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Frater Perdurabo
08-19-2007, 07:55 AM
Maybe this already has been discussed in other threads. If so, I apologize.

Why did KW tell players to work counts, take walks and wear out the opposing pitcher?

Isn't delivering that message the job of the manager, or perhaps the guy given the ceremonial title "hitting coach?"

I know his most important job is to play cards with the manager, but couldn't he deliver that short message to the clubhouse when it's not his turn to shuffle the deck?
:?:

Maybe I can use MS Word to whip up a flyer to e-mail him so he can post it in the clubhouse. (Surely they have some thumb tacks.) That way he only has to miss one hand while he hangs them up, and he won't EVER have to be bothered with talking to players ever again! Then he'll be able to play cards with Ozzie all the time, right? I mean, playing cards is his job, right?

:kukoo:

soxfanatlanta
08-19-2007, 08:01 AM
http://www.homevideos.com/freezeframes/stripes127.jpeg

"Lighten up Francis."

Grzegorz
08-19-2007, 08:36 AM
Why did KW tell players to work counts, take walks and wear out the opposing pitcher?

Maybe he's become a Billy Beane disciple. Or maybe that is what good hitters do; they work counts and hit their pitch.

Isn't delivering that message the job of the manager, or perhaps the guy given the ceremonial title "hitting coach?"

You missed one; Mr. Cooper is absent from this list. Pitching failed this team most of all.

Tragg
08-19-2007, 08:59 AM
There seems to be some inconsistency/divergence in philosophy between the GM's recent words, many of his personnel decisions, and the hitting philosophies of the manager and coaching staff.

HerzogVon
08-19-2007, 09:00 AM
Why did KW tell players to work counts, take walks and wear out the opposing pitcher?

Isn't delivering that message the job of the manager, or perhaps the guy given the ceremonial title "hitting coach?"

:

Well, you see Kenny is a lot like a typical radio station manager. What he talks about is almost always the exact opposite of what he really wants. Example: "We intend to do unique, quality programming" means, "We will continue to play the same crap as everybody else." Got it?

So, when Kenny talks about working counts, taking walks and all that good stuff we love to hear, what he's actually saying is, "As soon as I can find another stiff like Thome who hits HRs, I'll sign him. That is, if it's OK with my co-GM, Paul Konerko."

You just have to learn how to speak weasel...

jabrch
08-19-2007, 09:18 AM
I understand people's frustration - but it is a bit shortsighted to be bashing Thome. In the first half, he was the ONLY guy hitting on this team.

itsnotrequired
08-19-2007, 09:20 AM
Well, you see Kenny is a lot like a typical radio station manager. What he talks about is almost always the exact opposite of what he really wants. Example: "We intend to do unique, quality programming" means, "We will continue to play the same crap as everybody else." Got it?

So, when Kenny talks about working counts, taking walks and all that good stuff we love to hear, what he's actually saying is, "As soon as I can find another stiff like Thome who hits HRs, I'll sign him. That is, if it's OK with my co-GM, Paul Konerko."

You just have to learn how to speak weasel...

He was telling the guys what to do, not telling us what would happen.

Brian26
08-19-2007, 09:25 AM
I know his most important job is to play cards with the manager, but couldn't he deliver that short message to the clubhouse when it's not his turn to shuffle the deck?
:?:



Ozzie doesn't play cards. He's strictly a Sudoku guy.

Brian26
08-19-2007, 09:27 AM
So, when Kenny talks about working counts, taking walks and all that good stuff we love to hear, what he's actually saying is, "As soon as I can find another stiff like Thome who hits HRs, I'll sign him. That is, if it's OK with my co-GM, Paul Konerko."

You just have to learn how to speak weasel...

A bit harsh, I do believe.

Grzegorz
08-19-2007, 09:41 AM
I understand people's frustration - but it is a bit shortsighted to be bashing Thome. In the first half, he was the ONLY guy hitting on this team.

Thome is an asset when he's healthy. But when he's not, he's a detriment. He cannot stay healthy for a full season. Therefore, it makes sense to roll over the DH spot to Dye and Thome depending on health and the match ups.

oeo
08-19-2007, 09:47 AM
You missed one; Mr. Cooper is absent from this list. Pitching failed this team most of all.

Oh, *****. Apples and oranges. Coop was given a bunch of unproven pitchers and wished good luck. Walker has proven hitters, and he couldn't even help them out of their slumps. It's the same crap every year from this guy...prolonged offensive slumps in which they actually have to work out of it themselves.

JorgeFabregas
08-19-2007, 10:19 AM
So, when Kenny talks about working counts, taking walks and all that good stuff we love to hear, what he's actually saying is, "As soon as I can find another stiff like Thome who hits HRs, I'll sign him.

Thome takes the most walks on the team. What planet are you on?

jabrch
08-19-2007, 10:30 AM
"As soon as I can find another stiff like Thome who hits HRs, I'll sign him. That is, if it's OK with my co-GM, Paul Konerko."

You just have to learn how to speak weasel...

That's just completely absurd each time I read it. Thome has a .413 OBP. He is the best hitter this team has had this year - by a wide margin.

I'm glad KW doesn't give a damn what the fans think. The more I hear them, the more I am convinced that the majority of the most vocal ones know absolutely nothing..

Frontman
08-19-2007, 10:39 AM
And just because its Ozzie's job to tell the players what to do doesn't mean KW couldn't or shouldn't say something. If KW decides he wants to talk to Konerko or Thome or whoever, however he wants; he's the one who put the team together.

I'm glad to see KW stepping into the clubhouse as well. It can be a great reminder of:


"I brought you into this team, and quite frankly, I can take you out."
:KW


(All due respect to Bill Cosby intended.)

Up until this season, Kenny has done right by the fans in putting together a competitive team. This one had the chance, but he didn't do enough to shore up the bench and provide backup players who could step in and keep the team competitive. I'm not about to tar/feather him for it.

CLR01
08-19-2007, 10:51 AM
Kenny should bring in a few people to translate in several different languages, including signing, because the languages they have been using all year obviously don't work with this bunch.

kevin57
08-19-2007, 11:06 AM
That's just completely absurd each time I read it. Thome has a .413 OBP. He is the best hitter this team has had this year - by a wide margin.

I'm glad KW doesn't give a damn what the fans think. The more I hear them, the more I am convinced that the majority of the most vocal ones know absolutely nothing..

How many rings do we have with Thome?

itsnotrequired
08-19-2007, 11:07 AM
How many rings do we have with Thome?

Good point. Thome should be DFA.

:rolleyes:

Brian26
08-19-2007, 11:11 AM
How many rings do we have with Thome?

None over the past 1.75 years.

Of course, prior to that we've only had one ring in the past 88 years. I wouldn't put too much blame on Thome.

jabrch
08-19-2007, 11:18 AM
How many rings do we have with Thome?

The same number we had with Fisk, Baines, Fox, Aparicio. The same number that Barkley and Ewing had. The same number as Marino.

Meanwhile, Luis Sojo has 4 World Series rings. We need more Luis Sojo's and fewer Jim Thomes....

TornLabrum
08-19-2007, 11:32 AM
I understand people's frustration - but it is a bit shortsighted to be bashing Thome. In the first half, he was the ONLY guy hitting on this team.

When he wasn't on the DL.

Noneck
08-19-2007, 11:34 AM
That's just completely absurd each time I read it. Thome has a .413 OBP. He is the best hitter this team has had this year - by a wide margin.

I'm glad KW doesn't give a damn what the fans think. The more I hear them, the more I am convinced that the majority of the most vocal ones know absolutely nothing..


He has been the best of a poor bunch. But that .413 OBP is because of what he has done vs. right handed pitching. His stats vs. left handed pitching are quite poor.

Solutions:
Is it possible to justify a platoon DH with Thome making what he makes? Probably not, only the Yankees could justify something like that.

Trade him. I truly don't think any team will take him unless the Sox pick up a large portion of the salary they owe him.

Convince Thome father time has caught up with him and that he has to adapt. Slap or bunt to left occasionally when facing a lefty so the defense can not shift him. Stubborn power hitters usually won't do that.

Live with a decent hitter vs. righties , a poor hitter vs. lefties and hope for a 38yr old with chronic nagging injuries to have a turn around year next season. Its getting baseball old, most at this stage of their career it just gets worst.

I really don't have a solution, maybe you do.

champagne030
08-19-2007, 11:38 AM
When he wasn't on the DL.

:nod:

JB98
08-19-2007, 12:09 PM
He has been the best of a poor bunch. But that .413 OBP is because of what he has done vs. right handed pitching. His stats vs. left handed pitching are quite poor.

Solutions:
Is it possible to justify a platoon DH with Thome making what he makes? Probably not, only the Yankees could justify something like that.

Trade him. I truly don't think any team will take him unless the Sox pick up a large portion of the salary they owe him.

Convince Thome father time has caught up with him and that he has to adapt. Slap or bunt to left occasionally when facing a lefty so the defense can not shift him. Stubborn power hitters usually won't do that.

Live with a decent hitter vs. righties , a poor hitter vs. lefties and hope for a 38yr old with chronic nagging injuries to have a turn around year next season. Its getting baseball old, most at this stage of their career it just gets worst.

I really don't have a solution, maybe you do.

I don't know if it's a good solution, but I'll give it a whirl.

You keep Thome because there are only a few teams you can trade him to. He's a DH-only player at this stage, and most AL teams already have a DH. You're not going to get great value in return, and you'll have to eat salary. Better off just keeping his plus-.400 OBP and hoping he can stay healthy for most of the year.

Bring back Crede as the regular 3B. Utilize Fields in a "super sub" kind of role. Josh replaces Thome as the DH against left-handed pitching. To try to keep Crede healthy, you give Fields a couple starts at third a week. That way, you're still continuing to develop Josh by putting him in the lineup about four times a week. If Crede or Thome go down, he's an excellent backup option.

I think Thome should forget about slap hitting or bunting to the left side. Why do you want Thome to hit singles? He's just plugging up the bases and creating opportunities for Konerko and Dye to GIDP. I assure you a few singles to the left side aren't going to deter the opposition from putting the shift on for Thome. They'll allow Jim to hit a single to left anytime. They want to keep him in the yard, and they don't care if he's plugging the basepaths.

TDog
08-19-2007, 12:21 PM
How many rings do we have with Thome?

How many rings did the Sox get with a healthy Frank Thomas?

jabrch
08-19-2007, 12:38 PM
I really don't have a solution, maybe you do.

Nope no solution.

I will cheer for whomever they put out there, and hope KW finds a solution. There's a better chance if he worries about that, and I worry about creating IT systems so I can continue to afford to come to games and cheer them on than if I start spending my time finding solutions with very incomplete data and no true framework to do any real analysis.

I don't understand a lot about what goes on behind the scenes of running a MLB franchise - so I won't presume that I can come up with anything that management hasn't already thought of.

WhiteSox5187
08-19-2007, 12:42 PM
I'll come right out and say it, I think that Kenny is at best an average GM. He's the type of guy who THINKS he knows everything and takes a very stubborn stance on many issues (that's why it took so long to get Buerhle's deal done)...I mean when you look at his philosphy for the 2002 team he said "Well, I thought we would have enough offense to cover up our lack of defense, poor pitching and bad team speed." :o: That is just stupid. If I own a team and I hear my GM say that, he's looking for a new job. Even in 2005 when he got it all right he said "Well, this year I want to build a team around pitching, defense and speed." It took you THAT long to figure out that's what champion teams are built around? Not a bunch of right handed power hitters?

I think Kenny went in there t oshow like "Oh, I'm still here! I'm battling with you guys!" I think it was really just an empty gesture.

jabrch
08-19-2007, 12:43 PM
When he wasn't on the DL.

Sure - he missed 3 weeks - but it isn't as if we'd be right in the race if Thome didn't miss those three weeks. Thome's short stint on the DL was not nearly as impactful on this team's record as the failed first half for the rest of the hitters in this lineup, the bullpen, or even Jose.

For what we pay Jim, I don't see any way we'd get a .400obp and a .500 slg from any other player available. If there is, we should get that guy. You can't have too many good hitters.

jabrch
08-19-2007, 12:46 PM
(that's why it took so long to get Buerhle's deal done)...

Um - it took a long time because KW/JR had limits to what they were willing to do and it had to be either Mark agreeing he could live on those terms, or he'd be shipped out. That's not KW "being stubborn", that's KW doing what is in the best interest of the team. I'd have had no interest in rushing to get the MB deal done, and paying the price the Cubs just paid for Zambrano.

If Mark couldn't live with this deal, he'd be pitching elsewhere right now.

champagne030
08-19-2007, 01:09 PM
I'll come right out and say it, I think that Kenny is at best an average GM. He's the type of guy who THINKS he knows everything and takes a very stubborn stance on many issues (that's why it took so long to get Buerhle's deal done)....

It takes time to squeeze the very last ounce out of a nickle. :D:

Tragg
08-19-2007, 02:15 PM
Williams signs Erstad to be a 4th outfielder.

Erstad is a swing at everything type of slap hitter who has displayed scant plate discipline in his career. Not only does Ozzie start him, he demotes the far more patient Iguchi down in the order to make room for him in the 2 hole. Ozzie then calls him Erstad .400 quality hitter. Two facts are real: a)Ozzie loves the guy; b)Erstad, love him or hate him, is the anti-OBP hitter.

Look at the Harris for Cintron switch. You go from some walks, to swing at everything slapper. It was a downgrade in general (Cintron is a terrible defender), and a big downgrade if plate patience is what you want.

If Williams wants an OBP approach he should inform Ozzie and Walker; OR get Ozzie some quality swing at everything types.

itsnotrequired
08-19-2007, 02:22 PM
Williams signs Erstad to be a 4th outfielder.

Erstad is a swing at everything type of slap hitter who has displayed scant plate discipline in his career. Not only does Ozzie start him, he demotes the far more patient Iguchi down in the order to make room for him in the 2 hole. Ozzie then calls him Erstad .400 quality hitter. Two facts are real: a)Ozzie loves the guy; b)Erstad, love him or hate him, is the anti-OBP hitter.

Look at the Harris for Cintron switch. You go from some walks, to swing at everything slapper. It was a downgrade in general (Cintron is a terrible defender), and a big downgrade if plate patience is what you want.

If Williams wants an OBP approach he should inform Ozzie and Walker; OR get Ozzie some quality swing at everything types.

:?:

He has a career .340 OBP, good enough for top 100 among active players.

Noneck
08-19-2007, 02:47 PM
I don't know if it's a good solution, but I'll give it a whirl.

You keep Thome because there are only a few teams you can trade him to. He's a DH-only player at this stage, and most AL teams already have a DH. You're not going to get great value in return, and you'll have to eat salary. Better off just keeping his plus-.400 OBP and hoping he can stay healthy for most of the year.

Bring back Crede as the regular 3B. Utilize Fields in a "super sub" kind of role. Josh replaces Thome as the DH against left-handed pitching. To try to keep Crede healthy, you give Fields a couple starts at third a week. That way, you're still continuing to develop Josh by putting him in the lineup about four times a week. If Crede or Thome go down, he's an excellent backup option.

I think Thome should forget about slap hitting or bunting to the left side. Why do you want Thome to hit singles? He's just plugging up the bases and creating opportunities for Konerko and Dye to GIDP. I assure you a few singles to the left side aren't going to deter the opposition from putting the shift on for Thome. They'll allow Jim to hit a single to left anytime. They want to keep him in the yard, and they don't care if he's plugging the basepaths.

I like your idea of Fields being a "super sub" if Crede comes back but I don't think the Sox will ever platoon Thome.

I know he's a base clogger and maybe teams won't take off the shift but there sure are some situations (particularly late in games) when a slap or bunt to left will help the team and maybe make the team adjust the shift or the pitcher change his pitch selection. Clogging the bases at that point won't be a factor if a pinch runner is used.

Noneck
08-19-2007, 02:57 PM
Nope no solution.

I don't understand a lot about what goes on behind the scenes of running a MLB franchise - so I won't presume that I can come up with anything that management hasn't already thought of.


How many do understand? Not me. But if everyone just sat back and didn't play owner, gm or manager at sometime, they wouldn't be a true fan, just a casual onlooker.

jabrch
08-19-2007, 03:11 PM
How many do understand? Not me. But if everyone just sat back and didn't play owner, gm or manager at sometime, they wouldn't be a true fan, just a casual onlooker.

I'm a true fan. I love the game - I love watching it. I love cheering for the Sox. But I'm not going to pretend that I know more than the folks who really spend all day, every day, doing nothing but watching baseball and talking to other people who do.

As our fans have gotten smarter, they have gotten more arrogant - which makes them seem dumber.

Frater Perdurabo
08-19-2007, 03:32 PM
Bring back Crede as the regular 3B. Utilize Fields in a "super sub" kind of role. Josh replaces Thome as the DH against left-handed pitching. To try to keep Crede healthy, you give Fields a couple starts at third a week. That way, you're still continuing to develop Josh by putting him in the lineup about four times a week. If Crede or Thome go down, he's an excellent backup option.

I agree with this, and I've called for the same thing, too. With as many lefties as the Sox face in the AL Central, Fields will get plenty of DH ABs. Obviously Crede should start at third when Buehrle and Garland (and any other ground ball-inducing starter) pitches. But with his back issues, he'll need regular rest, too, so the perfect time to sit him is when flyball (Floyd) or strikeout (Vazquez) pitchers start for the Sox.

During any given game, one of Thome, Crede or Fields could pinch hit, too.

Say Thome's at the plate. Does the opposing manager bring in the LOOGY, knowing Ozzie can counter with Fields' .727 SLG v. LHP? :o:

Or does he leave the RHP to face Thome and his 1.083 OPS v. RHP? :o:

Once Thome retires, I think Fields could give the Sox the ability to use the DH to "rest" players, rather than have a pure DH on the team. I'd like to see him learn to play a little bit of left field and first base.

Noneck
08-19-2007, 04:00 PM
I'm a true fan. I love the game - I love watching it. I love cheering for the Sox. But I'm not going to pretend that I know more than the folks who really spend all day, every day, doing nothing but watching baseball and talking to other people who do.



And you have never 1st or 2nd guessed?


As our fans have gotten smarter, they have gotten more arrogant - which makes them seem dumber.

And showing frustration for a year that had high expectations.

Tragg
08-19-2007, 04:14 PM
He has a career .340 OBP, good enough for top 100 among active players.
So? Top 100 players is about 1/2 of the starters...that proves he's average in career obp. (better not check how he stands in career ops, slg or current obp). That stat aslo includes catchers and SS, which are defensive positions. Might even include pitchers, I don't know.

You aren't really suggesting that he's a disciplined hitter who takes pitches and works counts, are you? He's swing at everything hitter, which is how Ozzie (and Walker) played and apparently what Ozzie and Walker teach.

itsnotrequired
08-19-2007, 04:20 PM
That's top 1/2 or so of starters....not that high a standard. That hardly suggests he has plate discipline. His walk rate is 8% or so. As it is, his obp is lower than the man who was domoted in his stead, it's also declining, and it is also inflated by one phenominal year.
How does his OPS rank among active players? That's ugly.

He's swing at everything hitter, which is how Ozzie (and Walker) played and apparently what Ozzie and Walker teach.

3rd or 4th highest OBP on a team isn't that bad. I wasn't suggesting Erstad had a great OBP but it certainly isn't terrible. It isn't good this year though.

Slap hitters by nature aren't going to have a high OPS.

champagne030
08-19-2007, 04:25 PM
How many do understand? Not me. But if everyone just sat back and didn't play owner, gm or manager at sometime, they wouldn't be a true fan, just a casual onlooker.

I don't know about true fans or casual onlookers, but it's obvious GM's fall in love with players just like fans do. See: Erstad, McGrinder and Floyd, Gavin.

Frater Perdurabo
08-19-2007, 04:43 PM
I don't know about true fans or casual onlookers, but it's obvious GM's fall in love with players just like fans do. See: Erstad, McGrinder and Floyd, Gavin.

Coaches have favorite types of players, too. Ozzie and Walker (and KW and even Hawk for that matter) all were "swing first, ask questions later" hitters. Like it or not, that philosophy permeates the entire organization. I suppose it's important that the hitters get a consistent message as they work their way up through the minors, though.

Those that want to defend that hitting philosophy point out that the Sox won a World Series with it. Others would counter that the 2005 Sox offense had many hitters who were developed elsewhere: Pods, Iguchi, Uribe, Everett, AJ, Harris, Dye, etc. all were recent imports and/or were veteran journeymen. Plus, I know we all agree that it was the pitching that really did the heavy lifting in 2005.

I'm not saying that the Sox hitting philosophy is intrinsically good or bad. But like anything else, it has positive and negative consequences. We saw the best it could do in 2006. Right now we are seeing it at its worst.

jabrch
08-19-2007, 04:48 PM
And you have never 1st or 2nd guessed?

Absolutely - but not because I know that I know better. Second guessing is one thing. But there are those who speak as if they genuinely believe that they know more than, and could do a better job than, people who have spent the better part of their life doing this.

And showing frustration for a year that had high expectations.

Agreed - and you could make that two years in a row. But it wasn't like this (not as bad) prior to 2005. And it was even less like this prior to the proliferation of data related to the game outside of the hands of just a few.

PhillipsBubba
08-19-2007, 05:02 PM
...the owner should gather the team and give them a pep talk...they've sucked since Kenny tried!:?:

Tragg
08-19-2007, 05:15 PM
3rd or 4th highest OBP on a team isn't that bad. I wasn't suggesting Erstad had a great OBP but it certainly isn't terrible. It isn't good this year though.

Slap hitters by nature aren't going to have a high OPS.
I agree they will have a low ops but they can compensate for that lack of power with some nice obp.

Take Podsednik in 2005 - he had a .350 OBP and stole 50 bases. That was really good - sort of borderline all star quality. But the next year, he drops to .330 and not many steals and, his value is way way down.
Take Erstad - he's 20 points and 30 steals below 2005 Pods. That leaves him average....this team doesn't need any average slap hitters.

Anyway, my point is that this team has been in the bottom quartile in obp since I can remember, before ozzie, during ozzie....all of a sudden it's important? Better tell the coaches that.

champagne030
08-19-2007, 05:17 PM
And you have never 1st or 2nd guessed?






You can obviously second guess. It's not like Kenneth has spent the better part of is life doing this. His background was that he played baseball and football, washed out as a player and after a short time watching the minors he became a GM. Sure, he's got knowledge, but he obviously makes his share of mistakes too.

Tragg
08-19-2007, 05:20 PM
...the owner should gather the team and give them a pep talk...they've sucked since Kenny tried! Actually since about 3 months before that.

But maybe Joey Cora should read the team "The riot act". Get in their face, Joey. Has the $22 mill man had a hit since he's been the so contracted?

soltrain21
08-19-2007, 05:30 PM
Get in their face, Joey. Has the $22 mill man had a hit since he's been the so contracted?


Um, he signed the contract yesterday. He has had like 7 ABs.

MySoxAreClean
08-19-2007, 05:33 PM
http://digitaltirade.com/Rants/archives/stuartSmalley.jpg
You're good enough. You're smart enough. And gosh darn it
, real SOX FANS like you.

StillMissOzzie
08-19-2007, 05:35 PM
And showing frustration for a year that had high expectations.
Sittong in last place was NOT what I expected from this team. :angry:

Has the $22 mill man had a hit since he's been the so contracted?

Hit into two DP's in his first two AB's today, before I quit watching. I guess he can quit trying for 2007, he's got his deal. (Part teal, part serious)

Meanwhile, back to the original topic...I pretty much tune out anything KW says for public consumption these days. I believe he knows who he wants to keep, who he wants to discard, and who he wants to pursue, and public statements probably have nothing to do with those plans.

SMO
:?:

Noneck
08-19-2007, 06:29 PM
Agreed - and you could make that two years in a row. But it wasn't like this (not as bad) prior to 2005. And it was even less like this prior to the proliferation of data related to the game outside of the hands of just a few.

Prior to 2005 expectations were much lower so the level of frustration was less also. What data are you speaking of that is now attainable that wasn't previously?

jabrch
08-19-2007, 09:54 PM
Prior to 2005 expectations were much lower so the level of frustration was less also. What data are you speaking of that is now attainable that wasn't previously?

Fans have, at their fingertips, a lot more data than the masses had just 10 years ago. Once upon a time, all you had was what was in the news papers, and what you collected from various magazines or references. Now we have pitch by pitch data that we can download. Fans "level of sophistication" has gone up greatly even in the past 10 years.

Noneck
08-19-2007, 10:21 PM
Fans have, at their fingertips, a lot more data than the masses had just 10 years ago. Once upon a time, all you had was what was in the news papers, and what you collected from various magazines or references. Now we have pitch by pitch data that we can download. Fans "level of sophistication" has gone up greatly even in the past 10 years.

OK thats what I thought you meant. A similar topic has been on my mind for quite sometime and I will bring it up after the season ends when things get real slow. To be continued at a later time.

UserNameBlank
08-19-2007, 10:50 PM
Why did KW tell players to work counts, take walks and wear out the opposing pitcher?

Isn't delivering that message the job of the manager, or perhaps the guy given the ceremonial title "hitting coach?"

Maybe it's a warning to all the players?

Maybe it's a more specific warning to certain players, like Uribe and Owens, but given to the entire group in order to avoid singling anyone out?

Maybe it's a warning to the coaches to get his message across?

Maybe it's a warning to everyone to take the coaching staff more seriously?

Maybe it's all of the above.

No matter what the case, a GM should not have to do this. A GM shouldn't have to call a meeting and explain why it is important to provide good at-bats.

Now, some of this obviously is Kenny's fault for putting the team together, but really, his 3B, 2B, 1B, DH, and RF all regularly put together good AB's. His SS and C don't do this as often as one would like, but C and SS are defensive positions. All things considered the team shouldn't be as bad as it is offensively. Hopefully over the offseason KW can come away with two OF's who can get on base, work counts, and make for a tougher lineup.

JB98
08-19-2007, 11:29 PM
I like your idea of Fields being a "super sub" if Crede comes back but I don't think the Sox will ever platoon Thome.

I know he's a base clogger and maybe teams won't take off the shift but there sure are some situations (particularly late in games) when a slap or bunt to left will help the team and maybe make the team adjust the shift or the pitcher change his pitch selection. Clogging the bases at that point won't be a factor if a pinch runner is used.

There are in fact a handful of situations where an opposite-field approach by Thome would pay off. But that's not his natural swing, and it's probably not the easiest thing for him to execute.

Maybe the Sox won't ever platoon Thome. From my perspective, it would help to keep him healthy over a long season. Frankly, his health is a bigger concern to me than his vulnerability to left-handed pitching. He still sees pitches and gets walks against lefties, so he does contribute to the offense without getting hits. But the fact that he can no longer hold up over 162 games is a problem that needs to be addressed.

JB98
08-19-2007, 11:34 PM
I agree with this, and I've called for the same thing, too. With as many lefties as the Sox face in the AL Central, Fields will get plenty of DH ABs. Obviously Crede should start at third when Buehrle and Garland (and any other ground ball-inducing starter) pitches. But with his back issues, he'll need regular rest, too, so the perfect time to sit him is when flyball (Floyd) or strikeout (Vazquez) pitchers start for the Sox.

During any given game, one of Thome, Crede or Fields could pinch hit, too.

Say Thome's at the plate. Does the opposing manager bring in the LOOGY, knowing Ozzie can counter with Fields' .727 SLG v. LHP? :o:

Or does he leave the RHP to face Thome and his 1.083 OPS v. RHP? :o:

Once Thome retires, I think Fields could give the Sox the ability to use the DH to "rest" players, rather than have a pure DH on the team. I'd like to see him learn to play a little bit of left field and first base.

One of the good things about Fields is his ability to hit left-handed pitching well. That's rare on this club, which has become a very left-handed offense (Thome, AJ, Owens, Richar, Pods, Erstad). With Crede and Ozuna on the shelf, we are suffering from a severe lack of quality right-handed hitting, both in the lineup and off the bench.

Josh has trouble with right-handers who have good sliders. He doesn't like the ball breaking away from him. That's not a problem against lefties. He hits them pretty good.

HerzogVon
08-20-2007, 09:26 AM
Coaches have favorite types of players, too. Ozzie and Walker (and KW and even Hawk for that matter) all were "swing first, ask questions later" hitters. Like it or not, that philosophy permeates the entire organization. I suppose it's important that the hitters get a consistent message as they work their way up through the minors, though.

Those that want to defend that hitting philosophy point out that the Sox won a World Series with it. Others would counter that the 2005 Sox offense had many hitters who were developed elsewhere: Pods, Iguchi, Uribe, Everett, AJ, Harris, Dye, etc. all were recent imports and/or were veteran journeymen. Plus, I know we all agree that it was the pitching that really did the heavy lifting in 2005.

I'm not saying that the Sox hitting philosophy is intrinsically good or bad. But like anything else, it has positive and negative consequences. We saw the best it could do in 2006. Right now we are seeing it at its worst.

Your second paragraph pretty much nails it. I've read a load of comments here claiming that the 2005 Sox were not a "small ball" team. Well, it's true that they hit a lot of HRs; but where would they have been without the top and bottom of the order? That team manufactured runs. HRs just happened. This aggregation - I hesitate to call them a team - sits around waiting for the boppers to come along and bail them out. It just doesn't work all that often.

Again, you have to look at Kenny. What he says and what he means often seem to be at odds. If he really meant what he preaches, why would he have gotten rid of Rowand and acquired Thome in the first place? Can Paulie possibly have that much influence, or was Kenny just doing what he wanted to do all along? And either way, why does Kenny continue to say he believes in one kind of baseball, and then turn around and do what would appear to be the exact opposite? The broadcast exec. analogy stands.

russ99
08-20-2007, 10:12 AM
I have to wonder if KW's covering his butt with ownership. I'm hoping no one gets fired for this season's debacle (except for maybe Walker) but another year of this and both Ozzie and Kenny should start worrying about their jobs.

jabrch
08-20-2007, 10:47 AM
Your second paragraph pretty much nails it. I've read a load of comments here claiming that the 2005 Sox were not a "small ball" team. Well, it's true that they hit a lot of HRs; but where would they have been without the top and bottom of the order? That team manufactured runs. HRs just happened. This aggregation - I hesitate to call them a team - sits around waiting for the boppers to come along and bail them out. It just doesn't work all that often.

That's exactly it - well said.

A lot of people who watch spreadsheets more than games saw the # of HRs we hit in 2005 and said that no team that hits that many HRs is a "small ball" team. What those people fail to take into account is that this team DID play small ball with #1/#2/#7/#8/#9, and that was a key to the season. We did a lot of getting pods on, stealing or sacrificing him, then picking him up with #3/#4. We did a lot of the same on the back end of the order, if Aaron, JC or Uribe got on, moving them and then picking them up. Konerko, Dye and our DHs hit about 110 HRs between them, but the rest of the guys who could all hit abaout 20 HRs (except Pods) took them when they got em, but weren't swinging for them all the time. They did a lot of what you think of when you think of "small ball".

That's why Ozzie called it "Smartball".

roadrunner
08-20-2007, 11:53 AM
:?:

He has a career .340 OBP, good enough for top 100 among active players.

Nice try. Since his .409 OBP in 2000:
01- .331 OBP
02- .313
03- .309
04- .346
05- .325
06- .279
07- 327

Those are piss poor numbers for a guy whose high SLG was .400 during that time. In other words, Erstad has not brought anything to the table since 2000. In 2005 he even managed to strike out 109 times which is especially high to accept for a guy with a .325 OBP and .371 SLG. He was a player who didn't get on base, didn't hit for power, didn't steal a lot of bases (10 that year) and struck out a lot.

He's still the same worthless player (although striking out less). Any at bat he takes is one that any young player should be getting.

Oh yeah, and he's old and injury prone.

Rocky Soprano
08-20-2007, 12:00 PM
How many rings do we have with Thome?

Trade Thome for Willie Harris! Harris has a ring! Hell he scored the winning run in game 4!

:rolleyes:

upperdeckusc
08-20-2007, 12:26 PM
I have to wonder if KW's covering his butt with ownership. I'm hoping no one gets fired for this season's debacle (except for maybe Walker) but another year of this and both Ozzie and Kenny should start worrying about their jobs.

i actually just wanted to comment on your '08 roster. i definitely would love to pick up eckstein and hunter, but i dunno how i feel about a batting order that has 5 righties in a row, followed by 4 lefties. but i get the idea :tongue:

Grzegorz
08-20-2007, 01:02 PM
Fans have, at their fingertips, a lot more data than the masses had just 10 years ago. Once upon a time, all you had was what was in the news papers, and what you collected from various magazines or references. Now we have pitch by pitch data that we can download. Fans "level of sophistication" has gone up greatly even in the past 10 years.

People might have more information at their fingertips but they do do necessarily have better skills at processing and drawing conclusions from that information.

I am concerned that some of the team has given up on the season. Not in terms of contending for the playoffs, that chase has been gone for a while, but in their approach to the game.

It's not overt; maybe it is human nature. The will to win can trump human nature.

I want to see that will come out.

Frater Perdurabo
08-20-2007, 09:12 PM
One thing I wish more Sox hitters would do is make opposing pitchers work. Part of this is not swinging at bad pitches. But it's just as important to foul off marginal strikes. By doing both of these, a hitter can be 0-5 in a game and still be productive, if he's making the opposing pitcher throw 7, 8, 9 or even 10 pitches in each AB.

Pods, Konerko, Thome and Dye seem to be able to do this, and Richar has shown this ability, too. I understand that guys like AJ simply aren't/can't/won't, and that's fine in small doses. But overall the Sox simply don't make opposing pitchers work very hard.

Daver
08-20-2007, 09:23 PM
One thing I wish more Sox hitters would do is make opposing pitchers work. Part of this is not swinging at bad pitches. But it's just as important to foul off marginal strikes. By doing both of these, a hitter can be 0-5 in a game and still be productive, if he's making the opposing pitcher throw 7, 8, 9 or even 10 pitches in each AB.

Pods, Konerko, Thome and Dye seem to be able to do this, and Richar has shown this ability, too. I understand that guys like AJ simply aren't/can't/won't, and that's fine in small doses. But overall the Sox simply don't make opposing pitchers work very hard.

That would fall under the hitting coaches job.

Most know my feelings on Greg Walker.

Frater Perdurabo
08-20-2007, 09:25 PM
That would fall under the hitting coaches job.

Most know my feelings on Greg Walker.

But I thought his only job was to play cards with Ozzie. Are you telling me he's actually supposed to coach the hitters?

Tragg
08-20-2007, 09:32 PM
But I thought his only job was to play cards with Ozzie. Are you telling me he's actually supposed to coach the hitters?
Who of Cora, Baines, Shines and Walker will get interviews for open manager jobs in the next 2 years?