Monthly Archives: July 2011

Almost no time for baseball right now. Or: Thank heavens for the web gems.

So, I’ve been working the night shift all week, which means: no baseball for me.

But, things have been going well this week. I’m psyched. I am beyond psyched that the good Gavin Floyd came back from the All-Star break. Even if he continues to stupefy me. 3-hit the OtherSox, but getting lit up by the equivalent of the Minnesota Twins triple A team.

Regarding “the trade” – Not a bad deal, considering it was pretty remarkable that the White Sox found someone to take on Mark Teahen’s salary (I’m pretty sure Mark Teahen might be the 3rd highest paid player on the Blue Jays right now). I was pretty sure that was an impossible task. I’m glad that Alex Anthopolous was willing to pocket Mark Teahen’s salary to buy low on Colby Rasmus, because that might have saved at least one other White Sox player from hitting the trade market. The entire trade was, obviously, a salary dump. But, at least they picked up a righty for Ozzie to potentially use a little bit so he can stop panicking that he’s wearing out Jesse Crain, even if Jason Frasor was sad to be leaving Toronto and grew up as a Cubs fan. :) And, Zach Stewart has the potential to turn into a nice little project for Don Cooper. Maybe he’ll end-up as a two-inning man, but at least is a potential option in case there’s some sort of injury to the injury-prone starter who-shall-remain-nameless.

And, now I can go back to dreading the remainder of the non-waiver trade period and hope the White Sox can stave off a fire sale.

I definitely had more that I wanted to say about the trade (also the Toronto aspect), but this week has sucked the life out of me and this is really all have the energy for. Really, I can probably summarize it as: I’m glad Mark Buehrle’s not a Cardinal right now.

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And, so it continues. Or: Yup, even when the White Sox can’t beat the Indians, the Indians beat themselves.

So, the Indians lost today. Fortunately for the White Sox, they were the ones wearing the visitor’s jerseys. Winning a game 4-2 with 3 unearned runs is pretty much the White Sox way. But, if the opposing team is dropping fly balls, throwing pick-off attempts into the outfield and throwing wild pitches, you have to take advantage of it.

There’s a lot of unrest in the White Sox camp right now. There are intermittent coaching meltdowns, the offense is still on vacation, there are trade rumors swirling left and right and it’s possible that (even with no money to spend) the White Sox could look entirely different in a couple of weeks, Phil Humber is taking a (temporary) trip back to the bullpen, and the entire (current) team is more or less playing below expectations, but because of the insanity of the AL Central, they’re not entirely out of the race.

So, sure, the White Sox won this game only because the Indians gave it away. But, it wasn’t all bad. Edwin Jackson pitched another solid outing, Omar Vizquel made a fantastic game-ending diving stop, Chris Sale is doing such a fantastic job out of the bullpen that he might just pitch himself out of a starting job next year, and even though he wasn’t his sharpest, Sergio Santos still managed to collect his 20th save of the year – not bad for a guy who has been a pitcher for about 15 minutes. And, not to mention, special mention of the ability of the White Sox to wear their sunglasses over their eyes and not on their hats.

And, at the end of the day, my team still likes each other – which makes watching the ridiculousness that is the 2011 White Sox a little bit more bearable.

And, just in case you had forgotten, Omar is awesome. And, this might be my favorite picture of the entire season so far.

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The White Sox still like to play the Indians. Or: The White Sox might just be the most mentally fragile team in the history of baseball.

So, the White Sox beat the Indians. They beat them earlier this season and they beat them again last night. Because the White Sox beat the Indians this year.

Last night’s game was another low-scoring affair with great starting and relief pitching, some pretty good defense and the White Sox runs coming off of the bat of a Quentin home run. That’s pretty much the story of this season. That seems to be the White Sox formula (with the Quentin home run sometimes being a Konerko home run). Fortunately, it held up last night. If the Indians had put on Minnesota Twins jerseys, the lead wouldn’t have held up. If they had put on KC jerseys, the game would have gone 12 innings.

It’s just somewhat incomprehensible that this line-up has turned into he 2011 White Sox I’ve been watching for the last few months. My (die-hard Blue Jays fan) brother said to me the other day that he looks at the White Sox roster sometimes and can’t believe how good it is and even the non-Whie Sox diehard fans are completely perplexed as to what happened to our offense.

But, back to last night’s game. To summarize, the pitching was stellar, the defense was good, and the offense was pleasantly adequate. I’m certainly not looking for a 15-0 bludgeoning of the opposing team every time they play, but a little more hitting with runners in scoring position would be really, really nice. Really nice and probably somewhat essential for any hope of contention this season.

And, of course, most notably, Gavin Floyd’s good twin showed up to pitch last night and I’m glad the offense was able to scrape together enough runs to support his effort.

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And, we’re back. Or: The optimism was nice while it lasted.

So, alas. There were some good times, and then there was more of the same. I’m a little ashamed to say that I actually didn’t make it to the end of last night’s game against the Royals.

Again, Johnny Danks. Brilliant. The White Sox utter absence of anything resembling offense or hustle? Not so brilliant.

It is entirely on the back of Paul Konerko (who has cooled off slightly) and both the starting and the relief pitching that we’re not in Houston Astros territory. But, man-oh-man, the last few games have been hard to watch.

Well, today is an off day and tomorrow we start a stint in Cleveland. The White Sox are about 24 hours removed from an Ozzie meltdown that was probably somewhat deserved and possibly even quite rational and I hope it spurred something. SOMEWHERE. I’m enjoying a bit of a mental health holiday, myself actually.

Since the Jays had a day game, I guess I’m going to settle in, try not to actually melt in the middle of this heat wave and watch the Rays take on the Yankees and just enjoy watching a game where I have only a moderate interest in the actual outcome and take a night off from having my heart stomped on.

I don’t have a baseball picture appropriate for this post, so I’ve decided to post a picture of my dog.

So see y’all tomorrow. Hopefully with everyone feeling a little more optimistic.

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Welcome back, White Sox. Or: So, the cure for what ails the White Sox is the future AL Cy Young winner?

So, it’s both very surprising and not-at-all surprising that the White Sox won the opener against Detroit. On one hand, Verlander has been unrelentingly brutal on hitters and it’s no secret that our offense has been somewhat… lacking. On the other hand, for some reason, the White Sox seem to do better against team over .500 and worse against sub-.500 teams. So, really, you never know what you are going to get.

Sure, I spent the first 3+ innings just praying SOMEONE would get a hit. I really didn’t want to watch a no-hitter. But, then when Gordon Beckham (!!!? I know, right) came through, followed by Mark Teahen (again, what??!), it was off to the races.

Firstly, and most importantly (other than Beckham initially calming my nerves and being my hero of the game by breaking up the no-no), was the return of the good Gavin Floyd. Gavin Floyd is as good as anyone else out there, but he’s so inconsistent (I think he probably needs to borrow Adam Dunn’s sports psychologist sometimes), you never know what you are going to get. But, last night, he out-pitched Justin Verlander and it made me a very happy sports fan (and, okay, a Gavin Floyd fan) and, aside from the one bad pitch, he was a pleasure to watch. I fully acknowledge the fact that he can have an utter meltdown any day of the week and he can be incredibly frustrating, but I’m still convinced that he has no-hitter stuff in there somewhere and I can keep hoping. :)

And, it was nice to see a happier mood around the White Sox camp after the game today. Rumor has it that ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’ made it into Gordon Beckham’s locker after the game, but he moved it to Gavin’s locker. Both of those sound about right to me.

It was a good game. At the very least, I’m just happy that (almost) everyone got in on the action and there was actually offense. It’s definitely a step in the right direction. I would be thrilled if they didn’t feel like they had to rely so much on the home run to win ballgames.

There was a lot of good baseball last night: the Charlotte Knights won (White Sox AAA team) with John Danks on mound in a fantastic rehab start, the Jays won, the Rays won, KC made a late comeback against the Twins, and Juan Rivera hit a HR in his first at-bat as a Dodger.

It was good to be back.

Hopefully, it’s the start of a lot of good things for the second half.

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It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the White Sox. Or: The AL Central is the ChiSox kryptonite.

So, my real life went kaboom and I’ve been running around like a crazy person. Tragically, I haven’t been busy enough to miss the slaughtering of the White Sox by the AL Central.

Oh, my team.

At least they (except for Paul and Carlos) have a couple of days off to recharge their batteries. I’m going to need the break to recharge mine, as well, in order to bring back my sparkly pompoms of optimism. They get two more series to get their act together until I give up on the concept of entertaining a division race and I will come up with a drinking game to get me through the rest of the season.

Because, post-season hopes or not, I still want to watch (hopefully) Brent Morel continue to grow into his big-boy shoes, wait for Ramon Castro’s hand to heal, keep hoping (in vain) for Gavin Floyd to throw a no-hitter (my constant wishing will make it possible, I swear!), watch Jesse Crain continue to be the best (IMHO) off-season addition to the White Sox, wait and see what else Sergio Santos and Philip Humber have up their sleeves, cheer on Paulie as he hopefully stays in the race for the triple crown (at least within shouthing distance) and watch and wait for the insanity of the September call-ups.

Because, why not? They’re still my boys, I’m not going anywhere.

In the meantime, here’s my fave fuzzy green dude at the All-Star Game. Probably just waiting to cheer on Paulie and Carlos, like the rest of us.

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2 Games Down. One more to go. Or: Interleague play loves the ChiSox.

Well, 2 games against the other Chicago team and 2 wins. Which means that, regardless, we have won two series in a row. I’ll take it.

I feel like I need to say something. I get incredibly frustrated sometimes with things in the ChiSox camp, but I love my boys. I love that they’re nice guys who show up and paint schools and community centers on weekends. I love that they have a giant cut-out of “the most interesting man in the world” in the locker room that always ends up in the locker of the game MVP every day and obviously get along. I love that the ChiSox are a home for misfit toys and Don Cooper seems to be able to piece them back together. And, though it might not be popular opinion, I also love Ozzie. I love that he says (and tweets) what he thinks. I love that he wants everyone’s kids in the clubhouse and that he defends his players (maybe even to a fault) and that he puts himself in the line of fire and that he LIKES his players and that he and the rest of the staff seem to care about them.

And, I know we can all be Sabermetrics experts from our sofas, and we all know there are lots of things we would do differently, given the chance. But, the truth is, we all exist in a vacuum in our living-rooms and we don’t have to deal with the economics of the game and the politics of the front office and there is obviously so much more to it than just filling out the line-up card every day. And, yes, even one or two better OBPs in the line-up would be tremendously helpful, I don’t think 1 single kid from AAA is going to magically save this team. And, Ozzie’s not perfect, but neither am I and neither is anyone else. So, at least for the moment, I’m not quite ready to see the end of Ozzie-ball in Chicago, and I hope that the Powers-That-Be aren’t either.

I am also aware, however, that I would be a terrible manager, general manager, third-base coach and – heck – probably a terrible ballgirl as well, so this is mostly just more of my uneducated rambling.

Other things of note:

1. Juan Pierre is on a bit of a streak. You can’t argue with a hot bat and, at least for the moment, his is on fire – driving in the winning run 3 games in a row. Today, he flaired a single into LF which: 1) broke up a no-hitter in the 6th. 2) broke up a shutout, and 3) was the winning RBI. Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good.

2. Brent Morel is shining in the number 2 spot and if he keeps up his defense at 3B, I will personally start the write-in campaign for his gold glove next year all by myself. He’s still young and makes some “rookie mistakes” (that term exists for a reason, y’all) and he still doesn’t hit for average, but he is still putting together some highly intelligent at-bats and he managed to draw a four-pitch walk today – which might be the first of his career. He’s campaigning to get in the next version of the header that I make for this blog.

3. Quentin’s cooled off a bit, we are going to have to play Adam Dunn – minimally – when there’s a right-hander on the mound, and I think everyone wants to see Paul Konerko in the lineup, so today was probably as good a day as any to give Q (who has a .avg similar to Dunn’s over the last 10 days) the day off. Of course, Dunn had a line-out and 3 strikeouts (103 so far for the season), but I don’t think a single ball was hit to RF while he was there, so there’s that. Paul Konerko has cooled off a little lately – which is like saying that Jose Bautista is slumping when he goes 3 games without a home run. We’ll probably see Adam Dunn at first base tomorrow. Which, really, is fine. If we’re really in this for the long-haul and PK needs a day off, I’d rather have it after taking at least 2/3 from the Cubs and have him sharp for the upcoming intra-division stretch we have coming. It’s a little short-sighted, I think, to wear PK out by the time you really want him hot.

4. Philip Humber. Again. There’s not much to say about this kid that hasn’t been said. He was having a rough day, his control was all over the place and his best inning was 13 pitches. But, that being said, even though he gave up 5 hits, walked 3, hit a batter and didn’t have an inning with fewer than 13 pitches – he still ended up with a shutout.

5. Big thumbs up for Matt Thornton today with a perfect 8th and 9th and collecting the save when Sergio Santos needed a day off. Our bullpen is still awesome.

6. Last, but most certainly not least:

At least for one day, we’re a .500 team. It’s not much normally, but things have been so much worse than that, so it really is a cause for celebration.

Happy Day Before The Yankee Exhibition Game All-Star Game Announcements, y’all.

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