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updated: 5/13/2013 2:19 PM

Chris Rongey: Bad White Sox defense has to stop

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  • White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez looks to throw after forcing out the Angels' Chris Iannetta in Saturday night's game. While defense has been an issue for the Sox this season, Chris Rongey says hitting has been the bigger problem.

      White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez looks to throw after forcing out the Angels' Chris Iannetta in Saturday night's game. While defense has been an issue for the Sox this season, Chris Rongey says hitting has been the bigger problem.
    Associated Press

 
 

I'm aware there wasn't a wealth of White Sox fan excitement entering the 2013 season. At best, the majority of any upbeat opinion of what this team would be was best defined as restrained confidence.

The idea that it all might just be all right if most things went well.

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But they haven't.

You see, the White Sox this year always have been -- going back to February -- a team that would have very little room for error if they wanted to truly compete.

Unfortunately, all we've seen this season is too many of those.

Errors.

Thus, I'm led to the first of this past week's concerns of the fan (and me, too): Are they going to start playing better defense, because, gaaaa, my eyes???

First, errors don't mean everything. Having more than most other teams in baseball (as the Sox do), does not necessarily mean that the defense, or the team itself, is a bad one.

In general, teams with better overall fielding range are able to reach more balls in play, and consequently have more opportunity to accumulate a greater total of errors.

So, on occasion, more errors can just mean a team simply gets to balls that other teams don't.

In the case of the White Sox, though, the errors do mean something.

As you know, a team that is as poor of an offensive team as this one has been does not have enough equity to be able to afford and withstand extra outs and gift runs.

Just this past week on at least two instances the game-tying/winning runs scored directly as the result of bad fielding. I've estimated that the Sox have costs themselves 4 wins on defense alone, and I'm probably coming in short on that.

Originally, I figured they wouldn't suffer from defensive disorders all season, but the longer this goes on, the more worrisome it becomes. They just have to make sure it doesn't metastasize into an incurable disease.

I still have a difficult time thinking this will go on all season, but it has been happening for far too long.

•Should this team consider "blowing it up"?

No. Not now.

And even if the White Sox did want to see what they could get in return for the likes of Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, any reliever, etc., it's not automatically the case that they'll receive a haul in return.

Modern team philosophy around baseball is that prospects are to be protected, and acquiring another team's good young players isn't nearly as easy as it once was.

So the dream of selling off well-paid veterans to stock up on cheap, young talent is just that: a dream.

•How much will the return of Gordon Beckham and John Danks help?

Hopefully Beckham's return will greatly improve infield defense for a unit that desperately needs to get better.

Quite a few of the miscues on the diamond have been instigated by the second base position, including misplayed popups, booted double-play grounders and turns to first.

The rotation still has done nice work in the absence of Danks, but his addition to the staff should solidify it. At minimum, it gives them an option for the final spot in the rotation as they chose between Hector Santiago and Dylan Axelrod.

•Chris Rongey is the host of the White Sox pregame and postgame shows on WSCR 670-AM The Score. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRongey and at chrisrongey.com. Subscriber Total Access members can email him questions each week via our online link.

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