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View Full Version : Huge, optimistic article on Sox in SI


cheeses_h_rice
02-26-2002, 11:57 AM
...or at least on SI's site:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/tom_verducci/news/2002/02/26/insider/

Tom Verducci has lots of great things to say about the Big Hurt, Garland, etc. Probably the most positive Sox article I've read this year!

Bmr31
02-26-2002, 12:03 PM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice
...or at least on SI's site:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/tom_verducci/news/2002/02/26/insider/

Tom Verducci has lots of great things to say about the Big Hurt, Garland, etc. Probably the most positive Sox article I've read this year!


Now thats what i like to see! Print those world series tickets! :)

bjmarte
02-26-2002, 12:08 PM
In case you didn't make it to the end, there was one more White Sox blurb mixed in with the info on the rest of the teams.

Here's a spring training idea so good it's a wonder other teams don't do it: When White Sox pitchers throw batting practice, they rest in the dugout for a spell, then crank it up again, simulating two innings of game situation. Just about every other team has its pitchers throw for a determined number of minutes, then call it a day -- nothing at all like the actual process of pitching in a game

Iwritecode
02-26-2002, 12:10 PM
Wow, that is really positive. It's amazing the outlook of the Sox to people outside of Chicago and the East coast.

A few points I took note of:

This time around, Thomas reported to camp in terrific shape and, just as important, with a 180-degree attitude reversal. The Big Hurt has been a beacon of energy and optimism, partly fueled by the chance to hit behind Lofton and Ray Durham. "I've never hit behind two rabbits like that before,'' said Thomas, who may be staring at a 150-RBI season.

Who was it that was saying Frank reported out of shape?
150 RBI's? I'll take it. :D:

There is plenty more good news. Pitchers Jim Parque, Antonio Osuna, Kelly Wunsch and Lorenzo Barcelo, all of whom are coming off surgery, have been throwing lights-out. Parque is on schedule; everybody else is ahead of schedule. And 6-foot-11 future stud Jon Rauch, who underwent shoulder surgery, is throwing with the kind of easy heat that has the White Sox thinking they won't have to trade for a front-of-the-rotation starter come July. By then, Rauch should be ready to give the staff a boost.

"The ball's coming out of his hand better than it did before he was hurt," Williams said. "That's because you have to work a lot harder to come back from an injury. He's stronger."

They didn't mention Biddle for some reason. I just wonder how tough the decision to leave Rauch off the roster will be. I bet that will be the toughest one to make.

"We have the capability of scoring 950 runs," Williams said. "Teams that do that generally find themselves in the playoffs. When you get to that level all you need is decent pitching. Just decent. I'm a big believer, especially in this league, of getting guys on base and getting them in."

This is a dangerous quote. The Sox scored a ton of runs in 2000 with "decent" pitching. We all know what happened come playoff time. Hopefully with the young guys getting a little more experience and the addition of Ritchie and Lofton will help to fix that problem.

voodoochile
02-26-2002, 12:19 PM
Quote:
"We have the capability of scoring 950 runs," Williams said. "Teams that do that generally find themselves in the playoffs. When you get to that level all you need is decent pitching. Just decent. I'm a big believer, especially in this league, of getting guys on base and getting them in."



This is a dangerous quote. The Sox scored a ton of runs in 2000 with "decent" pitching. We all know what happened come playoff time. Hopefully with the young guys getting a little more experience and the addition of Ritchie and Lofton will help to fix that problem.

I agree - the team cannot rely on offense to carry them. One more pitcher, or Garland and Wright have breakout seasons or...

I liked the part about Rauch:

And 6-foot-11 future stud Jon Rauch, who underwent shoulder surgery, is throwing with the kind of easy heat that has the White Sox thinking they won't have to trade for a front-of-the-rotation starter come July. By then, Rauch should be ready to give the staff a boost.

If he can make it up mid season then he could add the type of pitching firepower that guys like Bere and Alvarez added in 1983. No one did that in 2000 - because the young pitchers were all still 2-3 years away. Now they are starting to mature. I am starting to feel really really good about this season...

RichH55
02-26-2002, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile





I agree - the team cannot rely on offense to carry them. One more pitcher, or Garland and Wright have breakout seasons or...

I liked the part about Rauch:



If he can make it up mid season then he could add the type of pitching firepower that guys like Bere and Alvarez added in 1983. No one did that in 2000 - because the young pitchers were all still 2-3 years away. Now they are starting to mature. I am starting to feel really really good about this season...


I don't think you meant 1983....perhaps more of a 1990s quote:) When West isn't here someone has to be Big Brother

Iwritecode
02-26-2002, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
If he can make it up mid season then he could add the type of pitching firepower that guys like Bere and Alvarez added in 1983.

Bere and Alvarez weren't even in high school in 1983.



Sorry, you can slap me now... :D:

voodoochile
02-26-2002, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by Iwritecode


Bere and Alvarez weren't even in high school in 1983.



Sorry, you can slap me now... :D:

Whoops... 1993... My bad... Thanx for catching that guys...

(slap)

:)

guillen4life13
02-26-2002, 04:54 PM
but pitching's still a question. i love to see articles like that, don't get me wrong, but i'm gonna be a mean little turd and bring us back to a degree of reality.

This pitching staff has potential, but we should not rely on break out seasons. break out seasons are unlikely most of the time. Our rotation will be mediocre, or decent, at best. we aren't going to be yankees caliber yet. give it 1 or two years.

Jerry_Manuel
02-26-2002, 07:31 PM
As Cheeses, and everyone else knows I'm nothing but a positive person, when it comes to White Sox baseball. :smile:

That was a good article but, it also appears to set people up for a let down. Tom makes it sound like, if your team has to play the Sox, they better get the hell out of the way. Or perhaps I'm reading to much into his comments.

ode to veeck
02-26-2002, 08:26 PM
" <... >I'm a big believer, especially in this league, of getting guys on base and getting them in."

Then why the F___ do you have Buddy Pee at SS!!!

Daver
02-26-2002, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by ode to veeck


Then why the F___ do you have Buddy Pee at SS!!!

There are 4.5 million reasons why.

czalgosz
02-26-2002, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by ode to veeck


Then why the F___ do you have Buddy Pee at SS!!!

I'm starting to think that it's impossible to start a thread on this board without Royce Clayton coming up somehow.

Daver
02-26-2002, 09:13 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz


I'm starting to think that it's impossible to start a thread on this board without Royce Clayton coming up somehow.

(Shameless plug) More to come in my next column.

kermittheefrog
02-26-2002, 09:13 PM
Is it just me or is that more optimism than I ever thought you could fit in one article? I really hope the Rauch quote was true. The last we heard is that he wouldn't be ready for sping, now he's throwing better than ever. If he can just get back to where he was we'll have a top of the rotation starter to add to our rotation at the break. Maybe even as good as the boost Roy Oswalt gave the Stros last year. Without him they don't make the playoffs.

Jerry_Manuel
02-26-2002, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Is it just me or is that more optimism than I ever thought you could fit in one article?

That's exaclty what I said, this year is going to hurt more then 2000.

czalgosz
02-26-2002, 09:20 PM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel


That's exaclty what I said, this year is going to hurt more then 2000.

I don't have any expectations for the Sox beyond making the playoffs. I don't think I'll be disappointed.

Chisox_cali
02-26-2002, 09:20 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Is it just me or is that more optimism than I ever thought you could fit in one article? I really hope the Rauch quote was true. The last we heard is that he wouldn't be ready for sping, now he's throwing better than ever. If he can just get back to where he was we'll have a top of the rotation starter to add to our rotation at the break. Maybe even as good as the boost Roy Oswalt gave the Stros last year. Without him they don't make the playoffs.

I completely agree about the Oswalt statement, I can really see Rauch getting into that rotation if he tears it up in AAA. I also can see him being what Bere was to the '93 team in 2002.

Go Rauch!!!!
http://whitesox.mlb.com/cws/photo/ph_play_mugshot_400010.jpg

Jerry_Manuel
02-26-2002, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz
I don't have any expectations for the Sox beyond making the playoffs. I don't think I'll be disappointed.


Don't ask me why, but I don't have them making the playoffs.

czalgosz
02-26-2002, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel



Don't ask me why, but I don't have them making the playoffs.

I feel about 10 times better about the Sox right now than I did last year at this time. Both times were gut feelings - last year bad, this year good.

A lot depends, though, on how Frank does. That's my biggest fear going into this season - that he'll struggle this year. He's the keystone to the Sox offense - if he fails, the whole thing will fall.

Jerry_Manuel
02-26-2002, 09:28 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz
I feel about 10 times better about the Sox right now than I did last year at this time. Both times were gut feelings - last year bad, this year good.

A lot depends, though, on how Frank does. That's my biggest fear going into this season - that he'll struggle this year. He's the keystone to the Sox offense - if he fails, the whole thing will fall.

I'm more worried about the pitching. I think the offense can still score even if Thomas has a down year.

czalgosz
02-26-2002, 09:41 PM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel


I'm more worried about the pitching. I think the offense can still score even if Thomas has a down year.

Well, I'm a little nervous about Jon Garland's ability to put together an entire season in the rotation. He was babied last year, which I worry may have covered up some serious flaws. Jim Parque needs to show that he can last past 5 innings, but I think the time that he spent on the DL seems to have given him a positive attitude adjustment.

Other than that, I'm not worried about the pitching. I think the rotation will be decent, with nobody doing great but noone really sucking, and the bullpen will be excellent. All in all, I think the pitching will be reminiscent of last years' Mariners.

The key will be in the offense. I think that to to be in the 95-win range, which IMO will pretty much guarantee the division, they'll need to be hitting very well. My worst nightmare - Thomas comes out of the gate poorly, and then Manuel starts tinkering with the lineup. Thomas needs to establish himself early as one of the league's best hitters, or we could be in for another long season.

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

kermittheefrog
02-26-2002, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz


I feel about 10 times better about the Sox right now than I did last year at this time. Both times were gut feelings - last year bad, this year good.

A lot depends, though, on how Frank does. That's my biggest fear going into this season - that he'll struggle this year. He's the keystone to the Sox offense - if he fails, the whole thing will fall.

I feel good about this year. Last year I was really pumped up but I knew we could be in for some trouble due to the Plexiglass Principle (teams gravitate towards .500 and therefore regress after huge improvements) however this is our bounceback year. Last year I said 86 wins, this year I'm thinking 90+ and easily winning the division.

I think the key to remember about Frank is if he struggles he's still a very good hitter. His 98-99 numbers were frustrating because they weren't Frank Thomas numbers but there were still good numbers so even if he reverts to that kind of production it's not like we've still got Harold Baines DHing or even Jose Canseco.

DVG
02-26-2002, 10:54 PM
Ah, yes. Sports Illustrated. The same mag that, as I recall,
predicted that the Cleveland Indians (now known as the
Jndjans) would win the World Series in what, 1987 or 1988?
One of those years. Anyway, they went out and lost 100 games
that year. That is just one reason of many why I take "expert"
predictions with a grain of salt. The paper that they are print-
ed on makes for good toilet tissue.

czalgosz
02-27-2002, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by DVG
Ah, yes. Sports Illustrated. The same mag that, as I recall,
predicted that the Cleveland Indians (now known as the
Jndjans) would win the World Series in what, 1987 or 1988?
One of those years. Anyway, they went out and lost 100 games
that year. That is just one reason of many why I take "expert"
predictions with a grain of salt. The paper that they are print-
ed on makes for good toilet tissue.

It was 1987. I remember their thinking very clearly -

1981 AL East Champs - New York/Milwaukee (SS)
1982 AL East Champs - Milwaukee
1983 AL East Champs - Baltimore
1984 AL East Champs - Detroit
1985 AL East Champs - Toronto
1986 AL East Champs - Boston

Every AL east team had been to the playoffs in the previous 6 years with the exception of Cleveland. So they figured that it was the Tribe's turn.