Tuesday Thoughts

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Random Thoughts

As sickening as it is to watch, how many times have we had to sit through the same showing of Metrodome Horrors … infield hits, 0-2 bloops, bunts, balls topped off the plate, our failures to execute.  Give credit to the Twins for some of this, but personally, I can’t wait until their new ballpark is finished.  I have a hard time even watching games from Minnesota on television.

Bullpen Woes

No question our bullpen has been awful recently, but it was just a few weeks earlier when everyone was singing its praises.  With Mac’s struggles to throw strikes (believe me, they are working with him daily), we need David Aardsma to step up.  He would be the first to tell you that he didn’t get it done yesterday, although the Hunter hit hurt badly.

We need Mac to pitch well if we want him to win.  I am sure most of you will disagree, but in my opinion, many of his issues are related to struggling to throw strikes because of too much movement on his fastball (out of the zone) and an inconsistent slider.  While still an issue, I would rather have the problem of a pitcher’s pitches moving too much than the opposite (because we’ve seen those results too over the years).

Remember, this is a guy who posted a 1.80 ERA over 25 games last year.  Don’t give up on him yet.

I hope it’s pretty obvious that neither Ozzie nor Kenny will accept failure and changes will be made if we don’t see improvement.  At the same time, look around the majors at other bullpens, including Detroit (with the injuries) and Cleveland.  The one consistent fact for middle relievers is that there is no consistency.

Pablo

Tough loss for us and tough injury for Pablo.  No one plays harder, and he will be missed.

It’s way too early to put a timeline on his return. 

AJ

Reading today’s papers (I am not in Minnesota), my take on the AJ/Mourneau incident was this:

Mourneau felt (at his foot or at his elbow or both) AJ brush closely by him on the DP.  Maybe AJ said something (now that would be a surprise).  Happy for a chance to get back at AJ for what they felt were over-the-line antics at our park last year, the Twins bench got all over AJ (what new).  The first base umpire yelled to the Twins bench to cut it out and made a slashing motion across his neck.  This angered Ron Gardenhire and brought him out onto the field in a rage.  Kudos to Gardy if, in part, his reaction was intended to get a reaction from his club, because it sure did.  Sounds like all of the parties have talked and worked it out.  My thought is that Gardy had nothing to lose by playing this up during the game and everything to gain, like a victory.

Knowing AJ and how much these two teams love one another, what do you think tonight will bring?

Today’s Opinion

This from today’s Chicago Tribune:

"General manager Ken Williams did not repair the lineup’s dead spots in center field, left field and shortstop and now finds first base, second base and third base underperforming. That’s an epidemic of second-division proportions."

My thought:

My thought is that Darin Erstad was the best off-season free agent sign in this city through May 29.  Guess he doesn’t count …

And how long do any of us expect Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, Tadahito Iguchi and Joe Crede to struggle so badly at the plate?  JD and PK already are showing great signs of finding their swings since Jim Thome has returned.

Second division?  Despite all of our early season frustrations, as I write this, we have the sixth-best record in the American League.  Not great.  But not awful either considering how this season has gone to date.  Let’s keep some perspective.

(Note, not sure why this went to blue font suddenly — or if it is even blue on your screen — but rest assured it doesn’t have anything to do with my mood).

15 Comments

When you get a taste of the good champagne, nothing less tastes as good. I believe we in the world of the White Sox are all craving the good stuff again. We do have our issues to work out, I for one am not ready to give up on this team yet. We are 5.5 out with ALOT of time left. The bats are starting to heat up and our starting pitching is for the most part keeping us in there. Ok, I’ll admit, I get my stomache in knots with this bullpen and the missed opportunities, but it’s way too early to give it up. I have faith that Kenny and Ozzie will do what they have to in order to keep us in it. Again I say, look at the AL East, it could be MUCH worse!

Scott – next time you post, please, PLEASE provide us with a picture of your pompoms! 6th best record in the AL? Are you KIDDING??!! Is this even a statistic? Our pitchers have given up more runs than our offense have scored (no I didn’t substantiate this, but it sure as **** feels like this). Come on!! How could you expect anyone who doesn’t receive a paycheck from the White Sox to actually watch this ****?!

OY!!!

Scott,
You are absolutely right about the movement on MacDougal’s fastball. He has always had good movement, but this year is excessive and it seems that he can not throw strikes with it which is killing him. As a pitcher he needs to adjust, and it appears he has not been able to do so. A MLB pitcher should be able to figure out the adjustments. If the ball is moving more than usual maybe start it further off the plate, or move your feet towards the end of the pitching rubber. If he could get the fastball over for strikes it will make even an inconsistent slider more effective.

The thing that drives us nuts the most is that we heard so much about the “New and Improved” bullpen, and how the power arms can get anybody out. So far this bullpen is a bust.

The Trib is somewhat wrong about CF. Erstad should have been here 5 years ago when he was at the top of his game. Sure he has been more productive than Soriano, but I can’t see that lasting all season. They are absolutely 100% right about left field though. After two injury plagued years why did we bring Podsednik back. He has lost that speed factor and can not stay healthy.

With respect to the Tribune instead of singling out positions what they should have done is point out that the 2007 White Sox are a one dimensional home run or nothing team that can’t steal bases, put pressure on opponents, run and execute fundamentals.

Great teams win with a blend of ways to win like in 2005 (including pitching and an actual experienced bullpen…)

Regarding the bull pen, with respect to my friend Scott, don’t lump me into the group that thought this was going to be a great bullpen.

Great bullpens are not comprised of three rookies (Masset, Logan, Aardsma,) a guy who has had one quality season in his career (Thornton) and a guy coming off at least two serious injuries.(MacDougal)

That’s a recipe for what you’re seeing now.

They all throw hard but so what? If you consistently fall behind guys, can’t find the plate and walk hitters what good does throwing 97 MPH do?

Mark Liptak

I agree with u Scott, but I also agree with Mark in terms of our club being 1 dimensional. We need to steal bases more, we need to put pressure on teams more.

Evan

Oh one more thing, I was listening to 670 today. And they were playing “I say A.J you say?” Some of them were funny but some of them got me angry. Calling him a cancer that needs chemo, cheap, dirty, Michael Barrett’s punching bag..etc. Can people lay off A.J please? He plays the game hard, like it should be played. Everything that goes wrong is always his fault someway or another. I for one love that A.J is on our team, and wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world. He helped us get a 2005 championship, and I hope that he stays a White Sox for his career.

I’m grateful this game is on WCIU so I don’t have to subject my eyes to another beatdown at the hands of Minnesota. 9-1 as of now. Our Texas rookies are looking a lot like rookies tonight. And a man named Boof is shutting down the Sox. Different name, same ol tired story.

We’ve had our share of injuries to be sure but even without them I don’t know how good this White Sox team truly is or could be. We’re hitting like **** and the bullpen is embarassing but it’s broader than that.

This team just seems flat. They don’t seem cohesive. They don’t seem together. You saw the signs last year, players were showing their age. Players were slipping on fundamentals. Players were lapsing in focus. We’ve got a slow and (ripping off Mark here) one-dimensional team here.

By no stretch of the imagination do we have a bad team but we certainly don’t have a very good one up to this point. And an average, adequate team isn’t going to win the AL Central. It’s going to take a fantastic team to do that and unless some major changes in production or personnel happen, I don’t see that team being the White Sox.

Not much you can say except we ****…period.

Another seven walks by the pitching staff and the bullpen gets slapped around again.

So what else is new?

Mark Liptak

when i seen that the game was an afternoon game i was upset i wouldnt be able to view it since il be at work…now im kind of happy. after watching this garbage the last three games im starting to get into a grumpy mood when it comes to white sox baseball. there is nothing they can do to make this team better. no other team is going to give up good players for our guys who are terrible this year. our minor leagues arent going to get us any decent major league players at the deadline because they have failed in the majors already. so if you cant trade for good prospects and you cant trade for proven stars and you wont sign free agents and you drafted like garbage the last bunch of years…..looks like i will be living on 2005 longer than my dad was on 1959.

and i blame this all on kenny williams. i dont like his cocky attitude. i dont like how he singles out his players (thomas, buerhle, crede)..i think it is him that should go. how could they possibly sit through 2006 and watch the garbage in left field and center field and not bring in 2 quality guys to fill those positions? that is terrible GM’ing and it is a crime that he for the most part has escaped his fair shair of the whipping. it is coming though. it is coming.

There is one positive:

It will be easier to get good tickets later on in the season if we continue to ****. Probably cheap tickets, below face value too.

That was so bad they never made it to my main TV in my media room, nor did they even make it off mute!

I was more captivated by Law & Order repeats. Heck, I think I paid more attention to the Cubs game. At least that game ended well.

I can say this though, that is two games in a row where the opponents OBP is around .500 and three in a row over .400. That is a recipe for disaster.

In the last 3 games we have been outscored 30 to 11. We have been outhit 47 to 25 and outwalked 17 to 8. That is 64 to 33 base runners. And when you take into account HBP’s and errors it does become over a 2:1 ratio. Those stats don’t lie!

8 walks in 3 games says that opposing pitchers do not fear this lineup at all!

Palehoses – I have to say that I have been feeling the same disgust lately.

i think soriano is extremely overrated, so i can let erstad pass there though im sure it wouldnt be a mainstream viewpoint, but the best free agent signing in this city was ted lily.

and how the season has gone to date is exactly why you’re hearing second-division. i do believe crede, dye and paulie will improve their numbers. not so sure gooch will be pulling out his slump anytime soon, though. the middle infield, left field and bullpen are filled with question marks and outright disasters…

early on when the pitching was solid it was easy to say wait for the offense to come around. but lately it seems the hitting has picked up a bit, but the pitching dropped off much more. there’s just not much you can say to comfort yourself about it any longer. all i can really think of is the starters are still looking like about the best starting staff in baseball. riding them, this team’s got enough talent to catch a good rush. till then, stop the bleeding this afternoon, please?

**** jimd! Can I move into your house and sleep in your media room? I will wash dishes, mow the lawn, take out the trash whatever’s needed.

Seriously though, the way this team has been playing they don’t deserve to be on anybody’s main TV. The only TV they deserve to be on is one of those old black-and-white numbers with the rabbit ears that you gotta bang on to get a good picture. And the only room that TV should be in is the bathroom so you can just lean over the toilet whenever you feel the urge to vomit.

In all honesty, I hope Gardenhire pulls an Ozzie and mercifully sticks a garbage lineup out there with the sweep on the line.

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