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Madvora
10-06-2007, 09:40 AM
I noticed this little bit from the Razor Shines article in the Tribune.

Guillen implied Shines' replacement must adapt to changes in spring training that include a station for bunting and hit-and-run plays to improve the fundamentals that were lacking during the Sox's 72-90 season.

Now Guillen has been saying this since he started in 2004. He didn't have the right guys in 2004 to get that done, so they made a lot of changes going into 2005. At the beginning of that year the Sox were doing all of this stuff right, but that only lasted half a season. Since then, they've been a joke again with bunting, hit and run and sacrificing.

Why does Guillen always stress this stuff to the media and then the team just sucks at it when the season comes around? We hear about this every year, but nothing seems to improve.

Lip Man 1
10-06-2007, 12:29 PM
Very good question. Remember last spring he had a field just for fundamentals which were mandatory for everyone except Konerko, Thome and Dye.

It didn't seem to help much.

Like I said elsewhere this is an area that's EVERYONE's fault.

The players for not being able to apply for what they supposedly learned. The coaches (at both the major and minor league level) for not teaching it properly so the players would get it and Ozzie for not taking any action (i.e. benching, fining or going off to the media on specific players) when the job wasn't getting done.

Lip

Madvora
10-06-2007, 01:52 PM
I don't know if all that talk is just BS or what. How can you say year after year that you want so much emphasis on the fundamentals and your players still can't do the simple stuff?
Is it all just talk, are they really training these guys? How can the Twins always do this stuff and we can't?
Guys like Uribe are incapable of learning. Iguchi seemed like he completely forgot too. Podsednik fell apart at bunting as well.

I heard on the radio the other day that the Sox were dead last in the MLB in sacrificing. Side note - the Cubs were second to last.

Frater Perdurabo
10-06-2007, 02:08 PM
Very good question. Remember last spring he had a field just for fundamentals which were mandatory for everyone except Konerko, Thome and Dye.

It didn't seem to help much.

Like I said elsewhere this is an area that's EVERYONE's fault.

The players for not being able to apply for what they supposedly learned. The coaches (at both the major and minor league level) for not teaching it properly so the players would get it and Ozzie for not taking any action (i.e. benching, fining or going off to the media on specific players) when the job wasn't getting done.

I don't really want Thome, Dye or PK to be called upon to bunt. But if the situation ever called for it, it would be a good thing if each of them was able to do it well. Why not have more weapons in the arsenal?

Lip

Great points, Lip.

I also think it sets a dangerous double standard if Dye, PK and Thome aren't expected to practice the fundamentals, either. I don't think it's THE problem, but I do think that it's a mistake to exempt any players from practicing these things because it establishes a pecking order and gets in the way of team-building.

misty60481
10-06-2007, 02:41 PM
I have noticed lately thru my grand-kids playing little league that there is no emphasis on any fundinemtals (sp) even at that age. It is all swing for the long ball. Most kids that are drafted are either sluggers or can throw 95 MPH.

fusillirob1983
10-06-2007, 03:02 PM
I heard on the radio the other day that the Sox were dead last in the MLB in sacrificing. Side note - the Cubs were second to last.

Per the World Series DVD, the Sox led the league in sac bunts in 2005. What a change.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-06-2007, 03:17 PM
I would be very careful drawing conclusions about Sox losses being attributable to the lack of bunting or hit and run managing. The '05 Sox hit 200 dingers, fourth-highest in the league. You can call it anything you want, but it sure wasn't "bunting" or "hit and run."

Typical Sox Fan behavior... we've never met an offensive stat we couldn't pooh-pooh.

Crede_Fan
10-06-2007, 03:40 PM
Great points, Lip.

I also think it sets a dangerous double standard if Dye, PK and Thome aren't expected to practice the fundamentals, either. I don't think it's THE problem, but I do think that it's a mistake to exempt any players from practicing these things because it establishes a pecking order and gets in the way of team-building.


Are you really going to have Paulie, JD or Thome bunt?

Ranger
10-06-2007, 03:53 PM
I heard on the radio the other day that the Sox were dead last in the MLB in sacrificing. Side note - the Cubs were second to last.


Actually, the Sox were 2nd in the AL in sacrifice hits (bunts) behind Texas. Where they weren't getting the job done was in sacrifice flies...last in the AL. Meaning they weren't really driving the ball this year and they didn't have enough guys reach 3rd. Only the Twins and Royals had fewer flyballs over the course of the season.

StillMissOzzie
10-06-2007, 04:07 PM
Actually, the Sox were 2nd in the AL in sacrifice hits (bunts) behind Texas. Where they weren't getting the job done was in sacrifice flies...last in the AL. Meaning they weren't really driving the ball this year and they didn't have enough guys reach 3rd. Only the Twins and Royals had fewer flyballs over the course of the season.

That sounds about right. I lost count of how many times the Sox would have a man on 3rd with less than two outs and didn't get the base hit, sac fly, or even a grounder away from the corners to bring the run home.

SMO
:mad::(:

SoxSpeed22
10-06-2007, 04:14 PM
That sounds about right. I lost count of how many times the Sox would have a man on 3rd with less than two outs and didn't get the base hit, sac fly, or even a grounder away from the corners to bring the run home.

SMO
:mad::(:They could bunt better this year with the young guys. But not only were they the worst hitting team with runners in scoring position, they were one of the worst in on-base and getting into scoring position. Every time the situation came, you knew they were gonna screw up somehow.

Daver
10-06-2007, 04:48 PM
I would be very careful drawing conclusions about Sox losses being attributable to the lack of bunting or hit and run managing. The '05 Sox hit 200 dingers, fourth-highest in the league. You can call it anything you want, but it sure wasn't "bunting" or "hit and run."

Typical Sox Fan behavior... we've never met an offensive stat we couldn't pooh-pooh.

The 2005 team played sound fundamental baseball, lately, not so much.

Frater Perdurabo
10-06-2007, 05:01 PM
I would be very careful drawing conclusions about Sox losses being attributable to the lack of bunting or hit and run managing. The '05 Sox hit 200 dingers, fourth-highest in the league. You can call it anything you want, but it sure wasn't "bunting" or "hit and run."

Typical Sox Fan behavior... we've never met an offensive stat we couldn't pooh-pooh.

Nothing wrong with power. I never said there was. But you know as well as I do that in addition to the power, the 2005 Sox offense also had the ability to manufacture runs when they needed to do so, when the homers weren't being hit (especially early in the year, when they got off to such a great start despite JD struggling mightily, Rowand not producing like he had in 2004, Crede's low average prompting some fans to want to upgrade to Joe Randa, and even Paulie scuffling a bit). When the power returned (coinciding with the return of Frank Thomas), the offense truly started firing on all cylinders. That dynamic offense - which could clobber or paper cut its way to enough runs to win - really complemented the real strength of the team: the outstanding pitching (which was helped by good defense too); and helped the Sox win so many games in 2005.

Are you really going to have Paulie, JD or Thome bunt?

Not usually. Ideally never. But if the situation calls for it, I want them to know how to do so. It wasn't a bunt, but JD sure delivered with a nice single up the middle to drive in Harris to win Game 4 of the World Series. That's solid fundamentals: it's not always a bunt; sometimes it's a grounder behind the runner, sometimes it's a sac fly, sometimes it's shortening your swing with two strikes to make solid contact to keep an inning alive.

JB98
10-06-2007, 05:28 PM
I blame the players primarily for poor fundamentals. During the championship run, we saw players like Pods, Iguchi and Uribe routinely getting bunts downs. Guys were hitting fly balls to get the man in from third. When Ozzie called for a hit-and-run, the ball got put in play.

Those things all stopped happening last year, and I believe it was because the players got fat and happy after the title. They stopped focusing on the little details, arrogantly believing that their talent was good enough to get them back to the World Series. Nope. Players that I KNOW can bunt stopped being able to get bunts down. I don't really blame the coaching staff for that.

At the highest level of sport, attention to detail and execution is often the difference between winning and losing because EVERYONE has outstanding talent. Our players got a deserved slap in the face this year, and hopefully, it's a wakeup call for the whole organization.

And, I can't think of a single situation where I would ask Thome, Konerko or Dye to bunt. Instead of working on bunting, I think all three of them should work on hitting the ball where it is pitched. Each of those men go on extended hot streaks when they use the oppositie field. Unfortunately, each of them also tend to get away from that for extended periods of time. All are capable of driving balls out to the opposite field. There's no need to stubbornly stick to a pull-happy approach. Opponents put the shift on for Thome, but I actually believe Konerko and Dye did a worse job of using the opposite field than Jim this year.

Madvora
10-06-2007, 07:27 PM
I would be very careful drawing conclusions about Sox losses being attributable to the lack of bunting or hit and run managing. The '05 Sox hit 200 dingers, fourth-highest in the league. You can call it anything you want, but it sure wasn't "bunting" or "hit and run."

Typical Sox Fan behavior... we've never met an offensive stat we couldn't pooh-pooh.
I'm not blaming the lack of bunting and stuff on their record, I'm just questioning Ozzie's so-called philosophy for the team. Every year we keep hearing how they need to focus more on this stuff, but they just keep getting worse. I can't see what's going on here, if Ozzie is just talking out of his ass (and he's really not getting the players to work on bunting etc) or if the players are just so bad at this kind of stuff even after extra training and practice.

JRIG
10-06-2007, 08:38 PM
I would be very careful drawing conclusions about Sox losses being attributable to the lack of bunting or hit and run managing. The '05 Sox hit 200 dingers, fourth-highest in the league. You can call it anything you want, but it sure wasn't "bunting" or "hit and run."

Typical Sox Fan behavior... we've never met an offensive stat we couldn't pooh-pooh.

In '05 the Sox scored 42.4% of their runs on home runs, which was 4th in MLB and 3rd in the AL that year.

A quick fix for this team isn't bunting better or playing more hit and run or letting Juan Uribe go 1 for 10 in stolen base attempts. It's finding players who can actually get on base when those home runs are hit.

Lip Man 1
10-06-2007, 10:04 PM
The 2005 team showed balance offensively.

Again the key word is BALANCE.

They were in the top five in the league in the following categories (just from an offensive standpoint)

1. Home Runs
2. Sacrifice Bunts
3. Sacrifice Flies
4. Stolen Bases
5. Infield Hits

That's balance and that's what was seriously lacking the past two years.

No one (at least not me) is saying 'home runs are bad.' What IS bad is when the only way apparently you can get a guy home from 3rd base with less then two outs is a home run. When the only way you can advance a guy into scoring position or bring him home from anywhere is a home run or when the only way you can win a one run or extra inning game is with a home run.

You can't guarantee four home runs a game. I wish you could, that would solve a lot of issues (unless of course the four home runs were all solo shots! :D:)

Lip

mrwag
10-07-2007, 08:53 AM
While nobody is a real proponent of taking the bat out of the hands of our 3-4-5 hitters, I do recall Everett laying down a sac bunt in the WS. I'd have to pull the DVD out, but I know it was done. That is the type of play that wins games.

SoxSpeed22
10-07-2007, 12:40 PM
Pods had the sac bunt, Everett moved Willie over with a grounder to second.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-07-2007, 12:41 PM
The 2005 team showed balance offensively.

Again the key word is BALANCE.

I just have a problem with the congenital flaw in Sox Fans' thinking to sincerely believe bunting and hit and run tactics leads to championships. They don't.

To paraphrase an old cliche, pitching and defense combined with a banjo attack wins 88 years in the wilderness.

26 world championships? Bronx BOMBERS.

:cool:

bigfoot
10-07-2007, 01:00 PM
[quote=PaleHoseGeorge;1697112]I just have a problem with the congenital flaw in Sox Fans' thinking to sincerely believe bunting and hit and run tactics leads to championships. They don't.

To paraphrase an old cliche, pitching and defense combined with a banjo attack wins 88 years in the wilderness.

26 world championships? Bronx BOMBERS.Those numbers aren't as bad as you might think, are they? The Cubs finished last only one more time (six) than the numbers of years they went to the playoffs—1984, '89, '98, '03 and '07—but they didn't win a third of their postseason games. That record was 9-19, including losses in the last six games, during the Tribune era.

While Tribune Co. has owned the Cubs, 29 different ownership groups, representing 24 clubs, have taken teams to the World Series. Local misery lost its company two years ago, when Jerry Reinsdorf's White Sox rolled through October 11-1.



You're SO right PHG, however one of the keys to becoming a Bomber is to get a man on and force the starting pitcher to pitch from the stretch. Less velocity, command of the strike zone and another distraction from concentrating on the task at hand. All these(and others) are a direct result of the batter leading off an inning, or any high OBP hitter, creating a condition where pitching mistakes are made and hit hard and a long way.

Creating a Bomber 101!

Daver
10-07-2007, 01:04 PM
I just have a problem with the congenital flaw in Sox Fans' thinking to sincerely believe bunting and hit and run tactics leads to championships. They don't.

To paraphrase an old cliche, pitching and defense combined with a banjo attack wins 88 years in the wilderness.

26 world championships? Bronx BOMBERS.

:cool:

Umm George, even the Yankees dynasty in the 90's had excellent pitching, they did not win on offense alone, they won by playing sound baseball. Their recent inability to make it back stems from not enough pitching and relying on the long ball to win games.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-07-2007, 01:33 PM
You're SO right PHG, however one of the keys to becoming a Bomber is to get a man on and force the starting pitcher to pitch from the stretch. Less velocity, command of the strike zone and another distraction from concentrating on the task at hand. All these(and others) are a direct result of the batter leading off an inning, or any high OBP hitter, creating a condition where pitching mistakes are made and hit hard and a long way.

Creating a Bomber 101!

Sounds fine to me. If this is what constitutes "a balanced attack" or a "fundamental approach" then I'm all for it.
:wink:

Oh, and pitchers don't bat in the American League, so I have no comment about about the role Yankees' pitchers have played in preventing that team's "working on fundamentals" from adding a 27th world championship to their trophy case... unless I'm confused over the purpose of this thread. Silly me...

KyWhiSoxFan
10-07-2007, 06:31 PM
Is it the job of the third base coach to teach fundamentals: bunting, etc.? Or is it the job of the hitting coach? Just asking.

champagne030
10-07-2007, 06:49 PM
Is it the job of the third base coach to teach fundamentals: bunting, etc.? Or is it the job of the hitting coach? Just asking.

The Great Oswaldo said it's not the job of a big league coach to teach fundamentals, but then he fired his 3rd base coach because he doesn't teach fundamentals. :dunno:

Johnny Mostil
10-07-2007, 07:31 PM
Umm George, even the Yankees dynasty in the 90's had excellent pitching, they did not win on offense alone, they won by playing sound baseball. Their recent inability to make it back stems from not enough pitching and relying on the long ball to win games.

In fact, even the '27 Murderers' Row had two HoF pitchers. Of course, one of them, Hoyt, when asked the key to getting to the Hall of Fame, said, "pitch for the Yankees!":wink:

HomeFish
10-08-2007, 01:37 AM
The Texas Rangers of the early 2000's were one of the most potent lineups ever assembled. Yet there is a reason that they did not win a single world championship, or even make the playoffs.

The Yankees winning in 98, 99, and 2000 had a lot to do with guys like el duque, David Cone, etc.

Grzegorz
10-08-2007, 06:03 AM
Umm George, even the Yankees dynasty in the 90's had excellent pitching, they did not win on offense alone, they won by playing sound baseball. Their recent inability to make it back stems from not enough pitching and relying on the long ball to win games.

These words should be considered when WSI'ers pound the table for the Chicago White Sox to trade starting pitching this off season.

Lukin13
10-08-2007, 08:36 AM
Doing the "little things" always goes into style come playoff time when teams are for the most part only facing top tier starting and relief pitching.

Not saying I don't like fundamentals, in fact I probably get just as sick as the rest of you when our 2,8 and 9 hitters fail at moving a runner along; I think the Sox problem this season rested w/ just a few players.

If AJ is going to hit 7th for us next year he has to be better at moving runners along and working the count. It doesn't help that the basepaths turn to quicksand when our 3-6 hitters get on base.

No matter if Richar is hitting either 2nd or 8th he will most likely be the key if this team is to improve in this facet. I really hope the kid has it in him but he sure likes to let his wrists fly open; He might not be ready.

If you bring Uribe back you know what you are getting: a guy that does everything else wrong offensively but has some pop. Like everyone else I would much prefer someone with a higher OBP and the ability to move runners along... not sure if that guy will be available this offseason.

Finally our 2 hitters sucked at smart ball this season. Tadahito was swinging or a contract and Fields was put in a position that does not suit him.

Madvora
10-08-2007, 08:55 AM
The Great Oswaldo said it's not the job of a big league coach to teach fundamentals, but then he fired his 3rd base coach because he doesn't teach fundamentals. :dunno:
Exactly! That's more a long the lines of what I intended to talk about in this thread. A lot have people have taken this in another direction.
My whole point is that Ozzie seems to be talking out of his ass here. If he's so interested in getting this team to focus on a certain area of the game, then why in the world do they the keep getting worse and worse at it every year!?

Forget about all of the fundamentals leading to championships stuff. Everything is debatable. The whole point is that Ozzie has put forth this philosophy of how he wants his team to play baseball and I'm baffled as to why they are performing the exact opposite way.

Luke
10-08-2007, 11:46 AM
Forget about all of the fundamentals leading to championships stuff. Everything is debatable. The whole point is that Ozzie has put forth this philosophy of how he wants his team to play baseball and I'm baffled as to why they are performing the exact opposite way.

I think it's an organizational issue. Ozzie can say he wants players that play good fundamental baseball (as if there's a coach out there that doesn't want to see good fundamentals) but really that's something that starts in the minors. I think a lot of this comes from the organization moving players along before they're ready. Be it small ball, or long ball, whatever type of players the organization wants, they would be better served with a consistent philosophy about moving players up when they're ready to be moved up, and not before, which I think they may do a bit too often.

Madvora
10-08-2007, 12:49 PM
I think it's an organizational issue. Ozzie can say he wants players that play good fundamental baseball (as if there's a coach out there that doesn't want to see good fundamentals) but really that's something that starts in the minors. I think a lot of this comes from the organization moving players along before they're ready. Be it small ball, or long ball, whatever type of players the organization wants, they would be better served with a consistent philosophy about moving players up when they're ready to be moved up, and not before, which I think they may do a bit too often.
That's the point though. Sure a lot of managers want this, but this is something Ozzie has said that they are pursuing. He's claimed that they set up extra bunting practice for these guys at spring training and now he's saying he's going to do it again. If these guys are getting all of this extra practice, then why do they keep failing? Why did guys like Podsednik and Iguchi (who used to know how to bunt) all of a sudden forget how to do this stuff? How did Uribe go from a great sac fly hitter years ago to swinging through everything?

russ99
10-08-2007, 05:43 PM
I think it's an organizational issue. Ozzie can say he wants players that play good fundamental baseball (as if there's a coach out there that doesn't want to see good fundamentals) but really that's something that starts in the minors. I think a lot of this comes from the organization moving players along before they're ready. Be it small ball, or long ball, whatever type of players the organization wants, they would be better served with a consistent philosophy about moving players up when they're ready to be moved up, and not before, which I think they may do a bit too often.

Absolutely agree.

The other side of that is that it's hard to get highly-paid veteran stars to work on fundamentals, especially after spring training. These guys are focusing on doing what they need to so they can play at a consistent level (weather slumps and extend streaks) and justify their salary and starting status. They don't have time or the mindset to do remedial work, plus some players find it insulting. What if you were a highly paid executive and your boss forced you to take a workshop on a task you mastered years ago...

To the poster that asked how come the Twins players have such sound fundamentals, it's because every player in the Twins organization despite their stats cannot move up to a higher minor league level until the minor league team's coaching staff and development team is satisfied that they are sound at certain fundamentals.

That may be a function of being a small market team and maximizing the level of the lower salaried talent - mostly because the Twins' can't afford a roster like the Sox - but every team should have a system like that. It reminds me a lot of some of the European soccer club development academies.

Lip Man 1
10-08-2007, 10:29 PM
Or to go back a ways, the "Oriole Way," which was a constant in that organization at all levels through the mid to late 60's and through the 70's.

Every player at any level had to do certain things in a certain way, from being able to get a bunt down to where to position yourself for a cutoff / relay throw.

They were very thorough about this and if you couldn't master these things you had no shot to move up or eventually get to the big league club.

Lip

Grzegorz
10-08-2007, 10:32 PM
Or to go back a ways, the "Oriole Way," which was a constant in that organization at all levels through the mid to late 60's and through the 70's.

Lip, do you remember a program on television that was basically an baseball clinic presented by the Orioles?

This had to be in the early '70s and I distinctly remember Jim Frey talking about hitting and Mark Belanger talking about defense.

Luke
10-09-2007, 12:56 PM
That's the point though. Sure a lot of managers want this, but this is something Ozzie has said that they are pursuing. He's claimed that they set up extra bunting practice for these guys at spring training and now he's saying he's going to do it again. If these guys are getting all of this extra practice, then why do they keep failing? Why did guys like Podsednik and Iguchi (who used to know how to bunt) all of a sudden forget how to do this stuff? How did Uribe go from a great sac fly hitter years ago to swinging through everything?

I'm really not sure. I don't know if there was a de-emphasis on bunting and sacs (and maybe they just wouldn't say it). Without getting into the stats I couldn't tell if there were less attempts or not, but it didn't seem to me that they struggled to get bunts down, there were just less attempts. I could be wrong though. Uribe seemed to be a different case, he just struggled to put the bat on the ball period.

If they do end up taking a more organization-wide approach to development, which a number of posters advocate (I count myself among them) it might be a couple years before we see results. It's not an overnight thing.

misty60481
10-09-2007, 02:02 PM
How does a team practice bunting, 9 times out of 10 when a sacrifice bunt is called for the opposite team is well aware of it. The 3rd baseman moves in also 1st baseman, the pitcher tries to keep the ball up high hoping batter will pop it up. If they practice just bunting straight fast balls they arent really helping themselves other than being able to put the bat on the ball. They need a pitcher that will pitch as though it were a game situation. I ve seen hitters take batting practice and just lay down a couple of bunts from straight fast balls after they take there full swings, that doesnt really help in a game situation.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-09-2007, 07:45 PM
Exactly! That's more a long the lines of what I intended to talk about in this thread. A lot have people have taken this in another direction.
My whole point is that Ozzie seems to be talking out of his ass here. If he's so interested in getting this team to focus on a certain area of the game, then why in the world do they the keep getting worse and worse at it every year!?

Forget about all of the fundamentals leading to championships stuff. Everything is debatable. The whole point is that Ozzie has put forth this philosophy of how he wants his team to play baseball and I'm baffled as to why they are performing the exact opposite way.

I think you're reading way too much into what Ozzie says. Half the time nobody knows what he is talking about -- and I'm not convinced even Ozzie knows what he meant to say. And I mean this whether he is speaking English or Spanish!
:wink:

To this day I still don't know what Ozzie means when he says "Smart ball" or "Ozzie ball" or "Grinder ball"... though I've read plenty here and in the media from others who THINK they know what he is talking about. This will be his fifth season managing the Sox!
:o:

I don't expect Ozzie to clear up exactly what he means by "fundamentals" anytime soon. As for everyone else's opinion, I'm sure they'll all weigh in with their own educated guess.

Nellie_Fox
10-10-2007, 01:09 AM
As for everyone else's opinion, I'm sure they'll all weigh in with their own educated guess."Educated" is clearly not a requirement. Total wild-ass speculation is much more likely.