Final Day

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Today’s Lineup

Owens, CF; Fields, 3B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; Pods, LF; Uribe, SS; Richar, 2B; Hall, C.  Contreras pitching.

Day In The Life

So to give you a sense of the season’s last day in the clubhouse, here was my Sunday morning …

I grabbed a quick breakfast in the clubhouse lunch room, sitting down with PK.  We talked a little about his new house in Phoenix, which should be finished sometime in November.

I stopped in to see Ozzie and the coaches.  A gaggle of Venezuelan journalists are in town (mainly to cover Magglio, who will be the second of their countrymen to win a batting title in the big leagues) but also to see Ozzie.  He held court for nearly an hour.  Several of the journalists commented on our Spanish-language site and the possibility of adding content to it.

I wandered back to the training room to say hello to Herm Schneider and Jim Thome.  I asked Jim if he liked the ceremony last night and what he thought of the special ring Jerry had commissioned to commemorate the milestone.

"Complete class," Jim said.  "How about my daughter singing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballpark?’  Man …"

"Consider it all practice for 600," I said and we shared a laugh.

I worked the clubhouse, saying goodbye to everyone.  Saw AJ and congratulated him on the contract extension.

Several of our players ducked outside to say hello to a few special fans and greet a group of ballpark employees who were being recognized.

Ozzie came into the dugout for his final media session of the season.

"Two things in baseball," he said.  "Don’t believe what you see in spring training or in September.

"If you are in it in September, every game counts.  If you are out of it, nothing counts."

Boxes and packing were everywhere as players, staff and media worked their way around the clubhouse.

Ed Farmer walked by and I wished him a quick flight home.  Many of our guys are out of here later tonight, while a few will hang around until Monday.

I don’t care how poorly your season went (and this one was tough), it is always melancholy to see it end and to see a team part ways.  You never know who among the group will be back for spring training 2008.

KW

Ken Williams addressed the media in a season-ending session yesterday.  You read many of the comments in today’s newspaper.  I took notes (and we took video).  My plan for tomorrow and the coming days is to send this out for you so you all know where we are hoping to head this offseason.

Stay tuned.

Otherwise, enjoy the final pitches of today’s game and start planning for Opening Day 2008.

6 Comments

Gang:

Just a note of thanks and appreciation for all of the hard work that everyone put in to the site this past season..and that includes all those who participated in the message boards.

Scott thank you for letting me visit!

It was a tough year to put it mildly. At least I had the option of turning off the TV or the internet when things went South…I can only imagine how hard it was to watch or attend practically every inning of this awful season. While I probably didn’t agree with everything that was said or written from all of you, the information was appreciated, the ‘truth’ needed to be told and I’m grateful for your work.

Seriously many thanks for everything!

I’ve also enclosed my annual ‘By The Numbers,’ a slightly different look at things. It may prove to be of some use.

Have a happy, SAFE and healthy off season. February can’t come soon enough for me.

—–

By the Numbers…

And with that the 2007 season mercifully comes to an end.

Not a lot to say but I submit a few things that may cause comment, interest or generate replies.

I’m ‘old school’ so for me whatever is accomplished individually doesn’t mean squat if the team has a losing season but I can understand folks remembering fondly Mark’s no-hitter, Jenks’ streak or Thome’s 500th dinger. It’s all up to the individual I guess. My belief on the 2007 season was best summed up by Homer J. Simpson one time….”Now let us never speak of it again…”

Not as many numbers this season for obvious reasons but I do submit the following.

*This is the Sox first ‘losing’ season since 1999.

*This is the Sox first ‘non-winning’ season since 2002.

*This is the first losing season with Ozzie as manager.

*This is the first losing season with Kenny as G.M. (Winning seasons in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. A .500 season (81-81) in 2002 and this year’s disaster.)

—–

Speaking of Kenny the debate I’m sure will continue this off season about him and his abilities. One losing season in seven years merits comment but so does the fact that the team has made the post season one time in that span. How does that compare to the rest of MLB? Let’s see…remember seven is the maximum number you can get.

*Yankees: 7

*Braves: 5, Cardinals: 5

*Angels: 4, Athletics: 4, Red Sox: 4, Twins: 4

*Astros: 3, Diamondbacks: 3

*Cubs: 2, Dodgers: 2, Giants: 2, Indians: 2, Padres: 2 (3 if they win playoff game vs. Colorado)

*Mariners: 1, Marlins: 1, Mets: 1, Phillies: 1, Tigers: 1, White Sox: 1

*Blue Jays: 0, Brewers: 0, Devil Rays: 0, Expos/Nationals: 0, Orioles: 0,Pirates: 0, Rangers: 0, Reds: 0, Rockies: 0 (1 if they win playoff game vs.

San Diego), Royals: 0

Personally I’m still in Kenny’s corner but this off season and the 2008 regular season are crucial. Another year like 2007 and you have to give serious consideration to making a change at the top.

The only ‘stat’ I’ll show from this year is what to me, was the biggest failure of all. I understand and agree with those who say, ‘the hitting was bad,’ ‘they couldn’t score runs, ’‘they have no team speed,’ ‘they can’t execute simple fundamentals…’ All of those are valid concerns but something has to head the list. And this to me is the biggest. If this was ‘right,’ even with all the other issues the Sox would have had a much better season, perhaps even a winning one.

18

That’s the number of games the bullpen blew and lost after taking a lead into in the 7th inning or later this season. And of course there were still additional games where the bullpen blew the lead only to have the Sox come back to win. For example Saturday night. In 2007 there was one game where the starting pitcher was on the mound in the 7th inning or later and gave up the lead.

Here’s the breakdown (no pun intended)!

4/4 Cleveland 7th inning (Thornton)

4/10 @Oakland 9th inning (Jenks)

4/22 @Detroit 9th inning (Aardsma)

5/8 @Minnesota 8th inning (MacDougal)

5/18 @Cubs 7th inning (MacDougal)

5/19 @Cubs 8th inning (Aardsma/Logan)

6/2 @Toronto 7th inning (Thornton)

6/19 Florida 7th inning (Bukvich)

6/20 Florida 8th inning (Jenks)

7/2 Baltimore 9th inning (Jenks)

7/14 @Baltimore 9th inning (Jenks)

7/17 @Cleveland 9th inning (Jenks)

7/23 Detroit 7th inning (Wassermann)

8/16 @Oakland 7th inning (Logan)

8/29 @Texas 7th inning (Thornton/Bukvich)

8/31 @Cleveland 8th inning (Myers/MacDougal)

9/6 @Detroit 9th inning (Jenks)

9/10 Cleveland 7th inning (Floyd (tying)/Myers)

9/25 Kansas City 7th inning (Wassermann/Myers)

The game on 9/10 is the only game where the starting pitcher was still in the game when the lead disappeared as Floyd allowed the tying run.

In 2006 a bullpen that was considered ‘bad’ by almost everyone “only” had NINE blown games by the relief staff and 12 overall as a team. (Starters were responsible for three games in the 7th inning or later)

The two season total is up to: 27 by the bullpen and 31 games overall.

Want to win in 2008? The first thing that needs to happen is find three or four guys who can get the ball to Bobby with the lead. All else (in my opinion) comes after this.

—–

I look forward to an interesting, active, productive off season. If not it’ll be more of the same in 2008.

Also it is my hope that Steve Stone is retained in some capacity for White Sox broadcasts in 2008. My preference would be on the radio side.

Finally I wonder if there is anyway for the Sox to petition to get switched to the National League? (Well I’m joking…sort of…)

Consider the last three post season appearances by the Cubs and their number of regular season wins: 1998 (90 wins), 2003 (88 wins), 2007 (85 wins).

Average numbers of wins to get in the playoffs the last three times: 87 wins.

87 wins in the American League gets you a seat in front of your HD TV watching the playoffs or an early tee time on your favorite course!

Mark Liptak

Well said Mr. Liptak! Isn’t it fitting that the bullpen comes in and puts the game out of reach today? I was getting a good feeling with this 4 game win streak and then was painfully reminded of what the season was really like today! Ah well, lets close the books and put this painful season behind us. I’m hoping for some big time tuning up and hopefully relief help as Mark says. I will watch the playoffs and probably root for Cleveland to get in the Series and maybe the Phillies for Gooch and A-Row. It isn’t the same without my White Sox though! I’m doing my first marathon next week so say a prayer I don’t keel over and am around to see next season!! Happy off season everyone!!
Donna

Free agents in Relief

Righties

http://www.mlb4u.com/freeagency.php?field=position

Lefties

http://www.mlb4u.com/freeagency.php?field=position

Within the organization

LHRP Carlos Vazquez

RHRP Oneli Perez

RHRP Fernando Hernandez Jr.

Based on Kenny’s direct comments at least one reported implied Sunday in their story that the Sox would not be signing any free agent relief pitchers this off season. Any improvements in the worst bullpen in baseball would come via trade.

I just want massive changes not cosmetic surgery. I don’t care how it happens.

It was interesting that Myers and MacDougle gave Sox fans and the Sox front office more to think about this off season with their ‘impressive’ performances this afternoon.

I think if the right case came along Kenny would go for it, there doesn’t really seem to be definites in offseason maneuvers like how he said mccarthy would not be traded, then mccarthy gets traded.

At least this dreadful season is now over.

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