Tag Archives: awesome things

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.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Father’s Day. Or: Another non-White Sox post

So, for a change, I’m going to talk about a utility player today. :)

(Oh, stop laughing.)

So, this is one of the non-White Sox that holds a special place in my baseball life and is definitely worth a little attention on Father’s Day. This is John MacDonald.

Johnny Mac has played for the Blue Jays for the last 5 years (after a long stint in Cleveland with one Omar Vizquel). He’s your typical super-sub, with gold glove-worthy defense, but a bat that keeps him out of the line-up most days, barring injury to someone in the starting line-up. And, he’s definitely grown to be beloved in Toronto. He’s a generally all-around nice guy (Canadians love that!) and Blue Jays fans know that when he’s at 3rd or SS, it’s going to be an easy day for your left outfielder. And, it’s nice to see that, instead of leaving him on the bench for a possible defensive replacement move today, he gets to start the day at 3B.

In 2010, John MacDonald came back from bereavement leave 5 days after losing his dad to cancer. Before his dad passed away, his dad had told him that John was going to hit his next home run for him. John is not really known for his power-bat and he told his dad that it could happen quite a few years from then in a weekend softball game. He had only 13 home runs in 12 MLB seasons, and hadn’t hit one that year.

His first game back was on Father’s Day. In his first at-bat (a pinch-hit in the bottom of the 9th), he knocked a 2-run homer over the left field wall.

The Jays had too big of a deficit to overcome in that game, so they didn’t win that day, but that’s not the point of this story.

The radio announcers said it best: “We were all up here in the booth, blowing that one out.”

Happy Father’s Day for anyone with something and someone to celebrate or commemorate today.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The White Sox have good utility players, too. Or: Fine, Brent Lillibridge, I will write a post about you, too.

First things first. We won today. It was a messy, messy game with a billion White Sox stranded on base and weird strike-outs and questionable calls (for both teams, from pretty much everyone but the guy at third), but we somehow pulled it out.

Brett Ballantini sums it up way better than I can:

We *still* can’t buy John Danks any run support, but between his quality outing, Jesse Crain forcefully closing the door (he didn’t get to slam it tonight, the strike zone that was randomly re-drawn for every pitch gave him some trouble), Ramon Castro continuing to be one of the best back-up catchers anywhere in the game, and Brent Lillibridge being, well, Brent Lillibridge, we didn’t get sucked back into the losing vaccuum. He legitimately robbed a go-ahead 2-run homer from Coco Crisp in the 8th.

Clearly, after my earlier post about the Blue Jays “super utility man”, Brent wanted to make sure that he wasn’t lost in the shuffle.

Another one for the highlight reel. As usual, click on the photo to watch the video.

I don’t want to speak too soon, but if he keeps this up (along with his speed on base and if he can cut down on the strikeouts a little), he’s going to be one of those guys that earns regular playing time by his ability to prevent runs, rather than score them.

But, again, a messy win is still a win. And, since Cleveland lost, but Minnesota and Detroit won, I’ll take it.

0.500, here we come! (Eventually!)

Go Sox!

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A Blue Jays interlude. Or: Some people really can (and will) do everything.

So, I have nothing to say about last night’s epic White Sox disappointment other than I am very glad that Detroit, Minnesota, and Cleveland all lost, too (only KC failed to lose, preventing the entire AL-Central from getting smoked yesterday).

And, in an effort to move on, I’m going to talk about something fun from the AL-East.

So, imagine that you are John Farrell – former pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox – and you are now the manager of the Blue Jays. And, it’s the top of the 9th and the Boston Red Sox are in Toronto and are leading your Jays 16 – 4 and they are beating the snot out of your pitchers: your starter only lasted 4 innings (giving up 9 runs), and you’ve breezed through pretty much the rest of your bullpen (giving up 7 more).

So, what do you do now? Obviously, you move your recently called up from triple-A utility infielder from second base to the mound.

(Clicking on the photo will take you to the clip @ MLB.com)

I have said it before and I will say it again. I love the utility players. I love watching someone busting their butt every time they get a chance to play, I love watching people show off what they can do when they’re put out in the action, I love watching people who are up for doing whatever they are asked to do, and, I have to admit, I also love when the entire game gets turned on its head like this – giving the devoted fans who stuck around to the bitter end, something to smile about today.

Way to go, Mike McCoy (who apparently only has to play 1B and catcher to hit every position on the field). Grabbing a double on a day where your team only managed 6 hits and you and your 60 mpH curveball & knuckleball threw the hot Red Sox lineup for a bit of a loop. 1.0 IP, 12 pitches with 9 for strikes, and a 0.0 ERA. You totally deserved that standing ovation.

This is one of the things I love about this game.

(Also: In other random highlights from today’s game:
My 2nd-fave Blue Jay (behind utilityman John MacDonald) Jose Molina showed off some awesome base-running as he slid into home with one of the smartest slides I’ve seen lately. You can tell that he’s always thinking like a catcher.

And, in other oddities from the game, if things weren’t going badly enough for the Jays, the home plate umpire started calling out people after 2 strikes. When things aren’t going your way, it’s hard to catch a break.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Finally, a win for John Danks. Or: But, run support is still hard to come by.

A recap, in list form, and not really in any particular order.

1. John Danks finally collects a win. It was a pretty much a pitcher’s duel until the 8th inning (with the exception of a hanging slider in the 4th, which resulted in a Paul Konerko solo HR), so the run support was still hard to come by, but at least we weren’t outpaced by the Mariners.

2. In the 7th, Gordon Beckham nearly got his head taken off by a high-inside pitch (#6). He got his revenge by hammering a line drive up the middle on pitch #8, plating AJ Pierzynski (2-0, ChiSox).

3. And, there is something to be said for the contagious nature of good play (unfortunately for all parties involved, Adam Dunn still appears to be immune). Brent Lillibridge has lit a bit of a fire under the collective rear ends of the defense. Beckham and Morel have come alive, Quentin’s been busting his rear end and Juan Pierre’s been trucking along, flashing a bit of leather over in left.

4. Jesse Crain continues to come out and be ridiculously awesome and provide solid clutch disaster-relief pitching. If he continues to do what he does, even 8 or 9 times out of 10? He’s more than earning his paycheck. Also, I’m glad he’s on our team.

5. And, Sergio Santos. The man is an animal. Another solid 3-up, 3-down, 7-pitch save. Everything I said about Jesse Crain applies equally here. Except, I think the fact that he has only been a pitcher for about 5 minutes makes it even more unbelievable. I wonder if we are allowed to call him the closer, yet.

6. And, speaking of Brent Lillibridge. Firstly, aside from a (somewhat random) less-than-successful bunt attempt, he was walked 3 times. THREE. Either they are afraid to pitch him in the zone, or they are intentionally pitching around him to get to Adam Dunn. We are clearly in the twilight zone. And, secondly, we had another addition to “Brent Lillibridge continues to make a case for more playing time” files.

Clicking on the picture to the left will take you to a clip of – possibly – his most ridiculously awesome catch, definitely saving some runs. He may still think of himself as an infielder, but I don’t think anyone else is ever going to again.

It wasn’t perfect, and we definitely won this one on defense, but it was a good, fun game with lots more things for the list of things that don’t suck than things that do. I’ll take it.

And, we do it again tomorrow. I’m probably not going to be able to catch that one, and with King Felix on the hill for Seattle, my heart probably won’t be able to take it, if I do.

Lets build some momentum, here. Go Sox!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A comeback that ends with sweep. Or: Maybe I should speak too early more often.

Well, when all was said and done, that ended up being a heck of a fun ballgame.

I’m glad I spoke too soon about Gavin Floyd. Anyone who has stopped by here before knows that I’m rather partial to him, even with his very unpredictable Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde pitching personality that can make him frustrating to watch – painful, when he’s having a bad day, but a pleasure to watch on a good one.

After he finally fumbled his way out of the 3-run, 7-hit 2nd inning, he came back and (including the last out of the second) retired 8 straight in short order. He totally got himself back into the ballgame sitting on the bench in the top of the 3rd, only allowing two more hits (one of those being the usual solo-HR that he gives up with relative frequency). So, good on him and I’m glad to see him continue his success against the Red Sox – sure it wasn’t a 10-K highlight reel, but it definitely got the job done. I don’t know if he needed a pep talk, a slap upside the head, a cup of coffee or a hug, but whatever worked, I’ll take it. And, likely, so will he.

Other highlights:

  • It’s quite amusing to watch how every team trots out a completely random – and significantly older – line-up when they face Wakefield and his knuckleball. 65mph and it puts on quite a show. I don’t think Quentin really knew what he was looking at. :)
  • Omar Vizquel leading off second and dancing behind Wakefield like he was going to try to steal 3rd. Not only is the concept rather comical, it felt like we suddenly woke up in 1994.
  • Alexei Ramirez continues to be *on fire*. He (and Paul Konerko) are probably the two position players on the ChiSox that really deserve significant all-star consideration.
  • Chris Sale, coming out of the bullpen for another 1 1/3 inning of relief. He keeps this up, Matt Thornton’s going to get booted out of his set-up man job, too.
  • Santos, for the win. A mildly-dramatic fly-out to Lillibridge in RF (man, the two of them make quite a pair), a non-dramatic pop-up to Rios (hanging out in CF for a half-inning) and a strike ’em out swinging to end the game. A nice little 3 up, 3 down and a sweep of the Red Sox and the White Sox go home 5-5 for the road trip.
  • And, of course, what’s a game these days without something about Brent Lillibridge? Yesterday, he missed a HR over the monster by about 2 inches (and ended up with a single), and in the top of the 4th, the same thing, but at least he ended up with a double and an RBI for his troubles today, putting us on the board for the first time. However, the moment he (clearly) had been waiting for came at the top of the 6th when he SLAMMED one over the AAA sign and into the parking lot.

    It’s funny. For a back-up position-player, it really seemed like that HR was completely inevitable this series. He just had that air about him from the first time he stepped up to the plate at Fenway. And, it was a beauty.

I would like to draw your attention to the graphic at the top of this post (from the front page of chicagowhitesox.com). It made me grin when I saw it and it is definitely one thing that I’d like to file it under “awesome things you never could have predicted on opening day”.

Go (White) Sox!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized