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White Sox will not win until their players produce

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QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Jun 18, 2016 -> 09:22 PM)
What? You are joking right? Are you new to the internet, or is your head just buried that deep? The slope of the upper deck, the height of the upper deck, the parking situation, the neighborhood around the ballpark, the park was too sterile, there was no where to go after a game, Jerry Reinsdorf doesn't care enough about the team, Jerry Reinsdorf has too much control over the team, threatening to move the team to Tampa, White Flag, not winning a World Series, not winning, no winning multiple seasons in a row, not going to the playoffs enough times in a short enough period of time, Kenny Williams, the park should have been built in the (suburbs, south side of downtown, downtown), unlikable players, Hawk Harrelson, losing Harry Carry to the Cubs, The Cubs in general, and I will finish with all my time favorite, the color of the f***ing seats.

 

Seriously.

So I'm guessing you find none of these reasons to be legitimate as to why a White Sox fan should/would be reticent to spend his/her disposable income on the product Jerry Reinsdorf has been peddling these past 36 years?

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QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Jun 18, 2016 -> 09:22 PM)
What? You are joking right? Are you new to the internet, or is your head just buried that deep? The slope of the upper deck, the height of the upper deck, the parking situation, the neighborhood around the ballpark, the park was too sterile, there was no where to go after a game, Jerry Reinsdorf doesn't care enough about the team, Jerry Reinsdorf has too much control over the team, threatening to move the team to Tampa, White Flag, not winning a World Series, not winning, no winning multiple seasons in a row, not going to the playoffs enough times in a short enough period of time, Kenny Williams, the park should have been built in the (suburbs, south side of downtown, downtown), unlikable players, Hawk Harrelson, losing Harry Carry to the Cubs, The Cubs in general, and I will finish with all my time favorite, the color of the f***ing seats.

 

Seriously.

And so you have all of these things going on over the past 36 years AND the lack of winning by the franchise during that stretch, and you blame the fan base for the poor attendance...why???????

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To me it's a simple concept and really I'm amazed some folks just don't get it.

 

The Sox are no different from a restaurant or the hardware store or the local cleaners. They are ALL businesses first and foremost.

 

If they put out a poor product, customers will not do business with them. They are under absolutely no obligation to do so. Would you keep going back to that restaurant if they keep getting your order wrong for example and the food is bad?

 

Now add in a taxpayer funded ballpark, perhaps the biggest "sweetheart lease" in baseball and millions of dollars in income and to me, customers who support bad baseball (or a bad steak or a bad hammer or a dirty shirt) well...they are the ones who I think should be rethinking the situation.

 

To each his own I guess.

 

Mark

Edited by Lip Man 1

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Ultimately, that's the argument.

 

That fans should support their favorite team NO MATTER WHAT. That the Sox are a "public good/service" provided for the benefit of the community (notwithstanding the huge profits being extracted upon sale of the team and yearly profits/taxpayer subsidies) and that the community "owes" their support.

 

Essentially no acceptable excuses for not supporting them, no matter how reasonable they may seem to be.

 

That's not going to be a winning argument...because with how inefficient Hahn and KW have been spending money and identifying talent over the last 10-15 years, the addition of $25 million (or whatever number you want to throw out there) wouldn't have put any of those White Sox teams in first place or the playoffs, arguably.

 

In order to get to an increase of $25 million, they'd have to draw an additional 500-750,000 fans, roughly.

 

 

Other than the Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cardinals...there just aren't many franchises in MLB that have attendance of 2.3-2.5 million with EIGHT CONSECUTIVE PLAYOFF-LESS SEASONS.

 

Obviously, those franchises don't often go for that long. The best example, obviously, is the Cubs. But even that wasn't 8 years.

 

 

 

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It's also much easier to make excuses for management and blame the fans...because if you take away belief in the front office, as a fan, there's nothing left to hang your hat on.

 

Some here prefer to believe if the White Sox fans were more loyal, the White Sox SURELY would have made the playoffs in 2010 and 2012 and even this season, but the fans have handcuffed Hahn and forced him to make bargain/value deals for the likes of Jackson, Navarro, Avila, Gonzalez, Latos, Rollins, Shields, etc.

 

Of course, conveniently overlooking the fact that signing Alex Gordon OR Justin Upton this offseason would have been completely disastrous for the franchise as well. And even Cespedes wouldn't be enough to cover up all the other holes on this team, fwiw. That would have left no money available for any more moves.

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QUOTE (caulfield12 @ Jun 18, 2016 -> 10:12 PM)
Ultimately, that's the argument.

 

That fans should support their favorite team NO MATTER WHAT. That the Sox are a "public good/service" provided for the benefit of the community (notwithstanding the huge profits being extracted upon sale of the team and yearly profits/taxpayer subsidies) and that the community "owes" their support.

 

If the community owes their support, and if the fans should support their team no matter what, and if there is no legitimate basis for any criticism or skeptism from the fan base...the organization could literally put a AA team on the field and point the finger at the fan when there are 10k fanny's in the seats, on a good night. And berate them for their lack of "loyalty"

 

 

 

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QUOTE (caulfield12 @ Jun 18, 2016 -> 10:17 PM)
Some here prefer to believe if the White Sox fans were more loyal, the White Sox SURELY would have made the playoffs in 2010 and 2012 and even this season, but the fans have handcuffed Hahn and forced him to make bargain/value deals for the likes of Jackson, Navarro, Avila, Gonzalez, Latos, Rollins, Shields, etc.

 

Of course, conveniently overlooking the fact that signing Alex Gordon OR Justin Upton this offseason would have been completely disastrous for the franchise as well. And even Cespedes wouldn't be enough to cover up all the other holes on this team, fwiw. That would have left no money available for any more moves.

 

We shouldn't be needing to sign 7+ free agents in an offseason. The point of free agency is to add one or two players that will put you over the top when you have a contending team. Unless you have one of the top 5 payrolls in baseball to work with, it should not be relied upon. Even teams who poured tons of money into free agents like the Yankees have started to take a step back and place a greater focus on developing talent. The over reliance on free agents is indicative of a long term failure in player development.

Edited by soxforlife05

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It's okay if limited to 3 guys.

 

See Boston Red Sox, 2013.

 

See the Indians with Rajai Davis, Uribe and Napoli this year. There don't have to wholesale changes, but you need to be bringing up 2-3 young players to add to your core and 2-4 free agents per year.

 

The White Sox are probably averaging 1 young player per season the last decade and 5-6 free agents. That just won't work.

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QUOTE (Lip Man 1 @ Jun 18, 2016 -> 09:55 PM)
To me it's a simple concept and really I'm amazed some folks just don't get it.

 

The Sox are no different from a restaurant or the hardware store or the local cleaners. They are ALL businesses first and foremost.

 

If they put out a poor product, customers will not do business with them. They are under absolutely no obligation to do so. Would you keep going back to that restaurant if they keep getting your order wrong for example and the food is bad?

 

Now add in a taxpayer funded ballpark, perhaps the biggest "sweetheart lease" in baseball and millions of dollars in income and to me, customers who support bad baseball (or a bad steak or a bad hammer or a dirty shirt) well...they are the ones who I think should be rethinking the situation.

 

To each his own I guess.

 

Mark

 

Mark, you are an intelligent guy, please follow my point here and see what you think. You bring up a great point and one that perpetually follows Sox baseball.

 

While your point is that simple, it is also more complex. Let's look at restaurants. Is your favorite restaurant a Michelin three star rated place? There are thirteen in all of the United States, more than World Series winning baseball teams, about the same as playoff teams in baseball. By baseball standards all of the other restaurants are not worthy of visiting because they are not winning. Their product is not very good compared to these thirteen. There are two Michelin three star restaurants in Chicago. If you go to any other restaurant you are supporting mediocrity or worst.

 

So what can a restaurant do to earn your business that isn't winning? Provide a great atmosphere, great service, be a good fit for your entertainment dollar. Family friendly if you need that. They need to provide a quality experience for the time and money you invest.

 

It would then follow that the Sox need to make certain they have set the table for a quality experience. They know that both teams will play some of the highest level baseball on the planet. (After all it is the MLB, name a better league anywhere). The home team may not win. But if your favorite actor is in a movie, do you care if the movie wins an Academy award of not?

 

For the out of town Sox fans here, it seems like everyone gets to a game when they are in town, no matter how the team is doing. I'm catching a Sunday game against Detroit. Why? Because of the experience. Seeing the stadium and everything that surrounds a MLB baseball game. If fans judge the quality of the experience strictly on the outcome, they will eventually always be unhappy and most years will never attend a game. Of course we are talking about the casual fan, not the diehards here who will generally buy tickets.

 

So no, sports teams don't function exactly like a restaurant, dry cleaners, etc. All of those other examples can earn your loyalty without being one of the top four or five in world. Sports teams also need to beat every other competitor on top of doing everything else great.

 

 

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QUOTE (Thad Bosley @ Jun 18, 2016 -> 09:37 PM)
So I'm guessing you find none of these reasons to be legitimate as to why a White Sox fan should/would be reticent to spend his/her disposable income on the product Jerry Reinsdorf has been peddling these past 36 years?

 

 

QUOTE (Thad Bosley @ Jun 18, 2016 -> 09:41 PM)
And so you have all of these things going on over the past 36 years AND the lack of winning by the franchise during that stretch, and you blame the fan base for the poor attendance...why???????

 

And there you go. Thanks for dropping the stupid act, and admitting that there are decades of bitterness and anger over some of the most ridiculous things ever.

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QUOTE (Lip Man 1 @ Jun 18, 2016 -> 09:55 PM)
To me it's a simple concept and really I'm amazed some folks just don't get it.

 

The Sox are no different from a restaurant or the hardware store or the local cleaners. They are ALL businesses first and foremost.

 

If they put out a poor product, customers will not do business with them. They are under absolutely no obligation to do so. Would you keep going back to that restaurant if they keep getting your order wrong for example and the food is bad?

 

Now add in a taxpayer funded ballpark, perhaps the biggest "sweetheart lease" in baseball and millions of dollars in income and to me, customers who support bad baseball (or a bad steak or a bad hammer or a dirty shirt) well...they are the ones who I think should be rethinking the situation.

 

To each his own I guess.

 

Mark

 

It is different. No one would spend decades talking about their favorite hardware store, laundry mat or restaraunt. This is sports we are talking about. Sports are entertainment. Your hardware store isn't, and neither is any of the rest of the list. Though one aspect is the same, in most communities any of those business would receive a level of tax funding to locate into a community. Except in very rare cases, usually related to union labor, you don't see people throwing tempers about those taxes going to support local businesses. Even in cases where it does happen, it fades after the business is open and a part of the community. Only in sports do people hold grudges for decades and seek people out to complain about these "businesses". I have yet to meet a single person who claims to be a huge fan of McDonalds, but refuses to go there and spend their money because they forgot their pickles 36 years ago. They go to McDonalds because they know what to expect from it, and they know what they are going to get there. They sure wouldn't spend decades writing and talking about them after the fact, only to circleback to something that happened decades ago, all the while still claiming to be dedicated to them.

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QUOTE (soxforlife05 @ Jun 19, 2016 -> 02:08 AM)
The Cubs are actually one of the best reasons historically speaking why blind loyalty to a baseball team enables mediocrity to persist.

 

And all they got for that loyalty was the ability to do a complete rebuild. Something the Sox will never be able to do.

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QUOTE (southsider2k5 @ Jun 19, 2016 -> 09:58 AM)
And there you go. Thanks for dropping the stupid act, and admitting that there are decades of bitterness and anger over some of the most ridiculous things ever.

Lol - the only thing I'll admit is that it's encouraging to see that you've actually dropped your "stupid act". That in your previous post you did a great job of listing out and therefore acknowledged the many, many instances over the years where the ownership has engaged in non-fan friendly behavior. And how that in combination with the dearth of winning by this organization explains not only the size of the fan base, but also it's lack of eagerness to routinely fill the ballpark.

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QUOTE (Thad Bosley @ Jun 19, 2016 -> 10:08 AM)
Lol - the only thing I'll admit is that it's encouraging to see that you've actually dropped your "stupid act". That in your previous post you did a great job of listing out and therefore acknowledged the many, many instances over the years where the ownership has engaged in non-fan friendly behavior. And how that in combination with the dearth of winning by this organization explains not only the size of the fan base, but also it's lack of eagerness to routinely fill the ballpark.

 

That entire post was mocking that those things actually were really angry about. The fact that you agree with that list is exactly my point about having bitter fanbase. Seriously, the color of the seats?

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QUOTE (Thad Bosley @ Jun 19, 2016 -> 10:08 AM)
Lol - the only thing I'll admit is that it's encouraging to see that you've actually dropped your "stupid act". That in your previous post you did a great job of listing out and therefore acknowledged the many, many instances over the years where the ownership has engaged in non-fan friendly behavior. And how that in combination with the dearth of winning by this organization explains not only the size of the fan base, but also it's lack of eagerness to routinely fill the ballpark.

 

You really read that list and thought those are all legit reasons for fans to stay away?

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QUOTE (Tex @ Jun 19, 2016 -> 08:25 AM)
So what can a restaurant do to earn your business that isn't winning? Provide a great atmosphere, great service, be a good fit for your entertainment dollar. Family friendly if you need that. They need to provide a quality experience for the time and money you invest.

 

It would then follow that the Sox need to make certain they have set the table for a quality experience. They know that both teams will play some of the highest level baseball on the planet. (After all it is the MLB, name a better league anywhere). The home team may not win. But if your favorite actor is in a movie, do you care if the movie wins an Academy award of not?

 

I don't think the passionate devoted fan is looking for a WS title every single year. Or a Michelin rating, every year, according to your analogy. However, the point of sports is winning. To create a buzz among fandom that your team could POSSIBLY take a WS title. When was the last time we can honestly say that was a realistic attainable goal for the Sox?

 

So basically, what you are saying is that we should treat a Sox game like going bowling, an amusement park, a movie, a weekend in Wisconsin Dells. Just More or less forget the fact that the season is basically over in June.

 

That's the way it's been for the past few years, when you look at the atmosphere in the park. The last few games I have gone to, there is more excitement in the park when the "wave" gets going than in the actual game

Edited by captain54

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QUOTE (Tex @ Jun 19, 2016 -> 07:25 AM)
Mark, you are an intelligent guy, please follow my point here and see what you think. You bring up a great point and one that perpetually follows Sox baseball.

 

While your point is that simple, it is also more complex. Let's look at restaurants. Is your favorite restaurant a Michelin three star rated place? There are thirteen in all of the United States, more than World Series winning baseball teams, about the same as playoff teams in baseball. By baseball standards all of the other restaurants are not worthy of visiting because they are not winning. Their product is not very good compared to these thirteen. There are two Michelin three star restaurants in Chicago. If you go to any other restaurant you are supporting mediocrity or worst.

 

So what can a restaurant do to earn your business that isn't winning? Provide a great atmosphere, great service, be a good fit for your entertainment dollar. Family friendly if you need that. They need to provide a quality experience for the time and money you invest.

 

It would then follow that the Sox need to make certain they have set the table for a quality experience. They know that both teams will play some of the highest level baseball on the planet. (After all it is the MLB, name a better league anywhere). The home team may not win. But if your favorite actor is in a movie, do you care if the movie wins an Academy award of not?

 

For the out of town Sox fans here, it seems like everyone gets to a game when they are in town, no matter how the team is doing. I'm catching a Sunday game against Detroit. Why? Because of the experience. Seeing the stadium and everything that surrounds a MLB baseball game. If fans judge the quality of the experience strictly on the outcome, they will eventually always be unhappy and most years will never attend a game. Of course we are talking about the casual fan, not the diehards here who will generally buy tickets.

 

So no, sports teams don't function exactly like a restaurant, dry cleaners, etc. All of those other examples can earn your loyalty without being one of the top four or five in world. Sports teams also need to beat every other competitor on top of doing everything else great.

 

Tex:

 

First off thank you for the compliment.

 

An interesting post and your points are logical and have some validity to them. I guess it depends on your definition of "winning" though.

 

In my case, speaking just for me only, I've always considered the season a "success" if the Sox simply win more games than they lost. At least (and this is the bare minimum) at the end of the year they can look the fans in the eye and say, "we won more than we lost." I don't think and never have thought that winning the World Series is the only definition of "success."

 

So like in your post, to me there are ways the Sox can achieve success without being the ultimate "Michelin-type" winner.

 

That is to at least win more games than they lose and to make an EXPANDED (easier to achieve) goal of post season play more than once every seven to eight years.

 

At this point the Sox have been unable to do either of these what I consider modest benchmarks.

 

They haven't had a winning season since 2012, they haven't had consecutive winning seasons since 2003-2006 and they haven't made the playoffs since 2008 (Only Seattle, Miami and San Diego have gone longer...)

 

The fact that these benchmarks aren't being met and again I think they are modest for a major market team, I can understand why they lost attendance from the previous season in eight of the previous nine years and why a major shakeup is needed.

 

If not, I fear things are only going to get worse.

 

Enjoyed your reasonable and thoughtful post though!

 

Mark

Edited by Lip Man 1

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QUOTE (Tex @ Jun 19, 2016 -> 11:23 AM)
You really read that list and thought those are all legit reasons for fans to stay away?

Well, most of the list, absolutely yes. Buried in that list is the most compelling, legitimate reason of all for fans to stay away - "not winning"! I would say that is 99% of the reason fans have been staying away, certainly in recent years. Look at the baseball that's been played - it's been awful! Ask any Sox fan who hasn't attended a game in a few years, and the reason will be the losing nature of the ball club. It's that simple.

 

As for any fans harboring ill will towards Jerry Reinsdorf for the appalling tactics he undertook in the mid-to-late '80s to blackmail the state into using taxpayer money to not only take on the entire cost to build the new stadium, but also guarantee annual mega profits to the owners via an entirely obnoxious sweetheart lease deal, if someone has taken the principled stance that they would not further contribute to Reinsdorf's bottom line, I'm 100% ok with that. I'm not one of those individuals, btw, despite my consistent criticism on the matter. I was a season ticket holder back in the '90s when I still lived in Chicago. But if anyone was disgusted by what Reinsdorf did and are now aware that while Sox fans continue to suffer with the ongoing losing ways of the ball club, Reinsdorf continues to get his profits subsidized by taxpayers, their decision to stay away until Reinsdorf is gone is absolutely legitimate.

 

Finally, as it relates to aspects about the U.S. Cellular Field experience, again, in the absence of winning baseball that might incent one to put up with something they don't find enjoyable, if someone's budget can only afford them a seat in the upper deck, and they happen not to like sitting in that particular deck for whatever reason, so be it! I tolerate it and will sit up there, but if another individual chooses not to because it isn't the greatest of seating options, then that's their prerogative. If you don't enjoy the experience up there, why would you subject yourself to that in order to watch losing baseball? Doesn't make sense. Same for the parking situation, so on and so forth.

 

 

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That is a well reasoned post. I disagree withat a few points. The baseball that has been played there is some of the best in the world. Far above college, MiLB, independent league, etc. With the team winning close to 50% of the time. If the Sox do not deserve fan support than baseball in America doesn't deserve any support. The league should drop half the teams at least.

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QUOTE (Tex @ Jun 19, 2016 -> 11:48 AM)
That is a well reasoned post. I disagree withat a few points. The baseball that has been played there is some of the best in the world. Far above college, MiLB, independent league, etc. With the team winning close to 50% of the time. If the Sox do not deserve fan support than baseball in America doesn't deserve any support. The league should drop half the teams at least.

 

Tex:

 

It sounds to me and I may be wrong about this, that part of the way you look at the sport is the sport itself.

 

By that I mean you look at taking pleasure out of watching (on paper) the best players in the world play the game and enjoy the game for the game's sake.

 

Nothing wrong with that, and I won't belittle that viewpoint.

 

I disagree with it, as Bobby Knight once said, "if winning or losing doesn't matter why the hell do they keep score..."

 

White Sox fans I think used to at least have confidence in the fact that the team probably was going to have a winning season at least and be very competitive.

 

Based on the last nine plus seasons I don't think they can even believe that anymore.

 

Mark

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That's fine...when they went from 1990 or whatever year (you can start in 1993) through 2005/06/08 as one of the three winningest organizations in baseball, trailing only the Braves, Yankees and Red Sox.

 

Even though they finished 2nd a lot (to the Twins), they at least had 2005 and most of those years were entertaining (good offense/lots of homers) or there was at least the possibility of making the playoffs still in late July (2003/2006/2010/2012, etc.)

 

The problem is that most of the core White Sox fans that post on message boards really don't look at the sport from such a "big picture" lens. How many of you have watched a game between two OTHER MLB teams in its entirety in recent years, or gone to an MLB game in another park that had nothing to do with the White Sox?

 

I would imagine those numbers are in the 10-15% range. For most, if the White Sox aren't playing well and/or there's no reason to get excited at all about the farm system/future prospects, they start to tune out and find other things to occupy their time. We've seen it a lot in the last three years especially, and this will likely be year 4.

 

The problem is that it will be even more difficult after than 23 7/9ths - 10 record out of the gate to convince fans to trust in the front office again. If the situation was reversed and they started 10-26 and followed that up with 23-10, then nobody would be surprised and we'd be having the same conversation about standing pat/blowing things up/playing for draft position and whether Ventura deserved any more time as manager.

 

Now, the crisis has reached the point where it's much bigger than Ventura. It's about the judgment and professional ability of the front office to effectively evaluate talent....within a given budget range which JR has set. The Indians and Royals and Twins have all proven to have the ability to operate within such parameters over the last 15 or so years. And the Indians might have a payroll 25% lower than ours, but at least they believe that managers matter, or they wouldn't have given Francona that much money to come on board.

 

 

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Not sure why this post took the tangents that it did.

 

My point was that we have a lot of key players on this team not playing up to the levels they should. Until they do, the team is going to continue to lose.

 

Is that the players fault? Yes.

 

Is the manager also a problem? Yes, but that is a different post.

 

Is the front office also responsible? Yes, but that's a different post too.

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QUOTE (VAfan @ Jun 20, 2016 -> 07:14 AM)
Not sure why this post took the tangents that it did.

 

My point was that we have a lot of key players on this team not playing up to the levels they should. Until they do, the team is going to continue to lose.

 

Is that the players fault? Yes.

 

Is the manager also a problem? Yes, but that is a different post.

 

Is the front office also responsible? Yes, but that's a different post too.

 

Therein lies the problem...how much is it the players? Well, what did we realistically expect? 83-85 wins, right? We're on a pace for 77.5-84.5 right now. Had they gone out 10-26 and then followed it up with 23-10, everyone would be a lot more upbeat, and they'd be roughly where we expected (3rd or 4th in the division). Talk about adding would make sense. We'd be 3 games ahead of last year's pace, and 5.5 GB instead of 11.

 

But all that false hope and then the exciting sense of immediacy with Danks/Rollins/Latos (look, the White Sox actually feel some pressure this season to compete!)...trading for Shields, bringing up Anderson perhaps prematurely, that's what caused this whole mess.

 

Who's to blame?

 

Manager? Pitching coach? Steverson? Buddy Bell? Scouting? Coaching? Dave Wilder/struggles in Latin America? Boyer/marketing? Hahn? KW? JR's budget? The fans?

 

 

The problem is that there is no way to isolate every variable as a unique percentage out of 100 and address each one by its weighting. All these issues collectively seem so endemic or big picture at this point that changing a manager or hitting coach is really beside the point.

 

Hence we have the "problem is talent" post. Because for every potential upside we see in Frazier/Abreu/Rodon, etc., there's always another player cancelling it out.

Edited by caulfield12

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While that's correct, if it were just a matter of good players living up to their ability, we wouldn't need managers/coaches.

 

I think you realize how important management is when you hit a bump like we did in Texas, from which we never recovered--apparently.

 

I'm totally on board with the need for players to produce but our management issues are so deep-rooted and in such decomposition at this point that I can't even begin to address the players on the field.

 

Somebody mentioned the last time we made the playoffs being 2008. While technically correct, we basically stumbled into that appearance (after the admittedly awesome Blackout Game) and then got smoked first round, predictably.

 

 

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