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fishyguy

Sox bandwagon...Plenty of spaces now available

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fishyguy

Article below from Fox Sports. It seems they are tripping over each other to get off of the Ozzie and Sox bandwagons. Weren't they ready to put Ozzie in the mayor's office last year? Put this team in the Hall of Fame next to the '27 Yanks?

Am I evil for enjoying their fall from glory so much? grin.gif

CHICAGO - "You've got to see my e-mails right now," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was saying. "Oh, my God."

Less than one year after the White Sox's first World Series triumph in 88 years, fans are not sending Guillen love notes.

They're blaming him for the White Sox's demise, calling him an (Contact Us Please), telling him to go back to his native Venezuela.

Welcome to 21st-century America, where everyone has an opinion, everyone craves a scapegoat and last year is so yesterday.

Well, just as there was no simple explanation for the White Sox's rise in 2005, there's no easy explanation for their decline in '06.

Guillen is holding himself accountable — "blame it on me," he insists. General manager Ken Williams also is accepting responsibility — "everyone knows whose desk this falls on," he says.

When Sox broadcaster/cheerleader Ken "Hawk" Harrelson told the Chicago Sun-Times that the Sox were "one of the biggest underachievers I've seen," neither Guillen nor Williams argued.

"If there's such a thing as sputtering your way to 90-plus victories, we've done it," Williams says. "This is a 100-win team. I felt like that from the beginning."

Well, the Sox are on pace to win 91 after Tuesday night's 7-0 victory over Minnesota, but they're 4½ games behind the Twins in the AL wild-card race with 11 to play.

They've never clicked, never functioned as a seamless unit, and their final three games against the Twins at the Metrodome could amount to nothing.

It's baseball, folks. And sometimes, baseball defies logic.

Guillen and Williams can be fiery, so some might find it fitting that two of their past targets — former Sox stars Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez — took turns this week pushing the Sox toward elimination.

The leadership question, though, would be more valid if the White Sox hadn't played better in the first half when Guillen was in the middle of one controversy after another.

Or if Williams hadn't drawn praise last offseason for adding first baseman Jim Thome, right-hander Javier Vazquez and reserves Rob Mackowiak and Alex Cintron to a championship mix.

The players, too, can be faulted only so much. While some of the holdovers might have grown complacent, others are physically spent.

"To sit here now and say, ‘What are we doing? What's not there?' That's tough to answer," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko says.

"We were going about things the same way when it was there. Anybody who tries to figure it out doesn't know the game."

Well, the White Sox must try to figure it out, if only to devise solutions for next season.

Then again, some of their problems were unavoidable:

The World Series title came with a price

Including the postseason, Mark Buerhle threw 260 innings last season, Freddy Garcia 249, Jon Garland 237 and Jose Contreras 236 2/3. Garcia and Vazquez then participated in the World Baseball Classic in March.

And the pitchers weren't the only ones worn down.

"Doing what (we) did takes its toll on next year's team," Konerko says. "You don't have as much in the tank."

The White Sox were 57-31 at the All-Star break. But since then they're 28-35, and rank 10th in the league in ERA.

The AL Central became a monster

The Tigers replaced the Indians in the anticipated three-team race with the Twins and White Sox, and that's only one reason the division figures to keep getting more competitive.

The Tigers are deep in young pitching and willing to spend. The Indians need only to fix their bullpen to rejoin the mix. And the Royals, making rapid progress under new GM Dayton Moore, are becoming a more formidable opponent, the way the Rockies did this season in the NL West.

Few suitable trade options were available on July 3

Yes, the White Sox's only acquisitions before the non-waiver deadline were relievers Mike McDougal and David Riske and backup catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. But the Dodgers' Greg Maddux was the only quality starter to get traded, and he wasn't going to approve a deal to an American League team.

Williams took a run at Nationals left fielder Alfonso Soriano, but pitching was the Sox's biggest need and Williams would have been foolish to sacrifice top prospects for a two-month rental. Finding a replacement for struggling center fielder Brian Anderson also was a low priority; the Sox rank second in the AL in runs scored.

So, was all this just a matter of poor timing and bad luck?

No, the White Sox have indeed underachieved.

Consider that the Sox are a combined 14-11 against the Royals and Devil Rays. The Tigers are a combined 16-4 against those teams, and play the Royals six more times.

Consider also that the Sox are within one Joe Crede homer and seven Crede RBIs of becoming the first team in AL history — and first team other than the 1996 and '99 Coors Field Rockies — with four players to reach 30 homers and 100 RBIs.

Doesn't mean much, considering the Sox's pitching staff ranks eighth in the league in ERA.

"We should be better in a lot of things," Guillen says. "We should be better in the starting rotation. We're not doing the little things. We're not playing fundamental baseball real consistently all year long. That's why we're suffering right now the way we've suffered."

Pitching will be the White Sox's primary focus this offseason; Williams could dangle Garcia, Vazquez and even Buehrle in an effort to produce a younger staff with more upside.

But remember this: Just as last season was "one of those years," so was this season — only with entirely different results.

"I said it the day we won the World Series — if the playoffs started again tomorrow, we could get swept four games," Konerko says. "I never thought we were a great team. I always respected that it's such a fine line. I knew that a bad run like we're having this year was very possible."

It's baseball. It happens.

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genegodawa

Ok now Fishy, either you intentionally replaced Detroit with Minnesota (for that 7-0 game) to see who was paying attention

(after Tuesday night's 7-0 victory over Minnesota, but they're 4½ games )

OR

it was written by a Chi fan with high hopes??????

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Willy

Alot of the fans the Whitesox have been drawing since the WS title have been bandwagon fans.

Makes sense that he is getting hate mails when half the people know little about baseball and were only there because they had a winner.

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fishyguy

Nice catch Geno but I didn't even notice. It was a straight copy and paste from Fox.

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Down to Earth

Pretty much same ol' White Sox as far as I can tell. Aren't they use to the fade in the second half of the season? The only difference last year is they had built such a large lead in the beginning it didn't matter. I woldn't expect them back anytime soon.

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Willy

I would guess until the Sox realize what got them to the WS last year, they will be in the same position they have been every other year. Look great on paper and like to run their mouths, but when it comes down to it - choke.

HRS and power put people in the seats, but defense, pitching and small ball win games and that is the reason they won it last year.

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Commanche Jim

Willy,

Who ran off their mouths? Other than Ozzie?

Basically, the entire White Sox team is all class.....Pauly, Thome, Jermaine, Crede, Anderson, Pods....and AJ says it the way it is. The rest can't speak English, so they had nothing bad to say..........

And good luck to the Twins........almost a big of a story as the Sox of last year.

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SledNeck

looking at the twins payroll and how they predicted them to finish, I'd say this is the bigger story.

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buzzsaw

Ditto with what Sled said... CJim is off.

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Willy

Not really talking about this year. In the past, Buerhle and others have been quick to shoot theirs off and say the Twins won't go anywhere in the playoffs, the Sox were the better team, etc. I'm actually wondering if we'll hear anything this year. Somehow I think not, especially since Buerhle has been absolutely terrible this season.

Doesn't really matter, all that does is that the Sox one year wonder is over and now things can get back to normal. And by normal I mean the Twins dominance over the Central division. I would say your Sox will fade back to the same team they were before last season. Tons of talent, lots of choke. grin.gif

P.S. Thanks for showing your face in here. I didn't know if I could count on a post especially after the Twins eliminated the Hose from the playoffs.

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rundrave

thanks for the good luck props jim.

I respect most of the sox and as much as I dislike ozzie I like how he respects the game.

Im just glad AJ will have plenty of time this off season to practice flipping his bat at former teammates, and trying to think he can "smell rbi's" If he had class he would just trot the bases, instead making himself out to be a complete (Contact Us Please). He has got the smelling taunt down, if he had the rbi's to go with them it might actually be funny.

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buzzsaw

I just wonder what kinda shake ups the White Sox have in mind... Judy Garland was horrid at times, Buehrle was consistantly a runny diaper and Jenks is built like David Wells and broke down at the end of the year... maybe a good conditioning program is in store for the big guy. Dye was a stud, wonder if he'll ever be able to duplicate this season again? if so, will it be in Chicago? I expect them to go back to the drawing board and copy the Twins and Tigers and go after a younger pitching staff.

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Willy

If they would have stayed with the philosophy they used to win it last year, it would have been closer, but I don't think anything could have de-railed the Twins from the playoffs this year.

They basically reverted back to the way they used to do it from 2001-2004. Sit and wait for a 3-run blast every game and it got them the same place it did those years. grin.gif

I also think their pitching, although excellent last year, was somewhat of a fluke. Alot of their guys had career years and that is what it takes to win a WS. This year it averaged out and they were just that - an average pitching staff.

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Eric Wettschreck

They live and die by the long ball.

This time they died.

Wonder if we'll hear from Windy before April???? grin.gif

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Willy

If the Twins happen to get beat out in the playoffs, I'm sure he'll chime in and let us know that the Sox won the series last year.

Otherwise - no. smirk.gif

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Windy City Walleye Hunter

Willy,

Aren't you doing the same thing as you accuse others of? Your Twinks haven't won anything yet. They got to the dance this year, I will give you that, but I haven't seen the prom queens panties yet! There are still a whole bunch of ugly girls waiting at the dance and you should tread lightly so as not to have to go home with Rosie and her 5 sisters, if you know what I mean.

I don't think the Tigers are going anywhere but up next year and the Indians may figure things out and you can be assured that the Sox are going to retool as it is clear that our owner is not afraid to spend money and make moves. Can you feel confident that the Twinks owner will do the same? I wouldn't go clearing space for 5 or 6 World Series trophies before the first one is on the shelf, comprende Amigo? Windy

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Willy

I know we haven't won anything yet. Just pumped for it to start is all. I honestly though the Sox would win our division going away to start the season. Things didn't work out for you, they did for us. Last year was your "year", this may or may not be ours. We'll see.

We won't make many moves. We will let our young guns mature and to tell you the truth. Where is there a hole? DH - yeah maybe. We can expect old TR to make one significant move. Other than that, I would say we are set. Torii needs to have a decision made on him too.

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Eric Wettschreck

First ones already on the shelf, dude. Right next to the second one but that's sooooooooooooooooo last century.

One thing's for certain and that's next year the central will definately be interesting.

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fisherman

Quote:

They got to the dance this year, I will give you that, but I haven't seen the prom queens panties yet! There are still a whole bunch of ugly girls waiting at the dance and you should tread lightly so as not to have to go home with Rosie and her 5 sisters, if you know what I mean.


Lovely grin.gif

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Windy City Walleye Hunter

Boiler,

Our trophy looks mighty shiny itself, right there in between the two other ones we have. Now those are really last century, darn near 2 centuries ago. Windy

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