Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sox and Cubs in the Media

…Sure I have a ton of gripes about the White Sox. But nevertheless, I love the team. It’s why I dedicate so much time to this blog. So with that said, why should someone that makes a grand total of $0.00 a year to cover the White Sox spend so much time researching when the media can’t spend as much as 5 minutes researching the White Sox roster.

I was browsing Borders recently, only to find a 2010 calendar. It may have been acceptable to include the likes of Dye and Thome as the photos designated for various months. However, riddle me this: who wears number 7, plays third base for the White Sox, and is named Josh Fields? No one. While Josh Fields used to do all those things, he no longer does. Why, then, is his unshaven cleft chin the image chosen to represent the month of June? A bit of research would have saved the publishers of said calendar from making this gaffe.

However, the Sox can still retain some pride in the fact that [the Cubs seem to want a Sox leftover: Jose Contreras. And Scott Podsednik.] Mandatory Grandpa Jo Joke: The irony is that the Cubs haven’t won a World Series since Jose Contreras was born.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Revisiting the Golden Tresses of Anderson

“Four or five teams expressed interest in the outfielder after he became a free agent this offseason. That group included the Cubs, Nationals and Reds, but ultimately, the Royals stood as Anderson's ideal destination.” Yup, the one and only Brian Anderson is headed to the Royals. The outfielder is returning to the AL Central after a brief stint in Boston. Surprisingly enough, he did pretty well in Bean-Town. Blondie had five hits and two homers in 17 at-bats with the crimson Sox.

The thing is, Brian talks a lot about digging his own hole and what might have happened if he did ‘something’ differently. What is this something?

In similar news, Javy Vazquez and Boone Logan are headed to the Yankees. Javy has already spent a year with the Yankees, and ended the year with a 14-10 record. The truth it, Javy has been quietly having himself a career year. He posted a career-best 2.87 ERA and a 15-10 record. Over 219 innings. Just goes to show how great the National League can treat pitchers. And this isn’t just a typical joke. It’s true. Javy has not had an ERA below 4 in the American League (with the exception of 2007). So, I guess what I’m saying is… Javy is still a good pitcher, maybe. Probably only in the National League. And probably not when he’s under pressure. Er… what were we talking about again?

In more, also similar news, Octavio Dotel has been offered a pretty good deal to close for the Pirates. I’d have some sort of statistics similar to those I presented for Javy, but they’re too all over the place. All I can say is that the guy is more of a set-up guy than a closer as far as I can tell. How many times did Dotel come into the game only to give up a 2-run homer? More than any closer should.

The theme of the post is clear. It’s the future of ex-Sox players. Because the future of the Sox as a team is unknown. But let’s face it, since it’s Christmas Eve, let’s be positive. There’s a lot of potential on our team. And the future of the Sox can still be bright.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Pierre Trade from A New Perspective

If you really want an in-depth look at the Juan Pierre trade, your go-to place is the [ChiSox Examiner].

So, I’m not going to repeat all of that. I’m not even going to go the opposite way and say that I’m sad this is the end of Scott Podsednik. I’m not even going to acknowledge anything other than the fact that, luckily, the Sox are only paying $8 million over two years instead of $18.5. What I have to say about it is, we’ll see how it pans out. Which, by the way, is my new Alex Rios slogan. We’ll see how he works out.

No, what I’m going to look at is the Dodgers’ side of this. Because those fans have seen more of Pierre than we have. Says [one blogger for the LA Times], “Juan Pierre was a good fourth outfielder … But he's not a starter.” This same blogger sees the trade as a bargain for the Dodgers. They see it as $8 million they can pay for someone else and they don’t seen losing Pierre as a loss. In fact, if you look at LA Dodger bloggers, the feeling seems to be unanimous.

But don’t despair! On the bright side, we do have some added grindyness. The guy can steal a base. And even if he matches his lowest AVG in 5 years (about .285), that’s still better production than, say, DeWayne Wise, Brian Anderson, Brent Lillibridge, and the Bat Boy.

As for the pitching we gave up, supposedly Link and Ely, I’m not too disappointed. Not since John Danks-ish or Mark Buehrle-ish have we had an in-house pitcher pan out. When it comes to true pitching talent, the Sox scouts can’t see it, and Kenny Williams finds it elsewhere. Problem solved.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Adieu Carrasco, See you later Tony Pena

It can’t be based on number. From the White Sox website, we gather that the Sox won’t offer D.J. Carrasco a renewed contract, but they probably will offer one to Tony Pena. “The remaining four arbitration-eligible players in Bobby Jenks, John Danks, Tony Pena and Carlos Quentin were fully expected to be tendered a contract.”

Now, it shouldn’t be a secret that I think Tony Pena is awful. To quote myself, “If I had one word to describe you, it would be ‘bad.’ If I had two words, they would be, ‘incredibly bad.’”

In all honestly, overall, he improved. By the end of the season, his ERA with the Sox decreased to a modest 3.75. Not to mention a career-best 3.22 SO/BB. Also a career best 7.3 SO/9. Nevertheless, this guy is not the asset you want in your bullpen. If you’re looking for a guy to eat up innings, bring Lance Broadway back. At least he was good-looking.

As for D.J. Carrasco, I sort of understand the decision. Now we have Putz, Carrasco would have demanded (and deserved) a lot of money, blah blah blah. But still. You can’t help but regret losing a guy like that. With the Sox, Carrasco had a career-best 3.76 ERA, 2.8BB/9, 62K, etc. And the Sox were willing to offer him a whopping $600,000 salary. “In this economy? How can I offer half a penny when they don’t even make pennies anymore? We can’t afford any more than that.” I’ll believe it when I see the financial statements.

What gets to me (and apparently Jim Margalus of SoxMachine who posted a similar article yesterday) more than anything is something Carrasco said about the Sox not needing a long reliever. I nearly did a spit take. Let me tell you something: the Sox have a TON of talented pitchers, but let me remind you of the Sox record this year: 79-83. And that is WITH a long reliever in tow. So let’s do some math estimates. Buehrle, Danks, and Floyd would have won at least half of their share of games, combined. So, out of the 3/5 games that they started, only 3/10 would be a guaranteed win. What about the other 1/5 of games that you need to win in order to be at the .500 mark? Even with Jake Peavy, you can only assume a 40% winning rate. That’s 65 games won. By that theory, we might as well not even have the Sox come up to bat. Why bother hiring a third outfielder? Just send Strubin out there. Long relief is necessary for the Sox because pitchers won’t have a good day every day. Long relief is necessary for the Sox because there is always one bum wheel on the wagon. Long relief is necessary for the Sox because bad things happen to good people. That’s the end of that.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Sox Budget Rant and Really, Really, Complicated, Poorly-Reasearched Financial Records

It’s a shame that major league baseball isn’t a publicly traded company, but I’ve nevertheless decided to go ahead with my research. Perhaps it’s my “real life job” that’s been taking over my brain and causing me to become obsessed with the White Sox budget, but nevertheless, it is something we need to look at, considering that Kenny Williams often talks about how he doesn’t have a dollar.

The closest I can come to financial records are what the folks at Forbes have researched for me. In 2008, the Sox made $196 million in revenue (of which $71 million are gate receipts) and the expenses for the team (Operating plus salaries) are $139.8. Over 90% of expenses come from “player expenses.” As of 2009, about $93 million are accounted for on as player salaries. Assuming 93 million is all the Sox are playing for salaries and all the players leaving this year are about $25 million and actually off the books for good, the Sox are freeing up about 27% of its salary budget. Not to mention that this list does not include Jim Thome, Jose Contreras, and whoever else we dumped mid-season. When you take all of this into account, the Sox have a small fortune to spend on players. Sure, there are other salaries, and administrative expenses, but those cannot add up to the remainder. Especially since this remainder (not including the newly-freed-up budget) is, by this estimate, about $56 million in profit, that Jerry Reinsdorf can spend on whatever he chooses. Do the Sox have $80 million to spend? probably not. But they do have somewhere between $25 and $80 and that's no small change.

So… Kenny… I no longer believe you when you say you don’t have $1. That your boss doesn’t want to spend $1… that would be a different story.

Case in point: Scott Podsenik. Scotty made half a mill this year. Less than DeWayne Wise and Dayan Viciedo, whose contribution to the White Sox was about 1% that of Scotty’s. Combined. I’d think Scotty was in the right even if he demanded as much as Alex Rios. (Who, by the by, makes about $6.4 million a year. Hard-earned, aren’t they?) Don’t tell me you can’t afford his salary, and tell me that instead, you’re looking to invest in a slow-running, slugger-type outfielder. I’m not trying to make the case for Scotty here, I’m just saying the Sox’s case against him seems pretty weak at this point.

But it’s not just Scotty that I’m talking about. I’m talking about Bobby Jenks. No doubt, he’ll be asking for an arm and a leg. And that’s because it’s the standard among closers. Jenks makes about half of what Joe Nathan does and about a third of what Mariano Rivera makes. Among other high-paid closers are Kerry Wood, F. Rod, and B.J. Ryan. Jenks is rated about 6th in terms of effectiveness and seems to be in the appropriate salary range. And, you know what? In another Forbes article, Jenks was ranked as the #2 best relief pitcher for the buck. Would I rather pay him $250,000? Sure. But if we have to pay him $7 million, I wouldn’t be too upset. If the Sox don’t resign Jenks, I want them to cite his work medical or effectiveness concerns, not salary concerns.

What am I ranting about here? Well, a little research (okay, not that little. Finding the financial records of the MLB is harder than finding out Obama's private phone number) will show you that Sox have the money to spend. So, this off-season, instead of sitting back and making bonehead moves because Jerry/Kenny were too cheap to dip into the free agent market for what we really need (outfielders, serious-non-Thornton-non-Carrasco, bullpen support), let’s use our brain. Let’s not rely on the likes of DeWayne Wise again. Brent Lillibridge is not a valid outfield option. Jayson Nix is not a valid starter as DH. The Sox can do better. The Sox should do better. The Sox should stop complaining about the economy.

To Kenny Williams: I dare you to stand behind what you say. Release the Sox’s financial records like the Brewers did in 2004.

If you're wondering where I got my numbers, have some links:

[ESPN Roster/Salaries] [About Costs of U.S. Cellular Field] [Jerry Reinsdorf Wikipedia] [Forbes Baseball Values] [Sports Illustrated Closer Rankings] [Forbes Best Pitchers for the Buck]

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Trade Ninja and the Unlikely Return of the Pods

Reasons why Scott Podsednik is not returning to the South Side:

1. Kenny Williams
2. Kenny Williams
3. Chone Figgins
4. Kenny Williams
5. Kenny Williams

…shall I go on?

For every Gavin Floyd that Kenny Williams acquires, there is a Tony Pena. For every Mark Buehrle in the Sox farm system, there is a Josh Fields. For every Mark Kotsay, there is a Horacio Ramirez. And who is to blame for these control failures? Kenny Williams, I’d say.

Although Sox fans usually take pride in calling him “The Trade Ninja” I feel that this nickname’s connotation is moving more and more toward the negative end of the spectrum.

This whole “I don’t know what in the heck Kenny is doing anymore” thing started, for me at least, when he chose to sign Ken Griffey, Jr. Of all the possible moves he could have made, really!? It was enough to make a Brian Anderson fan out of me.

I was further disappointed when Kenny chose to rely on Josh Fields as the Sox’ 2009 starting third basement, rain or shine. Yes, he got lucky in that Beckham stepped up and didn’t faceplant, but if you honestly believe Kenny predicted this would be the case in winter 2008-early 2009, you are either a liar or as naïve as I was in believing Joe Crede would be alright after his first back surgery.

There is something odd about the Sox system in that whenever they have a role to fill, little money, and little hope, they go to veteran players that were once part of the Sox organization. (See, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Scott Podsednik) When it comes to Scott Podsednik this time around, I don’t see Kenny doing the same. Why? Well, when it comes to the outfield, it’s usually a big pit of suck. Let’s think of the Brian Anderson, DeWayne Wise, Nick Swisher, Alex Rios, and Griffey, Jr. disasters. Podsednik was the only one that has impressed me since… Carlos Quentin. No one has worked out and I’m sure there is some sort of reason behind it.

Besides, Kenny is envisioning that Scotty will be asking for a large pile of cash. Which he will be. But I guarantee he will settle for a small mound. And there’s always Jordan Danks in the background. Whether or not he’s major league ready, he will be ready to be Kenny’s excuse.

What’s my point? Well, for one, I’m not too optimistic about Podsednik’s return and I don’t see why it has to be this way. He’s probably a pretty affordable, solid option and it really can’t do much damage to the Sox organization. Let’s not get creative here for the sake of being creative.

Side Note: As I was writing this post, a rumor surfaced that the Sox were in talks with the Angel and Padres to trade Konerko for Adrian Gonzalez in some sort of 3-way deal. Some "prospects" were also included.

Now, here's where I get skeptical: a deal involving Konerko is never likely because of the "No Trade" clause.

Here's where I believe it: This guys doesn't seem to be much of an improvement and this is sort of a salary dump.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Massive Update/Apology

I know it may seem like I’ve jumped ship this season. Trust me, you’re not wrong. With the amount of work I’ve had to put in to “real life” things and the amount of disappointment Chicago Sports have induced this year, can you blame me? But here is a long-overdue post. Before I start ripping a hole into everything, here’s some good stuff!

Gordon Beckham has been voted Rookie of the Year in two different races. There’s one more left, but I’m content as of right now. The one bright spot in the Sox’ year has been the man who puts the “ham” in “Beckham.” It’s really amazing what he did for the team this year. From popularizing The Outfield’s “Your Love” to taking over third like a seasoned pro, he really kept fans excited even when the ship was sinking. Thanks, Becks.

In other “bright side” news, Mark Buehrle won his first Gold Glove this year. He’s a pretty shnazzy defensive pitcher, so the award was clearly deserved. Of course, this honor, plus his perfect game this year, will remain as Buehrle’s personal best year. And to think I always think of him as the third-best pitcher the Sox have on staff. Shame on me.

While I’m in a good mood, let me take this paragraph to thank those reading it. I am really happy to have reached the one-year milestone with The White Sox Blog in June. I feel very lucky to be part of a community of smart, loyal fans, and surrounded by other writers that I really respect.

Alright, enough of that. Now, let’s get down to some news. Or something.

Chris Getz, Little Crede, Carl, whatever you want to call him, has been traded to the Royals in exchange for Mark Teahen. On the bright side, he’s taking Josh Fields with him. I have no words to express the joy that the Sox are finally recognizing him as a sunk cost and cutting their losses. I’m going to miss Chris. He’s a genuinely nice guy and a solid dude on base and at the plate.
As for Mark Teahen, who is headed our way, it’s no secret that I hate him. I’ve never realized his name was Mark and called him Mike simply because he was “that a-hole on the Royals.” He’s always been able to handle the Sox hitters, but we’ll see how he’ll fit in in the clubhouse and how the adjustments in the infield will affect the team. I think Beckham should stay at third, if you ask me, but… who am I to tell them what to do? If it was up to me, Joe Crede would still be our starting third baseman.

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na, hey, hey, good bye! Jermaine Dye and Octavio Dotel have filed for free agency and aren’t likely to return. On the other hand, Scotty Pods might be returning. I feel slightly upset about Dye leaving because he’s one of our 2005 guys, but the last season was deplorable for him. Dotel… Dotel-Gives-Up-2-Run-Homer-In-The-Night-Dotel. Well, I’m not going to miss him much. But it makes me wonder about the Sox bullpen. As for Scotty Pods, I love him! I think he was the spark we needed this season, and he deserves another chance. I’m not saying $99 million over 4 years, but maybe $3 over 2?

In semi-related news, Carlos Gomez has been traded to the Brewers. Hawk Harrelson is believed to be heartbroken after his mancrush has left him for another league. In the famous words of the Hawk himself, “No one can close a gap like Carlos Gomez.”

Awhile ago, DeWayne “The Rock” Wise filed for free agency. He didn’t want to go back to Charlotte. And he didn’t appreciate the fans booing him. Well I didn’t appreciate him being the worst Black Ross Gload Ever!

But, Garcia and Thornton are staying. The Sox picked up their options. Thornton is obviously one of the most valuable assets the Sox have, especially with the Jenks drama a-brewing. As for Freddy, he might still have some gas in the tank. I feel slightly better having him as a fifth starter than having Contreras or Colon. Of course, not by much.

As the offseason continues, I promise I will keep you updated on trades, planes, and automobiles. And I’ll try to answer questions about the future. Like… who will be our DH? Who will be our first baseman? How old is Jose Contreras, really?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Who Cares?

Bobby Jenks hurt his calf and is out for the season. He pulled his muscle during some pre-game workout. Wait a second! Bobby Jenks doesn’t work out! CONSPIRACY! Jerry Reinsdorf wants to move the Sox to Florida so he’s assembled the worst team possible! Who cares?

Jake Peavy made his debut on the South Side and picked up his first win. It wasn’t what I would call the strongest of outings, but, really, Who cares?

Gavin Floyd is out for the year (I think) with a hip injury. This puts the Sox out another starter, but… Who cares?

Daniel Hudson made his first official debut with the Sox. He didn’t fare too badly, and the Sox Machine has full coverage of that. With a little more work, he could be the answer the Sox are searching for. But, at this point in the season, who cares?

Jermaine Dye is batting .135 in September. After batting .189 in August. What in the world is keeping his batting average at a prominent .248? Well, a very strong .329 in June. With Jermaine reaching the end of the last year of his contract, it seems like he’s not making a very strong case for his return. I blame him for not making things more interesting for me. At this point, I should be pacing, wondering what the Sox outfield will look like next year, who will take over the DH hole that Thome left, will Alex Rios be a permanent fixture, will Kenny have the $1 to spent next year. And instead, I’m thinking… Who Cares?

I’m trying to care. I really am. I’m even holding out hope for Gordon Beckham to claim the Rookie of the Year Award. And for the return of Scotty Pods. Who is still batting .303 despite the rest of the Sox having scored something like 2 runs over the last 6 months. That seems like a completely accurate statistic, right? So, I stopped doing research. Do you care? Did someone say, “Yes!”? Who? WHO cares!?


And here's a question for the public: What's the opposite of "clinching"?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Frailty, Thy Name is Pena!

Oh, Tony Pena. If I had one word to describe you, it would be “bad.” If I had two words, they would be, “incredibly bad.”

Ask me why the Sox acquired Tony Pena. I have no clue! His ERA this year, coming to the Sox was a splendid 4.24. In 34 innings, he had allowed 53 base runners of 153 batters faced. For a reliever, this number seems terrible.

With the Sox, things worsened. His ERA climbed to 4.71. In just 21 innings, he allowed 31 of 95 batters faced to reach base.

He might have single handedly broken the record for most inherited runners scored ever with something like a 300% rate. Okay, this stat I made up myself, but it seems my research has left me confused about where to find this information. I thought was the end-all-be-all of baseball, but this one stat I’m going to have to figure out myself. One day.
I guess for every D.J. Carrasco, there is a Boone Logan. He’s improved his ERA to a mere 5.17 with the Braves.

And for every Matt Thornton, there’s a Tony Pena. Just a guy that Coop can’t fix. A young Scotch Linebrink protege, if you will.

Well, the season is in shambles, and even today’s display of power by Bacon or Alexei, or even Carl’s almost bomb (Getz hit a ball foul by a couple of feet that could’ve been a monster of a home run- for him, at least.) and overall presence on the field after an absence, what more can you do but bring in the young guys and let them have some fun?

There was a report that Daniel Hudson was called up. Furthermore, Thursday’s started against the Cubs is said to be Carlos Torres. I say turn this into spring training, bring up Jordan Danks, Dayan Viciedo, and have a good old-fashioned circus. Might as well give the die-hard fans something interesting to look at (however disastrous it may be) than give us the false hope that we may be watching a real game.

Alright, that’s all I got. Other than how sad I am after reading Garfien's latest blog post. To be honest, I’ll really miss Thome, despite his on and off hot streaks at the plate. Game 163. Need I say more?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thome to Dodgers, Contreras to Rockies in Salary Dump

I was writing the newest addition to the blog when this happened on twitter via Joe Cowley: Breaking News: Thome went to the Dodgers, while Jose Contreras was sent to the Rockies.
As much as I hate relying on that guy, wow! That’s something. So, what does this mean?

Well, Thome was traded for infielder Justin Fuller and Contreras was traded for RHP Brandon Hynick.

In case you didn’t follow my twitter updates: Hynick: 10-9, 3.83 ERA in AAA, 1.297 WHIP, 1.92 SO/BB He also threw a perfect game this year. He was AA pitcher of the year at some point, and he has some random “Pitcher of the Week” awards. Fuller batting .254 with .340 OBP, 4 HR and 17 RBI and played mostly short stop and 2B in single A. I was expecting a bit more for Thome, but a salary dump is a salary dump.

I don’t expect Fuller to see much major league time, but Hynick might be forced to fill the gap in our rotation for now. That’s all I got for now in terms of that.

In terms of Thome and Contreras, it was no secret that I’ve lost faith in Contreras after 2005, but he seemed like a class act, just like Thome. And now… the era of Josh Fields as DH! Great… He and Wise, as well as Getz and Flores will be up tomorrow for the roster expansions.

At least Scott Linebrink will stick around long enough for me to perpetuate the nickname I gave him last week via twitter: Scotch Linebrink. Both because he gets into stick situations and because he’ll make anyone watching him pitch want to be an alcoholic.

Speaking of Scotty Linebrink, here’s what I was originally writing when the news started to trickle in:

There’s [a picture] that Sox bloggers have adopted of late that sums up the games better than any blog post could.

I was in the middle of using Photoshop for similar purposes using an image of Jose Contreras down on all fours, but I realized that description alone could do the job and I could keep the ratings PG.

Honestly, I agree with Ozzie on his decision for Saturday’s game: who else are you going to start on Saturday? Peavy is too precious to be wasted on a game we would have lost anyway. Sure, there were 10 runs given up, but none scored by the White Sox. Might as well throw Grandpa out there and make him earn his salary.

And speaking of “throwing out,” there is a rumored memo that KW passed out to… everyone, which supposedly states that Dye, Thome, and especially Linebrink are up for trade. Thome has a full no-trade clause, Dye has some restrictions, and Scotch is likely to turn any manager into an alcoholic.

So, the Sox are on a 4-game skid, and not even the magic of Floyd could keep the Twins at bay. The Sox are now in third place, and quickly catching up to the Cubs as the biggest disappointment in Chicago. It’s hard to keep an upbeat attitude, and I don’t blame anyone that temporarily becomes a Dodgers fan or something to keep the depression at bay.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Danks Holds On To That Feeling (in his finger)

I missed yesterday’s game- and I’m infinitely grateful for that. I almost wished I missed today’s game. John Danks sputtered and stuttered and struggled worse than I’d seen anyone struggle since I saw Bartolo Colon’s donkey carrying him up a mountain. [Har-har! Fat jokes!] Apparently, Danks’s circulatory problem was far from under control. A close-up of his fingers showed it looking purple. In one inning, he walked three, gave up a base hit, and threw 36 pitches. D.J. Carrasco was in the bullpen in the third inning and I imagined Tony Pena or Randy Williams forced to hold down the Orioles single-handedly through 4 or so innings until Ozzie could revert to the Thornton/Dotel/Jenks formula. And you know what? He made it through 6.1 inning, and no Orioles scored until after his exit. I think I didn’t breathe at all until Danks passed the ball to Ozzie.

The Sox posted [some article] right before the game on their website, attributing the circulatory problems to dip. Now, it’s odd that this circulatory problem was never brought up. The most the fans got was news about a blister. The blisters are supposedly related, but why is today the day they picked to talk about the dip thing. I almost feel like it was some kind of conspiracy.

In other news, Carlos Quentin hit a monster home. Gordon Beckham is playing some defense on third base that would rival Joe Crede’s. A.J. Pierzynski – the smartest, best base runner in the American League- was thrown out at third, costing the Sox a run. And the Sox beat the curse. I always say they can’t hit a pitcher they’ve never faced before. Today, they forced him out after just a few innings!

Alright, that’s about all I have for today. Catch the finale tomorrow, when Mark Buehrle is up to the mound.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Jose Contreras must have some sort of time machine. Maybe he has some sort of muscle memory that lasts over a month rather than one motion. Maybe it was the socks. Either way, he did it! Jose Contreras pulled 7 innings and just one run out of his derrière. After pitching 4.1 innings and allowing 6 runs last time. And 4.2 innings and allowing 4 runs the time before that. And the time after that, just 2.2 innings and allowing 3 runs. Did I mention that he had 8 strike-outs? I don’t get it. Why is it that he can get completely dominated one week and then throw a near shut-out the next?

Well, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it happened. And after Freddy Garcia was unable to hold the Royals, Contreras managed to stop the bleed and got the Sox within 2 games of first place again.

Guess what else is back to form? The longball. Well… maybe not. HOWEVER, 3 of yesterday’s 4 runs came from solo home runs from Rios, Beckham, and Quentin. Good to see that all these fellas still have some thunder in their bats.

As for the day before, it was about 5 innings of work for Freddy Garcia, about 4 runs, and an overall loss. It’s clear that Freddy isn’t quite ready to be an ace for any team. Supposedly, he can’t get excited enough to pitch for the Royals, but I’m not quite sure it’s that as much as him being out of practice and ready for retirement.

In the future, we’re about to see the Orioles, and they’ve been on a downward skid. Meanwhile, we’re putting our number 1-3 pitchers out there. Sounds good, right? Let’s hope so, because if there’s ever a time to catch up, it’s now. Not when we head to the likes of Fenway Park.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Royals Get Wrong End of Pendulum

I didn’t think I’d get a chance to update today, what with the on and off rain, but seeing as I had internet access today and the game was just delayed rather than postponed, I had to take advantage. So, I took notes, kept up with everyone’s tweets, and here it is! 2 posts on 2 days!
The game started uneventfully, so we got to hear an earful from Hawk. Among his many gems about getting hit hard and hitting it hard, I cringed at hearing, “he just continued to pound us inside.” Things of that nature are very distracting. In the meantime, I jotted down how I still hated Mark Teahen. And that I still liked Alex Gordon, although he only made his appearance somewhere in the 8th inning.

Mark Buehrle was making me surly. 2 outs, 3 runs in the 2nd. He was already at 81 pitches in the 5th. Not even one K for Buehrle on the night. However, he must’ve sold his soul for the inning ending double play with the bases loaded in the 4th. Aside from the no-run-14-inning-mess in Seattle, Buehrle hasn’t made a good, solid appearance since his Perfect Game. Is it a curse, the same way it was in 2007?

I had started off by saying that I was still not excited about Alex Rios (especially since he seemed to be at the heart of another outfield error). Or as I can’t help but thinking every time I see him, “Javy Vazquez.” Tell me those two aren’t twins? (Not the Minnesota kind.) Anyway, he shoved my size 6 and a half food right in my 6 foot wide mouth. To prove me wrong, Rios triples (double + error) in the 6th to tie game. I’m sure Carlos’s leg is feeling grrrreat after running from first (He had gotten on base after being hit by a pitch.) Alright, he’s okay, let’s not call him a bust just yet.

Memorable: Jayson Nix puts the Sox on the board with a 2-run home with 2 outs in the 2nd. Scotty’s RBI ties game in the 4th. Alexei scores from 1st. A.J. Pierzynski knocks a 2-run homer with 2 outs in 7th as rain pelts down. Scotty’s single in the 8th and a bobble scores Rios to get the lead back. It also adds more fuel to Hawk’s “dreaded leadoff walk” fire.

Questionable: Thornton was already out in the 7th. Understandable (Buehrle was done-zo by the 6th), but not my move of choice. With no other option, Ozzie brought out Scott Linebrink in the 8th. I almost thought we traded him. When’s the last time I saw him? Well, two walks by Linebrink (after 2 easy outs) set the crowd on fire. Boos all around. Then, he gave up a 3-run homer. I almost predicted it. I was about to write, “good thing we have a 7-4 lead because we need a 3-run lead for Linebrink plus room for Bobby.” I didn’t at the time because I was afraid to jinx things. I guess thinking it was enough. By the time it was the top of the 9th, this pendulum of a game had made me skeptical of everyone- including Jenks. I wrote, “What are the odds of Jenks not blowing a save?” Well… 24/28. Happily, he changed those odds to 25/29. Whew!

Random: PK’s pop-out tendencies make me miss Joe Crede. Alexei picks up another error.
It was a messy game, and the rain didn’t make it any better, but it matters that we won and we picked up another half game on the Tigers. Hopefully, this’ll give the offense enough momentum to support Big Game Freddy, who makes his start tomorrow.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Two Week's Worth of White Sox

As my internet woes of summer continue, I must accept that once again, I have to update once a week or so. (It’s actually been 2 whole weeks since my last update. Yikes!) Well, there is lots to catch up on, so let’s begin, shall we? First of all, I’d like to gripe about the fact that yesterday’s game wasn’t televised. In no way, shape, or form, not even just in the Chicagoland area. Was WCIU too busy with some King of Queens rerun? It’s things like these that make me really dislike the team from the North.

But aside from that, let’s talk about the last week in Sox history. Chris Getz (CARL!) went on the DL with a pulled oblique and called up Brent Lillibridge. That’s unfortunate, and something like his 3rd injury of the year. Kid must walk under ladders for a living. It’s also unfortunate for Sox pitchers (like Jose Contreras) because of Jayson Nix’s unfortunate defensive blunders. (Not that he’s the only one to make errors. Scott Podsednik has looked a bit like Ken Griffey Jr. in the outfield lately.) He has 9 errors on the year, which is kind of a lot considering he hasn’t been a full time player.

Jayson Nix is an interesting guy. He’s not the greatest hitter or fielder, but, overall, he’s a good asset to the team. He can play pretty much every infield position, he can play the outfield, and he has some power.

Along those lines, Mark Kotsay is pretty awesome. I like him. He’s not doing anything too spectacular, but as far as bench players go, he’ll do just fine.

Speaking of assets, we acquired Alex Rios. He’s pretty good overall, but he’s been getting himself in all kinds of unfortunate outfield entanglements lately. Maybe it’ll take some adjusting, but I am, once again, skeptical about Kenny Williams’s late season outfield acquisitions [See the trade for Griffey].

And speaking of acquisitions: Jake Peavy/Freddy Garcia. Garcia will be starting on Tuesday after his stint in Charlotte. That should be a nail-biter. He went 0-3 over 17 innings and had a very discouraging 6.25 ERA. Yikes. Peavy threw 3 shut-out innings last Thursday and should be up with the club by the end of August. That is, indeed, good news.

Alexei Ramirez (sorry, I couldn’t think of a clever, or even grammatically relevant transition) seems to be back in shape. Maybe there’s something about the end of the season that makes Alexei a home run machine, but he’s had 2 late-inning heroic longballs in just one week. Maybe that’ll help divert attention from his on and off lazy fielding.

Gordon Beckham update: still awesome!

Chuck Garfein had a post-game poll during today’s game, asking which of Kenny Williams’s moves was the best. The options were bringing up Gordon Beckham, signing Scotty Pods, trading for Jake Peavy, or claiming Rios. I think it depends on his definition of best. Is “best” the most successful move or the smartest? Peavy, so far, has made no impact on the game (aside, perhaps, from what Clayton Richard could have done in a start or something along those lines), so that is to be visited later. Trading for Scotty was terrific. He brought new energy to the club, he was the leadoff guy who filled a gap vacated by… well, himself, and he has my vote. Bringing up Beckham was a successful, but not smart move on Williams’s part. It was because he trusted Josh Fields. It was because, in the offseason, he didn’t insure himself against any failures Josh Fields would bring. It could have been a disastrous move for Gordon if it was too early. Think of what the odds were of a first-year, just-drafted rookie to hit over .300 and play defense successfully out of position. Congratulations to Williams, but it was kind of a shot in the dark. (In case you were wondering, an 53% majority agreed with me and voted for the Scotty move. How do you feel about the situation?)

In an ironic twist, Mark Buehrle was named the Pepsi Clutch Player of July. He sure wasn’t the clutch player of August. Or late July. Buehrle has been having real trouble since his perfect game, and I can’t tell you why.

In a big link dump, [Smells Like Mascot] wonders why no team in the AL Central wants to win the crown. Sox Machine takes a look at the future of the White Sox. If you don’t feel like doing the digging yourself, here are two links to his preview of [Jake Peavy] and [Dayan Viciedo].

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Small Ball Defeats Big Budget as White Sox Take On Yankees

Had you looked at tonight’s scoreboard and seen 14-4 and 2 errors, you naturally would have assumed that the score was in favor of the Yankees. You would have, of course, been wrong. Yes, the White Sox, famous for losing embarrassingly against their division rivals the Tigers and Twins, beat the famous New York Yankees. The Yankees gave up two separate 6-run innings, including 3 walks with the bases loaded.

It seems everything was going right for the Sox today, in their 3rd straight win against the New Yorkers. And the weird thing? Not one home run!

It’s really great to see that, the same way it happened with Danks and Floyd, investing trust and responsibility in youngsters is paying dividends- and sooner than expected. The Double Machine, Chris Getz (or as I’ve lovingly taken to calling him: [CARL!]) was 3-for-5 today and scored two runs and stole 2nd, then 3rd base. Gordon Beckham was 2-for-6, but knocked in 4! Even Jayson Nix was unbelievably productive despite his poor fielding. He walked FOUR TIMES today and had a double during his other at-bat.

Here’s something you haven’t seen in awhile: Bobby Jenks getting 3 easy outs in the 9th. Maybe it’s the pressure of the situation that gets to him after all.

But it’s not all fun and games. Although John Danks got himself out of a bases-loaded situation pretty nicely, he seemed to be struggling to get the ball over the plate at times. He seemed to rebound, but it was strange to see him falter around 72 pitches.

So, there you have it folks. The Sox wiggled their way back into second place, just 1.5 games behind the tigers, and 1.5 games in front of the Twinkies. Here’s to more good stuff as Buehrle faces Sabathia on Sunday.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Trade Ninja Strikes Again: Peavy to White Sox

Jake Peavy to the White Sox! Let me tell ya, I’ve heard this story before. And then the big dragon came, but the knight saved the princess, we lived happily ever after, and I went to sleep. But it’s not a work of fiction this time. The Sox shipped off Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda, Adam Russell, and Dexter Carter to the Padres in exchange for the 28-year-old righty. The trade ninja strikes again! Who would have expected a trade that was already on the table and rejected? NO ONE! So, in a hap-hazard, quickly put together update, let's analyze this puppy!

Anyway, what does this mean? Well, assuming rehab (which, according to Kenny Williams, Peavy is starting around the 13th-15th of August) goes well, the Sox add an ace to their staff. Sure, it’s a little silly that Peavy already said no to this deal once and we could have had him on our staff a month ago, but it could be worth the wait.

It also means the Sox lose two lefties. Clayton Richard (probably the focal point of this trade from the Padres' point of view) has had his ups and downs, but after 2 great starts, his stock is at an all-time high, so it was the right time to trade. He leaves the Sox with a 4.65 ERA (pretty decent) and a 4-3 record. With continued coaching, he could do great things, relying on his well-located fastball. Fans will remember his broad shoulders, his pained grimace, and his fielding errors. Farewell, Clay Rich!

Aaron Poreda showed potential in the bullpen this year. He went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 10 relief appearances with the White Sox before being optioned to Charlotte on the 21st. Also, he was doing quite well as a starting pitcher in the minors last year. It will be up to the Padres to find out whether or not he has what it takes as a starter in the majors.

Adam Russell went into hiding last year after a rollercoaster of relief outings. Fans will remember him for… umm… being really, really tall.

Dexter Carter… well, to be honest, I don’t know much about him other than the blurbs posted on the Sox website.

1 for the price of 4. It hardly seems fair, but that’s the name of the game when you are looking for something to make up for the frequent incompetence of the pitchers at the end of the rotation.

In the meanwhile, D.J. Carrasco will get the start against the Yankees tonight. More than anything, I am fascinated to see how this will play out. Carrasco showed to be fantastic in long relief last year when Jose Contreras had to leave the game after just an inning or so. If he’s properly rested (he hasn’t pitched in 3 days, which shouldn’t be TOO awful since that makes it less than 2 innings of work over the last week), he could really give the chance to score. Of course, there isn’t much left in the bullpen to back him up, but we will have to see how the events pan out.

Game Winning Errors

Just when I thought the Sox were headed for a destiny similar to that of the Royals and Indians, they went and surprised me. Well… I wasn’t really surprised to see an excellent outing by Gavin Floyd. Or low run production. But I was surprised to see a win against the Yankees- and that’s what the Sox got. Of course, it was mostly in part to bad fielding by the Yanks, but... it happened.

Gavin Floyd gave up just one run over 6 innings and 2 outs. That alone makes me happy. That sentence probably has dual meanings. ( 1. That a successful outing is enough to make me happy and 2. I had nothing else to be happy about) He had good control of his curveball and he was using it to the point where I just felt bad for the batters. Swisher shook his head at a couple, knowing that they were strikes and that there was nothing he could do with them.

Nick Swisher made his return on the South Side today. I was hoping to send him back to New York crying. My wish was THIS CLOSE to coming true. He struck out 3 times, and 2 of those were the [bat-on-shoulder] kind. The fourth time, he made contact with a Thornton fastball and hit it out of the park to tie the game. Oh well.

Speaking of Thornton, he was allowed to close today since Bobby Jenks was out with kidney stones. I was making some clever comment about Ozzie learning from his mistakes and doing the right thing to win the game (that is, not putting a struggling Jenks out there with a game on the line) when the news trickled in that he wasn’t even in the ballpark. I guess I underestimated Ozzie’s pride. Who knows how things would have played out had Jenks been in the vicinity.

Which brings me to my next point: multiple innings of work. Thornton gets rusty when he’s overused, but I don’t see why Bobby at his best isn’t used for more than one inning. He can do it. Why not let him? I guess I’ve just meant to touch on that for a long time, but it’s as good time as any to mention it. I’ll go into more detail at another time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Door Hits Sox On The Way Out of Dome

In case you don’t follow my Twitter feed, I’ve been skeptically taking notes of the game. Well, what can ya say? Contreras did a fair job. The Sox still got swept by the Twinkies, though.
More bad news. After TCQ- Oh, I’m sorry. You may have forgotten who that is. That used to stand for THE Carlos Quentin, who was on track to be the AL MVP after leading the team in home runs. Where did that guy go? Well, he was on the DL for most of this season. Anyway, he’s back and he hit his first home run since April 29th today. Anyway, so after hitting his home run, he limped around the bases. He was back, but that can’t be a good sign.

And speaking of limping away, Alexei twisted his ankle. He will have X-Rays tomorrow, but the diagnosis is a sprained ankle. That doesn’t sound too bad, if Jayson Nix can keep doing what he did today. He was responsible for the other White Sox run with a homer of his own.

In conclusion, as we head into the series w the Yankees, I leave you with the best of my Twitter notes from today:
  1. I'm half-expecting Kenny to trade for Griffey!
  2. Randy Williams comes in and gets the last out. In the meanwhile, viewers at home get to see his overall terrible stats.
  3. Just had a flashback to, "Dye with the catch, Swisher with the worm, I can't stand it!" The defense sure is trying!
  4. Gomez & Punto could win the "Most Hustle While Grounding Out" award. It's nice that they bat back-to-back, so the jokes are close together.
  5. Hawk about Carlos Gomez: "Is he a hot dog? I don't know."

More Doom at the Dome

Well, now that Brian Anderson is on the BoSox, what will Chicago do without its big-eared mascot? Rely on Dewayne Wise? Lose to the Twins because of two consecutive days of lazy defense? Yup. That’s exactly it.

Mark Buehrle made history again today, setting the record for most players retired in a row: 45. Of course, after an inning and a third of no hits, walks, or errors, things went to hell. The Sox could only score one run up until the 9th. They came up with two more in the 9th, but the Twins had already piranha’d their way to a 5-3 lead.

But the big news here is that Bartolo Colon is back on the bench because of some elbow soreness or something.

In the meantime, if you’re bored, check out more of my “expertise” over at Mark’s [Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove.]

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Long List of Complaints. And Some News

You know what really grinds my gears? Any game that is on 2 or more channels while the Sox get TV time on WCIU. WCIU. I figure that’s WGN’s bastard child, to whom they pass on the rights to the game. Problem with that is that it only broadcasts in Chicago. Got forbid you’re south of Cook County, and no game for you. Thus, plus a game or two on CSN+ is why I missed all but one game of the Detroit series. And today’s game. Apparently there were scuffles and 3 errors. I’ll blame me missing out on all this good stuff on the Cubs.

BUT, I did see yesterday’s game. And what can I say about Clayton Richard? Since he’s been back from the All-Star break, he’s pitched TWO games where he’s lasted 8 innings. WOW. Both games, he only allowed one run. So, what does that mean? Colon is back from the minors (he allowed 3 runs in his start, which was… decent) and Garcia will start throwing soon. So, is Richard headed to the bullpen? Not after last night’s performance, right? [The Sox Machine might have the answer.]

In other news, Beckham has started hitting for power. He’s had a couple of homers in the past couple of days, and he is batting in the upper .290s

Mark Buehrle was named AL Player of the Week after his PERFECT GAME.

Finally, I would like to rant about Dewayne Wise. You may have noticed that Wise started both games in the double header against Detroit. You may have also noticed that his catch was on TV quite a lot. And let me tell you something: I would really like it if everyone stopped tooting his horn! The only reason he was in was because Ozzie didn’t want to overplay Quentin. The only time Wise was a defensive upgrade was back when we had Grandpa Griffey in the outfield. Scotty is no grandpa. Plus, who’s to say that Scott Podsednik wouldn’t have made that catch because he would have played deeper in CF or something… Alright, that is all. Agree? Disagree?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Buehrle is Perfect, First Place, First Fan

Two guys that are crying their eyes out today: Josh Fields and Brian Anderson. Brian Anderson had to watch [ Dewayne Wise get the credit for robbing the Rays’ Kapler of a home run ] as he has to play in Charlotte and pray for a trade so he can be a starting center fielder anywhere. The other guy crying his eyes out, Josh Fields, is running out of Kleenex because he hit a grand slam that got all of 5 seconds of coverage. “Hey guys, I did stuff, too!” As Bill Melton and Chuck Garfein said today, “Josh Fields had a grand slam today.” “Yeah, but we didn’t even need it.”

But, seriously! Today is a day for the White Sox history books. [ Mark Buehrle pitched his second career no hitter ] (the first guy to do that since like 1908) and the first White Sox perfect game since 1922. It was around the 5th that I realized that it was happening. And there were a few close calls. But, congratulations to Mark Buehrle! Finally, the Sox will get some time in the highlights. At least one guy appreciates what the Sox are doing: [ Barack Obama, who dragged Buehrle away from his post-game interview to congratulate him over the phone. ]

After today, the Sox are tied for first place with the Tigers. While this is exciting news, the Sox are headed for a road trip against the Tigers (including a double-header) and one against the Twins before coming home to play the Yanks. It’ll be a difficult couple of weeks, but the Sox have restored hope to the fans.

Speaking of restorations, Bartolo Colon will be brought up from the Minors to pitch against the Tigers tomorrow. No spectacular news has come from the minors about him, but we can only hope he can keep us in the game.

And now, a time for national recognition!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Roster Moves and Updates

I just wanted to start off by apologizing for my lack of internet over the past few weeks. I will be back to regular updates soon. My, a lot has changed!

As if I knew, he would be starting for the Sox (Danks will be out with a blister on his finger), I began to write today: “Who is Carlos Torres? He is currently sporting a 2.20 ERA in Charlotte in over 90 innings pitched. I’ll do my research, but that may be the answer to the Colo/Richard dilemma.” The dilemma being that both have let the team down. Richard really needs to be able to work more than 4 innings, and Colon… well, I don’t know that much about him. But Richard… I’m assuming gets tired because he throws too fast. He’s mostly a fastball pitcher, and he’s been throwing more heat than the scout report out of Charlotte last year would have led us to believe.

Speaking of Charlotte, that is Brian Anderson’s new home. After starting the season with a high near-.280 AVG, Brian was stuck in the Wise/Anderson tradeoff game and his average began to fall. Now that Carlos Quentin is back and Scotty Pods is still doing very well, I don’t mind that Anderson isn’t getting plate time. Anything but Wise as an everyday center fielder is fine by me. I mean, Anderson was sort of a bust, but isn’t Wise hitting somewhere below .200? Maybe I don’t understand baseball as well as I say I do, but… isn’t that bad? That’s what I thought. It has something to do with waivers and all, but I’m still a bit shocked to see Anderson go.

And, yes, I mentioned Quentin in passing, but let’s revisit that. I am so glad to have him back! Do we remember how wonderful he was last year? I hope he still has some of that power and he’s not too out of practice at the plate. He was hitting .373 in 12 games in Charlotte.

Thome was Player of the Week, which I’m happy to report. Who says old people don’t get it done? He, Konerko, and JD have been really taking care of business this year.

As for today’s game, Richard seemed to finally redeem himself. He pitched 8 innings (that’s gotta be some sort of record, right?) with 7 strike-outs on 116 pitches. Bless his heart, he did really wanted to keep his job. And he did a good job, considering the Sox were having a hard time scoring. Quentin was right back to where he left off: the place in the batter’s box where he is prone to being hit by pitches. Bobby Jenks continues his streak of awful outings. After nearly giving up the lead yesterday, he started today with a base hit and a HBP. A base hit loaded the bases with no outs and a walk tied the game. A flyout scored a run, followed by a walk. A groundout ended the inning, but why? On to better news, Gordon Beckham is batting over .300.

MERCY! Gordon Beckham is really getting comfortable in the bigs. If only he could get comfortable on third, he’d be golden.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Weekly Update

Pretty useless, actually. 25 RBI, one less than Josh Fields. Also, only hitting .250 against lefties. .214 with RISP. Yup, that’s A.J. Pierzynski. His average is pretty high, but it’s not really helping anyone but him.

Gordon Beckham is really starting to hit. 3 home runs and ALREADY 18 RBI. If he pulls it together on 3rd base, Joe Crede is in danger of being forgotten. (Speaking of Crede, he has 36 RBI and 12 home runs with the Twins this year.)

Paul Konerko hit 3 home runs in yesterday’s game. Of these 3, one was a grand slam. Of course, it was off that guy that hit Alexei in the head and Jermaine in the head, so it’s not the greatest of feats. Nevertheless, nice job buddy!

The Sox acquired Tony Pena from the D-Backs in exchange for Brandon Allen. Gobble was sent back and I am confused. Hopefully, this means that someone is going to do something about Clayton Richard. I think it’s time for this experiment to be over.

Mark Buehrle was selected for the All-Star Game. Congrats to him. Wish he had more time off, though…

In the meantime, the Sox put together a 7-game hitting streak, swept the Indians, and nudged their way to 4 games past .500 and just 2 games out of second place.

That’s about all I have. I apologize for the lack of updates. I have been sans internet access for about a week and I have probably another week of this ahead, so this is the best I can do. I hope everyone had a safe 4th of July.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Things

It’s all fine and dandy in Sox land today. The Sox beat the Indians. They are on a 3 game winning streak. They are ahead of the Cubs 3-2 in the series and can hold that over the heads of Northside rivals. Small ball lives, we’re back at .500, Dye was named AL co-player of the week, Gavin Floyd got his groove back, Gordon Beckham is alive with the sound of “Your Love,” raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens, etc.

But what about tomorrow? Clayton Richard v. Cliff Lee.

Now, Lee seems to be struggling a bit this year. He’s 4-6 on the season, so that’s not too scary, right? Uh… yeah. We all know the Sox struggle with Cliff Lee. His ERA is still a very solid 2.92. And Clayton Richard is just a hot mess this year. His ERA is at 4.33, but he is still having issues past the 4th inning.

There is hope, however. Today’s hits game mostly from Getz (Carl Getz), and Beckham. It seems there is some method to the madness. The youth movement seems to be working.
Other news and notes: players being hit by a pitch are not fun. Alexei, Konerko, Dye, and Wise, are among the players that were hit over the last few games. Imagine how much worse it would have been if Carlos Quentin was around.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

No More Room For Error For White Sox

Some words from Ozzie during the post-game interview:

“I never criticize my players for making errors on the field, I never will,”
Ozzie said. “But when you make a lazy error, that really (ticks) me off.”“I
thought he was a better shortstop than me,” Ozzie said. “I made a big mistake
when I said in January he's going to be a better shortstop than Ozzie Guillen. I
never thought I was that bad.”

Personally, I think Ozzie was way too harsh, and Chuck Garfein was way off line saying he may not even be in the lineup tomorrow.

Yes, it’s true that his errors cost the team 5 innings and because of him, the entire bullpen was used. But you can’t bit your nose to spite your face. Taking Ramirez out of the lineup against the Cubs would mean-what?- replacing him with Nix? He’s a potential offensive boost that you can’t go without.

In other news, Aaron Poreda has done well in a couple of high-pressure situations. Today, in particular. He picked up his first major league win because he managed to hold the score while the Sox worked their way out of a 14-inning 5-5 tie.

Josh Fields hit 2 home runs yesterday. He earned a start. Then, nothing. I mean… a walk. Konerko hit his 3rd homer of the series today. And AJ hit his 8th homer of the year. He’s already 5 shy of last year’s total.

The Sox are 7-3 in their last 10 games and just 2 games under .500. Sure, they’re 6 games out of first place, but they beat the Dodgers. Let me enjoy it.