-- Kent Kimpel, Plymouth, Ind.
I think the chances are slim. I think they should bring him back, but I'm not sure how much they trust him at third, given the lack of chances he received in
and at Triple-A Charlotte.
Do the Sox evaluate players per position with the rest of the league? The idea is that being stronger at every position is more likely to produce wins? Wonder if that is true? Also, do the Sox, Robin Ventura and staff go over every game to see what causes led to losing or winning? Love the way Mark Parent is conscious of addressing issues.
-- Phil Trager
There's certainly an awareness of how a certain player would fit against the rest of the division. Remember how
was supposed to come off the bench in pinch-hitting and spot starting roles against the rough right-handers in the
. Anyone else surprised that Mark Parent hasn't been given some consideration for vacant managerial positions? I'm surprised Colorado hasn't contacted him, but there are some strange things going on there. There's plenty of analysis over each game and the next game in the coaches' locker room as well as during post-game meals and pregame lunches.
-- Jarret Palmisano, Palos Park
I'm not crazy about Hamilton because of some of the issues that have even caused his biggest backers in the Dallas-Fort Worth media to back off on him. I like Napoli, but I'm not sure about his asking price (he made $9.4 million in 2012). His production dipped and his strikeouts increased, so I'm not sure what you'll be getting. Might be fitting that he's born on Oct. 31. Either he's a trick or a treat.
This should probably fall under the heading of "conspiracy theory" but do you think there is a correlation between all the walks the Sox gave up the last month-plus of the season and the fact that Hawk Harrelson was constantly berating the umpires on the air?
-- Paul Fiala, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
I'm all for conspiracy theories, especially after the ending of the Seattle-49ers game as well as the end of the 1982
title game in which
never put his knee down while trotting into the end zone. A few years ago, I had an umpire express his unhappiness with Hawk's criticism of a certain umpire. But I don't think his comments can be correlated to the high increase in walks. I just think some of the pitchers either were tired or had control issues. The umpires are graded throughout the season, and I think the ones who have a shaky strike zone are told about it. Also, there are a few websites that remind those of their inconsistent zones. I don't like calling balls and strikes from my living room, but I don't like what I've seen in several of the playoff games. And they've involved umpires whom many players, managers and even announcers have questioned in the past.
-- Ken, Crestwood
You can look at it the following ways: 1. The Sox won the American League Central the following year. I remember the days leading up to the Cabrera trade, and KW's anger of the criticism he received after Cabrera went to Detroit. It was more than just Willis' contract that swayed in Detroit's favor. The
were willing to trade six minor league players -- including two high-profile prospects at the time in
. I'm not sure the Sox could have absorbed moving six prospects and absorb the financial obligations they would have taken on, in addition to the likes of Paul Konerko, Mark Buehrle, Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye, Javier Vazquez, etc. 2. Mr. Illich was willing to absorb a huge financial cost to acquire a future Hall of Fame hitter as well as Willis' salary, and it's finally paying off handsomely with two consecutive AL Central titles and now a
-- Matt, Bolingbrook
Yes, I was extremely surprised that the Sox didn't reach 2 million in home attendance, but I became less surprised in August and earlier September. But I'll say it again -- I'll never tell people how to spend their money. I think the performances of Sale, Jose Quintana, Nate Jones and Hector Santiago give the fans plenty of promise for the future, although Detroit still looms as a perennial contender with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and the return of
. The Sox were on track to win more than 90 games before their miserable skid, and the quality was more entertaining than in two of the three previous years. I'm not sure 95 wins will guarantee 2.5 million in attendance next year. Reducing season ticket prices is just one of many steps that the Sox will have to address. With the Red line scheduled to be closed for repairs next May, getting fans from the south to get to the park will be a challenge.
After watching Dayan Vicedo play right and excel, and then move to left and played well above average, why not move him back to his main position -- third? He was not great, but adequate, and after watching the guy improve at everything else he does, it's obvious he is an athlete and can become good enough at third and will also brings power to that position. This can leave a spot to bring in a Mitchell or a free agent in left. Viciedo has handled everything thrown at him so far. I believe now is the time to try it before he feels to comfortable to move from the outfield.
-- Eric, Indianapolis
I would be in favor of Viciedo moving to third, but there is some hesitation. If the Sox opt or learn toward a rotation with four left-handers, that would place a greater emphasis on defense on the left side of the infield, with opponents stacking their lineups with right-handed hitters. Viciedo has handled the position changes as well as any 23-year-old. At some point, he deserves some stability. But the Sox must find no worse than an adequate left fielder to consider making the switch.
-- Steve Kleinmaier, Madison, Wis.
There will be some changes in the farm system, but I believe they'll have more to do with the managerial positions. For instance, Tommy Thompson has done a solid job with the group he's worked with at Class-A Kannapolis and Class-A Winston-Salem, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's promoted.
With all the talk of pitchers being tired late in the season, why don't teams have six-man starting rotations?
-- Ken Akers, Fancy Gap, Va.
Some teams struggle to find six dependable starters in the heat of a pennant race. Other teams would rather send their five best pitchers or four best (if there's a day off) as much as possible. I think not using a six-man rotation in 2006 hurt the White Sox after their World Series season. The team ERA jumped by nearly one-half run in the second half.
-- Robbie, Memphis
Robbie, I expressed my thoughts and opinions on these subjects in
-- Jeff S. Chicago Ridge
Part of the ''problem'' is that so many of the positions are set. But I agree that versatility helps and could play a huge role in keeping players stronger down the stretch.
-- J. Kochalka, Wheeling, W.V.
Yes, I'd say the enthusiasm is meek, and I'm glad the Sox are looking into ways to invigorate the fans. I'm extremely curious to see how they will spice up their telecasts and broadcasts, especially if there is a change in the television booth. I was surprised at the level of discontent from those who submitted emails expressing your opinions on the telecasts, but I'm glad you expressed them and made your points. Yes, there are plenty of fireworks nights on Friday nights, and those games are well-attended. The in-game entertainment department, not the media relations department, is in charge of engaging fans in the game.
-- Dennis Bowman, Omaha, Neb.
I think he ends up getting a multi-year contract elsewhere. Interesting that he and Napoli are among the top free agent catchers, although A.J. has been much more durable.
I just want to let you know that I have been a season ticket holder for almost 30 years. Since 1985, my tickets are going up over 2 percent! I am in section 129, row 6, with four seats. Each seat went up over $1,000 per seat. So, in regards to prices getting lower, that is quite an increase.
-- George Mervosh, Tinley Park
George, you were part of the 13 percent who didn't receive a price reduction, as those sitting in the first 10 rows between first and third base absorbed an increase as the lower deck seats between first and third base are priced on a tier system based on the rows the seats are located.