammed Grudzielanek up and in and he muslced a blooper to right center, the pitch he threw to Sweeney was low and away and Sweeney hooked it to left. His pitches and location seemed to be fine. He just got beat.

If the Sox actually bust open the game in the 8th with the bases loaded and 1 out instead of getting 1 run on a piddly ass grounder to first Sweeney's HR is academic.

Lip Man 1
04-08-2006, 08:53 PM
Corlose:

As Flight (I think) pointed out Politte's velocity has been down since last July. He's a very small guy physically and it simply may have caught up with him.

Lip

IowaSox1971
04-08-2006, 09:27 PM
Call me crazy but Politte didn't do that poorly today. He jammed Grudzielanek up and in and he muslced a blooper to right center, the pitch he threw to Sweeney was low and away and Sweeney hooked it to left. His pitches and location seemed to be fine. He just got beat.

If the Sox actually bust open the game in the 8th with the bases loaded and 1 out instead of getting 1 run on a piddly ass grounder to first Sweeney's HR is academic.


I agree. Not breaking the game open there hurt us a lot, because it gave the Royals a ton of confidence. A double play like that can be a real momentum-changer, and it certainly was in this case. I don't really blame Politte that much. A great hitter is going to hit a clutch homer off a good pitch now and then.

DrCrawdad
04-08-2006, 09:56 PM
I talked with a couple of Cub fan friends this afternoon. The politely chided me about the Sox not looking good so far this season. It didn't bother me at all. In a similar polite fashion, I told them that while of course I want the Sox to win, since the Sox won the World Series I'm comfortably numb. I'm just not getting as upset when the Sox lose so far this year.

cheeses_h_rice
04-08-2006, 11:11 PM
Sweet, I didn't know they expanded the season to 170 games.:D: But point taken.

Oops. :redface:

I guess I meant 32 5-game series, with 31 to go.

kitekrazy
04-09-2006, 12:37 AM
Pitching is still the strength of this team. Since they added Thome I hope the Sox don't revert back to station to station baseball.

HotelWhiteSox
04-09-2006, 12:48 AM
Here's some perspective, Yankees are now 1-4, also on a 4 game skid.

Also, I'm sure we remember the 2002 Indians, starting 10-1, and finishing third in the Central.

Not these teams have anything to do with the 06 Sox, and I agree it's no fun to watch bad baseball, especially after being used to a shut down bullpen, timely hitting, consistent starting pitching, and a team that just won close ball games. But these guys are pro's, I'm sure they're not obsessing about it too much as they dance/drink the night away, but they realize that everyday is new, there's a long way to go, a small win streak would sure change everything, and it'd be stupid to try and replicate last year's magic.

thomas35forever
04-09-2006, 12:57 AM
It's a long season. Teams like the Tigers, Royals, and Cubs are going to be less than average again at some point in the season and teams like the Yankees and White Sox are going to get hot and climb back up to the top of their division. If you are worrying only six days into the season, then you need a more positive aspect on your team. Let's see what happens over the next week or so.

Cat Thief
04-09-2006, 01:08 AM
Here's some perspective, Yankees are now 1-4, also on a 4 game skid.



If we were on the West coast playing the Angels I would not be so pissed off. We are losing divisional games to the Royals. Furthermore the Angels pretty much own the Yanks.

Hitmen77
04-09-2006, 01:15 AM
Right now, the Sox are finding a new reason to lose each day. One day the starting pitching stinks, the next day the (lack of) hitting is to blame, the next day the bullpen lets us down. Once they get out of this rut, they should be fine. Our bullpen is not superb, but I don't think it's so bad that it'll lead to blown games day after day.

My biggest concern at this time is that Garcia and Garland settle down and show us that their first starts this year were simply bad outings and not indiciative of problems they'll have all year.

Born SoxFan 1962
04-09-2006, 01:18 AM
I'll say Amen to that!

Yessss!!

SluggersAway
04-09-2006, 01:25 AM
Info,

I agree with your bottom line as I'm sure most everyone else does, but your data set is miniscule and thus statistically insignificant. At this point Lip has the better argument as he is at least backed up by empirical evidence.

fuzzy_patters
04-09-2006, 01:52 AM
This post is for all good Sox fans who need to take an antacid right now!!!

I am frustrated by the slow start, but not overly concerned. The quality of the team practically guarantees a successful season. In all seriousness, it's hard to look at this team and conclude that changes need to be made in any particular area. It's a very solid, talented and balanced team. I don't really know how you realistically improve it. KW did a great job assembling the talent. They just have to find their flow -- and they will. Here are some things to consider:

Really good teams that won 90+ games and went to the playoffs have started slowly in past seasons. The Cardinals in 2004 started slowly, Oakland used to traditionally start slow with some of their teams in the early 2000's.

As much as early season games seem magnified, the first couple weeks to a month doesn't really speak to the quality of a team because of the relatively small sample size of games. Does anyone really think the Tigers (4-0) will play lights out for next six months? Or that the Yankees record over six months will reflect their 1-3 start? 162 games seperates the contenders from the pretenders. As recently as 2003, the Royals jumped out to that ridiculous lead only to regress to the mean and finish in third place. They won 16 of their first 20 games and ended up with 83 wins.

We have to remember that the overall quality of the division has gotten better. The team winning the division is unlikely to win 99 games this year (it could happen, but I'm guessing 93-94 wins clinches. One of the biggest mistakes is to assume that the dynamics from a previous year transfer over to the new year. The Royals and Tigers are better clubs -- not enough to win a division, but enough to possibly prevent a division rival from rolling up 100 victories.

The Sox problems so far can be summed up with one number -- 6.57 (primarily because of poor starting pitching). That was our team ERA going into today. Does anybody really think that our team ERA is going to stay anywhere near this high? Our biggest strength is the starting rotation. Over 162 games it will be very, very good. I wouldn't take anyone's rotation over ours.

Despite the poor starting pitching during the first week, this team has already hinted that it might be vastly improved in an area where it was poor last year -- team .OBP. Last year's .OBP was .322. This year's .OBP is .356. Much of this is because we are drawing more walks. We can thank Jim Thome for that. I know it's early, but at no point during the regular season last year did we have an .OBP that high. A higher .OBP is a decent indicator that a team will score some runs. Again, our problems have been with the starters (except today).

I know that weather conditions are the same for both teams, but I really do think that, under normal conditions, we would have had 2-3 more runs today. I am pretty sure that both Crede and Uribe hit two balls hard enough and deep enough to have been comfortable homers on an average night. We probably would have won Friday's game as well had the wind not been a factor. Again, I know its the same for both teams and it's the result that ultimately matters, but I think that we've also had a bit of bad luck. It happens to every team at some point and is part of the game. In our case, however, bad pitching and bad luck have a very good team at 1-4.

The line-up will be even better when Jermaine Dye is regularly patrolling right field. Thome and Konerko are great. Thome, Konerko and Dye are outstanding!!!

Bottom line, let's just ride this out and know that this team is too damn good to struggle for too long.

There is no good reason for not worrying after a four game losing streak. If we did not worry, we would not be fans. I am glad that people still care enough about this team to worry when things go poorly and to get excited when things go well. I would hate to be so luke warm about the Sox that I no longer felt emotional after wins and losses.

Fornelli
04-09-2006, 01:57 AM
I'm not exactly worried about the White Sox, as it is only 5 games into the season...but don't you all realize that at the current pace the Tigers will finish 162-0!?

Led by Chris Shelton's 162 HR and .700 Avg.

It's gonna be hard to keep up with that.:wink:

PaulDrake
04-09-2006, 02:03 AM
It's a long season. Teams like the Tigers, Royals, and Cubs are going to be less than average again at some point in the season and teams like the Yankees and White Sox are going to get hot and climb back up to the top of their division. If you are worrying only six days into the season, then you need a more positive aspect on your team. Let's see what happens over the next week or so. In half a century of being a fan of MLB I've learned never to assume what might logically appear to be obvious. It would take too much time to list all the teams that surprised one way or another in that time period but the 67 Red Sox, 69 Mets, and the 85 wins Minnesota Twins who went all the way in 87 come to mind. Nothing much was expected of the 72,77,90,00 and 05 White Sox. OTOH White Sox teams in 60, 73, 84, 95 and 01-04 failed to meet expectations, sometimes by a wide margin. I won't assume that the Tigers, Royals and Cubs are all going to tank, and the White Sox and Yankees will make the playoffs. MLB Baseball can be very unpredictable.

QCIASOXFAN
04-09-2006, 02:06 AM
I agree with that, when Pods and Dye are healty I wont be very worried. We still have 158 games left and im not scared.

IowaSox1971
04-09-2006, 03:17 AM
Info:

I agree in principle with your post. It's hard to predict anything after only one week however to me there have been some disturbing tendencies.

These tendencies began in spring training and if they are valid or even somewhat valid that means the Sox have in essence, been playing this way for five weeks.

Their play in the spring was ragged, fundamentals were missing and guys didn't seem to get a lot of at bats. Also the bullpen was awful. Those things have carried over at least in the first week.

The Sox have been incredible in one run games the past two years. In 2004 they started off 11-1. In 2005 they started off 9-1. Already this week they have lost a pair of them.

Law of averages?

Maybe but unlike the stat geeks at Baseball Prospectus, I think you can win a lot of one run games if you have timely hitting, air tight defense and a good bullpen.

So far the Sox have had none of those three items.

You don't have to go back far the last time the Sox started like this. 2001 they were the consensus favorites, coming off a division title. They started 1-4, were 7-14 when Frank got hurt and by May were 15 games under .500 and being booed mercilessly at home.

The big difference is that team was ripped apart by pitching injuries suffered in 2000.

In fairness, questions are already being asked about Garcia and Politte and Hermanson is hurt. Coincidence? I don't know.

I'm just getting some bad vibes. I see similarities to some other 'high expectation' Sox years that ended badly.

I think 'it's time,' Ozzie went off in a clubhouse meeting and Kenny made his presense felt. 2005 means nothing now. Like a previous poster stated games are won on the field not on predictions.

Lip


Despite starting out 14-29 in 2001, we had ample opportunities to get back into the race later in the season. We recovered quickly from that horrible start and we were 36-36 before the season even hit its halfway point. The Twins jumped out to a huge early lead on us that year, and we actually caught them with two games to go, when we both had 83-77 records. So, it's possible to make up 13 or 14 games in the standings. The Indians were the most consistent team in the division that year and won it (while the Twins won the final two regular season meetings with us to take second), but we still will have time to come back even if we get off to another horrible start.

That 2001 comeback was achieved despite not having Frank Thomas for almost the entire year, having David Wells (our alleged ace) for only about half a season and trading a starting pitcher (Baldwin) for practically nothing around the trading deadline. I don't want us to start out 14-29 again, but we eventually made up ground on the team that got off to a super-hot start in 2001.

JimmyJoe
04-09-2006, 03:38 AM
Quite possibly THE greatest post in WSI history.



This post is for all good Sox fans who need to take an antacid right now!!!

I am frustrated by the slow start, but not overly concerned. The quality of the team practically guarantees a successful season. In all seriousness, it's hard to look at this team and conclude that changes need to be made in any particular area. It's a very solid, talented and balanced team. I don't really know how you realistically improve it. KW did a great job assembling the talent. They just have to find their flow -- and they will. Here are some things to consider:

Really good teams that won 90+ games and went to the playoffs have started slowly in past seasons. The Cardinals in 2004 started slowly, Oakland used to traditionally start slow with some of their teams in the early 2000's.

As much as early season games seem magnified, the first couple weeks to a month doesn't really speak to the quality of a team because of the relatively small sample size of games. Does anyone really think the Tigers (4-0) will play lights out for next six months? Or that the Yankees record over six months will reflect their 1-3 start? 162 games seperates the contenders from the pretenders. As recently as 2003, the Royals jumped out to that ridiculous lead only to regress to the mean and finish in third place. They won 16 of their first 20 games and ended up with 83 wins.

We have to remember that the overall quality of the division has gotten better. The team winning the division is unlikely to win 99 games this year (it could happen, but I'm guessing 93-94 wins clinches. One of the biggest mistakes is to assume that the dynamics from a previous year transfer over to the new year. The Royals and Tigers are better clubs -- not enough to win a division, but enough to possibly prevent a division rival from rolling up 100 victories.

The Sox problems so far can be summed up with one number -- 6.57 (primarily because of poor starting pitching). That was our team ERA going into today. Does anybody really think that our team ERA is going to stay anywhere near this high? Our biggest strength is the starting rotation. Over 162 games it will be very, very good. I wouldn't take anyone's rotation over ours.

Despite the poor starting pitching during the first week, this team has already hinted that it might be vastly improved in an area where it was poor last year -- team .OBP. Last year's .OBP was .322. This year's .OBP is .356. Much of this is because we are drawing more walks. We can thank Jim Thome for that. I know it's early, but at no point during the regular season last year did we have an .OBP that high. A higher .OBP is a decent indicator that a team will score some runs. Again, our problems have been with the starters (except today).

I know that weather conditions are the same for both teams, but I really do think that, under normal conditions, we would have had 2-3 more runs today. I am pretty sure that both Crede and Uribe hit two balls hard enough and deep enough to have been comfortable homers on an average night. We probably would have won Friday's game as well had the wind not been a factor. Again, I know its the same for both teams and it's the result that ultimately matters, but I think that we've also had a bit of bad luck. It happens to every team at some point and is part of the game. In our case, however, bad pitching and bad luck have a very good team at 1-4.

The line-up will be even better when Jermaine Dye is regularly patrolling right field. Thome and Konerko are great. Thome, Konerko and Dye are outstanding!!!

Bottom line, let's just ride this out and know that this team is too damn good to struggle for too long.

pmck003
04-09-2006, 05:58 AM
"If I were a dark cloud"...to add, McCarthy has been awesome (4IP, 1H, 0BB, 0 ERA). Though the Sox have a few in demand players for other playoff teams/teams that like to pay too much for veteran pitchers such as a (if) "declining Garcia", as there is still 98% hope for the season there should be no talk of trade situations come the deadline... in short, worst-case scenario is not so bad. (compare to such teams as the Brewers, Rangers, Padres, Cubs or especially Tampa Bay Tarpons, Blackhawks, etc.)

he gone!
04-09-2006, 06:12 AM
i'm a little flustered.. but not really worried. i know our pitching is gonna start clicking on all cylinders and we gotta start producing with risp. but im still feeling optimistic.

jdieter
04-09-2006, 07:25 AM
I'm not gonna rationalize this into something more accepatable. We lost 4 divisional games in a row because our offense is anemic, our defense is lousy and our bullpen sucks. No matter how good we look on paper we're playing like crap now. Let's stop the blood-letting today, get out of KC with a solid win and go after Detroit hard.

Bucky F. Dent
04-09-2006, 09:13 AM
My concern about the slow start is this....

Last year we got off to a tremendous start. And then relied upon those early wins as the team stumbled in September.

We are not providing ourselves with that cushion with this early stumble.

That all said, there is still a hell of alot of baseball left to play, and a few crucial parts yet to make their appearance this season.

tick53
04-09-2006, 11:43 AM
I'm not worried, look how Houston started out last year. The Sox had busy
offseason. They haven't settled in yet. They are improved over last year.
Ozzie went through a whirlwind too, he's the catalyst and the motivator. As
soon as they find there groove, watch out!

infohawk
04-09-2006, 11:43 AM
Info,

I agree with your bottom line as I'm sure most everyone else does, but your data set is miniscule and thus statistically insignificant. At this point Lip has the better argument as he is at least backed up by empirical evidence.
With all due respect, I think that the empirical evidence is firmly on the side of the team getting much better as the season progresses. Statistically, the team's ERA for starting pitchers will almost certainly come down to reflect, at the very least, the career averages of each starter. I'll give you latitude on the .OBP issue, as it is a small sample size, but I was careful to phrase that postulation using words like "hint" and "suggests." I do think that Thome's presence in the line-up will greatly impact the team's .OBP, however.

What we saw during spring training was largely anecdotal evidence that the team may have problems. Then again, many of the starting position players weren't playing much and a lot of innings were chewed up by the trainwreck of lefties the team was auditioning. Pods missed significant time, so it's no wonder he's off to a slow start. I just don't believe that, for a team with as much talent as the Sox have, spring training is much of an indicator of overall success. It's perhaps significant for a position battle or two, but not a predictor. Look at Iguchi. By all rights he should be as terrible as he was during spring training. Instead he is one of the team leaders in hitting.

I think we all would agree, however, that the Sox need to win today to calm our nerves!!!:tongue:

Lip Man 1
04-09-2006, 01:49 PM
Iowa:

Valid point...of course the Sox had to expand so much energy just to 'get back' into the race they barely had enough left in the tank to finish with a winning season, 83-79 that year.

Info:

Some good points although that offers another question that has been discussed here. Why does Ozzie insist on playing these kids so late in the spring knowing that his regulars have had very few at bats or chances to work into a rhythm.

Right now I'd have to say the bullpen is the biggest issue of concern. And some of those guys were the same ones who did get work in the spring (and looked bad)

I certainly agree with your last point. They need a win badly today and they need to play better in Detroit. You simply don't want to be in that position where you are already looking up from six or seven games behind and it's not even the end of April. That's pressure.

Lip

infohawk
04-09-2006, 04:43 PM
Iowa:

Valid point...of course the Sox had to expand so much energy just to 'get back' into the race they barely had enough left in the tank to finish with a winning season, 83-79 that year.

Info:

Some good points although that offers another question that has been discussed here. Why does Ozzie insist on playing these kids so late in the spring knowing that his regulars have had very few at bats or chances to work into a rhythm.

Right now I'd have to say the bullpen is the biggest issue of concern. And some of those guys were the same ones who did get work in the spring (and looked bad)

I certainly agree with your last point. They need a win badly today and they need to play better in Detroit. You simply don't want to be in that position where you are already looking up from six or seven games behind and it's not even the end of April. That's pressure.

Lip
I concede your point about not giving the regulars enough time in spring training. That can certainly contribute -- and may be -- to a slow start. I think the bullpen will be better than people think, but I'm also counting on the offense scoring a few more runs per game than last year's team. Yeah, Boone Logan gave up that bomb to Hafner, but have you seen the tear that Hafner's been on? He's absolutely locked in right now.

I'll give Pods a break because he's missed so much time and hardly had a spring training. I'm encouraged to see him hitting the ball on the ground, though.

What a difference the starting outfield makes! Jermaine made a couple of nice plays, and Pods did a great job getting to that ball and throwing the runner out at second. Pablo likely wouldn't have made that play. As an outfielder, Pablo is a great backup infielder! In a game won by two runs, the Dye catch to start the game and Pods play to turn a double into an out could have made all the difference between a win and another frustrating loss.

I still say to just let the starters get into their groove, get Pods more at-bats and keep the starting outfield together and the Sox will be just fine. I'll be real interested to see if Freddie can bounce back. That could be a tough series in Detroit!

One more thing, I was happy to hear that we were only 5-4 at Kauffman Stadium last year. Maybe we just have problems there, and if so, losing two of three there is no big deal. I know it's pure conjecture, but if the Sox were to win at least 3 or 4 more games against the Royals at Kaufmann, they will be no worse for wear compared to last year. Anyway, at least that thought makes me feel better.:tongue:

Frater Perdurabo
04-09-2006, 06:30 PM
The starting pitching will be fine. Only Garcia and Garland looked poor in their first starts. Garcia and Garland do get shelled sometimes. There's no way this starting rotation will have an ERA of 5+ over the entire season. Even if someone gets hurt, the Sox have McCarthy ready to step into the rotation.

The middle 7/9ths of the order will be fine. Iguchi is off to a good start. Thome is on fire. Konerko and Dye almost always start slow. AJ had one of his worst seasons, average-wise, at the plate last year and should "rebound to the mean" this year. Crede also looks like he might be picking up where he left off last October. Uribe is drawing more walks which means he's being more selective. Anderson can't be expected to do much as the #9 hitter, so anything he provides is a bonus. My only concern is with Pods. He can't steal first base. Let's give him time, but if he's hitting .200 in June, it may be time to bench him in favor of Mackowiak, promote Owens (if he's ready) or make a trade.

Defense doesn't slump. Anderson is a better, more natural center fielder than Rowand. This year's defense will be better than last year's simply because of Anderson. The only place where the Sox are below-average defensively is catcher, and they won the 2005 World Series with a below-average defensive catcher.

Coaching doesn't slump. Does anyone think that all of a sudden Don Cooper's brain has turned to poo? Can Joey Cora get any worse as a third base coach? Has Ozzie done anything to make us think he's going to regress as a manager?

The bench is much stronger than last year. Unlike Harris and Blum from 2005, Cintron and Mackowiak would be starters on most other MLB teams. Harris and Blum made some key contributions last year. Experienced, veteran players who are quantitatively and qualitatively better than the players they replaced will by nature make even more significant contributions (even if their contributions may not be as dramatic).

The bullpen is a question mark because on every single MLB team, bullpens by nature are comprised of pitchers who are not good enough to be starters. Teams are blessed if they have ONE pitcher in their bullpen who has "starter's stuff." The Sox have that in McCarthy.

So far the Sox bullpen has been called on to pitch too many innings because of the opening night rain delay and because Garcia and Garland sucked in their first starts. Last year, Politte, Cotts, Hermanson, Vizcaino and Marte made a lot of appearances but didn't throw to many batters in each appearance. Their exposure was limited and Cotts, Politte and Hermanson thrived as a result. Like last year, the key will be for Sox starters to pitch deep into games. The more innings Sox starters throw, the more effective Cotts, Politte, Thornton and Logan can be in middle relief. The good news is that historically, all five starters are just about guaranteed to throw 200+ innings and none of them have any history of arm trouble or injuries of any kind. This bodes well for the bullpen and for the team as a whole.

It's premature for anyone to panic.

SoxPostSeason
04-09-2006, 07:14 PM
Your gunna win 60 games and lose 60 games, its the 42 in between that change ur outcome

SoxFaninCT
04-09-2006, 09:59 PM
I think when the words 'World Series' are eradicated from any of the post game interviews the Sox will be fine. Once the team just concentrates on the game at hand good things will happen.

Other thing is, Ozzie needs to be given the benefit of the doubt. The Boone Logan call was puzzling but he's not a manager who won't make a move that may have disastrous results that afternoon but will pay off weeks down the line. It amazes me how even the 'experts' in the media failed to note how Ozzie's handling of the pitching staff in August paid huge dividends in Sep and Oct.

Lip Man 1
04-09-2006, 10:14 PM
Frater:

You almost sound (and maybe I misunderstood you) that the bullpen is a place for starting pitchers to go and die.

If that is a correct reading then you are dead wrong.

You don't have a good / solid bullpen you are screwed regardless of how good your starting pitchers are.

We've already seen two examples of this on Wednesday and Saturday.

The way the game is played today you are not going to have starting pitchers regularly, start after start, go into the 7th or 8th innings. The days of Ryan and Wood and McDowell throwing 280 to 300 innings per year are dead and gone. Now multiple that by five (for five starters).

You need a good/solid bullpen...championships are won with them. Including the Sox from last season.

The Sox have real issues right now that need to be addressed. Maybe that comes from bringing up Redding and Lopez, maybe that means going out and getting back Viz or Juan Cruz or Oscar Villareal in a trade. But this is something kenny is going to have to look hard at.

Lip

GoSox2K3
04-09-2006, 11:54 PM
Right now, Pods and PK are not getting any hits. It's hard to win without getting anything from these 2 guys. Fortunately, I'm confident they'll get back on track soon.

My main concern so far is Garcia and Garland's performance - especially Garcia. But, it's still early.

I just hope the Sox don't fall too many games back before they get things on track.

Hitmen77
04-10-2006, 09:54 AM
The Sox have no HRs this season except for Thome's 3 bombs. Hard to score alot of runs with that kind of power outage and when our leadoff man is hitting less than .100. But it's only 6 games. I fully expect Konerko, Dye, Crede and others to provide their fair share of power as the season progresses and I expect Pods to get his swing back.

Chip Z'nuff
04-10-2006, 10:38 AM
The White Sox should not exert anymore energy towards winning than they did last year. If they play one game at a time, keep it light hearted and have a little fun, we will see them in playoff contention.

Also Ozzie has showed mlb that "small ball" wins games. The whole league is going to play white sox style baseball this year.

We can't win the world series every year either. I would hate to see Kenny WIlliams give up key prospects mid season just to be able to limp into the playoffs. If we don't win this year, big deal! It would make 2005 even more special than it already is.

Lip Man 1
04-10-2006, 11:44 AM
Chip:

There are more things at work here for this franchise this season then just wins and losses. Read the thread entitled 'The Sporting News / S.I. Sox stuff' and you'll understand.

Lip

Chip Z'nuff
04-10-2006, 11:56 AM
Chip:

There are more things at work here for this franchise this season then just wins and losses. Read the thread entitled 'The Sporting News / S.I. Sox stuff' and you'll understand.

Lip

Why so uptight Lip? We just won the world series not 6 months ago. I will never forget those great moments from 2005. Not to mention all these guys played an extended season and the game film on the white sox just got a bit longer. The Sox will find ways to win this year, if not, it ain't gonna ruin my summer.

Lip Man 1
04-10-2006, 12:06 PM
Chip:

That's an interesting posititon and one that depends on the individual. I'm just suggesting that you read that thread first and it will explain a lot of things.

The World Series win was very, very nice but in the material that I suggest you look at, Kenny himself says it's not enough and explains why.

By the way the only thing that would ruin my summer is if the Sox pull off another 1968, 1973, 1984 or 1995.

Lip

Hangar18
04-10-2006, 12:24 PM
As well, we all know the Central division will be close. It could be that 1-2 games seperate the playoff bound from the guys who will watch the playoffs on TV.

Thus, every game- especially against the Celevelands of the world- count big time.

Thats what worries me. We are in a very competitive league (as opposed to the easier NL) and in a very very competitive division (as opposed to the NL Central-joke) We cannot fall much farther behind, or the seasons over before we even get started. I heard on the radio that maybe the AL Central might now be the toughest division (pfffffffffffffft, ive been saying that the last 3 yrs now). The only reason we won the division, was because Cleve started slow. You knew they werent going to start slow this time around, so we have to keep up with them, which we havnt done so far. the only good thing I can take from all this, is the SOX by now should realize, the games we won were not gifts, but all earned, and the games we lost, we definitely LOST. They better bring up the INTENSITY
..............im not seeing it right now

Hangar18
04-10-2006, 12:31 PM
I'm not worried, look how Houston started out last year.

Houston had the luxury of being in the National League. the SOX dont have the same luxury. the American League is much tougher, the margin for error is much much smaller (we saw that last year)

Frater Perdurabo
04-10-2006, 12:36 PM
Frater:

You almost sound (and maybe I misunderstood you) that the bullpen is a place for starting pitchers to go and die. If that is a correct reading then you are dead wrong. You don't have a good / solid bullpen you are screwed regardless of how good your starting pitchers are. We've already seen two examples of this on Wednesday and Saturday.

The way the game is played today you are not going to have starting pitchers regularly, start after start, go into the 7th or 8th innings. The days of Ryan and Wood and McDowell throwing 280 to 300 innings per year are dead and gone. Now multiple that by five (for five starters).

You need a good/solid bullpen...championships are won with them. Including the Sox from last season.

The Sox have real issues right now that need to be addressed. Maybe that comes from bringing up Redding and Lopez, maybe that means going out and getting back Viz or Juan Cruz or Oscar Villareal in a trade. But this is something kenny is going to have to look hard at.

Lip

Lip,

Thanks for debating me. What stud little league, high school or college pitcher dreams of becoming a middle reliever? None. They all want to be starting pitchers. Relievers from high school generally don't make it to the big powerhouse colleges. The very best high school starters, however, get drafted and go straight to the pros or get a scholarship to play ball. They all want to continue to be starting pitchers. No one ever drafts high school or college middle relievers. KW rightfully got criticized for drafting Royce Ring - a college closer - in the first round. Organizations convert pitchers who they acquire (via draft or trade, etc.) that they don't think will cut it as starters into relievers. My point is that pitchers who are relievers are relievers for a reason: they are not good enough to be consistent starters; they cannot get hitters out the second and third time through an opposing lineup.

Yes, the bullpen is a concern. But last year's bullpen was protected by the Sox starters who generally went deep into games. The same durable, reliable, healthy starters are back this year and should continue to pitch deep into games most of the time.

Here are the number of regular season innings pitched by each Sox starter in 2005:
Buehrle: 237.2
Garcia: 228.0
Garland: 221.0
Contreras: 205.2
McCarthy (67.0) + El Duque (128.1) = 195.1

(Last year, Vazquez pitched 216.2 innings for Arizona. If he repeats, this will improve upon the number of innings Sox fifth starters pitched in 2005!)

That's 1087.2 total innings pitched.
Nine innings x 162 games = 1458 estimated innings per season (for purposes of discussion, extra-inning games are assumed to offset road losses in which the opposing team leads at the middle of the ninth inning and the Sox pitcher would not pitch).

Sox starters threw approximately 75 percent of all innings in the 2005 regular season. That means, on average, they pitched 6.75 innings per game, or got to two outs in the seventh before being relieved. Sox relievers may have had a lot of appearances, but generally they would only pitch to one or two batters before being relieved themselves. (The exceptions were when a Sox starter left the game early and someone like Vizcaino would pitch multiple innings in relief.) The fewer pitches bullpen pitchers have to throw, the less exposed they are and the more likely they are to get opposing hitters out!

If the Sox bullpen does well over the course of the season, it will be in large part because the Sox starters protected them, on average, by pitching into the seventh inning. If it is bad, it will be because the Sox starters allowed the relievers to become overexposed. If that happens, KW definitely will need to make multiple moves to shore it up, much like he did in 2003 by trading for Scott Schoeneweis (sp?) and Scott Sullivan.

My point is that the 2006 Sox will go as far as their starting pitching will take them. The bullpen is very important, but the reason the pen has struggled so far in 2006 is because the first time through the rotation, the starters didn't pitch as deep into the games as they should have. Once the starters return to their customary and historical forms, the bullpen almost certainly will get better.

:smile:

SoLongFrank
04-10-2006, 03:54 PM
Pessimists be honest with yourselves. The only reason this team is 3-4 is because Dye got hurt. Look at the games! Dye's replacements were woefully inadequate both in the field & at the plate. I'm not talking about Mak. He's everyone's replacement.

Dye's absence proved to the White Sox that Ozuna is nothing more than a backup for Iguchi. Is that deserving of a spot on this team? Probably not. Cintron can backup both Iguchi & Uribe & Iguchi's already upset with his lack of playing time.

Which is where the new sentiment is building in Sox fandom: bring up Sweeney, so long Ozuna. With both Pods & Dye expected to spend more time on the bench this year the White Sox need capable gloves as replacement players in the OF.

We might have the best defensive IF in the game right now. It would be a shame to diminish that value with players like Ozuna in LF & RF.