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Chimpton

When did we take the wrong turn?

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As it is increasingly looking like the 'rebuild for many seasons of success' has petered out, I was just thinking where it began to go wrong, because initially the acquisition of young talent seemed to be going well.

  • Was it the young players that we got in trades not fulfilling potential? Thinking Moncada and Jimenez in particular.
  • Was it poor trades/contracts for supposedly big impact veteran players? Grandal and Kimbrel spring to mind.
  • Failure to spend big in the FA market when holes in the roster needed filling? RF and 2B this off season.
  • Management and coaching. 
  • Bad luck? Are the numerous injuries to players just bad luck or poor conditioning?
  • An addition here. Poor drafting.

Basically was there a point where this rebuild went off course or was it flawed from the beginning?

Edited by Chimpton
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Too early to ask these questions imo, especially for me since I predicted a lackluster first half followed by a good second.  Talk to me in July after (hopefully) our players have come back from injury and we’ve had a chance to ride this out a bit more.  We’re not that far back as it is, and a five/six game win streak could get us right back in the division race and would change the whole outlook around here (and if a week’s play can dramatically change your outlook you need to reassess your perspective.). Hell, I know nobody wants to hear this, but we could disappoint this whole season and come back like gang busters and win the WS next season.  These things don’t always happen “on schedule.”
 

Everyone talks about the Braves winning the WS after limping thru the first half, but look at the Yankees who folks regard as unbeatable now—they struggled for the first half of last season with the same team due to injuries and poor play and essentially missed the playoffs.  Success (which we may or may not find) does not necessarily look like perfect play during every month of your window.

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The answer is simple and swift: when JR decided to hire TLR to manage this team. 

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42 minutes ago, ChiSox59 said:

The answer is simple and swift: when JR decided to hire TLR to manage this team. 

This.

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I think the Kimbrel trade was a turning point.

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38 minutes ago, Sarava said:

I think the Kimbrel trade was a turning point.

Kimbrel

TLR named manager

this woeful offseason by Hahn as well as ongoing conditioning/training issues

too many aging vets and especially Grandal going in the tank...mismatch between those aforementioned veterans and younger core not peaking simultaneously

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From my viewpoint, the underlying cause of all of the problems is not relying enough on analytics.

Management not emphasizing analytics enough when hiring the coaching staff, both at the major and minor league levels.

Management not utilizing analytics when making player decisions, both at the major league level and in the draft.

The coaching staff not utilizing analytics when coaching the players and making decisions about playing time.

Of course, this ultimately falls on the owner. He's the one who hires the President/GM who aren't using analytics enough.

If I were to somehow magically inherit the Sox, the first thing I would do is offer every single member of the Tampa front office a 50% salary increase to come take the same position with the Sox.

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The other missing answer is October of 2016, when JR decided he would let Rick Hahn do this rebuild rather than fire him like 29 other franchises would have.

He can still have compliments on the 3 big trades, but the drafting and development failures, the poorly thought out it trades, the inability to find usable big league pieces from guys cast off by other teams during the down years, and the free agency failures all are contributing to this team right now. And it’s remarkable how much that sounds like the reasons Hahn should have been fired in 2016.

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5 hours ago, Chimpton said:

As it is increasingly looking like the 'rebuild for many seasons of success' has petered out, I was just thinking where it began to go wrong, because initially the acquisition of young talent seemed to be going well.

  • Was it the young players that we got in trades not fulfilling potential? Thinking Moncada and Jimenez in particular.
  • Was it poor trades/contracts for supposedly big impact veteran players? Grandal and Kimbrel spring to mind.
  • Failure to spend big in the FA market when holes in the roster needed filling? RF and 2B this off season.
  • Management and coaching. 
  • Bad luck? Are the numerous injuries to players just bad luck or poor conditioning?

Basically was there a point where this rebuild went off course or was it flawed from the beginning?

management and coaching, absolutely 

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The moment when they hired a drunken corpse to manage.  It just took a season and a half before the six car pile up. 

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20 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

The other missing answer is October of 2016, when JR decided he would let Rick Hahn do this rebuild rather than fire him like 29 other franchises would have.

He can still have compliments on the 3 big trades, but the drafting and development failures, the poorly thought out it trades, the inability to find usable big league pieces from guys cast off by other teams during the down years, and the free agency failures all are contributing to this team right now. And it’s remarkable how much that sounds like the reasons Hahn should have been fired in 2016.

They did find Narvaez and McCann…what happened to them is a totally different argument.

They “developed” Avi Garcia but ended up letting him go.  One can argue the merits of that as well.  

Another is not getting a single useful outfielder (for the Sox at least) from that famed grouping of Basabe, Steele Walker, Luis Gonzalez, Rutherford and Micker Adolfo.  To this date, we still can’t manage this relatively simple task…whereas the Indians/Guardians have kept coming up with guys from all points of the globe with 1/3rd our overall budget.

 

The only move that has been decent was Graveman…let’s wait at least 5 more starts from Cueto outside the division before declaring full success.  At least he has stopped the bleeding and is keeping the Sox 8n range of the leaders.

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3 hours ago, ChiSox59 said:

The answer is simple and swift: when JR decided to hire TLR to manage this team. 

This result seemed inevitable.  A good manager could have had this team anywhere else.  There’s no guarantee they’d have a ring already with the injuries and variables, but I doubt they’d be as dead in the water going nowhere fast as they are now. 

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6 hours ago, Chimpton said:

 

  • Was it the young players that we got in trades not fulfilling potential? Thinking Moncada and Jimenez in particular.
  • Was it poor trades/contracts for supposedly big impact veteran players? Grandal and Kimbrel spring to mind.
  • Failure to spend big in the FA market when holes in the roster needed filling? RF and 2B this off season.
  • Management and coaching. 
  • Bad luck? Are the numerous injuries to players just bad luck or poor conditioning?

Basically was there a point where this rebuild went off course or was it flawed from the beginning?

I don’t believe you can narrow it down to a single turning point, as all of the above have contributed to it.

That said, management/coaching and the failure to fill roster holes have without a doubt had the biggest impact IMO.

But with THAT being said, I’m not quite ready to call the rebuild a failure just yet. 

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4 hours ago, ChiSox59 said:

The answer is simple and swift: when JR decided to hire TLR to manage this team. 

How this isn't #1, I will never know.

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For this org to turn it around JR needs to croak or sell

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25 minutes ago, southsider2k5 said:

How this isn't #1, I will never know.

They weren't in a specific order, just the order they sprang to mind.

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To think 85% of this board has lived there Sox fan hood with JR at the helm..... If you look back at those years how many were the team ran with competence? Who's been our best GM? In 41 years they've been to the playoffs 7 times. That's sad.

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This organization had a chance to hire a new up and coming manager that was into the analytical part of the game to propel our young guys into success for years to come. Instead they hired a 70 something retired manager who looks like he could break his hip anytime he walks to the mound.

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30 minutes ago, reiks12 said:

For this org to turn it around JR needs to croak or sell

What happens if JR dies?  Honest question.  Does his family just become in charge?  Does anything even change? 

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57 minutes ago, Snopek said:

I don’t believe you can narrow it down to a single turning point, as all of the above have contributed to it.

That said, management/coaching and the failure to fill roster holes have without a doubt had the biggest impact IMO.

But with THAT being said, I’m not quite ready to call the rebuild a failure just yet. 

I am not ready to call the rebuild a failure yet, either. There is still a good core of talent here. But I wonder if the FO will do what is needed to finish this job. I don't want to make LaRussa the scapegoat, but his hiring just didn't make sense. And it makes me wonder about other things.

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They squandered years of drafting in the top 10.

They really are only being propped up by the trades of great veterans signed to ridiculously below market contracts.  Two of those veterans ended up winning world series for the teams to which they were traded.  

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7 minutes ago, Highland said:

I am not ready to call the rebuild a failure yet, either. There is still a good core of talent here. But I wonder if the FO will do what is needed to finish this job. I don't want to make LaRussa the scapegoat, but his hiring just didn't make sense. And it makes me wonder about other things.

This.

Even with current gloomy feelings, the Sox are pretty well poised for today and over the next few years.

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5 hours ago, ChiSox59 said:

The answer is simple and swift: when JR decided to hire TLR to manage this team. 

Bingo! 

Additionally when JR did not allow Hahn to spend more money in the offseason, regardless of where our salary total was at...and go get a top FA at 2B, SP or two and RF!

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LaRussa was an awful hire. 

But let's not kid ourselves here that another manger would have been fine with the avalanche of injuries the last 2 seasons. 

This to go along with Hahn's mis-management of resources, that's how we find ourselves treading water.

Oh, and the the regressions to key high paid players like Abreu, Grandal, Moncada, Keuchel ..... Being at .500 feels like a blessing right now. 

BTW, we have only 3 guys in the lineup with an OPS above .750.     The lineup which was suppose to go toe to toe with the Dodgers, Yankees, and Astros 🤢 

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