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View Full Version : Ozzie: "We have to apologize to the fans"


Foultips
06-20-2007, 12:47 PM
He sounding more and more like a man who doesn't want to be there anymore

Frustration boiling over for Guillen after latest loss (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2910088)



"It's a joke," he said. "Every day we see the same stuff, every day we see the same team. We have a couple of hopes here and there and get a little excited and the next day we go backward.

"We have to apologize to the fans watching this thing because I'm tired of watching this day in and day out. ... Wow. You thought I was a good manager. Well, look at me now. I'm not that good. You're as good as your players are."

mccoydp
06-20-2007, 01:05 PM
Can't say I disagree with him. The 2007 version of the White Sox is, currently, a joke.

PaulDrake
06-20-2007, 01:05 PM
I've been slapped around a little because I'm not a knee jerk Ozzie supporter, but he's right about his players not backing him up by doing well when he puts them in the game, or asks them do something difficult like bunt a runner over. He must cringe inside before, during and after every game. Even the occasional one his team wins. I don't envy Ozzie, and certainly as a fan wish the team would go on a 20 game winning streak. In my heart of hearts however, this just looks and feels like a very bad team. I feel for you Oz, and know that the current situation won't let you show what you can do, and have done.

balke
06-20-2007, 01:19 PM
The Sox'd be winning right now if the bullpen was doing what it gets paid for, and what its capable of. They are in a horrible spot right now because of this Pen.

I know the offense has been HORRENDOUS as well, but this whole Sox run and team is designed around pitching. If that pen were only allowing one run through 3 IP the Sox might be over .500 right now.

AJ Hellraiser
06-20-2007, 01:50 PM
I feel sorry for Ozzie right now... he must feel like he is playing with grenades everytime he puts in a bullpen pitcher other than Jenks... "which one is going to explode today?"

The injuries haven't helped him either.. we've used like 60 different lineups in our 68 games... 5 or 6 different leadoff men.. heck, Andy Gonzalez (a middle infielder by trade was in CF last night)

His veterans are all performing well below their norms with the exception of Garland and Buehrle....

I guess it is very true what he said back in 2005: "there is no such thing as good or bad managers... managers are what their players are' .... or something to that affect...

4th Gen. Sox Fan
06-20-2007, 02:52 PM
I feel sorry for Ozzie right now... he must feel like he is playing with grenades everytime he puts in a bullpen pitcher other than Jenks... "which one is going to explode today?"

I agree, its almost like Russian Roulette

Law11
06-20-2007, 02:55 PM
The Sox'd be winning right now if the bullpen was doing what it gets paid for, and what its capable of. They are in a horrible spot right now because of this Pen.

I know the offense has been HORRENDOUS as well, but this whole Sox run and team is designed around pitching. If that pen were only allowing one run through 3 IP the Sox might be over .500 right now.

And thats where KW is at fault. he put too much stock in the unknown of these guys. Masset? Cisco? MacDugal? Aardsma? Logan?

Come on..these guys either had a horrible history or none at all.

Flight #24
06-20-2007, 02:55 PM
It's easy for Ozzie to call guys out for not executing, but it's been 4 years of him here, and outside of 2005 - none of his teams have been able to do that. To me, that speaks to a flaw in the coaching.

It's like Kenny complaining about the drafting and lack of execution- you're in charge of the system, so you're responsible for both. And you've been in place long enough to have made a difference there, so it's your fault.

Britt Burns
06-20-2007, 03:06 PM
I think Ozzie realizes this mess is everyone's fault, which is why he said 'We' need to apologize to the fans. You know that, being the person and competitor that he is, this season has been nonstop misery for Oz...

miker
06-20-2007, 03:29 PM
Didn't Ray Kroc do this during a game when he owned the Padres?

Didn't really change anything, but maybe everyone felt better.

russ99
06-20-2007, 03:36 PM
And thats where KW is at fault. he put too much stock in the unknown of these guys. Masset? Cisco? MacDugal? Aardsma? Logan?

Come on..these guys either had a horrible history or none at all.

Understood, but my problem with Kenny right now isn't so much the mess we're in with the relief staff, but what is he going to do to fix it?

Other than throw more unknowns into the fire and hope one doesn't catch.

sox1970
06-20-2007, 03:57 PM
Poor Ozzie. This postgame should be another rough one.

ND_Sox_Fan
06-20-2007, 04:09 PM
Didn't Ray Kroc do this during a game when he owned the Padres?

Didn't really change anything, but maybe everyone felt better.

Per Baseball-Reference (http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/April_9):

April 9, 1974: Padres owner Ray Kroc criticizes his club over the public address system-during a game! "Ladies and gentlemen, I suffer with you," Kroc says. "I've never seen such stupid baseball playing in my life." The announcement occurs during San Diego's 9 - 5 loss to the Astros.

That had to have been pretty funny.

thepaulbowski
06-20-2007, 04:12 PM
It's easy for Ozzie to call guys out for not executing, but it's been 4 years of him here, and outside of 2005 - none of his teams have been able to do that. To me, that speaks to a flaw in the coaching.

It's like Kenny complaining about the drafting and lack of execution- you're in charge of the system, so you're responsible for both. And you've been in place long enough to have made a difference there, so it's your fault.

I agree somewhat. But, when a veteran like Iguchi can't get down a bunt or Dye can't move runners along, how is that Ozzie's fault? He's to blame when they lose because he is the manager. But when veterans play with their collective heads up their asses, I don't know what he can do. For people in contract years, I don't understand how Iguchi & Dye can just play such terrible baseball. This lack of baseball basics just amazes me. It's like everybody forgot about how they played in 2005.

And this doesn't include anything about the bullpen....

Flight #24
06-20-2007, 04:14 PM
I agree somewhat. But, when a veteran like Iguchi can't get down a bunt or Dye can't move runners along, how is that Ozzie's fault? He's to blame when they lose because he is the manager. But when veterans play with their collective heads up their asses, I don't know what he can do. For people in contract years, I don't understand how Iguchi & Dye can just play such terrible baseball. This lack of baseball basics just amazes me. It's like everybody forgot about how they played in 2005.

And this doesn't include anything about the bullpen....

These guys have had the same problem all year. Is it a surprise to Ozzie? If not, why isn't he pulling them into drill after drill to get it down? What happened to the famous "fundamentals field" in ST? Did guys just not make it over there?

That's why it's Ozzie's fault.

russ99
06-20-2007, 04:17 PM
Per Baseball-Reference (http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/April_9):

April 9, 1974: Padres owner Ray Kroc criticizes his club over the public address system-during a game! "Ladies and gentlemen, I suffer with you," Kroc says. "I've never seen such stupid baseball playing in my life." The announcement occurs during San Diego's 9 - 5 loss to the Astros.

That had to have been pretty funny.

April 9th?!? They had to be pretty bad.

I like the next blurb: "Coincidentally, the San Diego Chicken team mascot makes its debut that day".

That's what we need, mindless entertainment to help us forget... Too bad Mike Barrett went to San Diego, he would have been perfect. :tongue:

I'm already waiting for someone to start some kind of stupid curse, here's one: "The Curse of Andy the Clown" - afflicts relievers only, causes the scoreboard to light up instead of their noses.

Lip Man 1
06-20-2007, 04:20 PM
Some fair points about both Kenny and Ozzie in my opinion.

Lip

thomas35forever
06-20-2007, 04:24 PM
Ozzie, Kenny, and Jerry should each record scoreboard video messages blasting the White Sox for their performance this year because there's no way a team of this caliber should be performing this horribly.

I'm sure this is how fans in Cleveland felt last year.

miker
06-20-2007, 04:26 PM
Ozzie, Kenny, and Jerry should each record scoreboard video messages blasting the White Sox for their performance this year because there's no way a team of this caliber should be performing this horribly.
Would be funny if they let the fans do that, like with the birthday messages, and all proceeds going to White Sox Charities...

ND_Sox_Fan
06-20-2007, 04:55 PM
Would be funny if they let the fans do that, like with the birthday messages, and all proceeds going to White Sox Charities...

That would probably ruin the "family-friendly environment".

Either the messages or they could edit the recycling and garbage PSAs to include videos of people throwing players and coaches into the receptacles.

JB98
06-20-2007, 07:14 PM
The lack of fundamentals, maybe Ozzie needs to put the veteran players on a tighter leash. It isn't just the lack of bunting. Look at today's eighth inning. Konerko singles, AJ doubles, placing runners on second and third with no outs.

That's a no-brainer "one in and one over" situation. Hit the damn ball to the right side of the infield. It was like the thought never crossed JD's mind. He struck out on three pitches and gave away an AB.

Is that Ozzie's fault? Or is it JD's fault? JD's been playing this game for a lot of years, and this isn't kindergarten.

I don't have a good answer. It's everyone's fault. I just hope that whatever steps KW and Ozzie take to fix this are the right ones. What's done is done. We have to look ahead now.

UserNameBlank
06-20-2007, 08:23 PM
The Sox'd be winning right now if the bullpen was doing what it gets paid for, and what its capable of. They are in a horrible spot right now because of this Pen.

I know the offense has been HORRENDOUS as well, but this whole Sox run and team is designed around pitching. If that pen were only allowing one run through 3 IP the Sox might be over .500 right now.

True. If the Sox pen actually pitched decently we'd probably be over .500, but not by much. In order to not just contend, but actually have a decent shot at advancing in the playoffs, we need the following areas to be clicking at the same time during most of the regular season and all through the playoffs:
1. SP
2. Bullpen
3. Offense
4. Defense
5. Fundamentals

If we get good SP and good pitching out of the pen we still suck in three areas. Sure, we'd be in better position with a better pen, but we still wouldn't be good enough to really do anything.

And thats where KW is at fault. he put too much stock in the unknown of these guys. Masset? Cisco? MacDugal? Aardsma? Logan?

Come on..these guys either had a horrible history or none at all.

MacDougal had a horrible history? He had a terrific 2006, a good 2005, a decent but not really bad year in 2003, and aside from those three seasons he had only appeared in 22 games prior to 2007. He's had an injury history, but I wouldn't say picking him up was a bad move.

Jenks and Thornton fit your description, either no history or a bad history, but those worked out very well in 2006 and both of those guys were thought of as "sure-things" by many prior to the start of the '07 season.

If you want to bash KW for going the route he did with Aardsma, Masset, and Sisco, fine. But then you have to bash him for Thornton and Jenks too since those moves were almost carbon copy situations, i.e. low risk/high reward pickups with a ton of talent that came cheaply because that talent had not translated into success in MLB.

Just about every team in every year looks for help in the bullpen because most relievers are a crapshoot year to year. Sisco, Aardsma, and MacDougal could combine to go something like 12-2 with a 2.40 ERA next year and then all be DFA'd by midseason '09, and it wouldn't be anything we haven't seen before.

If you would like your GM to spend the money on mediocre veterans, just say it. Putting together a very good bullpen has to be one of the very hardest things for a GM to do in baseball, which is why players like Schoenweis, Bradford, and Jaime Walker get paid the way they do. KW could have picked up a couple of these guys. He could have kept Riske Buisness. Personally, I'll go with the cheap talent and uncertain results approach over expensive veterans and mediocre to bad results every single time.

Lip Man 1
06-20-2007, 08:53 PM
User:

Let's put it this way. Your 'philosophy' and Kenny's seems pretty closely matched.

Consider that it was tried 'your way' in 2006 and 2007 and it's blown up every time.

Me thinks perhaps a different approach is needed don't you think?

I mean how many times do you go to the well with this approach and come up empty? Do we need to try it another season? Two seasons? Five seasons?

Just wondering.

Lip

ThomesHomie
06-20-2007, 08:54 PM
He sounding more and more like a man who doesn't want to be there anymore Did you see the interview where he said he wanted to end is here career here ? He said no one would understand him else where, but is that kind of like, I don't want to get a divorce cause I'm scared of moving on ? lol

UserNameBlank
06-20-2007, 09:10 PM
User:

Let's put it this way. Your 'philosophy' and Kenny's seems pretty closely matched.

Consider that it was tried 'your way' in 2006 and 2007 and it's blown up every time.

Me thinks perhaps a different approach is needed don't you think?

I mean how many times do you go to the well with this approach and come up empty? Do we need to try it another season? Two seasons? Five seasons?

Just wondering.

Lip
It was tried in 2006 with Thornton and to a lesser extent Logan, but the keys to that pen in '06 were Cotts and Politte. Now, this same approach was taken in '05 and we won a WS in large part because it paid off.

A GM is more likely to get burned by the bullpen than he is by any other area, especially if that GM operates out of a hitter's park like the Cell. All I'm saying is his approach worked wonders with Politte and Jenks in 2005, Thornton in 2006, and it hasn't worked at all in 2007. If the choice is pissing away money, which I will argue it is if you are giving $12mil per year to three mediocre veterans, or going with talent, stuff, and upside and taking a big chance at the league minimum, I think it is wiser to take the chance. Had Kenny gone out and picked up some expensive LOOGY's and journeymen, which is exactly what most of the relievers on the FA market are, Sox fans would still be pissed off over the results.

Last year, Riske put up decent numbers but couldn't get it done when we needed him the most which led to his departure. If we had him again, or someone else like him, I doubt the results would be much different.

nsolo
06-20-2007, 09:58 PM
User:

Let's put it this way. Your 'philosophy' and Kenny's seems pretty closely matched.

Consider that it was tried 'your way' in 2006 and 2007 and it's blown up every time.

Me thinks perhaps a different approach is needed don't you think?

I mean how many times do you go to the well with this approach and come up empty? Do we need to try it another season? Two seasons? Five seasons?

Just wondering.

Lip



I agree. When gambling, even when its low risk/high rewards, you have to be honest with yourself and add the work "possible" before high rewards. Its possible that it could work, but its still a gamble. A gamble that hasn't worked for two years, and almost didn't work in 2005, if we hadn't have gotten hot towards the end, or was it the Indians finally cooled down?

If your going to step up to accept the spoils of winning, you had better be prepared to do the same when the opposite happens. I know paying high dollars to mediocore bullpen players would be a difficult pill to swallow from a business standpoint, but mediocore would be a vast improvement over our current performance levels.

The whole idea of us playing Ozzie ball is nothing more than a promotional stunt. We are geared for the long ball with station to station baserunning. This is great when hitting on all cylinders, but it isn't working now. And when it doesn't work, we are helpless.

I also want to interject the possibility of Ozzies management style has worn thin with the players. Rattling cages and stirring the pot were effective two years ago in gelling the players together, but lets not forget that for the most part, motivating million dollar ballplayers who've never done anything but devote their lives to sports, is a difficult goal. Is this difficulty finally showing through by virtue of Ozzies style? In other words, they just don't take him too serious anymore? Feel free to comment.

MUsoxfan
06-20-2007, 10:03 PM
The lack of fundamentals, maybe Ozzie needs to put the veteran players on a tighter leash. It isn't just the lack of bunting. Look at today's eighth inning. Konerko singles, AJ doubles, placing runners on second and third with no outs.




Tight leashes don't work for veterans. It's impossible to strike fear into the hearts of veterans. They're guaranteed millions whether they're playing or not. I'm not saying the Sox have a group of veterans with that mentality, but it's hard to motivate them in that fashion as a coach. They're paid to motivate themselves.

MarySwiss
06-20-2007, 10:07 PM
Didn't read this thread, but I don't want any apologies. I want wins. Period.

nsolo
06-20-2007, 10:20 PM
Didn't read this thread, but I don't want any apologies. I want wins. Period.


I agee, but it this statement part of the blessing/curse of 2005? As a Sox fan of over 50 years, I've suffered through some terrible seasons. Usually, at the start of a new campaign, all I used to hope for was a competitive team. Now, after winning the W.S., wins is all I crave.:?:

JB98
06-20-2007, 11:43 PM
Tight leashes don't work for veterans. It's impossible to strike fear into the hearts of veterans. They're guaranteed millions whether they're playing or not. I'm not saying the Sox have a group of veterans with that mentality, but it's hard to motivate them in that fashion as a coach. They're paid to motivate themselves.

But Iguchi and Dye don't have contracts after this year. It would be nice to park their asses on the bench as punishment for their poor execution.

Unfortunately, Ozzie doesn't have any options. We've already got three starters on the DL, and a fourth out with a day-to-day injury. If he sits a couple of regulars to prove a point, he's weakening an already weak lineup.

This just sucks.

oeo
06-21-2007, 01:11 AM
These guys have had the same problem all year. Is it a surprise to Ozzie? If not, why isn't he pulling them into drill after drill to get it down? What happened to the famous "fundamentals field" in ST? Did guys just not make it over there?

That's why it's Ozzie's fault.

Oh, *****. We shouldn't have had to treat our players like little leaguers in the first place. These are supposed to be professional players, they should be able to lay down a bunt with ease. Hit major league curve balls, 100mph fastballs...that ****'s easy, yet catching the ball with the bat is difficult? They should be embarrassed to call themselves big leaguers.

MUsoxfan
06-21-2007, 01:22 AM
But Iguchi and Dye don't have contracts after this year. It would be nice to park their asses on the bench as punishment for their poor execution.

Unfortunately, Ozzie doesn't have any options. We've already got three starters on the DL, and a fourth out with a day-to-day injury. If he sits a couple of regulars to prove a point, he's weakening an already weak lineup.

This just sucks.

I'd be more upset if these guys weren't trying. They truly are trying, however they have to roll with the punches this year. For a MLB team to win, it takes everything rolling together. The '05 team seemingly won every 1-run game in the book. Guys like Iguchi and Dye weren't put on the burner because the Sox were winning 1-0 and 2-1 games.

MLB teams simply cannot be expected to put up 1/2 dozen runs a game. If they do, they're expected to win. I can't even blame KW for this season because these bullpen guys are all below career numbers. It's just one of those things in baseball where nothing is coming together. Nobody but the PLAYERS can be blamed for this season.

This season is as much a fluke as the '05 season, but in reverse.

StillMissOzzie
06-21-2007, 01:32 AM
This season is as much a fluke as the '05 season, but in reverse.

I refuse to accept any talk of the 2005 season as a fluke. What part of "wire-to-wire" in the regular season, and 11-1 in the post-season, constitutes a fluke?

SMO
:gulp:

MetroPD
06-21-2007, 02:49 AM
The joke is the clowns who keep putting the same jokers in there day after day after day blowing games continuously with poor pitching and poor hitting.

MUsoxfan
06-21-2007, 02:50 AM
I refuse to accept any talk of the 2005 season as a fluke. What part of "wire-to-wire" in the regular season, and 11-1 in the post-season, constitutes a fluke?

SMO
:gulp:

The fluke is that a team that hadn't won it all in 88 years went wire-to-wire. That's expected of the Yankees, not the White Sox

Nellie_Fox
06-21-2007, 02:54 AM
The joke is the clowns who keep putting the same jokers in there day after day after day blowing games continuously with poor pitching and poor hitting.Suggest an alternative.

Rikirk
06-21-2007, 05:09 AM
Is this what one would call reverse Karma?

In 2005 we could do no wrong...now in 2007...we can do nothing right. I wonder if this is fates bookie coming to call for comeuppance. We pay or else we get our legs broken.


I dunno...anyone got a better theory.

PeteWard
06-21-2007, 05:18 AM
Is this what one would call reverse Karma?

In 2005 we could do no wrong...now in 2007...we can do nothing right. I wonder if this is fates bookie coming to call for comeuppance. We pay or else we get our legs broken.


I dunno...anyone got a better theory.

A better theory than "fates bookie"? Impossible!

:?:

alohafri
06-21-2007, 06:05 AM
The injuries haven't helped him either.. we've used like 60 different lineups in our 68 games... 5 or 6 different leadoff men.. heck, Andy Gonzalez (a middle infielder by trade was in CF last night)



This should surprise no one. Ozuna? Infielder by trade. Mackowiak? Infielder by trade. Someone tell Kenny to get Ozzie a backup outfielder.

harwar
06-21-2007, 07:46 AM
Ramblings from an insane White Sox fan...
I am seriously worried about the future.
I am beginning to wonder about our scouting department.When was the last time that it produced a really good player(Buehrle,Maggs,Lee)?
Josh Fields seems to be very promising but just about everyone they bring up looks totally lost.
I'm not sure that i have the confidence that Ken Williams can build a great team anymore.He seems such a cowboy with his gambling and scheming.
Gm's of the braves and twins(consistantly),tigers and indians(just recently)seem to be able to either keep their teams stocked with very good young ballplayers or rebuild with smart trades and developed talent.
The trade with texas was good but the signings of Vasquez and Contreras are suspect unless we keep Mark and Jon together.
I realize that none of these teams have won a World Series in quite some time but how long do we live off of the glory of 2005.

Lip Man 1
06-21-2007, 12:06 PM
I agree with OEO's point about being able to lay down a bunt, run the bases well and so forth.

Those are things other teams seem to have no trouble doing yet to the White Sox it seems to be akin to quantum physics.

I also agree with Flight's point that after five years of saying how they 'admire' the way the Twins play that the Sox have few, if any, players on the big league roster who can in fact, play like the Twins.

If that's what you're after, don't you think five years is enought time to get some guys who play the game like that?

Lip

Lip Man 1
06-21-2007, 01:51 PM
User:

I'd like to follow up on your comments and explain my thinking with the bullpen the past two years. This is not 20-20 hindsight regarding 2006 because of the way I 'keep score' (you'll understand what I mean...)

Before the 2006 season had even started Kenny had traded away Marte (down 1 arm) and Vizcaino ( down 2 arms). Then in spring training Hermanson got hurt (down 3 arms).

It was only after Dustin's injury that Kenny moved to try to help matters by getting Thornton (down 2 arms).

So even before the first pitch opening day he was down two arms (by my count) of guys who were fairly reliable. That's why you had Boone Logan on the opening day roster. Kenny was short arms and the bunch of guys he signed for spring training fodder didn't work out at all. Notice I haven't even mentioned Politte and Cotts.

Then after the season started and Politte melted down / got hurt (down 3 arms) and then Cotts had his mental breakdown (down 4 arms) you can see a bad situation was made acute.

Going into 2007 Kenny made a conscious decision to try to help matters by making deals for a number of hard throwing arms.

Nothing wrong with this I guess. Maybe like you said, he didn't want to spend four million a year on Jamie Walker. Fair enough.

But as Flight also correctly pointed out he was getting a bunch of guys with hardly any experience at the MLB level and a number of guys who had a history of control issues.

In short it was a gamble. Maybe Kenny has an unrealistic idea of what Don Cooper can do.

I think Coop is one of the top pitching coaches in the game but there are limits and thinking that maybe Coop could turn around two, three, four guys AT THE SAME TIME was stretching reality. (if Kenny indeed used this as a reason to acquire whom he did.

As Kenny says often, 'it is what it is.' The market, like it or not, is what it is for pitchers and this off season Kenny has to come to grips with it, even though he may not like it.

I could see keeping a few of the 'kids' because Coop eventually may be able to help them but in my opinion, you simply MUST have two or three veteran, reliable guys to help stabilize and mentor the kids in the bullpen.

You simply, in my opinion have got to have that.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

Lip

UserNameBlank
06-21-2007, 03:26 PM
User:

I'd like to follow up on your comments and explain my thinking with the bullpen the past two years. This is not 20-20 hindsight regarding 2006 because of the way I 'keep score' (you'll understand what I mean...)

Before the 2006 season had even started Kenny had traded away Marte (down 1 arm) and Vizcaino ( down 2 arms). Then in spring training Hermanson got hurt (down 3 arms).

It was only after Dustin's injury that Kenny moved to try to help matters by getting Thornton (down 2 arms).

So even before the first pitch opening day he was down two arms (by my count) of guys who were fairly reliable. That's why you had Boone Logan on the opening day roster. Kenny was short arms and the bunch of guys he signed for spring training fodder didn't work out at all. Notice I haven't even mentioned Politte and Cotts.

Then after the season started and Politte melted down / got hurt (down 3 arms) and then Cotts had his mental breakdown (down 4 arms) you can see a bad situation was made acute.

Going into 2007 Kenny made a conscious decision to try to help matters by making deals for a number of hard throwing arms.

Nothing wrong with this I guess. Maybe like you said, he didn't want to spend four million a year on Jamie Walker. Fair enough.

But as Flight also correctly pointed out he was getting a bunch of guys with hardly any experience at the MLB level and a number of guys who had a history of control issues.

In short it was a gamble. Maybe Kenny has an unrealistic idea of what Don Cooper can do.

I think Coop is one of the top pitching coaches in the game but there are limits and thinking that maybe Coop could turn around two, three, four guys AT THE SAME TIME was stretching reality. (if Kenny indeed used this as a reason to acquire whom he did.

As Kenny says often, 'it is what it is.' The market, like it or not, is what it is for pitchers and this off season Kenny has to come to grips with it, even though he may not like it.

I could see keeping a few of the 'kids' because Coop eventually may be able to help them but in my opinion, you simply MUST have two or three veteran, reliable guys to help stabilize and mentor the kids in the bullpen.

You simply, in my opinion have got to have that.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

Lip
You make some valid points, but remember he did have veterans over the last two years. Politte, Cotts, and Thornton were the veterans in 2006, and Jenks, Thornton, and MacDougal were all veterans in 2007, although none of these guys were of the Mike Meyers "grizzled" variety.

I think anyone who wants to criticize KW for the bullpen can come up with a point or two because there are going to be problems with every bullpen every year, but there is no clear-cut answer like some around here have ignorantly suggested.

You either try to go with upside and questionmarks for cheap or certain medicority at a hefty price. There really isn't any perfect way to attack this problem, because even the guys who you think are going to be relatively solid at worst (Politte and Cotts in 2006, Thornton and MacDougal in 2007) can blow up in your face out of nowhere.

I do agree patrly about the need for a solid veteran presence and have been silently calling for Saloman Torres for a while because of it. IMO, that guy is exactly what a contending team needs to have and is worth the price, even if it is an expensive one. A reliable pitcher with experience in every role in the pen who pitches a lot of innings year to year is crucial for stability in a contending bullpen, especially a young one. KW has neglected this area since 2005 and paid for it in '06.

I've made a ton of posts since the 2005 season ended praising the job Luis Vizcaino did here and tried to get the point across that he will never get the type of credit for the 2005 season that he deserved, and that some young knuckleballer like Charlie Haeger isn't going to just step up and fill that kind of role. While there were many who thought going into 2006 that we just needed one more dependable LOOGY with MLB experience, I believed we needed one solid veteran who can eat innings and keep the team in the game when called upon. We seriously lacked that in 2006 and that IMO is the main reason the pen failed. KW failed to address that this year (again) so I can see why someone would have been upset about that, although at this point with the way the Sox are playing it doesn't really matter.

Dealing for someone like Torres I would definitely get behind, but spending the money and/or dealing the prospects necessary to pick up a medicore one-inning pitcher like a Chad Bradford just because he's a veteran? I can't see how that could be justified. The worth of these players in trade value and dollars against the payroll is so much higher than their actual worth to the team that it's not even funny. And on the other side of that, if KW can keep finding steals here and there with RP he could get something so much more valuable by dealing these guys at the right time. Had Thornton gotten off to a great start this year like many expected, he could be worth a very good position player right now, which is way, way more important to the long term success of a franchise than a guy who pitches maybe 30-60 innings all season.

tebman
06-21-2007, 03:50 PM
Lip and User both made excellent points about the bullpen. I wonder though if having another veteran (or two) in the bullpen would have prevented the complete meltdown we've seen this year. I don't have the numbers here with me, but we all know how the tune goes: nearly everyone in the bullpen except Jenks seems to have forgotten how to pitch.

KW did gamble in the offseason with these guys, but it wasn't a complete crapshoot. They were scouted, they were coached, and there was a certain type of pitcher he was looking for in each case, intended to do the most good in the AL Central and at USCF. What astonishes me is how nothing seems to have worked.

I dunno -- it's as if you bought a new car that you fully expected to run reliably but stuff kept happening: it stalled on the interstate, then the belt broke, then later the alternator went bad, after that the fuel pump had to be replaced, etc., etc. What are the odds? All while you're committed to a 48-month loan and can't easily trade it in. That's what this looks like to me.

I wish I had a pithy idea that would address the Sox' problems, but I don't. :(:

Lip Man 1
06-21-2007, 06:01 PM
User:

Just to follow up. And this is just my opinion.

I disagree somewhat with your categorization of some of the guys the Sox have had working in the pen the past two seasons.

To wit:

Politte was a veteran who had one good season in his years in MLB (2005). With that type of track record you have to consider the previous season a fluke and take steps to protect yourself in the event it was (and as it turned out, it was a fluke.)

Cotts had very, very limited experience at the major league level and like Cliff had one good season (2005) in his limited experience. Certainly nothing to bank on.

Thornton was a 1st round bust for the Mariners who was only days away from getting designated for assignment before the Sox got him for another failed 1st round pick. 2006 was the only season he ever had that came close to being considered a good one. Like Cotts he had limited experence in the bigs before 2006.

MacDougal as stated was the 'senior' member of the pen this year and that's what four years of service surrounded by two serious injuries?

Again not totally disagreeing with your comments but I think my definition of an 'experienced, solid' veteran and yours are somewhat different.

I'm looking for a guy who has shown for a couple of seasons (two or three at least) that he can put up some numbers, not embarass himself and help the young kids. The Sox need two or three of those guys to go along with a Jenks, Thornton (if anything salvagable is left) and even perhaps (God help me) Logan.

Lip

UserNameBlank
06-21-2007, 08:17 PM
Lip:

I've done the research that will hopefully end this debate, at least for one day.

The following RP are the only non-closers in baseball who have been at least remotely solid and somewhat injury-free from 2004-2006, a three year span that would qualify under your terms as the type of player KW should be targeting:

Scott Shields
Justin Speier
Trever Miller
Chad Qualls
Dan Wheeler
Kiko Calero
Justin Duchscherer
Mike Gonzalez
Matt Wise
Braden Looper
Russ Springer
Scott Eyre
Bob Howry
Michael Wuertz
Rudy Seanez
Steve Kline
Rafael Betancourt
Matt Miller
Roberto Hernandez
Julio Mateo
Duaner Sanchez
Ray King
Jon Rauch
Chad Bradford
Jamie Walker
Scott Linebrink
Jose Mesa
Damaso Marte
Akinori Otsuka (who was a closer last year and will be again)
Brendan Donnelly
Julian Taveras
Mike Timlin
Saloman Torres
David Weathers
David Riske
LaTroy Hawkins
Jesse Crain
Juan Rincon
Kyle Farnsworth
Mike Meyers
Luis Vizcaino

The players highlighted are currently on the DL. The players in italics have sucked for their teams this year. It is also worth noting that Roberto Hernandez was DFA'd by the Indians and Julio Mateo isn't even on the Mariners 25-man roster.

The class of the remaining list - those players who are healthy, have been at least remotely solid for 3 years in a row, and who are actually playing in the Major Leagues and doing it well is as follows:

Scott Shields, Scott Eyre, Bobby Howry, Rafael Betancourt, Jon Rauch, Scott Linebrink, Damaso Marte, Akinori Otsuka, and Juan Rincon.

Now, our GM and manager have already dealt with issues stemming from Rauch's and Marte's tenure here. We've also had Eyre and Howry, and I don't think they're coming back. If you think Minny would trade us Juan Rincon or Cleveland would send us Rafael Betancourt unless we gave them a substantially better piece you are crazy. So, that pretty much just leaves Linebrink, Shields, and Otsuka out there for us to inquire about. But one question: while all three are very good relievers, and all three are most likely to end up as closers within a year, would you personally give up a Gio Gonzalez or a Josh Fields to pick one of them up? I sure wouldn't, and you can be sure that each of those players are worth a top prospect.

In summation, Kenny's approach to the relief market is a very fair, very understandable approach. You show me a team that has a good bullpen and I will show you a team with at least 3-4 question marks. Every single GM out there takes the exact same approach KW has taken with low-risk/high-reward relief pitchers, the only difference is that KW's looks more for upside in groundball/high strikeout relievers simply because of the park his team plays in.

If it were as simple as "bring in guys with poor stuff who throw strikes" he would do it, but we don't play baseball in PetCo Park. If it were as simple as "go get more veterans through free agency" we'd do it, and have a higher payroll and look like the freaking Orioles. If it were as simple as "trade for other solid veterans" we wouldn't have anyone worth a damn coming up and we'd be even more screwed than we are now.

WhiteSox5187
06-21-2007, 09:34 PM
I don't have anything really to add, I just want to say that this is one the most intelligent discussions I've read on this board. Kudos to Lip and User!

Tragg
06-21-2007, 09:37 PM
The only thing I can perhaps critique Williams re the pen is not getting a second really dependable pitcher (ex Royals need not apply). Otherwise, he put good young arms out there - it's them who have pitched like babies.

On the other hand, Williams put together a bench that was devoid of a single major league hitter. It had consisted of 4 utility guys, so you could slide them in to give players rest, but NONE could hit sufficiently for every day PT. The injuries came and we fill 1/2 the lineup with utility quality players: what you see - mack, gonzales, cintron - is what you get - few runs and lots of Ls.

And young hitters in lieu of utility ballplayers just doesn't seem to be something that this manager is interested in.

On a side note, I think the pitching staff is losing some heart because of the horrendous offense.

jdm2662
06-21-2007, 09:50 PM
The only thing I can perhaps critique Williams re the pen is not getting a second really dependable pitcher (ex Royals need not apply). Otherwise, he put good young arms out there - it's them who have pitched like babies.

On the other hand, Williams put together a bench that was devoid of a single major league hitter. It had consisted of 4 utility guys, so you could slide them in to give players rest, but NONE could hit sufficiently for every day PT. The injuries came and we fill 1/2 the lineup with utility quality players: what you see - mack, gonzales, cintron - is what you get - few runs and lots of Ls.

And young hitters in lieu of utility ballplayers just doesn't seem to be something that this manager is interested in.

On a side note, I think the pitching staff is losing some heart because of the horrendous offense.

There is a reason why those players are bench players. If they were good enough to start, they be starting on other teams. I really don't understand the depth arguement, unless it pertains from the minor leagues, which I agree with. If a player is good enough to play every day, he'd be starting somewhere in the league.

WhiteSox5187
06-21-2007, 10:24 PM
There is a reason why those players are bench players. If they were good enough to start, they be starting on other teams. I really don't understand the depth arguement, unless it pertains from the minor leagues, which I agree with. If a player is good enough to play every day, he'd be starting somewhere in the league.
You're right and the only reason they ARE playing everyday is because our main guys are hurt. I guarentee you Ozzie and Kenny did not go into this season thinking "Mackowiak is our everyday left fielder and Jerry Owens is our starting center fielder."

Tragg
06-22-2007, 07:54 AM
But Iguchi and Dye don't have contracts after this year. It would be nice to park their asses on the bench as punishment for their poor execution.


Ozzie sat Iguchi the game after he screwed up the bunt...so we get 5 at bats out of the 2 hole from Cintron.
That worked. (although Ozzie would have probably had Cinton in the lineup even had Iguchi played).

Re the other subject, there is a difference between a utility player and an average starter. Toby Hall is a backup player who could start (I forgot about him) if he had to. Utility players are below that level (3rd string really) but earn their keep by playing multiple positions. In 2005 we had Carl Everett on the bench, who was capable of playing every day (and thank goodness we did). Erstad on our bench (which was the initial idea) would have been like that. Some teams, usually the good ones, have depth with players on the bench who could start. Everett and Erstad are solid major league second stringers.

Cintron, Mack, Ozuna are all veterans but are all utility players. Every team needs one - we have nothing but. And the callups that stick? More utility players. The result is that we are putting players of third string quality out there day after day after day and just shifting them around.

PaulDrake
06-22-2007, 08:36 AM
I don't want to use up the bandwidth to reference the post, but that was excellent User. Great contributions by Lip too, and in general this discussion was top of the line.

SBSoxFan
06-22-2007, 09:36 AM
User:

Thornton was a 1st round bust for the Mariners who was only days away from getting designated for assignment before the Sox got him for another failed 1st round pick. 2006 was the only season he ever had that came close to being considered a good one. Like Cotts he had limited experence in the bigs before 2006.

Lip

Thornton is an interesting study. I don't think he can be lumped in with the "career year" crowd. The Sox got him, ostensibly, because Cooper saw a major flaw in his mechanics. When that flaw was fixed, he excelled. This is similar to what happened with Contreras around the second half of 2005; he changed his delivery and then ran off 16 straight or so regular season victories.

A career year is a statistical anomaly --- a point significantly above a historical mean. A process change, such as a change in mechanics, raises (or lowers) the base line. I believe this fact is largely ignored by the sabremetrics group as there's no attempt to distinguish between a career year and improvement. I think it's a difficult question to answer. If you could define what constitutes a "process change" and determine how one maintains the higher level of performance it effects, I think you'd be a very rich man/woman.