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About CyAcosta41

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  1. CyAcosta41

    Tony La Russa named Manager

    Never let a hot take get in the way of the facts, junior. Been talking LaRussa with my core group of Sox fanatics the past couple of weeks. Maybe 15-20 guys, all aged 60-67 or so. Not a single one of us like it at all. And if I canvassed a broader network of the discerning baseball types (distinguished from the meathead fan) I know, I'd guess not 1 in 10 would like it. We saw LaRussa in the 80s. Most of us were not unhappy when he was gone. We were all baseball fans who watched what he did with the A's and the Cardinals. And most of us who are discerning understand the huge opportunity cost lost by giving a plum job to the old buddy and not take into account the personality of the modern ballplayer generally and this team in particular. Conference about to start -- I can be persuaded to NOT HATE IT, if and only if it's some sort of goofy "we're smarter than everyone else" pairing of LaRussa with Justin Jirschele. That would be bizarre, but a non-traditional of grooming a guy like JJ is ... interesting ... and could work. But simply hiring LaRussa, as a retread manager, yuck. Taking a break from my golden years for a moment to give you my take.
  2. CyAcosta41

    Tony La Russa named Manager

    My take FWIW ... Obsessive Sox fan for 55+ years. Didn't love LaRussa first go around, although loved that 1983 team and the way the pitching staff dominated baseball the second half of the regular season. Felt he was a good X and O guy, the partnership with Duncan helped him a lot, but intuited and some insider press pals confirmed that his clubhouse schtick as the detached resident genius rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Not at all happy that THAT GUY (and I never warmed up to his act with the A's and Cardinals) -- who has been away from a dugout for a decade, and a decade where tech and personality has dramatically altered the game -- could be considered a leading candidate by anyone. Why? There are so many others! That said, I never bought and would be incredibly surprised if the the Reinsdorf owned Sox EVER considered Hinch or Cora. The point can be and already has been debated ad nauseam but why hire guys fresh off a scandal like that? In many people's eyes a truly big scandal? And to do it that soon? And by a team that already has a scandal in its history that mocks the team name (obviously I'm talking Black Sox). I think we're seeing a few things coming together here and it's not simply a TLR hire in the conventional sense. I think Hinch and Cora were never going to be considered. I think Bochy likely got some discussion, but for whatever reason (likely JR), TLR was preferred. But a common characteristic of Reinsdorf owned sports teams is getting too cute by half, thinking they're going to come up with clever ideas that will revolutionize the game and elicit wows. Specifically -- I think they LOVE whiz-kid manager Justin Jirschele, want him for the long-haul, but realize that they can't throw him into the fire with no big league experience. So, the "we're smarter than everyone else" boys decide they are going to bring TLR and all of his supposed genius out of mothballs, surgically attach JJ to Tony's hip as Assistant Manager (NOT Bench Coach because a Bench Coach has too many specific real Bench Coach duties which would prevent full time learning from the grizzled old manager), with the thought that in Year 1 it would be TLR as Mgr and JJ as Asst-Mgr, but in Year 2 (or 3) it would flip and it would be JJ as Mgr with Tony as Asst-Mgr (or Mgr-Emeritus). One consistent fan thing (here and elsewhere) is to assume that the guys in charge can't see obvious things that we as fans see. These aren't stupid people. The more plausible explanation to me is that they are the opposite -- people who think they are just a wee bit smarter than they actually are. I can totally see the plan I mentioned as their thought process -- or a somewhat similar plan. If it's TLR, there's just no way that it's a straight-forward conventional hiring of a retread manager hire. Just don't see that, but looks like we'll know in short order. And edit: I would hate a pure TLR hire ... because, "why?" But I don't hate the idea of creating an apprentice situation for JJ -- who I think has all sorts of potential and the industry seems to think so as well.'
  3. CyAcosta41

    AJ Hinch: does it matter to you that he cheated?

    It will 100% bother me a lot if Hinch (or Cora) is hired. The binary nature implied by this question -- win with the consensus best guy, overlooking some "warts" VERSUS run scared of the "warts" and settle for less -- is fallacious. Strong case can be made that Hinch is not some irrefutable genius is a must get, all other factors (and candidates) be damned -- his humble AZ start and his failure to win it all outside of a cheating environment raises question about his genius bona fides. More importantly, the very fact that blatant and rampant cheating occurred under his watch can be argued to instantly take him out of the "best guy" category. Yes, people make mistakes and deserve 2nd chances. And, I actually do think that Hinch is a strong overall manager and will likely do a fine job with a really good and possibly soon a stellar roster. But if I own the team (I don't), or if I'm looooong time obsessive fan (I am -- first attended game in 1962 at age 4), I want the organization to be represented by someone you could take true pride in having as your manager, someone whose leadership doesn't contain pretty fricking big and RECENT warts. It's not binary -- there are other top baseball guys who can offer a great chance of maximizing this roster while providing exemplary leadership. Finding THAT GUY isn't settling for less, it's making sure the selection choice includes a proper weighting of all factors. For me -- no Hinch, no Cora -- there are other choices. No LaRussa -- once upon a time got results, but that was a long time ago, and with a different society and breed of player. My top candidates would come from one of two areas: (1) top bench coaches who have apprenticed in top organizations (e.g., Espada, Quatraro, and others); or (2) a veteran or RECENTLY (sorry, Tony) retired successful manager with RINGS -- and my leading candidate here, by far, is Bruce Bochy. He's won it all three times -- but each time with very different rosters -- and exudes professionalism. Others have said it here (and in the press), but pairing Bochy with in-house whiz kid Justin Jirschele (who is also fluent in Spanish, if he didn't already tick off all the other boxes) makes so much sense. Bring in a pro with rings. Check. Bring up your star pupil for graduate school work with an acknowledged master. Double Check. Marry new outside influences with the continuity of someone who has worked with most of the young players on the roster already. Check, check, and checkmate. I hope this is what they'll do. For those who have never seen it -- the NYT wrote an amazing profile of Jirschele a few years back: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/14/magazine/making-an-mlb-manager.html
  4. CyAcosta41

    Jonathan Stiever Discussion Thread

    Big wow. And don't forget Matt Foster -- kid is a bulldog, a pitcher, knows how to pitch with stuff that plays-up for consistently uncomforable at-bats.
  5. CyAcosta41

    Tim Anderson's Don't Come Along Often

    Tim Anderson is truly amazing. Incredible MENTAL skills of understanding his particular strengths (off-the-charts hand-eye coordination and hand-speed) and developing an approach to let his strengths play through each at-bat, thereby taking away all of the tactics of smart major league pitchers (changing eye-level, in-and-out, changing pace to keep a hitter off-balance, etc.). And it's one thing to formulate an approach, but a different and completely rare MENTAL strength is required to have the discipline to do this at the plate, virtually every at bat, against the best pitchers on the planet. Tim looks like he's toying with pitchers. He can do whatever he wants to do. His hand speed allows him to react so much later than most great hitters can. Barry Bonds had that same "advantage" when he became THAT Barry Bonds, only, well, you know .... As a somewhat older fan, TA reminds me of Paul Molitor in his HOF prime -- lightning quick and strong hands making him nearly impossible to pitch to. Incredible that TA has blossomed before our eyes, making him in some ways the primary weapon on a team that already has a revitalized Abreu and young studs like Robert, Jimenez, and (a hopefully soon recovered) Moncada.
  6. My Thompson mention wasn’t meant as a “gotcha” — he’s Top Ten on the Prospect List you used, just turned 20, potentially of additional interest to Texas. Significantly greater currency value than Flores (with all due respect to the great Bernardo) and the next Stiever-type who might pop. I agree with you that it isn’t Dunning or bust. A Lynn trade, or one like it, must be explored in 2020 or 2021. If it’s me, Kopech and Dunning are not on the table in discussions (well, crazy offers can change anything) because why trade them when they’re both likely 2021 starters and you have so many others you can move? I’d be extra careful about moving either of our 2020 picks because that’s your next wave. Everyone else, adding any position player not named Vaughn? Available in the “right” deal — knowing full well that the right deal to our management team is not necessarily the right deal to some subgroup of fans. Fortunately fans don’t make the call or we’d have TA at catcher instead of two All-Stars.
  7. It’s the age old question about going for it now by using prospect currency to maximize the now at the expense of some quantum of quantity or quality later. Never an easy call because the supposedly good bet for the now isn’t always that, plus the prospect(s) who can make it all work need to be deemed expendable by the team going for it and more attractive to the team ditching the vet than they’d get from other teams also going for it now. Thing is, pretty much every team will at some point “go for it” because winning the World Series is the point. Of course, you also can’t be stupid about — no two vets are the same and likelihood of having a real shot can always be argued (hello James Shields). Great discussion topic. And as somebody else pointed out, our pitching prospect war chest Is even greater because you omitted Matthew Thompson (#9).
  8. CyAcosta41

    White Sox Spring Training Thread

    Love hitting mechanics, so my observations from the perspective of those who can't do, teach: Bailey is not stepping back as he swings. He's stepping back as (likely) part timing-device, part effort to reinforce maximum load. That subtle and minor step back, little more than a weight shift really, occurs when the ball is still in the pitcher's hand. But he's in a neutral "hitter's position" on release. From there, all movement is towards the pitcher. First time I've seen the big guy in action. Even from this drill, you can see why he's getting some hype -- big, athletic, muscular, but with a lot of fluidity in his movements.
  9. CyAcosta41

    OF Prospects - Who will Rebound in 2020?

    While unlikely, if Basabe were to get close to his ceiling, he'd absolutely be a 5-tool player. Sin duda, dude. But the minor leagues are littered with a metric ton of outstanding athletes who max out in AAA (or AAAA) precisely because the promise of getting close to the "hit tool" ceiling never materializes for them. In fairness, it's often said that hitting high-end pitching is the hardest thing to do in all of sports. Some of my favorite Sox 'spects and young major leaguers over the years were these POTENTIAL 5-tool players because you could dream on what they'd become IF (the elusive "IF") they put it all together. I'm thinking of guys like Buddy Bradford, Johnny ("The Jet") Jeter, Ken Henderson, and, more recently, good old Brian Anderson. This is undoubtedly the year we see what we have with Basabe. I'm more interested in Basabe (as a potential 5-tool guy) and Adolfo for the extreme upside in power (and that gun of his) than I am in Rutherford or Gonzalez. The latter two could put it all together, but their ceiling is likely journeymen or 4th OF'ers (asterisk goes to Rutherford if the newly added muscle and a possible launch angle change unlocks any power). Nothing wrong with their profiles, but all teams have guys like this. You can find them in virtually any trade. I want to know more about the loud tools of Basabe and Adolfo before I give up on them. And, for both, this is probably the year they have to actually show something. Good discussion, guys! White Sox baseball 2020 coming up soon! Praise the Lord (of your choice)!
  10. CyAcosta41

    COVEY DFA-ed - Signed by TB

    I was at that game in Boston (June 2018 -- near my birthday and have some Boston roots and family). Fortunate to sit right behind the plate. Covey was insane. 95-96 with crazy darting movement. Lots of sink. Sale was awesome too, but if you didn't know their full resumes, one would have thought Covey had every bit the accomplishments as Sale. For a 4-5 week period, dude put it all together and harnessed the potential that made him a high draft choice to begin with and a viable Rule 5 lottery pick by the Sox. But those overall stats for three years in a Sox uniform. Wow are those ugly. Sort of a pitcher's version of Joe Borchard. Some incredible tools on paper. Every now and then you see a flash. But absolutely zero reason to believe there is going to be any sustained and consistent success. Good luck, DC. Seems like a good guy and clearly worked hard at his game. It's just gratifying to see that the depth is improved that we can cut some of these paper warriors without holding them ... forever.
  11. CyAcosta41

    Edwin Encarnacion

    Plenty has been written the past year or so about Mendick impressing the brass as a quite solid utility man (speaking defense), better than serviceable anywhere you put him, and a stronger athlete than people give him credit for. He might not have Yolmer’s glove overall, but the dude was a shortstop in college, primarily a shortstop in the minors, and played other positions when it was clear his path forward was as a utility man. Minors: SS - 325 games 2B - 144 3B - 80 OF - 18 Sox (2019): SS - 5 2B - 3 3B - 3 To my eye, he looked solid period. Poised and mature. Actually ideal for this roster. Only question for me is whether to rely on someone so inexperienced when 2020 is clearly a “go for it” year. Offensively he should be far stronger than Yolmer.
  12. CyAcosta41

    Successful Plan B; What’s Next?

    Disappointing stretch to be sure after the excitement of the Grandal “perfect for THEIR roster” signing. Don’t mind not chasing and following a plan over an offseason, but I’m increasingly strained to see a plan other than “let’s make the value play and see who drops to us.” That’s so weak. Because of the Grandal Dodgers connection, I’d be shocked if Alex Woods isn’t a FA acquisition (assuming his back is okay). We sure need a lefty. Problem is we all know he’ll be spun as FA-SP #1 when he should be the #2. Get ready for Woods-Nova. Don’t hate the idea of Nova as the #2, but Ryu and Keuchel are there for the taking. As for trading away Vaughn and Madrigal — I understand that Hahn and company’s performance isn’t great, but both those guys are sure fire major leaguers, good floors with a shot of strong and valuable ceilings. This organization understands the value of THAT. The Tatis trade — giving away a high ceiling (revisionist history to say that ANYONE knew it was THAT high) kid with a low floor too has little to do with how they are likely to treasure the organizational value of Vaughn, Madrigal, and the two high school righties! Remaining optimistic by choice, but these guys don’t make it easy on us.
  13. CyAcosta41

    Sox in on MadBum

    This. 100% this. The now is all that matters now. (Geeze, "Thanks, Yogi," right?) Seriously, all arguments re Wheeler and Cole are legacy, moot. With the serious accumulation of positional talent, and the clock ticking, no way can the Sox go forward with guys like Baneulos, Covey, Despaigne, Detwiler, Santana, and Santiago. Given need and available cash, each of Bumgarner, Keuchel, and Ryu are completely "gettable." Each has pros, cons, and risk factors. Each will be considered an "overpay" on any old-fashioned stats analysis or modern bWar or other more advanced metric analysis. So what? You want to avoid that lovely list of pitchers of the ilk above, then you have to pay what the market currently costs for a better level. If it's me, I'm all over Dallas Keuchel. Rubber-arm, much less likelihood that he implodes (either performance-wise or via injury). His very top year (2015 Cy Young) was better than anything Mark Buehrle ever put up (and I'm a total Buehrle fanatic), but now he's totally late career Mark Buehrle. Nothing wrong with that profile. And that profile is exactly what this roster full of hard-throwing righties needs. He gives the Sox a much less monochromatic look in any series he pitches in. His only wart is that you're getting a #4 and you're paying the FORMER #2 kind of pricing. Sucks. But that's the market. I could get behind either of Bumgarner or Ryu too, but prefer Keuchel. Pair Keuchel with a return of Nova at the beginning of the season. Feel a LOT better with that than last year's parade of wishful thinking. Only other viable option is the three-way trade, taking on a bad contract, and then using the prospects received to locate a controllable #3/4 type of arm. But who? These guys are overvalued in today's market as well. Get thee arse in gear RH , prove that you're a Boras-whisperer, and get us a Dallas Keuchel.
  14. CyAcosta41

    6/7 White Sox @ Royals (7:15 PM)

    Epic analysis. Yeah, a bit harsh directed to a fellow Sox fan, but the former litigator in me enjoyed it more than I probably should admit. While I agree that Homer Bailey is clearly an All Star in sustained suckitude (starting pitcher division), the All Star MVP in my opinion is the White Sox’s own Jamie Navarro. He was the Lou Gehrig of non-quality starts. His 4 year run of failure from 1997 - 2000 (the first three with the Sox) was beyond putrid. No, I can’t even bring myself to post the stats. Look it up, if you dare. And where Navarro laps Bailey is he was horrible AND durable. He never missed a chance to dig a hole for his teammates. Similar in that they got chance after chance because of a “good stuff” reputation and some early to mid career success (a bit more for Navarro). Anyway, good times. I remember more than a few posts here advocating grabbing Bailey from the Reds. Some of the best moves are the moves never made! Carry on (or should I say, carrion).
  15. CyAcosta41

    Big Changes at FutureSox - Part One of Three

    Matt ... You and the gang have done amazing work at FutureSox. I always look forward to seeing what updates you've made each time I bop on over and visit. Congrats on the big changes. Here's hoping everything about it exceeds all expectations! One minor negative is the sonic quality of the Podcast. I've got some tangential involvement in some related industries, so I know comparing what FutureSox can broadcast to the Big Boys isn't necessarily fair. That said, while Clint, Brian, and others have done great substantive work (and always appreciated), the listening experience is unfortunately a bit harsh. Perhaps harsher than it needs to be. Just nitpicking for the sake of an even greater FutureSox overall experience. You guys rock. Cy