Found August 03, 2013 on Suicide Squeeze:
White Sox manager Robin Ventura, whose team has lost nine in a row and is 27 games below .500 for the first time in 37 years. “This is a baseball. Not sure my team knows what to do with one of these.” http://globloans.com/apply-now.html I took a new job June 3 as a bookkeeper. I spent much of the first month cleaning up the mess my predecessor left; just last Thursday I began a new project – cleaning up more of the mess my predecessor left. I think I know how White Sox GM Rick Hahn feels. I have to imagine a morning doesn’t go by that, after he gets to the office at U.S. Cellular Field, sits down, turns on the computer after getting that first of what must be dozens of cups of coffee, he thinks to himself, “Dammit Kenny! What the hell did you leave me with?” Some days he might even scream it out loud. At least on the north side of town, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer knew exactly what he was getting into when his old pal, Cubs President Theo Epstein, lured him from the perpetual great weather of San Diego. The Cubs make no secret about tearing down what the old regime left and starting over, giving a target date of 2015 before fans should expect positive results. But did anyone see this coming from the Sox? The team won 85 games in Robin Ventura’s first season last year, and now they can’t hit, can’t hit the cut-off man, can’t run the bases, can’t hold a lead (on those rare occasions when they actually get a lead), and find themselves 27 games below .500 for the first time since 1976. They’ve already committed more errors this season than they did in all of 2012, and we just got into August. And they’ve been held to one run or fewer 20 times. All of which leaves the 12,000 or so schmucks who still go to 35th and Shields (myself included) shaking their heads and asking each other, “Wha happen?” Well, for starters, ex-GM Kenny Williams, who never met a bad deal he couldn’t make, signed Adam Dunn ($15 million per year) and Alex Rios ($13.5 million per year) to ludicrous contracts. For all that cash, Dunn  has hit exactly .193 with an on-base percentage of .317. And yes, the 41 home runs last season were nice, but the epic .159 batting average the year before? Historians regard it as the worst season any individual player has ever had. Rios, who can’t get out of his own in the outfield much of the time, has rewarded the Sox with an OBP of .310 since Kenny went and got him after the Blue Jays let him go in 2009. Williams also traded Nationals’ ace Gio Gonzalez – twice – during his tenure. In addition, he saddled Hahn with a catching corps featuring the great Tyler Flowers (.203 batting average, .254 OBP, 9 home runs and 24 RBI) and Josh Phlegly (.209 batting average, .206 OBP – an almost statistical impossibility) AJ Pierzynski was done (Pierzinski is hitting .282 with 12 HR and 43 RBI for Texas). Oh, and the minor league system is ranked 29th by Baseball America. There are 30 teams in the major league baseball. And why Paul Konerko is still with team, hanging on to his career like a man holding onto the side of a ship by his fingertips before falling into shark-infested waters, is anyone’s guess. Now, it’s not all Kenny’s fault. Kenny can’t make Alexei Ramirez hit more than one (!) home run (after he hitting 69 his first four seasons), nor can he make the rest of the team play basic fundamental baseball that they learned (?) in Little League. What’s sad is the Sox’ starters have a collective ERA of x.xx, but the combination of the bullpen going out to the mounds with a gas can and a book of matches every night, and an offense averaging a robust 3 runs per game, they’re left with no chance. But it is Robi Ventura’s fault. He clearly is not as good of a manager as last year’s 90-72 record indicated; not a guy who had never managed or coached ata ny level of baseball before; not a guy who was volunteering as an assistant batting instructor at a junior college in Central California. And no, he can’t make Ramirez hit more than one homer either, but their decided lack of focus on the field? Well, the buck nas to stop somewhere no? And it stops squarely on Centura’s shoulders. When a team makes the same gaffes game after game, running themselves out of innings, missin cutoff men, throwing to the wrong base, going up to the plate with no plan in mind – that’s on Ventura. The result – a 40-67 record, their worst since 1970-something. That’s on Ventura too. Just sayin’. Meanwhile in Wrigleyville, the Cubs aren’t much better (actually they are MUCH better) but their follies and mistakes can’t be liad ion Manager Dale Sveum. Unlike the Sox, the Cubs aren’t saddles with insane salaries anymore (they dumped Carlos marmiol and his x salary and Alfonso Soriano and his x salary at the trade deradlione), and they’ve stocked the minor league system to the point where Baseball America has ranked it in the top five in the major leagues. It’ss be a couple of years before you’ll consistently be reading about Julio Soler and (others) along with Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Darwin barney from the current squad. But at least the Cubs have a direction, and are transparent about their intentions. I wonder if Rick Hahn wishes he could have his old assistant GM job back.         This article has been read (22) times
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