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Unfolding Nature Shop: Unfolding Nature: Being in the Implicate Order

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OfflineMadtowntripper
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White Sox Season Preview
    #6641627 - 03/06/07 04:10 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

So Deadmaker can decide which of his shitty South-Side players he wants on his team this year...If anyone wants a preview for another team, just ask and I'll get it up whenever I get a minute.

Quote:

Sometimes, the magic simply runs out. Coming off their first World Series title in 88 years, the White Sox seemed primed for another run at a championship during the first half of 2006. A 57-31 team at the break, only two losses worse than their mark at the 2005 break, Chicago held a six-game lead on the New York Yankees for the wild card. But, like in 2005, the White Sox's second-half performance declined. The difference, of course, was that in 2005, they were able to preserve a six-game Central lead with an 8-3 finish, while their 33-41 second-half record a year ago dropped them five games out of the playoff hunt.

Now, the question becomes, which White Sox team does this year's model resemble, the one that appeared fit to defend its World Championship in the first half, or the aging, sluggish team that finished out the season? Chicago returns virtually the same team it fielded in 2006, adding only bit parts in Darin Erstad, who has batted .272 and averaged six homers the past six seasons, and Toby Hall, he of the career .685 OPS. Gone, however, are Freddy Garcia, a 17-game winner in 2006, and Brandon McCarthy, once considered the team's future ace.

That leaves the White Sox with four talented starters, but four who also come with question marks. Projected opening-day starter Jose Contreras is now 35 and had a 4-9 record and 5.40 ERA in 14 second-half starts. No. 2 man Mark Buehrle is coming off a career-worst year in which opposing hitters batted .303 with 36 homers against him. No. 3 man Jon Garland has back-to-back 18-win seasons, but he also has never topped 115 strikeouts in a single season and allowed a career-worst .294 BAA in 2006. No. 4 man Javier Vazquez's history of inconsistency is well documented, and he finished 4-9 with a 5.24 ERA in his final 21 games (20 starts). Also, closer Bobby Jenks, who managed a 5.72 ERA and .295 BAA after the All-Star break, has drawn criticism for his conditioning (or lack thereof).

PROJECTED LINEUP:
LF Scott Podsednik
2B Tadahito Iguchi
DH Jim Thome
1B Paul Konerko
RF Jermaine Dye
C A.J. Pierzynski
3B Joe Crede
SS Juan Uribe
CF Brian Anderson


DEPTH CHART: (Projected starters listed in bold, players expected to begin the year in the minors listed in italics)
C: A.J. Pierzynski, Toby Hall, Wiki Gonzalez
1B: Paul Konerko, Jim Thome, Darin Erstad, Casey Rogowski
2B: Tadahito Iguchi, Alex Cintron, Pablo Ozuna, Pedro Lopez
3B: Joe Crede, Josh Fields, Alex Cintron, Pablo Ozuna, Rob Mackowiak
SS: Juan Uribe, Alex Cintron, Pablo Ozuna, Pedro Lopez, Robert Valido
LF: Scott Podsednik, Darin Erstad, Josh Fields, Rob Mackowiak, Pablo Ozuna, Ryan Sweeney, Jerry Owens, Luis Terrero, Kenny Kelly
CF: Brian Anderson, Darin Erstad, Rob Mackowiak, Ryan Sweeney, Jerry Owens, Luis Terrero, Kenny Kelly
RF: Jermaine Dye, Rob Mackowiak, Pablo Ozuna, Ryan Sweeney, Luis Terrero, Kenny Kelly
DH: Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Josh Fields, Darin Erstad
SP: Jose Contreras, Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, Javier Vazquez, Gavin Floyd, Charlie Haeger, John Danks, Gio Gonzalez
CL: Bobby Jenks
RP: Mike MacDougal, Matt Thornton, Andy Sisco, Boone Logan, Sean Tracey, David Aardsma, Charlie Haeger, Nick Masset, Heath Phillips, Carlos Vasquez

Of course, those points will be moot if the offense comes out to play yet again, as the White Sox ranked third in baseball averaging 5.36 runs per game in 2006. ERA and WHIP might not be strong points for this team, but with an oft-underappreciated heart of the order of Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye, this team should continue to score runs, especially considering U.S. Cellular Field remains one of the game's friendliest hitters' environments. All three of those hitters, though, are on the wrong side of 30, so that's no guarantee.

In short, there's not a ton of upside to be found on the 2007 White Sox roster. Plus, with a fiery manager in Ozzie Guillen, one can only wonder whether he'll be able to keep the team on the right track long term. Sure, the White Sox should be competitive yet again, but the case can be made that many of their players might make nice early sell-high options.

FANTASY STUD: Paul Konerko's the safest pick of the "big three" hitters, perhaps mainly because he's the youngest, turning 31 in March. That means he's still in his prime, worthy of the 39 homers and 110 RBI he has averaged the past three years, and many such players become safer batting-average types the more experienced they get. Konerko hit a career-high .313 last year, meaning he's top-eight caliber at that deep position.

OVERRATED: Throughout his professional career, Bobby Jenks has long been criticized for his weight, and often his lack of focus. In fact, scouts at one time, when he was in the Angels' farm system, compared him to Nuke LaLoosh from "Bull Durham," he of the "million-dollar arm, five-cent head." Jenks has sure turned his career around since, but that's hardly an encouraging comparable from his past, and considering how shaky closers can be, it's enough to caution owners against calling him a top-five closer breakout.

TOP SLEEPER: The White Sox spent much of the offseason shopping third baseman Joe Crede, primarily to clear room for top prospect Josh Fields, the former two-sport college star who the team feels is the better long-term bet. Crede could still be moved to clear room for Fields, but Fields could also be part of the left-field picture.

INTRIGUING SPRING BATTLE: Speaking of that left-field picture, things only became more clouded upon reports that projected starter Scott Podsednik would miss six weeks following Jan. 23 surgery on his groin. He'll miss at least half of spring training and perhaps open the season on the disabled list, leaving Fields and Darin Erstad to battle it out for that spot, while Erstad could also push Brian Anderson for playing time in center field.

PROSPECTS FOR NOW:
• 3B Josh Fields:
Statistically speaking, he could be a 25-homer, double-digit steal man in the long haul, though Fields' long swing could leave him prone to high strikeout totals and streaky spells as a rookie. He's a high-risk, high-reward type for 2007.
• OF Ryan Sweeney: A long shot to break camp with the team, Sweeney could certainly be a factor for the White Sox if things don't pan out in either left or center field. He draws Harold Baines comparisons, and could be this team's No. 3 hitter before long.

PROSPECTS FOR LATER:

SP Lance Broadway: His best asset is his curveball, and once he gets better at changing speeds, he'll be a future middle-of-the-rotation type. Broadway could be in line for a late-season promotion, and could be ready to step in permanently next opening day.
SP Kyle McCulloch: He's a bit more consistent with his pitches than Broadway, and might ultimately wind up the safer long-term prospect. McCulloch's about two years away from being ready to join the White Sox as a middle-of-the-rotation option.

THE BALLPARK: U.S. Cellular Field is widely considered one of the best home run parks in baseball, ranking second (1.307) in 2006 and first in each of the two previous seasons. Since the team moved in and lowered the fences for the 2000 season, the White Sox have hit 200-plus homers as a team in all seven seasons.




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After one comes, through contact with it's administrators, no longer to cherish greatly the law as a remedy in abuses, then the bottle becomes a sovereign means of direct action.  If you cannot throw it at least you can always drink out of it.  - Ernest Hemingway

If it is life that you feel you are missing I can tell you where to find it.  In the law courts, in business, in government.  There is nothing occurring in the streets. Nothing but a dumbshow composed of the helpless and the impotent.    -Cormac MacCarthy

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.  - Aeschylus


Edited by Madtowntripper (03/06/07 04:11 PM)


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InvisibleOneMoreRobot3021
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Re: White Sox Season Preview [Re: Madtowntripper]
    #6641634 - 03/06/07 04:12 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I'd like the ones for the Yankees, the Mets, the Indians, the Phillies, and the Rangers.


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Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis


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Offlinekillme
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Re: White Sox Season Preview [Re: Madtowntripper]
    #6641663 - 03/06/07 04:19 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Madtowntripper said:
So Deadmaker can decide which of his shitty South-Side players he wants on his team this year...If anyone wants a preview for another team, just ask and I'll get it up whenever I get a minute.




That's pretty funny coming from a Cubs fan.


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InvisibleOneMoreRobot3021
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Re: White Sox Season Preview [Re: killme]
    #6641669 - 03/06/07 04:20 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)



--------------------
Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis


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Offlinekillme
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Re: White Sox Season Preview [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #6641689 - 03/06/07 04:25 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Haha, that's awesome.


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InvisibleOneMoreRobot3021
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Re: White Sox Season Preview [Re: killme]
    #6641696 - 03/06/07 04:27 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

That was caught on TV at a Spring Training game.


--------------------
Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis


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Offlinekillme
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Re: White Sox Season Preview [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #6641753 - 03/06/07 04:39 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I'd like to have it. I'd almost rather have one for the Twins though.


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: White Sox Season Preview [Re: Madtowntripper]
    #6642142 - 03/06/07 06:38 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Who wrote that?


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OfflineMadtowntripper
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Re: White Sox Season Preview [Re: zappaisgod]
    #6643498 - 03/07/07 12:05 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Some ESPN hack.

I'll give you a name tomorrow if you really want one, when I'm on a decent internet connection.


--------------------
After one comes, through contact with it's administrators, no longer to cherish greatly the law as a remedy in abuses, then the bottle becomes a sovereign means of direct action.  If you cannot throw it at least you can always drink out of it.  - Ernest Hemingway

If it is life that you feel you are missing I can tell you where to find it.  In the law courts, in business, in government.  There is nothing occurring in the streets. Nothing but a dumbshow composed of the helpless and the impotent.    -Cormac MacCarthy

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.  - Aeschylus


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Offlinezappaisgod
horrid asshole


Registered: 02/11/04
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Re: White Sox Season Preview [Re: Madtowntripper]
    #6645364 - 03/07/07 03:32 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I thought it was pretty much spot on. Why do you say "hack"?


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InvisibleRapmaster
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Re: White Sox Season Preview [Re: zappaisgod]
    #6649639 - 03/08/07 06:06 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Basically the only ESPN writer that really knows what he's talking about is Peter Gammons, imo


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: White Sox Season Preview [Re: Rapmaster]
    #6649661 - 03/08/07 06:11 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Gammons blows more shit out his ass than all the cattle in the world. Imo.


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Offlinealarmist
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Re: White Sox Season Preview [Re: zappaisgod]
    #6650212 - 03/08/07 08:56 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

frank thomas was my favorite player back in the day on the white sox

let's go blue jays!


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there's no love in fear


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Offlinetooth
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Re: White Sox Season Preview [Re: alarmist]
    #6658907 - 03/11/07 06:58 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

The best T-shirt I've seen regarding the cubs said:
"I'd rather have a sister who worked in a whorehouse than a brother who was a cubs fan." Or something along those lines. Man they make it too easy...


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Unfolding Nature Shop: Unfolding Nature: Being in the Implicate Order

General Interest >> Sports Forum

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