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  #76  
Old 06-21-2018, 12:53 PM
soxnut67 soxnut67 is offline
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Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post
Let me first say that I respect Richard Lindberg.


I'm also an historian (admittedly not a White Sox historian - my specialty is the history of U.S. relations with Latin America during the Cold War), but I'll put my expertise as a professional historian up against anyone else on WSI who isn't a professional historian, and my Sox fandom has roughly coincided with the Jerry Reinsdorf years. I don't have Lip's access to team officials and I don't have Lindberg's mastery of pre-Reinsdorf Sox history, but I also know that, given equal time, I can objectively analyze and evaluate a body of available historical evidence as good as those two or anyone else.



Lindberg's paragraph above (and I don't know what other paragraphs of his might have provided additional context) appears less as an objective history, and more of as the completely understandable frustrated lamentations of a die hard fan, over which he selectively applies negative examples to justify his frustrations.


During the Reinsdorf era, he can point to the failure of Gordon Beckham and I can point to the success of Robin Ventura and Ray Durham and Joe Crede. He can point to Jerry Owens; I can point to Lance Johnson and Aaron Rowand and Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Lee. He can point to Edwin Correa and Joel Davis; I can point to Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland and Matt Thornton. He can point to Scott Ruffcorn; I can point to Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.


Now, let's get on to some bigger questions.



Has the Reinsdorf ownership group valued loyalty over on-field success?



Yes.


But they also have had some success.



Has the Reinsdorf ownership group tied the hands of the baseball operations group, between self-imposed payroll limits, not spending on amateur talent in the draft or internationally, and the Doug Wilder scandal?


Yes.


But they have increased payroll when they have been within striking distance of the postseason, they have spent appropriately since the new slotting/bonus system has been imposed on the draft, they outbid everyone else and paid the penalty for Luis Robert, and they hired Marco Paddy (who previously had great success in the same role in the Blue Jays system) to rebuild their Latin America operation.



Have the Sox made a lot of bad player evaluation decisions in their trades and free agent signings?


Yes.



But so has every other team. And the Sox have made some brilliant heists as well.



(And, outside of baseball operations, has the Reinsdorf group made abysmal decisions regarding the design of the ballpark, the fan experience, television deals, and marketing? Yes.)





Under Reinsdorf, the Sox record is mixed. In fact, given their position in the largest market in the AL Central, I believe they have underachieved.



But the Reinsdorf ownership group is not the unmitigated disaster that some would have us believe. It is not as bad as Rich Lindberg's paragraph quoted above would have us believe.



In my analysis of the evidence, whenever the Sox have committed themselves to a rebuild under Reinsdorf, they have won a division. They rebuilt/reloaded when he arrived, chiefly through adding to a developing core through free agency and some astute trades, resulting in the 1983 division title. They rebuilt in the late 80s under Larry Himes, chiefly through the draft and some astute trades, resulting in competitiveness starting in 1990 and the 1993 division title (and what should have been another division title in 1994). They rebuilt in the late 90s under Schueler (and KW as minor league director), resulting in nearly a decade of competitive baseball, three division titles, and one world series title.


Have they put together consecutive playoff appearances? No. And that's a stain on their record.



But I also see - and I didn't notice this until I finished writing the previous paragraphs of this post - that each of their committed rebuilds* resulted in at least one division title, and each committed rebuild actually was more successful in terms of the longevity of the competitive window, than the previous committed rebuild.



*Note that I am not calling the 2014-2016 period a "committed rebuild." It technically was a rebuild effort, but it wasn't built on a home-grown core. They started adding free agents and traded for veterans before the foundation was properly laid, in large measure because they misdiagnosed 2014's fluky overachieving as the opening of a competitive window. And that is a stain on this organization's record, to be sure. But it's not a "committed rebuild."





Based on the organization's track record, where each committed rebuild was more successful than the previous one, and based on the sheer number of highly-regarded prospects that the Sox have acquired through all available means (trades, draft, and international), and based on the commitment level that the Sox have shown so far to this rebuild effort (in contrast to the haste with which they tried to execute the 2014-2016 effort), and based on the positive development of many prospects (even as other prospects and young players have understandably if frustratingly struggled and/or suffered injuries), at present I remain optimistic that this committed rebuild effort will be more successful than the previous one. I also reserve the right to reassess and reevaluate my position based on what happens in the future.
Yes, exactly!!!!!:bandanc e:
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  #77  
Old 06-21-2018, 12:54 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Originally Posted by whitesoxfan1986 View Post
People need to quit saying that the Sox are a large market team. They're not. They could have been, and they only have themselves to blame. Everyone who lives in Chicagoland knows that 70-80% of baseball fans in town are Cub fans. Take the Chicago metro area and divide it by 4 and you have the true Sox market size. It is comparable with the smallest markets in baseball. Their market share is getting smaller and smaller with each division banner going up in Wrigley and each 95 loss team at 35th and Shields. They need to get going on turning this around or the only fans left will be us diehards.
"Welcome to the South Side of Chicago, the biggest small market in the American League." - Sports Illustrated April 19, 1999 by Gerry Callahan.
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  #78  
Old 06-21-2018, 12:58 PM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Frater: I enjoyed reading your analysis and I hope like you the rebuild eventually works. My only other comment would be that compared to the rest of baseball (as some others like to keep hammering away at: context) the Sox despite their market advantages have underachieved badly in my opinion for a very long time.
Thanks, Lip. I too appreciate your insights and analysis.

Iíll just add that MLB is filled with examples of teams that have underachieved and made many confounding decisions.

Look at the Mets, who havenít won the WS since 86. Or the Nationals. Or the Rangers. Or the Mariners. Or the Orioles. These are teams from big markets who should have been able to leverage their market advantage into World Series victories. They have amassed talent and made the playoffs on multiple occasions, but just couldnít make it happen. We just arenít as intimately aware of their organizational shortcomings as we are with those of the Sox.
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  #79  
Old 06-21-2018, 01:06 PM
Noneck Noneck is offline
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
I've known Rich for a long time and have interviewed him for the web site
(http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/r...gory=11&id=512)

Rich has always struck me as being very knowledgeable about the history of the franchise as well being willing to give them the benefit of the doubt from ownership on down. I've had discussions about this tendency with him and I know his feelings are genuine.

For him to write what he did and talk about how he feels is VERY sobering and revealing and fans need to stop and think twice about it.

I'm reminded of another situation in the late 60's after Walter Cronkite came out with his comments about Viet Nam to which President Johnson reportedly said, "if I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America."

In this case if the Sox have truly "lost" Rich, something has gone horribly wrong. And I don't just mean with the "rebuild" but many of the issues that have been brought up in this thread apparently coming to a tipping point.

I was very shocked to say the least reading them from him and again, you better think twice about its implications given how much of a devoted fan he is.

This has really made me think. This isnt coming from a disgruntled Sox fan like me. His books have never had a ax to grind or an agenda. Scary stuff.
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  #80  
Old 06-21-2018, 01:07 PM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitesoxfan1986
People need to quit saying that the Sox are a large market team. They're not.
Maybe they are, maybe they arenít, but they sure donít act like one when push comes to shove.

This is another reason why Iím happy with the teamís present course. Iím finished with hoping against hope that this team ever will join the ranks of the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, Giants, etc. when it comes to pursuing the very top free agents with the required financial aggressiveness.

When Austin Jackson represented this teamís premier free agent acquisition headed into 2016, that told me all I needed to know. This team was not prepared to go the route of ďthrowing good money after bad,Ē which is exactly what it takes to play at the high-stakes table year after year. Therefore, itís best to focus on developing a kick-ass farm system and hope to collect enough surplus performers on $500K annual salaries as possible.
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  #81  
Old 06-21-2018, 01:16 PM
whitesoxfan1986 whitesoxfan1986 is offline
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Also, I agree on being patient for the most part, but what is concerning about this process is that Rich is right and the list of guys who came up, lit the majors on fire and never looked back is FAR longer than those who struggled for a season or two and became stars. Those who have an extended struggle out of the gate are much more likely to never be major leaguers of consequence than to get it together well enough to be even an average major leaguer. You know who the great ones are right away. Players who have a career trajectory similar to Beckham are less common than someone like Byron Buxton. Those who struggle like Buxton, are probably complete busts. Players that have the rookie season that Beckham did usually don't bust like that. He was the exception, not the rule.

People want to keep hope for as long as possible, but it is more likely that after even as few as 4-500 ABs he is what he is. You can't be completely sure, but it is most likely that is the case. With pitchers, I'd say 2-300 innings. I don't write off a player completely until 12-1500 PA or 4-500 IP, but after an extended struggle, I consider them busts until proven otherwise. There is probably a 60-70% chance that there is not a single player on the 25 man roster that is going to be a part of the next Sox division winner. Unfortunately, all of those rebuild pieces that are already in the majors need to go from the "players that matter" list to the "players that could matter, but probably won't" list. To make a long story short, Moncada/Giolito/Lopez are closer to Matt Davidson/Zack Wheeler(unfulfilled potential) than they are to Lindor/Clevinger on Cleveland.

Last edited by whitesoxfan1986; 06-21-2018 at 01:32 PM.
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  #82  
Old 06-21-2018, 01:33 PM
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JB98 JB98 is offline
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Thumbs-up to Lopez for saying the truth after the game yesterday.
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  #83  
Old 06-21-2018, 01:36 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post
Thanks, Lip. I too appreciate your insights and analysis.

Iíll just add that MLB is filled with examples of teams that have underachieved and made many confounding decisions.

Look at the Mets, who havenít won the WS since 86. Or the Nationals. Or the Rangers. Or the Mariners. Or the Orioles. These are teams from big markets who should have been able to leverage their market advantage into World Series victories. They have amassed talent and made the playoffs on multiple occasions, but just couldnít make it happen. We just arenít as intimately aware of their organizational shortcomings as we are with those of the Sox.
Frater: I'd be satisfied if the Sox could make the playoffs in consecutive years, something they've never done. Something that, even with the real issues of the teams you've mentioned, HAVE been able to do.

In that respect that shows you how deep the hole is for the Sox franchise. Especially with "expanded" playoffs.

That's also pretty sobering to me.
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  #84  
Old 06-21-2018, 02:44 PM
kobo kobo is online now
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
I understand where you are coming from but given what's happened since 2007 just for one example, can you blame the fans for thinking the worst? The won/lost record itself has been "pretty depressing" for the last 11 years. Now throw in the Cubs success and you've got a pretty depressing situation all the way around.
It's all how you as a person view the situation. I don't have it in me to think and act like the sky is falling and everything sucks and nothing will ever change or get better. That's not the way I am, not the way my friends behave and in all honesty I try to not even interact with people who act and think that way. And as far as the Cubs go, all of my irrational hatred and loathing of that team dissipated after 10/26/2005. I still hate that team, but I don't give 2 ****s any longer about their success or the childish attendance wars their fanbase likes to play.
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  #85  
Old 06-21-2018, 03:09 PM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Frater: I'd be satisfied if the Sox could make the playoffs in consecutive years, something they've never done. Something that, even with the real issues of the teams you've mentioned, HAVE been able to do.

In that respect that shows you how deep the hole is for the Sox franchise. Especially with "expanded" playoffs.

That's also pretty sobering to me.
I wouldnít trade our last 40 years with the Rangers or Nats, who made the playoffs consecutive years but havenít won it all.

Not making the playoffs in consecutive years tells me more about the Sox not being able to sustain a home-grown core.

With the benefit of hindsight, knowing what we know now about how the Sox spent less on the draft than any other organization, plus the Dave Wilder scandal, plus the self-imposed payroll limits, Kenny Williams did a masterful job turning the home grown core of the 2000 team into a perennial contender. He turned spare parts, prospect hype, and reclamation project successes into David Wells, Bartolo Colon, Jose Contreras, Freddy Garcia, Javy Vazquez, and John Danks. He made some outstanding acquisitions, particularly just before the 2005 season. He sustained what he helped build in the 90s, for nearly a decade, before it all withered and then crashed. In the end, he became a victim of his success, a victim of hubris.

I do think the Sox will manage to build a pretty decent core, but I think 2021 will be the first contending season and I donít expect the core to peak until 2022 or 2023. It remains to be seen if Hahn can decide which of the players to keep, and which he can sell high from areas of strength to augment areas of weakness.
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  #86  
Old 06-21-2018, 03:14 PM
KingXerxes KingXerxes is offline
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Agreed.
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  #87  
Old 06-21-2018, 03:42 PM
shingo10 shingo10 is offline
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Thumbs-up to Lopez for saying the truth after the game yesterday.

Agreed and I think it's something positive all of us can hold on to. Takes leadership to own up to your shortcomings and be forthright in your assessment of the team even in a rebuilding situation. Lopez overall has been the one bright spot so far.
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  #88  
Old 06-21-2018, 03:47 PM
KyWhiSoxFan KyWhiSoxFan is offline
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Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post
I do think the Sox will manage to build a pretty decent core, but I think 2021 will be the first contending season and I donít expect the core to peak until 2022 or 2023. It remains to be seen if Hahn can decide which of the players to keep, and which he can sell high from areas of strength to augment areas of weakness.
I agree with this. I'm not sure why everyone keeps saying the 2020 mantra, because that won't happen short of a miracle. As one can see from the promotions announced today for the minor league teams, the talent that will eventually get them over the hump is at least 2 years away from being a wave of promotions to the majors, and then when they get there it will take a year or two for them to adjust.

Even if Eloy and Kopech are playing in the majors in 2019, two guys alopne won't make a big difference, not with the core that is currently on the south side. It will take 8 to 10 good, new players to get them to be competitive for a playoff spot.

I can see why if some people are thinking the Sox will be competitive in 2020, how they can be really discouraged looking at this bunch play and seeing no light at the end of the tunnel.

This is going to be a long, slow process.
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  #89  
Old 06-22-2018, 11:43 AM
Harry Chappas Harry Chappas is offline
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Originally Posted by LoveYourSuit View Post
The kids that matter have contributed to a lot of the losing. Not just the 4A bags you noted.
It's fair to point out that 2 of the 6 players you mentioned (33%) came from the Adam Eaton trade. Eaton was a nice little player but I'd make that trade again today as would any GM.

We can't wring our hands over Giolito struggling when you consider that we didn't waste a high pick on him nor did we trade away a star to get him.
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  #90  
Old 06-22-2018, 08:51 PM
ChiTownTrojan ChiTownTrojan is offline
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Originally Posted by KyWhiSoxFan View Post
I agree with this. I'm not sure why everyone keeps saying the 2020 mantra, because that won't happen short of a miracle. As one can see from the promotions announced today for the minor league teams, the talent that will eventually get them over the hump is at least 2 years away from being a wave of promotions to the majors, and then when they get there it will take a year or two for them to adjust.

Even if Eloy and Kopech are playing in the majors in 2019, two guys alopne won't make a big difference, not with the core that is currently on the south side. It will take 8 to 10 good, new players to get them to be competitive for a playoff spot.

I can see why if some people are thinking the Sox will be competitive in 2020, how they can be really discouraged looking at this bunch play and seeing no light at the end of the tunnel.

This is going to be a long, slow process.
A lot of the top pitching talent is already at AA or above. It's fair to assume that some of those guys will be in the rotation in 2020, and it's not unheard of for starting pitchers to perform well out of the gate. The top OF talent (other than Eloy) is probably a year or so behind, but that's a place where it's not terribly difficult to find some short term veteran FAs to fill in the gap for a couple years.

I expect 2018 to be the last year where the Sox are in discussion for the top overall pick.
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