Monday, November 19, 2007

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Shortly after re-signing Juan Uribe, the White Sox traded Jon Garland to the Angels for Orlando Cabrera. Yes, you read that correctly. The White Sox re-signed their shortstop and followed that up by trading their second best pitcher for another shortstop.

Of course, this does make some sense if it gives the Sox some long-term security and a significant upgrade at the position. However, Cabrera brings neither.

Cabrera last reached double digit home runs in 2004 when he hit ten, and his career on base percentage is a paltry .320. Essentially, the Sox have acquired a shortstop who reaches base at an unacceptable level, although he does reach base more often than Uribe, and a player who has less power than Uribe. As for defense, Cabrera has a higher fielding percentage with a lower range factor than Uribe. Basically, the two players are comparatively equal despite having advantages in different areas.

As for being a long-term answer at shortstop, Cabrera definitely does not fit the bill. He is thirty-three years old and has just one year left on his contract. At this time next year, the White Sox will once again be searching a shortstop.

The Angels will be receiving a twenty-eight year old pitcher who has thrown over 200 innings in each of the past four seasons. He was an All-Star in 2005 and was in the top three in the American League in wins in two of the last three seasons. Lest this move be considered a salary dump, he makes less money than the two shortstops combined salary. The Angels came away with a steal.

This move is just another symptom of an overriding organizational problem known as Kenny Williams. Last year, he took the fourth highest payroll in baseball and built it into a team that was never in contention to make the playoffs. This year, he seems determined to give the Royals a shot at getting out of the cellar. Maybe they should hire him and put Sox fans out of their misery. The 2005 World Series is looking more like a fluke every day.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A Look to the Future

Darrin Erstad and Michael Myers are out of the picture for 2008, which is good news if you are Jamie Lee Curtis. Meanwhile, Kenny Williams is exploring trade options at shortstop, and Hawk Harrelson and Ed Farmer are up for the Ford Frick award. More to come! My son wants some fruit snacks.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Way To Go Stone Pony!

Steve Stone has been a great substitute the last two days. He is subbing for Darrin Jackson who is in Arizona for the birth of his daughter. Tonight was the best Stone moment. He said that Uribe was going to get Fultz in the thirteenth, and Uribe took him deep. That was awesome!

How about Mike MacDougal, by the way? He really had the chin music working tonight, and he did a nice job backing it up with that nasty slider. He is finally healthy, and he looks like the old Mike MacDougal. With MacDougal, Jose Contreras, and Bobby Jenks all throwing well, the Sox actually have a good bullpen. This team is starting to be a lot more fun.

Lest I forget them, kudos to Jermaine Dye and AJ Pierzynski for their eighth and twelfth inning, game tying homeruns. Everything is clicking for the White Sox right now, and I am not so sure that this team cannot get back into the race. The last two months of the season could be a fun ride.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Still Alive?

Once left for dead, there still seems to be some life left in the White Sox. They pulled to within 10.5 games this past weekend with a three game sweep of the Detroit Tigers, and they are only 10 games back in the Wild Card. With the better part of two months left to play, they are still technically in it, but they will have to stay hot for the rest of the season.

The key to the turnaround has been an injection of team speed and a new found willingness to hit the ball the other way. The speed has come from rookies Jerry Owens and Danny Richar as well as the re-emergance of Scott Podsednik from the disabled list. As for hitting the ball the other way, veteran sluggers Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye have both done a much better job in recent weeks. They are taking the slow stuff on the outside corner to right field, which is forcing pitchers to throw them some inside heat. This plays to their strengths as right handed power hitters, and the homeruns are starting to come.

Meanwhile, the biggest weakness on the team, the bullpen, is starting to show signs of coming around, although it is still inconsistent. Ehren Wasserman has looked very good at times as the right handed set-up man, and although Mike MacDougal has struggled, he has found his 96 mile per hour fastball since coming off of the DL. If MacDougal can regain command of his slider, he will be filthy, as he always has been when healthy. Additionally, Bobby Jenks, the Sox lone All-Star, has retired 32 straight hitters. That would leave him two outs into the eleventh inning of a perfect game. Things are definitely looking up in the bullpen.

Can the Sox catch Detroit, Minnesota, and Cleveland? It is certainly possible with the number of games left to be played against the three teams, but there is almost no room for error. However, it is possible, and winning this week's series against Cleveland would help a lot as it would pull the Sox to within single digits of the tribe.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dead in the Water

It certainly looked like the White Sox were due for a hot streak coming out of the All-Star break. Instead, we have been treated to a 2-4 start and some of the worst relief pitching in memory.

The offense has been horrible, but the biggest culprit this season has been the bullpen. Looking at the numbers, White Sox relievers are 3-14 with a 7.52 ERA and 10 blown saves over the last 59 games. That is basically two months of mind blowingly bad relief pitching. My mind is not the only thing that blows.

If things are going to improve in 2008, Kenny Williams is going to have to acquire some pitchers that have actually proven that they can get out major league hitters. Cheap guys with some potential are nice to bring in to spring training so they can compete for the last spot in the bullpen. Sometimes you get lucky with that approach and find a diamond in the rought. However, the White Sox cannot continue to rely on pitchers of that ilk to make up the bulk of the bullpen. It is a recipe for disaster, which the 2007 season has shown. Hopefully, Kenny Williams has learned his lesson.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


The Chicago White Sox have reached a moment of sanity. They agreed to terms with Mark Buehrle on a deal worth 56 million dollars over 4 years. Buehrle will receive 75 million dollars over 5 years if traded. This will make it difficult to trade him and virtually assures that he will be with the White Sox for the next four years.

Friday, July 06, 2007

We Gone!

This should just about sew up the 2007 season. The Sox lost by a combined score of 32-14 against the Twins in today's double header. The thirty-two runs allowed in one day set a new franchise record. You cannot get much lower than this.

Another blow to Sox fans' aggregate solar plexis could be coming soon. WSCR has been reporting that Mark Buehrle was seen packing his things in the White Sox clubhouse today. This news is coupled with comments from the general manager, Kenny Williams, that Gavin Floyd will remain in the rotation after the All-Star break. I guess this is what it feels like to be a Cubs fan.

As for Floyd, he started game two tonight, and he was his usual self. He has a career ERA of 6.96 with twenty homeruns allowed in just 108.2 innings pitched. He allowed six earned runs and four homers in 5.2 innings against the Twins. This is pretty much exactly the way he has pitched throughout his career. Kenny had better be getting the next Sandy Koufax for Buehrle because there is very little evidence that Floyd is any better than Kip Wells, another AAAA pitcher with a big fastball and a tight curve.

When all is said and done, more has been said than done by the White Sox this season. Kenny Williams talked a good game in the off-season about all of the young power arms that he had brought into the organization as well, as the offense that was guaranteed to score a lot of runs. Instead, the power arms, who had never performed well in the past, have not performed well this season, either, and the offensive players who have had injury plagued careers have gotten hurt. The World Series was great, but Williams's rope is getting shorter by the minute. It is high time that he pulled a rabbit out of his hat.