So I have some regrets about how last season ended. I am particularly hopeful that Steve and I will be able to make amends soon. If it helps, I want him to know that I drafted a bunch of White Sox or ex-White Sox in 2004 just to make him happy. A little peace offering, to help us get over our Big Hurt, which he may think is just a Wunsch of crap, or he may tell me to Foulke off, but I think Eyre has to be a better answer.
Like I said, my off the field problems did make the season bittersweet, but a lot of things went right in 2003. Let's take a look at some of them:
Hudson (8th overall pick, 5th starter taken): 13-12, 4.34 era, 12 complete games, 1.08 HR/9, 3.2 BB/9, 6.0 K/9 Groom (11th overall pick, 2nd reliever taken): 8-6, 15 saves, 1.74 era, 1.06 HR/9, 2.9 BB/9, 6.5 K/9 Holmes (44th overall pick, 10th reliever taken): 8-5, 9 saves, 2.85 era, 1.21 HR/9, 3.2 BB/9, 7.2 K/9 Ohka (62nd overall pick, 21st starter taken): 9-7, 4.59 era, 6 complete games, 1.19 HR/9, 2.7 BB/9, 4.7 K/9 Witasik (98th overall pick, 21st reliever taken): 8-7, 0 saves, 2.90 era, .70 HR/9, 2.6 BB/9, 6.2 K/9 Wolf (101st overall pick, 26th starter taken): 8-8, 3.80 era, 2 complete games, .71 HR/9, 3.3 BB/9, 6.0 K/9
At this point in the draft, I had three starters and three relievers. All Z rated, except for Wolf. All had G home run ratings, except for Ohka and Wolf. The won-loss record of this group turned out to be 54-45. I noted in my 70 Game Review that Wolf had a better ERA than Hudson and Ohka and that I had a couple theories on why that was happening that I would elaborate on after the season. I will now elaborate: I had scouted before the season and seen that a very high percentage of the best hitters in the league were left-handers with a platoon rating of 3 or above. Many of the best right-handers had low platoon ratings. So I felt like lefties would be very valuable, and it looks like I was right. But why I was right is not entirely clear. Wolf gave up more baserunners per 9 than either Hudson or Ohka, but fewer home runs. This doesn't make much sense since Hudson was a G. It may be that I had more confidence in Hudson and Ohka and left them in too long. Having a quicker hook is one of the managing philosophies that I think worked for me in 2003.
The rest of my pitchers looked like this:
Mussina (137th overall pick, 30th starter taken): 5-12 5.24 era, 3 compete games, 1.41 HR/9, 2.6 BB/9, 7.8 K/9 Guardado (172nd overall pick, 41st reliever taken): 12-2, 4 saves, 3.16 era, 1.49 HR/9, 2.7 BB/9, 8.3 K/9 Marte (190th overall pick, 47th reliever taken): 6-4, 5 saves, 4.57 era, 1.59 HR/9, 5.2 BB/9, 8.2 K/9 Smoltz (193rd overall pick, 48th reliever taken): 6-5, 4 saves, 3.53 era, .88 HR/9, 3.6 BB/9, 7.3 K/9 Reitsma (227th overall pick, final starter taken): 3-7, 6.44 era, 2 complete games, 2.76 HR/9, 3.0 BB/9, 4.4 K/9
This group was a little more suspect, as one might expect, but the won-loss record of the relievers was 24-11. Reitsma only having ten decisions is a sign that I used him correctly, especially given his whopping 2.76 HR/9. Mussina having 17 decisions is almost inexplicable from a managerial standpoint, as in: "What was I thinking?" Where was the quick hook? He had only twenty fewer innings pitched than Ohka and Wolf.
On the bright side, I ended 2003 with 0 balks. In 2002, my team had 10.
Jeter .297 OBP, .332 SLG, 89 runs, 35 steals, 140 strikeouts Alfonzo .331 OBP, .410 SLG, 79 runs, 18 home runs Edmonds .381 OBP, .537 SLG, 102 runs, 26 home runs, 58 doubles, 95 RBI Sosa .190 AVG, .282 OBP, .421 SLG, 37 home runs (only 56 total extra base hits), 111 RBI, 175 strikeouts Delgado .339 OBP, .505 SLG, 32 home runs, 96 RBI, 20 HBP Salmon .317 OBP, .413 SLG, 38 doubles, 18 home runs, 54 RBI Kielty .319 OBP, .398 SLG, 14 home runs, 44 RBI Kennedy .291 OBP, .398 SLG, 76 runs, 35 doubles, 21 steals, 53 RBI Kendall .322 OBP, .369 SLG, 30 runs, 19 doubles, 24 RBI, 4 for 10 stealing (in 79 games)
I cannot emphasize enough how much the trade with Ken helped my catching situation. Prior to the trade, Pierzinski was batting .197 with 38 hits in 58 games. He had 10 extra base hits and 11 RBIs, 27 strikeout and 2 walks. His OBP was .221, and Kendall's was .322. Plus, Kendall was a defensive machine. Opponents stole successfully 76 percent of the time against Pierzynski, and only 65 percent of the time against Kendall.
Two additional guys also played a lot but with very different results:
Loretta .294 AVG, .353 OBP, .444 SLG, 22 doubles, 7 home runs, 40 RBI in 321 plate appearances Mabry .224 AVG, .259 OBP, .386 SLG, 19 doubles, 10 home runs, 36 RBI in 317 plate appearances
In real life, Mabry created 6.2 runs per game vs. 6.4 for Loretta. For some reason, however, in the SL Loretta was much better. He ended up at 6.0 runs per game, compared to 3.5 for Mabry and 3.9 for Sammy Sosa.
written in January 2004