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I'm going to enjoy the White Sox this year

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I seem to be one of the few posters on Soxtalk who is gung ho and positive about the team.

I just posted over at the Athletic something that came to me. Why am I so positive when so many Sox fans are so negative? I think it's because while the Sox have been wandering in the wilderness during the rebuild, I just tuned the team and MLB out. I have been a Sox fan since 1970 when I lived in the Chicago area, but I haven't lived in Illinois since 1976, so it's pretty easy for me to do that. Meanwhile, I'm guessing most of the fans who remain highly critical of the team have continued living through those painful years, and feel that team ownership and management owes them something for them having to endure those years.  Is there something to that? 

For me, returning to the team as I did last year, all I see are good things and growth.  Here are a few things that I really like (whether or not other Sox fans do).

1.  The Sox have 9 players - tied with the Dodgers - on MLB's top 100 Players Right Now list. Only 4 of them are in their 30s, with Abreu 34. Lynn 33, and Grandal and Hendriks 32. 

2. Of these 9 players, the young core is going to be here for 3 or more years. See my 3-5 year window article.  Lance Lynn is only signed for one year, but could easily be extended.  

3. Most of these 9 players are still improving -- Robert, Moncada, Giolito, Jimenez, Anderson.  The other 4 should hang in there for another few years. 

4. In addition to this top-100 core, the Sox are going to bring up three more young players with great upside - Andrew Vaughn, Michael Kopech, and Zack Collins. Some may think Collins doesn't belong on this list, but I think he just needs enough ML ABs to settle in and prove he'll be a very good offensive backup catcher and part-time lefty DH.  Meanwhile, Vaughn and Kopech might join other Sox' players on that top 100 list soon.  

5. The Sox also have a HOF manager, who has won far more games during the decades of integrated baseball than any other manager in history. He's won pennants and World Series with teams in both leagues. And he's bilingual. If he takes the Sox to the World Series and wins, he'll be the consensus best manager of all time. 

6. I love the Sox new pitching coach Ethan Katz, and what I think he'll be able to do with the young Sox pitchers, especially Dylan Cease.

7. The Sox have one of the best, and perhaps the best, bullpens in baseball. This will help them win a lot of games, and will become of even more importance when the Sox make the playoffs.  And that's without counting Garrett Crochet, the 100-mph man, who could be the ultimate bullpen weapon this year before he converts to being starter.

8. The Sox probably have the best offense in the AL. They can bash the ball with anyone.  But they can do more than just bash. They have some great speed guys in Robert and Anderson, and some excellent bat control guys like Madrigal and Eaton. 

9. The Sox have the reigning AL-MVP in Jose Abreu, who has won the RBI title the last two years. They have perhaps the best closer in baseball in Liam Hendriks. They have the 2019 batting title winner in Tim Anderson. 

10. In Tim Anderson, the Sox have one of the best leadoff players in baseball. All he did in the short postseason was get 3 hits in each of his 3 games -- 9 hits overall. He is still getting better. He was the highest ranked Sox player in the Top 100, and he's probably underrated. 

11. In Eloy Jimenez, the Sox have a budding superstar with the bat, who will probably take over Abreu's role in the middle of the lineup as Jose eventually ages out. He's also got a winning personality, keeping everyone uplifted and loose. He's smiling all the time. 

12. In Lucas Giolito, the Sox have a big-game pitcher who rises to the occasion. He may not win the Cy Young (though he may), but I wouldn't be afraid to start him heads up with any Cy Young or other pitcher in baseball. I would consider us no worse than even in any matchup. 

13. In Luis Robert, the Sox have a budding superstar. Who knows how good he'll become over the next few years. But it's going to be fun to watch.

14. The Sox went 14-0 against lefty starters last year. That should terrify opposing managers who will have to try to juggle their pitching staffs to avoid using lefty starters and relievers. 

The Sox are a young, hungry team who got a taste last year and now are ready to dominate. They have skillful and savvy vets to help lead them, several guys who have been on World Series teams, and a HOF manager who has seen it all and knows how to manage when the pressure is on. 

I'm really glad the Sox didn't go out and repeat the Encarnacion and Gonzalez mistakes, but instead decided to roll with young players who need to play to get them where they need to be by the postseason. I don't want to watch some dubious veteran with no future on the Sox take ABs away from a younger player who is expected to be part of the team's core for the next 5-6 years. I happen to really like the choices the Sox made in the offseason. 

I don't know if the Sox are going to win the AL Pennant or World Series, but I believe we're going to win the AL Central by a relatively comfortable margin. There may be ups and downs during the season, but I'm not going to freak out about it. 

I'm just going to enjoy the Sox this year. 

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6 minutes ago, VAfan said:

I seem to be one of the few posters on Soxtalk who is gung ho and positive about the team.

I just posted over at the Athletic something that came to me. Why am I so positive when so many Sox fans are so negative? I think it's because while the Sox have been wandering in the wilderness during the rebuild, I just tuned the team and MLB out. I have been a Sox fan since 1970 when I lived in the Chicago area, but I haven't lived in Illinois since 1976, so it's pretty easy for me to do that. Meanwhile, I'm guessing most of the fans who remain highly critical of the team have continued living through those painful years, and feel that team ownership and management owes them something for them having to endure those years.  Is there something to that? 

For me, returning to the team as I did last year, all I see are good things and growth.  Here are a few things that I really like (whether or not other Sox fans do).

1.  The Sox have 9 players - tied with the Dodgers - on MLB's top 100 Players Right Now list. Only 4 of them are in their 30s, with Abreu 34. Lynn 33, and Grandal and Hendriks 32. 

2. Of these 9 players, the young core is going to be here for 3 or more years. See my 3-5 year window article.  Lance Lynn is only signed for one year, but could easily be extended.  

3. Most of these 9 players are still improving -- Robert, Moncada, Giolito, Jimenez, Anderson.  The other 4 should hang in there for another few years. 

4. In addition to this top-100 core, the Sox are going to bring up three more young players with great upside - Andrew Vaughn, Michael Kopech, and Zack Collins. Some may think Collins doesn't belong on this list, but I think he just needs enough ML ABs to settle in and prove he'll be a very good offensive backup catcher and part-time lefty DH.  Meanwhile, Vaughn and Kopech might join other Sox' players on that top 100 list soon.  

5. The Sox also have a HOF manager, who has won far more games during the decades of integrated baseball than any other manager in history. He's won pennants and World Series with teams in both leagues. And he's bilingual. If he takes the Sox to the World Series and wins, he'll be the consensus best manager of all time. 

6. I love the Sox new pitching coach Ethan Katz, and what I think he'll be able to do with the young Sox pitchers, especially Dylan Cease.

7. The Sox have one of the best, and perhaps the best, bullpens in baseball. This will help them win a lot of games, and will become of even more importance when the Sox make the playoffs.  And that's without counting Garrett Crochet, the 100-mph man, who could be the ultimate bullpen weapon this year before he converts to being starter.

8. The Sox probably have the best offense in the AL. They can bash the ball with anyone.  But they can do more than just bash. They have some great speed guys in Robert and Anderson, and some excellent bat control guys like Madrigal and Eaton. 

9. The Sox have the reigning AL-MVP in Jose Abreu, who has won the RBI title the last two years. They have perhaps the best closer in baseball in Liam Hendriks. They have the 2019 batting title winner in Tim Anderson. 

10. In Tim Anderson, the Sox have one of the best leadoff players in baseball. All he did in the short postseason was get 3 hits in each of his 3 games -- 9 hits overall. He is still getting better. He was the highest ranked Sox player in the Top 100, and he's probably underrated. 

11. In Eloy Jimenez, the Sox have a budding superstar with the bat, who will probably take over Abreu's role in the middle of the lineup as Jose eventually ages out. He's also got a winning personality, keeping everyone uplifted and loose. He's smiling all the time. 

12. In Lucas Giolito, the Sox have a big-game pitcher who rises to the occasion. He may not win the Cy Young (though he may), but I wouldn't be afraid to start him heads up with any Cy Young or other pitcher in baseball. I would consider us no worse than even in any matchup. 

13. In Luis Robert, the Sox have a budding superstar. Who knows how good he'll become over the next few years. But it's going to be fun to watch.

14. The Sox went 14-0 against lefty starters last year. That should terrify opposing managers who will have to try to juggle their pitching staffs to avoid using lefty starters and relievers. 

The Sox are a young, hungry team who got a taste last year and now are ready to dominate. They have skillful and savvy vets to help lead them, several guys who have been on World Series teams, and a HOF manager who has seen it all and knows how to manage when the pressure is on. 

I'm really glad the Sox didn't go out and repeat the Encarnacion and Gonzalez mistakes, but instead decided to roll with young players who need to play to get them where they need to be by the postseason. I don't want to watch some dubious veteran with no future on the Sox take ABs away from a younger player who is expected to be part of the team's core for the next 5-6 years. I happen to really like the choices the Sox made in the offseason. 

I don't know if the Sox are going to win the AL Pennant or World Series, but I believe we're going to win the AL Central by a relatively comfortable margin. There may be ups and downs during the season, but I'm not going to freak out about it. 

I'm just going to enjoy the Sox this year. 

I am going to completely agree with you. I will not get caught up in game threads or hung on pitches , this is the best team I have seen in a long time . Very excited about the young players and pitchers and how they handle things . Very bullish on the season and I will admit as I age I try to enjoy things more than being a bitter whitesox fan calling for the heads of people whether owners or managers or players. I think they did a nice job getting this team aligned and although they have A few gaps I believe if someone significant goes down with a year end they will go for getting someone if they are in it , of course this board will always protect their precious minor leaguers thinking all will come through. I am really going to enjoy and root for success.

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We have an all star at every position but RF for the next 5 years.  And in some cases, arguably the best player in the league at said position.   This is going to be an absolute juggernaut the likes the league has never seen before.  

Edited by Jerksticks
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After the previous decade this is a bright spot. 

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42 minutes ago, VAfan said:

I seem to be one of the few posters on Soxtalk who is gung ho and positive about the team.

I just posted over at the Athletic something that came to me. Why am I so positive when so many Sox fans are so negative? I think it's because while the Sox have been wandering in the wilderness during the rebuild, I just tuned the team and MLB out. I have been a Sox fan since 1970 when I lived in the Chicago area, but I haven't lived in Illinois since 1976, so it's pretty easy for me to do that. Meanwhile, I'm guessing most of the fans who remain highly critical of the team have continued living through those painful years, and feel that team ownership and management owes them something for them having to endure those years.  Is there something to that? 

For me, returning to the team as I did last year, all I see are good things and growth.  Here are a few things that I really like (whether or not other Sox fans do).

1.  The Sox have 9 players - tied with the Dodgers - on MLB's top 100 Players Right Now list. Only 4 of them are in their 30s, with Abreu 34. Lynn 33, and Grandal and Hendriks 32. 

2. Of these 9 players, the young core is going to be here for 3 or more years. See my 3-5 year window article.  Lance Lynn is only signed for one year, but could easily be extended.  

3. Most of these 9 players are still improving -- Robert, Moncada, Giolito, Jimenez, Anderson.  The other 4 should hang in there for another few years. 

4. In addition to this top-100 core, the Sox are going to bring up three more young players with great upside - Andrew Vaughn, Michael Kopech, and Zack Collins. Some may think Collins doesn't belong on this list, but I think he just needs enough ML ABs to settle in and prove he'll be a very good offensive backup catcher and part-time lefty DH.  Meanwhile, Vaughn and Kopech might join other Sox' players on that top 100 list soon.  

5. The Sox also have a HOF manager, who has won far more games during the decades of integrated baseball than any other manager in history. He's won pennants and World Series with teams in both leagues. And he's bilingual. If he takes the Sox to the World Series and wins, he'll be the consensus best manager of all time. 

6. I love the Sox new pitching coach Ethan Katz, and what I think he'll be able to do with the young Sox pitchers, especially Dylan Cease.

7. The Sox have one of the best, and perhaps the best, bullpens in baseball. This will help them win a lot of games, and will become of even more importance when the Sox make the playoffs.  And that's without counting Garrett Crochet, the 100-mph man, who could be the ultimate bullpen weapon this year before he converts to being starter.

8. The Sox probably have the best offense in the AL. They can bash the ball with anyone.  But they can do more than just bash. They have some great speed guys in Robert and Anderson, and some excellent bat control guys like Madrigal and Eaton. 

9. The Sox have the reigning AL-MVP in Jose Abreu, who has won the RBI title the last two years. They have perhaps the best closer in baseball in Liam Hendriks. They have the 2019 batting title winner in Tim Anderson. 

10. In Tim Anderson, the Sox have one of the best leadoff players in baseball. All he did in the short postseason was get 3 hits in each of his 3 games -- 9 hits overall. He is still getting better. He was the highest ranked Sox player in the Top 100, and he's probably underrated. 

11. In Eloy Jimenez, the Sox have a budding superstar with the bat, who will probably take over Abreu's role in the middle of the lineup as Jose eventually ages out. He's also got a winning personality, keeping everyone uplifted and loose. He's smiling all the time. 

12. In Lucas Giolito, the Sox have a big-game pitcher who rises to the occasion. He may not win the Cy Young (though he may), but I wouldn't be afraid to start him heads up with any Cy Young or other pitcher in baseball. I would consider us no worse than even in any matchup. 

13. In Luis Robert, the Sox have a budding superstar. Who knows how good he'll become over the next few years. But it's going to be fun to watch.

14. The Sox went 14-0 against lefty starters last year. That should terrify opposing managers who will have to try to juggle their pitching staffs to avoid using lefty starters and relievers. 

The Sox are a young, hungry team who got a taste last year and now are ready to dominate. They have skillful and savvy vets to help lead them, several guys who have been on World Series teams, and a HOF manager who has seen it all and knows how to manage when the pressure is on. 

I'm really glad the Sox didn't go out and repeat the Encarnacion and Gonzalez mistakes, but instead decided to roll with young players who need to play to get them where they need to be by the postseason. I don't want to watch some dubious veteran with no future on the Sox take ABs away from a younger player who is expected to be part of the team's core for the next 5-6 years. I happen to really like the choices the Sox made in the offseason. 

I don't know if the Sox are going to win the AL Pennant or World Series, but I believe we're going to win the AL Central by a relatively comfortable margin. There may be ups and downs during the season, but I'm not going to freak out about it. 

I'm just going to enjoy the Sox this year. 

VAfan ...Bravo !!! -  for speaking up to all the negative posters on this site. You listed things so well. I couldn't have said it better myself. So many reasons to be thrilled with this team. I am so excited and can not wait for the season to start. In the lock down cancel culture times we are living in some( and I hope many)  of us have something so positive to look forward to.Thanks for the great post . Lets enjoy what we have . Go Go Sox !!!

Edited by aFrankSoxFan
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It's possible to be super excited about the team (which I am) AND also upset that the 85 year old cheap fuck of an owner isn't capitalizing on this once in a possibly lifetime cheap roster by spending money & hiring his fossil drinking buddy to coach (which I am)

The choice shouldn't have been: trust a young guy or sign a shaky veteran that will likely fail.  It should have been: offer blank checks out to the top free agents that fill the couple real holes on the roster & use those young guys as depth (which we are extremely lacking on).

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59 minutes ago, Jerksticks said:

We have an all star at every position but RF for the next 5 years.  And in some cases, arguably the best player in the league at said position.   This is going to be an absolute juggernaut the likes the league has never seen before.  

Madrigal and Moncada will never have an easy road to the ASG. 

If we do extend Lynn, it won't be easily done, as a strong season from him has to roll down and impact money earmarked for Lucas, Vaughn, Madrigal, Kopech/Cease/Crochet, etc. Personally, would be pretty surprised to see it happen with Keuchel on books. 

Another obvious weakness besides 4/5 is going to be Grandal's health as he ages. 

And Zack Collins isn't being counted on for much at all by the majority of the fan base.   That said, we could still get lucky with Micker, Sheets or Burger... not to mention Cespedes or Colas. 

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12 minutes ago, jenksycat said:

It's possible to be super excited about the team (which I am) AND also upset that the 85 year old cheap fuck of an owner isn't capitalizing on this once in a possibly lifetime cheap roster by spending money & hiring his fossil drinking buddy to coach (which I am)

The choice shouldn't have been: trust a young guy or sign a shaky veteran that will likely fail.  It should have been: offer blank checks out to the top free agents that fill the couple real holes on the roster & use those young guys as depth (which we are extremely lacking on).

SD Padres, #2-3 team in baseball coming from the 29th media market and opening 2021 at $162 million in payroll in a state with noteworthy Covid issues.   We are only around what, $130 million in one of the Top 3~5 media markets in the entire country.  It's roughly split 60/40 with Cubs, but that still is a significant market to exploit if only the organization could creatively use their collective imagination...in terms of at least reaching parity with the "greedy/evil" Cubs' collapsing empire.

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42 minutes ago, jenksycat said:

It's possible to be super excited about the team (which I am) AND also upset that the 85 year old cheap fuck of an owner isn't capitalizing on this once in a possibly lifetime cheap roster by spending money & hiring his fossil drinking buddy to coach (which I am)

The choice shouldn't have been: trust a young guy or sign a shaky veteran that will likely fail.  It should have been: offer blank checks out to the top free agents that fill the couple real holes on the roster & use those young guys as depth (which we are extremely lacking on).

 It is so beyond exhausting and irritating that this apparently needs to be repeated over and over again. Some people just have blinders on and can't even entertain the idea that there are still a lot of potential issues.  There seemingly is very little room with said fans for identifying, let alone discussing actual analytics that show real concern.

Mainly the fact we overall still look like the same team as last year and ultimately that team failed, in a truncated season where there were numerous extra playoff spots. 

The biggest advantage they will have is a less competitive AL central.  But surely those of you super optimistic fans know damn well you wouldn't be happy with merely winning a non competitive division, right?

Edited by RagahRagah
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1 hour ago, RagahRagah said:

 It is so beyond exhausting and irritating that this apparently needs to be repeated over and over again. Some people just have blinders on and can't even entertain the idea that there are still a lot of potential issues.  There seemingly is very little room with said fans for identifying, let alone discussing actual analytics that show real concern.

Mainly the fact we overall still look like the same team as last year and ultimately that team failed, in a truncated season where there were numerous extra playoff spots. 

The biggest advantage they will have is a less competitive AL central.  But surely those of you super optimistic fans know damn well you wouldn't be happy with merely winning a non competitive division, right?

We do NOT "overall still look like the same team as last year."  Here's 10 reasons off the top. 

1. Yoan Moncada is over Covid. He went from a 140 OPS+ to a 94 OPS+. Maybe he doesn't get all the way back to 2019. Maybe he's better than 2019. He's going to be a lot better than 2020.

2. Luis Robert, year 2. Sky is the limit for this player. He could be a top 10 player in MLB in 2 years. 

3. Lance Lynn. Having a workhorse #3 starter is going to be huge.  In 13 starts last year, he gave up 0 ER 2x, 1 ER 4x, 2 ER 3x, more than 3 ER 2x (both to Houston). If you take out his 2 Houston starts, his ERA would have been 1.875. 

4. Andrew Vaughn will be better than Edwin Encarnacion.  Probably a LOT better.

5. Adam Eaton will be better than Nomar Mazara

6. Liam Hendriks is better than Alex Colome. 

7. Aaron Bummer should be healthy

8. Garrett Crochet will contribute in some capacity.

9. Michael Kopech will contribute in some capacity

10. Tony LaRussa is a HOF manager for a reason. Ricky Renteria never will be. 

As for going beyond winning the AL Central, the playoffs are always a bit of a crapshoot. Just ask the Dodgers how many WS rings they've won in a decade of dominance in the NL. The Sox can compete with any AL team in the playoffs. Our offense is as good or better than any other AL team, including the Yankees. Our starting pitching can compete, and our bullpen might be the best.  

Adam Eaton may be considered by many naysayers as the weakest link in our lineup, but he hit #2 for the World Series winning Nationals just 2 years ago. 

Lighten up a bit and enjoy the season. We even have great announcers to help us enjoy the ride!

 

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1 hour ago, RagahRagah said:

 It is so beyond exhausting and irritating that this apparently needs to be repeated over and over again. Some people just have blinders on and can't even entertain the idea that there are still a lot of potential issues.  There seemingly is very little room with said fans for identifying, let alone discussing actual analytics that show real concern.

Mainly the fact we overall still look like the same team as last year and ultimately that team failed, in a truncated season where there were numerous extra playoff spots. 

The biggest advantage they will have is a less competitive AL central.  But surely those of you super optimistic fans know damn well you wouldn't be happy with merely winning a non competitive division, right?

Same team as last year? I couldn’t disagree more. Our DH last year hit .153. Vaughn will  hit 100 points higher at a minimum. Our right fielder hit one home run and batted less than .220 if I recall. Eaton will do better than that. Robert being a year older and more experience will help. Moncada not having covid, Lynn as 3rd starter huge improvement.  Marshal, Kopeck, Crochet, Bummer and Hendricks looks like a lethal bullpen.  I’m not embarrassed to say I’m pumped and this Sox team should be as good as anyone in baseball. This boards negitivity comes from the idiot talk of trading Vaughn, Madrigal and Crochet just for the sake of a trade. Talk about beyond exhausting and irritating and just plain moronic. And oh by the way we had Renteria as a manager. Larussa HUGE improvement there as well. Mic drop 

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Thus far, this thread is the perfect encapsulation of the hyperbole coming from both sides of White Sox fandom. And it’s exactly how we treat politics in this country right now as well. If you’re on the right, you a Qanon loving, racist idiot and if you’re on the left, you must be a socialist loving commie liberal that hates America. Of course 95% of Americans aren’t either, but that’s how the “other side” is defined because of a very small vocal minority. 

Like most things.....there is nuance to the conversation. Most Sox fans are NOT negative about the upcoming season. But being “positive” about the Sox in 2021 doesn’t mean you should ignore the very real concerns that could haunt this team. 
 

I’m very excited for White Sox baseball in 2021. If you aren’t, in my opinion I don’t really understand why you would cheer for a team. They are a young, likable bunch on the come up and should provide us a ton of memorable moments this upcoming season. I was also disappointed with how resources were managed in the off-season. I wish they spent more money, and the money that they did spend should have been used in different areas in my opinion. I don’t like the idea of the season resting on Dylan Cease turning into a solid MLB pitcher. The point is...you can feel both things!

So please...stop with the hyperbole on both sides. 

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1 hour ago, Tony said:

Thus far, this thread is the perfect encapsulation of the hyperbole coming from both sides of White Sox fandom. And it’s exactly how we treat politics in this country right now as well. If you’re on the right, you a Qanon loving, racist idiot and if you’re on the left, you must be a socialist loving commie liberal that hates America. Of course 95% of Americans aren’t either, but that’s how the “other side” is defined because of a very small vocal minority. 

Like most things.....there is nuance to the conversation. Most Sox fans are NOT negative about the upcoming season. But being “positive” about the Sox in 2021 doesn’t mean you should ignore the very real concerns that could haunt this team. 
 

I’m very excited for White Sox baseball in 2021. If you aren’t, in my opinion I don’t really understand why you would cheer for a team. They are a young, likable bunch on the come up and should provide us a ton of memorable moments this upcoming season. I was also disappointed with how resources were managed in the off-season. I wish they spent more money, and the money that they did spend should have been used in different areas in my opinion. I don’t like the idea of the season resting on Dylan Cease turning into a solid MLB pitcher. The point is...you can feel both things!

So please...stop with the hyperbole on both sides. 

Meanwhile, I'm guessing most of the fans who remain highly critical of the team have continued living through those painful years, and feel that team ownership and management owes them something for them having to endure those years.  Is there something to that? 

For me, returning to the team as I did last year, all I see are good things and growth.  Here are a few things that I really like (whether or not other Sox fans do)...”

 

I can just imagine every loss bring blamed on TLR, just like previously with Renteria...but it’s going to be even more polarized.

Because lots of fans who have been dormant for the better part of a decade are going to come back to the fold.

Expectations are high...the most interest/excitement in fifteen years now since the 2006 team.   That’s half a lifetime for quite a few posters here, or at least covering high school through mid to late 30’s.

Many posters have left the bachelor lifestyle behind and now rank the Sox in their list of priorities well behind family, friends, work and Covid concerns.

 

Personally, I tried to find other reasons to follow baseball (see Puig or Tatis)..but still followed most of the games on a daily basis until that mid 2016 collapse up to the Moncada debut and then Kopech in 2018 and in and out through 2019.

What doesn’t sit too well with me is judging other Sox fans when you deliberately avoided following them for so long.

You can argue or assert you’re not judging or preaching or carrying JR’s water or seeing everything White Sox through rose-colored glasses...but you can’t suddenly reappear and suddenly anoint Mr. Collins as a potential everyday player without having watched his at-bats the last three seasons.

That will not be well received, certainly.

So this relentless, new thread each day or even multiple threads cajoling everyone into being more optimistic are just going to start a war after every loss.

If the White Sox were running a $140-150 million payroll out there for Opening Day, I might be convinced they actually were aiming to win a World Series, or at least advance in the playoffs or even to the ALCS.

The Royals went from 20th to 17th to 9th in MLB Opening Day payroll from 2014-2016, but they at least set a new franchise high every year from 2013 through 2017, increasing for five consecutive years.

The Cubs went from 19th to 13th all the way up to $184.5 million at the start of the 2016 World Series with the Indians around $95 million.

The odds of teams not in the Top 12 payrolls advancing in the playoffs over the last four seasons is basically limited to the Rays and A’s over the White Sox.   90% of the frustration is that unwillingness even in the second year of the competitive window to spend at least in that $140-150 million range....it’s even harder to take when you see the Padres spending $162 million with the best team with the deepest pockets the team in front.  It feels like if we were in the NL West we would simply aspire to 3rd place and maybe a wild card, but that would be the extent of it.   And that self-satisfaction without having really accomplished anything yet is pretty galling.   We had the division and coughed it all away the last two weeks...and the main reason we were there was beating up on the worst teams in baseball, particularly the Royals, Tigers...we only went 10-10 versus the relatively weak NL Central, too.  We were 7-13 against Cleve and Minnesota, but 18-2 against Detroit and KC.   17-23 is closer to where we really were against the majority of MLB, but the unbalanced schedule and 16 team playoff field saved us.

Edited by caulfield12
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5 hours ago, SoxSteve said:

Same team as last year? I couldn’t disagree more. Our DH last year hit .153. Vaughn will  hit 100 points higher at a minimum. Our right fielder hit one home run and batted less than .220 if I recall. Eaton will do better than that. Robert being a year older and more experience will help. Moncada not having covid, Lynn as 3rd starter huge improvement.  Marshal, Kopeck, Crochet, Bummer and Hendricks looks like a lethal bullpen.  I’m not embarrassed to say I’m pumped and this Sox team should be as good as anyone in baseball. This boards negitivity comes from the idiot talk of trading Vaughn, Madrigal and Crochet just for the sake of a trade. Talk about beyond exhausting and irritating and just plain moronic. And oh by the way we had Renteria as a manager. Larussa HUGE improvement there as well. Mic drop 

We don't have a DH yet and Vaughn has never even seen AAA pitching. You can't say anything about him for certain no matter how much you want to.

Hendriks is awesome but our closer was fine last year so we aren't likely adding any more wins to the column in that category. 

I'm a big fan of Madrigal and Crochet so we are in agreement there.

Much as I hate the TLR hire I do expect him to be a much better in game manager so admittedly that might be a factor.

 

But you and others reflecting the subject and not being able to just admit it (it's OK to be frustrated that ownership didn't grab the division by the balls and at least solidify the rotation) is the whole problem here. No amount of points you make to argue around that will change it. 

 

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5 hours ago, VAfan said:

We do NOT "overall still look like the same team as last year."  Here's 10 reasons off the top. 

1. Yoan Moncada is over Covid. He went from a 140 OPS+ to a 94 OPS+. Maybe he doesn't get all the way back to 2019. Maybe he's better than 2019. He's going to be a lot better than 2020.

2. Luis Robert, year 2. Sky is the limit for this player. He could be a top 10 player in MLB in 2 years. 

3. Lance Lynn. Having a workhorse #3 starter is going to be huge.  In 13 starts last year, he gave up 0 ER 2x, 1 ER 4x, 2 ER 3x, more than 3 ER 2x (both to Houston). If you take out his 2 Houston starts, his ERA would have been 1.875. 

4. Andrew Vaughn will be better than Edwin Encarnacion.  Probably a LOT better.

5. Adam Eaton will be better than Nomar Mazara

6. Liam Hendriks is better than Alex Colome. 

7. Aaron Bummer should be healthy

8. Garrett Crochet will contribute in some capacity.

9. Michael Kopech will contribute in some capacity

10. Tony LaRussa is a HOF manager for a reason. Ricky Renteria never will be. 

As for going beyond winning the AL Central, the playoffs are always a bit of a crapshoot. Just ask the Dodgers how many WS rings they've won in a decade of dominance in the NL. The Sox can compete with any AL team in the playoffs. Our offense is as good or better than any other AL team, including the Yankees. Our starting pitching can compete, and our bullpen might be the best.  

Adam Eaton may be considered by many naysayers as the weakest link in our lineup, but he hit #2 for the World Series winning Nationals just 2 years ago. 

Lighten up a bit and enjoy the season. We even have great announcers to help us enjoy the ride!

 

At least 7 of the points you made are 100% speculation. Not to mention you completely ignored the actual point that was made (AGAIN).

I rest my case. 

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PSA:  someone else's opinion about how the season will go doesn't have to match yours and as of right now everything is 100 percent speculation.  Thanks 

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10 minutes ago, RagahRagah said:

At least 7 of the points you made are 100% speculation. Not to mention you completely ignored the actual point that was made (AGAIN).

I rest my case. 

You know what is speculation? Everything you and everyone else here says.  The difference is your speculation is always negative.  There is a range of potential outcomes for Vaughn this year...EE .627 OPS from last year would be the ridiculously lower bound.  Frank Thomas's rookie season...roughly same age, same path, same hitting style (high average, high walks, plus power) OPS of .987 would be the upper bound.  I'd be happy to bet you any sum of money that Vaughn's OPS will be better than .627.  It is absolute speculation that 30 year old Bauer will be the Cy Young TB of 2020 and not the TB with the 4.5 ERA of 2019.  It is absolute speculation that the 31 year old George Springer will be the amazing 2020 GS and not the meh GS of 2018.  When you look at young players you SPECULATE on how they will evolve...we saw Robert destroy the minor leagues, we saw him destroy MLB in his first month...and then he was TERRIBLE his last month.  If you want to look at that body of work and say...he'll probably continue to be terrible...ok...that's a position to take...no one can refute that.  I just think you are the guy that sees pictures of your co-workers new baby and says...she'll probably turn out to be ugly.  You might be right, you might be wrong but you are always unlikeable.      

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3 hours ago, caulfield12 said:

Meanwhile, I'm guessing most of the fans who remain highly critical of the team have continued living through those painful years, and feel that team ownership and management owes them something for them having to endure those years.  Is there something to that? 

For me, returning to the team as I did last year, all I see are good things and growth.  Here are a few things that I really like (whether or not other Sox fans do)...”

 

I can just imagine every loss bring blamed on TLR, just like previously with Renteria...but it’s going to be even more polarized.

Because lots of fans who have been dormant for the better part of a decade are going to come back to the fold.

Expectations are high...the most interest/excitement in fifteen years now since the 2006 team.   That’s half a lifetime for quite a few posters here, or at least covering high school through mid to late 30’s.

Many posters have left the bachelor lifestyle behind and now rank the Sox in their list of priorities well behind family, friends, work and Covid concerns.

 

Personally, I tried to find other reasons to follow baseball (see Puig or Tatis)..but still followed most of the games on a daily basis until that mid 2016 collapse up to the Moncada debut and then Kopech in 2018 and in and out through 2019.

What doesn’t sit too well with me is judging other Sox fans when you deliberately avoided following them for so long.

You can argue or assert you’re not judging or preaching or carrying JR’s water or seeing everything White Sox through rose-colored glasses...but you can’t suddenly reappear and suddenly anoint Mr. Collins as a potential everyday player without having watched his at-bats the last three seasons.

That will not be well received, certainly.

So this relentless, new thread each day or even multiple threads cajoling everyone into being more optimistic are just going to start a war after every loss.

If the White Sox were running a $140-150 million payroll out there for Opening Day, I might be convinced they actually were aiming to win a World Series, or at least advance in the playoffs or even to the ALCS.

The Royals went from 20th to 17th to 9th in MLB Opening Day payroll from 2014-2016, but they at least set a new franchise high every year from 2013 through 2017, increasing for five consecutive years.

The Cubs went from 19th to 13th all the way up to $184.5 million at the start of the 2016 World Series with the Indians around $95 million.

The odds of teams not in the Top 12 payrolls advancing in the playoffs over the last four seasons is basically limited to the Rays and A’s over the White Sox.   90% of the frustration is that unwillingness even in the second year of the competitive window to spend at least in that $140-150 million range....it’s even harder to take when you see the Padres spending $162 million with the best team with the deepest pockets the team in front.  It feels like if we were in the NL West we would simply aspire to 3rd place and maybe a wild card, but that would be the extent of it.   And that self-satisfaction without having really accomplished anything yet is pretty galling.   We had the division and coughed it all away the last two weeks...and the main reason we were there was beating up on the worst teams in baseball, particularly the Royals, Tigers...we only went 10-10 versus the relatively weak NL Central, too.  We were 7-13 against Cleve and Minnesota, but 18-2 against Detroit and KC.   17-23 is closer to where we really were against the majority of MLB, but the unbalanced schedule and 16 team playoff field saved us.

Some of your criticism is fair...we optimists should not be dunking on you pessimists...but it just can be exhausting on Soxtalk where it seems 3/4 of the regular posters are so negative...and yes not 100% negative...it generally starts out as "I'm excited about this team but..." and then we have to hear some tirade about Tony LaRussa being a drunk or JR being cheap.  Why is that interesting reading?   Giolito had an interview the other day where he said "Bummer has the best pitch in all of baseball".  That's so interesting especially compared to the 1000 time we have to read where we are idiots for having traded Tatis.  As for the "not spending money" constant concept...I get bored re-writing this but JR HAS had top 5 payrolls in the 2000's, 90's and 80's when the team was good.  If the plan is to have a long window part of that is not handing out bad or un-necessary contracts.  Dodgers and Yankees can get away with that...but being the second, and somewhat unloved, team in a market is always going to make that hard.   If you think spending money is the way to win...the Phillies, Rockies, Angels, Mets, Giants etc would like to say hello. You win by talent evaluation...which I'm pretty pleased at right now (and was very unhappy with for decades before).  You sustain winning by sensible budgeting.   Right now we are in a great position to be vultures...when the Brewers season crashes...ask them about Yelich.  When the Bosox season crashes go after Sale.  When the Phillies season crashes go after Harper or Wheeler.  Right now the Padres have $100 million committed in 2022 to four guys that are in their 30's.   I'm ok watching this play out.      

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44 minutes ago, michelangelosmonkey said:

Some of your criticism is fair...we optimists should not be dunking on you pessimists...but it just can be exhausting on Soxtalk where it seems 3/4 of the regular posters are so negative...and yes not 100% negative...it generally starts out as "I'm excited about this team but..." and then we have to hear some tirade about Tony LaRussa being a drunk or JR being cheap.  Why is that interesting reading?   Giolito had an interview the other day where he said "Bummer has the best pitch in all of baseball".  That's so interesting especially compared to the 1000 time we have to read where we are idiots for having traded Tatis.  As for the "not spending money" constant concept...I get bored re-writing this but JR HAS had top 5 payrolls in the 2000's, 90's and 80's when the team was good.  If the plan is to have a long window part of that is not handing out bad or un-necessary contracts.  Dodgers and Yankees can get away with that...but being the second, and somewhat unloved, team in a market is always going to make that hard.   If you think spending money is the way to win...the Phillies, Rockies, Angels, Mets, Giants etc would like to say hello. You win by talent evaluation...which I'm pretty pleased at right now (and was very unhappy with for decades before).  You sustain winning by sensible budgeting.   Right now we are in a great position to be vultures...when the Brewers season crashes...ask them about Yelich.  When the Bosox season crashes go after Sale.  When the Phillies season crashes go after Harper or Wheeler.  Right now the Padres have $100 million committed in 2022 to four guys that are in their 30's.   I'm ok watching this play out.      

Well said.  

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1 hour ago, Kyyle23 said:

PSA:  someone else's opinion about how the season will go doesn't have to match yours and as of right now everything is 100 percent speculation.  Thanks 

Some things are more likely than others and can be quantified/have higher probabilities. What a concept. 

Strange position on a forum full of people who love to crunch numbers. Selective thinking, I guess.

For instance, a few of those points, such as what he said about Hendriks (that said, Colome was great last year so that needle is not likely to change much this year) and LaRussa being a better manager than Ricky, I'd say are pretty safe bets and I fully grant those. 

 

1 hour ago, michelangelosmonkey said:

You know what is speculation? Everything you and everyone else here says.  The difference is your speculation is always negative.  There is a range of potential outcomes for Vaughn this year...EE .627 OPS from last year would be the ridiculously lower bound.  Frank Thomas's rookie season...roughly same age, same path, same hitting style (high average, high walks, plus power) OPS of .987 would be the upper bound.  I'd be happy to bet you any sum of money that Vaughn's OPS will be better than .627.  It is absolute speculation that 30 year old Bauer will be the Cy Young TB of 2020 and not the TB with the 4.5 ERA of 2019.  It is absolute speculation that the 31 year old George Springer will be the amazing 2020 GS and not the meh GS of 2018.  When you look at young players you SPECULATE on how they will evolve...we saw Robert destroy the minor leagues, we saw him destroy MLB in his first month...and then he was TERRIBLE his last month.  If you want to look at that body of work and say...he'll probably continue to be terrible...ok...that's a position to take...no one can refute that.  I just think you are the guy that sees pictures of your co-workers new baby and says...she'll probably turn out to be ugly.  You might be right, you might be wrong but you are always unlikeable.      

I thought I was too stupid to argue with? You've said that to me about 5 times now. Might wanna pick a street, buddy. I'm a little tired of you insulting me and running away when arguments are presented that you apparently can't counter and then picking the ones you think you can and attempt a serious argument only then (which you eventually run away from anyway). It makes you look silly. Either consistently attempt intelligent posting or consistently make an ass of yourself on purpose. If you have nothing to respond with then maybe just don't respond at all instead of throwing a sucker punch out of bitterness and then running away. Kid stuff. I'm here for sensible and reasonable discussion (notice how consistent I am with responding and taking arguments seriously?), not to play games. 

Edited by RagahRagah
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7 hours ago, VAfan said:

We do NOT "overall still look like the same team as last year."  Here's 10 reasons off the top. 

1. Yoan Moncada is over Covid. He went from a 140 OPS+ to a 94 OPS+. Maybe he doesn't get all the way back to 2019. Maybe he's better than 2019. He's going to be a lot better than 2020.

2. Luis Robert, year 2. Sky is the limit for this player. He could be a top 10 player in MLB in 2 years. 

3. Lance Lynn. Having a workhorse #3 starter is going to be huge.  In 13 starts last year, he gave up 0 ER 2x, 1 ER 4x, 2 ER 3x, more than 3 ER 2x (both to Houston). If you take out his 2 Houston starts, his ERA would have been 1.875. 

4. Andrew Vaughn will be better than Edwin Encarnacion.  Probably a LOT better.

5. Adam Eaton will be better than Nomar Mazara

6. Liam Hendriks is better than Alex Colome. 

7. Aaron Bummer should be healthy

8. Garrett Crochet will contribute in some capacity.

9. Michael Kopech will contribute in some capacity

10. Tony LaRussa is a HOF manager for a reason. Ricky Renteria never will be. 

As for going beyond winning the AL Central, the playoffs are always a bit of a crapshoot. Just ask the Dodgers how many WS rings they've won in a decade of dominance in the NL. The Sox can compete with any AL team in the playoffs. Our offense is as good or better than any other AL team, including the Yankees. Our starting pitching can compete, and our bullpen might be the best.  

Adam Eaton may be considered by many naysayers as the weakest link in our lineup, but he hit #2 for the World Series winning Nationals just 2 years ago. 

Lighten up a bit and enjoy the season. We even have great announcers to help us enjoy the ride!

 

This roster is better than last year's, there's absolutely no doubt about that.  But just because it's a better roster doesn't mean they're going to be better than last year's squad.  I think some people tend to forget that last season was only a 60 game season where the team pretty much fell apart at the end.  Was that just a bad stretch or did they over achieve for a month and a half?  I have no idea.  I also don't think you can just say hey Vaughn will be better than EE was while saying Hendricks is better than Colome(which he is), while ignoring the fact that he probably won't be better this year than Colome was as a closer for the Sox last season.

Look, I'm extremely excited for this season as well and I respect everyone who just wants to enjoy it for what it is but that doesn't mean I'm just going to forget and be pleased with the shortcomings of management here.

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13 minutes ago, RagahRagah said:

Some things are more likely than others and can be quantified/have higher probabilities. What a concept. 

Strange position on a forum full of people who love to crunch numbers. Selective thinking, I guess.

For instance, a few of those points, such as what he said about Hendriks (that said, Colome was great last year so that needle is not likely to change much this year) and LaRussa being a better manager than Ricky, I'd say are pretty safe bets and I fully grant those. 

 

I thought I was too stupid to argue with? You've said that to me about 5 times now. Might wanna pick a street, buddy. I'm a little tired of you insulting me and running away when arguments are presented that you apparently can't counter and then picking the ones you think you can and attempt a serious argument only then (which you eventually run away from anyway). It makes you look silly. Either consistently attempt intelligent posting or consistently make an ass of yourself on purpose. If you have nothing to respond with then maybe just don't respond at all instead of throwing a sucker punch out of bitterness and then running away. Kid stuff. I'm here for sensible and reasonable discussion (notice how consistent I am with responding and taking arguments seriously?), not to play games. 

Ha ha....yup.  Too stupid to argue with.  

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12 minutes ago, RagahRagah said:

Some things are more likely than others and can be quantified/have higher probabilities. What a concept. 

Strange position on a forum full of people who love to crunch numbers. Selective thinking, I guess.

For instance, a few of those points, such as what he said about Hendriks (that said, Colome was great last year so that needle is not likely to change much this year) and LaRussa being a better manager than Ricky, I'd say are pretty safe bets and I fully grant those. 

 

I thought I was too stupid to argue with? You've said that to me about 5 times now. Might wanna pick a street, buddy. I'm a little tired of you insulting me and running away when arguments are presented that you apparently can't counter and then picking the ones you think you can and attempt a serious argument only then (which you eventually run away from anyway). It makes you look silly. Either consistently attempt intelligent posting or consistently make an ass of yourself on purpose. If you have nothing to respond with then maybe just don't respond at all instead of throwing a sucker punch out of bitterness and then running away. Kid stuff. I'm here for sensible and reasonable discussion (notice how consistent I am with responding and taking arguments seriously?), not to play games. 

You are talking about probabilities all the time but you tell everyone that your opinion is a certainty pretty much every time.  Why do you feel the need to piss on any optimism on this site?  The only thing exhausting here is you.  The season starts in a month and all you do is suck the life out of people discussing what they are looking forward to.

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I am looking forward to this season, too, but I do think this young team will try our patience at times. It will be interesting to see what will happen at the trading deadline if the club looks like it is a true World Series contender. 

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