Welcome to The Chicago Homer’s Mailbag. It runs once a week unless it doesn’t, and in it I answer questions from readers via Twitter or email. The questions can be about any damn thing you please, and there likely isn’t a question I won’t answer. There may be questions I can’t answer, but I’ll try.
If you’d like to submit a question for the next edition of the mailbag it’s pretty simple. Either ask the question on Twitter using the #AskTCH hashtag — as long as you use the hashtag I will see it — or send an email to TCHMailbag@gmail.com.
The Mailbag is back!
Yes, it went away for the last few weeks as I haven’t had much time to write here due to the college football season starting, but it’s back. And as of now it’ll return to its weekly role, though it will move from weekends to Wednesdays because there’s just no way in hell I could write it during the weekend in season.
So let’s get back to it.
If the Sox lose 11 more games (as of 9/8) this season that will be back to back 90 loss seasons. In the MLB, I don’t care what quality talent you have on the roster, or if you’re rebuilding or not, you lose 90 in back to back seasons that will usually get you fired.
We know that’s not going to be the case for Robin as he signed a mystery extension last off-season. (seriously, I’ve never seen exact numbers. I don’t know how long or for how much they signed him) I’d like to consider Rick Hahn a smart man, but at what point does the make up of the roster cease to be the excuse why the team is so bad and he starts looking at KW’s hand-picked, had-to-be-convinced-to-actually-take-the-fucking-job Manager?
Side bar: If Hahn is GM in 2012, NO WAY he hires Robin, right? Ugh, what could have been. -Logan
I’m not a big fan of Robin Ventura as a manager for a variety of reasons. Everything from his stubbornness with the lineup at times to his bullpen management bothers me at times, but I have a really hard time blaming him for this season, or for last.
Last year’s team was just bad, and this year’s team really wasn’t much better. I mean, look at the roster he was handed. Yes, the offense was better, but Avisail Garcia was lost for most of the season in early April, Adam Eaton was on the disabled list a few times, and the roster was somewhat handcuffed by having Paul Konerko return for another season.
And then there was the pitching staff he’s had to work with. Both Erik Johnson and Felipe Paulino turned out to be major disasters, which led to the Sox sending out guys like Andre Rienzo, Scott Carroll, Hector Noesi, Chris Bassitt and Charlie Leesman combining to start 54 games (a third of the season!) so far. Now, Noesi has actually been a pleasant surprise, but the point remains: that’s a lot of innings being eaten up by players you weren’t expecting to be on the roster this season.
Oh, and there’s the bullpen too. The Sox did nothing for the bullpen this year because when you’re rebuilding, you don’t spend money on the pen. And the Sox are getting their money’s worth there.
I’m not sure what manager could avoid a possible 90-loss season under those conditions.
But to a greater point, I’ve long been of the opinion that managers really don’t affect your win-loss record all that much. Talent is going to win you games 99% of the time, not your manager. So I don’t think Ventura matters, even if some of his decisions annoy me.
As for when Ventura will get the axe, if he ever gets the axe, I would think that if the Sox struggle again next season he’ll be done. But it also depends on what happens this winter. If Rick Hahn goes out and spends some money and pushes the rebuild further along by intending to compete for the division and the playoffs next season, the pressure will be on to win.
As for who Hahn would have hired in 2012, I have no idea, but I bet it would have still been Ventura. Kenny would still have been around, and Jerry Reinsdorf would still be Jerry Reinsdorf. If they wanted Ventura as manager I don’t think Hahn would go against the two guys who just gave him the job in his first major act as GM. Because I think Hahn knows the manager isn’t all that important to winning, it’s up to him to give that manager the players to do so.
Well I fully expect him to compete for a starting job in the spring, but I don’t know if he’ll open the season in the rotation. But he’ll be in it at some point in 2015, and he’ll be used as a starter, not a reliever. You don’t pay a guy that much money after taking him with the third pick of the draft to use him as a reliever.
I don’t care what they did with Chris Sale first.
And he’ll win the Cy Young after going 20-0 in 20 starts with 180 innings pitched, 245 strikeouts and only three earned runs allowed on plays that should have been called errors but fuck hometown scoring.
It’s hard to know long-term, but if Roberto Garza and Matt Slauson do miss an extended period of time, that’s not a good thing. Even though both Brian De La Puente and Michael Ola received the two highest PFF grades of any offensive Bears player against Buffalo. De La Puente had a score of 3.7 while Ola checked in at 4.8. The next highest score was Jermon Bushrod at 1.9.
So the good news is both played well when they replaced Garza and Slauson.
Where the problems begin is what it does to the depth at the position, because if somebody else on the line gets hurt while Garza and Slauson are out, all of a sudden you have an offensive line containing bodies picked up off the street, and that’s never a good thing.
Had a specific moment in the Bears game that I still haven’t found an explanation for. At 4:07 left in regulation the Bears called a timeout on 4th and 5 with the Bills having the ball. It was the second timeout used in the half. Was this used just to save 40 seconds? Seemed a weird use of it as the Bears would have gotten the ball back with a little over 3 minutes left. Just seems to me that it is more important to have those in your back pocket on offense when you’re trying to do a 2 minute drill (in case of a sack, bad play call, etc.). Your thoughts? – Casey Boguslaw
I have no idea why the timeout was called. I suppose it could have been to save time, but I’m guessing the more likely scenario is that the Bears realized they had the wrong personnel on the field.
STANLEY CUP CHAMPS.
Are you worried about Derrick Rose after some subpar performances in the World Cup thing? – Eric Stone
No. I don’t care how Rose looks in any of these games because the only reason I wanted him playing in them was because he’s hardly played basketball in two years. He was going to be rusty, and I’d rather have him dealing with that rust in games that don’t matter than through the first few months of the Bulls season.
The only thing I care about when it comes to Rose and these games is that he gets through them healthy. If he struggles in the regular season then I’ll get worried.
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