Great idea, but there are some players who seek security and more years. Ned Colletti has done a good job with the Dodgers in short-term contracts, but the Dodgers are paying a lot of money for the likes of Furcal and Jason Schmidt on a short-term basis. I think the short-term contracts work if you have enough prospects ready to be introduced to the major leagues.
None. That was a thorough beating.
It looks like the Sox will end up with a very high pick in the 2008 draft. Would they lose this draft pick to the Twins if they signed Torii Hunter? -- Scott S., Elgin
No, they wouldn't lose their first pick, but the Twins would receive two draft picks if they lose Hunter.
I know I shouldn't care anymore, but I do. Watching the team is like watching a train wreck. My issue is now with the coaching staff. I have not placed any blame on them this season, but now I'm starting to wonder. How can the situational hitting be SO BAD??!! How can all of these great minor league hitters come here and fail so miserably? Does Walker tell them anything? Does the man teach anything? As for Ozzie -- why is there never any punishment for mental mistakes (i.e. Juan Uribe)? Please do not take this personally, but from listening to the post-game press conferences, it also seems like the beat reporters do not ask the tough questions (at least not on the record). I am very loyal and will continue to follow the team, but it's going to be very lonely at The Cell next season. -- John, Western Springs
John, there will be plenty of room in the press box as well if the Sox don't make changes and field a title-contending team. The coaches work endlessly with batters on situational hitting. Walker and Guillen have told players like Uribe to hit to right and let his strength provide the power. If the chairman and GM support the manager and coaches, who does the blame fall on besides the players? You can't blame equipment manager Vinny Fresso. At least the uniforms are clean.
How do you explain Iguchi hitting over .300 for the Phillies after not hitting for the Sox? Also there are at least 49 former Sox players now playing in the Majors. Can you pick out three outfielders out of this group that would be better than what we have? Rowand, Lee, Ordonez, C. Young, Cameron, Lofton, Harris, Gload. There are 19 relief pitchers and I think you could pick out five good ones to fit in with Jenks. There are also 10 infielders, two catchers, & two DHs. Starting pitching would be a little weak with K. Wells, D. Wells, Fogg, Loaiza, & injured Colon & McCarthy. Ours isn't too great either right now. What do you see as the problem here? Scouting?? You do a great job with your columns. -- name: Fargosox, Fargo, N.D.
Iguchi, like so many of the Sox's hitters, got off to a slow start and perhaps has finally found his stroke. He's also hitting in a better hitter's ballpark than U.S. Cellular Field. To blame the personnel failures entirely on the scouting department would be wrong. There are projection issues, as well as character questions in which scouting is involved when determining a player's makeup. However, it does look embarrassing when a $107 million payroll produces the majors' second-worst record.
I've just watched Mike McDougal blow another one against Cleveland. Why does Ozzie over-manage? Why hasn't McDougal simply been let go? Isn't this another reason to fire Guillen? God, this is just unbelievable. The incompetence of this manager is remarkable. I've watched my last game till Guillen is gone. -- Jeff, St. Louis
Jeff, MacDougal is signed through 2009, and Ozzie doesn't sign the checks. He is in charge of selecting which pitchers are used in a game. And it might be wise to not use MacDougal in consecutive games or for more than one inning per outing.
In the 8/31 game against the Indians, Meyers and MacDougall both imploded (shock!), with the Sox needing only one more out to get out of the 8th inning. They can't get the out and the Sox lose again blowing a three-run lead. Why not use Jenks for that out and the ninth? The next day, Joe Nathan and Mariano Rivera both pitch a four-out save. I know a while back Ozzie said he was only using Jenks in save situations, but why not use him when you need a win badly. By the way, I am dying hard down here in Louisiana, but I will never give up on the Sox. -- Bill Gallagher, Metairie, La.
There was a mid-June game against Florida in which Jenks was used in the eighth and blew a save opportunity, which reinforced Ozzie's policy of not using him before the ninth. At least you have the Saints to look forward to.
Kenny has always said pitching and defense wins championships. I know it's early but Josh Fields looks lost in LF and has said he won't play winter ball. Will KW sacrifice defense to keep Fields in the line-up when Crede returns? -- Mike Klein, Mokena
I am a little concerned about a trend I see with Josh Fields. If you check his minor league stats and his limited at-bats last fall, he always drew a large amount of walks. About 1 walk for every 2 strikeouts. This year it's about 1 walk for every 5. As a Fan, I couldn't even go to the games here in Texas. They are painful to watch. I have always loved Greg Walker, but something is out of synch. This team strikes out way too much. They will have 5 players with 100 strikeouts at year's end. -- Donald First, Plano, Texas
Does Josh Fields realize that he looks just like Jack on Will and Grace? -- Susan McMahon, Chicago
I think Josh would rather look like Joe Rudi as a left-fielder. You're going to suffer growing pains with Josh as a hitter, but the power is encouraging, as well as his ability to recover from slumps. Whether Josh stays in left could depend on other moves the Sox make in the off-season, such as landing a center fielder ... or if Joe isn't ready by next spring.
I am trying hard to ignore the Sox because they have become too painful. Williams has demonstrated, I think irrefutably, that 2005 was a fluke and that he really does not understand what makes a good, winning combination of a baseball team. He must go! Ozzie, bless his heart, must go too. His "gut feelings" for making field decisions is just a confession that he is too unsophisticated to use the statistical tools that a really knowledgeable manager, like Piniella or LaRussa, utilize. Both of these guys, Ozzie and Williams, are pretenders at their positions. To rise again, the Sox need competent leadership from the top. -- Garey