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Old 04-11-2013, 06:56 PM
dickallen15 dickallen15 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKMeibalane View Post
This is an interesting point, Lip. I'd also add that the Sox, perhaps because of the approach you mentioned, have a tendency to promote players before they're ready for the Major Leagues, often because they need to fill a hole in the lineup or in the starting rotation. How many times over the past decade (at least) have we complained about the lack of pitching at the back end of the rotation, or the lack of production from certain spots in the lineup?

It has been a problem nearly every season that I have followed this team, save for the 2000 and 2005 seasons. The '02 and '03 teams had problems with consistency from their fourth and fifth starters, and the '04 team was devastated by injuries to its two best offensive players (Thomas and Ordonez), forcing Paul Konerko and Carlos Lee to be the primary run-producers for the team. Konerko grew into that role, and eventually succeeded Thomas as the team's best hitter, but Lee was too undisciplined for the role, and as he was traded to Milwaukee after the season, it's unclear if he would have progressed as Paul did in later seasons. In any case, the absence of the team's number three and four hitters was more than enough to knock the Sox out of first place, as it would likely be for any team (as the 2012 Phillies about that).

Ironically, the events of 2004 were the impetus for Williams trading Lee and allowing Ordonez to leave via free-agency, moves that ultimately paved the way for the team that won the World Series. It's impossible to know how the Sox would have fared had either or both remained with the team in 2005, but I find it hard to believe that either would have contributed to the extent that Jermaine Dye or Scott Podsednik did. None of the players I mentioned were young, but Williams' willingness to find players who approached the game differently had a tremendous impact on how the Sox played. Why he was never able to recapture that dynamic with future groups is something I don't understand, as it was clear that reliance on team baseball produced far better results than the "home run or die" approach of Jerry Manuel's teams.
Pods stole a lot of bases, but the 2005 White sox actually scored a higher percentage of their runs via a homer than the 2004 squad.
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