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View Full Version : This team's problem is a lack of "concept".


Jurr
09-08-2006, 05:54 AM
It's amazing what a little "identity" can do for a team.

In 2005, the Sox were preaching from the onset of spring training that the team was going to be built around pitching, speed, and defense. It was known that there was still a significant amount of pop in the lineup (Rowand, Uribe, and Konerko had high homerun totals in 2004), but the team was going to rely on its arms to win games, while scoring runs in a fashion we had seen from Minnesota for years.

Everybody fell in line with that tone, from the opening game (1-0) on. They were going to keep constant pressure on opposing pitchers, shorten swings, and anybody not falling in line would be benched. This was preached from the GM down to Ozzie, and boy, was it nice to see.

When Pods was injured and returned a tad slower, the team got out of this mindset, and a slide ensued for about a month and a half. Still, when it mattered, the team rallied around its pitching again, and it was grinding out runs en route to a title.

When this season started, we had traded a grinding, tone-setting center fielder for a slugging run-producer. We had that Ramirez-Ortiz combo that we had been longing for (since Thomas was injured, that is.) Jim Thome was a good addition, no doubt. He gets on base and drives in runs.

The one thing that changed, though, was the team's entire concept and mindset. You didn't hear about "grinding out runs" or any tangible "team identity". You just heard players and coaches saying "We're now a more balanced team". Sometimes, just a concept to rally around helps keep a team focused. The 2006 Sox haven't had that.

Pitching ultimately sets the tone of a ballclub, and early on it seemed that the pitching was leaning on the offense a little, especially Garland, Vazquez, and Garcia. Contreras was absolutely untouchable. We were just absolutely outslugging folks, which led to a lot of wins. This also led to a lot of wins in the early stages of 2004 (up to around July when Maggs and Frank went down.)

This team has no overall mindset right now. They don't know who they are, and that lack of a consistent template towards winning is the main reason they can't scrape together strings of wins. Does the pitching have to set the tone tonight? Will the hitters slug out a 5 run lead and put the pitching on cruise control? Do we have to grind out a few runs with shorter swings and sac bunts to get control of the game? It seems like this team is searching for answers to a question that would have been nice to answer in spring training. Sometimes, especially in the most cerebral of team sports, just having a deeply embedded team concept is more important than just rolling out the most talent. Look at the Yankees of 1998-2000. Their mindset was to grind out a lead and get it to the 7th inning. The bullpen had that swagger to know that they were depended upon to shut the game down, and they built the confidence to do just that. Now the Yankees just roll out an All Star lineup every year, and they get nowhere near the success that those teams had. No Brosius, no Paul O'Neil, no strong team concept, no titles. Period. Champions have guys with established roles, and they get in a consistent groove throughout the year, especially September and October.

This is an immensely talented team. We're blessed to be fans of such a talented team. However, if this team doesn't make the playoffs, I believe that it's going to be due to the fact that they coudln't get that team concept, that schematic towards consistent winning together. They just came out with more talent than most other teams and tried to smack around teams. When crunch time rolled around and the best "teams" take control, this group didn't have that idea.

Hopefully, they all find something to rally around in this final stretch of games. Bring back Steve Perry. Bring back something. Nobody knows their roles on this club, and it's leading to a sub-par effort.

jenn2080
09-08-2006, 07:12 AM
It's amazing what a little "identity" can do for a team.

In 2005, the Sox were preaching from the onset of spring training that the team was going to be built around pitching, speed, and defense. It was known that there was still a significant amount of pop in the lineup (Rowand, Uribe, and Konerko had high homerun totals in 2004), but the team was going to rely on its arms to win games, while scoring runs in a fashion we had seen from Minnesota for years.

Everybody fell in line with that tone, from the opening game (1-0) on. They were going to keep constant pressure on opposing pitchers, shorten swings, and anybody not falling in line would be benched. This was preached from the GM down to Ozzie, and boy, was it nice to see.

When Pods was injured and returned a tad slower, the team got out of this mindset, and a slide ensued for about a month and a half. Still, when it mattered, the team rallied around its pitching again, and it was grinding out runs en route to a title.

When this season started, we had traded a grinding, tone-setting center fielder for a slugging run-producer. We had that Ramirez-Ortiz combo that we had been longing for (since Thomas was injured, that is.) Jim Thome was a good addition, no doubt. He gets on base and drives in runs.

The one thing that changed, though, was the team's entire concept and mindset. You didn't hear about "grinding out runs" or any tangible "team identity". You just heard players and coaches saying "We're now a more balanced team". Sometimes, just a concept to rally around helps keep a team focused. The 2006 Sox haven't had that.

Pitching ultimately sets the tone of a ballclub, and early on it seemed that the pitching was leaning on the offense a little, especially Garland, Vazquez, and Garcia. Contreras was absolutely untouchable. We were just absolutely outslugging folks, which led to a lot of wins. This also led to a lot of wins in the early stages of 2004 (up to around July when Maggs and Frank went down.)

This team has no overall mindset right now. They don't know who they are, and that lack of a consistent template towards winning is the main reason they can't scrape together strings of wins. Does the pitching have to set the tone tonight? Will the hitters slug out a 5 run lead and put the pitching on cruise control? Do we have to grind out a few runs with shorter swings and sac bunts to get control of the game? It seems like this team is searching for answers to a question that would have been nice to answer in spring training. Sometimes, especially in the most cerebral of team sports, just having a deeply embedded team concept is more important than just rolling out the most talent. Look at the Yankees of 1998-2000. Their mindset was to grind out a lead and get it to the 7th inning. The bullpen had that swagger to know that they were depended upon to shut the game down, and they built the confidence to do just that. Now the Yankees just roll out an All Star lineup every year, and they get nowhere near the success that those teams had. No Brosius, no Paul O'Neil, no strong team concept, no titles. Period. Champions have guys with established roles, and they get in a consistent groove throughout the year, especially September and October.

This is an immensely talented team. We're blessed to be fans of such a talented team. However, if this team doesn't make the playoffs, I believe that it's going to be due to the fact that they coudln't get that team concept, that schematic towards consistent winning together. They just came out with more talent than most other teams and tried to smack around teams. When crunch time rolled around and the best "teams" take control, this group didn't have that idea.

Hopefully, they all find something to rally around in this final stretch of games. Bring back Steve Perry. Bring back something. Nobody knows their roles on this club, and it's leading to a sub-par effort.


Doesnt help that Ozzie plays Russian Roulette with the line up. Im so tired of it and I think we all are. Yesterday left me with my arms up in the air. I dont know what to think about this team. All I know is that someone needs to get their head out of their ass and start playing some ball. It seems like it is for sure thing that when we score more then 5 runs in one game we will only score at the most 2 the next game. We couldnt even out score Minn who scored 2 runs last night.

soxinem1
09-08-2006, 07:45 AM
I agree with your analysis to an extent. The puzzling thing is that the team and us should have known from day one that this was going to be like this. Many people were so happy about Thome and Vasquez coming aboard that the World Series tickets were already printed, that playing the regular season was just a formality.

Another school of thought plays well too. Last years team, except when Frank was in the line up, had to scratch for runs. No way was that going to work again. Another bonified slugger was sorely needed, and JT was available.

Also, despite claims to the contrary, the number five hole in the rotation was a problem as well. In the second half, except when Ozzie finally pulled the plug on El Duque and put in McCarthy, this spot in the rotation did nothing. Hernandez struggled to get out of the fifth inning. No way was that going to work again. So KW went after the pitcher he long sought, Javier Vasquez, and figured he would once and for all solve that #5 problem the team has had since, well, 1984. And in a way, it has worked out, because White Sox starters as a whole have led MLB the past two seasons in IP per start. Can you imagine how rough t would be if El Duque of 2005 was in the rotation?

One of many reasons why it is so difficult to repeat, especially if you come out of nowhere to win, is because the entire off season, every other team is watching tapes, reviewing everything you did, every step you made, and looking for every way possible to find and expose a flaw(s) to beat you. Case in point Garcia and Pods. Teams that don't even run just pick up and walk into second base, as they discovered he does not even care about baserunners anymore. They did it last year to an extent, but this season, since he is way more hittable now, it sticks out. Pods, after three or four throws to first that he has to dive back from, then takes off, and gets thrown out by a yard. Don't think that other teams didn't go into this season trying to exploit this, because they have.

In my view, the identity of this team was supposed to be reinforced by the new arrivals. As it turns out, we have the 2000 Sox back again that just bashed their way around, especially when it became obvious that Pods, Ozuna, and Iguchi, three prime stealers last year, were targeted early by opposing teams. The offense kept the team afloat earlier when the small ball stuff and the 6 IP/4-5 run starts changed the strategies out of necessity.

So to summarize, just because you plan to play with an aggressive style, does not mean you will get away with it again, despite what you preach, teach, and do.

Last year the White Sox almost always controlled the tempo of the games, while this year they have had to adapt. The ability to control the game means a lot, and if you do not display that ability, it becomes tougher to sustain winniing streaks and long stretches of winning play.

mccoydp
09-08-2006, 07:51 AM
I agree with your analysis to an extent. The puzzling thing is that the team and us should have known from day one that this was going to be like this. Many people were so happy about Thome and Vasquez coming aboard that the World Series tickets were already printed, that playing the regular season was just a formality.

Another school of thought plays well too. Last years team, except when Frank was in the line up, had to scratch for runs. No way was that going to work again. Another bonified slugger was sorely needed, and JT was available.

Also, despite claims to the contrary, the number five hole in the rotation was a problem as well. In the second half, except when Ozzie finally pulled the plug on El Duque and put in McCarthy, this spot in the rotation did nothing. Hernandez struggled to get out of the fifth inning. No way was that going to work again. So KW went after the pitcher he long sought, Javier Vasquez, and figured he would once and for all solve that #5 problem the team has had since, well, 1984. And in a way, it has worked out, because White Sox starters as a whole have led MLB the past two seasons in IP per start. Can you imagine how rough t would be if El Duque of 2005 was in the rotation?

One of many reasons why it is so difficult to repeat, especially if you come out of nowhere to win, is because the entire off season, every other team is watching tapes, reviewing everything you did, every step you made, and looking for every way possible to find and expose a flaw(s) to beat you. Case in point Garcia and Pods. Teams that don't even run just pick up and walk into second base, as they discovered he does not even care about baserunners anymore. They did it last year to an extent, but this season, since he is way more hittable now, it sticks out. Pods, after three or four throws to first that he has to dive back from, then takes off, and gets thrown out by a yard. Don't think that other teams didn't go into this season trying to exploit this, because they have.

In my view, the identity of this team was supposed to be reinforced by the new arrivals. As it turns out, we have the 2000 Sox back again that just bashed their way around, especially when it became obvious that Pods, Ozuna, and Iguchi, three prime stealers last year, were targeted early by opposing teams. The offense kept the team afloat earlier when the small ball stuff and the 6 IP/4-5 run starts changed the strategies out of necessity.

So to summarize, just because you plan to play with an aggressive style, does not mean you will get away with it again, despite what you preach, teach, and do.

Last year the White Sox almost always controlled the tempo of the games, while this year they have had to adapt. The ability to control the game means a lot, and if you do not display that ability, it becomes tougher to sustain winniing streaks and long stretches of winning play.

Darned good analysis.

salty99
09-08-2006, 07:55 AM
Doesnt help that Ozzie plays Russian Roulette with the line up. Im so tired of it and I think we all are. Yesterday left me with my arms up in the air. I dont know what to think about this team. All I know is that someone needs to get their head out of their ass and start playing some ball. It seems like it is for sure thing that when we score more then 5 runs in one game we will only score at the most 2 the next game. We couldnt even out score Minn who scored 2 runs last night.

Joe Crede had a sore back last night and couldn't play that is part of the reason for the crazy lineup. Brian Anderson said after the game the clubhouse is at it's lowest point in quite some time. I say WHERE ARE THE LEADERS ON THIS TEAM!!! Somebody needs to step up and put some life back into this team.

jenn2080
09-08-2006, 07:55 AM
Joe Crede had a sore back last night and couldn't play that is part of the reason for the crazy lineup. Brian Anderson said after the game the clubhouse is at it's lowest point in quite some time. I say WHERE ARE THE LEADERS ON THIS TEAM!!! Somebody needs to step up and put some life back into this team.

I had no problem with Pablo playing 3rd.

salty99
09-08-2006, 08:01 AM
I had no problem with Pablo playing 3rd.

Okie dokie...In fact Crede is probably out until Sat. which may prompt the promotion of Josh Fields. The CUbune also says he may need off-season surgery.

MadetoOrta
09-08-2006, 08:09 AM
Okie dokie...In fact Crede is probably out until Sat. which may prompt the promotion of Josh Fields. The CUbune also says he may need off-season surgery.

All the more reason you don't trade young talent like Fields, Sweeney and Broadway.

I agree with much of the analysis. I'm repeating myself here but it all begins and ends with the manager. He went from "I don't celebrate on the field - the players earned it" to A Mi Manera. Saying the dumbest things, chewing out players in public [and then remarkably apologizing IN PUBLIC], no consistent line-up and a stubborn disposition to prove that he knows all things. In addition, I recall reading last off-season that Iguchi didn't like batting 2d and that the goal was to put him down in the line-up to utilize his power. [I almost vomited when I read about Guillen's suggestion that Uribe bat 2d] This is about the identity of the team. This team is like 2003 and 2004. A lot of 8-1 wins and plenty of 4-2 losses. I'm hoping KW makes major changes in the off-season.

jenn2080
09-08-2006, 08:10 AM
Okie dokie...In fact Crede is probably out until Sat. which may prompt the promotion of Josh Fields. The CUbune also says he may need off-season surgery.

I was just listening to the radio and Ozzie def said at least a few more days. I love Pablo and have problem with him. I just want to see consistancy. How can these guys click when they dont know who or where they are going to playing everyday?

samram
09-08-2006, 08:28 AM
God damn Jim Thome, he ruined everything.

This season is very simple to figure out- the starting pitching has sucked. If the pitching were anywhere near what it was last season, this team is 3 or 4 ahead of Detroit. This small ball myth is tired. Furthermore, it's moot because the one guy who would be the key to small ball has been awful except for one three week stretch in May.

I also don't buy that the team needs an identity. Pitching and execution wins championships, not identities. Insisting on team identities leads to things like believing the Bears are a "running team" and therefore Kyle Orton is an acceptable QB option. In fact, Pods and Orton are similar in that people attributed their teams' 2005 success to them because they were different than the guys who had been there before, but in reality, the teams' success was due to better scoring prevention (pitching for the Sox, defense for the Bears).

Baby Fisk
09-08-2006, 09:20 AM
Lack of focus is leading to lack of consistency.

On the pitching side, it's been maddening to watch Buehrle/Contreras/Vazquez pitch a gem one day, then pitch like **** five days later, then throw another gem five days after that, followed by another **** outing. At any given moment this season, half of our rotation has pitched like ****, except for Ol' Giraffe Legs who has been the team's true Stud Ace in 2006.

On the hitting side, it's been maddening to watch the batters show patience and savvy hitting one day, then swing for the fences all day the next day. Back and forth, all season.

This team's lack of consistency is ultimately holding it back. As mentioned above the lineup shuffles have fostered a lack of focus, and thus a lack of consistency. It's been frustrating to watch this season, despite this team being in the thick of the division race.

Britt Burns
09-08-2006, 09:23 AM
God damn Jim Thome, he ruined everything.

This season is very simple to figure out- the starting pitching has sucked. If the pitching were anywhere near what it was last season, this team is 3 or 4 ahead of Detroit. This small ball myth is tired. Furthermore, it's moot because the one guy who would be the key to small ball has been awful except for one three week stretch in May.

I also don't buy that the team needs an identity. Pitching and execution wins championships, not identities. Insisting on team identities leads to things like believing the Bears are a "running team" and therefore Kyle Orton is an acceptable QB option. In fact, Pods and Orton are similar in that people attributed their teams' 2005 success to them because they were different than the guys who had been there before, but in reality, the teams' success was due to better scoring prevention (pitching for the Sox, defense for the Bears).

Exactly. This team's problem is the pitching, or at least that is 95% of it. Sure, the D hasn't been as strong as last year, but it still has been above average. The lack of aggressive baserunning and situational hitting has hurt, and perhaps even some of Ozzie's weirder moments have exacerbated the play on the field and the mood in the clubhouse, but it all begins and ends with the pitching. Put last year's staff with this year's hitters and we would have already won close to 100 games.

I also don't see how anyone could fault KW for the moves he has made. Since the postseason he has brought in to teh pen two guys that could be closers (Thornton, MacDougal), got Thome, upgraded the #5 starter (and yes, we all expected Vazquez to pitch better for what we gave up, but he is still better than El Duque), added role players like Cintron (who is a better bench option than Timo), and kept the core of last years World Championship team together.

ajismyhero
09-08-2006, 09:35 AM
I think we need an entire thread named "Bring Back Steve Perry."

Hitmen77
09-08-2006, 09:43 AM
God damn Jim Thome, he ruined everything.

:tealpolice:

spiffie
09-08-2006, 09:53 AM
I'll give the team a concept to live by. Win ****ing games. Anything else is making excuses and trying to find the mystical answer.

Beyond that, samram said everything I would have said, only with less *'s involved.

Hitmen77
09-08-2006, 10:02 AM
Exactly. This team's problem is the pitching, or at least that is 95% of it. Sure, the D hasn't been as strong as last year, but it still has been above average. The lack of aggressive baserunning and situational hitting has hurt, and perhaps even some of Ozzie's weirder moments have exacerbated the play on the field and the mood in the clubhouse, but it all begins and ends with the pitching. Put last year's staff with this year's hitters and we would have already won close to 100 games.

I agree that pitching is the main problem this year. But, I think you're underestimating how much our drop off in defense from last year has hurt this team.

Errors, misplayed balls, playing someone in CF who can't get to bloop hits....all this has contributed to our bad pitching. It extends innings, runs up pitch counts, puts our pitchers in jams they otherwise wouldn't be in. Of course, we made defensive lapses last year - but they were not as frequent. I can think of a few games off the top of my head where defense has cost us the game: Uribe unable to turn a double play against the Cubs at the Cell, Iguchi/Gload unable to complete a double play against the DRays last Thursday, the Sox giving KC 5 unearned runs last weekend. That's just off the top of my head - i'm guessing there are other examples.....and I'm not even getting into the whole Mackowiak in CF situation.

Considering that the Sox are only 0.5 games behind the Twins and 5.5 behind the Tigers. Even those 3 quick examples make the difference between the Sox currently being the odd-man-out and us leading the Twins and right on the heals of the Tigers. I bet if we were 2.5 ahead of the Twins and 2.5 behind the Tigers right now, there'd be alot less hand-wringing and finger pointing going on by us Sox fans.

There's plenty of blame to go around. What about our mighty offense against minor league quality pitchers in Boston? Absolutely no excuse that we hold Boston to 2 runs (after 9 innings) and 1 run, face terrible pitchers, and lose both games.

Thome25
09-08-2006, 10:02 AM
God damn Jim Thome, he ruined everything.

This season is very simple to figure out- the starting pitching has sucked. If the pitching were anywhere near what it was last season, this team is 3 or 4 ahead of Detroit. This small ball myth is tired. Furthermore, it's moot because the one guy who would be the key to small ball has been awful except for one three week stretch in May.

I also don't buy that the team needs an identity. Pitching and execution wins championships, not identities. Insisting on team identities leads to things like believing the Bears are a "running team" and therefore Kyle Orton is an acceptable QB option. In fact, Pods and Orton are similar in that people attributed their teams' 2005 success to them because they were different than the guys who had been there before, but in reality, the teams' success was due to better scoring prevention (pitching for the Sox, defense for the Bears).

I think ya forgot the teal there buddy. I agree with your assessment though. The pitching has been inconsistent this year and the Sox are paying dearly for it.

Imagine the situation we'd be in if KW didn't beef up the offense and get a guy like Thome and with Dye having a career year. The pitching staff would still be giving up a ton of runs and we probably wouldn't be able to score to try and make up the difference.

hawkjt
09-08-2006, 10:51 AM
Pitching,pitching ,pitching. Starting pitching controls the tempo. The teams ahead of us have better pitching.

Would like to see a comparison of last year to this year in unearned run allowed. It has been worse this year. Begs the question- iguchi and uribes throws that cost us games- did they forget how to throw? or not want to make these plays? No answer-really- its just baseball.

Put last years starting pitching with this team and we are 5 games up on the tigers and well on the way to back to back WS.

Just win a game, tonite, please Freddie.

jenn2080
09-08-2006, 10:56 AM
I think ya forgot the teal there buddy. I agree with your assessment though. The pitching has been inconsistent this year and the Sox are paying dearly for it.

Imagine the situation we'd be in if KW didn't beef up the offense and get a guy like Thome and with Dye having a career year. The pitching staff would still be giving up a ton of runs and we probably wouldn't be able to score to try and make up the difference.

I think that with all the stuff about Thome not being a leader and what not that there was no need for teal. I think it has been pretty clear this week.

Thome25
09-08-2006, 11:00 AM
I think that with all the stuff about Thome not being a leader and what not that there was no need for teal. I think it has been pretty clear this week.

Did I miss something? Seriously, what happened this week besides the lack of offense? Thome has been one of the few consistent bright spots this season.

Chicken Dinner
09-08-2006, 11:04 AM
This teams problem is that they're not playing like a team. It's 25 individuals out there playing in they're own world. NO TEAMWORK! The teams leader is also not concerned with getting the players to pick each other up because he seems to be isolating a lot of the players.

These guys are more distant from each other than the Yanks are.

Baby Fisk
09-08-2006, 11:06 AM
These guys are more distant from each other than the Yanks are.
:o: That was uncalled for.

Chicken Dinner
09-08-2006, 11:14 AM
:o: That was uncalled for.

The truth hurts.:(:

spiffie
09-08-2006, 11:28 AM
I just want one person to tell me what exactly in the team's game would improve if Jim Thome went from locker to locker giving speeches that combined Rockne and Churchill, brought all the players a turkey, and organized to have a woman in a cake after the game. Will his magic friendly powers make Joe Crede's back better? Is the reason Scott Podsednik has been worthless since June because he just doesn't feel inspired enough? If Jim Thome tells Mark Buehrle that everyone believes in him will he stop pitching hanging breaking balls that get crushed? Does Vazquez usually crap out after 5 innings because not enough players come up and hug him between innings? If Thome learned to say "have a great game" in Japanese would Iguchi become a better situational hitter? Does Konerko hit into double plays because he doesn't really like the guys on base in front of him? Did Cotts forget how to pitch because Jim Thome didn't take him out golfing on an off day?

People are looking for the ****ing tooth fairy here. If the pitching were producing like last year, and Scott Podsednik was anything like he was the first half of last year this whole thing would look like the absolute bull**** it is. But because we don't want to consider that, we turn on the outsider who wasn't part of the beloved 2005 team and look to voodoo and bad juju as the reason why we lose. I mean for ****'s sake people are seriously saying that Carl Everett and Robbie Alomar provided great leadership.

Yes, this team does need leadership. It needs a pitching staff leading us to good starts, a leadoff hitter leading us to a high OBP, and a middle of the order leading us to a lot of runs scored. But I'm wrong, I forgot the 2 run per game bonus we're given if our guys wuv each other and pump each other up.

Lip Man 1
09-08-2006, 11:38 AM
According to Phil Arvia of the Daily Southtown in his column today, Ozzie has started 71 different lineups this season.

And you thought Manager Gandhi was bad?

Lip

Jurr
09-08-2006, 11:42 AM
I just want one person to tell me what exactly in the team's game would improve if Jim Thome went from locker to locker giving speeches that combined Rockne and Churchill, brought all the players a turkey, and organized to have a woman in a cake after the game. Will his magic friendly powers make Joe Crede's back better? Is the reason Scott Podsednik has been worthless since June because he just doesn't feel inspired enough? If Jim Thome tells Mark Buehrle that everyone believes in him will he stop pitching hanging breaking balls that get crushed? Does Vazquez usually crap out after 5 innings because not enough players come up and hug him between innings? If Thome learned to say "have a great game" in Japanese would Iguchi become a better situational hitter? Does Konerko hit into double plays because he doesn't really like the guys on base in front of him? Did Cotts forget how to pitch because Jim Thome didn't take him out golfing on an off day?

People are looking for the ****ing tooth fairy here. If the pitching were producing like last year, and Scott Podsednik was anything like he was the first half of last year this whole thing would look like the absolute bull**** it is. But because we don't want to consider that, we turn on the outsider who wasn't part of the beloved 2005 team and look to voodoo and bad juju as the reason why we lose. I mean for ****'s sake people are seriously saying that Carl Everett and Robbie Alomar provided great leadership.

Yes, this team does need leadership. It needs a pitching staff leading us to good starts, a leadoff hitter leading us to a high OBP, and a middle of the order leading us to a lot of runs scored. But I'm wrong, I forgot the 2 run per game bonus we're given if our guys wuv each other and pump each other up.

Tell me this, then. Why was it that the Sox circa 2005, started off super hot, absolutely collapsed in the month of August and half of September, and then picked it right back up out of thin air to make a huge run?

Why was Buehrle and Garland absolutely piss-poor during that stretch, only to magically pick it back up? Why was the hitting floundering, then it became opportunistic at the flip of a switch?

This game is so damn mental it's ridiculous. When you're pressing or not confident you can absolutely fall off the edge of the earth in baseball. Good teams crumble under such circumstances. Having a clearly defined role - a good outline on what kind of team you are and your role in that team - that can get you a level of confidence that if you do your job, you're going to excel.

This team had offensive versatility last year, and now that versatility is non existent. Why is it that the team could bunt and hit situationally last year, and it's been totally gone this year in place of the homer? Yes, the 2005 Sox hit 200 bombs last year, but they could scratch together runs, chip away at deficits, and get back into games. And no, it isn't JUST because Pods has fallen off offensively. NOBODY has been trying to hit the ball to opposite fields, creating a lot of productive outs in situations, etc. It's regressed to station to station baseball. When the homers aren't flying, this team has been getting hosed by weaker pitchers. Why? Because they see who's pitching, assume they're going to mash that night, and let a kid get into a groove by the third inning because everything's a pop fly to the pull field. Period.

This year, when the Sox get into extra innings, I know that they're most likely going to fold because they're looking for the quick homer to end it. That team concept is totally messed up right now.

Jurr
09-08-2006, 11:45 AM
According to Phil Arvia of the Daily Southtown in his column today, Ozzie has started 71 different lineups this season.

And you thought Manager Gandhi was bad?

Lip
Another good point. Way to let the guys get comfortable in their roles, Oz.

southside rocks
09-08-2006, 11:52 AM
According to Phil Arvia of the Daily Southtown in his column today, Ozzie has started 71 different lineups this season.

And you thought Manager Gandhi was bad?

Lip

Here's the link to Arvia's column, which is IMO worth reading:
http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/columns/arvia/x08-ard1.htm

I also thought that the reference to "71 lineups" was humorous, not factual, kind of like Arvia's reference to Ozzie as "some sort of suave and savvy love child of Antonio Banderas and Sparky Anderson."

What's interesting is that Ozzie says he is not running a million different lineups out there just for the sake of variety, but because he has several pretty bad dead spots on the team, of non-performers. His options as a manager are thus somewhat constrained.

ndgt10
09-08-2006, 12:08 PM
Somebody needs to step up and put some life back into this team.
:canseco

spiffie
09-08-2006, 12:09 PM
Tell me this, then. Why was it that the Sox circa 2005, started off super hot, absolutely collapsed in the month of August and half of September, and then picked it right back up out of thin air to make a huge run?
Tell me then why for six weeks that wonderful chemistry couldn't do ****? Did they have a fight and then in mid September have a slumber party where they all cried, had a pillow fight, and then went on to get hot?

Why was Buehrle and Garland absolutely piss-poor during that stretch, only to magically pick it back up? Why was the hitting floundering, then it became opportunistic at the flip of a switch?
Because during that period Podsednik was injured and Konerko was dinged up. As for the pitchers, because pitchers have bad runs.

This game is so damn mental it's ridiculous. When you're pressing or not confident you can absolutely fall off the edge of the earth in baseball. Good teams crumble under such circumstances. Having a clearly defined role - a good outline on what kind of team you are and your role in that team - that can get you a level of confidence that if you do your job, you're going to excel.
Okay, then explain our starting pitching. Their role was outlined very clearly from the beginning of the year. It was made clear that this team was looking to them to be our horses. Mark Buehrle knows exactly what he is supposed to do every time he goes to the mound. Nothing has changed for the pitchers since last year. Same manager, same pitching coach, the same 4 guys who put the ALCS on their back. But I'm sure this will just be blamed on Thome, and if only we scored less runs the pitchers would feel more pressure, buckle down, and pitch like they did last year.

This team had offensive versatility last year, and now that versatility is non existent. Why is it that the team could bunt and hit situationally last year, and it's been totally gone this year in place of the homer? Yes, the 2005 Sox hit 200 bombs last year, but they could scratch together runs, chip away at deficits, and get back into games. And no, it isn't JUST because Pods has fallen off offensively. NOBODY has been trying to hit the ball to opposite fields, creating a lot of productive outs in situations, etc. It's regressed to station to station baseball. When the homers aren't flying, this team has been getting hosed by weaker pitchers. Why? Because they see who's pitching, assume they're going to mash that night, and let a kid get into a groove by the third inning because everything's a pop fly to the pull field. Period.
Why is that versatility gone? Well, for one thing a lot is on Podsednik. When he is not a threat, not only does his production suffers, but the ability to play the "small ball" game goes down. When you know he can't run as effectively, if you're Iguchi you are in a position where you have to be more aggressive. And beyond that there's not much else to point to. People have bitched about Juan Uribe's bunting and things of that ilk forever, only in the post-coital haze of 2005 all sins of anyone on that team were forgiven and we won every game that year 3-2 with all the runs coming on a single, SB, sac bunt, and sac fly.

This year, when the Sox get into extra innings, I know that they're most likely going to fold because they're looking for the quick homer to end it. That team concept is totally messed up right now.
First, you do know we have a .500 record in extra-inning games right?

I love the idea that anyone on the team this year is doing things different than last year. Think about what you're saying. The addition of one guy (who according to this thread is NOT a leader) somehow made every other player change their approach at the plate. Podsednik, Iguchi, Dye, Konerko, Crede, Pierzynski, Uribe, and Anderson, all of whom were with the team last year, have all started swinging for the fences because they see Jim Thome doing it? Do you see how absurd this sounds? You want to know why Konerko has double the GIDP's from last year? Because unlike last year someone is on base a good chunk of the time when he bats. Last year we had Crazy Carl batting 3rd, he and his .311 OBP. As opposed to Thome with his .414 and recently Dye with his .394. Konerko hasn't changed, it's just that now he actually has men on base 10% more often. In 2006 he has had 222 plate appearances with a man on first. He's hitting .318 with a .382 OBP. In 2005 he only had 185 plate appearances with a man on 1st. He hit .294 with a .351 OBP. So his situational hitting with men has actually been much better. But he's also had already nearly 40 more chances with a man on first, and that man on first has often been Thome, who no, I admit, he's not fast.

The problem is baseball is a game where you need some luck. Last year whenever we needed one more hit the ball would land just out of reach from the other team. This year that's not happening. We're getting killed on the bloop broken-bat single that falls just over the infield, and hitting the frozen rope right at someone. Much as I know folks here love to insist that 1-run wins are all a product of design, going .666 in such games means you're playing with a bit of a horseshoe in your ass. Which is why Williams retooled this team, because without the improvements he made offensively we'd be looking at 10 out right now.

Of course, if everything you and the others in this thread who agree with you say is true, you do realize you've just made an excellent case for firing Guillen. For you to be right he must have no ability to motivate guys, no ability to correct glaring flaws (since everyone here knows that they're all swinging for the fences), no skill at working their collective psyche, and he has lost control of the clubhouse. So I assume you will be supporting a house-cleaning at the end of the year to correct these managerial failings?

Rooney4Prez56
09-08-2006, 12:28 PM
The sox have returned to the Sox before 2005.

Hitmen77
09-08-2006, 12:43 PM
According to Phil Arvia of the Daily Southtown in his column today, Ozzie has started 71 different lineups this season.

And you thought Manager Gandhi was bad?

Lip

That's because Ozzie knows that the baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. He's saving his starting players while the Tigers and Twins are wearing theirs out. Just wait until September - the Sox are going to be all rested at that point and leaving the Tigers and Twins in the dust.

JB98
09-08-2006, 01:01 PM
Really, the team's problem is the starting pitchers have pissed away too many games this year. Our bullpen is not as deep as last season, and that has cost us at times too. The teams ahead of us in the standings have better pitching than we do. It's as simple as that.

But since we're all in the mood for psychoanalysis today, I'll bite.

I'm concerned that this team has lost confidence. They seem to have lost faith in themselves. They seem to have lost faith in their teammates. I'm seeing too much moping around, too many long faces. The pressure is eating this team alive, and someone needs to do something to alleviate that. (Hello, Ozzie?)

The sun will still come up on October 2, whether we make the playoffs or not. The players will still be filthy rich and still have families that love them. This is not a life-and-death situation, and they should not treat it is such. At the end of the day, it's just ****ing baseball. My advice to the Sox players would be just go out and play the game and have fun. Let the chips fall where they may. If it isn't good enough, KW will fix it in the offseason.

samram
09-08-2006, 01:20 PM
I just want one person to tell me what exactly in the team's game would improve if Jim Thome went from locker to locker giving speeches that combined Rockne and Churchill, brought all the players a turkey, and organized to have a woman in a cake after the game. Will his magic friendly powers make Joe Crede's back better? Is the reason Scott Podsednik has been worthless since June because he just doesn't feel inspired enough? If Jim Thome tells Mark Buehrle that everyone believes in him will he stop pitching hanging breaking balls that get crushed? Does Vazquez usually crap out after 5 innings because not enough players come up and hug him between innings? If Thome learned to say "have a great game" in Japanese would Iguchi become a better situational hitter? Does Konerko hit into double plays because he doesn't really like the guys on base in front of him? Did Cotts forget how to pitch because Jim Thome didn't take him out golfing on an off day?

People are looking for the ****ing tooth fairy here. If the pitching were producing like last year, and Scott Podsednik was anything like he was the first half of last year this whole thing would look like the absolute bull**** it is. But because we don't want to consider that, we turn on the outsider who wasn't part of the beloved 2005 team and look to voodoo and bad juju as the reason why we lose. I mean for ****'s sake people are seriously saying that Carl Everett and Robbie Alomar provided great leadership.

Yes, this team does need leadership. It needs a pitching staff leading us to good starts, a leadoff hitter leading us to a high OBP, and a middle of the order leading us to a lot of runs scored. But I'm wrong, I forgot the 2 run per game bonus we're given if our guys wuv each other and pump each other up.

Great post.

Oh, and to clarify, for those who don't get it, my Thome comment in my previous post in this thread was made in jest.

spiffie
09-08-2006, 02:07 PM
Really, the team's problem is the starting pitchers have pissed away too many games this year. Our bullpen is not as deep as last season, and that has cost us at times too. The teams ahead of us in the standings have better pitching than we do. It's as simple as that.

But since we're all in the mood for psychoanalysis today, I'll bite.

I'm concerned that this team has lost confidence. They seem to have lost faith in themselves. They seem to have lost faith in their teammates. I'm seeing too much moping around, too many long faces. The pressure is eating this team alive, and someone needs to do something to alleviate that. (Hello, Ozzie?)

The sun will still come up on October 2, whether we make the playoffs or not. The players will still be filthy rich and still have families that love them. This is not a life-and-death situation, and they should not treat it is such. At the end of the day, it's just ****ing baseball. My advice to the Sox players would be just go out and play the game and have fun. Let the chips fall where they may. If it isn't good enough, KW will fix it in the offseason.
Now this I can buy. The idea of some sort of mythical leadership or chemistry that somehow makes guys play better is one thing that I cannot buy. But the idea that the bad play, and to be fair, some bad luck over the last few weeks has ground them down a bit is something I can buy. Guys are sore, they're tired, they don't have quite the same spark in their first step after 140 games. Now is when it is the job of the manager to make sure guys are not engaging in self-defeating behaviors which will manifest themselves in their play. If their routine is not setting them up to play their optimum game, shake them up. If they are letting depression impact their actions find a way to loosen them up. Figure out why the individuals are not performing their best, and if it is something correctable, mental or physical, get in there and do it.

jenn2080
09-08-2006, 02:32 PM
Really, the team's problem is the starting pitchers have pissed away too many games this year. Our bullpen is not as deep as last season, and that has cost us at times too. The teams ahead of us in the standings have better pitching than we do. It's as simple as that.

But since we're all in the mood for psychoanalysis today, I'll bite.

I'm concerned that this team has lost confidence. They seem to have lost faith in themselves. They seem to have lost faith in their teammates. I'm seeing too much moping around, too many long faces. The pressure is eating this team alive, and someone needs to do something to alleviate that. (Hello, Ozzie?)

The sun will still come up on October 2, whether we make the playoffs or not. The players will still be filthy rich and still have families that love them. This is not a life-and-death situation, and they should not treat it is such. At the end of the day, it's just ****ing baseball. My advice to the Sox players would be just go out and play the game and have fun. Let the chips fall where they may. If it isn't good enough, KW will fix it in the offseason.


where are the rally panties at?

thomas35forever
09-08-2006, 02:36 PM
We need a new slogan. Those always seem to work. We don't have one this year.

"Winning Ugly" - 1983
"Good Guys Wear Black" - 1993
"The Kids Can Play" - 2000
"Win or Die Trying" - 2005

CaptainBallz
09-08-2006, 02:46 PM
We need a new slogan. Those always seem to work. We don't have one this year.

"Winning Ugly" - 1983
"Good Guys Wear Black" - 1993
"The Kids Can Play" - 2000
"Win or Die Trying" - 2005

"Stop Suckin'"- 2006

spiffie
09-08-2006, 02:57 PM
We need a new slogan. Those always seem to work. We don't have one this year.

"Winning Ugly" - 1983
"Good Guys Wear Black" - 1993
"The Kids Can Play" - 2000
"Win or Die Trying" - 2005

"The Hawk Wants You!" - 1986.

MadetoOrta
09-08-2006, 03:04 PM
I agree with those who claim [correctly] that the starting pitching isn't as good. Agreed. But what lies beneath that is the fact that our outfield defense is not as good as last year + we haven't jumped out on teams 2-0/3-0 like we did last year. It seemed in '05 teams were always playing catch up against us. That puts pressure on them and allows the starting pitchers to concentrate on throwing strikes and allowing the solid defense to make plays.

caulfield12
09-08-2006, 03:11 PM
I agree with those who claim [correctly] that the starting pitching isn't as good. Agreed. But what lies beneath that is the fact that our outfield defense is not as good as last year + we haven't jumped out on teams 2-0/3-0 like we did last year. It seemed in '05 teams were always playing catch up against us. That puts pressure on them and allows the starting pitchers to concentrate on throwing strikes and allowing the solid defense to make plays.

Would be interesting to see the records from 05 versus 06 when the Sox scored the first run of the game....this year, I'm sure there have been plenty of road games that we scored and ended up giving the lead right back in the first five innings or so thanks to our starting pitching. Last year, it was something like a 75-80% chance we'd go on and win those games.

I bet the save percentages are probably very similar, especially if you discount for Politte and the first two months before the Riske and MacDougal acquisitions.

Ol' No. 2
09-08-2006, 03:55 PM
According to Phil Arvia of the Daily Southtown in his column today, Ozzie has started 71 different lineups this season.

And you thought Manager Gandhi was bad?

LipAnd how many different lineups has Detroit or Minnesota used? Pretty useless information without that comparison, don't you think?

Edit: There was a site somewhere that had that information. Where the hell was it?

bluestar
09-08-2006, 03:57 PM
We need a new slogan. Those always seem to work. We don't have one this year.

"Winning Ugly" - 1983
"Good Guys Wear Black" - 1993
"The Kids Can Play" - 2000
"Win or Die Trying" - 2005

Ol' No. 2 had the most appropriate slogan for the 2006 Sox in another thread:
"Dead Team Walking"

Ol' No. 2
09-08-2006, 04:01 PM
I agree that pitching is the main problem this year. But, I think you're underestimating how much our drop off in defense from last year has hurt this team.

Errors, misplayed balls, playing someone in CF who can't get to bloop hits....all this has contributed to our bad pitching. It extends innings, runs up pitch counts, puts our pitchers in jams they otherwise wouldn't be in. Of course, we made defensive lapses last year - but they were not as frequent. I can think of a few games off the top of my head where defense has cost us the game: Uribe unable to turn a double play against the Cubs at the Cell, Iguchi/Gload unable to complete a double play against the DRays last Thursday, the Sox giving KC 5 unearned runs last weekend. That's just off the top of my head - i'm guessing there are other examples.....and I'm not even getting into the whole Mackowiak in CF situation.

Considering that the Sox are only 0.5 games behind the Twins and 5.5 behind the Tigers. Even those 3 quick examples make the difference between the Sox currently being the odd-man-out and us leading the Twins and right on the heals of the Tigers. I bet if we were 2.5 ahead of the Twins and 2.5 behind the Tigers right now, there'd be alot less hand-wringing and finger pointing going on by us Sox fans.

There's plenty of blame to go around. What about our mighty offense against minor league quality pitchers in Boston? Absolutely no excuse that we hold Boston to 2 runs (after 9 innings) and 1 run, face terrible pitchers, and lose both games.
Unearned runs in 2005: 53
Unearned runs in 2006 (140 games): 41 (projects to 47 over 162 games)

The earned runs have been a far bigger problem than the unearned ones.

ws05champs
09-08-2006, 04:13 PM
There are many different reasons this team is not achieving as it should. Some days it's the starting pitching, other days the bullpen, the hitting or the fielding. Sometimes it's a combination of the above. The mental aspect adds into to it. So does the fact that all the opposing teams are more motivated to beat the World Series Champs. We are no longer under the radar. And Ozzie does not seem to have the command he did last year. No matter what happens in this year's post season, the Sox will enter 2007 with less pressure because they are a back-to-back World Series Champion or they are out for vengeance against the team that took it from them. There is no doubt about it, this was going to be, and is turning out to be a, tough year for the Sox.

All-in-all except for a few games this team has played the whole season like it has one hand tied behind its back.

PhillipsBubba
09-08-2006, 04:23 PM
The Sox would be comfortably in the lead if the pitching hadn't taken a **** this year.:(:

Also, their situational hitting this year is abyssmal.:(:

Whatever happens, I am fully confident Kenny Williams will fix it.:D:

cheezheadsoxfan
09-08-2006, 04:26 PM
The sun will still come up on October 2, whether we make the playoffs or not. The players will still be filthy rich and still have families that love them. This is not a life-and-death situation, and they should not treat it is such. At the end of the day, it's just ****ing baseball. My advice to the Sox players would be just go out and play the game and have fun. Let the chips fall where they may. If it isn't good enough, KW will fix it in the offseason.

Above advice could apply to many of us as well (aside from the filthy rich part).

spiffie
09-08-2006, 04:59 PM
Unearned runs in 2005: 53
Unearned runs in 2006 (140 games): 41 (projects to 47 over 162 games)

The earned runs have been a far bigger problem than the unearned ones.
I generally agree with you, however I would say that unearned runs is a rather incomplete picture when you factor in the visual evidence. How many times have we seen the infield turn a DP too slowly, not get the trailing runner, and have that non-out end up biting us? Not to beat the horse carcass, but how many of us have seen balls fall in the OF that a better OF or a healthier OF might/should have been able to get to? What of the extra 10-15 pitches tacked on an inning because of an error that doesn't lead to a run? None of those show up in the UER stat. I think that while that stat may be what it is that the evidence from watching every game would show that the defense has not been the rock that it was last year. That is not to excuse the pitching staff, which has had major slippage, but simply to clarify. I have said many times I pin the blame on the men on the little hill, but the D has not been as effective this year as it was last season, and that is something that may not show up in stats (though I'd be interested in what more advanced metrics say), but it is clear upon watching.

Ol' No. 2
09-08-2006, 05:10 PM
I generally agree with you, however I would say that unearned runs is a rather incomplete picture when you factor in the visual evidence. How many times have we seen the infield turn a DP too slowly, not get the trailing runner, and have that non-out end up biting us? Not to beat the horse carcass, but how many of us have seen balls fall in the OF that a better OF or a healthier OF might/should have been able to get to? What of the extra 10-15 pitches tacked on an inning because of an error that doesn't lead to a run? None of those show up in the UER stat. I think that while that stat may be what it is that the evidence from watching every game would show that the defense has not been the rock that it was last year. That is not to excuse the pitching staff, which has had major slippage, but simply to clarify. I have said many times I pin the blame on the men on the little hill, but the D has not been as effective this year as it was last season, and that is something that may not show up in stats (though I'd be interested in what more advanced metrics say), but it is clear upon watching.You sure you're not just inventing reasons to justify what you want to believe? Lots of balls got missed last year too, but the pitching was good enough to pitch over it, so you don't remember them as much. They allowed 592 earned runs last year. They're already at 632 and project to 731 by year's end. 139 extra earned runs is a hell of a lot.

Good defense makes good pitching better...but it can't make bad pitching good. We've had far too much of the latter. If you're throwing meatballs, you're going to get pounded, and having Willie Mays in CF won't make any difference.

chisox06
09-08-2006, 06:07 PM
I agree with those who claim [correctly] that the starting pitching isn't as good. Agreed. But what lies beneath that is the fact that our outfield defense is not as good as last year + we haven't jumped out on teams 2-0/3-0 like we did last year. It seemed in '05 teams were always playing catch up against us. That puts pressure on them and allows the starting pitchers to concentrate on throwing strikes and allowing the solid defense to make plays.

Good point. I remember one time last year that ran off that stat of how many more times the sox scored first as opposed to the opponet. We had that ridiculous streak of having the lead in consecutive games. The sox achieved that by dominant starting pitching. We don't have that this year and so here we are. Definitely a different mindset when your trailing early, we've been doing that a lot this year.

TomBradley72
09-08-2006, 06:08 PM
If the 2005 White Sox pitching staff had been 8th in the American League (like the 2006 White Sox are currently)...that "concept" would not have worked any better than this year's.

It is ALL about the pitching.....the A's, Tigers, Yankees and Twins are all in the top 5 of the AL in team pitching.

jabrch
09-08-2006, 06:53 PM
I don't think "concept" is the problem. I think it is simple execution. We haven't been doing that consistently much at all this season.

hawkjt
09-08-2006, 06:56 PM
Watched the womens semis in the US Open today and I was reminded how mental tennis is- woman vs woman- no where to hide. The 19th seed had 2 seed Hennin-hardene down a set and 4-2 in the second and the former champ showed mental toughness to hang in , win the second set and then destroy the 19th seed 6-0 in the third.

Justine is a grinder.

Sharapova beat the favorite 6-0,4-6,6-0 in the second match. Sharapova showed more mental toughness at 19 than some of our players in the pennant race.

Tennis is all mental and momentum- once you turn the tide and start winning you feal unbeatable. Sox need to win tonite and start to build that feeling again

caulfield12
09-08-2006, 07:12 PM
Unearned runs in 2005: 53
Unearned runs in 2006 (140 games): 41 (projects to 47 over 162 games)

The earned runs have been a far bigger problem than the unearned ones.

But the number of runs lost to misplayed or misjudged balls that were not errors or completed double plays, etc. That alone seems like another 40 runs to me. You can't go back and look at every single play and say, well BA would have made it for SURE, but there have been a lot of plays that Pods and Mack haven't made that led to big innings.

samram
09-08-2006, 07:14 PM
But the number of runs lost to misplayed or misjudged balls that were not errors or completed double plays, etc. That alone seems like another 40 runs to me. You can't go back and look at every single play and say, well BA would have made it for SURE, but there have been a lot of plays that Pods and Mack haven't made that led to big innings.

I think Stats, Inc. or whatever they're called now actually keeps track of runs due to misplays and I heard them talking about that on the Score a few weeks ago. Let's just say the Sox weren't doing very well in that category.

caulfield12
09-08-2006, 07:14 PM
Watched the womens semis in the US Open today and I was reminded how mental tennis is- woman vs woman- no where to hide. The 19th seed had 2 seed Hennin-hardene down a set and 4-2 in the second and the former champ showed mental toughness to hang in , win the second set and then destroy the 19th seed 6-0 in the third.

Justine is a grinder.

Sharapova beat the favorite 6-0,4-6,6-0 in the second match. Sharapova showed more mental toughness at 19 than some of our players in the pennant race.

Tennis is all mental and momentum- once you turn the tide and start winning you feal unbeatable. Sox need to win tonite and start to build that feeling again

Maybe Maria Sharapova can give them a pep talk, lol...

caulfield12
09-08-2006, 07:19 PM
I think Stats, Inc. or whatever they're called now actually keeps track of runs due to misplays and I heard them talking about that on the Score a few weeks ago. Let's just say the Sox weren't doing very well in that category.

I was thinking we could get CoCo Crisp for LF very cheap, because Boston doesn't want him as their starting CF next season.

He's a LF and has the same arm as Pods, but he's a much better fielder and more instinctive.

OBP of .345 and .344 the two seasons prior to this one. Not great, but he's still a pretty young player and he wouldn't cost us like a Carl Crawford would.

Of Dave Roberts or Juan Pierre (the cheaper options), I think he should at least be under consideration.

goon
09-08-2006, 07:26 PM
We need a new slogan. Those always seem to work. We don't have one this year.

"Winning Ugly" - 1983
"Good Guys Wear Black" - 1993
"The Kids Can Play" - 2000
"Win or Die Trying" - 2005

"Freddy, put down the chickenwings, you're in." - 2006

southside rocks
09-08-2006, 09:17 PM
"Freddy, put down the chickenwings, you're in." - 2006


Okay, that actually made me laugh out loud. Thanks, I needed that. :tongue:

Tragg
09-08-2006, 11:10 PM
When Pods was injured and returned a tad slower, the team got out of this mindset, and a slide ensued for about a month and a half. Still, when it mattered, the team rallied around its pitching again, and it was grinding out runs en route to a title.

When this season started, we had traded a grinding, tone-setting center fielder for a slugging run-producer. We had that Ramirez-Ortiz combo that we had been longing for (since Thomas was injured, that is.) Jim Thome was a good addition, no doubt. He gets on base and drives in runs.


The Pods injury/downturn has made a pretty big difference.
But that Rowand trade didn't change our identity. Rowand, for all of his effort, is a limited ballplayer...we upgraded in talent, and Anderson is a hard-nosed player himself. With Thome, it's not like we got some slugger, but we got a DH who'se supposed to be a slugger-type.
Now, if we, say, replace Pods with a slugger type THEN I'll agree.
And we don't seem to have executed as well this year as last.