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View Full Version : Early 08 is reminding me of early 05


BringBackBlkJack
01-25-2008, 12:36 PM
Before the Pollyanna calls start, allow me to elaborate.

I've been a Sox fan since attending my 1st baseball game in '90. I joined this site during the '04/'05 offseason due to a strange sense of optimism that I had not felt since 2000, although I had browsed the site for some time prior to registering. I distinctively remember hearing of the acquisitions of Iguchi, Dye, Garcia, Contreras, El Duque, Podsednik, etc. and starting to think that the Sox were finally heading in the right direction. The replacing of Manuel with Ozzie didn't hurt either. Lately, I have noticed some similarities with January '05 and January '08 and that tingly, optimistic feeling has struck again. Here are a few key things I have noticed that bear a resemblance to early '05:

* Low expectations. From what I've seen, the Sox are picked for a 4th place finish, just like what was expected in '05. The jubilation after the Series was great, but it seems as though afterwards there was nowhere to go but down, and that anything less than a repeat would be a disappointment. It was one of the most depressing 90-win seasons one could conjure. Now, after the disaster that was '07, there seems to be an opening for that underdog/long-shot optimism to come back.

* A strong focus on improving pitching. Although the improvements prior to '05 were made to address starting pitching, the '08 Sox come with Linebrink and Dotel signed to hefty salaries (as far as middle relief goes) and it could be argued that relatively speaking this is the void the Sox most aggressively went after. If the Sox would have signed Hunter/Rowand/Jones it would have been another story, but as it stands now, relief pitching is king.

* A renewed interest in defense and "smallball": speed/contact hitting/OBP instead of power. Acquiring O-Cab, Swisher and Quentin make sense in this fashion. This is why I wouldn't be surprised if a deal involving PK happens.

Whether you agree with the parallels or not, I hope we Sox fans as a base are excited for the start of the season and come out in droves to support the good guys. If we can find suitable arms for the 4 and 5 spots, I think we're in good shape to turn some heads.

fquaye149
01-25-2008, 12:42 PM
And we all know what happened in 05!!!

soltrain21
01-25-2008, 12:44 PM
Just Like 05, Dudes!

chisoxmike
01-25-2008, 12:45 PM
:ohno

hi im skot
01-25-2008, 12:45 PM
Ah, yes...the jokes practically write themselves.

I hope you're right, though; I'm cautiously optimistic about this season.

chisoxmike
01-25-2008, 12:46 PM
Grinder Rules.

Chicken Dinner
01-25-2008, 12:48 PM
There is no way we can win without guys like Timo and Crazy Carl. :D:

fquaye149
01-25-2008, 12:48 PM
but seriously



* Low expectations. From what I've seen, the Sox are picked for a 4th place finish, just like what was expected in '05. The jubilation after the Series was great, but it seems as though afterwards there was nowhere to go but down, and that anything less than a repeat would be a disappointment. It was one of the most depressing 90-win seasons one could conjure. Now, after the disaster that was '07, there seems to be an opening for that underdog/long-shot optimism to come back.



The low expectations in 2005 were largely imposed from the outside. The division was weak, and most of the low expectations came from

a.) Sox fans who pissed their pants at the thought of the mighty twins (i.e. Homefish's constant "they are inhuman! they are unreal!)

b.) outsider columnists (like Phil Rogers, hee hee) who said that the Twins were a better team simply by virtue of them being the Twins.

But to a certain extent, you're right--this is something the two years have in common.


* A strong focus on improving pitching. Although the improvements prior to '05 were made to address starting pitching, the '08 Sox come with Linebrink and Dotel signed to hefty salaries (as far as middle relief goes) and it could be argued that relatively speaking this is the void the Sox most aggressively went after. If the Sox would have signed Hunter/Rowand/Jones it would have been another story, but as it stands now, relief pitching is king.Except we just got done trading away an effective starting pitcher. That's just about the opposite of the approach we had in 2005 (which was overstocking us on starting pitchers).

I liked the Garland deal a lot, but it's hard to say that just because we signed Linebrink and Dotel, that's "conentrating on improving pitching" especially after replacing Garland in teh rotation with Floyd.


* A renewed interest in defense and "smallball": speed/contact hitting/OBP instead of power. Acquiring O-Cab, Swisher and Quentin make sense in this fashion. This is why I wouldn't be surprised if a deal involving PK happens.
Are you kidding? Our defense is worse than it was in 2007. We'll probably replace Crede with Fields (huge downgrade), replace Iguchi with Richar (downgrade). Uribe/Cabrera is pretty much a lateral move, as are the Swisher/Quentin for Pods/Erstad. Also Dye, Iguchi and Paulie are a year older.

Say what you will about whether our defense is much worse, slightly worse, or slightly slightly improved, we certainly didn't "focus" on improving defense over the offseason.

As for smallball? Yes Swisher gets on base and I love him as a player, but we still don't have a leadoff hitter. Period. There is no one on this team right now who can do what Pods did for us in 2005.


We may or not be successful in 2008, but 2005 has very little to do with our success in 2008 since Kenny is following a different model in trying to assemble a competitive team

Chicken Dinner
01-25-2008, 12:50 PM
I guess 2005 was the first year after the other Sox won and 2008 is once again the first year after ........

JermaineDye05
01-25-2008, 12:52 PM
Although I'm feeling very optimistic, the rotation still scares me a bit. In '05 we had JG as our 5th starter, and Jose wasn't all that bad. There are so many "ifs" in our rotation right now. However IF they work out then our team will be in good shape.

doublem23
01-25-2008, 01:02 PM
Don't spoil the ending for me, you guys.

:mad:

soxfan21
01-25-2008, 01:23 PM
I hope that this season is just like '05 that would be sweet and would really stick it to the nay sayers. Can't wait for opening day, just 66 more days:bandance:.

kittle42
01-25-2008, 01:40 PM
Can we PLEASE stop with the turning of 2005 into 1985 before guys like Timo Perez and Carl Everett make a career in Chicago advertising for strip clubs and car dealerships?

sullythered
01-25-2008, 01:48 PM
Can we PLEASE stop with the turning of 2005 into 1985 before guys like Timo Perez and Carl Everett make a career in Chicago advertising for strip clubs and car dealerships?
Sorry dude, not gonna happen. That team was my (and a lot of folks around here's) favorite sports team ever. Hell, it was my favorite form of entertainment ever, movies, TV, anything. It's gonna be a long time before the 2005 comparisons/references stop.

Oh, and I would happily attend any strip club endorsed by Timo Perez.

spiffie
01-25-2008, 01:51 PM
Can we PLEASE stop with the turning of 2005 into 1985 before guys like Timo Perez and Carl Everett make a career in Chicago advertising for strip clubs and car dealerships?
I'd give Willie Harris a kidney if he asked for it.

WizardsofOzzie
01-25-2008, 01:54 PM
I'd give Willie Harris a kidney if he asked for it.
Bafia, is that you?

kittle42
01-25-2008, 01:58 PM
It's gonna be a long time before the 2005 comparisons/references stop.

I guess that's iunderstandable. I just wish this team would win some more championships in the next decade so the 2005 White Sox are not turned into the 1985 Bears (in case you can't tell, I find the continued '85 Bears worship pretty pathetic, and I was a big fan as a kid).

spiffie
01-25-2008, 02:02 PM
Bafia, is that you?
Bafia would offer Willie both kidneys.

I guess that's iunderstandable. I just wish this team would win some more championships in the next decade so the 2005 White Sox are not turned into the 1985 Bears (in case you can't tell, I find the continued '85 Bears worship pretty pathetic, and I was a big fan as a kid).
I agree it would be nice to make 2005 seem less once-in-a-lifetimey if we could get another one in the next few years. My dream as a Sox fan is that winning titles is something that we can reasonably expect to happen on a semi-regular basis. Once or twice a decade would be wonderful. Rather than once every lifetime

Corlose 15
01-25-2008, 02:04 PM
I guess that's iunderstandable. I just wish this team would win some more championships in the next decade so the 2005 White Sox are not turned into the 1985 Bears (in case you can't tell, I find the continued '85 Bears worship pretty pathetic, and I was a big fan as a kid).

You're right but there is a big difference between talking about the '05 Sox in 2008 than the '85 Bears.

kittle42
01-25-2008, 02:19 PM
You're right but there is a big difference between talking about the '05 Sox in 2008 than the '85 Bears.

I know, I know...jumping the gun.

It's Dankerific
01-25-2008, 02:29 PM
Bafia would offer Willie both kidneys.


I agree it would be nice to make 2005 seem less once-in-a-lifetimey if we could get another one in the next few years. My dream as a Sox fan is that winning titles is something that we can reasonably expect to happen on a semi-regular basis. Once or twice a decade would be wonderful. Rather than once every lifetime

You mean rather than once every 3 lifetimes, right? ;)

You're right but there is a big difference between talking about the '05 Sox in 2008 than the '85 Bears.

The '85 Bears are, arguably, the best football team of all time. They are at least in every analysts Top 5 of all time. While I love the 05 Sox and the CG streak was amazing, they're not in that league.

ksimpson14
01-25-2008, 02:35 PM
With 1 more SP I would really get excited. The only thing is, in 05, there was no dominant or clear competition in the division. There was always the Twins, and you never knew with them. Everyone was on the Indians' jock, but they hadn't won a thing, it was just an on paper 'if everything goes right' type of thing.

This year, we have Cle, a World Series caliber team, and Detroit, who on paper, might be at that same level. We have a nice history against Det, if that counts for anything, but you know they'd still compete. This is not considering Minn, who will have some nice hitters, might keep Santana, and then have Liriano.

batmanZoSo
01-25-2008, 02:41 PM
Good grief.

If we make the playoffs in '08, we'll look back and say "HOLY **** everything imaginable went right!"

gogosox16
01-25-2008, 03:11 PM
I guess 2005 was the first year after the other Sox won and 2008 is once again the first year after ........
dont foreget that the redsox won it in 1916 then our sox won it in 1917 and then both teams went on huge droughts until 04' and 05'

Lip Man 1
01-25-2008, 04:02 PM
A big difference though between the two off seasons being discussed was (is) starting pitching.

Heading into the 2005 season the Sox at least had five guys who had thrown a lot of innings in their big league careers, Contreras, Buehrle, Garland, Garcia and Hernandez.

This season 2/5th of the rotation is manned by virtual unknowns, Danks and Gavin 'Deer In The Headlight' Floyd.

Ultimately when all is said and done, the 2008 White Sox season... good, bad or mediocre will be determined in large part by the performance of the starting pitching.

Lip

russ99
01-25-2008, 04:34 PM
Uribe/Cabrera is pretty much a lateral move

I just can't wait till you guys realize what a massive upgrade Kenny's given us at SS. I'm completely sold on Cabrera.

Uribe may have slighly more range and is more spectacular, but that's when he's spectacularly bad too. No more alligator arms or half-attempts. OC hustles every play, has more speed and is very solid on the double-play.

At the plate, he's acres more consistent, and is a very good spray hitter unlike pull-em-all-over-the-wall Juan.

Irishsox1
01-25-2008, 04:51 PM
The pitching this year has too many question marks. In 2005 they were back logged with starters which also included B McCarthy as a 6th starter. Unless Contreras turns into his second half 2005 self, I don't see the Sox making the playoffs this year. They should win more games than last year but it's gonna take 95 wins to get the central and I just don't see it with this line up. I'm guessing 80 to 85 wins.

batmanZoSo
01-25-2008, 04:51 PM
I just can't wait till you guys realize what a massive upgrade Kenny's given us at SS. I'm completely sold on Cabrera.

Uribe may have slighly more range and is more spectacular, but that's when he's spectacularly bad too. No more alligator arms or half-attempts. OC hustles every play, has more speed and is very solid on the double-play.

At the plate, he's acres more consistent, and is a very good spray hitter unlike pull-em-all-over-the-wall Juan.

Offensively it's potentially a huge upgrade, but Cabrera is also 33..

Defensively, Uribe has more range. Cabrera has a GG, but Uribe earned one in 05, but just didn't get it for some reason.

The key is that Cabrera hits like 07 again.

fquaye149
01-25-2008, 04:53 PM
I just can't wait till you guys realize what a massive upgrade Kenny's given us at SS. I'm completely sold on Cabrera.

Uribe may have slighly more range and is more spectacular, but that's when he's spectacularly bad too. No more alligator arms or half-attempts. OC hustles every play, has more speed and is very solid on the double-play.

At the plate, he's acres more consistent, and is a very good spray hitter unlike pull-em-all-over-the-wall Juan.

DEFENSIVELY SPEAKING is all I was talking about.

And honestly, it really is a lateral move DEFENSIVELY SPEAKING. Uribe was a great defensive SS, just as Cabrera is

Hendu
01-25-2008, 05:09 PM
Just start off winning 2 out of 3 every series and we'll be fine. Of course, it helps if we can take an early lead in almost every game like we did in '05.

All depends on how the bottom of our rotation produces, and what happens with the bullpen.

oeo
01-25-2008, 05:17 PM
Except we just got done trading away an effective starting pitcher. That's just about the opposite of the approach we had in 2005 (which was overstocking us on starting pitchers).

I liked the Garland deal a lot, but it's hard to say that just because we signed Linebrink and Dotel, that's "conentrating on improving pitching" especially after replacing Garland in teh rotation with Floyd.

That 2005 rotation had question marks after Buehrle and Garcia. Contreras, Garland, and El Duque to finish it off? Yeah...we were in serious trouble. The only thing I remember about that rotation being different going in was that we finally had a complete one...that didn't mean there were high expectations for it. We have the same rotation questions coming in this year, just with two of the guys with little experience.

Are you kidding? Our defense is worse than it was in 2007. We'll probably replace Crede with Fields (huge downgrade), replace Iguchi with Richar (downgrade). Uribe/Cabrera is pretty much a lateral move, as are the Swisher/Quentin for Pods/Erstad. Also Dye, Iguchi and Paulie are a year older.Richar > Iguchi defensively; has a better arm, and better range. Depending on who our left and center fielders are, we may have upgraded our outfield (Owens and Swisher in the outfield = upgrade), as well.

I agree that we shouldn't be paralleling the two seasons, but a lot of what you said is wrong.

kwkonsl
01-25-2008, 05:42 PM
Although I'm feeling very optimistic, the rotation still scares me a bit. In '05 we had JG as our 5th starter, and Jose wasn't all that bad. There are so many "ifs" in our rotation right now. However IF they work out then our team will be in good shape.

JG was not our 5th starter. El Duque was. He was coming of an injury plauged year where he only threw i think 43 inn. Contreras was not all that good yet. Garland was still coming in to his own. They only 2 guys who has won more than 15 games in the past 2 years leading up to 05 was freddy and Mark

This years staff is actually very similar. Gavin and Danks dont provide the experience that El Duque and Contreras did in the 4 and 5 spots in 05 but as far as abilitites they are very comparable. Gavin can have the best stuff on the staff second to Javier. He just needs to pitch with confidence. Danks is 22 years old and I think will be good as a sophmore. The big question mark is if Contreras can come back to being decent like he was is 04. Average to above average where he is piching 6+ inn a night and handing the ball to our revamped bullpen. All I'm sayin is if they guys we have pitch like they can we are a lot better than people think.

BringBackBlkJack
01-25-2008, 06:00 PM
Good God some of you people jump to insane conclusions. NOWHERE in my post did I even make the slightest inkling that I thought the Sox were poised to win the Series this season. What I did say was that my feelings coming into this season were optimistic -- not delusionally so. I said I think the Sox can turn heads, not cause whiplash.

My point was that the direction the team is heading seems to acknowledge the successes of 05. However, they are not anywhere close to being a mirror image and I was sure to point out the differences even in the similarities between the seasons. My point was that early 08 is different than 07 and 06 because all expectations are off, and that simply was not the case coming into the last couple of seasons. Instead of having nowhere to go but down, we've got nothing to lose. We'll probably see a lot more new faces and fresh talent this year and I'm excited about that as well.

santo=dorf
01-25-2008, 06:08 PM
Can we PLEASE stop with the turning of 2005 into 1985 before guys like Timo Perez and Carl Everett make a career in Chicago advertising for strip clubs and car dealerships?
LOL!

DaHhhhhh Saahhhhhxxxx!!!

TommyJohn
01-25-2008, 06:52 PM
Can we PLEASE stop with the turning of 2005 into 1985 before guys like Timo Perez and Carl Everett make a career in Chicago advertising for strip clubs and car dealerships?

I'd give Willie Harris a kidney if he asked for it.


And I'd take a bullet fer Dikka. And Ozzie.

soxinem1
01-25-2008, 09:47 PM
but seriously



The low expectations in 2005 were largely imposed from the outside. The division was weak, and most of the low expectations came from

a.) Sox fans who pissed their pants at the thought of the mighty twins (i.e. Homefish's constant "they are inhuman! they are unreal!)

b.) outsider columnists (like Phil Rogers, hee hee) who said that the Twins were a better team simply by virtue of them being the Twins.

But to a certain extent, you're right--this is something the two years have in common.

Except we just got done trading away an effective starting pitcher. That's just about the opposite of the approach we had in 2005 (which was overstocking us on starting pitchers).

I liked the Garland deal a lot, but it's hard to say that just because we signed Linebrink and Dotel, that's "conentrating on improving pitching" especially after replacing Garland in teh rotation with Floyd.

Are you kidding? Our defense is worse than it was in 2007. We'll probably replace Crede with Fields (huge downgrade), replace Iguchi with Richar (downgrade). Uribe/Cabrera is pretty much a lateral move, as are the Swisher/Quentin for Pods/Erstad. Also Dye, Iguchi and Paulie are a year older.

Say what you will about whether our defense is much worse, slightly worse, or slightly slightly improved, we certainly didn't "focus" on improving defense over the offseason.

As for smallball? Yes Swisher gets on base and I love him as a player, but we still don't have a leadoff hitter. Period. There is no one on this team right now who can do what Pods did for us in 2005.

We may or not be successful in 2008, but 2005 has very little to do with our success in 2008 since Kenny is following a different model in trying to assemble a competitive team

I agree with most of your assessment, however:

1. No way did we stockple SP in 2005. We picked up a injury-plagued starter in El Duque, and to 'solve' the 5th starter problem bumped garland to that role. We were lucky to get the nine wins out of El Duque that we got. He and Garland were BIG time question marks going into that season.

2. We picked up a guy who hit .240-something with over 100K's and a very mediocre OBP in 2004 to be the lead-off man. Who figured Pods would ignite the team the way he did?

3. Way more question marks in the initial 2005 relief corps than 2008. Who thought Politte would be throwing 95 MPH the first four months of the season, Hermanson would pitch like Cy Young, and Cotts would be tough as nails? In fact, many thought Hermanson might be a starter on the 2005 team.

4. Frank Thomas and Carl Everett were huge question marks, as nobody knew what the deal with Frank was, and Carl was a bust upon his return, which was more amplified by his being totally out of shape.

Meanwhile, Shingo as closer, 2B, SS, 3B, RF, and C were all big-time questionable areas in 2005. Not so much so for 2008.

2005 was a time when everything fell into place, like it does for almost all championship teams. But other than Garland, who had a career year?

We won with pitching, defense, timely hitting, a little speed, a fundamentally strong team, and a lot of luck.

If we get that again in 2008, we just might do it again.

Chilli Palmer
01-25-2008, 10:37 PM
but seriously



The low expectations in 2005 were largely imposed from the outside. The division was weak, and most of the low expectations came from

a.) Sox fans who pissed their pants at the thought of the mighty twins (i.e. Homefish's constant "they are inhuman! they are unreal!)

b.) outsider columnists (like Phil Rogers, hee hee) who said that the Twins were a better team simply by virtue of them being the Twins.

But to a certain extent, you're right--this is something the two years have in common.

Except we just got done trading away an effective starting pitcher. That's just about the opposite of the approach we had in 2005 (which was overstocking us on starting pitchers).

I liked the Garland deal a lot, but it's hard to say that just because we signed Linebrink and Dotel, that's "conentrating on improving pitching" especially after replacing Garland in teh rotation with Floyd.

Are you kidding? Our defense is worse than it was in 2007. We'll probably replace Crede with Fields (huge downgrade), replace Iguchi with Richar (downgrade). Uribe/Cabrera is pretty much a lateral move, as are the Swisher/Quentin for Pods/Erstad. Also Dye, Iguchi and Paulie are a year older.

Say what you will about whether our defense is much worse, slightly worse, or slightly slightly improved, we certainly didn't "focus" on improving defense over the offseason.

As for smallball? Yes Swisher gets on base and I love him as a player, but we still don't have a leadoff hitter. Period. There is no one on this team right now who can do what Pods did for us in 2005.




We may or not be successful in 2008, but 2005 has very little to do with our success in 2008 since Kenny is following a different model in trying to assemble a competitive team


I totally disagree with you regarding our defense. Richar has a ton more range than guchi could dream of, not to mention a better arm. Cabrera is as slick as they come, now I am not knocking Uribes's D but he is not Cabrera. Pods sucked in the OF period. Jerry Owens can do more than Pods did if not more.

fquaye149
01-26-2008, 10:08 AM
I agree with most of your assessment, however:

1. No way did we stockple SP in 2005. We picked up a injury-plagued starter in El Duque, and to 'solve' the 5th starter problem bumped garland to that role. We were lucky to get the nine wins out of El Duque that we got. He and Garland were BIG time question marks going into that season.

We also had McCarthy ready to assume 5th starter duties before we got El Duque. THat's not to say McCarthy was a proven workhorse (As some knuckleheaded columnists might claim) but it is to say despite having a rather capable option at 5th starter in 2005, Kenny went and stockpiled additional contingencies at SP. A similar parallel would be if he went out and signed Colon this year (that is, if Colon looked like he wasn't done for good)


2. We picked up a guy who hit .240-something with over 100K's and a very mediocre OBP in 2004 to be the lead-off man. Who figured Pods would ignite the team the way he did?

Yes, his 2004 was bad OBP wise but he was only one year removed from a breakout season. He had, even in his lousy year 60 (i think...) SB's...which is much better than anyone we have know. Also, his lousy 2004 could be attributed to his trying to hit for power (at least that's what the scouting reports said).

I had a certain amount of confidence in Pods to at least be serviceable at leadoff, for a number of reasons, whereas no one on this team (but maybe Swisher) inspires a similar confidence.


3. Way more question marks in the initial 2005 relief corps than 2008. Who thought Politte would be throwing 95 MPH the first four months of the season, Hermanson would pitch like Cy Young, and Cotts would be tough as nails? In fact, many thought Hermanson might be a starter on the 2005 team.
:?:
Right now we have Jenks as the only sure thing in our bullpen. Dotel has weight issues. Linebrink is coming off a pretty mediocre-to-lousy year, and we have a bunch of other relievers in our pen coming off embarrassing 2005's.

Hermanson was a contingency plan in 2005. We had Shingo, and even after he tanked, we could expect decent performances from Cotts and Politte and Marte. That's not to say we should have expected the years we got with them, but between Shingo, Cotts, Politte, Marte, Vizcaino, and Hermanson, we had a lot more reason to be optimistic going into 2005 than with Jenks (the only better bet on the whole roster than the 2005 bullpen), Linebrink, Dotel, MacDougall, Masset, Thornton, et al


4. Frank Thomas and Carl Everett were huge question marks, as nobody knew what the deal with Frank was, and Carl was a bust upon his return, which was more amplified by his being totally out of shape.

Absolutely. I'm not saying the 2005 team had no question marks, but the question marks were very different in 2005 than they are now. That was my point.

mealfred13
01-26-2008, 04:19 PM
I totally disagree with you regarding our defense. Richar has a ton more range than guchi could dream of, not to mention a better arm. Cabrera is as slick as they come, now I am not knocking Uribes's D but he is not Cabrera. Pods sucked in the OF period. Jerry Owens can do more than Pods did if not more.

Completely agree with you here. I read the OP's post about Richar's defense and I was going to say the same thing.

I'm actually interested in seeing what Richar can do in a full season of play, since he was highly recommended by Sox players who were in a AAA rehab stint. Hopefully his hitting will be more consistent. He seems to have a little pop, not unlike Uribe, and if he can make good contact regularly he could be a pretty nice threat at the top or back of the lineup.

goon
01-26-2008, 05:44 PM
I totally disagree with you regarding our defense. Richar has a ton more range than guchi could dream of, not to mention a better arm. Cabrera is as slick as they come, now I am not knocking Uribes's D but he is not Cabrera. Pods sucked in the OF period. Jerry Owens can do more than Pods did if not more.

Totally, not to mention he actually holds runners on second base, something Iguchi never did. I remember when Richar's first few games, the double play combo of Uribe/Iguchi seemed like it was operating in slow motion after watching Richar playing with Juan. I know he's got potential at the plate, but IMO Richar is an upgrade at second base, defensively.