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View Full Version : Thoughts on recurring issues with hitting and bullpen


Frater Perdurabo
05-18-2007, 07:54 PM
One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

When he was hired, many of the brightest baseball minds on WSI said that Ozzie would light a spark under the team and would repair clubhouse chemistry, but they questioned his ability to manage a pitching staff. This is EXACTLY what has happened. No manager is perfect. But I expect a manager to learn from his bad decisions and start making better decisions. Ozzie stubbornly is not doing so.

I think part of the problem this year is the bench coach. What "skins on the wall" does Joey Cora have? Harold Baines may have been quiet as bench coach, but I'll bet that when he said something, he spoke volumes. (In 1985 Sox beat writer Mike Kiley wrote that Baines was far wiser than his age might suggest.) I picture Cora as the kind of bench coach who just "lets Ozzie be Ozzie" and never makes suggestions, even in private. I picture bench coach Baines as providing balance and making infrequent but well-timed suggestions. (Remember that twice during his pro career Ozzie fell for the "hidden ball" trick.)

The hitting is a problem, too. I think Greg Walker deserves blame, but I wonder if another factor is at work. Walker's career hitting stats (.260 AVG, .326 OBP, decent power for old Comiskey, averaged 99 Ks per 162-game season) look remarkably like Hawk Harrelson's (.239 AVG, .325 OBP, decent power for his era, 104 Ks per season). Hmmm.

The Sox seem to develop and promote a disproportionate number of "Hawk-like" low-average, good power, high-K hitters (while the Twins develop fundamentally sound players). Just like Greg Walker. Just like Hawk.

We all know how much JR and Hawk respect one another. So...

Has Hawk quietly influenced the organization's philosophy on developing hitters?

Is Hawk's advice sought on hiring minor league hitting instructors and/or scouts?

Is Hawk one of Walker's biggest supporters in the organization?

I'm not calling for Ozzie to be fired, but I do think a shakeup is in order: fire Greg Walker and move Baines back to bench coach.

More long-term, the Sox really need to emphasize fundamentals and stop rewarding/promoting hitters who swing for the fences.

thomas35forever
05-18-2007, 08:01 PM
I can't really count on the team's TV play-by-play man to make a direct impact on the team's strategy. We might as well make him GM again, and we all know how well that turned out (no teal necessary).

TomBradley72
05-18-2007, 08:09 PM
I think you're over estimating the impact of the bench coach and one of the TV announcers. I don't think Walker is the problem either.As an organization we seem to gravitate to rosters filled with LF/1B/DH types...the whole roster is filled with base cloggers with a pretty low ability to execute a "small ball" approach. KW is responsible for that.

UserNameBlank
05-18-2007, 08:18 PM
I think Hawk will defend anyone in the Sox organization. Ozzie and KW have total control over players and coaches on the major league team.

I love Hawk but he is annoying as hell when the Sox are losing. Just like today, when he tried to downplay Pagan's super clutch 2-run game-tying triple as a "little broken bat triple." Christ, can you imagine what Hawk would have sounded like had the situation been reversed and it was Crede who hit that to tie the game late for the Sox? Hawk would have gone on and on and on about that until the game ended, and probably would have talked about it for another 30+ minutes the following game.

ondafarm
05-18-2007, 08:38 PM
I am calling on Ozzie to be fired. He's fiddling away games and is the wrong sort of coach for this team to win under. He was just what the doctor ordered in 2004, but his act is worn thin now.

Promote Razor Shines.

BanditJimmy
05-18-2007, 09:03 PM
I am calling on Ozzie to be fired. He's fiddling away games and is the wrong sort of coach for this team to win under. He was just what the doctor ordered in 2004, but his act is worn thin now.

Promote Razor Shines.


Would have never agreed with this but after today's game and with what happened this morning on the radio, I don't think JR will be too happy.

One thing is to be pushing the wrong buttons in the moves you make, but another is to ridicule this franchise by acting like moron in the media and in public. Big no no for public relations.

A. Cavatica
05-18-2007, 09:18 PM
Actually, I think this team has already been molded in Razor Shines' image. (Shines' career big-league numbers: .239 OBP, 0.00 ERA.)

oeo
05-18-2007, 09:20 PM
When he was hired, many of the brightest baseball minds on WSI said that Ozzie would light a spark under the team and would repair clubhouse chemistry, but they questioned his ability to manage a pitching staff. This is EXACTLY what has happened. No manager is perfect. But I expect a manager to learn from his bad decisions and start making better decisions. Ozzie stubbornly is not doing so.

This is ridiculous. Today is an example that he is not doing the same thing...as he kept MacDougal out there, when in other instances he would not. The Flubs blew a 4 run lead in the 9th yesterday; does that mean Lou Piniella cannot manage a pitching staff? No, it means that his pitchers did not do the job. Look to the source of the problem: the bullpen itself.

gobears1987
05-18-2007, 09:39 PM
The bullpen issue can best be solved with Charlie Haegar. He was amazing out of the pen last year. I don't think he got a fair evaluation in ST. The knuckleball just doesn't work in Arizona.

gobears1987
05-18-2007, 09:42 PM
I am calling on Ozzie to be fired. He's fiddling away games and is the wrong sort of coach for this team to win under. He was just what the doctor ordered in 2004, but his act is worn thin now.

Promote Razor Shines.
It's Ozzie's fault that batters who normally hit around .280 and .290 are below .200.:rolleyes:

Has it ever occurred to you that the fact Ozzie gives frequent rest to players is the primary reason our team was healthy throughout 2005? We probably suffer the fewest injuries of any MLB team because of Ozzie.

sox1970
05-18-2007, 09:44 PM
The bullpen issue can best be solved with Charlie Haegar. He was amazing out of the pen last year. I don't think he got a fair evaluation in ST. The knuckleball just doesn't work in Arizona.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I wouldn't mind moving Gavin Floyd up to bullpen. It's pretty apparent his future with the White Sox organization will not be in the starting rotation. Why not bring him up and see what he can do in long relief?

I think Masset is getting a pass so far. He had that great outing the first week, but otherwise I really haven't been that impressed. Sisco? Meh. Carlos Vasquez could be given a shot as well.

JB98
05-18-2007, 09:47 PM
Would have never agreed with this but after today's game and with what happened this morning on the radio, I don't think JR will be too happy.

One thing is to be pushing the wrong buttons in the moves you make, but another is to ridicule this franchise by acting like moron in the media and in public. Big no no for public relations.

Public relations? As a result of today's events, I'm more likely to boycott The Score than the White Sox. Oh yeah, I already boycott The Score.

gobears1987
05-18-2007, 09:49 PM
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I wouldn't mind moving Gavin Floyd up to bullpen. It's pretty apparent his future with the White Sox organization will not be in the starting rotation. Why not bring him up and see what he can do in long relief?

I think Masset is getting a pass so far. He had that great outing the first week, but otherwise I really haven't been that impressed. Sisco? Meh. Carlos Vasquez could be given a shot as well.
It all depends on how Gio develops. I hate to say it, but I'm worried either Gio or Floyd will be in the rotation. (It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I'm scared KW will let Buehrle walk.) One of them is going to the rotation next year in most scenarios. Even if we keep Buehrle, then we might make a move with Jose or something. He is getting old afterall. The one who doesn't make the rotation will likely go to the pen.

My big reservation with moving either one of them to the pen is that it may take away half of a season that can be used to develop them as a starter. We also have Lance Broadway, but I'd say he wouldn't likely be in the rotation until late 08 or early 09. Who knows? He may come along well next spring. After all, I didn't expect Danks to perform like he did. I don't want to hurt the future of one of our good prospects just to get a quick fix for the bullpen. We have the options within the organization to do this without causing harm. I'll just trust KW, Ozzie, and our minor league staffs to make the right call. THey know more about this than any of us.

oeo
05-18-2007, 10:04 PM
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I wouldn't mind moving Gavin Floyd up to bullpen. It's pretty apparent his future with the White Sox organization will not be in the starting rotation. Why not bring him up and see what he can do in long relief?

I think Masset is getting a pass so far. He had that great outing the first week, but otherwise I really haven't been that impressed. Sisco? Meh. Carlos Vasquez could be given a shot as well.

Masset has hit a rough patch, just like MacDougal has, and Thornton did earlier in the season. I don't think he should lose his job because of it.

I can't believe that you want Gavin Floyd of all people with the big league club. He's a mental midget, that's exactly what we don't need in the bullpen.

gobears1987
05-18-2007, 10:05 PM
I can't believe that you want Gavin Floyd of all people with the big league club. He's a mental midget, that's exactly what we don't need in the bullpen.
He does have a point though. A lot of the best RPs are failed starters.

sox1970
05-18-2007, 10:07 PM
Masset has hit a rough patch, just like MacDougal has, and Thornton did earlier in the season. I don't think he should lose his job because of it.

I can't believe that you want Gavin Floyd of all people with the big league club. He's a mental midget, that's exactly what we don't need in the bullpen.

Yeah, I know. I'd like to retract my Gavin Floyd comment.

I just want to see the guys already there to close the door. Truthfully, if the offense starts coming around and they score 6-7 runs instead of 3 or 4, this bullpen will look a lot better.

oeo
05-18-2007, 10:09 PM
He does have a point though. A lot of the best RPs are failed starters.

Gavin Floyd has the mental makeup of a 10-year-old. The guys we have in the bullpen right now are great for pressure situations. We don't need that headcase in the bullpen.

BanditJimmy
05-18-2007, 10:37 PM
Public relations? As a result of today's events, I'm more likely to boycott The Score than the White Sox. Oh yeah, I already boycott The Score.


Another one who thinks Ozzie walks on water.

What he did on public radio today has no excuse. It could be the Score, Am 1000, WLEY (La Ley), or whatever.


And if you boycott the Score then good luck finding White Sox games on your imaginary radio, the White Sox and the Score are business partners.


Please make some sense next time.

JB98
05-18-2007, 10:39 PM
Another one who thinks Ozzie walks on water.

What he did on public radio today has no excuse. It could be the Score, Am 1000, WLEY (La Ley), or whatever.


And if you boycott the Score then good luck finding White Sox games on your imaginary radio, the White Sox and the Score are business partners.


Please make some sense next time.

Hyperbole. You're the one is who is making no sense.

I don't listen to games on the Score either. I watch on TV or go to the park.

ondafarm
05-18-2007, 11:03 PM
It's Ozzie's fault that batters who normally hit around .280 and .290 are below .200.:rolleyes:

Has it ever occurred to you that the fact Ozzie gives frequent rest to players is the primary reason our team was healthy throughout 2005? We probably suffer the fewest injuries of any MLB team because of Ozzie.


Ever? Yes. I'm not saying everything Ozzie does is bad, just that someone else, a different style of manager would do better, significantly better. I believe Razor Shines is the next choice and I believe he will be a good one.

Daver
05-18-2007, 11:15 PM
Ever? Yes. I'm not saying everything Ozzie does is bad, just that someone else, a different style of manager would do better, significantly better. I believe Razor Shines is the next choice and I believe he will be a good one.

If Razor is the answer, then the question scares the hell out of me.

Brian26
05-18-2007, 11:24 PM
Ever? Yes. I'm not saying everything Ozzie does is bad, just that someone else, a different style of manager would do better, significantly better. I believe Razor Shines is the next choice and I believe he will be a good one.

Change for the sake of change is not good.

With Ozzie, you have to take the good with the bad. What he lacks in strategy, he makes up in spirit. He's not afraid to lose a game, and he's gives his players a chance to fail. And he'll still take the fall for them. If they succeed, the credit goes to the players.

Everyone loved Ozzie in 2005 when he made some questionable decisions (Timo Perez starting at 1b, Timo DH'ing, Rowand batting third, Blum pinch hitting in the WS, bring El Duque out of the pen). The decisions worked out, and Ozzie was a genius.

He's making some more questionable calls in 2007, and people are crucifying him because he hasn't been as lucky. It's a bit odd that people would turn on a guy so quickly, but such is the nature of sports fandom. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. After six anemic years of Jerry Manual, I can deal with Ozzie.

Brian26
05-18-2007, 11:26 PM
If Razor is the answer, then the question scares the hell out of me.

What is a better choice than Rafael Santana, Alex?

Frater Perdurabo
05-18-2007, 11:30 PM
If Razor is the answer, then the question scares the hell out of me.

Daver, I know how you felt about the decision to hire Ozzie. I also know how you feel about Walker as a hitting coach.

I'm interested to know how far you think Hawk's influence permeates the organization.

I'm also interested to see how you would rate Baines and Cora as bench coaches.

Daver
05-18-2007, 11:42 PM
Daver, I know how you felt about the decision to hire Ozzie. I also know how you feel about Walker as a hitting coach.

I'm interested to know how far you think Hawk's influence permeates the organization.

I'm also interested to see how you would rate Baines and Cora as bench coaches.

I know that Ken is Jerry's mouthpiece, and that Jerry trusts him, I doubt his input means a damn thing though. Kenny Williams calls the shots.

Harold Baines knows a ton about how this game is played, and if he wanted to he would make a much better manager than Ozzie, I have little faith in Joey Cora.

Frater Perdurabo
05-19-2007, 12:03 AM
Harold Baines knows a ton about how this game is played, and if he wanted to he would make a much better manager than Ozzie, I have little faith in Joey Cora.

Hypothetically, when Ozzie's days are done (whether fired or resigned), do you think the Sox would consider Baines as a manager? Do you think Baines would accept the job if it was offered to him?

Daver
05-19-2007, 12:11 AM
Hypothetically, when Ozzie's days are done (whether fired or resigned), do you think the Sox would consider Baines as a manager? Do you think Baines would accept the job if it was offered to him?


No.

roadrunner
05-19-2007, 01:13 AM
The hitting is a problem, too. I think Greg Walker deserves blame, but I wonder if another factor is at work. Walker's career hitting stats (.260 AVG, .326 OBP, decent power for old Comiskey, averaged 99 Ks per 162-game season) look remarkably like Hawk Harrelson's (.239 AVG, .325 OBP, decent power for his era, 104 Ks per season). Hmmm.

The Sox seem to develop and promote a disproportionate number of "Hawk-like" low-average, good power, high-K hitters (while the Twins develop fundamentally sound players). Just like Greg Walker. Just like Hawk.



There definitely seems to be a organizational philosophy to ignore OBP. This could be a part of the culture you describe. (Ozzie's career OBP was .287!) This would help explain why nobody seems concerned about Uribe's career .299 OBP or Crede's career .305 OBP.

JB98
05-19-2007, 01:19 AM
There definitely seems to be a organizational philosophy to ignore OBP. This could be a part of the culture you describe. (Ozzie's career OBP was .287!) This would help explain why nobody seems concerned about Uribe's career .299 OBP or Crede's career .305 OBP.

I don't think they ignore OBP. I just think Mr. OBP (Thome) is on the DL right now.

roadrunner
05-19-2007, 01:34 AM
I don't think they ignore OBP. I just think Mr. OBP (Thome) is on the DL right now.

what does thome being on the DL have to do with any other hitter's OBP?

JB98
05-19-2007, 01:47 AM
what does thome being on the DL have to do with any other hitter's OBP?

Nothing. You suggested the organizational philosophy ignores OBP. I disagree. We traded Rowand to get a high OBP guy in Thome. So what if Crede and Uribe have low OBPs? They have other strengths. Namely, both are plus defenders, among the best in the league at their respective positions.

roadrunner
05-19-2007, 02:16 AM
So what if Crede and Uribe have low OBPs?

It leads fewer total runs being scored by the offense.

League average OBP this year is .330 and last year league average OBP was .339. Crede has a career .305 OBP (career high .323) and Uribe has a career .299 OBP so they're not just low they're very low.

JB98
05-19-2007, 02:41 AM
It leads fewer total runs being scored by the offense.

League average OBP this year is .330 and last year league average OBP was .339. Crede has a career .305 OBP (career high .323) and Uribe has a career .299 OBP so they're not just low they're very low.

And Uribe and Crede being on this team leads to fewer total runs being scored by the OTHER TEAM'S offense.

Frater Perdurabo
05-19-2007, 07:15 AM
We traded Rowand to get a high OBP guy in Thome.

No. The Sox acquired Thome for his LH power. His tendency to walk was a bonus.

I see a lot of Sox hitters taking the Ozzie/Walker/Hawk approach (swing at everything, swing long, swing with an uppercut) at the plate and getting the same kinds of results: low average, low OBP, high power, too many Ks, too many popouts, too many weak groundouts.

How about being more disciplined, not swinging at sliders in the dirt, taking shorter swings, trying to go the other way, and making solid contact? We all know the solution. Even Crede knows that's what he should do! In July 2004, I heard him tell Hawk on WCIU that taking that approach allowed him to single-handedly tie and later win a game against the Tigers!

It seems the only person who doesn't know this is Greg Walker. Or he does, but he's not getting through to the players. In either case he's not doing his job.