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Edgy DC
Aug 08 2005 10:39 PM

We've had nary a peep on the team with the best record in baseball. It's a little late to ask if they're for real or not; of course they are. But are they this good?

In particular, I'd like to hear from those that just saw them lose to the Yankees.

Frayed Knot
Aug 08 2005 10:49 PM

- They pitch well. Real well.
- Ozzie loves the small ball better'n Willie ever dreamed of.
- Posednik's running wild but gets thrown out alot.
- This Rowland guy can play the heck out of CF and their defense overall is good
- No one in the lineup hits .300
- Their 2nd sacker Iguchi is what we hoped Kaz would be
- Big Hurt is likely out for the season with another ... well, big hurt of some kind
- I'm not sure if they'll hit enough. They don't have a ton of power so they need their hits in bunches and when they don't get 'em they'll lose while out-hitting the Yanx 9-4 like they did tonight.
- Who's older: El Ducky or Contreras?
- Dustin Hermanson was terrible closing for the Giants last year but is good this year. Can he be trusted in October?

Aug 08 2005 10:49 PM

I only watched a bit of this game, hard to listen to YES, but I have watched them a few times this season and they are a decent team to watch, usually I hate to watch AL baseball but this team is different because they play what Ozzie calls "smart ball", thay make things happen with the SB, the hit and run , abd things like that, but it all comes back to the great pitching.

Plus they seem to feed off Ozzie Guillen and his energy.

Edgy DC
Aug 08 2005 11:15 PM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Aug 08 2005 11:23 PM

Of course, Ozzie putting up an .034 walk rate during his career, complemented by an .074 isolated slugging percentage, would suggest that he's a candidate for Bill James's all-time low percentage player list, rather than a candidate to manage a "smart ball" team, but you never know.

He also was successful on only 61% of his stolen-base attempts.

He was almost a Met in 1987.

Aug 08 2005 11:19 PM

WOW, well I guess Ozzie is having his team do what he dreamed of doing, I would never have gussed that he had those numbers.

Aug 09 2005 07:10 AM

My frined Shoeless Don the White Sox fan told me that Iguchi came to the States with a similar reputation as Kaz Matsui- an infielder with a home run swing. But when he got here, he immediately modified his game to play small ball. He hits behind the runner and does all the "little ball" things required of him by his manager's style of play. My friend adds that fans watching the team every day will tell you that Iguchi is their MVP.


Aug 09 2005 09:09 AM

I have to wonder what their pitching coach did differently this year, because the entire staff is having career years.

Aug 09 2005 09:24 AM

Also, while Iguchi's K/BB ratios varied quite a bit in Japan, he had significantly more plate discipline on the whole than Matsui -- a AAA player with Matsui's K/BB ratios would not be considered a top prospect. And given the difference in pitching and shorter parks, I'd expect 25 HR there to translate to 15 here; Iguchi has 9 HR so far, so I don't really think he's modified his game that dramatically.

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 09 2005 09:31 AM

As I recall it, Iguchi & Matsui were both under consideration before Iguchi decided to spend the 04 season in Japan.

Matsui's speed and switch-hittingness (and probably, a better international rep) tilted the balance toward him, even tho Iguchi had better-looking numbers. There was also some feeling that Iguchi put up his numbers in a better hitters' park than did Matsui.

Whatever. My only real issue with Matsui is his inability to stay healthy, and the fact that the Mets placed him in a position for which he was unsuited. If healthy (a big giant if), I still think he can contribute to this team.

Aug 09 2005 10:09 AM

I'm very impressed with Rowland in the outfield - in my dreams the Yankees will someday have an outfielder like that.

I'm amazed that El Duque and Contreras have been pitching well for the White Sox. Particularly El Duque since my feeling is that he's ancient. There's no question El Duque knows how to pitch but I never figured he'd be able to stay healthy enough to really contribute much. Wrong about that one.

Edgy DC
Aug 09 2005 10:31 AM

Something about the Hernandezes. They always seem to have the guile to continually re-find themselves and re-make themselves as they get older. Don't give up on those two.

It's no surprise that Contreras had more than he showed last year. It's got to be some comfort to Brian Cashman, though, that he, Vazquez and Lieber all fell back to the pack after starting hot and making Cash look foolish.

Frayed Knot
Aug 09 2005 11:55 PM

ChiSox problem in a nutshell:

Missing Frank Thomas (for the season) and Carl Everett (temporarily) they're sporting a lineup w/Timo Perez at DH and batting 5th.

Farmer Ted
Aug 10 2005 01:50 PM

From ChiTown...
The team is clicking and seemingly having fun. Who said chemistry is over-rated? The Podsednik acquisition was tremendous and most fans thought it was a dupe job to let Carlos Lee go. They've gotten support all through the lineup and the young players like Crede and Rowand aren't playing like young players. A bonus is Timo still getting his hacks in and the fans like him. Don't know where they'd be without Garland, though. That extra arm has given them a lot of mileage. In all, a good rotation with Buehrle at the top, followed by Garland and the Cuban/Yankee ex-pats. As for DH, Thomas came back for a while and was just sick, getting seven homers in like his first 12 hits. He's out and Everett isn't killing it. Trade talk involving Griffey swirls around Comiskey/US Cellular. They're locked in for the playoffs and will do some damage. That's all I got. HE GONE.

Aug 10 2005 02:05 PM

Good job, Farmer Ted.

Willets Point
Aug 10 2005 02:13 PM

Rootin' for the ChiSox and Cleveland tonight. Move the Yankers into 3d place for the wild card. hee hee

Aug 11 2005 10:35 AM

"I have to wonder what their pitching coach did differently this year, because the entire staff is having career years."

Actually, i think much of the improvement can be traced to new backstop AJ Pierzynski (who beats Iguchi for Pale Hose MVP, IMO)

Aug 11 2005 10:49 AM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Aug 11 2005 10:59 AM

Doc Tee that's interesting , IIRC AJ Pierzynski was supposedly hated when he was a Giant and guys hated to pitch to him, so went the story anyway.

Frayed Knot
Aug 11 2005 10:58 AM

Which would be weird because Pierzynski's rep before coming to the Sox was that of a class-A asshole.

And here's something I just learned:
Jon Garland was a 1st round pick (10th overall) by Chicago in 1997 ... but it was the Cubs!!
The northsiders then dealt him to the southside barely a year later for the immortal Matt Karchner, a reliever who went on to make 58 appearances over 3 seasons for the Cubbies and hasn't resurfaced in MLB since 2000.
Wow that's a bad trade! What could have possibly soured them on their 1st round pick from just 13 months earlier to deal him for a 31 y/o middle reliever? There's been talk now and then that Garland was one of those who was slow to put together all his talent, but do you really decide this is a fatal flaw when he's 19?

Edgy DC
Aug 11 2005 10:59 AM

Just a guess: maybe he wrecked a teammate's car.

Farmer Ted
Aug 11 2005 02:08 PM

I went to college with Karchner and he was more of a hitter than anything, setting all kinds of school and league hitting records. He was last seen as interim baseball coach at Susquehanna University in PA. He had 26 saves in 84 appearances for the ChiSox so they must have thought he had some value to get Garland. It's very rare for a Cubs-Sox trade, though. Matt was one of the rare few who was a teammate of Michael Jordan in the minors for Birmingham. Originally drafted by KC IIRC.