Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 10:28 am
Random Thoughts this Morning
Roger Bossard said it may be wet off and on until 5 pm today, but he expects we will have no problem getting tonight’s game in …
We have sold out 11 games this season, including the last five …
We have beated the A’s in two straight for the first time since 2002 …
We haven’t swept Oakland at home since 1983 (can you believe that?) …
I read through the posts yesterday, and the back and forth debate was interesting.
Don’t think for a minute that Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen don’t share the same concerns as our fans, but we all do need to keep the perspective that we are 15 games over .500. We have some guys who need to improve their performances, and we all know Kenny will act if need be, but we cannot overreact.
Last night was a case where Javier Vazquez won — to improve to 5-3 with a 4.25 ERA — without very good stuff. There are a fair number of pitchers who would have struggled to get through that start and post a victory against a team like Oakland.
I think it is safe to say that Jon Garland (and Kenny and Ozzie and Coop) understand that Jon needs to be better and what he needs to do to be better. Now, he needs to do it.
On Juan Uribe … Juan is indeed a very streaky offensive player historically. If you look at his career, he is generally very good in April, August and September. (For example, Juan is a lifetime .310 hitter with 23 of his 63 career home runs entering 2006 coming in September). May, June and July can be offensive struggles for him for whatever reasons. I am not sure anyone can really explain that …
I don’t think we can suddenly expect Juan to become Mr. Consistency at the plate … that’s not really his approach (high strikeout/low walk/big swings). We do need him to be Mr. Consistent in the field, though.
Another blog I was reading the other day had Juan listed as one of the 10 unluckiest offensive players to date in 2006. I believe their "balls in play" statistic said he should have been hitting something like .270, which is probably where we all expect Juan to end up by year’s end (I think he is a .268 lifetime hitter entering this season). The expectation is that this "luck" will balance out — in Juan’s favor — over the rest of the season. I do know anecdotally, that he has been hitting the ball on the nose lately, sometimes with nothing to show for it.
Ray Durham remains one of the streakiest players I remember in a Sox uniform. Ray’s streaks would be relatively short — 8 to 12 games — but lethal. He could carry the team for a week, looking like an MVP candidate, or he wouldn’t touch a ball for a week, looking lost at the plate. But the amazing fact was that in the end, his seasons all ended up being pretty statistically similar despite wild fluctuations from week to week during the year.
Juan’s streaks appear to be longer, but they also seem to balance themselves out over six months … at least that appears to be the case over the past two years.
Another team may have been unwilling to give Juan a regular job because of his streakiness. We took that chance in 2004, and we all have to admit it paid off in spades in 2005. It is certainly worth monitoring, but let’s show him some patience.
Just my (pretty worthless) opinion.