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  #61  
Old 05-18-2017, 04:02 PM
WhiffleBall WhiffleBall is offline
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Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Mark Buehrle twice did the Top 10 on Letterman as well. Once after his no-hitter and once after his perfect game.

In 1994 shortly after the labor impasse starting cancelling games, Frank Thomas was on Letterman. He interviewed him for about five minutes then they had a contest where Frank hit different sized pieces of fruit off a hitting tee. If memory serves it was an orange, a cantaloupe and a small watermelon.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdfya8dBYjU
  #62  
Old 05-19-2017, 08:36 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Adam Dunn's first year was indefensibly bad in every possible way, but his contributions in subsequent years would have been perfectly fine as a #6 hitter with three better hitters than him hitting #3-4-5. The problem was that management didn't see it that way. They never went out and got the three better hitters. Therefore, they stubbornly continued to march him out there in the cleanup spot, evidence be damned.
This ignores the reality that other hitters in the lineup hitting ahead of Dunn would have been better No. 6 hitters than Dunn. Dunn actually would have had a better on-base percentage hitting deeper in the lineup because there would have been hitters who posed less of a three behind him and he would have taken even more walks.

When you look at on-base percentage in isolation, as with Denis Menke in his last year with the Big Red Machine, most of his plate appearances, and the best of his on-base percentage, came when he was batting seventh and eighth in the order with the pitcher or weaker hitter hitting behind him.

Simply because someone has a high on-base percentage doesn't mean you can expect him to maintain a high on-base percentage leading off in the order with your best hitters on-deck and in in the hole.

And again, off topc, it's kind of ridiculous to think the problem wasn't with Dunn or even White Sox management for someone so obviously destined for failure in the White Sox lineup, but with management for not finding better hitters to hit in front of him.
  #63  
Old 05-20-2017, 01:46 AM
StillMissOzzie StillMissOzzie is offline
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I am more enjoying the Arrieta fall from grace. I guess he needs to put some of Sammy's Flintstones vitamins in his Kale juice.
With Arrieta, you get some 2 for 1 schadenfreude, since Bora$ is his agent and he is seeing his own payday shrinking along with Arrieta's


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Originally Posted by MrX View Post
The narrative that the long run last year threw off the rotation's offseason schedules and they were behind everyone else in terms of being prepared for the season is my favorite story right now.
I thought that the Cubs did do some selective 6th man in the rotation last year. I'm not so convinced that it is the extra month of post-season work, as maybe an extra 3 months on the banquet circuit, that's hurting them. Besides, how do you ever make up the "rest" once the season is in full swing?

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  #64  
Old 05-20-2017, 01:55 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Originally Posted by StillMissOzzie View Post
...
I thought that the Cubs did do some selective 6th man in the rotation last year. I'm not so convinced that it is the extra month of post-season work, as maybe an extra 3 months on the banquet circuit, that's hurting them. Besides, how do you ever make up the "rest" once the season is in full swing?

SMO
Not to mention that the drop off in the quality of the starting pitching is a surprise tit the Cub-adoring world, including the baseball experts who expected them to be even better this year. It's as if the Cubs were the first team ever to win the World Series because we had no idea this would happen.

When the Whit White Sox won in 2005 and didn't get back to the postseason, some of the people who have been all over the Cubs labeled 2005 a fluke despite the White Sox having spent the entire season in first place in what was regarded the toughest division in baseball and going 11-1in the postseason. The previous World Series champ in 2004 only made it in as a wild card and lost three straight to the White Sox in the division series.

With a few exceptions, which don't apply to the Cubs, MLB championships are built on starting pitching. Even then, the Royals built there two years of greatness after a two-decade rebuild on an elitw bullpen, which has broken down as they sputter into another rebuild, but they needed to the starting pitching to be good enough to get the game to the bullpen. And if you throw in the offseason party affecting your following-year performance after winning the World Series, the Royals didn't have to deal with that during their successful World Series run.

The analysis that the Cubs are suffering from an unpredicted fall off in the quality starting pitching attributed to work the previous year ignores other problems.

Last year, the Cubs were 85-40 with Dexter Fowler in the lineup. I'm sure he didn't start all those games, but mostly he was leading off. They were 18-18 in games where Fowler was not in the lineup. This year with Fowler playing for the Cardinals, the cubs are 21-20.

Fowler isn't having a great season for the Cardinals. It's possible that he wouldn't be providing the same spark for the Cubs this year that he did last year, but the Cubs were a .500 team (about that anyway without Fowler leading off last year and this year. The Giants announcers pointed out the importance of Fowler to the Cubs during broadcasts last season, and I'm surprised no one made that point during the offseason when the Cubs let him go.

Of course, this year, Schwarber isn't a good leadoff manm as has been discussed in this thread. You would think their manager would have given up on leading off Schwarber by now. But he's a genius and shouldn't be questioned.

Although, I have to think that if a Whtie Sox manager, down one run in the third inning with men on first and second and none out had ordered two consecutive sacrifice bunts, the second, which resulted in a foul bunt on strike three coming after the first was popped up to the catcher, it would be referenced in WSI posts as a reason for his firing as long as he managed the Whtie Sox.
  #65  
Old 05-20-2017, 10:46 PM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Originally Posted by TDog
And again, off topc, it's kind of ridiculous to think the problem wasn't with Dunn or even White Sox management for someone so obviously destined for failure in the White Sox lineup, but with management for not finding better hitters to hit in front of him.
He wouldn't have been a "failure" as the fourth-best or fifth-best hitter in the lineup. He was a "failure" because he was asked to be the second-best hitter in the lineup.
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  #66  
Old 05-21-2017, 12:24 AM
TDog TDog is offline
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Originally Posted by Mohoney View Post
He wouldn't have been a "failure" as the fourth-best or fifth-best hitter in the lineup. He was a "failure" because he was asked to be the second-best hitter in the lineup.
No, he simply was a failure. But I would concede that if the Sox had better hitters in front of him, no one would have cared or noticed he was a failure. Except for the people who would have made an issue of his salary and that he was getting paid to be the best or second-best hitter in the lineup.

If the White Sox would have wanted a solid No. 6 hitter, they could have done better for half the money and found someone who could have actually played defense.
  #67  
Old 05-21-2017, 02:44 AM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Originally Posted by TDog
If the White Sox would have wanted a solid No. 6 hitter, they could have done better for half the money and found someone who could have actually played defense.
Whether or not he should have been signed in the first place is irrelevant. I'm talking about what they needed to do for the 2012-2014 seasons that they were stuck with him anyway. They needed to adjust the lineup, but they never did. At some point, management needs to take the blame for repeatedly asking a player to do something he cannot do. After that nightmare 2011 campaign, this team needed to go all-out for another middle-of-the-order hitter, move Rios up to #2, and move Dunn down in the order. They didn't do it, and they failed as a result.
  #68  
Old 05-21-2017, 03:04 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Originally Posted by Mohoney View Post
Whether or not he should have been signed in the first place is irrelevant. I'm talking about what they needed to do for the 2012-2014 seasons that they were stuck with him anyway. They needed to adjust the lineup, but they never did. At some point, management needs to take the blame for repeatedly asking a player to do something he cannot do. After that nightmare 2011 campaign, this team needed to go all-out for another middle-of-the-order hitter, move Rios up to #2, and move Dunn down in the order. They didn't do it, and they failed as a result.
You connected this to salary by complaining that management being too stubborn to build the lineup around the No. 6 hitter while, using statistical analysis in hindsight to ignore the reality of what fans could see happening.

By 2012, Dunn had become a hitter opposing pitchers would pitch around better hitters to get to. Maybe that's true of other No 6 hitters, but it is hardly something contrary to the strong No. 6 hitter anchoring the stronger 3-4-5 hitters.

Suggesting that Dunn, according to his metrics, would have made a strong No. 6 hitter, and I believe he would have walked more as a No. 6 hitter because pitchers wouldn't have given him anything to hit with his power with two outs and no one on base in situations when a run meant something and a weaker No. 7 hitter was on deck, ignores that any of the other heart of the lineup hitters the Sox had at the time would have made better No. 6 hitters than Dunn if management hadn't been too stubborn to keep him while they were getting better hitters to hit in the heart the order.

The team likely would have been less offensive challenged with better 3-4-5 hitters, but they would have had a stronger lineup still if they moved a different displaced heart-of-the order hitter to No. 6.
  #69  
Old 05-21-2017, 03:55 PM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Originally Posted by TDog
The team likely would have been less offensive challenged with better 3-4-5 hitters, but they would have had a stronger lineup still if they moved a different displaced heart-of-the order hitter to No. 6.
The entire point is to have a 3-4-5 of hitters who are not miscast in those roles, as Dunn was.

If Dunn walked more as a #6 hitter, then his OBP would have been well north of .350, which is rarified air for a #6 hitter, as is 40-homer potential. Let's say he gains 15 walks and loses 5 home runs because he's pitched around as the trade-off. That is still heads and shoulders above what a typical #6 hitter is providing.

Let's use Dunn's 2012 (the last year we were really in contention) as an example vs. the league-wide split of #6 hitters.

Dunn: .204/.333/.468 with a home run every 15.83 plate appearances

Dunn +15 walks and -5 home runs: .204/.356/.430 with a home run every 18.03 plate appearances

League-wide: .257/.322/.420 with a home run every 32.65 plate appearances

As an added bonus, you have a corresponding uptick in production from a #4 hitter who actually belongs there.
  #70  
Old 05-29-2017, 09:41 PM
TomC727 TomC727 is offline
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Another loss today. It breaks my heart.
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  #71  
Old 05-29-2017, 11:28 PM
DrCrawdad DrCrawdad is offline
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Another loss today. It breaks my heart.
One thing I'll find pleasure in if they fail to repeat or even make the post-season is thinking back on the times I've heard how the 2005 Sox were a fluke.

Thru 50 games as defending World Champions:
2006 Sox 33-17
2017 cubbies 25-25

112 games to go, oh please continue on this pace or worse cubbies.
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  #72  
Old 05-29-2017, 11:29 PM
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FielderJones FielderJones is offline
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Originally Posted by TomC727 View Post
Another loss today. It breaks my heart.
Cubs at .500 on Memorial Day. Not how dynasties are normally built.
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Jul 15 L
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  #73  
Old 05-30-2017, 02:10 AM
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Cubs at .500 on Memorial Day. Not how dynasties are normally built.
Fun Facts:

Last Memorial Day, the Cubs beat the Dodgers and Alex Wood 2-0. Jason Hammel and Travis Wood pitched the first six innings. This year Jason Hammel and Travis Wood are pitching for the Royals, who are in last place.

Before Alex Wood recently became the 21st player to be placed on the Dodgers' disabled list this year (it's a revolving door), he was the starter and winning pitcher in the Dodgers' May 26 win over the Cubs.

After winning last Memorial Day, the Cubs held a 6.5-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL Central. Their 35-14 record was the best in the NL, five games better than the Giants. It also was five games better than the Red Sox, who held the best AL record. It was 9.5 games better than the the White Sox. record.

This year the Cubs are tied for second in the NL Central, 1.5 games behind the Brewers. They have one more loss than the Cardinals, but both are .500. Five of 15 NL teams are playing above .500, so that would make the Cubs tied for sixth in the league overall. Their record is 1 game better than the White Sox, whose fans only a couple of months ago were excited about the possibility of picking first in the June 2018 draft.

It should be noted that the Brewers, Cardinals and Reds are more competitive this year. I don't know that the Pirates are, but they have already beaten the Cubs more in 2017 than they did in 2016. The Cubs also play AL East teams for their non-White Sox interleague schedule this year. They are 1-5 against the Red Sox and Yankees. Last year, they played the softer AL West

Everything went right for the Cubs last year. It could even be argued that losing Kyle Schwarber helped in that no one realized until after the World series that he really can't hit. Winning this year didn't figure to be easy. Without the great pitching they had last year, that's a .500 team. Either their pitchers pitch better, or it's something management has to address.
  #74  
Old 05-30-2017, 08:28 AM
TommyJohn TommyJohn is offline
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Originally Posted by DrCrawdad View Post
One thing I'll find pleasure in if they fail to repeat or even make the post-season is thinking back on the times I've heard how the 2005 Sox were a fluke.

Thru 50 games as defending World Champions:
2006 Sox 33-17
2017 cubbies 25-25

112 games to go, oh please continue on this pace or worse cubbies.
I'm not counting chickens just yet. "Gift of God" Epstein has plenty in his farm system. He may yet wave his magic wand, pull a rabbit out of a hat, walk across Lake Michigan or just plain use his charisma and force of his beautiful, selfless personality to acquire what our Cubbies need to do it once again. Or the team just might pull together. So I'm not saying anything.
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  #75  
Old 05-30-2017, 08:30 AM
TommyJohn TommyJohn is offline
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Originally Posted by TDog View Post
Fun Facts:



Everything went right for the Cubs last year. It could even be argued that losing Kyle Schwarber helped in that no one realized until after the World series that he really can't hit.

Last year I wrote that losing Schwarber was addition by subtraction.
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