Thanks for the numbers, Lip. (I know they took a lot of time to put together.)
I'd like to see the team put more of an emphasis on putting the hammer down and doing what it takes to win close games early in the season. Those games count as much as those in September. Too many times this season, and you documented some of them, we threw away games by taking out starters who were pitching great. We need to bank those games as wins and worry about our closer's confidence later.
Our mental approach from the players to the coaches needs to improve. It was ridiculous how we continued to pitch to Billy Butler as he burned us in game after game after game. It's no wonder why we struggled so much with Kansas City. I don't know if it was due to some misguided macho attitude, but I remain dumbfounded why we kept pitching to the one big-time hitter in the Royals lineup. It would have been so easy, and smart, to pitch around him, but we chose not to for reasons unknown and we paid a heavy price for it.
Our starting lineup needs more speed and energy. I think that would help avoid our annual second-half fade. The two positions that are open to be improved are second and third base.
The Sox need to clean house in the marketing department. The steady attendance decline speaks for itself. Having said that, I have no confidence that the Sox will clean house in the marketing department. Such thinking, if it plays out like that, would be an example of why the same problems seem to repeat themselves in the organization.