Day Thoughts

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Random Ruminations

With Mark Buehrle and Cliff Lee on the mound today, this game has a chance to be a quick one!

In reading some of your posts to my recent blogs …

Sure glad Corky Miller played last night!  Obviously, with night/day and two left-handers, Ozzie wanted to give AJ last night off, knowing he would go against Lee today.  Corky continues to impress with his bat and his arm.

I have been a little surprised by how down everyone has been about the team so soon.  No question the past 10 games or so have been a down stretch, but we’ve been battling through a number of nagging injuries and have not fielded our Opening Day club for awhile now.

Interesting to note that at 15-17, we match our record from last year (actually, last year, we lost our 33rd game to fall to 15-18).  In 2008, we were 18-21 on 5/13 before ripping off eight straight wins to go to 26-21, +3.0 in the division.

We’ve missed BA.  While I know he still has doubters out there, when he was hurt Anderson was hitting .288/.383/.327 in 18 games.  That OBP tops Coco Crisp (.382) and Willy Taveras (.377) and would trail only Adam Jones (BAL) and Melky Cabrera (NYY) among AL center fielders.  It’s way too early to build any argument based on stats, but I want to see our club play together for a week or two before projecting judgments out over the entire season.

We still need to pitch to win … bullpen’s been very good to great.  Starting pitching inconsistent.

 

 

15 Comments

Of course, the naysayers on this board only want Crisp or Taveras because it would cost money and force Jerry Reinsdorf to spend some. After all, Reindsorf has NEVER spent any money, right Scott???

People pay way too much attention to payroll. In the minds of many fans, you cannot win unless you spend a bundle of money. Try telling that to Tampa Bay last year.

Or try explaining how Detroit finished in last place in ’08 after spending a boatload of money in the prior offseason.

It will be nice to get our Opening Day lineup back intact and healthy. We’ve used four center fielders and it is only May 13.

Once again, it seems that Buehrle is scuffling in Cleveland… As I mentioned a couple of days ago, that park seems to bring out the worst in #56…

The game, believe it or not, as of this posting, is still winnable… But (One, Two, Three, Here Comes) Mr Lee is pitching the way he won the Cy Young last season, instead of a 1-5, no run support start to the ’09 season…

If things do not improve… as Scott wrote, the record after 33 games in’09 will be exactly the same as after the same number of games in ’08… and I seem to recall that the same cries were being heard at that time as are being heard now…

Which means only one thing…

129 games, and a lot of improvements, to go…

C’mon, this is our sixth shutout of the season. I think we have plenty to worry about.

The frustrations have begun to surface… Jermaine Dye, who, like Jim Thome, rarely if ever says anything at home plate… ejected from the game…

Not really knowing exactly why, I can only surmise protesting ball and strike calls… which is against the rules…

But when one of your most productive hitters the last few seasons gets ticked off and says “the magic word”… You know that a day away from the field can only help… for all concerned…

there were 6 shut outs last year through May also. Now, I realize we still have a couple weeks left in this month, but we aren’t that far off of last year and we all know how last year ended. Not too shabby. I, for one, know we’ll bounce back.

Yours truly,

Polly

kevinmiz… If it was the seventh game of the season, with six shutouts, THEN you would be concerned… One-sixth of the games played, with no runs?

Unless you are Mark Liptak… who has a bad stat for every occasion, and will trot them out at the drop of a pop fly…

The concern is there, on all accounts… Ozzie, Kenny, Walker, the entire team… but worry?

Perhaps too strong of a word, at this time…

You’re right TQ. If you worry too much in May, you’ll be a basket case by July.

The Sox have serious limitations right now but they just have to keep battling. Get some of the walking wounded back and find a way to string together a few wins. The bats will eventually wake up. They did last year and they will again this year.

Gotta take things one game at a time and keep looking to improve.

If you approach it any other way, you will not only drive yourself crazy but you will never make the improvements necessary to win.

Tom:

My only comment is that the difference in talent between the 2008 team and the 2009 team is like night and day.

To expect career journeyman and failed first round picks from other organizations to suddenly wake up and start performing at a high level is stretching credibility.

To think that players like Jerry Ownes and Dewayne Wise were better options (since it was specifically brought up) then Coco Crisp and Willy Tavares has NOTHING to do with money and everything to do with TALENT, which apparently is very hard for some fans to comprehend.

Tampa Bay was brought up as an example…of course it took the Rays a decade of awful baseball to put together the talent to make their run in 2008. (The Sox would have ZERO fans if they had the same terrible decade) Plus they have one of the best scouting / minor league systems in the game. If some want the Sox to be awful for a decade in order to put together the minor league talent so they don’t need to spend money, that’s their choice.

It’s interesting that according to some posters, getting worried in May is foolish…of course the same posters come July, if the Sox are dead last, will be the first to say ‘I didn’t think they were going to do well anyway’ or ‘in the grand design of life it doesn’t really matter.’ Those folks apparently have all the answers when telling other fans what to think or what to care about. Must be nice to be God isn’t it?

Mark Liptak

There are plenty of differences between the 2008 and 2009 teams. The 2008 team was full of veterans that have been there and done that (Crede, Uribe, Vazquez, Swisher, Cabrera, later Griffey)…. This team does not have that. Plus you say that we haven’t had the opening day lineup out… Is Wise that much better than Anderson or Podsednik or Lillibridge… I don’t think so.

The bullpen has done a great job in White Sox victories (especially Octavio and Jenks). However, other than Tuesday, if the other team got into the Carasco, Richard, Broadway part of the bullpen it wasn’t pretty. Carasco has been decent lately but lets not get crazy about him. He was good last year for a month before he spent september getting lit up.

Now we head to Toronto. The Blue Jays always put it to the sox. I honestly hope that we will win one game out of the 4.

Could the Sox turn it around? I suppose. It will take Quentin to wake up, Ramirez to revert back to 08 form and Thome to heat up. It will also take Colon staying healthy, Floyd and Danks turning around this troubling season and probably a trade or two at the deadline. Will this happen? Most likely not. The only saving grace is that the rest of the division is bad so maybe we can sneak in if we have one hot streak.

Don’t compare 08 to 09 though. Totally different situation.

First, I’m glad to see Mark Liptak back, always find his opinions and links interesting, even if I may disagree.

I would never, ever, tell anyone else how or what to think. I will, however, share some of what I think.

Ken, saying we have no veterans who have “been there and done that” is puzzling – what about Buehrle, Jenks, Linebrink, Paulie, JD, AJ, Thome, and Pods? They are not veterans? Have not “been there and done that”?

Second, to ease folks’ minds, the Yankees (huge payroll, lots of veterans and talent, I think we all agree on that) have a record today of 15-17, pretty close to the Sox’ 15-18. Oakland loaded up on veterans (Cabrera, Giambi, Garciaparra) and has a record of 12-18. Now, I am not saying that because other clubs are not doing better, where the Sox are at is OK – it’s not. And I realize that if one lives in Chicago, the fact the the “other” team has a better record at this point can cause a lot of heartburn among friends and family. I feel your pain, I truly do!

What I believe (my opinion, I’m entitled to it, and you all are welcome to rebut it) is that the Sox have enough talent to win their division, at least. They have been plagued early with injuries, and hopefully, those will pass and be forgotten. If not, that will be a big issue.

What is concerning is that the starting pitching is not performing up to the level we need. I hope that will be corrected soon. The hitting, especially “situational” hitting, is not up to par either. For that, I’d like to see the Sox hitters try to slap, poke, flip, and dribble the ball to locations that are unexpected and not easily fielded. That might help them get base runners, when the solid hitting just isn’t happening. Once on the bases, I’d like our runners to be a distraction to the opposing pitchers, to help the rest of the lineup out.

My other concern is about team scouting. I admit, I haven’t been able to watch many games on TV (just the ones on WGN) so this may not be accurate, and I’m looking for input from some of the great minds on this blog. My impression is that other teams have done an outstanding job of scouting the Sox, in terms of how to pitch to them and where to position their defenders. The Sox, on the other hand, seem much less knowledgeable about their opponents. This looks like a big problem to me, and one that should not be difficult to resolve in the era of video everywhere.

I’m still optimistic, and always a true Sox fan!

Peggy

Wow, I encourage the other fans to not panic yet because it is only May and I get upgraded to being “God.” Thanks Mark. I’ve always wanted to be George Burns.

I’m not going to compare this team to a previous year’s team because I think that accomplishes nothing and is a useless exercise. Yes, this team has some glaring problems but keep in mind that despite those issues, the club is somehow only three games under .500 and just a few games out of first place.

With the exception of Lillibridge, who is a utility player that is not yet ready to hit at the big league level, the offensive production we have gotten out of the other three center fielders — Wise, BA and Pods — has been pretty decent. The offense is primarily hurting because Ramirez has started slowly, Quentin has hit a slump and Thome is struggling — again — in the early weeks of the season.

Crisp and Taveras would only make a big difference on this club if they were starting pitchers and could fill the No. 4 or No. 5 slot. As Scott pointed out today, BA’s numbers were very consistent, if not better, than those two guys’ numbers in the early going.

And, I think in the big picture, Kenny is looking forward to the days when Jordan Danks patrols center field and Gordon Beckham anchors down one of the two middle infield slots. Rightly or wrongly, I think he was banking on BA, Getz, Fields, Wise, Nix and others to be good enough to keep the team in the championship chase until those kids are ready to take the big step to the big leagues. Just my opinion, of course. I don’t email Kenny or even the beat writers on a regular basis to get any “inside” scoop.

But Mark said one thing that I totally agree with . . . . . . . In the grand design of life, it doesn’t really matter. This is baseball, the greatest game God (the real God, not me) ever invented. But, still, it is a game and I always try to keep it in that perspective.

Oh, and Kenwo, don’t forget Thornton. He has pitched well too. You are right, the bullpen is probably the reason why we are still sniffing around the .500 mark.

Well, it’s official! I just got my blog tics! Be prepared everyone!

Hey Lip, glad to hear from you!

As for the Boys, well, I have had a migraine for two daYS, I don’t want to talk about it!

Memo to Mike Di Muro and the rest of the umpires in MLB…

The fans pay their good money to see the PLAYERS… and NOT YOU JAMOKES !!!

Some of you guys have the “red ****” BIG TIME… The helmet brushed your shirt, CHUMP… You acted as if Dye took the helmet offf and hit you over the HEAD with it… which sometimes mighht not be such a bad idea… because it might jar some SENSE into your balloon head…

If a player says “the magic word” then you have every right to run them… but NOT for something like what happened at home plate at Progressive Field in the 6th inning yesterday…

Get your sphincter undone, Mike … You’ll live longer…

When you are running out Fields, Getz, Lillibridge instead of Crede/Uribe, Swisher/Griffey, Cabrera on an everyday basis and you don’t have the consistancy that Vazquez brought to the rotation PLUS you have your main guys from last year- Floyd, Danks, Quentin and Ramirez all playing like dog ****- you are going to be in big trouble. That is where we are…big trouble.

The A’s pitching staff for the most part is just out of high school and you can guarantee the Yankees will be in the discussion come september- they always start slow and make moves at the deadline. I just don’t see it with the Sox right now. There is nothing that makes me think that this team can make the playoffs other than the fact the rest of the division isn’t that great (which is a shame that we chose to be not that great instead of putting a chokehold on the central for a few years like the cubs did).

It is going to be a long weekend in Toronto- and that team has more injuries than any team does right now… injuries that matter like BJ Ryan, Shaun Marcum, Dustin McGowan and Jesse Litsch…. not ones that don’t matter like Dewayne Wise and Brian Anderson.

Scott, the thing is, even when this team was fully healthy it was having great trouble scoring runs. Granted, it was only fully healthy for a handful of games. Nevertheless, it’s hard to have any kind of optimism when the team has given us no reason to be optimistic.

I’ve only made it to two games this year; the Sox have been outscored by a combined total of 20-0 in those two games. Doesn’t make me want to rush back out to the park, I’ll tell you that…

I don’t think most Sox fans are ready to throw in the towel on this season. But I also don’t think you should be surprised that we’re a little pessimistic at this point.

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