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bluestar
09-21-2006, 11:29 AM
A local (Nashville, TN) talk radio station (104.5 The Zone) has Seth Everett from MLB Radio on every Thursday morning to talk baseball. This morning they brought up the 2006 White Sox and asked Everett what he thought went wrong with the team. Most of his comments were obvious, but he did make some interesting comments regarding Ozzie. (Quotes are direct quotes.)

He called the 2006 White Sox a team that "underachieved." (No surprise there.)
He said, "There is no doubt in my mind the White Sox are the most talented team in baseball this year. It's a real shame we are not going to see them in the post season." (While I agree, I was surprised to hear someone like him make that statement.)
Regarding the starting pitching, he commented specifically on Buehrle, Garcia, Contreras, and Vazquez. He wondered what happened to Mark, and questioned Garcia's "heart." He based his Garcia comments on the fact that Garcia has suddenly stepped up in the last couple of games, and his comments about not always getting up for the lesser teams. He also mentioned that Contreras went a month without a win at one point, and went on to say the inconsistency and "lack of any rhythm" from the starting rotation was a major factor in their lack of success. He also said he thought "in hindsight" KW probably should have traded Vazquez before the trading deadline. He said he thought the 2006 Sox possibly "had too much pitching" which may have caused the team to think they were "too good to lose" to some teams and not play as hard as they should have.
Regarding Ozzie, he said, "Ozzie is a horrible manager." (Yes, he emphasized "horrible.") He said he thought the White Sox missed a great opportunity to fire him during the controversy surrounding his "homophobic slur." He said he thinks the team won last year in spite of Ozzie. He said the 2006 team "lacked focus," and attributed that directly to Ozzie's "style."
Regarding the team's future, he said he thought it would be interesting to see what management does in the off season. He thinks it would be a mistake for the Sox to make drastic changes, since he thinks they are the most talented team in baseball. He thinks, like everyone, that either Garcia or Vazquez will be traded, and McCarthy moved to the starting rotation. He said he thought the best thing they could do to improve the team would be to fire Ozzie, but he didn't think that was going to happen.

Flight #24
09-21-2006, 11:34 AM
I would agree that Ozzie has been a horrible manager this year. But IMO last year he was pretty good. What's most confusing is that much of what he publicly cited as his managerial philosophy last year (and in 2004) has been in direct contradiction to his actions this year. Not sure why.

But because he's managed differently, I hesitate to say last year was luck (i.e. it's not like he's done the same things and they've failed). IMO it's an ego thing where he's having a hard time dealing with the struggles and that the mid-season media storm didn't help any. Hopefully he goes back to his old ways for 2007.

I'd agree the changes needed are minimal: New LF, SS, backup CF, #4-#6 relievers.

southside rocks
09-21-2006, 12:36 PM
Boy, it has the potential to be one interesting off-season, that's for sure!

Fungo
09-21-2006, 12:49 PM
Sounds just about spot on to me. I wish I could have heard it.

TFLEM33
09-21-2006, 01:02 PM
While Ozzie makes many questionable decisions as a manager, I do think he is a good one. I think the main problem is that this team is not tailored to Ozzie's style like last year's team was. The middle of the lineup is extremely slow, and he has had no production from the top of the order. Ozzie's style is small ball... steal bases, hit and run, mess with the opposing pitcher's pysche a bit. The defense, outside of Crede and Anderson, has been average at best. Uribe, while he has a cannon for an arm, is erratic at times. Mackowiak is playing a position that he hasn't played regularly since coming up with the Pirates. Podsednik just isn't a good defensive player, and our pitchers, especially Garcia, cannot hold anyone on base. I think Kenny needs to reevaluate this team in the offseason. We need speed (in the form of someone who can actually get on base), defense, and players who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the team. I don't need another year of 200+ home runs. I need wins, I need the playoffs, and I need another World Series Championship.

hold2dibber
09-21-2006, 01:25 PM
While Ozzie makes many questionable decisions as a manager, I do think he is a good one. I think the main problem is that this team is not tailored to Ozzie's style like last year's team was. The middle of the lineup is extremely slow, and he has had no production from the top of the order. Ozzie's style is small ball... steal bases, hit and run, mess with the opposing pitcher's pysche a bit. The defense, outside of Crede and Anderson, has been average at best. Uribe, while he has a cannon for an arm, is erratic at times. Mackowiak is playing a position that he hasn't played regularly since coming up with the Pirates. Podsednik just isn't a good defensive player, and our pitchers, especially Garcia, cannot hold anyone on base. I think Kenny needs to reevaluate this team in the offseason. We need speed (in the form of someone who can actually get on base), defense, and players who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the team. I don't need another year of 200+ home runs. I need wins, I need the playoffs, and I need another World Series Championship.

I basically agree with everything you've said - but I think you've missed the primary thing the Sox need next year. Because even if the defense is better, the speed is improved and players play more of a team game offensively, the fact remains that if the Sox finish towards the bottom of the league in team ERA again, they're not going to win. The pitching has to improve.

TFLEM33
09-21-2006, 01:47 PM
I basically agree with everything you've said - but I think you've missed the primary thing the Sox need next year. Because even if the defense is better, the speed is improved and players play more of a team game offensively, the fact remains that if the Sox finish towards the bottom of the league in team ERA again, they're not going to win. The pitching has to improve.

You are exactly right. I neglected to mention that in my rant. I was extremely surprised by the inconsistency of the pitching this year. I do not think it will happen again with the starters. They are far too talented. The bullpen, however, might need to be fine tuned a little in the offseason. Although, I do like the idea of having, MacDougal, Thornton, and Jenks at the back end of the pen.

Gavin
09-21-2006, 01:51 PM
I like to think a guy like Ivan Rodriguez instead of AJ could fill a lot of the holes, given that it's only one play.

Rodriguez is far better at throwing out runners and can hit for power with some moderate speed on the basepaths. Throw someone with his ability into the mix and the sluggish middle of the lineup has a lot more speed, especially since Dye can run a bit too.

Dick Allen
09-21-2006, 01:51 PM
"Too much pitching"? "Too good to lose"? Please tell me their minds don't work that way.

MrX
09-21-2006, 01:51 PM
I think the main problem is that this team is not tailored to Ozzie's style like last year's team was. The middle of the lineup is extremely slow, and he has had no production from the top of the order. Ozzie's style is small ball..
There was nothing smallball about last years team. The pitching staff held teams so a 3 run homerun was good enough to win most of the time.

Lip Man 1
09-21-2006, 01:53 PM
Nothing smallball?

You obviously missed all those one run games, bunts and sacrifice flies didn't you? (The Sox I think were first in the league in all those categories...)

Lip

Fungo
09-21-2006, 02:04 PM
Lip is correct. Personally, I'm not a fan of the term smallball. Growing up through Little League, High School and College we called it fundamentally sound baseball. To use a Farmerism...get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in.

veeter
09-21-2006, 02:13 PM
The 2005 Sox were a combo of both power and small ball. But what they really were was terrific situational hitters. With a man on third with less than two outs, the Sox were money in the bank. This year, bad,bad,bad. Some Sox hitters got dumb over the winter. Last night's game was the perfect microcosm of 2006. Everyone trying to crank homeruns. I think Thome is very bad for the team. Great guy, but he's a softball player. Last night was a terrific exhibiton of how to hit pop ups really high. His last at-bat was a thing of beauty. He finally punched one to where noone was playing. It's not all his fault, but his presence took the Sox back to the CLee years. My favorite part of this year was when he was out and Ross Gload put on a clinic. For those two weeks the Sox, to me, were like the 2005 Sox.

PatK
09-21-2006, 03:00 PM
Thome bad for the team? Without him, I don't think Dye or Konerko have the years they are having. The Sox needed a good left handed power bat.

And as far as Pudge being a better fit because he'd throw out more runners, get back to me when he's got guys with slow deliveries that don't pay attention to the runner pitching to him like AJ does.

The way Freddy holds runner, you aren't going to gun down runners with a bazooka.

batmanZoSo
09-21-2006, 03:02 PM
Nothing smallball?

You obviously missed all those one run games, bunts and sacrifice flies didn't you? (The Sox I think were first in the league in all those categories...)

Lip

I wouldn't say "nothing," but there's some middle ground there and it was not the Go-Go Sox revisited or the 82 Cardinals or anything like that. They just did what they needed to win. If they needed on run, they got it; if they needed a 3-run bomb, they got it; if they needed a stolen base, they got it. They had the pitching to back it up, though, and this team for the most part did not. We will need to reclaim some of that offensive dynamic for next year, which is why I'm in favor of replacing Pods with a similar player (and for the record, I was adamantly in favor of the Pods/Lee trade at the time). I think Pierre would be a good fit if he's willing to play left.

But if you have the two table setters with speed and run manufacturing ability at the top, the rest of the lineup can mash the ball all day long. Contrary to what some people say, there is no problem whatsoever with the middle of the order "clogging the basepaths." What? Name me one middle in history that didn't. If you do, I'll show you a team that has a damn hard time scoring runs. Why are we cursed with four 30/100 sluggers in a row?!

In addition to a Pierre/"good" Pods type to leadoff for next year, I'd work with BA to hone in on his small ball skills which would benefit the bottom of the order a great deal. If he could become a superior situational hitter, adept at sac bunts, sac flies, putting the ball in play to the right side, moving runners over, etc., we'll have everything you could want in a lineup. It's not too much to ask of Anderson and would probably take some pressure off his shoulders to give him a well defined roll where he doesn't have to kill the ball.

BigPapaPump
09-21-2006, 03:02 PM
I like to think a guy like Ivan Rodriguez instead of AJ could fill a lot of the holes, given that it's only one play.

Rodriguez is far better at throwing out runners and can hit for power with some moderate speed on the basepaths. Throw someone with his ability into the mix and the sluggish middle of the lineup has a lot more speed, especially since Dye can run a bit too.

Detroit can keep him, I don't like him one bit. A.J. has a good arm and can throw guys out if our pitchers weren't so slow to the plate.

bluestar
09-21-2006, 03:06 PM
"Too much pitching"? "Too good to lose"? Please tell me their minds don't work that way.


I'm not saying Everett was correct in his assessment, but looking at the evidence we have as fans, it is difficult to argue against it. They repeatedly "played down to their competition."

If you truly believe the team underachieved, as Everett says, and you believe they are the most talented team in baseball, as Everett says, how else do you explain their failure?

bluestar
09-21-2006, 03:08 PM
I wouldn't say "nothing," but there's some middle ground there and it was not the Go-Go Sox revisited or the 82 Cardinals or anything like that. They just did what they needed to win. If they needed on run, they got it; if they needed a 3-run bomb, they got it; if they needed a stolen base, they got it. They had the pitching to back it up, though, and this team for the most part did not. We will need to reclaim some of that offensive dynamic for next year, which is why I'm in favor of replacing Pods with a similar player (and for the record, I was adamantly in favor of the Pods/Lee trade at the time). I think Pierre would be a good fit if he's willing to play left.

But if you have the two table setters with speed and run manufacturing ability at the top, the rest of the lineup can mash the ball all day long. Contrary to what some people say, there is no problem whatsoever with the middle of the order "clogging the basepaths." What? Name me one middle in history that didn't. If you do, I'll show you a team that has a damn hard time scoring runs. Why are we cursed with four 30/100 sluggers in a row?!

In addition to a Pierre/"good" Pods type to leadoff for next year, I'd work with BA to hone in on his small ball skills which would benefit the bottom of the order a great deal. If he could become a superior situational hitter, adept at sac bunts, sac flies, putting the ball in play to the right side, moving runners over, etc., we'll have everything you could want in a lineup. It's not too much to ask of Anderson and would probably take some pressure off his shoulders to give him a well defined roll where he doesn't have to kill the ball.


Great comments. I totally agree.

caulfield12
09-21-2006, 04:23 PM
I wouldn't say "nothing," but there's some middle ground there and it was not the Go-Go Sox revisited or the 82 Cardinals or anything like that. They just did what they needed to win. If they needed on run, they got it; if they needed a 3-run bomb, they got it; if they needed a stolen base, they got it. They had the pitching to back it up, though, and this team for the most part did not. We will need to reclaim some of that offensive dynamic for next year, which is why I'm in favor of replacing Pods with a similar player (and for the record, I was adamantly in favor of the Pods/Lee trade at the time). I think Pierre would be a good fit if he's willing to play left.

But if you have the two table setters with speed and run manufacturing ability at the top, the rest of the lineup can mash the ball all day long. Contrary to what some people say, there is no problem whatsoever with the middle of the order "clogging the basepaths." What? Name me one middle in history that didn't. If you do, I'll show you a team that has a damn hard time scoring runs. Why are we cursed with four 30/100 sluggers in a row?!

In addition to a Pierre/"good" Pods type to leadoff for next year, I'd work with BA to hone in on his small ball skills which would benefit the bottom of the order a great deal. If he could become a superior situational hitter, adept at sac bunts, sac flies, putting the ball in play to the right side, moving runners over, etc., we'll have everything you could want in a lineup. It's not too much to ask of Anderson and would probably take some pressure off his shoulders to give him a well defined roll where he doesn't have to kill the ball.



How is the Minnesota line-up with Mauer, Cuddyer, Morneau and Hunter any different from ours? None of those guys are burners, although obviously Hunter could run really well before and Mauer's a much better athlete than any of our middle of the order guys (in terms of running).

It's their complementary players.

Get rid of Pods and Uribe (who will never be a small ball player) and get Anderson turned around this winter. Maybe Sweeney or Fields will platoon somewhere, maybe they'll be in AAA.

The other obvious difference is that they held together around Bonser, Garza, Baker, Silva (three rookies)....four guys that combined don't make as much as any of our starters.

And they have a great bullpen, a tradition/hallmark of the Twins for the last 5+ years or so.

Nathan > Jenks
Rincon > MacDougal
Reyes > Thornton (this year, I would still rather have Matt long-term)
Crain > Riske (Crain has been VERY good in the 2nd half)
Guerrier=McCarthy
Eyre=Cotts

Flight #24
09-21-2006, 04:29 PM
How is the Minnesota line-up with Mauer, Cuddyer, Morneau and Hunter any different from ours? None of those guys are burners, although obviously Hunter could run really well before and Mauer's a much better athlete than any of our middle of the order guys (in terms of running).

It's their complementary players.

Get rid of Pods and Uribe (who will never be a small ball player) and get Anderson turned around this winter. Maybe Sweeney or Fields will platoon somewhere, maybe they'll be in AAA.

The other obvious difference is that they held together around Bonser, Garza, Baker, Silva (three rookies)....four guys that combined don't make as much as any of our starters.

And they have a great bullpen, a tradition/hallmark of the Twins for the last 5+ years or so.

Nathan > Jenks
Rincon > MacDougal
Reyes > Thornton (this year, I would still rather have Matt long-term)
Crain > Riske (Crain has been VERY good in the 2nd half)
Guerrier=McCarthy
Eyre=Cotts

IMO a huge part of the success of the Twins young starters is the fact that they know their offense & defense will execute, so they just have to keep their team in games. And they have to do so for only 6 innings because of their dominant 'pen.

It's a large part of why the Sox starters were so good last year. Get an early lead, pitching confident that the D will make plays behind you, and in the knowledge that if you get in trouble late, you have a dominant 'pen that can bail you out.

batmanZoSo
09-21-2006, 04:42 PM
How is the Minnesota line-up with Mauer, Cuddyer, Morneau and Hunter any different from ours? None of those guys are burners, although obviously Hunter could run really well before and Mauer's a much better athlete than any of our middle of the order guys (in terms of running).

It's their complementary players.

Get rid of Pods and Uribe (who will never be a small ball player) and get Anderson turned around this winter. Maybe Sweeney or Fields will platoon somewhere, maybe they'll be in AAA.

The other obvious difference is that they held together around Bonser, Garza, Baker, Silva (three rookies)....four guys that combined don't make as much as any of our starters.

And they have a great bullpen, a tradition/hallmark of the Twins for the last 5+ years or so.

Nathan > Jenks
Rincon > MacDougal
Reyes > Thornton (this year, I would still rather have Matt long-term)
Crain > Riske (Crain has been VERY good in the 2nd half)
Guerrier=McCarthy
Eyre=Cotts

Game set and match.

caulfield12
09-21-2006, 08:09 PM
IMO a huge part of the success of the Twins young starters is the fact that they know their offense & defense will execute, so they just have to keep their team in games. And they have to do so for only 6 innings because of their dominant 'pen.

It's a large part of why the Sox starters were so good last year. Get an early lead, pitching confident that the D will make plays behind you, and in the knowledge that if you get in trouble late, you have a dominant 'pen that can bail you out.


In all honesty, the Twins' offense has been almost as inconsistent as the White Sox bullpen.

We have 78 quality starts and the Twins only have 61 (mostly because their young starters have often been pulled after 4-5 IP).

But they've only LOST one game they've had the lead going into the 8th inning all season.

There's the biggest, obvious difference between the two teams.

vegyrex
09-21-2006, 08:34 PM
Our bullpen has been the biggest failure this season. If our bullpen was even remotely like last years, we might be talking magic number instead of tragic number right now. :(: