I think the addition of Jim Thome addressed the need for more offense. But they didn't compromise their speed because Carl Everett and Frank Thomas were no speed merchants. I don't think they've gotten enough speed from the top and bottom of the order because Scott Posdesnik and Brian Anderson didn't get on base enough, and Tadahito Iguchi didn't want to take the bat out of Jim Thome's hands.
Either make the pitchers hold runners more effectively by throwing to first more often or holding the ball, or trading those pitchers who don't conform.
Trade Paul Konerko (as was suggested in the Aug. 29 mailbag)? Does James from Chicago remember 2005? Whether the Sox make the playoffs this year or not, they're still set up nicely to be contenders for the next few years. Honestly, it disgusts me the way so many Sox fans have turned on this team already. --Jeff Ponczak, Chicago
That's a lot of years--1917 to 2005--to wait for a world series win. Please give this team credit for another great season; the Tigers have just been unreal. If pitching and defense win championships, I still like our chances. What about you, Mark, do you still believe? --Vinnie Ryan, Robinson, Ill.
I'm baffled by what's happened in the second half, particularly the last week. When you increase payroll by about $25 million and don't see an improvement, it leads to a lot of questions and analyzing that will go through this off-season.
I know Kenny Williams has a cold relationship with Scott Boras, but do you think Williams will make a push for Zito in the offseason? That would allow two starters, Freddy Garcia and Javier Vazquez, to be traded. Regardless of what happens over the next month, the rotation needs to be revamped a little. --Rob, Lime Rock, Conn.
I can see Garcia and Vazquez being dealt, but I believe Kenny will try to land some young power arms. I see Barry Zito headed to New York or maybe the Dodgers.
I don't understand why the Sox are so intent on getting seven innings or more from there starting pitchers. If they give up five to eight runs in that time, it doesn't do any good. Maybe these guys would be better going as hard as they can for as long as they can and let the bullpen take over. --William Downie, Carson City, Nev.
William, can you tell me where's I can get fresh fish in Carson City now that Bodine's has closed? You make a good point. There are times when the bullpen should take over earlier. We've seen it recently with Jose Contreras coming out earlier but you can make a case for other pitchers in previous starts.
I know you ran one of my questions last week and no one should get in too often. But it is mea culpa time. Earlier in the season I criticized Jon Garland and asked if the Sox should make a move on him. Now he is 12-1 in his last 14 starts and leading the AL in wins. My apologies to Mr. Garland. But that's what is great about being a fan. The Sox can't fire me for my screwy ideas--and they don't have to listen, either. --Larry Siegel, Manteno, Ill.
Larry, a lot of people made the same assessment toward Garland. It's why evaluating pitchers can be so tricky.
The Sox win last year, play at a 95-win pace this year and what does everyone want to do? Trade half the team. Why break up a team that could very well win it all again? --Steve Gantz, Baton Rouge, La.
Because they might not win it all this year, and there are flaws this year. Kenny Williams changed nearly 1/3 of the roster from last year, and I suspect he'll nearly do the same this off-season.
Is Charlie Haeger a major league pitcher and who would they get to catch him? --Jim Harlan, Chicago
Haeger has done everything possible to get to the majors. He made a wise decision by purchasing a large catcher's glove. Chris Stewart and A.J. Pierzynski are among those who have praised Haeger for his purchase.
A-Rod clearly could use a change of scenery from New York and Ozzie's tired of Juan Uribe's frequent mental gaffes in the field; since Kenny Williams is committed to trading one of the White Sox current starters this off-season, and NY pays A-Rod "only" $11M/year (the balance being paid by the Rangers), how about a Freddy Garcia and Juan Uribe (who clearly has the arm to play 3B), trade for A-Rod and then the Sox moving A-Rod back to SS where he belongs? After all, the salaries involved would basically be a wash. --Jack Lucas, Mission Viejo, Calif.
The Sox's main thrust this off-season will be acquiring a young power arm and addressing the top of the order. I'll take Joe Crede over any other AL third baseman right now because of his defense.