Monday, April 26, 2010

Mariners Swept, Improvements All Around?

Paul Konerko. What can you say about the guy? He hit his 8th home run of the season today to break up the tied game in the bottom of the 8th inning. 8 home runs. In just 19 games. So, of his 18 (I think) hits of the season, 8 are home runs. Not to mention that the guys is leading the team in walks. He’s reminiscent of a 2008 Carlos Quentin. It’s amazing, it’s uplifting, it’s Ozzie ball at its best.

On the other hand, you have Bobby Jenks, who doesn’t like innings and saves to be easy. Two easy outs, then maybe some base hits and a walk add up to a nerve-wracking 9th inning. On a related note, if Jenks was ever to be forced to leave the 9th inning role, it seems that Sergio Sanchez is up for the role. In his appearances, he has been flawless. He’s given up 2 hits and no runs over 8 innings. His walk to Strike-Out ratio is 3:10. I approve. I wouldn’t say it’s time to announce him as the new closer, which is what many are saying he is being prepped for.

Alex Rios is making a comeback, thankfully. Last week, he was leading the team in terms of AVG. Now that spot has been taken over by Andruw Jones, a close second is –surprise- Paul Konerko, and third is –actual surprise- Mark Teahen. He’s still not my favorite, but he’s alright.

The person who is the clear winner this week, though, is Ozzie. He’s made some decent managerial decisions in his time, but the best was definitely giving Freddy a day of rest by skipping his turn in the rotation. When he’s fresh, he’s fantastic. Every off day of the season is an opportunity for the Sox to do this, and that might give them a few extra wins. Of course, toward the tail end of the season, it may mean that someone will have to pitch an extra game or two or three, but there are always drawbacks to whatever method of choice managers use when dealing with fifth starters.

In conclusion, let’s take a look at an update of this year’s rivalry, Pods v. Pierre

Scotty Pods

Juan Pierre

2010 Batting Average



2010 Stolen Bases



2010 Strike Outs



2010 RBI



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Bully Juan Pierre and The Sox Need To Win

Before I start on anything else, here’s a plug for Smells Like Mascot’s newest cartoon: Possibly the truest representation of the Sox lineup.

I feel pretty powerful today. There’s an entire front page article revolving around my last blog post: Read it and giggle sometime. Quote: “Juan Pierre leads off for the 2010 White Sox, clearly too valuable to ever be considered anyone's second choice. The South Siders gave up two solid pitching prospects in John Ely and Jon Link to obtain a player from the Dodgers in December whom they had coveted for years.” This reminds me a little of the Griffey for Nick Massett situation. Except I’m pretty sure that’s being mean to Nick Massett. While he had quite a bit of playing time with the Sox, Link and Ely were never really frontrunners. And while Juan Pierre is no longer in the prime of his life, his achievements before arriving to the Sox, he is nowhere near to what Griffey has achieved.

So, what will I do now with my newfound power? Bring Joe Crede back? Perhaps pit Freddy Garcia against John Garland? Only time will tell. Until then, the Sox are still in search of their first winning streak.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Game 9: Quentin's Grand Slam and the Pierre-Pods Rivalry

Ah, Ozzie Ball! Back again. Carlos Quentin hit a grand slam today, and Andruw Jones homered to account for less than half of the Sox’ runs. “7th inning stretch and the Sox are up by 10.” Now that’s a sound for sore ears! Of course, it wasn’t all homers. With 15 hits and 4 walks, plus one hit-by-pitch, no wonder the Sox and Jays had such a vast difference in scores. On top of that, Danks had a no-hitter going into the 5th. He held the Jays to one run over 7 innings.

The chance of the Sox winning wasn’t bad. Morrow was a 4.09 career pitcher and his ERA this season is around 12. John Danks, on the other hand, is rocking a 1.38 ERA. He has control problems every now and then, but I have to agree with Hawk- and you know how much that hurts me- that the guy can really battle.

But I think the real purpose of my post today isn’t going to be about praising the Sox. I’ll save that for when they are on a winning streak- heck, even two games in a row will do. No, what I’ve really been inspired by is to start a new rivalry. Last year (or was it two years ago?), it was Josh Fields vs. Joe Crede. They both lost that one. This year, it’s Juan Pierre vs. Scotty Pods.

And it’s only one week into the season. I’ve often wondered, “Why the stubbornness? Why not sign him again?” The fans love Scotty. In fact, he and Gordon Beckham were the lone sparks in a season of tears and frustration.

Scotty Pods

Juan Pierre




2010 Salary



2010 Batting Average

.456 (16 for 35)

.176 (6 for 36)

2010 Stolen Bases



2010 RBI



2009 Batting Average



2009 Stolen Bases



2009 RBI



I will update this chart as the season goes on and the numbers will have to speak for themselves. But other than .004% better in batting average and a year and a half in the age department, why?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jake Peavy and How to Lose a Season in 7 Days

The media has entered Panic Mode. All Sox fans are urged to find their nearest bomb shelter, and prepare for the inevitable. It happened last year! They warned us! And just a few short months-weeks-days, was it? Sure enough, just as the media warned us, Bartolo Colon disappeared! And sure, in theory, “Peavy” and “Colon” have different spellings, but in the Greek alphabet, if you see something that looks like “P”, it’s pronounced like “R”, and when there’s an “R” involved, that’s short for “Run” and that’s just one step away from an ENOURMOUS ERA!

Peavy’s had a mediocre start, a bad start, and apparently that spells trouble! According to [one writer] for the Sun Times, this is just a preamble to a bad arm. Hopefully, this isn’t the case, but in Panic Mode, it’s good enough of a diagnosis for me and I think we should preemptively place him on the DL.

Says Steve Rosenbloom of Chicago Tribune Blog Fame, “Peavy has yet to deliver a quality start. That’s all Mark Buehrle delivers. Remember when people commented that the Sox’s ace wasn’t pitching Opening Day?” Now, I remember Mark Buehrle delivering tons of quality starts after his perfect game last year, but that adjective needs a qualifier. Perhaps “poor” quality, or “mediocre” quality. Plus, Buehrle had the blessings of the offensive gods on the days he pitched.

Another blog on Sporting suggests that a trade might be in order, and believes that there may be something to the whole “AL-NL” thing.

And even though Matt Thornton believes that Peavy will turn it around, what does Thornton know? What is he, a pitcher or something? Does HE know what it’s like to be on the mound in a high-pressure situation? Does HE know anything about Don Cooper? I didn’t think so. He’s not even that tall!

…In conclusion, Jake Peavy will probably be okay. But just in case, I am going to watch videos of chickens with their heads cut off so I can learn a thing or two about running around in panic like a brainless bird. That way, I can be prepared when the time comes.

Thoughts? Ideas? Roomy Panic Room locations? All appreciated in the comment section.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Game 7: Sox Outrun Jays, Peavy's ERA Increases

If last week’s performance by Jake Peavy was “average”, today’s was straight up sad. 44 gave up 7 runs in a little bit less than 6 innings. The rest of the bullpen was terrific, though. Only Randy Williams failed to be splendid.

The Sox offense really stepped up today. Andruw Jones picked up 4 RBI, and Mark Teahen really stepped it up and knocked in three. The Sox racked up 14 hits and 3 walks to win in extra innings- the third extra innings game of the season, and the first that the Sox have won.

This is an important win for the Sox- it’s not just a morale booster for the fans, who finally see the wheels turning on the offensive machine, but the Sox have ended a losing skid at the enormous Jay Dome. Plus, the Jays were 5-1 this season, so it goes to show that the Sox can actually compete with strong teams this year.

Unfortunately, Alexei Ramirez is on a big, hitless skid. Paul Konerko was also 0-5 today. At least the rest of the team was there to pick up the slack, hitting homers, stealing bases, and taking a couple of hits for the team.

So, no complaints about Mark Teahen today. As for Jake Peavy, I’ll write more tomorrow, when more articles/interviews surface with his and the teams’ response to the game.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Game 6: Buehrle Backed By Homers

It is 6 games into the season and Paul Konerko already has 3 home runs. So he’s not on track for 162 anymore… but I’ll take 81 any day. Despite a mess of a record just 6 short days in, the Sox are 4th in the American League in home runs- 7. Mark Kotsay and Gordon Beckham added their first runs of the season to the total. They are also 7th in ERA in all of baseball (again, 4th in the American League). Some people are doing their jobs on the field. Others (See: Juan Pierre) are not.

I have only been able to see bits and pieces of the last few games due to broadcasting issues, or simply to the fact that I couldn’t bear to see another loss to the end. But of what I’ve seen, I am thoroughly impressed with Freddy Garcia’s return as a starter. Freddy pitched 6 scoreless innings yesterday, and only gave up 2 runs in the 7th because, let’s face it, he was exhausted, as was the bullpen. (Note to readers, these 2 runs were on a home-run, the only home run allowed by a Sox pitcher this season. If that tells you anything about the difference between our club and others.) Also memorable is Scott Linebrink’s performance yesterday. He came in a bases-loaded, no-out situation and escaped the inning sans additional runs.

That’s about all I have for today. Tomorrow, it’s Peavy time again. Happy Sunday, everyone.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Game Three: Extra Innings, Extra Awful

As if this game wasn’t long enough (it took two hours to get through the first 5 innings), it had to go into overtime, only to disappoint fans just a minute short of four hours. I began my notes with a few observations about Gavin Floyd (#34, really tall, HUGE rear end). “Gavin Floyd’s curveball: better and better! Having trouble having them called as strikes. It was a pretty long first inning for Gavin when it shouldn’t have been, but the 2nd inning was much better,” I wrote naively, not knowing that the Sox had another case of dead-bat-it is. The Sox scored their first run on a bases-loaded walk, then on a two-run homer by Quentin, who I believed was going to save the game. But for the next two innings- nay, 3 innings- The Sox could not put up one run to respond to the Indians’!

Overall, I would Say Gavin Floyd did a fine job. 6 innings and 2 runs is nothing to scoff at. He isn’t the one to be angry at. On a pitching-related note, seeing Sergio Santos was one of the highlights of my night. I definitely wanted to see if he’s as successful as predicted in the major leagues. I certainly didn’t predict he’d be successful, but he seems to be. There is hope for you still, Brian Anderson. Maybe the Blonde Bombshell will be a successful relief pitcher for the Royals.

The rest of the game was fairly depressing and Ozzie Ball in its true form died on the altar of baseball once again. So, in honor of the Sox’ lack of offensive effort, the rest of this post will be in the form of bullet points, as my notes generally are.

  • Do you ever wonder if Juan Pierred picked number 1 because 1 sounds like Juan?
  • The best way to describe Mark Teahen: a little tardy
  • Heard a guy in the audience say “Hey Jhonny! They spelled your name wrong!” I ALWAYS think that!
  • Carlos saves the game with a 2-run homer in the 7th to take the lead. Ozzie ball, indeed.
  • The 8th inning is “THORNTON TIME!” Megazord, activate!
  • Jenks has a terrific curveball sometimes
  • The bullpen graphic says “Thornton” instead of Putz. Perhaps they married recently?
  • Randy Williams isn’t a guy I would trust with the hold, but he… held his own! Ba-dum-chh
Finally, I leave you with a quote from Ozzie Guillen:
"Great job. Our pitching staff did a tremendous job," Guillen said. "All our pitchers threw well. We had plenty of opportunities to score some runs, but we didn't put the ball in play. And that's what happens when you have the kind of club we have. We better start putting the ball in play more often."
What does he mean about "the kind of club we have"? Weren't they bragging over spring break about how grindy this club is? Or is Ozzie finally admitting defeat; Ozzie is recognizing that Ozzie Ball does- as I often say- mean pretending to play small ball, but relying on a few home runs.

Tonight, John Danks is pitching on WCIU- also known as the channel that is not available where I live. Let’s hope the Sox can bring it back up to .500 against the Twins and Jim Thome.

And, um... ew.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Game 2: Peavy takes on the Indians

The only good thing that I can report from yesterday’s game is that Paul Konerko is on track for a 162-home run season. The sluggish slugger hit his second home run of the season, and picked up all three of the night’s RBI.

Jake Peavy, on the other hand, was struggling a bit. I say send him back to the National League! Or get him some mittens. He seemed very distracted by the cold yesterday.

According to one Tribune, Peavy blames himself and his lack of control. I personally blame the Sox for going 6 innings without producing as much as one run and producing only two hits the entire night. That and Tony’s Pena’s presence on the White Sox roster. Though he wasn’t the one who screwed the pooch this time, I dislike him nevertheless.

Overall, yesterday was the official return of Ozzie ball- where everyone pretended to do the little things, but really failed miserably at small ball and instead relied on the longball. I didn’t see much of the game, but I did see Konerko’s home run and Pierre’s failed bunt attempt. Who tries to bunt with no outs and no men on base? It’s just one of the many aspects of “Ozzie ball” that drive me crazy.

The most distracting of all was perhaps the Hawk’s continued inability to pronounce “Shin-Soo Choo”. I’ve heard all the combinations. Shin-Shoo Shoo, Shin Choo Choo, Chin-Chew Chew, etc. Not only is his pronunciation hilarious… it’s offensive.

Hopefully Gavin Floyd can bring the Sox back to a winning record in his first start of the season.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Do You Know What Time Is Game Time?

As tomorrow’s game looms ahead, one thing is clear. No, not that Jake Peavy is a stellar pitcher. Not that Ozzie and the gang will have to make the choice on who to shuffle into the DH position and who to put on the field. Certainly not how Fausto Carmona will pitch. No, the big question is, how will fans remember when to tune in to gametime?

It seems a bit odd that, all of a sudden, the 7:11 game time is a thing of the past. I feel like I read this somewhere else, but nevertheless, I overlooked it until today. The interwebs referenced economic hardships for the breakup, but in the face of the likes of the Tiger Woods scandal, I suspect infidelity.

Actually, I suspect that this schedule change really did lose a serious chunk of cash for the Sox. Could that have an effect on this season's roster? And will it have an impact on next year's? Pierzynski, Konerko, and a handful of salaries will be up for arbitration again. Could a Slurpee have made a difference between a seasoned veteran and a rookie?

Hope you guys don’t mind a filler post too much. I’m trying to get in the groove of daily updates again after some serious slacking during the last season.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Game 1: Sox - Indians Opening Day

The unfortunate thing about Opening Day being during office hours is that one has to go to extremes to catch a glimpse of the game at one’s desk. Needless to say, between a questionable feed and a poor wireless connection, I got to see about 45 seconds of Buehrle’s Opening Day gem.

The South Side of Chicago was quite a contrast to the bleak funeral happening in the homes of Cub fans. While Zambrano gave up run after run in what I believe to be a humorous 16-5 start to the season, Buehrle gave up no runs through 7 inning, and even made it into every highlight reel due to a dive-through-the-legs-throw combination that got the runner at first.

Paul Konerko blasted the season right open with a 2-run homer in his first at-bat, and followed it up with 2 walks. Alex Rios promised us he wouldn’t have a year as limp as 2009 with a home run of his own. Gordon Beckham had the most hits of the day, 2. I wish I would have seen enough of the game to see how he’s feeling on second base.

Like they say, you can’t spend 162 in first place, if you don’t win the first game. And the Sox did that, giving fans everywhere a sense of hope for the rest of 2010. They’ve also managed to push off my complaining about Mark Teahen and the lack of D.J. Carrasco for another day.

Tomorrow is an off day, but Wednesday, Jake Peavy takes the mound. As for the rest of the lineup, this whole “D.H. By Commission” thing is going to be very interesting to watch.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

One Last Thought Before Opening Day 2010

It’s almost O-Day! I’ve been quietly observing the White Sox statistics over spring training, reading news, and wishing more games were televised.

What has stayed consistent throughout Spring Training is Mark Kotsay, who still leads the “regulars” in AVG. Sure, Spring training is far from a fool-proof prediction method, but combined with his great “D” skills, I’m pretty happy to have kept him on the roster.

Paul Konerko has definitely picked up the pace toward the end, and is just a bit behind Kotsay in AVG.

Mark Teahen is still luke-warm at best at-bat. Something tells me that (unless, of course, he’s been holding out on us) he will be this season’s Josh Fields and he will give me a reason to complain about Kenny Williams’ lack of effort in the infield for the second year in a row.

In “sad” news, Brent Lillibridge’s noodle arms won’t be gracing U.S. Cellular Field this year. And speaking of people who have moved down to the minors… Brian Anderson will be converting to pitching. While this seems humorous, those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw batting practice. Similarly, the Sox have Sergio Santos, just like the Royals will have B.A.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! It’s time for the race for PIE!