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kingpin_rcs
03-27-2002, 10:03 AM
We were tough on himm last year - and he deserved it but I think it would be a classy move to on our part to at least see how he starts off before we start booing him.
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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Royce Clayton couldn't have gotten off to a rockier start with the Chicago White Sox.

Acquired in December 2000 to upgrade Chicago's defense, he displaced the popular Jose Valentin at shortstop. Then Clayton started last season in such a horrid offensive slump that he became the poster boy for everything wrong with the struggling White Sox.

And he got zero sympathy from the fans. When he got a hit to boost his batting average from .099, they mocked him with chants of ``M-V-P! M-V-P!''

``It was tough,'' Clayton admits now. ``But I look at it as something to draw back on in a positive way. I overcame a pretty tough situation. I didn't give up.''

It took a while, but Clayton eventually found his hitting stroke. After falling below .100 on May 23, he batted a team-best .323 after the All-Star break and ended up at a respectable .263.

He also finished with 60 RBIs, third best in his career, as the White Sox rebounded from their horrible start to finish third in the AL Central.

``It's easy just to concede to the lack of success and give in, say, 'OK, this is going to be a bad season,''' he said. ``I didn't do that, and neither did the team. We persevered through a rough start.''

As impressive as his offensive turnaround was, though, Clayton was even prouder of the stellar defense he played the entire season. After committing a career-high 25 errors in 1999 and following it with 16 in 2000, he made just seven last year.

His .988 fielding percentage was the best ever for a White Sox shortstop, breaking the .983 mark Ron Hansen set in 1963. It also was second-best among AL shortstops last season, trailing only Cleveland's Omar Vizquel.

``It was a breakthrough year for me defensively, to make seven errors despite the fact I started off so bad offensively,'' he said. ``I was able to separate the two and that's very difficult for some young players and even veteran players.''

While his teammates might have appreciated Clayton's defense, fans were more concerned with what he wasn't doing at the plate. Hit with a rash of injuries to key players, the defending AL Central champs fell 15 games below .500 by May 24.

Frustrated, fans focused on Clayton's woes. He was booed almost every time he stepped to the plate in the first half of the season -- and that was by Chicago's own fans.

``I don't like that to happen to anyone,'' batting coach Gary Ward said. ``He came out and battled each and every day no matter how the fans reacted to him, and he ended up having a pretty good year.''

While the constant razzing might have gotten to some players, Clayton ignored it.

This, after all, was the guy who had to replace Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith in St. Louis.

``That's the most important part, maintaining your mental stability,'' Clayton said. ``I don't think there's too many things you could throw my way that's going to stop me from achieving what I and this team have set out to do.''

He's confident his struggles of last year are behind him. He's hitting .355 this spring, with 10 RBIs and four stolen bases. When he went 0-for-1 Monday, it was the first time in 19 exhibition games he hadn't gotten at least one hit.

With his game back on track, Clayton can focus all of his attention on his ultimate goal -- a World Series championship.

``I'd love to go to the World Series and win it. That's what you strap on the uniform for,'' he said. ``Even though I've had a lot of adversity in my career, I've enjoyed it. It's been good.''

RedPinStripes
03-27-2002, 10:09 AM
If he hits, great! i'll support him, but in the back of my head, I always know Crede is in AAA because he was added to the team.

I just hope he ups his price tag so he'll get signed by someone quick after this season. As long as he's here, I hope he does well for the team, not for him.

Kilroy
03-27-2002, 10:39 AM
Originally posted by RedPinStripes
If he hits, great! i'll support him, but in the back of my head, I always know Crede is in AAA because he was added to the team.


You've got it backwards. Support him now, don't wait for him to hit. If he starts to suck, then you can let him have it.

As far as Crede, don't blame Clayton. That's management's fault.

RedPinStripes
03-27-2002, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by Kilroy


You've got it backwards. Support him now, don't wait for him to hit. If he starts to suck, then you can let him have it.

As far as Crede, don't blame Clayton. That's management's fault.

I give everyone a second chance when the season starts. I may not jump up and down in a cheer when he gets to the plate, but i won't boo him.

ok. blame the mgt. wasn't his fault.

Iguana775
03-27-2002, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by RedPinStripes


I give everyone a second chance when the season starts. I may not jump up and down in a cheer when he gets to the plate, but i won't boo him.

ok. blame the mgt. wasn't his fault.

as in the South Park movie, BLAME CANADA!!!! LOL.

but seriously, that is great that Royce is actually finding his swing. maybe he is using some of Joey's old bats like Slow Swing did.

RichH55
03-27-2002, 12:12 PM
I've been as critical of Clayton as anyone, but in this current situation I plan on giving him the benefit of the doubt until he throws that back in my face:) I have accepted that he will be here this year, so I'm hoping for the best....I will try and avoid finding fault with Royce when he is playing well just because I was critical of him in the offseason, although with human natures thats hard to do sometimes

PaleHoseGeorge
03-27-2002, 12:39 PM
Originally posted by RichH55
I've been as critical of Clayton as anyone, but in this current situation I plan on giving him the benefit of the doubt until he throws that back in my face:) I have accepted that he will be here this year, so I'm hoping for the best....I will try and avoid finding fault with Royce when he is playing well just because I was critical of him in the offseason, although with human natures thats hard to do sometimes

That's been my position since last January when KW announced Clayton was staying and Manuel slotted him as the everyday shortstop. I hope he knocks the cover off the ball. Anything he does to help the Sox win games is fine by me. I want to win a championship, and I'm not choosey about which Sox players bring it home to Chicago.

The choice to keep Clayton around wasn't mine to make. Apparently it wasn't KW's either, since he admits he's been trying to trade him for over a year without success. If the Sox stumble early in 2002, and Clayton plays a role, I suspect nobody here will have a problem with me (or anyone else) calling for KW's and Manuel's head for screwing this team up so badly.

We should aspire to more than simple incompetence from the manager and general manager of our team.

sox_fan_4life
03-27-2002, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


That's been my position since last January when KW announced Clayton was staying and Manuel slotted him as the everyday shortstop. I hope he knocks the cover off the ball. Anything he does to help the Sox win games is fine by me. I want to win a championship, and I'm not choosey about which Sox players bring it home to Chicago.

The choice to keep Clayton around wasn't mine to make. Apparently it wasn't KW's either, since he admits he's been trying to trade him for over a year without success. If the Sox stumble early in 2002, and Clayton plays a role, I suspect nobody here will have a problem with me (or anyone else) calling for KW's and Manuel's head for screwing this team up so badly.

We should aspire to more than simple incompetence from the manager and general manager of our team.

See, now I thought we should have had their heads last May. Of course I am sure almost everyone remembers my views.

Kilroy
03-27-2002, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
...If the Sox stumble early in 2002, and Clayton plays a role, I suspect nobody here will have a problem with me (or anyone else) calling for KW's and Manuel's head for screwing this team up so badly...

You got that right. And when someone is sucking on the field, BOO 'EM LOUD, BOO 'EM PROUD.

bjmarte
03-27-2002, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by Kilroy


You got that right. And when someone is sucking on the field, BOO 'EM LOUD, BOO 'EM PROUD.
Wile I am not counting on, rooting for, or expecting it; I will be ready to do my duity if Royce starts to suck the way he did last year.

RedPinStripes
03-27-2002, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by bjmarte

Wile I am not counting on, rooting for, or expecting it; I will be ready to do my duity if Royce starts to suck the way he did last year.

M-V-P!!!!! M-V-P!!!!! M-V-P!!!!!!!

Kilroy
03-27-2002, 05:09 PM
Originally posted by bjmarte

Wile I am not counting on, rooting for, or expecting it; I will be ready to do my duity if Royce starts to suck the way he did last year.

Royce, or anyone else. If Konerko hits .056 again in May this year, let him have it...

bjmarte
03-27-2002, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by Kilroy


Royce, or anyone else. If Konerko hits .056 again in May this year, let him have it...
I'll agree to that without worry of it ever happening.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-27-2002, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by bjmarte
I'll agree to that without worry of it ever happening.

Umm... have you watched him play in May the past two years?

bjmarte
03-27-2002, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


Umm... have you watched him play in May the past two years?

Slipped past me, I was thinking overall batting average. Paulie's never dipped below .200 last year. What were his May statistics last year?

Kilroy
03-27-2002, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by bjmarte


Slipped past me, I was thinking overall batting average. Paulie's never dipped below .200 last year. What were his May statistics last year?

I had to look to be sure before I answered. Paulie hit better than .056 last May, but not much. He hit 14 of 92 to go .152. He also had a pretty poor May the previous season going 15 of 80 for .188. PK's got the sweetest swing on the team when he's right. I hope he's right all year long.

bjmarte
03-28-2002, 08:19 AM
Originally posted by Kilroy


I had to look to be sure before I answered. Paulie hit better than .056 last May, but not much. He hit 14 of 92 to go .152. He also had a pretty poor May the previous season going 15 of 80 for .188. PK's got the sweetest swing on the team when he's right. I hope he's right all year long.

So Paulie's BA for May was greater than Royce's cumulative BA through mid June last year. I'm still not worried about boo-ing Paulie.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-28-2002, 08:37 AM
Originally posted by bjmarte
So Paulie's BA for May was greater than Royce's cumulative BA through mid June last year. I'm still not worried about boo-ing Paulie.

We're talking about a firstbasemen here. Walnuts is still young but his numbers so far make him a very average ballplayer for that position (especially for the A.L.). His numbers in May really hurt him.

Nobody has ever confused Konehead with Jason Giambi, but the Lumbering Ox's numbers are the kind you need to be an all star firstbasemen.

Nobody is suggesting you should boo, but think twice before you stand and cheer, too.

bjmarte
03-28-2002, 08:59 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


We're talking about a firstbasemen here. Walnuts is still young but his numbers so far make him a very average ballplayer for that position (especially for the A.L.). His numbers in May really hurt him.

Nobody has ever confused Konehead with Jason Giambi, but the Lumbering Ox's numbers are the kind you need to be an all star firstbasemen.

Nobody is suggesting you should boo, but think twice before you stand and cheer, too.

He plays for the White Sox, I would never boo a White Sox player. Unless his BA was hovering around .100 at the end of May.