PDA

View Full Version : A reformed dark cloud


lpneck
07-21-2006, 10:03 AM
I want to admit that until last season, I was the darkest of dark clouds, and in most cases I believe, justifiably so, particualrly given the track record of some of the decisions that White Sox management had made in the past (read: New Comiskey before the renovations, Terry Bevington, White Flag, Jerry Manual, Todd Ritchie, etc. etc. etc.)

At this time last year I was in full fledged Ken Griffey Jr. mode. I wanted to know when we were going to get a REAL third basemen. It was clear with Hermanson's back problems that there was no solution within the organization for a closer.

I think we all know how that turned out. And I am proudly a reformed dark cloud. For the first time in my life as a Sox fan, I have CONFIDENCE in the management of this club from Ozzie, Kenny, and Jerry.

Could we all please RELAX for a minute? Yes, I understand that it is frustrating that the Sox have not played well the last 10 games or so, but let's look at all of the things that has everyone up in arms for a second.

Starting Pitching-
1.) Contreras: 9-2, 3.43 ERA, BAA .238 No problems here... wasted a great outing yesterday.

2.) Buehrle: 9-7, 4.43 ERA, BAA .286 Everyone is absolutely FREAKING OUT about Mark right now. Stop it. He has had 3 terrible starts in a row, and everyone wants to throw him under the bus? His ERA prior to those starts was 3.22.

3.) Garland: 9-3, 5.12 ERA, BAA .292 OHMIGOD! Garland's ERA is over 5! Should we trade him??? He is 5-0 with a 2.77 ERA in his last 6 starts. Stop it.

4.) Garcia: 10-6, 5.07 ERA, BAA .285 I can't argue that Freddy has struggled most of the season. Solution? Let's trade him! Stop it. If the White Sox make the playoffs does Freddy's history of success (going back to the Mariners) make him more valuable than, say, Jason Schmidt?

5.) Vazquez: 9-5, 5.20 ERA, BAA .274 Yes, Javy has been maddening to watch. He also has *9* wins as our *5th* starter. How many YEARS did it take to get 9 wins from the 5th starter from 1997-2004? It seems to me that he continually pitches well for 4 or 5 innings and then has a meltdown about the third time that he faces the lineup. It also seems to me that will make him the effective right handed arm coming out of the pen that we are looking for in the postseason, when we only need 4 starters.

Bullpen
Somewhere along the way it became fashionable to say that the White Sox bullpen hasn't been very good, and I just don't buy that at all. Jenks is obviously lights out. Cotts, McCarthy, and Thornton have been very good. I think Riske was a good pickup. If we make the playoffs, you can throw in Vazquez. That only leaves Politte's former spot.

Lineup
Pretty tough to complain about the starting lineup, other than we need to do a better job bunting and moving runners over. Even Anderson, as had been noted, is hitting the ball much better lately.

So here are the changes I think the White Sox should look at as the trade deadline approaches:

1.) A servicable veteran right handed reliever with some postseason experience.

2.) Possibly a center fielder. (I like Anderson, but if you have a chance to significantly upgrade- Andrew Jones? I think that you have to consider it. It also would allow us to stop playing Mackowiack in CF, where he has no business. Anderson could be the backup outfielder that we really are missing right now by throwing Ozuna and Mack out there. If the cost for a big time CF is too high or they are not available, then the Sox need to at least look at bringing in a servicable backup outfielder who can play some defense. This would mean you would need to cut Gload for the roster space.)

3.) A backup catcher upgrade. Widger is just not getting it done right now. The Sox have lost 6 games in a row that he has caught and he has gone 2 for 31 since May 30.

NOTHING should be done to the starting pitching... the Sox have made their bed with Contreras, Buehrle, Garland, and Garcia. They will either get us to the postseason or they won't, but that decision was made last winter- a bad 10 game stretch in July is NOT the time to panic and make a poor decision.

Finally, everyone who is freaking out because we are 5.5 games back... the White Sox have the 2ND BEST RECORD IN BASEBALL and are on pace to go 100-62. You can not control what the Tigers do. If they win the 109 games they are currently on pace for, guess what, it's wild card city for us. Oh well. If the Sox win 100 games, finish 9 back of the Tigers, and win the wild card by 5 games, I have no problem with it if we are set up properly to win 4 out of 7 from the Tigers in a short series.

But most importantly, I TRUST the management and the coaching staff that brought a world championship to the south side of Chicago to make good decisions regarding the last 3 months of this season and future ones.

southside rocks
07-21-2006, 10:18 AM
Well said indeed. With the exception of the part about Anderson, I'm in full agreement with you.

I would not like to see Andruw Jones on the Sox, for the simple reason that the price the Braves would want for him is going to be sky-high. And aren't the Braves now making a run for the wild-card spot themselves? Jones is no bargain, and he's not worth a starting pitcher.

I would like to see Anderson given center field 100%. There is no need to bench him against RHP and there is never any need to put Mack in CF. I love Mack and he's a great part of the team, but asking him to do a job that he doesn't have the tools to do isn't fair to anyone.

If the Sox are going to bolster anything other than their bullpen staff, I suggest it be their LF/leadoff hitter spot(s). Ozuna and Pods are both lefthanded batters. A righty with enough speed and OBP to bat first would be nice.

Very good post, and congratulations on your evolution from dark cloud to calm, confident fan. It does make the season more enjoyable, doesn't it?

voodoochile
07-21-2006, 10:19 AM
The final two months of this season is shaping up to be a great battle between these two teams. Really with the exception of one bad inning and one really bad pitch by Vazquez the Sox had a good series. If they can continue to pitch like they did, the bats will come around.

Leland and crew has the Tigers playing great ball and believing in themselves. Great hires by the Tiger and so far a great season.

Take care of Sox business and let the chips fall where they may...

It's closing on August, time to get it on...

bluestar
07-21-2006, 10:21 AM
I agree with most of this. However, I don't mind Anderson being the EVERYDAY centerfielder. Besides, Andruw Jones isn't going anywhere now. The Braves believe they are still in the race, and they aren't going to be sellers.

As for Widger, I don't think the losing streak with him behind the plate is all his fault, but things like that tend to place doubt in everyone's heads. Plus, Widger is looking less and less fundamentally sound. I would like to see the Sox either give someone from the minor leagues a chance, or go get a more fundamentally sound backup catcher that can maybe give AJ a few more days off than he has had.

lpneck
07-21-2006, 10:39 AM
Maybe I wasn't completely clear that I am completely OK with Anderson, and totally agree that he should be the every day center fielder right now.

What I think that we need is a good defensive backup outfielder for when we give Pods and Anderson days off that allow us to utilize Mack and Ozuna better.

That being said, I am not opposed to a major upgrade at center field if one was available at the right price, and then having Anderson be that backup outfielder.

I agee that the better the Braves play, the less likely Andrew Jones becomes available at a reasonable price.

slavko
07-21-2006, 10:52 AM
If only Larry Rothschild had taken the Tigers offer last winter of a 3 year contract to leave the Cubs and join Leyland's pitching staff. We'd be cruising now. All else being equal, a championship makes anxiety go away for a long time. I'm feeling no discomfort whereas I was sweating bullets last year for most of August and September.

So what if 3 of 5 starters aren't pitching well? So I expect to see one of them traded or to the 'pen by August 1. McCarthy awaits.

Lip Man 1
07-21-2006, 11:15 AM
Slavko:

McCartney isn't going to happen this season, like it or not.

Lip

lpneck
07-21-2006, 11:41 AM
Slavko:

McCartney isn't going to happen this season, like it or not.

Lip

Yes. Let it be.

:D: :D: :D:

my5thbench
07-21-2006, 12:40 PM
well said lpneck...I am willing to stick with Brian Anderson in center, 3 for 4 last night, he seems like he's starting to get it at the plate & we all know about his "D"

I'm not so sure about Vazquez, seems he could become that long bullpen man now...& give B-Mac his starts...I'm hoping that this would help to solidfy the starting pitching & Vazquez seems to get guys out once or twice just fine, after that look out!

southside rocks
07-21-2006, 12:50 PM
well said lpneck...I am willing to stick with Brian Anderson in center, 3 for 4 last night, he seems like he's starting to get it at the plate & we all know about his "D"

I'm not so sure about Vazquez, seems he could become that long bullpen man now...& give Fingernails on a blackboard his starts...I'm hoping that this would help to solidfy the starting pitching & Vazquez seems to get guys out once or twice just fine, after that look out!

Maybe I'm missing something, but why do people think it's so easy to shuffle a starting pitcher into the bullpen? Javy's already a head case; a public and prominent DEMOTION in the middle of a pennant run -- because that is exactly what sending him to the pen would be -- would NOT increase the likelihood that he gets his head on straight. Honestly, I don't understand why or how people think this is even an option. :?:

The reverse -- bringing a pen guy into the starting rotation -- is much easier, because it's a promotion and a big shot of confidence from management. But look how wigged McCarthy was earlier in the year about BEING in the bullpen; he had some really poor outings while he was coming to grips with that in his head.

Send Javy to the pen and you're creating another Cliff Politte, IMO. I'm just saying.

spiffie
07-21-2006, 01:06 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but why do people think it's so easy to shuffle a starting pitcher into the bullpen? Javy's already a head case; a public and prominent DEMOTION in the middle of a pennant run -- because that is exactly what sending him to the pen would be -- would NOT increase the likelihood that he gets his head on straight. Honestly, I don't understand why or how people think this is even an option. :?:

The reverse -- bringing a pen guy into the starting rotation -- is much easier, because it's a promotion and a big shot of confidence from management. But look how wigged McCarthy was earlier in the year about BEING in the bullpen; he had some really poor outings while he was coming to grips with that in his head.

Send Javy to the pen and you're creating another Cliff Politte, IMO. I'm just saying.
At some point though you can't even worry much about what happens to Javy. He has been ineffective for over 2 months now, and it is possible he simply cannot get the job done against AL hitting. If that is the case, the good of the team needs to come first. If that means putting Javy on mop-up duty, so be it. Will it hurt his psyche? Without a doubt, but better that than continually handicapping the team by not putting someone out there who can do a better job.

southside rocks
07-21-2006, 01:25 PM
At some point though you can't even worry much about what happens to Javy. He has been ineffective for over 2 months now, and it is possible he simply cannot get the job done against AL hitting. If that is the case, the good of the team needs to come first. If that means putting Javy on mop-up duty, so be it. Will it hurt his psyche? Without a doubt, but better that than continually handicapping the team by not putting someone out there who can do a better job.

No, I understand that, but how will he be effective in mop-up duties? Even less than I like watching him melt down in the 6th inning would I like to see him come in and blow leads in relief, or let small leads by the other team turn into big ones.

And if Vasquez has had a bad few months, I don't think that a major-league ballclub pulls the plug on a starter quite that fast. I think they work with him, which I think they're doing. Don Cooper said that Vasquez is where Garland was two years ago. Well, we're pretty glad (most days) that the Sox hung on to Garland and worked with him.

That's another thing I don't get: the idea that the solution for every problem is to get rid of the player. The Sox saw something in Javier Vasquez that they liked and that they wanted. They're paying him a lot of money for his pitching abilities, which are considerable. Clearly, they're betting that they can straighten out his head. IMO, there is still time for them to make good on that bet. It's not like he served up a walk-off grand-slam in game 7 of the WS, after all.

thomas35forever
07-21-2006, 01:28 PM
I think most of us can agree with this. It wouldn't hurt to try Chris Stewart as a catcher sometime during August. We do need one more reliever to take Politte's former spot. With Anderson's hot streak, I think we're fine at centerfield. Well put, my friend.

slobes
07-21-2006, 01:35 PM
Like most of the people here, I'm in agreement with BA getting full time centerfield responsibilities. I think it'd be kinda foolish to give up too much in order to get a star CF. Right now our offense is the best in the majors, and that is with Anderson in CF most of the time. In most games, it is not our offense that is the problem. It is the starting pitching and fundamentals. You can't blame Anderson yesterday, he got stranded a bunch on the basepaths, especially after his leadoff double that one inning. I say stick with Anderson every day now, unless it's a super tough righty on the mound who is known for eating righties for breakfast.

StatHead21
07-21-2006, 02:24 PM
I still don't get the BA love fest, his ceiling is an above average CF who can play average-slightly above average D.

His defense is overrated because he looks like Willie Mays after watching Macowiak play CF.

IF he can hit .275-.300 the rest of the season I would keep him but thats easier said than done, a small upgrade would be nice if it doesn't cost them too much.

thomas35forever
07-21-2006, 02:29 PM
I still don't get the BA love fest, his ceiling is an above average CF who can play average-slightly above average D.

His defense is overrated because he looks like Willie Mays after watching Macowiak play CF.

IF he can hit .275-.300 the rest of the season I would keep him but thats easier said than done, a small upgrade would be nice if it doesn't cost them too much.

:anderson:
"Why do you hate me? Is my current hitting streak irrelevant to the point?"

SABRSox
07-21-2006, 02:46 PM
:anderson:
"Why do you hate me? Is my current hitting streak irrelevant to the point?"
BA hardly gets any love. Too many BA haters around here. That's ok, he'll shut 'em up, and then we'll see Daver writing something to the effect of "Kiss my ass, Stathead21" everytime BA wins PTC.