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caulfield12
09-17-2006, 11:18 AM
''I only see in black and white, so either you do or you don't,'' Williams said. ''You win a championship or you don't, and if you don't, the grade is an 'F,' regardless of the different reasons for it. It's funny because every day that we lose, I feel like I haven't brought in the right ingredients for us to win. I feel like it all rests on my shoulders. So when I hear Ozzie say it's his fault ... the way I look at it is the buck stops at my desk.''

from suntimes.com


And this is the main reason we will be fine, if we don't make it, next year. Because, unlike some of the players, KW never rests on his laurels. I'm sure he had concerns that there was something missing from this team and that trading much of our farm system away for a Soriano or Carlos Lee or Abreu wouldn't be enough to push this team over the top...so he took a long-term perspective to keep the hopes alive for 07 and 08, because you only get so many chances before you have to tear the whole thing up.

0o0o0
09-17-2006, 11:31 AM
Kenny definitely did his job. Just look at the expectations coming into this season. The problem is on the field and in the dugout.

batmanZoSo
09-17-2006, 11:40 AM
You can't blame KW for the players underperforming, period. It's a crime that this team isn't leading the division right now. It's nice to hear a guy shoulder the blame when no one's really blaming him in the first place.

caulfield12
09-17-2006, 11:56 AM
You can't blame KW for the players underperforming, period. It's a crime that this team isn't leading the division right now. It's nice to hear a guy shoulder the blame when no one's really blaming him in the first place.

I think you could argue EVERYONE foresaw the bullpen problems. We still weren't sure about Jenks, that worked out for the most part, until recently at least.

And Thornton turned out to be one of the best acquisitions of the off-season. Riske has been okay as well, Nelson was a reach.

However, recently, any game we're not leading (and even yesterday's game) becomes a McCarthy, Cotts, Hermanson, Logan, Tracey hodge-podge of disaster.

Jenks and MacDougal haven't been healthy recently, and Thornton still gives up too many walks. But it's the "other three" relievers on this team that have hurt us the most down the stretch.

The McCarthy Plan has not worked for the most part. The only reason he's out there in these important situations is that he's the best arm after the Big 3, but he's not a RELIEVER we can count on. Much has been written of Cotts and Politte and Hermanson (and Marte and Vizcaino). I think it was almost TOO much turnover for one season. Pitchers didn't know their roles...when they did have roles, they were so inconsistent Ozzie couldn't trust them in those roles.

Then you have situations like yesterday when Vazquez was under 100 pitches after 6. Two months ago, he would have been crucified for leaving him out there. Now, it really seems/ed the best possible option, because our 7th inning relief is non-existent the last 2-3 weeks.

It's definitely a no-win situation for Ozzie, KW and the entire team.

Pods not returning to form and being a shadow of his former self has set the tone for the entire team, along with the bashing from the middle of the line-up in April, May and June.

If the year was reversed, I think we would have focused more on advancing runners and playing "Small Ball." The addition of Thome was what helped get us off to such a great start but has also left us crippled in the 2nd half as his production dropped and we were unable to win those 1 and 2 run games...because of a lack of offensive execution, the bullpen's collapse and players out of position (mostly Mack).

captain54
09-17-2006, 11:58 AM
You can't blame KW for the players underperforming, period. It's a crime that this team isn't leading the division right now. It's nice to hear a guy shoulder the blame when no one's really blaming him in the first place.

Count me among those that are blaming him....

What steps were taken and how did he go about making sure our
bullpen wouldn't be the complete laughingstock and disaster it is.?

None of the bullpen moves have really worked with the exception of
Thornton....

The games are almost unwatchable because you know disaster will strike
in the 7th 8th or 9th inning....not good considering the coffers are flush
and the park is packed on a nightly basis....

CHISOXFAN13
09-17-2006, 12:00 PM
Count me among those that are blaming him....

What steps were taken and how did he go about making sure our
bullpen wouldn't be the complete laughingstock and disaster it is.?

None of the bullpen moves have really worked with the exception of
Thornton....

The games are almost unwatchable because you know disaster will strike
in the 7th 8th or 9th inning....not good considering the coffers are flush
and the park is packed on a nightly basis....

MacDougal's ERA is in the low 1's. That was a great move. There's no way in hell KW knew that Cotts and Polite were going to be awful. They were two of the most important ingredients of last year's squad. Geez.

caulfield12
09-17-2006, 12:09 PM
MacDougal's ERA is in the low 1's. That was a great move. There's no way in hell KW knew that Cotts and Polite were going to be awful. They were two of the most important ingredients of last year's squad. Geez.

It's a great move unless Lumsden becomes a #3 starter for the next six years for the Royals and we are unable to keep Buehrle, leaving us without any lefty starters.

If we don't make it to the playoffs this year, that will also have to be weighed into the equation of cost/benefit in this deal.

Which has been the reason KW was unwilling to trade McCarthy/Sweeney/Fields/Broadway.

Or that Minnesota and Detroit didn't make big, splashy moves at the deadline. Because you have to think about the present and future at the same time.

Lip Man 1
09-17-2006, 12:10 PM
Chisoxfan13:

I like Kenny and admire his attitude. I think he's grown into the position but to absolve him from fault with the bullpen is wrong.

He obviously knew he had to do something because he signed a half dozen or so retreads, cast-off's and has been's in the off season 'hoping' to catch lightening in a bottle. It didn't work. If he didn't think the pen was an issue why did he sign anyone in the first place?

Remember he traded two of the six guys over the winter and KNEW that Hermanson's back was an issue even before spring training started!

Also regarding Politte and Cotts, as I stated in another thread, no, he couldn't possibly have known they were going to blow up, HOWEVER a G.M. has to consider ALL the possibilities and both Politte and Cotts had years in 2005 so far 'better' then their history had shown, he had to at least consider the possibility of their seasons being 'fluke' ones and act accordingly.

You get more help then you need, stash a guy or two in Charlotte, then if everyone is fine you have cards to deal at the trade deadline.

Maybe it was the money issue, I can't explain it... although when the payroll is at 100 million dollars (with the Phillies, D-backs and Yankees paying for a portion of that) what's another three to five million in bullpen salaries?

Lip

captain54
09-17-2006, 12:11 PM
McDougal is in the upper 1's in ERA...not too bad...but he's only pitched 26 innings...

everybody else is in the 3's 4's and 5's....

prior to the All star break it was apparent Cotts and Politte were gassed...
that gives you four months to fix it and it didn't happen....

BainesHOF
09-17-2006, 12:11 PM
I think Ozzie is the biggest culprit. As is, Kenny gave him enough talent to reach the playoffs and make a strong run at the World Series.

My issue with Kenny is he never got a legitimate backup outfielder who can play center. There was no reason for us to have so many utility infielders in Ozuna, Cintron and Mackoviak and not one real backup outfielder. It would have been easy to acquire one. I didn't get it going into the season and I don't get it now. That little missing piece of the puzzle has cost us dearly.

I really can't blame Kenny for the bullpen. He did a tremendous job acquiring Thornton and MacDougal to go with Jenks. Who could have possibly predicted the complete collapse of Politte and Cotts? And who could have predicted McCarthy would be so ineffective when he needed him most (though the way he has been allowed to waste away this season is certainly partly to blame for his late-season troubles).

To me, Ozzie has badly mishandled the pitching from the starters to the bullpen. For that matter, he's screwed up the entire team. He's certainly not the only reason we've failed to approach our considerable potential this season, but he's been a major factor, so much so that I question his ability to manage in general. He's been that bad.

Corlose 15
09-17-2006, 12:20 PM
McDougal is in the upper 1's in ERA...not too bad...but he's only pitched 26 innings...

everybody else is in the 3's 4's and 5's....

prior to the All star break it was apparent Cotts and Politte were gassed...
that gives you four months to fix it and it didn't happen....


Cotts didn't start struggling until after the break. His era was in the low 3s it wasn't obvious that he was gassed. Also, knowing at the ASB that you have bullpen issues doesn't necessarily mean you can fix it then. He addressed it with Riske and MacDougal.

captain54
09-17-2006, 12:33 PM
Cotts didn't start struggling until after the break. His era was in the low 3s it wasn't obvious that he was gassed. Also, knowing at the ASB that you have bullpen issues doesn't necessarily mean you can fix it then. He addressed it with Riske and MacDougal.

the point is when the starting pitching was struggling way back in April and May, a bullpen that was already patchworked together was being overused..

the pickups of Riske and McDougal were alarmingly reminiscent of past years
when the Sox would roll the dice on rejects from the scrap heap and try to
catch lightening in a bottle while keeping their fingers and toes crossed...

Corlose 15
09-17-2006, 12:36 PM
Riske and MacDougal are hardly rejects. MacDougal has some of the best stuff in the majors and a history of success, he was an all star (albeit with KC). Riske also has successful career stats (career 3.57) which are much more consistently good than Cott's or Politte's. Not to mention with Thornton, Jenks, and MacDougal at the end of the bullpen you have the potential for a major three headed monster for years to come.

Lip Man 1
09-17-2006, 12:48 PM
Kenny did everything he could do to fix the problem at midseason, however that doesn't take away from what happened to open the season does it. Six blown games directly charged to the bullpen on or before June 1st.

That set the tone, put the team behind the eight ball from the get-go and started perhaps, Ozzie questioning their reliability and (again perhaps) going longer with his starters then at times he should have.

Lip

Hitmen77
09-17-2006, 12:50 PM
There's plenty of blame to go around - including the bullpen. If the Sox finish 2 or 3 games out of a playoff spot, one could easily find 3 or 4 games this year where fill in the blank (i.e.; offense, defense, starting pitching, relievers, or Ozzie's moves) cost us the game.

I agree that KW left our bullpen a little weak. But, even so, he still put together a team that should have easily made the postseason. If the starting pitching and the offense played to their potential, we'd be talking magic numbers right now. I can't blame Kenny for giving us SIX starters and having all of them but Garland tank in the 2nd half. Once our starters got back on track, our mighty bats went silent. The Sox offense should be clobbering opponents and our starting pitchers should be shutting them down. If they did their jobs, our bullpen would not have stood in the way of another division title.

TomBradley72
09-17-2006, 12:55 PM
Last winter...if you had told me our bullpen would be:

Jenks
Thornton (they way he has performed this year)
MacDougal
Cotts
MacCarthy
Riske

I would have expected a solid performance in 2006...I don't fault KW as much for not building a decent bullpen as I do for the guys who simply have not delivered..especially over the past 30 days or so.

Lip Man 1
09-17-2006, 12:59 PM
Tom:

But the problem was the names you mentioned was not the bullpen when the 2006 season opened was it? They promptly blew two games the first week and started the ball rolling.

Lip

caulfield12
09-17-2006, 01:03 PM
Chisoxfan13:

I like Kenny and admire his attitude. I think he's grown into the position but to absolve him from fault with the bullpen is wrong.

He obviously knew he had to do something because he signed a half dozen or so retreads, cast-off's and has been's in the off season 'hoping' to catch lightening in a bottle. It didn't work. If he didn't think the pen was an issue why did he sign anyone in the first place?

Remember he traded two of the six guys over the winter and KNEW that Hermanson's back was an issue even before spring training started!

Also regarding Politte and Cotts, as I stated in another thread, no, he couldn't possibly have known they were going to blow up, HOWEVER a G.M. has to consider ALL the possibilities and both Politte and Cotts had years in 2005 so far 'better' then their history had shown, he had to at least consider the possibility of their seasons being 'fluke' ones and act accordingly.

By the way, the Indians just went down 5-1 thanks partially to horrible defense by Andy Marte...well, I'm not worried about the Indians next year at least. But they will have a new manager, so that could make them dangerous.
You get more help then you need, stash a guy or two in Charlotte, then if everyone is fine you have cards to deal at the trade deadline.

Maybe it was the money issue, I can't explain it... although when the payroll is at 100 million dollars (with the Phillies, D-backs and Yankees paying for a portion of that) what's another three to five million in bullpen salaries?

Lip

Does anyone know specifiically if there was a "cap" set on the payroll?

After getting Cintron and Mackowiak (which is another area KW obviously addressed, the bench strength), was there no more room and that's why KW auditioned about 7 lefties, one of who we were able to parlay into Riske?

The payroll kept creeping this offseason, $85 million, to $90, to $95 million....we never heard a "set" absolute max by the managing partners, but I can't imagine KW wouldn't have made a move unless 1) he thought it was unnecessary or 2) there wasn't any money left for anything but the rejects we came up with.

captain54
09-17-2006, 01:07 PM
If they did their jobs, our bullpen would not have stood in the way of another division title.

The job of the bullpen is to keep the game close after the starter has been pulled and maintain the lead or keep the game close enough to where the offense has a fighting chance to come back....

if you measure the success rate of all the main areas like, offense, defense, starting pitching and relief, the relief corp has been the Achilles heal all year
long with a miserable success rate based on the criteria I mentioned above..

how a critical part of a team with a $100 million payroll could have so miserably failed tells me that someone has dropped the ball somewhere....

caulfield12
09-17-2006, 01:08 PM
Tom:

But the problem was the names you mentioned was not the bullpen when the 2006 season opened was it? They promptly blew two games the first week and started the ball rolling.

Lip

That still doesn't explain what happened at mid-season.

Sure, if we had all six of those losses back, we'd be leading the division. But there have been even more "winnable" games in the second half that we've wasted. OTOH, if we'd have been swept by DET earlier in the season (the games won by Cintron late) and hadn't made all those late comebacks, we'd have been in even deeper trouble.

We were within 2 games at the ASB. It was just as much the starting pitching's inconsistency that hurt this team in July and August.

In fact, if Jenks wasn't "overperforming" MLB average, he would have blown 2 or maybe 3 more games himself. I don't think anyone counted on him having only two blown saves all season nearing September.

caulfield12
09-17-2006, 01:13 PM
The job of the bullpen is to keep the game close after the starter has been pulled and maintain the lead or keep the game close enough to where the offense has a fighting chance to come back....

if you measure the success rate of all the main areas like, offense, defense, starting pitching and relief, the relief corp has been the Achilles heal all year
long with a miserable success rate based on the criteria I mentioned above..

how a critical part of a team with a $100 million payroll could have so miserably failed tells me that someone has dropped the ball somewhere....


Let's say we went out and paid the money the Cubs did to Howry and Eyre. Well, there were no guarantees Jenks was going to be this good....what if he tanked or got injured, like Koch/Takatsu/Hermanson?

We would have been in even worse shape, and we probably woudn't have had any insurance in the form of players like Cintron or Mackowiak for our starters. Having Mack around allowed us to "nurse" Anderson through this season. It might have saved his career, we'll never know for sure.

Would you have been in favor of paying Gordon or BJ Ryan money for set-up men? That wouldn't make sense, already having Jenks as closer.

Most would have thought it was insane to pay the money the Cubs did to Eyre and Howry to get those two guys for the Sox.

I still think we'd be in basically the same position with those guys...because it would have hurt the team equally somewhere else.

kitekrazy
09-17-2006, 01:40 PM
I'm not sure having Thome worked out so great. It makes you the slowest team in the league. I think the team got lazy thinking they can out hit everyone.

BA in CF was fine until other guys stopped hitting. We now see how big that hole is in centefield. You have a guy that can't play the position and a good young outfielder that strikes out too much.

To me it looks like the team reverted to the Manuel years. They play good on paper, can't run, make costly errors.

captain54
09-17-2006, 01:42 PM
Would you have been in favor of paying Gordon or BJ Ryan money for set-up men? That wouldn't make sense, already having Jenks as closer.



Maybe those two guys were'nt the only alternatives....

Somehow, someway, the Twins got it done relief-wise and they have
a considerably smaller amount of money to work with than we do....

caulfield12
09-17-2006, 01:51 PM
Maybe those two guys were'nt the only alternatives....

Somehow, someway, the Twins got it done relief-wise and they have
a considerably smaller amount of money to work with than we do....

Everyone in baseball could have had Dennis Reyes this offseason or Johan Santana (Rule 5).

The Twins made the right decisions in their scouting, and nobody does more with less.

The Twins' minor league system replaced Guardado, Hawkins and Romero with Nathan (trade), Rincon, Reyes (once again, anyone could have had him...he would have been one of KW's castoff's in ST 2006), Crain, Guerrier.

The player that saved their pen was Neshek. He's a 26 year old rookie that the Twins stuck with who was drafted in the 45th round. And I don't think the Twins make the playoffs without him this year.

But there's 29 other teams out there that don't have the pen that the Twins do, and most of them spent considerably more to build them.

Bulls_Fan
09-17-2006, 01:54 PM
I love Thome so don't take my comments as me not liking him. The problem with THome is he duplicates a player we have already (Paulie). Why bring more sand to the beach?

With the lineup of Paulie, PK, and AJ those are all easy DP players. I think Kenny over thought things and should have kept it simple.

My biggest knock on Kenny was trading for Javier. THe guy is getting a boatload of money and is still a giant question mark.

We shouldn't write off this season just yet, but we can't ignore the fact that there needs to be a ton of tinkering by Kenny this off-season.

caulfield12
09-17-2006, 01:59 PM
I love Thome so don't take my comments as me not liking him. The problem with THome is he duplicates a player we have already (Paulie). Why bring more sand to the beach?

With the lineup of Paulie, PK, and AJ those are all easy DP players. I think Kenny over thought things and should have kept it simple.

My biggest knock on Kenny was trading for Javier. THe guy is getting a boatload of money and is still a giant question mark.

We shouldn't write off this season just yet, but we can't ignore the fact that there needs to be a ton of tinkering by Kenny this off-season.

The White Sox are paying him the same as Garcia. Both are huge question marks.

And who would you have kept in Thome's spot? Everett? Gload? Rogowski? Thomas?

We'd be 10 games behind the Tigers with any of those guys.

captain54
09-17-2006, 02:13 PM
My biggest knock on Kenny was trading for Javier. THe guy is getting a boatload of money and is still a giant question mark.



I agree with you about Javier.....you could have put McCarthy in his spot
and maybe kept El Duque..and I doubt you would have seen much difference
at the end of the day...

a huge chunk of money that could have been used to shore up the pen..

as much as Thome helped the Sox in the first half is equalled by how he has hurt the Sox in the second...his strikeout/ab ratio has to be astronomical....
that being said, he was better than any alternative out there at the time for Dh...

JB98
09-17-2006, 02:15 PM
One thing about Kenny: If we don't make the playoffs, he'll be more pissed off than the most bitter posters here. I'm confident he'll make every attempt to fix our shortcomings over the offseason.

Here are my thoughts for KW's 2006:

The good:
-Acquisition of Thome
-Got Cintron for next to nothing
-Got Thornton for next to nothing
-Dumped headcase Marte and got serviceable Mackowiak in return
-Acquired MacDougal midseason to address weakened bullpen

The bad:
- Gave up way too much for Vazquez, an overpaid No. 4 or No. 5 starter
- Was willing to part with Vizcaino, who is a versatile pitcher and was an underrated part of our 2005 success
- Assumed Hermanson would be healthy and that Politte would repeat his 2005 success, left us without reliable right-handed set-up man for first half of season
- Overestimated Anderson's preparedness for big leagues, did not acquire legitimate fourth OF as a backup plan for CF

caulfield12
09-17-2006, 02:27 PM
One thing about Kenny: If we don't make the playoffs, he'll be more pissed off than the most bitter posters here. I'm confident he'll make every attempt to fix our shortcomings over the offseason.

Here are my thoughts for KW's 2006:

The good:
-Acquisition of Thome
-Got Cintron for next to nothing
-Got Thornton for next to nothing
-Dumped headcase Marte and got serviceable Mackowiak in return
-Acquired MacDougal midseason to address weakened bullpen

The bad:
- Gave up way too much for Vazquez, an overpaid No. 4 or No. 5 starter
- Was willing to part with Vizcaino, who is a versatile pitcher and was an underrated part of our 2005 success
- Assumed Hermanson would be healthy and that Politte would repeat his 2005 success, left us without reliable right-handed set-up man for first half of season
- Overestimated Anderson's preparedness for big leagues, did not acquire legitimate fourth OF as a backup plan for CF


Vizcaino had 9 holds in 2005. But he was mostly used as the 6th reliever on the team, in losses. I would hardly call him a capable replacement for Politte.

Now you can argue, based on skewed NL statistics and offenses, that he could have filled that Politte/Hermanson role...he's been very good and has 23 holds for the D-Backs, but I can't imagine him having the same success this season with the Sox that Politte had last year.

JB98
09-17-2006, 02:38 PM
Vizcaino had 9 holds in 2005. But he was mostly used as the 6th reliever on the team, in losses. I would hardly call him a capable replacement for Politte.

Now you can argue, based on skewed NL statistics and offenses, that he could have filled that Politte/Hermanson role...he's been very good and has 23 holds for the D-Backs, but I can't imagine him having the same success this season with the Sox that Politte had last year.

Politte had one of the best years a Sox reliever has had in a long, long time. That would be hard for anybody to match.

Vizcaino kept us in games when we were behind last year. He ate up innings when a starter got knocked out early. He came on as the season progressed, which was lost on most people who held his slow start against him. He has a rubber arm. He can pitch every day.

He wouldn't have matched what Politte did last year. But would he have performed better than Riske and McCarthy have in relief this year? I believe so. We gave up Viz, Duque AND Chris Young (who could have been an alternative to Anderson) to get a No. 5 starter. I was critical of the deal at the time, and I still don't like it now. It hurt our pitching depth and our organizational depth in the outfield.

TomBradley72
09-17-2006, 02:41 PM
One thing about Kenny: If we don't make the playoffs, he'll be more pissed off than the most bitter posters here. I'm confident he'll make every attempt to fix our shortcomings over the offseason.

Here are my thoughts for KW's 2006:

The good:
-Acquisition of Thome
-Got Cintron for next to nothing
-Got Thornton for next to nothing
-Dumped headcase Marte and got serviceable Mackowiak in return
-Acquired MacDougal midseason to address weakened bullpen

The bad:
- Gave up way too much for Vazquez, an overpaid No. 4 or No. 5 starter
- Was willing to part with Vizcaino, who is a versatile pitcher and was an underrated part of our 2005 success
- Assumed Hermanson would be healthy and that Politte would repeat his 2005 success, left us without reliable right-handed set-up man for first half of season
- Overestimated Anderson's preparedness for big leagues, did not acquire legitimate fourth OF as a backup plan for CF

Spot on.

Especially the 4th OF...which has led to Mac in CF and limited options after Pods.

TomBradley72
09-17-2006, 02:42 PM
Tom:

But the problem was the names you mentioned was not the bullpen when the 2006 season opened was it? They promptly blew two games the first week and started the ball rolling.

Lip

You're right Lip...but if that group had simply performed as expected post All Star break....we'd be OK.

Frater Perdurabo
09-17-2006, 03:29 PM
Kenny did everything he could do to fix the problem at midseason, however that doesn't take away from what happened to open the season does it. Six blown games directly charged to the bullpen on or before June 1st.

That set the tone, put the team behind the eight ball from the get-go and started perhaps, Ozzie questioning their reliability and (again perhaps) going longer with his starters then at times he should have.

Lip

Each game is of equal weight, but the Sox played well above .500 ball during the first half. Yes, the bullpen blew far too many games, but at least the Sox starters and hitters were performing very well.

I would argue that more damage was done during the second half, when the Sox have been played under .500. The bullpen generally has been better (there have been some monumental meltdowns, though), but the starting pitching sucked for a long time and now the hitting has been inexplicably inconsistent.

If the Sox had not blown those six games before June 1, they would be one game up on the Tigers and three up on the Twins right now, and in extreme danger of being overtaken.

Hitmen77
09-17-2006, 03:44 PM
The most frustrating part of the Sox failure this year is how does KW address our team's inability to score runners on 2nd and 3rd with less than 2 outs? What does he do when having SIX supposedly quality starters isn't good enough.

You really can't complain about the talent he racked up in the starting lineup and the starting pitching - but they've both let us down. Looking ahead to '07 I think Uribe and Pods will be gone. We'll see how Williams fills those holes. But, in the 2nd half it seems like Thome, Konerko, and Crede were totally un-clutch. Those guys aren't going anywhere - so we just gotta hope they return to their past ability to drive in key runs.

For starting pitching, my guess is that they'll trade Garcia (for a starting position player and/or bullpen help) and put McCarthy in the rotation. But, is B.Mac ready? He really hasn't looked impressive this year. We have to hope that he'll show his '05 brilliance next season AND that MB and Jose are once again aces for us.

Don't get me wrong, I am hopeful for '07. But, KW can only do so much and then it's up to the players and Ozzie to execute better than they have this year. I think Kenny has done a great job trying to field a contending team. Jim Hendry he is not.

Hitmen77
09-17-2006, 03:56 PM
Does anyone know specifiically if there was a "cap" set on the payroll?

After getting Cintron and Mackowiak (which is another area KW obviously addressed, the bench strength), was there no more room and that's why KW auditioned about 7 lefties, one of who we were able to parlay into Riske?

The payroll kept creeping this offseason, $85 million, to $90, to $95 million....we never heard a "set" absolute max by the managing partners, but I can't imagine KW wouldn't have made a move unless 1) he thought it was unnecessary or 2) there wasn't any money left for anything but the rejects we came up with.

My guess is that there is no official "cap". But the Sox, as they have done for years, set their payroll limit based on income. With season tickets selling out over the last offseason, this gave them the ability to let the payroll creep up to $95million or so.

For next year, I have no idea what their limit will be. They're pretty close to maxed out on ticket sales. Even if they don't make a miracle comeback this year, ticket sales will still be strong. You're still talking about a team that is one year removed from a championship, just came off a 90+ win season, and promises to be competitive again next year. I wouldn't be surprised to see a jump in ticket prices for '07 which would increase revenue for them.

caulfield12
09-17-2006, 04:04 PM
My guess is that there is no official "cap". But the Sox, as they have done for years, set their payroll limit based on income. With season tickets selling out over the last offseason, this gave them the ability to let the payroll creep up to $95million or so.

For next year, I have no idea what their limit will be. They're pretty close to maxed out on ticket sales. Even if they don't make a miracle comeback this year, ticket sales will still be strong. You're still talking about a team that is one year removed from a championship, just came off a 90+ win season, and promises to be competitive again next year. I wouldn't be surprised to see a jump in ticket prices for '07 which would increase revenue for them.

I think that would be a mistake. They're taking a big risk trying to "cash in now" on their success and pricing some of the middle class families out of attendance.

Those were the families that came out 3-5 times per year. I believe they'll come back in the future if this team can't sustain its success and we go back to the late 90's in terms of attendance. But not at the prices that are just spiraling up and up. Unless they move to Kansas City, lol.

Hopefully that will never happen, that KW will keep putting competitive, above .500 teams out there year after year. And with the increased payroll, he should be able to do that. Even Minnesota and Oakland can't make it every year at $65-75 million payrolls.

Hitmen77
09-17-2006, 05:20 PM
I think that would be a mistake. They're taking a big risk trying to "cash in now" on their success and pricing some of the middle class families out of attendance.

Those were the families that came out 3-5 times per year. I believe they'll come back in the future if this team can't sustain its success and we go back to the late 90's in terms of attendance. But not at the prices that are just spiraling up and up. Unless they move to Kansas City, lol.

Hopefully that will never happen, that KW will keep putting competitive, above .500 teams out there year after year. And with the increased payroll, he should be able to do that. Even Minnesota and Oakland can't make it every year at $65-75 million payrolls.

I don't the idea of a price hike either. But, I do expect it. IIRC, the '06 ticket prices were set before the Sox won the World Series - so it was set before the team expected the huge surge in ticket demand.

As far as pricing families out, I agree -but to be honest people have been saying that for years and prices keep rising faster than inflation and yet families still keep coming back to the park.

oldcomiskey
09-17-2006, 06:30 PM
I think Ozzie is the biggest culprit. As is, Kenny gave him enough talent to reach the playoffs and make a strong run at the World Series.

My issue with Kenny is he never got a legitimate backup outfielder who can play center. There was no reason for us to have so many utility infielders in Ozuna, Cintron and Mackoviak and not one real backup outfielder. It would have been easy to acquire one. I didn't get it going into the season and I don't get it now. That little missing piece of the puzzle has cost us dearly.

I really can't blame Kenny for the bullpen. He did a tremendous job acquiring Thornton and MacDougal to go with Jenks. Who could have possibly predicted the complete collapse of Politte and Cotts? And who could have predicted McCarthy would be so ineffective when he needed him most (though the way he has been allowed to waste away this season is certainly partly to blame for his late-season troubles).

To me, Ozzie has badly mishandled the pitching from the starters to the bullpen. For that matter, he's screwed up the entire team. He's certainly not the only reason we've failed to approach our considerable potential this season, but he's been a major factor, so much so that I question his ability to manage in general. He's been that bad.

No, if youre gonna blame ozzie, blame him for his players not being able to bunt all year. And I didnt heat anybody questioning him when things were going good. It's all too busy to jump on a guy when things aint going so well

Beauty35thStreet
09-17-2006, 07:27 PM
KW and Ozzie are to blame. The players stink too, but what did you expect from Vasquez? Hermanson? Podsednik? Anderson? Regardless of having those four, I still feel the Sox should be winning or close to winning the division, but that's when you get into the whole Ozzie messing with everyone and the players, except for Dye, Crede, Thornton, and Garland underperforming.

SouthSide_HitMen
09-17-2006, 07:32 PM
If Williams and Ozzie learned one thing from the offseason / 2006 season I hope it was to keep their mouth shut and focus on their work.

chisoxmike
09-17-2006, 07:35 PM
This season is NOT Kenny's or Ozzie's faults. It's the players. Namely our overrated, underachieving pitching staff that can't get the job done.

Britt Burns
09-17-2006, 07:42 PM
This season is NOT Kenny's or Ozzie's faults. It's the players. Namely our overrated, underachieving pitching staff that can't get the job done.

Totally agree. I think KW did a great job of resisting the temptation to keep the team the same after last year. His additions, with the possible exception of Mack (and only as a CF), have strengthened the team. We just haven't pitched like last year.

HotelWhiteSox
09-17-2006, 07:45 PM
I'm sure it Kenny is feeling like a douchebag right now. A joke for any baseball GM to handle the Frank situation the way he did (championship or not), with the worst part of him thinking he was speaking for all of Chicago (we), well not in this household. The Frank Thomas thing, Ozzie with Mariotti, crying about no beer, it's a good thing the message is being sent to the team (e.g. banning the watching of football) to make sure the players focus on what's happening on the field :rolleyes: Look in the mirror

Ol' No. 2
09-17-2006, 07:45 PM
This season is NOT Kenny's or Ozzie's faults. It's the players. Namely our overrated, underachieving pitching staff that can't get the job done.And it's really just that simple. Look at the World Series teams over the last 10 years and you'll find that with few exceptions, the pitching is in the top 3 or 4 of their league. The Sox are currently 9th. The staff ERA is a full run higher than it was last year. Even if they'd split the difference, they'd be in first place and cruising to the playoffs. And as I've said before, IMO the uncertain pitching has lead to a lot of the other poor performance. You can't play smallball when your starter has already given up 6 runs by the 5th inning. Hitters are human and they tend to try for the big hit instead of doing the little things that won them games last year.

I don't see Kenny making wholesale changes to the rotation, but there will be changes. Bullpens are always somewhat of a crapshoot. Who could have predicted Cotts, Politte, Hermanson and Jenks in 2005?

HotelWhiteSox
09-17-2006, 07:49 PM
And I didnt heat anybody questioning him when things were going good. It's all too busy to jump on a guy when things aint going so well

I did, they were banned, sent to the roadhouse, labeled cynical or 'dark clouds'. This isn't an attack on the side but a small scale look at it, as anyone would smack or snicker at a pessimist after Buehrle gives up 7 runs in an inning but the Sox win the game.

StatHead21
09-17-2006, 07:53 PM
He put the team together they just had bad luck witht the team he put on the field. Here are some examples...

1. Uribe's decline in offense and defense.
2. Anderson's play the first two months.
3. Vazquez being a head case.
4. Mr. Consistant Mark Buehrle was not Mr. Consistant
5. Cliff Politte dying
6. Podsedik's decline
7. All around sloppy defense after playing great defense the year before.

Offseason needs:

Leadoff man
Find McCarthy a spot in the rotation
Bullpen
SS (MIGGY TEJEDA PLEASE)
LF
back up catcher

Steelrod
09-18-2006, 05:27 AM
Another reason for our failure might be the high number of rally killing outs made at home plate with less than 2 outs.

Pike
09-18-2006, 08:43 AM
I think there are a lot good points made in this thread.

probably one that has not been address is the indirect reasons for the Sox not being in first place.
1.) The detroit Tigers have been outstanding. They pitch well, and hit well,... and for the most part, they have done consistently all year long.
2.) The Twins have played well all year as well. They hung in in the first half, and they put things together in the second half.
3.) The Indians, while out of it, aren't a weak fourth team in the division,.. they ain't no Orioles. Ok, we have the Royals,.. but still Sox have to contend with a very strong division,... a division that refued to be dominated by the Sox for two years in a row.

I think most on here looked at the rosters and said that this is a stronger team..... any of us didn' think tat about the rest of the division. We have been running a decent "40 time," the problem is, so have the Tigers and Twins.

If i were to complain about one thing about management of the team, is the lack of faith in McCarthy, we sorta crossed our fingers that he would translate into a good reliever (knowing it often does not work out that well). Still, we thought we had a great 6th starter.

In a nutshell, we need consistency in pitching in order to be successful. The fact that we are in "9th" place in pitching illustrate this.

I became a White Sox fan because I recognize that the Sox ARE committed to winning. many of you pointed out what you belioeve was KW's short comings,.... and he would agree with you. Other's pointed to the players,... well you are right too. We we talk about great teams, most people only think about the players,...sometimes the coaches,.. but few people realize it starts in the front office. This year you could say that there was failures on throughout the TEAM.

infohawk
09-18-2006, 09:38 AM
I agree that KW left our bullpen a little weak. But, even so, he still put together a team that should have easily made the postseason. If the starting pitching and the offense played to their potential, we'd be talking magic numbers right now. I can't blame Kenny for giving us SIX starters and having all of them but Garland tank in the 2nd half. Once our starters got back on track, our mighty bats went silent. The Sox offense should be clobbering opponents and our starting pitchers should be shutting them down. If they did their jobs, our bullpen would not have stood in the way of another division title.
Amen to that!

Jjav829
09-18-2006, 10:08 AM
I love Thome so don't take my comments as me not liking him. The problem with THome is he duplicates a player we have already (Paulie). Why bring more sand to the beach?

With the lineup of Paulie, PK, and AJ those are all easy DP players. I think Kenny over thought things and should have kept it simple.

My biggest knock on Kenny was trading for Javier. THe guy is getting a boatload of money and is still a giant question mark.

We shouldn't write off this season just yet, but we can't ignore the fact that there needs to be a ton of tinkering by Kenny this off-season.

Thome isn't a duplicate of Konerko. He's a left-handed bat who draws a ton of walks. That's something we haven't had in a while. Furthermore, while it may seem like Thome should hit into a lot of DPs because of his lack of speed, he really doesn't. Thome has only grounded into 4 DPs this year. In fact, in Thome's entire career, he has only grounded into 110 DPs (that's in 16 years).

I think the double play problem might be related to us having Konerko batting twice in the lineup. :D:

I agree about Vazquez, however. I think Kenny got a little too greedy there when he probably would have been better off just going with McCarthy.

Ol' No. 2
09-18-2006, 10:58 AM
Thome isn't a duplicate of Konerko. He's a left-handed bat who draws a ton of walks. That's something we haven't had in a while. Furthermore, while it may seem like Thome should hit into a lot of DPs because of his lack of speed, he really doesn't. Thome has only grounded into 4 DPs this year. In fact, in Thome's entire career, he has only grounded into 110 DPs (that's in 16 years).

I think the double play problem might be related to us having Konerko batting twice in the lineup. :D:

I agree about Vazquez, however. I think Kenny got a little too greedy there when he probably would have been better off just going with McCarthy.I don't think McCarthy could have held up for 200+ IP. He's a stick. Kenny said as much last winter.

batmanZoSo
09-18-2006, 11:12 AM
And it's really just that simple. Look at the World Series teams over the last 10 years and you'll find that with few exceptions, the pitching is in the top 3 or 4 of their league. The Sox are currently 9th. The staff ERA is a full run higher than it was last year. Even if they'd split the difference, they'd be in first place and cruising to the playoffs. And as I've said before, IMO the uncertain pitching has lead to a lot of the other poor performance. You can't play smallball when your starter has already given up 6 runs by the 5th inning. Hitters are human and they tend to try for the big hit instead of doing the little things that won them games last year.

I don't see Kenny making wholesale changes to the rotation, but there will be changes. Bullpens are always somewhat of a crapshoot. Who could have predicted Cotts, Politte, Hermanson and Jenks in 2005?

Exactly. I agree on everything there, but I'd add that while bullpens definitely are a crap shoot, Kenny ought to focus on getting at least one sure thing in some kind of trade to anchor the pen. This year he tried to work his magic but it didn't work out. Go in prepared next year.

Ol' No. 2
09-18-2006, 12:20 PM
Exactly. I agree on everything there, but I'd add that while bullpens definitely are a crap shoot, Kenny ought to focus on getting at least one sure thing in some kind of trade to anchor the pen. This year he tried to work his magic but it didn't work out. Go in prepared next year.By "sure thing" do you mean someone as certain as Mark Buehrle and Jose Contreras? There is no "sure thing". Jenks, Thornton and MacDougal are as close as you get. But then, are they any more certain than Jenks, Politte and Cotts were? Bullpens are the most fluid parts of a team. Almost any contending team expects to add bullpen pitchers during the course of a season.

Lip Man 1
09-18-2006, 12:38 PM
Add in the now uncertainty regarding injuries (i.e. Jenks-hip, MacDougal - shoulder) and I don't know if the Sox have any 'sure things' currently on the roster in the bullpen.

All the more reason for Kenny to CYA and get more then he needs for 2007. Stash them in Charlotte and if not needed they can be dealt in July.

Lip

batmanZoSo
09-18-2006, 12:42 PM
By "sure thing" do you mean someone as certain as Mark Buehrle and Jose Contreras? There is no "sure thing". Jenks, Thornton and MacDougal are as close as you get. But then, are they any more certain than Jenks, Politte and Cotts were? Bullpens are the most fluid parts of a team. Almost any contending team expects to add bullpen pitchers during the course of a season.

It's a relative term of course. It's all about being proactive and not just relying on finding diamonds in the rough. Last year we had 5th starter issues and he went out and got Vazquez. He did his job, the pitchers didn't do theirs. Just because relievers are unpredictable, should we not sign or trade for the best one we can find?

Fungo
09-18-2006, 12:57 PM
Add in the now uncertainty regarding injuries (i.e. Jenks-hip, MacDougal - shoulder) and I don't know if the Sox have any 'sure things' currently on the roster in the bullpen.

All the more reason for Kenny to CYA and get more then he needs for 2007. Stash them in Charlotte and if not needed they can be dealt in July.

LipWho the hell in their right mind would want to sign with the Sox and be sent to Charlotte "just in case" so-and-so doesn't perform at the big club? Also, depending on who you are talking about, I think the words 'options' & 'designated for assignment' come into play. Maybe I missed something from a previous post.

Lip Man 1
09-18-2006, 01:07 PM
Fungo:

You stockpile talent let them compete in the spring and the best players make the club, the others go to Charlotte.

That doesn't mean they can't pitch... it means the Sox are so deep there simply isn't enough spots available.

It's called insurance. Insurance to guard against Jenks' hip going out or Thornton turning into the 2007 version of Cliff Politte or MacDougal blowing a shoulder out. Or do you want a repeat of 2006 where a kid like Boone Logan starts blowing games the first week of the regular season because he's in over his head?

If that's what you want, that's cool. But it's not what I'd prefer.

Lip

Ol' No. 2
09-18-2006, 01:08 PM
Add in the now uncertainty regarding injuries (i.e. Jenks-hip, MacDougal - shoulder) and I don't know if the Sox have any 'sure things' currently on the roster in the bullpen.

All the more reason for Kenny to CYA and get more then he needs for 2007. Stash them in Charlotte and if not needed they can be dealt in July.

LipYou mean like Jeff Nelson?

Lip Man 1
09-18-2006, 01:19 PM
Yea No. 2 EXACTLY like friggin' Jeff Nelson.

Your point is?

Oh that's right you'd prefer Boone Friggin' Logan

Please...

Lip

Fungo
09-18-2006, 01:23 PM
Fungo:

You stockpile talent let them compete in the spring and the best players make the club, the others go to Charlotte.

That doesn't mean they can't pitch... it means the Sox are so deep there simply isn't enough spots available.

It's called insurance. Insurance to guard against Jenks' hip going out or Thornton turning into the 2007 version of Cliff Politte or MacDougal blowing a shoulder out. Or do you want a repeat of 2006 where a kid like Boone Logan starts blowing games the first week of the regular season because he's in over his head?

If that's what you want, that's cool. But it's not what I'd prefer.

Lip
Lip:

That is not what I would prefer, but tell me exactly how you are going to convince guys with MLB service time to sign with us and compete for jobs and then shuttle them to Charlotte if they can't beat out the regular? It's apparent that you are not talking about rookie or prospects which is why I brought up the words 'options' and 'dfa'. If you are talking about guys with MLB service time, it's likely they are out of options and would need to be designated for assignment to be sent to Charlotte. That's not gonna fly with most MLB players.

Lip Man 1
09-18-2006, 01:31 PM
By paying or overpaying for their services. Like I said it's called 'insurance.'

Kenny did that this off season from a starting standpoint when he signed Nomo and Redding. Fortunately he didn't need them but they were there just in case.

I can only speak for myself but I'd rather be in Triple A with a good organization and getting paid well for the 'inconvienence' then to be performing at the major league level with a garbage club like Kansas City or Tampa Bay and getting my brians beat out. I'd much rather have a shot at winning with a good club.

Hell how do the Yankees do it? Every year they seem to have seven starters, a dozen relief guys, six outfielders with big league time and so on and they don't seem to have a problem getting guys.

Lip

NoShoesJoe
09-18-2006, 01:40 PM
By paying or overpaying for their services. Like I said it's called 'insurance.'

Kenny did that this off season from a starting standpoint when he signed Nomo and Redding. Fortunately he didn't need them but they were there just in case.

I can only speak for myself but I'd rather be in Triple A with a good organization and getting paid well for the 'inconvienence' then to be performing at the major league level with a garbage club like Kansas City or Tampa Bay and getting my brians beat out. I'd much rather have a shot at winning with a good club.

Hell how do the Yankees do it? Every year they seem to have seven starters, a dozen relief guys, six outfielders with big league time and so on and they don't seem to have a problem getting guys.

Lip

$200M will buy you that!

Ol' No. 2
09-18-2006, 01:45 PM
By paying or overpaying for their services. Like I said it's called 'insurance.'

Kenny did that this off season from a starting standpoint when he signed Nomo and Redding. Fortunately he didn't need them but they were there just in case.

I can only speak for myself but I'd rather be in Triple A with a good organization and getting paid well for the 'inconvienence' then to be performing at the major league level with a garbage club like Kansas City or Tampa Bay and getting my brians beat out. I'd much rather have a shot at winning with a good club.

Hell how do the Yankees do it? Every year they seem to have seven starters, a dozen relief guys, six outfielders with big league time and so on and they don't seem to have a problem getting guys.

LipHaving a $200M+ payroll helps. Realistically, other teams can't do this.

And in fact, the Yankees have plenty of problems. It's not for nothing that they signed Sidney Ponson. Pretty nearly every team finds holes in their bullpen through the course of the year, either through injury or because players they counted on just start sucking. The Yankees are no exception.

Fungo
09-18-2006, 01:59 PM
As much as Lip would like the Sox to be the Yankees and operate with the Yankee budget, we can't. I understand where you are coming from Lip, but it's just not doable. Last year, KW did protect himself by signing Hermanson in case Shingo failed. That worked, but Dustin wasn't sent to Charlotte either. Your 'insurance' from last years World Series Champions was McCarthy and Jenks, young kids who actually lived up to their potential (at least last year). No players that had to clear waivers in order to be sent down as you're suggesting.

For the record, I would much rather be a player on the worst team in the league as opposed to spending time on a AAA roster of a contender. I've heard life in the big leagues is alright.

maurice
09-18-2006, 02:04 PM
I can only speak for myself but I'd rather be in Triple A with a good organization and getting paid well for the 'inconvienence' then to be performing at the major league level with a garbage club like Kansas City or Tampa Bay and getting my brians beat out.

It seems that most (all?) pro baseball players disagree. For example, KC had no problem signing vets this offseason. Some of them probably figured that they'd get traded to a contender for prospects at the deadline, and some of them were right. Moreover, $$$ and W% aside, MLB offers way more "perks" than AAA.

Flight #24
09-18-2006, 02:13 PM
I can only speak for myself but I'd rather be in Triple A with a good organization and getting paid well for the 'inconvienence' then to be performing at the major league level with a garbage club like Kansas City or Tampa Bay and getting my brians beat out. I'd much rather have a shot at winning with a good club.



That's a short-sighted view if you're a player. Because if you spend the season shuttling back and forth to AAA, you're next contract is going to be for the minimum. Meanwhile, if you go to a bad team and pitch well (but lose), you'll make a ton more money on the market the following year.

If you're not getting the $$$ now, you need to position yourself to get it later. Unless the Sox have a Yankee-style budget, that's not feasible to do.

Plus, look at who the Yankees have been doing that with - Aaron "who?" Small, Scott "who?" Proctor, Octavio "injury" Dotel.

I don't think there's a big difference between that and the Jeff Nelson-esque guys the Sox ran through. The Yanks bets worked - so maybe there's a scouting issue, but it's not for a lack of trying to stash guys in AAA.

Lip Man 1
09-18-2006, 02:57 PM
Two points.

The White Sox payroll is now at (or close to) 100 million dollars. That's not chopped liver folks is it? We aren't talking 65 million right??

The Sox are going to draw close to three million fans this season. It's a self generating thing gang. Play well, you draw well, more fans, more tickets, more money and better players.

Unless something goes badly wrong they'll draw over 2 1/2 to 3 million again next season.

The money is there folks. No I don't expect them to get to 200 million but 100 million is just fine and should be able to buy you all that you need.

Lip

Flight #24
09-18-2006, 03:08 PM
By paying or overpaying for their services. Like I said it's called 'insurance.'

Hell how do the Yankees do it? Every year they seem to have seven starters, a dozen relief guys, six outfielders with big league time and so on and they don't seem to have a problem getting guys.

Lip



The money is there folks. No I don't expect them to get to 200 million but 100 million is just fine and should be able to buy you all that you need.

Lip

Unless you're willing to take some $$$ away from somewhere else to allocate for your "overpaying", your 2 comments are inconsistent. So the question is: which area do you want to "skimp" on?

The Yanks did it not be overpaying, but by taking some fliers that ended up working out (and it's fair to notice that in past years, it has not worked out so well for them). Kenny did the same thing, and it didn't work out. You can complain that they need better scouting, etc - but the methodology seems to be there.

Lip Man 1
09-18-2006, 03:23 PM
Flight:

The Yankees have made the post season 11 straight years...HOW has ANYTHING not worked out for them?

Lip

Bob G
09-18-2006, 04:57 PM
I think KW will be under some pressure to reduce payroll next year. A lot of GM's will be looking at the Twins and A's both teams with payrolls in the $60-65M range. Just goes to show there's no substitute for good scouting and a solid farm system unless of course the owner's name is Steinbrenner...

russ99
09-18-2006, 04:57 PM
Count me among those that are blaming him....

What steps were taken and how did he go about making sure our
bullpen wouldn't be the complete laughingstock and disaster it is.?

None of the bullpen moves have really worked with the exception of
Thornton....

The games are almost unwatchable because you know disaster will strike
in the 7th 8th or 9th inning....not good considering the coffers are flush
and the park is packed on a nightly basis....

Great point. We all knew what the problems with this team were in February.

Sure, Thornton was a good pickup and if healthy McDougal is a good addition too, but Kenny went cheap on the bullpen in December when it was known that Hermanson would be out a long time. We did start the season with Boone Logan...

He also didn't add the obviously required defensive outfielder before the season or at the deadline. The Alomar experiment's been a bit of a failure too. Kenny could have shored up these weaknesses at the deadline, but instead stood pat. Maybe Jerry wouldn't let him add any significant payroll for all we know.

Mackowiak fans: I remember that he was added to play 3rd base, not CF! I don't understand why Ozzie insists in playing him there.

Regardless, the season is still salvagable, if the team can shake off the Oakland thrashing and beat the teams ahead of them. I won't be as upset for the Sox to miss the playoffs ONLY if the team goes down with a fight.

kitekrazy
09-18-2006, 05:14 PM
I think KW will be under some pressure to reduce payroll next year. A lot of GM's will be looking at the Twins and A's both teams with payrolls in the $60-65M range. Just goes to show there's no substitute for good scouting and a solid farm system unless of course the owner's name is Steinbrenner...

I don't think so. The team drew a lot and I think Reinsdorf will stick to his word of spending $$$ on players.

I don't doubt the Sox will come close to drawing 3M next year unless he pulls a Bill Wirtz.