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VAfan

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About VAfan

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  1. I'm not going to put a lot of advanced stats in this post. I will leave others to do that. But I was thinking this morning as I wrote my "Untouchables" post about the White Sox offense and how it could be the best in the AL in 2021. In 2020, in the AL the Sox were 2nd to the Yankees (315) with 306 runs. 2nd in OPS+ to the Yankees (117) with 113. 1st in HR with 96 1st in slugging at .453 Yet, they gave a huge number of ABs to Edwin Encarnacion, who slashed .157/.250./.377 with an OPS+ of 70. They also gave a lot of ABs to Nomar Mazara, who slashed .228/.295/.294 with an OPS+ of 64. There is no question that Andrew Vaughn as the primary DH will destroy EE's DH numbers. Right field, on the other hand, is still an open question. If the Sox fill that slot with Joc Pederson, he put up an OPS+ of 127 as recently as 2019. Then you look at the rest of the lineup. Tim Anderson, 27, put up a better year in 2020 than he did in 2019. He could still get better. Yoan Moncada, 25, went from 140 OPS+ in 2019 to 94 OPS+ in 2020, mostly because of the lingering effects of COVID. I would expect him to bounce back. Luis Robert, 23, started hot but then went ice cold, only to start to find his stroke by the playoffs. Expect him to make major strides. Eloy Jimenez, 24, is going to continue to solidify his game. Nick Madrigal, 23, is just a really good hitter. Jose Abreu, 33, is unlikely to repeat as MVP, but he's driven to win a championship, so who knows how long he can keep up his play Yasmani Grandal, 32, hit about as well as he has for years. With the upside of the Sox youth, and the fact that they only have one hole to fill -- right field -- if Vaughn holds down the DH spot, the Sox offense should be even better in 2021 than they were this year, when they were already in the top 1-2 offenses in the AL. This is why the Sox should not consider trading any of their core offensive players for pitchers. The Sox can fill their few holes from within, or in free agency, without weakening their offensive strength.
  2. VAfan

    White Sox untouchables

    Reading various threads talking about trading this or that guy is distressing to me, because I think the White Sox shouldn't be thinking about trading any core player, and they have a lot of them. This is my untouchables list. Tim Anderson, 27, signed through 2024 Luis Robert, 23, signed through 2027 Eloy Jimenez, 24 (in 2 days), signed through 2026 Yoan Moncada, 25, signed through 2025 Andrew Vaughn, 22, with full control, including when his service date starts Nick Madrigal, 23, with only one year of service time used Jose Abreu, 33, MVP in 2020, signed through 2022 Yasmani Grandal, 32, signed through 2023 That is 8/9ths of your starting lineup. The reason they should all be untouchable is because: A. All except Abreu and Grandal are on the upswing of their careers, with a high likelihood that they will all get better over the next few years. B. All except Abreu are signed or controlled for the next 3 years, and most are controlled through 4 years (Anderson), 5 years (Moncada and Madrigal?), 6 years (Jimenez and Vaughn?), or 7 years (Robert). C. There is no one in the Sox farm system that could reasonably take over for ANY of these players. So if you trade any of them, you then need to find someone to replace them, and it will most likely be a far lesser player. D. Andrew Vaughn, who often comes up in trade comments, is the core offensive player under the longest control (he could tie Robert if the Sox start him late this year to add a service time year), and with tremendous upside. There is no way the Sox would get his value back in trade because he's still an unknown. Plus, not only does he anchor the DH spot that has been a huge hole in the Sox lineup, he can help extend Abreu by splitting time at 1B. I would also add some pitchers to the untouchables list Michael Kopech, 24, under control through 2024 Dylan Cease, 24, under control through 2025 Garrett Crochet, 21, under control through 2026? Lucas Giolito, 26, under control through 2023 Why am I adding these pitchers? A. Michael Kopech is an unknown at this point, but should be ready in 2021. Because he's an unknown, he will not bring back value equal to his upside, which is considerable. B. Dylan Cease has been a disappointment, but has electric stuff. Like Kopech, he won't bring back value equal to his upside. I want to see if our new pitching coach can do anything close for Cease for what he did for Giolito. He also doesn't need to improve as much as Giolito did to be a very solid 3-4 starter. And he might be better than that. C. Garrett Crochet might become the Sox' best pitcher. D. Giolito may end up not staying, depending on his contract demands. But if you ultimately have to trade him, this year is too early. Better to try to extend him before he puts together another excellent year. My overall opinion is the White Sox have one of the best young cores in MLB. (I don't follow other teams closely enough to say exactly where we rank.) It's taken years to assemble this group, but they've done so, and they've locked most of them up for a very nice run. The Sox need to supplement them to complete the team, but they can't rob from Peter to pay Paul. They must find ways to add without subtracting.
  3. VAfan

    The Blake Snell Thread

    Totally agree.
  4. VAfan

    The Blake Snell Thread

    Sox should not be trading ANY of their A prospects, period. That certainly includes anyone expected to start this season on the major league club - Vaughn, Madrigal, and Kopech to name just 3 guys. Why make these trades when free agent pitchers are available to ADD to the team without sacrificing anyone? It makes no sense to me. If you traded Vaughn, you would have a gaping hole at DH, no one to take over for Abreu when his contract is up. There is no one in the pipeline who can replace him at the moment. The Sox had a great offense this year, but it didn't get them past Oakland in part because we still had holes in the lineup. I hope the Sox front office isn't as dumb as so many of the trade-happy fans that seem to gravitate to Soxtalk.
  5. Not that we need another TLR thread, but I just want to say my peace where it might get noticed. Tony LaRussa was hired for one purpose - to help the Sox win playoff appearances, Division titles, Pennants, and World Series Championships. No one alive today has won more of those things in baseball than Tony LaRussa. Yet, the fanbase and commentators across baseball have widely derided this hire as a massive mistake by the White Sox. LaRussa himself has been criticized as: 1) out of touch with today's athletes, and the Sox players in particular, 2) unable to incorporate modern analytics into his managing, 3) racist for his early rejection of kneeling during the national anthem, 4) incompetent because he hadn't called his players as soon as he was announced as manager, 5) a relic of the past because he hasn't managed since 2011, 6) too old, 7) a drunken irresponsible person for getting a second DUI arrest, and many other things. Sox fans and others have also derided the process by which he was hired, as an edict from Jerry Reinsdorf that in their eyes directly contradicted Rick Hahn's wishes, thereby neutering Hahn's role with the Sox going forward. These commentators refuse to take Hahn's comments during the press conference announcing LaRussa at face value, assuming he was lying to cover up a broken process. I think nearly all of that is irrelevant. Tony LaRussa may or may not succeed as the Sox' manager in 2021 and beyond. But he should not be judged on the process. He should be judged on whether he gets the results he was hired to achieve - playoff appearances, division titles, pennants, and WS championships. The man has managed 5097 games. His teams have made the playoffs 14 times in 33 seasons. They have 6 pennants and 3 World Series titles. He won the World Series with an 83-win and a 90-win Cardinals team, which suggests he doesn't need the most dominant team in baseball to win it all. He's had a winning record at all three stops - Sox, A's, Cardinals. Whatever process Tony LaRussa has used to achieve these milestones, with 33 different collections of players, is okay by me. I defer to his expertise and experience in these matters, because like every other fan and commentator on TLR, I've never managed a major league baseball team or game, and I don't pretend to know more than the guy who is third all-time (about to be second, and the only one to manage during an integrated league) in managing major league games. If you are so disgusted with the Sox over this hire that you want to boycott the team or the games, or give up your fandom, that is your right. And you can continue voicing your criticism of this hire if you like till the cows come home. For me, it's all about the Ws, especially during crunch time. That's where Rick Renteria failed, and it's why he had to go. I expect Tony LaRussa will get better results.
  6. As one of the few people on here who defended the LaRussa hire, I would have to agree that this is a very bad look for Tony LaRussa and Jerry Reinsdorf, who appears ready to stand by LaRussa and not punish him for the DUI. I would also say that those calling for LaRussa to be let go are likely to be disappointed. It appears the Sox knew about the incident, and moved ahead anyway. Even though the headlines about being charged the day before he was hired might lead some to believe he just committed the DUI, or committed it after the hiring conversations, it occurred months ago in Arizona. As I've said all along, I don't know if Tony is going to work. But the DUI by itself doesn't change the reasons the Sox chose to hire him - his baseball acumen. He got a DUI in 2007, apparently, and it didn't prevent him from leading the Cardinals to a World Series win in 2011. So, Tony LaRussa might lack the character that would endear you to root for him. But he might also be a skillful and successful major league manager for the Sox. Despite the widespread criticism, I think we're going to find out.
  7. VAfan

    Tony La Russa named Manager

    Okay, it's been fun debating. Going to leave this topic. If you haven't voted, please do so today.
  8. VAfan

    Tony La Russa named Manager

    Did I say that? I will say that there aren't many major league managers in the world. There are fewer successful ones. There are fewer who've won division titles, fewer still who've won pennants, fewer still who've won World Series. Only 3 in history who have managed 5,000 games, only one of whom did so in the integrated era of baseball. So, among the universe of major league managers, Tony LaRussa is by all measures at or very near the top.
  9. VAfan

    Tony La Russa named Manager

    Tony didn't take a decade off from baseball. He's never left being part of the game. He's spent the last 10 years gaining a different perspective on it. And, for the last time ..... I'm saying Tony LaRussa's track record should earn him some respect. That's what I'm relying on. I'm not pretending, like his critics, to know more than LaRussa about what it will take to manage the White Sox. I'm not pretending, like his critics, to know right now that this will be a failure, when he doesn't even have a full coaching staff yet. I'm also not claiming that it will work magnificently. I've said that throughout. No one knows. Just like no one would know that about any hire the Sox might have made. Just give the guy a break. If it turns out badly, then by all means be critical.
  10. VAfan

    Tony La Russa named Manager

    Read Fegan's article at the Athletic about how Tony reached out to Bruce Maxwell. How many other major league managers have done that?
  11. VAfan

    Tony La Russa named Manager

    It didn't go "over my head." I don't think you are capable of making an argument that I can't understand. There is no online school for major league baseball managing. You might learn how to play poker online, but you can't learn how to manage a baseball team that way. And to flip your example, Tony LaRussa has managed more major league games than all but 2 other people who have ever lived. When you've managed 1, let us know.
  12. VAfan

    Tony La Russa named Manager

    Okay, so inform us what you know. What level of baseball playing and/or coaching have you achieved? BTW - Tony LaRussa has a Doctorate. Lawyer managers in baseball have had a very good track record of success. I happen to be a lawyer too. It is very good analytical training.
  13. VAfan

    Tony La Russa named Manager

    But I'm not sitting here opining that Tony LaRussa doesn't know how to manage -- absurd -- doesn't know how to relate to players -- absurd -- doesn't respect BLM -- proven wrong -- doesn't understand analytics -- absurd. The arguments against LaRussa are overblown and based in ignorance, when the guy has a track record that is worthy of respect. In what field do you work? Who is the top person in that field? Do you think they are a hack who shouldn't be working in that field any longer? The arguments that Tony LaRussa can't manage any longer are being made by neophytes who have no clue. What I do know is that Tony LaRussa has had the most accomplished career of any big league manager in the last 50 years. That's a simple fact. Based on that, I find the deluge of criticism from Sox fans to be premature at the very least. As I said above, if he fails, then let it rip. But give the guy a chance. You might learn something.
  14. VAfan

    Tony La Russa named Manager

    I think you VASTLY underestimate what it takes to be a major league manager, much less one who has led his team to more than 2,700 victories, 12 division titles, 6 pennants, and 3 World Series crowns, and the fact that you THINK that it's easy just affirms your ignorance. And it has nothing to do with playing poker.
  15. VAfan

    Tony La Russa named Manager

    But, unlike you, I'm not pretending I know what Tony LaRussa can't do, which is to successfully manage the Chicago White Sox. That's what you are pretending to know, when you don't know anything of the sort.
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