Sox are heading for a showdown starting October 5. I started to think about the
chess match the two will be headed for; what managerial tactics must be taken
for each team to increase their chance for a World Series title. I only
considered realistic strategies: I don't expect the Jays to change their
batting lineup, although I think they should do so thus I ignore the issue.
Here's what I expect to happen in the series:
For the Blue Jays to win:
1) Go to a three man rotation unless having a gigantic 3-0 lead in the series.
The Jays have only two good pitchers, Juan Guzman and Duane Ward. In a short
series these two can pitch a higher percentage of the teams total innings since
there are so many off days during the series, thus making it crucial for the
Jays to maximize the number of their innings. Which means that Ward HAS to
be in any crucial situation relatively late in the game. He can't be saved
for only the ninth inning anymore; it's crunch time.
2) Caution on the basepaths. Although the Jays have excellent speed and the
ability to steal a base, it is necessary that they maintain some caution since
Ron Karkovice has had an absolutely amazing campaign defensively. He has thrown
out 54 percent of runners trying to steal: when was the last time someone did
better than that? The Jays have an explosive offense and can't afford to make
any stupid baserunning mistakes; are you listening Roberto Alomar!
3) Make George Bell the goat of the series. I'm not saying this because I'm
vengeful of Bell's attitude towards Toronto; it's because he is an intermittent
clog in the the Chicago offense. Mostly hitting fourth or fifth, Bell is no
longer much of an offensive threat to anyone in the league. Most of the White
Sox can do damage but Bell is among the worst regular players in the entire
league. If Thomas or Ventura can be avoided, take your chances with Bell.
4) Don't waste Coles as a defensive replacement for Sprague after using
Griffin as a pinch runner. Gaston has an annoying habit of never pinch hitting
but always pinch running. It's extremely annoying, seeing Olerud coming out
of a game for a pinch running and then seeing that spot come to bat again
later in the game. Toronto has absolutely NO bench; but they still MUST
pinch hit for Borders and Sprague with Butler or Coles or Turner Ward when
the situation calls for it.
For Chicago To WIn:
1) Since Gaston has shown his distaste for pinch hitting, gain platoon
advantage wherever possible. In fact the Jays lineup can be broken up into
Use Lefty 2) Devon White
3) Roberto Alomar
4) Joe Carter
5) John Olerud
Optional 6) Paul Molitor
7) Tony Fernandez
Use Righty 8) Ed Sprague
9) Pat Borders
1) Rickey Henderson
Alomar, White, Carter, Olerud and Henderson have usually had pretty big
platoon splits and since Gaston wouldn't pinch hit for any of them anyways
Lamont can gain this advantage WHENEVER HE WANTS. Probably the crucial member
to this plan will be Scott Radinsky, who will be needed to gain crucial
outs for batting spots 2-5 all of which contain excellent to good hitters. He
hasn't been good this year, but still has loads of talent and could be the
key to the entire series.
2) Try to wear Guzman and Ward down. The longer the series goes, the more
of an edge goes to the White Sox. If either of these pitchers becomes fatigued
and thus ineffective, the Blue Jays are in big trouble. Thomas, Raines, Cora
and Ventura all draw lots of walks so should end up seeing alot of pitches
from Guzman. If they can get into the middle relief consistently, they will
be laughing their way into the World Series.
3) If you do get into the middle relief, do your pinch hitting early as
Timlin, Stots, Eichhorn and Castillo can all be had especially if you can gain
platoon advantage on them. The White Sox have an amazing bench:
LHB: Lavalliere, Pasqua, Newson
RHB: Grebeck, Calderon, Sax, Bo Jackson
If a situation arises with runners on base I suggest pinch hitting early
unless the hitters name is Ventura or Thomas or Raines (well, use some
sense but you get the idea).
(fav player Olerud)