Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Marky Mark Goes Solo

It was the winter of 2010, 5 years after the happiest summer of the decade. Chicago was still glowing from a victorious win by its hockey team, but still wiping tears after yet another barren summer. Mark Buehrle, Freddy Garcia, Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski, and Bobby Jenks sat in front of a campfire, telling scary stories. Being traded to the Cubs, having to face Tim Lincecum for every at-bat every day for the rest of their career, having to wear a pink uniform. But none was as scary as the tale told by a man on the other end of the phone line. "You're going solo, Buehrle," announced Jerry Reinsdorf. "I'm disbanding the 2005 band. I hope you know all the songs."

It seems that aside from Mark Buehrle, the remainder of the 2005 gang is gone. Of the gang, the one with the best fighting chance of returning is probably Freddy. It seems the Sox are uninterested in entering in a drawn-out, multimillion dollar contract with the rest. Especially not Konerko and A.J. And who can blame them? Sure, Konerko's year was so stellar he deserved a spot at the All-Star game, but at 34, he's in the twilight of his career. Weren't we begging for his release in 2008? As for A.J., well, I just hope Tyler Flowers is ready. I haven't seen much of him, so that worries me. Almost as much as the fact that Donny Lucy isn't on the 40-man roster.

But the real issue is that the Sox find themselves with a real P.R. problem. Konerko, Pierzynski, Jenks are all staples. They are all the go-to names when thinking of the White Sox. So who will be the face of the organization once they are gone? The obvious answer seems Gordon Beckham, since he was the farm system's golden child, but we are nevertheless filled with a void in our hearts that can only be filled by another World Series trophy. Or the addition of some big names in exchange for releasing some others. What will the advertising campaign be like this year? Who will replace Konerko as captain? Where exactly is Joe Crede? Will Alexei ever weight more than 86 lbs? These questions and more will be answered on the next episode of... SOAP!

And just so we're clear, I think the new gray uniforms look even worse than the old ones. And no one likes the gray anyway. They're so bleak. What is this, the Great Depression?

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