Monday, May 31, 2010

The Return of the Legend of Lillibridge

Brent Lillibridge is heading to Chicago! Finally, my prayers have been answered! Exactly what our team needs! How long have the Sox waited for a jack of all trades? The Mark Derosa of the White Sox! An outfielder, infielder, and overall great hitter! The greatest rookie the Sox have seen since Alexei Ramirez! Of course, for every piece of good news, there is a trade-off. The Robin Ventura of our time, Mark Teahen seems to be headed to the DL.

But in all seriousness, this is somewhat poor timing. Sure, I complain about Mark Teahen’s defensive lack of skills. However, his bat had been heating up. He was hitting .361 with 7 RBI over the last 10 games. On the other hand, Nix took over nicely with a grand slam. The first of his career, and a small glimmer of hope for the time while Teahen gets better.

This may also be a good time for someone else to try his hand at third base, hopefully shedding the light on the state of Teahen’s defense. Jayson Nix may not be the best defensive replacement (didn’t he have about 46 errors last year?), but a change may be good.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Modest Proposal: An Editorial

The plague of my spring has been Mark Teahen. I’ve never liked him when he was on the Royals. He was just too big of a thorn in my side. When the Sox acquired him, I wasn’t excited, but I figured I’d make my final judgment after I gave him a chance.

Well, here is my final judgment: Even if his hitting turns around, save me a headache and get that kid away from third base. I’m not sure who believed the Sox PR person when he said Teahen was a defensive improvement, or a true third baseman because I sure didn’t. And I figured, alright, he probably has more experience on third than Gordon Beckham does, but that’s not saying much. In fact, I thought Beckham did a better job on third than I’ve seen Teahen do his entire career. In fact, I don’t remember many games when Teahen was on third. I remember Alex Gordon on third (who was like a Royal version of Chris Getz), and I remember Teahen… in the outfield, perhaps? (In fact, in April at least, Alex Gordon was back on third for the Royals, but hitting a Teahen-like, miserable .194.)

Regardless, I have a modest proposal. Let’s eat Mark Teahen. No, sorry, I was thinking of the wrong Modest Proposal. My proposal is that Mark Teahen and Gordon Beckham trade places. At least temporarily. If a disaster strikes, move them back, but at least for awhile, let Beckham try his hand at third. If for no other reason than that Teahen looks about as good on third as Josh Fields did. (And we all know how I feel about Josh Fields…) For Pete’s sake, he’s made a “team-best” 8 errors on third this year. While last year, in 107 games on third base, he made 11. We can’t have this, especially with the likes of Buehrle on the mound.

I believe that it was Jim at Sox Machine who mentioned the most cringe-worthy phrase of the season: "Ball gets by Teahen." And boy, do we hear that a whole lot! Until Teahen has a training session with Joey Cora or a move is made, I will stick with my nickname for Teahen: "A Little Tardy".

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

That's Barely A White Sox Winner

Today was a strange game in more ways than one. For starters, I was, as usual, wrong about the channel and the start time. Well, by the time I realized, “Hey, the Sox are already in the 3rd inning,” I turned on the TV to see Randy William pitch. In the 3rd. If you tuned in late, like I did, you may have wondered “Wow, how bad could Buehrle have been if the Sox are leading 3-0? That makes no sense. Wait… maybe he was badly injured.” Turns out a balking incident resulted in both Ozzie and Buehrle being thrown out of the game, which is quite unfortunate on days when we have the lead and so early that practically the entire bullpen had to be used.

Fortunately, with a little bit of luck (Which always seems to be the case when Joey Cora is in charge of the team), the Sox held it together. My only question to Cora is, “Why keep Jenks in?” He was struggling during what should have been a guaranteed win. I supposed they needed to save something for tomorrow, especially with a 4-day series against the Rays, but there must have been some sort of shuffling possible in the bullpen.

Alright, here are some notes from the game:

Mark Kotsay continues to be ON FIRE! He’s hitting something like .385 over the last 10 games, a far cry from his season average, .220. It seems that he is getting back to the guy he was in Spring Training (a guy that does well against awful teams?).

Does anyone else imagine the Hawk and Stoney drinking heavily in the booth? I imagine them taking a shot every time Juan Pierre grounds out. As the season goes on, my imagination drifts more and more toward a scene from Major League. Is Bobby Jenks “Wild Thing” in this scenario?

After Jenks’ performance today, I gotta say I’m almost convinced he will not be brought back next year. That was way too close for comfort. How could Jenks come in with a 4-run lead and turn it into a bases-loaded mess that brought the score to 5-4? That is a question that I do not have an answer for.

On the other hand, Tony Pena sure picked a good day to keep himself in check. He had a rough start to his outing, but he held the score, thankfully. Remember how much I hated him last year? Well, looks like Coop fixed him.

Randy Williams, on the other hand, hasn’t been fixed by Coop just yet. Or maybe he’s just unfixable.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"I'm Not Even Mad, I'm Impressed!"

I haven’t seen a complete Sox game in what feels like three weeks. Luckily, the first one I sat down to watch was what in the 6th inning already looked like a slaughter of the Florida Marlins. The Marlins were shut out for the first time all year. It was a great day to be a Sox fan once again. The Sox seem to be making small improvements, even if it is against national leaguers and the likes of the Indians. Unfortunately, I had to sit in person through the 13-0 slaughter of the White Sox on Sunday. 13-0. The only way I can think of describing this feat on the part of the Sox is by comparing it to getting a score of 0 on the ACTs. You have to purposely be that bad. You have to purposely know all the answers to answer the questions wrong. And spell your name wrong. Or to quote Anchor Man, “I’m not even mad. I’m impressed.” Most of the fans had had enough of the 90 degree weather and left by the 6th inning. Some around me had chosen to leave by the third inning, declaring that there was no coming back from a 7-run deficit. I agreed, thinking that any game where Scott Linebrink was the highlight was not a game I wanted to see.

However, I will say that I am optimistic. The Sox are 5-5 in their last games. And they have taken 3 out of the last 4. Sure, they lost big to the Mariners, but if they keep taking 2 out of 3 from every series, they will be in good shape in the long run. At the very least, I am optimistic to see John Danks’s impressive season progress. His ERA is a petite 2.37. Third lowest on the team, behind only Santos and Thornton.

A mystery I hope to figure out is the case of Gavin Floyd. His curveball is, unfortunately, on and off. It gets him in trouble more often than not, but it’s also gotten him an impressive 43 strikeouts over 51.1 innings. I say impressive because I am amazed at how a fella with a team-worst 6.31 ERA (worse than even Freddy) is striking out so many. I’ll blame his wife and move on.

So, while I catch up on a few weeks of baseball disappointments, let’s revisit the rivalry and see if the balance of things has been achieved. As the table shows, Juan Pierre is doing a lot less striking out (but a whole lot more grounding into double plays, which should subtract from his RBI), and slightly more base stealing. Here’s to hoping he’ll adjust to the AL and bring that average up.

Scotty Pods

Juan Pierre

2010 Batting Average



2010 Stolen Bases



2010 Strike Outs



2010 RBI



Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sox Win Royally. Or else!

The Sox definitely shouldn’t pat themselves on the back tonight. They beat the Royals, who are the owners of the hands down worst record in the AL Central. Even Juan Pierre shouldn’t pat himself on the back. He managed to steal bases with his butt twice, but I have no recollection of how he got on base.

Yes, we must acknowledge that Jake Peavy finally had the performance we had been looking for all year. He kept the Royals scoreless through 7+ innings, and had the benefit of Andruw Jones on a good day. But it’s the Royals, so we need a repeat performance before he can relax.
One guy that can pat himself on the back is PK who was last week’s AL player of the week. With all those home runs, breaking the franchise record for most home runs in April, and being an overall RBI machine, it’s not surprising. PK has 12 home runs this season, and twice as many RBI.

Andruw Jones is next with 8 long balls of his own in his repertoire. In terms of AVG, he is just behind Alex Rios.

In bad news news, Donny Lucy was sent back to the minors. Maybe that’s the best option for him, seeing as he won’t get MUCH playing time with the Sox (Although if AJ doesn’t consistently produce… anyway.), but in his 15 at bats with the Sox, he’s done more than Ramon Castro ever has- Perfect Game excluded.

Overall, I am disappointed to see there is no solution to the lead-off man problem, but hopeful that if we Sox fans as a collective boo enough, things will get better. Or is that the opposite of common sense? Kenny Williams says he’s nothing thinking of trades yet. And he’s right. If he wants to trade Pierre for a better leadoff option (perhaps a cut-out of Southpaw?), he’s going to have to give up serious assets. Perhaps the other option is sending Juan to the minors for a bit.

That’s all I have for now. It’s been a busy weekend, so I’ve missed a lot of game coverage, but I should be back in full swing over the next few weeks.