Sweep Celebration

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What a Difference a Week Makes

From Ozzie Guillen:

Comparing this weekend to last weekend …

“We pitched a lot better.  We had big hits.  Our defense this week was outstanding.  We pitched well.  The bullpen picked us up and we got the big hit.

On sweeping the team with the NL’s best record on National TV …

“Everytime you sweep somebody, win games, it’s good.  Right now, I’m worried about Cleveland.

“White Sox fans will go home tonight with a smile on their face.  It will be a different Monday in Chicago.  White Sox fans can’t wait to get to work tomorrow.”

On Mark Buehrle’s effort …

“Strikes.  Strikes, commanding the ball well and movement.  It is Buehrle being Buehrle.”

 

32 Comments

enjoy the sweep celebration… this weekend was a blast!

After last weekend revenge was served cold. It’s always nice to get a win. It’s even nicer to beat these clowns and their drunken fans.

Thank you White Sox!

Now, no time to relax… back to work tomorrow!

———-

First topic of discussion for this evening:

I realized that Sunday night marks the 81st game of the year for the Sox..the exact halfway mark. Right now the Sox are on pace to win 92 games, that may be enough to win this division…maybe.

When talking about what the future may hold, there is something going on in the second half for the Sox under Ozzie that doesn’t look good.

Understand I’m not “blaming” him or anyone…just posting the numbers.

In the four years under Ozzie the Sox have had three years where they played worse baseball in the final 81 games then in the first 81 games. They were worse in the total number of wins and worse in winning percentage. One year, 2007, the had the exact same numbers as the first half. In fact in three of the four seasons in the final 81 games the Sox played under .500 baseball.

Here are the figures:

2004:

1st 81 games – 43-38 .530…2nd 81 games – 40-41 .493
Final: 83-79 .512

2005:

1st 81 games – 55-26 .679…2nd 81 games – 44-37 .543
Final: 99-63 .611

2006:

1st 81 games – 53-28 .654…2nd 81 games – 37-44 .456
Final: 90-72 .556

2007:

1st 81 games – 36-45 .444…2nd 81 games – 36-45 .444
Final: 72-90 .444

With what looks like a three team race now and the Tigers playing the last three weeks like Cleveland did in the final two months of 2005, it looks like no team can afford to go “in the tank” for a week or two. It could be a killer for any team that does that.

One other thing that will be fascinating to watch is how the three team react at the trade deadline. If only two teams are in a race, as a G.M. you may want to stand pat and let things play out…but three teams is a totally different dimension in my opinion. Detroit certainly has an owner that will spend what it takes to win and if they need to add team payroll I’d think that they would. Minnesota? I don’t know if they’d be willing to do that.

The Sox say, “not interested” right now but that could change dramatically in three weeks. To me the Sox chances in the second half will depend for the most part on the answer to this question…”can the offense gain more consistency in the second half and score runs both at home AND on the road?”

If the answer to that question turns out to be “yes”, the Sox will win the division. If it isn’t, they’ll finish behind either Detroit or the Twins. (By the way do yourself a favor and look at Minnesota’s schedule for the month of July…talk about a tough one!)

Back with the second discussion topic shortly.

Mark Liptak

It’s interesting that Scott mentions in the blog what many of us have already commented on but the only people who can solve this issue are the same folks who created this stupidity in the first place, the short sighted owners of MLB.

A history lesson is in order.

When interleague play started the division played their opposite numbers and ONLY their opposite numbers (i.e. Central vs. Central, West vs. West, East vs. East) in addition the natural rivals (i.e. Sox/Cubs, Yankees/Mets, Giants/A’s and so forth) only played three times a season. (In 1997 for example the Cubs came to Comiskey Park for three games. In 1998 the Sox went to Wrigley for three).

However some owners began to complain about some things… namely “when are we going to get the Yankees to come to our place?” and folks it was specifically about the Yankees. (Hint to those owners…spend money, put a good team on the field and the fans won’t care about the Yankees) Plus because the fan backlash over the imbecilic labor impasse of 1994 was still hitting home, the same folks who brought you “steroid baseball,” said, “hey let’s artificially pump up attendance…Cubs /Sox you’ll now play six times!” (ditto for Yankees/Mets ect.)

So now teams were playing “crossover” slates…Central played the Central, East and West every three years (with corresponding schedules for the other divisions.)

However there were problems. The mathematics didn’t work out. (That’s what happens when one league has 16 clubs and the other 14 you understand…plus MLB unlike the other pro sports leagues has odd divisions…four teams, five teams, six teams.)

So they couldn’t balance things out at all. That’s how today you’ve got the Sox for example playing the Cubs out of the Central, three from the West and the Pirates out of the East. That’s why while the Sox got the Cubs six times, the Twins get such “heavyweights” as the Nationals and Padres.

The unbalanced schedule is just as goofy but at least every team in a league plays every other team in the league so there is at least some “fairness” to it, they don’t play the same number of times but compare that to this dopey interleague, where teams aren’t even playing the same teams in the other league!

It’s almost like random chance….’OK, you guys will play these guys this year, no wait a minute; make that these guys instead…’

Like Bob Costas has said it’s going to cost a team a divisional title (if it hasn’t already happened).

Again I like interleague but for God’s sake at least balance things out, have some common ground, some fairness… if the Cubs can’t ever get the Yankees at Wrigley Field…tough. If the Orioles won’t ever see the Giants, who cares.

Three games against each club in your division period (with some adjustments for teams in a four or six team division…maybe you play someone four times and some one else two times to come up with the same number…) The point is though that at least every team in one division is playing the same teams in the other division.

If the Sox lose out on this division by a game or two remember that while they were playing the Cubs six times in ten days, the Tigers got San Diego and San Francisco, the Twins got Washington and San Diego for God’s sake.

But I’m not holding my breath that “Proud To Be Your Bud” Selig will do anything about it. I’ve seen jellyfishes with more backbone.

Mark Liptak

Mark, you’re the only person I’ve seen that can find something negative to say in the midst of celebration. we just finish sweeping the Cubbies for our just revenge and all you can think of is how bad things might get.

Prediciton #1: KW won’t be actively looking to trade anyone. at least if you believe his quotes the past month.

2008 season interleague history lesson: last time I checked, we went 10-5 against the nationals. we played the cubs twice probably because its chicago and bud “steriod king” selig thinks us chicagoans are all crazy.

we live yet another day in 1st. 1 1/2 games up on twinkies. a nice long home stand continues……3 big ones against the tribe and 4 against the a’s.

just keep winning baby…..

Scott: Just wanted to compliment the organization on the cross-town series video montage that was shown at the Cell prior to the start of the games this weekend. The imagery was really stunning. Very nice touch.

What a fantastic weekend! Isn’t it funny how all of my Cubbie friends who couldn’t wait to text me last weekend are nowhere to be found right now? Ahh.. revenge is sweet.

Mark,

Your insight really is amazing…I choose to revel in tonights win and this weekends sweep. I also choose to believe that this will be OUR 2nd half of the season this year.

Great stuff Lip, but I do believe!

WHOOP…sweep it up!

Swas:

Not saying anything of the kind. I state that if the Sox offense is more consistent they’ll win the division.

The only reason I posted the first discussion topic this evening has ZERO, NADA, NOTHING to do with the Cubs.

It’s simply because Sunday night was the 81st game of the season, period.

Nothing inferred or implied by the timing. If the Sox were playing Oakland or Cleveland or Boston, it would still go up tonight.

Try not to be so sensitive next time, there’s no “conspiracy” to steal the Sox thunder, they deserve every bit of praise they get after the way they handled those clowns and their drunken fans.

Mark Liptak

great series, obviously, not a lot more needs to be said.

scott, would you be so kind as to fill us in on any details about the sox draft picks? especially gordan beckham. are they going to be joining minor league clubs soon? any chance wed get to see gordan in september for the callups? it doesnt look like oc’s gonna be here for more than this year, and while alexei(my friends and i call him skeletor) is a natural ss hes been doing an awesome job at 2nd and i wouldnt mind just leaving him there if beckham works out.

Beckham hasn’t even signed a deal for goodness sakes. Come up and play in September? Is he Alex Fernandez? I doubt it. You will see him in 3 years if youre lucky.

Liptak..for god sakes who cares if we played the cubs and they played the nationals. Maybe next year we will get lucky and play the nationals and they will play the phillies. It is your schedule. You know it at the end of the previous year. Suck it up, play the games, win most of them and you will be fine. Plus the sox got to play bum teams like the giants, dodgers, pirates and Rockies. I think we lucked out.

Kenwo:

It was obviously important enough that Scott mentioned it in the blog. Me thinks you might want to take it up with him. I was simply providing background and details.

The system as currently employed is awful, goofy, stupid and unfair.

Mark Liptak

Also Kenwo you DON’T know it at the end of the previous year…that’s one of the points. It’s not like the NFL remember.

The schedule is revised and rehashed at least twice since other teams have posted “probable” schedules on their respective web sites or to have the final slate changed to various degrees.

Mark Liptak

I don’t have any problems with the schedule. Unless MLB adopts an NFL type schedule where it is one league and everybody plays everybody else on a rotating basis there will be some discrepancies. Even within out own league there are schedule problems,Ie: when your team plays any other team, what pitchers we face or don’t face, who’s hot at any particular time, who’s hurt and not playing, etc. All this plays into how you fare against any other team, let alone teams in another league. Kenwo is right! Just take care of yourself, win and everything else takes care of itself. There is NO guarantee that when you face the likes of Colorado or SF or even Seattle, that you’re going to win.

Now that the cubs are in the rearview mirror for another year (most probably), we need to focus on the upcoming games, Cleveland then Oakland, two dangerous teams, so we need to keep our focus and just keep winning. The rest will take care of itself.

That being said, I will one last time congratulate the Sox on the sweep, Marks stellar pitching, BA’s contribution, Thome’s weekly homer, Dye’s play on both sides of the ball, Q, Alexi, AJ, OC, and the rest. Thank you all. Now I’m going to put that series (and myself) to bed….. Night all…. j.k.

Per Mark’s (and Scott’s) points about interleague play, the bizarro schedule falls secondary to (and is a cause of) the uneven divisions Mark mentions. If I was an NL Central fan, I would be outraged that my team has to beat out FIVE other teams to win the division, while an AL West team needs beat out only three. Presumably the D-backs should have joined the AL West and Houston slid to the NL West during the last expansion.

kenwo, my bad, forgot the dodgers. we were 12-6.

does anyone know more about the report of PK delaying his return? I read the article(s) in the paper and on the ‘net. can’t figure out if he’s just got some pain from the scar tissue breaking up or if he’s gonna be out a lot longer……we talking a few more days or weeks? maybe scott can shed some light on this as well……

That showed the character of this team. They owed it to their fans to sweep these chumps and did it in impressive fashion. If any of the players actually read thru here, THANK YOU! Of course I have today off work but Tuesday will be fun.

Sexi Alexi, I think I love you. Everyone saying he was not major league ready I guess you were right, for about 2 weeks. Great to see Swish break out on both sides of the ball. Joe Morgan is a dope, but this is one helluva bullpen. Great team effort this weekend, even Thome got a big hit.

I am so glad we dont have to hear about the “best record in baseball” at nauseum any more. Now hopefully the Cards can put everything back in its place this week.

Interleague play may not be fair but it is still the single best thing that has happened to baseball in many, many years. At first, I was resistant to change and didn’t think I would like interleague play. But was I ever wrong.

It has given baseball a whole new look and has put some real interest and flavor into games in May and June that otherwise would not be so exciting.

I love it when watching my team go to stadiums they have never or seldom go to — like Dodger Stadium, Busch Stadium, Coors Field and, yes, even the overgrown minor league park on the North Side.

Bud Selig gets ripped for a lot of things, which in my opinion, means he is doing an excellent job as commissioner. He has not been afraid to go against the grain and make some drastic changes (IL play, three divisions, moving a team from one league to another — yeah I know it helped his own franchise — and trying to put some meaning into the All Star Game). There have been too many sports commissioners that have just sat back and let tradition run their sports. But by making all these changes, Bud has helped baseball set attendance records. Some fans will rip him forever but the guy has dramatically helped to improve the product and will be in the Hall of Fame when his career is over.

Now, back to the important things. Let’s take care of the Tribe.

Mark, I agree with your points about IL play. I do think an uneven schedule is kind of ridiculous, but the reality of it is that Selig will never change it. These rivalry games mean big ratings, tickets sold and more beer profits for the guys in the old boys club. So while I don’t like it, it’s here to stay because it is one of two things (split to 6 divisions with wild card being the other) that Selig has done right. So all we can do is hope the Sox handle their schedule and the uneveness does not matter come October. Win the division by 5 or 6 games live we have the abaility to and it is a non-factor.

This is the optimist in me thinking, but I do think this team will buck the trend this year in the second half. If we look at career numbers, we have guys that if they gravitate towards their career averages we will have plenty of offense in the next 81 games.

I don’t expect Thome to reach career numbers, but I would expect it from Konerko and Swisher. We have seen Quentin’s average drop back a bit, but he is still driving in clutch runs. We already have Dye and AJ doing what they normally do. Crede has been good, but slumping a bit at the moment. Cabrerea has been getting better by the day, and who knows what Alexei’s limits are. The only spot where we don’t know what to expect is CF. As long as the pitching sticks around we should be in for a really good run.

Great sweep over our arch-rivals from the North Side. But right now, it’s about winning..every game is critical and we need to keep winning, no matter who we play. The heat is definitely on in the Central, with the Twins on fire, and Detroit finally hitting their stride (17 of their last 21 I believe). If we blink for even a second, we’ll be middle of the pack. Based on pre-season predictions, I’m thrilled to have been on top as long as we have..each day is gravy. However, I see some sparks on the team that, like markopat, make me believe… I love that this team works hard, and plays hard.

Big games coming up! Let’s keep rolling! -Dawn

This is going to be a tough series with the Indians. I expect it to be pretty low scoring. We face Lee who is 11-1 and Sabathia who has been lights out the last month. We need to win tonight and get a win vs. one of those guys. I will be extremely happy with 2 of 3.

Jim:

I like interleague play too but I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the owners to say, ‘a division can at least play the same teams.’

I offered a way to do this.

Regarding “rivalry games,” really how many MLB teams out there need this ‘gimmick’ anymore? Bud Selig himself boasts of MLB now being a “six billion dollar a year industry.”

The Cubs would pack the place if they were playing the Bad News Bears and the Sox are now strong enough that they don’t need the Cubs at U.S., Cellular to draw 2.5 million.

And does interleague really “juice up” attendance at non rival sites…say when Houston plays at Seattle or Pittsburgh hosts Kansas City????

I agree, “it’s time…” to get back to real business, Cleveland first. The Sox have a chance to bury them (a la Detroit a few weeks ago.) Let’s hope that can at least eliminate one team in this division.

Mark Liptak

I don’t think it is unreasonable either, and I hope they make some adjustments. I was looking at it as a “why they did it in the first place” stance. It did accomplish their ratings and tickets goals from the beginning. It does seem like the schedule has gotten stranger every year. This year according to the past we were actually supposed to play some teams in the NL East. I was hoping to make a trip to DC to see the new park this year. I think the last time we played the Nationals was 2004 when we tried to fill the 5th spot with Arnie Munoz. A memorable disaster. They were still the Expos at that point.

However IL plays is over now, and the next time I want to talk about an NL team is in October when the Sox are back in the WS.

Any one remember what Uribe did in that game against the Expos that I mentioned above? A hint would be that Paul Konerko has accomplished the same thing in his career.

In the park homer?

Bingo! 3 run inside the park home run scoring Timo Perez and Sandy Alomar Jr. He also had 7 RBI’s that game.

You gave it away with that hint, jimD. It must have been an inside the park homer. That’s just a guess as I can’t even remember my middle name most of the time….. New series, new foe, let’s start off on the right foot…. (left foot’s ok too as long as it leads to a W)…. j.k.

Brett, the reason there are 6 teams in the NLC and 4 in the ALW is because you need an even number of teams in each league. If you had 15 teams in each league then there would always be one team from each league not playing for a series, which wouldn’t work, or you would constantly have to have interleague series going on. Besides, I don’t think teams from the NLC have anything to complain about with the types of teams they get to face all year. I’d much rather be in the NLC than the ALW.

Yay, I got it! What do I win? And klein is right, the hint did give it away.

Yeah I figured it would be a giveaway with the Knoerko clue, but I was not sure if anyone would have guessed without a clue. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back, that will have to be your prize from now.

We get to face one of our vices this series, three straight lefty starters. We don’t have much history with Sowers. Only 2 hits in 21 at bats, but half those at bats belong to OC. He has been bad this year so hopefully we can get 5 or 6 and get the pitching from Gavin. We have kinda turned it around a bit against Crooked Cap so I think we can take that one. The tough one will be Cliff Lee. We have hit him well in the past, but since we have Danks going we will probably only score a couple runs since they don’t give him any run support for some reason. That is how I think we get 2 of 3, and possibly 3 of 3 if Danks can hold to 0 or 1 run.

Here is something scary to think about. If the Sox scored 5 runs a game for Danks in the games where they scored less he would be 13-1 with 2 no decisions. That is how snake bitten he been with run support. He has been the victim of three 2-0 shutouts. He gave up 2 ER’s in those 3 games. OUCH!!! If he was 13-1 he’d be talked about for Cy Young this year.

First of all, to Maria Wagener, Dawn Brusa, Donna(Mommy Mac)Mc Cormack,Marie Mc Dowell, Lisa Munoz, Kristine Moore-Van Etten DEEPINAHEARTATEXAS, Peggy Kenny in Palo Alto, Ca., and Pat Klein in Tucosn (with her husband’s approval…)

PUCKER UP, CHILDREN… IT’S SISTER KISSING TIME !!!

Or, will a hearty handshake suffice?

So, Uncle Lou and his charges didn’t have a nice time as the guests this weekend?

TS… which, as we all know stands for “Terribly Sorry”…

Does this mean that everything evens out in the long run?
Heck, NO…

They dominated at Jurrasic Park at Neverland… then went and sucked rocks and spat gravel at the Cell… while the boys did just the reverse… I looked at the standings this AM, and noticed that, with about four or five exceptions, BOTH leagues are doing well at home… and stinking it up on the road…

Pete Rozelle, the late commissioner of the NFL, liked to point out parity in his sport… Well, the same can apply to MLB… at least, this year…

I would like to see a team other than the Pirates every year…beating them is like beating up a paraplegic(sic)…You don’t really feel good doing it… or at least you shouldn’t…

When was the last time that the boys played the Brewers?…they’ve never played the Nationals, at least since they’ve been in Washington… I can’t think of any other teams at the moment…

I think that WS Universe would want to go either to Miller Park or to new Busch in St Louis… someplace convenient…

But in the two teams markets… NYC, LA, here… a home and home series only makes sense…

Peggy… how was the attendance when the Giants and A’s met in the Bay Bridge series?… That’s another area where home and home makes some sense…

Now, the more important stretch of games comes up… protecting the division lead, maybe even padding it…and that is more important than taking care of the Flubs…

We will see them next year… and the most recent brag goes to WS Universe…

BTW, I think Thome’s HR just came back down to earth…Good Lord,the way he hits them is like Killebrew and Frank Howard and Kingman used to hit them…Miller called it accurately… “A Moon Shot…” I don’t think he was referring to Wally Moon, either…(there’s ANOTHER one for you, tc…)

Now that the circus is over with… deanklub’s banged up Tribe is in…
Let’s not let down, shall we, boys?

Ok. T.Q. You come out here and you can have a kiss (no tongues). But you’ll have to catch my wife first….. j.k…… Go Sox ’08…..

TQ – a hearty handshake and a big kiss to you!

As you might guess, attendance at the “Bay Bridge Series” is better at the Giants newer, more scenic ballpark than at the Coliseum. Part of that is location, part is the real damage that the “renovations” to accommodate Al Davis and his Traiders did to what *used to be* a nice baseball venue. And part is due to the fact that the Giants-A’s rivalry just isn’t close to the Sox-Cubs antipathy. Friday night, the game was pretty sparsely attended; there were bigger crowds on Sat. and Sun., to see the Giants beat the A’s.

Be warned, Sox fans, if the A’s arrive at the Cell hungry for a win, our guys better bring their A game.

No way, the sox are going to play worse in the 2nd half then they did in the first half of the season, not possible.
Now that is a given. However, will the pitching be as good?
It should hold up with the relief pitching depth . Just look at the startes on Swisher, Thome, Konkerko, OC, and Alexei along with Uribe. Cold weather baseball. For me, the key is Ozzie, how flexible , and insightful will he be. Ex. if Crede just cannot hit left handed pitching for now, the should be rested against tough lefties. Take Thome out when the mgr of opposing team brings in a left handed specialist to face Thome. Do not leave pitchers in too long and get so far behing that team cannot come back. So for me , it is up to Ozzies decisions and the baseball god of injuries.

TQ:

You’ll have to make do with a cyber hug and a friendly cyber kiss. Any in person hugging and kissing will only be possible if you make it past that big burly husband of mine. Good luck with that.
-

No groping please. LOL!!!

-

When the heck is blog night?

-

Our household has had such a great time these past four days, Let’s keep it going!!!

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