Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Kids Can Play, and So Can the Subs! Game 161 Recap

Sox Win 6-3 and continue to deep fry the Twinkies' division championship hopes! (Yes those are deep fried Twinkies.)

I asked in the preview if Jon Garland could pitch better than he did in his last outing, and he responded with a resounding, "Hell Yeah!" Garland pitched 8.1 innings, giving up 3 runs (2 earned), all of which came on an error-aided, Michael Duddyer 9th inning 3-run homer. He was in total command, allowing only one baserunner past first base until the 9th inning, using his sinker like an anchor on a shoal.

To help Jon in the spoiler role, Ozzie threw out what Hawk would call his "dawn patrol" line-up, resting six of his regulars.One regular who played in the game, Tadahito Iguchi, contributed a long HR and 3 RBIs. Not-so-regulars Mack and Ryan Sweeney both had two hits

But the guy who stood out most to me was Ross Gload, Professional Hitter. He got the start at first base, was 3-5 and a HR away from the cycle. This guy just makes contact; compare his K rate per ABs to a few other White Sox hitters (not including today's game): Jim Thome, 1 K every 3.36 ABs; Paul Konerko, 1 K every 5.44 ABs, Rob Mackowiak, 1 K every 4.49 ABs; and Scott Podsednik, 1 K every 5.41 ABs. What's Ross Gload's K rate? 1 K every 10.5 ABs. (Spare me the sample size issues. Gload had, prior to today's game, 147 at-bats. That seems like a large enough sample to me. And if you're curious about his career K rate, in 485 at-bats or basically a season's worth, it's 1 K every 6.30 ABs, so it's still higher than the other guys mentioned.) He also runs hard, is a smart baserunner and can play just about anywhere on the field.

Hopefully Ozzie and Kenny Williams will think long and hard about making this guy the starting left fielder next season, or at least platooning him with Pablo Ozuna. He can possibly lead off, although his career OBP isn't spectacular for a lead off guy (.341), but I think the guys is coming into his own as a hitter and should warrant a look in spring training at least. And he certainly won't look at a million strike threes like a certain other lead-off hitter.

What more can be said about this game? 11 AM starts suck. Comcast Sportsnet rules. (This game wasn't supposed to be televised.) And Minnesota won't win the AL Central for at least one more day.

Awards Time--------------------------------

Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: I'm giving Ozzie a pass today even though Pods was in the line-up.

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: The use of the "dawn patrol" line-up. Ozzie's veterans thank him graciously, most notably AJ who could feel a bean ball headed his way after his antics at the end of Friday's game.

Play of the Game: I'd say it was Gooch's 2-run single in the 3rd that broke the game open for the Sox.

Big Ups of the Game: Gload, Mack, and Sweeney. And whoever was doing the bed-checks for the White Sox last night.

And My White Sox Co-Players of the Game are...

Jon Garland (9)

Tadahito Iguchi (9)

White Sox Record: 90-71, and they're part of the only division in baseball with three 90-win teams.

The "Penultimate" Game of the 2006 Season: Game 161 Preview

{Editor's Note: Realizing Jeeves is two timezones away, he might not be awake in time to post the preview due to some quality time at the Whiskey A-Go-Go, especially considering the game starts at 11:10 AM CST or 9:10 AM PST. And we all know those left-coasters don't rise before noon on the weekends!}
Jon Garland (R, 17-7, 4.61) for the Chitown Spoilers
Matt Garza (R, 3-5, 5.32) for the Hostess Twinkies
Spoiler it is. Can Jon improve upon his last outing? It would be kinda hard not to, considering he gave up 12 runs (8 earned) in 5.1 innings.

I hear Twinkies fans have latched onto the "Piranhas" label Ozzie gave some of their players and turned it into a t-shirt. They even have a website, although it looks nothing like the one on Ebay (the pic to the left). I hope Ozzie gets a cut for his testimonial.

Since I'm not a quitter, I'll submit a Pick to Click even though I'm The Grand Pick Master (Jeeves' words, not mine!)...I'm gonna take Jim Thome today (or whomever the DH is).

There's still a battle for 2nd place in the race, so drop the Picks or any other comment on this 2006 season in the comments.

Friday, September 29, 2006

So Far So Good: Game 160 Thoughts

Sox hold on for a 4-3 win!

-All the Sox have left now is screwing over the Twins; so far so good! The Tigers can send us a thank you card for slowing the Twins down while their implosion continues. The Motor City Kitties lost their third straight game, and at the rate they're going, we'll have to sweep the Twins to stop them from winning their fourth division crown in five years.

-Ozzie clearly wants to stick it to the Twins. He went with a veteran heavy lineup, and it paid off today. I'm glad that he is playing the vets against the Twins, at least. I wanted the young guys to get some action once we had been eliminated, but nothing would make me happier than seeing the Twins lose the division, well nothing outside of the Sox miraculously making the playoffs.

-The Sox offense was marvelous, but they didn't completely embarass themselves against Boof. Dye and Cintron hit solo shots; Dye's should have been a two-run jack, but Pods decided to let himself get picked off.

-Jerry Owens got the start in center. I would applaud Ozzie if he had the cojones to put him in left and BA at center, but that would never happen. It doesn't look as if that's possible tomorrow either, because Jerry Owens left with strained toes after scoring in the fourth. That's right, strained toes. Weirdest injury in ChiTown, since Sosa threw his back out sneezing, perhaps. If I was Owens I would have lied and just said my foot hurt rather than specifying that it was my toes.

-Oh yeah, by the way, AJ got his first SB of the year today. I feel that such an unusual event as this, deserves its own bullet point.

-I really don't know what to make of Freddy. he was damn good again. He went 7 1/3 giving up only 5 hits and 1 run. He absolutely breezed through the first six innings; he only threw 57 pitches. Here's the question everyone should be asking themselves...if we bring back Freddy next year, will we get the dominant September or the maddingly ineffective, smoke-potting, batting practice fastball Freddy of the first 5 months. That's one storline we'll be following this summer.

-Oh Bobby, what's wrong? He almost gave this game away. I really hope he's just tired and not hiding an injury. He gave up two runs and three hits, but did manage to strikeout 3 guys on his way to a nail biting save.

-One thing of note, while we're sabotaging the Twins division hopes, I wonder if we'll sabotage Mauer's hold on the batting title. He went 0-4 dropping him to a paltry .346 (sarcasm detectors should have just exploded). Jeter and Cano are at .341 and .342 respectively.

Onto the awards..........................

Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: Overmanaging the bullpen, surprise, surprise. He brought in Thorton to face a lefty, and then MacDougal to face a righty. Save one of them for tomorrow, Oswaldo!

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: Giving Jerry Owens some PT. I like it, I just wish it was in left.

Plays of the Game: 1. AJ's run scoring single in the ninth. If we don't score that run we go to extras.
2. Bobby striking out Nevin with the bases juiced.

Big Ups of the Game: To Dye and Cintron for their blasts and Thornton and Macdougal

Sox Player of the Game

Freddy Garcia - 4

Sox Record: 89-71

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Chance #1 to Screw the Twins: Game 160 Preview

Freddy Garcia 16-9, 4.65 for the Spoilers


Boof Bonser 7-5, 4.15 for the Twinks

All the Sox have left to play for is pride, and sticking it to the Twins. A win today would spare them the shame of losing to a guy named Boof.

I'm going with the first basemen as my Pick to Click.

The Buehrle Bile File Final Post for 2006

The Buehrle Bile File was hoping to go out with a bang, but since the White Sox and Mark Buehrle have decided to skip his turn in the rotation because of today's off day, we'll tearfully say goodbye on the slowest newsday of the season.

Goodbye, Ozzie Guillen. Thanks for all the games manned by a centerfielder named Rob Mackowiak, all the sixth inning meltdowns by starters who lost it, and that bastion of speed, Scotty Pods.

Goodbye, Joey Cora. Your greased wheel of an arm will be missed, especially when I need my car windows cleaned of the snow this winter.

Goodbye, Harold Baines. Let me offer you some reading for the offseason, Speaking for Dummies .

Goodbye, Don Cooper. Maybe it's time to replenish that magic potion you brew up in the off-season. Who knew Matt Thornton would use it all up?

Goodbye, Greg Walker. And don't worry, Juan Uribe can now ignore you from afar.

Goodbye, Kenny Williams. After this season's attendance, those seats really are painted with greenbacks. Maybe Barry Zito or Miguel Tejada (update 10/1/06: name redacted for reasons Jason Grimsley could speak freely about) would like to check them out.

Goodbye, Jerry Reinsdorf. We'll see you in June when the Bulls win their 7th championship!

Goodbye, Count. Can you import some Cubans to pass out amongst your friends, including some of those pitchers from your homeland?

Goodbye, Jon Garland. Don't go all Laguna Beach on us this offseason. Better yet, please bring me Christin Cavalleri, if you can.

Goodbye, Javy Vazquez. Here's hoping you don't have nightmares involving the number 6.

Goodbye, Freddy Garcia. May it be a banner agricultural year for your crops.

Goodbye, Neal Cotts. And don't forget you can always find work as a shoe-shine boy if this pitching thing doesn't work out.

Goodbye, Bobby Jenks. I hope we see more of your pitching and less of your girth next season. Maybe all the free McDonalds wasn't such a good idea.

Goodbye, Mike MacDougal and Matt Thornton. Don't forget the address of US Cellular Field next season. We'll need you.

Goodbye, David Riske, Dustin Hermanson, Charlie Haeger, Boone Logan, and Sean Tracey. Practice your poker faces this offseason. KW is the best bluffer on earth.

Goodbye, B-Mac. And welcome to the rotation.

Goodbye, Jimbo's Lounge. Over the lawyers, thru the court runs, look out eviction, here we come!

Goodbye, Paulie. And don't take the speed thing too seriously. I mean, GIDPs are overrated, right?

Goodbye, Jim Thome. Don't worry about it, going soft happens to every guy once in a while.

Goodbye, Juan Uribe. And say hello for me to your new best friend, Neifi Perez.

Goodbye, Joe Crede & Jermaine Dye. The two classiest acts on the team this season.

Goodbye Ross Gload. Are you and Baines-y neighbors?

Goodbye, Brian Anderson. Hope you get a nice tan in Caracaus. Just stay out of Ozzie's turnip garden.

Goodbye, Absolut Mackozuna. Wasn't as easy as it looked, huh?

Goodbye, Tadahito. Maybe now you can catch up on some sleep this offseason, since sleepwalking was your biggest contribution this year.

Goodbye, AJ. And don't forget to duck.

A special goodbye to Scotty Pods. Say hi to Lisa for me while searching for your balls. We'll always have October 2005.

Goodbye, Jeeves. Make sure you check the mail for my care package of Chaser, sunscreen and powdered soy-milk. Oh, and stay away from the spinach. I hear it'll give you a tummy ache.

Goodbye, DickdaStick. We'll forever have that Sunday afternoon in September. Wait, no we won't. You didn't make it to the Cell that day.

Goodbye, Pander, DT Kelly, Fornelli, etc. And thanks for all the good banter, good banter, good banter.

And last but not least, goodbye, Mark Buehrle. We here at the Buehrle Bile File hope that when hunting, the ducks in the sky are as plentiful as the homeruns you gave up, that your blood-alcohol level remains below your ERA, and that your ATV speed is quicker than your fastball was. We hope your Christmas is as happy as the hitters seeing your high change-up, your Halloween is as scary as your win-loss record, and your Thanksgiving is as joyous as Mark Teahan facing your cutter. You're our inspiration, Mark, and the season would have been unbearable without you. Well, it was unbearable with you, but I quibble.

Will the Buehrle Bile File be back next season? Did Bill Clinton have sexual relations with that intern? If Mark is back, your favorite gastro-intestinal prose will return also.

The Biler is out like IOU sweaters!

Hope For Next Year and Beyond?

White Sox Win 2-1 in 8 innings.

No Dr. Seuss-inspired poetry tonight, unless you consider the excellent young pitching to be art, but seriously...

Now that's more like it. That's the Brandon McCarthy we all expected to see this season. That's the Charlie Haeger we're hoping to see more of in '07 & '08. The two pitchers combined to throw eight innings of one run, ten strikeout, one walk baseball in Cleveland tonight.

The pitching staff's high expectations flew out the window long ago, and I'm really surprised Ozzie and Coop didn't attempt this move earlier when B-Mac clearly wasn't cutting it in the bullpen and Mark Buehrle clearly wasn't pitching well as a starter. B-Mac's lone mistake was a Andy Marte homer that came when he was obviously tiring, Haeger picking up the slack. If this move is implemented a month ago, we may be talking about a three team race for the AL Central.

But let's look forward. One or possibly two of the current starters could be gone next year via trade (Javy Vazquez, Freddy Garcia) or buy-out (Mark Buehrle), and Brandon McCarthy will have every opportunity to take one of those spots. He'll have the opportunity to stretch out his arm and shoulder muscles in spring training so he can just right in.

Haeger is the mystery. The good: knucklers eat up innings; the bad: knucklers are extremely inconsistent. He'll no doubt be the first option out of AAA next year if he doesn't make the bullpen in an '06 B-Mac like role. But does the organization trust him? Rookie pitchers are not exactly a proven commodity (just ask the Cubs), and Ozzie and KW like vets in the starting rotation. We'll keep you posted.

Awards Time--------------------

Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: Ozzie must not like to be around Pods as much as we hate to see him in LF, cuz he keeps sending him out of the dugout and away from his own personal space.

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: Playing the youngsters.

Plays of the Game: See, Ozzie, if you had only listened to the fans, you would have known that Mack is a better corner OF than CF. He made a spectacular leaping catch up against the wall in RF. Chris Stewart, meet Grady Sizemore, or better yet, waive goodbye to him, two times.

Big Ups of the Game: Ross Gload = Professional Hitter! Jerry Owens (first MLB hits and SB), Charlie Haegar

And My (and I'm assuming DickdaStick's) White Sox Player of the Game is.............

Brandon McCarthy (3)

White Sox Record: 88-71

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wavin' A White Flag: 158 Thoughts

Sox tank it and lose 0-6

-I watched the game and am ashamed...

The Sox gave up, they didn't even fight
A run for us wasn't even in sight.
We managed for hits
But really that was it.
We hardly threatened to score
We could only muster hits in a total of four.
Ozuna, Konerko, Alomar, and Anderson managed hits,
But the production of the offense was the pits.

Vazquez was decent at the same time sucked,
He cruised through most innings, but some were what the f***.
He struck out twelve but he gave up six.
Seeing that scoreline, makes me feel sick.
12 K's is a bit of solace,
But I hate that we've fallen out of the Wild Card Race.

We k'd 11 times,
We made C.C. look divine.
It seems like we hardly tried,
The difference between us and the playoff teams is quite the divide.

Against Cleveland, the Sox have lost two straight,
McCarthy is going to start let's hope he breaks this straight.
Becuase a sweep at the hands of the Indians would suck,
I know the season's over but still, I give a f***.

I want to see the Sox do well,
But I'm in California, so oh, what the hell.
I don't expect much, because this season's been a waste,
But don't decide 2007 resutls in haste.

We have the core to compete, next season, and win,
And I hope my heart isn't broken again.
Hopefully we'll beat those damn Twins,
And stop them on their way to a division win.
Because we've got nothing left to cheer for,
Other than screwing the Twins our of a division crown!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Game 158 Preview

Javier Vazquez 11-10, 4.66 for the Sox


C.C. Sabathia 11-11, 3.36 for the Politically Incorrect Monkers of Cleveland

My only interests in this game are seeing if Javy continues to pitch well and seeing some young guns get some playing time.

James took Paulie
I'm taking JD

Make those picks here, time's running out.

(Sidebars will be updated following today's game)

Monday, September 25, 2006

A Resounding End to The Playoff Hunt: Game 157 Thoughts

Sox get murdered 1-14

So yes, I realize that harldy anyone had any real hopes that the Sox would still make the playoffs, but today's loss (plus the Twins' win) officially ends the Sox' hopes for making the playoffs. No matter how hard you twist the numbers the Sox are D-U-N.

Oh boy, was this a way to go out. I fully expected the Sox to remain competitive down the stretch. I thought with the pressure of making the playoffs removed the Sox would get back to playing solid baseball, but I was wrong. Either I was wrong or I jinxed the Sox big time, because today they bounced out of the playoffs in an impressive fashion with their worst loss of the season.

So just about every aspect of the Sox' game sputtered today...offense, defense and pitching.

The pitching was bad, even with our "ace" on the mound. A week ago I wouldn't have used the "" but Jonnie boy has been far from our ace the past few times through the rotation. Garland is 0-3 with an 8.00 ERA in his last three starts. He started with a Buehrle like performance, giving up 4 runs in the first, and ended with a Javy like performance in the sixth giving up a BIG crooked number. Boone Logan continues to suck. All the potential we saw in spring training has been replaced in my mind with his absolute suckiness. Boone gave up a pair of runs plus two inherited runs.

The offense did one thing properly all day. They scored a first inning run; after that bupkus. 5 hits, 3 BB's, and 9 LOB. You can thank Thome for the one RBI.

The defense was bad as well, but what was shocking was it wasn't the usual suspects. The Chi Sox' blogging world's favorite CF, Brian Anderson had an error in the fifth, which was followed by a Juan Uribe. Public enemy number one, AJ Pierzynski also had an error.

For the most part, I've enjoyed this season, but efforts like this bother me a lot. 14-1, is absolutely pitiful. That's Tampa Bay Devil Ray bad. That's Oakland A's in the first half bad. That's a flub-tastic performance. I say play the youngins! The Sox regulars are floundering, and there's no purpose now to having them play. We can't even pretend the Sox have a chance at the playoffs now, so just play the damn kids. I know BA is going to be benched because of his error, so hopefully we'll at least see Sweeney.

And the academy award for worst performance of the month

The Chicago White Sox

Game 157 Preview

Jon Garland 17-6, 4.37 for the Good Guys


Cliff Lee 12-11, 4.58 for Drew Carey's team

The Sox kiss The Cell goodbye until '07.

Can the Sox keep up their 2 game win streak? Honestly I say yes, just for the fact that there's no pressure on them at the moment. The bats have been hot of late so that means odds of your pick clicking increase. So make those picks, your chances are running out.

Dickie's got Paulie
I'm going with The Emperor

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish: A Douglas Adams Review of Game 156

White Sox win 12-7 and (barring a miracle) bid adieu to U.S. Cellular field for 2006.

As the 2006 home season goes the way of the dinosaurs, blood-letting and car-phones the size of small countries, the home team gives the home patrons love, honor and one last victory on the pitch.

(To completely plagarize) I'm Ford Prefect from the planet Betelgeuse Seven, and I'll take you thru yesterday's match using my Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy boxscore and match results. For those uninitiated ones, I'm an alien living in the land of the Brits, and my towel is at your beck and call.

Your match started plainly enough with much ado about nothing until the yound lad, Brian Anderson, smashed a ball to the patron-seating section just outside the field of play.

(During my first 15 years of existence on this planet in the land of fish-n-chips, this game of baseball you play has taken on curious manifestations. One, called 'Cricket', is played world-wide in countries both more and less populous than your United States, but with much less fanfare. Strangley enough, the origins of this game seem to recalled in the cinematic feature, 2001: A Space Odyessy, where a group of primates use primative battering items such as sticks to fend off a gigantic black monolith. In an odd bit of irony, the musical group The Who would detail a kinder, gentler monolith on the outer sheath of its record, Who's Next. But I digress...)

The mostly harmless Jim Thome would later drive in a run during that same inning, as you call it, of play, and the rout was on.

All in all, six participants for the players residing in the hamlet of Chicago collected rbis including 4 for Juan Uribe on a grand slam (who doesn't seem to understand the spoke language and might think of investing in a babel-fish, but has a curious body interaction with one character called Dye where they grab hands and shake all over like they just finished drinking a Galactic Brainbuster), and 4 for one Paul Konerko (who thought he'd give the spectators a special treat by delivering two balls to confines outside the playing field.

The men who marshalled the game, or as you call them, the starting pitchers (wouldn't throwers be a more appropriate name for their position?) wouldn't finish the game as Frederico Garcia seemed to be summonded by Trillian in all her womanly wiles somewhere under the environs of the place most of the players sat. (Now Trillian is NOT mostly harmless.) The opposing team's starting pitcher, Ryan Feierabend, is actually a distant cousin of Zaphod Beeblebrox's which would explain the White Sox ability to hit the snot outta the ball he pitched.

To summerize, the baseball game on this US Cellular Field in this hamlet of Chicago, Illinois, in this country of the United States of America, on this planet Earth in this galaxy called the Milky Way was quite an entertaining show. In fact the delegation of Intergalactic Space Travellers has called an emergency meeting to discuss the merits of this game, and whether or not Earth should be bulldozed by the Vogon Space Moving Corporation to make room for a new ultra-modern space highway. Maybe they can save this one space on earth and the dolphins can eat their fish elsewhere. My depressed but quasi-intellegent robot, Marvin, wishes the White Sox well this off-season.

Awards Time-------------------------

Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: His name is Neal Cotts. (His resemblence to Arthur Dent is astounding. And they have more in comman than that. Dent masquarades as an actor; Cotts masquarades as a pitcher.)

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: I found Scott Podsednik stowed away on my spaceship, Heart of Gold. Ozzie Guillen is a genius. Slartibastfast will love meeting Pods; he has a thing for fjords.

Plays of the Game: I'm gonna point out two consecutive plays (and no, they're not the back-to-back homeruns)...Josh Fields takes a bases-loaded walk which would give Juan Uribe a chance to use his always-apparent homerun swing to hit a grand slam putting the game outta reach. (The hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional race on the planet Earth, mice, found Juan's trot to be the second answer to the Ultimate Question of Life -- the first answer being 42 -- and hence the injunction of the destruction of Earth.)

Big Ups of the Game: To celebrate, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is having happy-hour in these players names: Juan Uribe, Jermaine Dye, Brian Anderson, Joe Crede (30 HRs!) and Freddy Garcia.

And my White Sox Player of the Game (or your new President of the Galaxy) is...

Paul Konerko (12)

Don't Panic: Sox Record 87-69

PS: My Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy just updated again. Now under the entry 'Earth' it says, "Mostly Harmless. (And try the brawts at US Cellular Field. They're to die for.)"

Finishing Kick: Game 156 Thoughts

Sox win 12-7

-The wireless in the dorm is on the fritz, so I'll have to take a look at it in the morning.

-The Sox bucked a couple trends tonight. They somehow rocked a rookie lefty, Ryan Feierabend. The only reason I took the time to spell his name correctly is because his name has 3 vowels in a row and a run of 4 vowels in 5 letters and 5 vowels in 7 letters. If only the Sox could have put on a winning streak like that a couple weeks earlier.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Tiny Ray of Hope: Game 156 Preview

Freddy Garcia (R, 15-9, 4.63) for the teasing White Sox
Ryan Feierabend (L, 0-0, 0.00) for Ichiro's Bitches
So here is where we stand...

American League Wild Card Standings
W L GB Left
Minnesota (3) 91 63 -- 8
Chi White Sox 86 69 5.5 7
LA Angels 83 71 8.0 8

I'm already tabulating this as a loss. Why, you ask? Any White Sox fan will look at the particulars and realize that history is against us. A rookie left-handed pitcher making his first career start. Umm, need I say more? The Sox are 30-32 versus lefty starters this season, and while I can't find the stats versus rookie pitchers, all White Sox fans know that when a Sox team faces a pitcher for the first time, they fare, well, let's just say, poorly.

And this will make it worse. The Twins magic number is 3. If we would have won the first two games against Seattle, the Twins magic number would have been 5 (I think) after their two losses to Baltimore, and the Sox would have been the masters of their own destiny.

As it stands, we have to rely upon the Kansas City Royals. We need help. And as one of the more hated teams in all of baseball, I doubt KC will give a shit.

So let's see if Freddy can keep his hot streak alive. He's allowed 4 baserunners, and only 2 hits in his last 16 innings pitched, including two consecutive shutouts. If there was ever a big game for Big Game Freddy, this is it.

My Pick to Click is Jim Thome to stay hot.

The race is on. Let's see the PtCs in the comments.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Buehrle Bile File Says, "I Wonder If Mark Did a Tarp Slide." Game 155 Recap

Sox win a rain-soaked affair: 11-7! (Only their second win in their last nine games.)

In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that I stopped watching once the rain delay started, and so I didn't see most of the comeback. In the midst of dull afternoon chores and contemplating how consistently bad Mark Buerhrle has pitched, I was actually alerted about the comeback by the unquenchable spirit that is my father. Of course he is the reason for my love of the White Sox, so I dropped the All-tempa-Cheer and immediately joined him to finish watching the oddity that is a big White Sox comeback. (No, this isn't a treatise on the bonding of men and boys over baseball; the above is incase my recap sounds uninformed.)

Quickie recap...
  • Mark Buehrle still sucks. But at least he's consistent. Two first inning runs, including a homerun to Adrain Beltre were all I needed to see to know he was pitching like the good ol' bile-tastic pitcher that he is. In all he surrendered all seven runs the Mariners would score in 4.2 innings.
  • An eleven run outburst by the offense was highlighted by Thome and Paulie homers, and Ryan Sweeney with a clutch two out, two rbi sigle in the eighth inning.
  • Finally, relief pitching that works! Either Charlie Haeger is a magician, or the Mariners left all their bats on the Cell's rainy field only to get waterlogged. Oh, no, that's just his knuckleball. Bobby Jenks threw more hooks than a one-armed pirate at crochet convention.
  • I don't know if there's a correlation here, but Ross Gload started in LF and was the lead off hitter while Juan Uribe batted second in the line-up.
  • Jermaine Dye was pulled late in the game after stumbling outta the batter's box. I don't know the extent of his injury, but he doesn't have to take another swing this season as far as I'm concerned.
Awards Time---------------------------------------

Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: Not STARTING Charlie Haegar in the first place.

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: Fans have called for Gload (or Mack) leading off and in LF for the better part of half a season. With eight games left in the season, Ozzie finally listens. (I guess Pods reached his incentive clause.)

Play of the Game: Paul Konerko's launch job in the eighth gave the fans a reason to stand up and cheer!

Big Ups of the Game: The 3-4-5 hitters finally put it together for game with a combined eight rbis.

And my White Sox Player of the Game is....

Charlie Haeger (1)...the knuckler was a pitcher today, not a parlor show.

Sox Record: 86-69
The Buehrle Bile File Says...

Southpaws are always a curious bunch. Eccentric, mysterious and just plain backwards, left-handed people are said to be more creative and more artistic than the average person. Left-handed people were given a bad rap in earlier times, and there are negative connotations to the word "left" such as being called a "leftist" which originally meant to be a radical. In ancient oriental cultures almost all people were right-handed because instead of using toilet paper to wipe their asses, they used their left hands.

In baseball, however, left-handed pitchers are a luxury. Since lefty hitters are generally considered better hitters than righties, teams need to counter their dominance my using the tried-and-true method of the lefty on lefty matchup, and usually a left handed pitcher has either a nasty slider or curveball he can throw away from a lefty hitter especially if he's throwing side-arm or across his body. Just about every team employs a LOOGY (Lefty One Out GuY), and it's an embarrassment of riches to have more than one lefty in a bullpen.

Lefty starters can pitch forever; think Jamie Moyer (43 years old), Kenny Rogers (41), Randy Johnson (43), and Tom Glavine (40). It can be debated but lefty starters have had some of the more dominant careers; think Sandy Koufax and Johan Santana.

Which brings me to Mark Buehrle, the White Sox left-handed starter. All the stuff I said about lefties being eccentric, artistic, dominating just don't apply with with Mark. He's mediocre, has no slider to speak of, doesn't throw over 85 mph anymore, and can't get out of a game without giving up a first inning homerun. (Interesting stat brought up by the Fox broadcast today. Twelve of Mark's thirty-five homers given up have been jacked in the first inning. That's more than a third!)

But here's the curiosity about Mark: he's a tarp slider. A tarp slider is that rare bird who throws caution to the wind to relive his childhood slip-and-slide days at the expense of ruffling his general manager's feathers. Mark has joined that other rare bird, bullpen catcher Man Soo Lee, on many a tarp slide at the Cell giving rain-soaked fans something to cheer about. Tarp sliding is an idiotic and dangerous venture for any athlete as he can get injured or sick or maybe even -- gasp -- wet! It's also a ton of fun.

Right now, Mark Buehrle is not having a ton of fun. Were he back home hunting in the forests and fields of rural Missouri, he'd probably be downwind of an 8-point buck in a howling cross-wind while sitting on an ant hill all the while having diarrhea. If there were a fun-o-meter attached to Mark, it would register negative 435,673. I can't imagine his wife is very happy right now either. It's like the will is there, but the Viagra isn't working.

Everyone knows Kenny Williams told Mark Buehrle he could no longer be a tarp slider much to hisa dismay, and since that day, Mark has been a succubus of a pitcher. Much like the White Sox team themselves, Mark Buerhle lost the chip on his shoulder; he lost his edge. He lost that little something else that makes good better and better best.

Mark had a chacne to make all that suckiness go away today. He had a chance to silence his critics like the Biler by going out and blowing away the mediocrity that is the Seattle Mariners. Of course he failed. But then he had an even better opportunity to thumb his nose at KW and the establishment by saying fuck the world and tarp sliding again.

Some rules were made to be broken, and no level of fine should have stopped him from tarp sliding. He needs to search out his roots. He needs to get back to what makes this game fun. He needs to tarp slide again.

Shame on you, Mark, for forgetting who you are and where you come from. Now go home this off-season, buy an acre's worth of plastic and a sprinkler and work on your tarp sliding. White Sox fans deserve the best outta our players, and you were the best tarp slider ever. Stop snobbing it up like Ricky Vaughn and become the Wild Thing again. Find the California penal league, fight the power, save the whales!

Tarp slide, you lefty bastard, tarp slide!

Biler Out!

The Buehrle Bile File Asks, "Will He Be Back?" Game 155 Preview?

Mark "Bad Year" Buehrle (L, 12-13, 4.79) for our 2005 HEROS
'King" Felix Hernandez (R, 11-14, 4.68) for the Pacific Northwest Water Pilots

The Buehrle Bile File says...

The Mark Buehrle Drinking Song...

"Show me the way to go home.
I'm tired and I wanna go to bed.
I had a little drink about an hour ago
And it's gone right to my head.
Wherever we may roam,
Be it land or at sea or at home,
You can always hear me singing a song.
Show me the way to go home."
(Without a shirt.)

I'm not asking much, Mark, from you before you leave. Just don't give up a first inning homerun.

My Pick to Click....Juan Uribe (unless Absolut Cintron is there, then him instead.)

Drop you PtC in the comments fellas and felines.

Mediocrity Squared Beats the Sox: Game 154 Thoughts


So the season is winding down, and before tonight the White Sox had 9 games left and a glimmer of hope if the rest of the league would co-operate. One of the lowest franchises in MLB, one that had not one but four players in its recent past accused of harboring steroid abusers, the Baltimore Orioles received a kick in the pants when the fans bought tickets only to walk out in the 3rd inning.

I guess the players got the message cuz they've beaten one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Twinkies, two games in a row. The White Sox, however , did not get the message.

After scoring a run early on a Thome rbi single, the next inning Jose Contreras folded like hospital sheets in the morgue. And to add insult to injury, literally, he came up lame on a play at first for the second straight game. Now I'm not one to judge (biggest.lie.ever), but the Count looked to faking it to me. He looked like he wanted his season over right then and there, and would be hoping the Sox brass would send him home a la Derrick Lee. He surrendered 5 runs. FIVE RUNS! And that, my friends, is a season.

Ozzie may have managed like there was hope, he used at least six pitchers, but the players really didn't care. Sure they had moments. JD slid for a hit in RF to cut off a ball from going to the wall, but he's the exception.

Starting tomorrow, "the kids can play" better be the rally cry, and no less than four of the call-ups should be in the line up. If Josh Fields, Ryan Sweeney, Jerry Owens and Chris Stewart aren't in the line up, then the delusional will be reality.

Awards Time--------------------------------------

Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: Joe Crede: Professional Pinch Hitter! Yeah, Joe is hurting and it's quite obvious. The only solace is that there were two outs when he hit into the FC so it wouldn't be another DP.

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: Josh Fields started, and at least Ozzie managed his pitchers like there was a chance. No quit in Ozzie!

Play of the Game: I'm gonna say it was over when Sexson hit the snot outta the ball almost onto the concourse.

Big Ups of the Game: Thome for getting an rbi! JD for having pride. And Hermy for being a trooper.

And my White Sox Player of the Game is......

Juan Uribe (6)....and he had a cute little funky handshake with Jon Garland I'd never seen before.

Sox Record: 85-69...Don't bother asking.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Game 154 Preview

Jose Contreras (R, 13-8, 4.08) for the 3rd place White Sox
Gil Meche (R, 11-8, 4.64) for the Seattle Mariners

Depending on who plays tonight, let's see if Ozzie's postgame tirade has any effect on this team, or if they've tuned him out for this season. This is pride time, and the Sox should be ashamed of last night's effort.
Here's hoping they finish with a flurish.

My PtC...........whoever is playing 1st base be it Paulie or Gload

Drop your picks to click in the comments. Only nine games left in the season.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sox Wave a White Flag: Game 153 Thoughts

Sox suck up a storm and lose 0-9

-There was one and only one bright spot for the Sox today, and that was Javier Vazquez. In all he was responsible for 3 runs, but he pitched far better than that statline would indicate. He pitched a brilliant 7 innings. In those first 7 innings he struck out 11 batters and only gave up 5 hits. He let up 1 ER on a mistake to Raul Ibanez, which was turned into a solo shot. Javy was truly dealing, but had a pretty high pitch count going into the 8th. I figured Ozzie would call a reliever, because we looked like we had no intention of winning this game, but he trotted out Javy and the inning got ugly. Javy struck out one more and ended up giving up 2 more ER to go along with 4 unearned runs.

-That was the one positive of the game, the rest was ugly, putrid, disgusting, barf-esque, whatever you want to call it. So instead of my tradional recap, I'm just going to roll right into an angry rant.

-I realize the Sox were for practical matters out of the playoffs, but by no means should they roll over and dye, sorry force of habit, die. The Sox suddenly turned into the Flubs from the north and stopped giving a damn. I don't care if you're in the playoff race or not, but you play with/for pride. There was a packed stadium today, and every single fan deserves their money back. Those are paying customer looking to see a baseball game, not to watch a bunch of millionaires roll over and take it up the rear. The Sox were piss poor and the lack of effort and execution makes me mad. I can live with losing, hell I grew up with constant losing watching these guys, but when it looks like the team isn't trying, I draw the line.

At the start of the game, I thought the Sox were going to bring it. Ozzie put out an everyday lineup. I personally wanted to see a lot of youngsters, a Sunday lineup to the extreme, but I was okay with the veteran heavy lineup. I figured the Sox were going to try and make a game of it. Oh man, was I ever wrong. The Sox brought nothing to the table, absolutely nothing. The defense was right out of a blooper reel. Juan Uribe lsoing a pop up in the wind and crashing into Crede, allowing a runner to score. Paulie throwing wide to second on an easy DP (which would have stopped the ugly 3 spot in the eighth). I still don't know why Juan didn't tag the runner, since it was obvious he wasn't on the bag.

The Sox offense managed 5 hits, which is respectable if you're facing the likes of Kofax or Gibson, but no they were facing Woods. No, read carefully I'm not even talking Kerry Wood, or Tiger Woods (wrong sport, bud) but I'm talking about Jake Wood. Oh, you've never heard of Jake Wood? Well, I'm not surprised. He's been used primarily as a reliever in the past, but he shut us down. You know why? Because he's a journeyman lefty, who we haven't seen much of, which is a great formula to beat the Sox. (Funny thing is, when I was writing the game preview I wrote Jake Wood, but had to double check on the Internet to see if Jake was infact his first name, that's how big of a nobody he is.) Not only did we make ol' Wood over there look as dominant has Eldrick, but we made Joel Pineiro, he of the 6.20 ERA look like an ace reliever. He pitched 2 perfect innings. If the Sox hitters aren't going to try, why not put the young guns in? They'll benefit much more from this than our ailing veterans.

The bullpen was pitiful. I don't even have the energy to call them out. All I can say is Boone has some problems in the head, because he has the tools to be a good reliever, and David Riske gave up a grand slam. In the ninth, DJ mentioned how he would like the Sox to put up 6 runs in the bottom half for the win, and then Hawk piped in how he would like 8 runs. Apparently a one run victory isn't enough for the lovable, senile one. The funny thing is, after our 'pen finished their work (which consists of giving up copious amounts of runs) those 8 runs wouldn't have even been enough for the victory.

For those of you who haven't read my site that much, I'm never this bitter. I'm usually quite the opposite, unduly optimistic. Even when we were emotionally knocked out of the playoffs, yesterday, I wasn't overly upset. (I guess I had been coming to terms with it over the past month). Today's lack of effort just irritated me. All I'm asking from my Sox, from here on out, is to play hard. Take down the white flag and show some of that fire from last year.

Again I'm passing on awards and player of the game. It'll be reinstituted once the Sox put up a proper display of baseball.

PS - Feel better Pablo. You were the only player not name Javy to bring something.

Pablo got beaned on the head in the third inning.

Sox Record: 85-68

Game 153 Preview

Jake Woods 5-3, 4.19 for the Mariners


Javier Vazquez 11-9, 4.70 for the ChiSox

I know, it doesn't seem like there's any reason to watch the games now that the Sox have all been but eliminated from the post-season, but there are still some storylines to watch...

-Will the youngsters play?
-Who takes advantage of this open audition to position themselves for next year? I'm looking in your direction Freddy.
-Who raises their trade value?
-Do the Sox completely flop after a deflation loss or do they fight on?
-Will we ruin the Twins' shot at the divison crown?

So for tonight's game, I'm curious to see which of our young guns are going to play. I would like to see Fields at third (with Crede on the bench or the DL), BA in CF (with Mack on the bench), Sweeney in LF (with Pods in the National League), and Gload at 1b. I wouldn't mind seeing Stewart in there, because he's such an unknown commodity, and when we go to the pen I'd like to see Boone and Tracey get some action.
Tonight will also be interesting to see how Javy pitches. Will he continue on the path toward respectablity or will he return to his infuriating ways?

My pick to click will be made closer to game time, once I know the lineups.
DickDaStick is going with JD.
DT is going with SouthPaw, but I'm unsure whether that's Thome, AJ, or Pods.

Make those picks here! And DT, let me know who you were referring to!

An Example of Why Ozzie Drives Me Insane

"Sweeney will give me the same, almost similar, defense from what I see (from Anderson), and he'll give me a better opportunity offensively"

Ozzie said this prior to last night's game.

I cannot fathom why Ozzie hates BA so much. It makes NO sense. We all know Anderson is a better fielder, much better fielder, and for that reason alone he should be starting. Not to mention the fact that he's batting .270+ since June 11. I could understand this if Sweeney was setting the world on fire, offensively. I guess he did, for a game, when he went 2-3. I guess Ozzie has been so wowed by that performance he's failed to notice that Sweeney has gone 0-11 since then and is exactly at the Mendoza Line.

-Small aside, but how would you feel if you were always associated with futility, like Mendoza. I mean, it's kinda of a neat thing to have everyone know your name, but it kinda stinks that your name marks the separation between absolute shit and crap.-

I think all Sox fans, well most, would agree that the best thing for us would be to play BA in CF and Sweeney in LF.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Microcosm of the Season: Game 152 Thoughts

Sox lose 2-6

-This was a game I have seen many times before. I have seen this type of performance far too often this season. Nearly everything reminded me of something bad from this season.

-Today: Sox manage only 2 runs.
Season: I hate to say I told you so, but the Sox put up another stinker offensively after a good performance. The first half wasn't as bad, but throughout the second half the Sox lacked the ability to put together two strong offensive performances. For every 10 run outburst, a 1 run showing undoubtedly would show. Yesterday they score 7, today 2. Awfully predictable; at this point it's like the tide rolling in or a celebrity marriage hitting the rocks.

-Today: Sox' starter looks alternately good and bad. At times Garland looked like our ace, but at other times he couldn't help but leave a ball hanging over the plate. 5 runs isn't terrible, but it's by no means good.
Season: The Sox starters have been ridiculously inconsistent. Not one pitcher performed well for the whole season. Jose started on fire, then sucked for a long stretch, and then was mediocre thereafter. Garland follwed Jose's performance but did it backwards. Freddy has turned it on as of late, maybe it's too cold for him to grow weed now. Javy, well, yes he has the 6th inning phobia to take care of. See the Bile File for notes on Buehrle.

-Today: The 'pen struggles.
Season: The 'pen struggles.

-Today: Pods starts, as does Sweeney. Thornton comes on, to only face a lefty. Neal Cotts gets an inning of work.
Season: I loved Ozzie the player, and I loved Ozzie the manager (at least last year's version). But I can't stand Ozzie's stubborness with his lineup. Whether it be continually playing Mack over BA in CF instead of over Nudnik in LF or sticking with Cliff Politte, Neal Cotts, and BMac in situations they weren't suited for, or using Matt Thornton as a LOOGY even though he's one of our top relievers, Ozzie has driven me insane with all the lineup changes he has made and hasn't made.

-Today: 3 GIDP's (all for Crede by the way), Pods leads off with a double and doesn't score.
Season: The Sox seemingly lost the ability to play Ozzieball or smallball or wahtever the hell you want to call it. The Sox somehow forgot how to move runners over and bring in those runners from third. Last year, anytime Pods leads off with a double, Gooch moves him over and he gets driven in. This year, I've seen leadoff triples get stranded in back to back games. I've seen bunts go over the backstop, but I've rarely seen the crisp execution we showed off last year.

-This game itself doesn't warrant a proper recap outside of what I've written to this point. If you're really interested in what happened, here's the box score but you might as well scrounge up recaps of our recent losses, because tonight was nothing out of the ordinary.
Instead of a proper recap, I'm throwing in the towel. (No that's not me in that picture)

I like to think at this site we're unduly optimistic, but I think I've finally come to grips with the fact that the Sox are D-U-N, done. (I'll gladly eat my words, or a slice of humble pie, or my feet if they prove me wrong, but I'm no longer hoping against hope).

So stick a fork in our Sox, they're done. They've been done for ages, but I've held onto hope that they'd find the magic of last season. They've been done, apparently, since Ozzie bad-mouthed that writer for the Sun-Times. The '05 Sox will forever be known as a bunch of over-achievers. We saw career years from nobodies like Hermanson and Politte, we got almost exclusively timely hitting, we made one run leads hold up like the Great Wall. The '06 edition are a study of contrast. These Sox were mashers that were prone to long droughts. They didn't have the stellar pitching of last year, in fact you couldn't even call the pitching this year mediocre. The Sox currently rank 7th in the AL, but are a mere .05 from dropping all the way down to 10th. This year's squad was just a tease. They were a group that looked untouchable on paper, an improvement on last year's team, but as the old cliche goes the game ain't played on paper. It's a pity, because a World Series on paper would have been much nicer than this year's failure. Blame it on what you like...the Sox lacked heart, they lacked desire, they lacked the ability to pitch, but once reaching that watershed mark of 27 games over .500, it's been totally downhill. All Sox fans had high hopes for the year, but instead of a repeat championship we continue the rather embarassing tradition of never making the playoffs in consecutive years. So '06 Sox, it was an interesting ride, it was a roller coaster ride and it took 5 years off the tail end of my life, but it has been memorable.

This is all I can muster now; there will be some official and better send-off coming from me at a later date (maybe).

It's been a pleasure writing about the Sox this past season. Thank to James, DickdaStick, and Pander for helping me with the writing. Thanks to all those that have commented and read my site; I hope to see y'all back at it again come next season.
I will be continuing the blog throughout the off-season (and the end of this season); I haven't decided in what capacity. I reckon I'll write about the playoffs, but once the World Series ends, I'm unsure the direction the site will go. We'll see what happens.

So at this point all I have to look forward to is the PtC race, although I'm choking just as the Sox did. I must give props to Fornelli, he may be a ways behind in the standings, but his Click% is probably the highest of us all.

Sox Record: 85-67

Game 152 Preview

Jeremy Bonderman 12-8, 4.14 for the Motor City Kitties


Jon Garland 17-5, 4.30 for the ChiSox

This is do or die take 2 for the Sox. They need to win, and pray the Twinkies lose.

It's a good thing that the Sox have Garland on the hill, because of their tendency to put up a stinker offensively after having a good game.

Today will tell us if yesterday was a big tease or a sign of things to come.

I'm taking Mr. Anderson as my pick to click
DT is going with Mr. MVP, Jermaine Dye
Dick is taking Joe Clutch
James is hoping twice will be just as nice and is sticking with Gooch.

Make those picks to click here!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Glimmer of Hope or Just a Cruel Tease: Game 151 Thoughts

By George! The Sox win 7-0!

-The Sox won in impressive fashion today, but here's the question we have to ask. Is today's win a reason for renewed optimism for a run into the playoffs or just a blip in a long run of mediocrity? I can't answer that, because I reckon it depends on if you're an optimist or a pessimist (or a true Sox fan as some would say).

-The Optimist says 7 runs and more notably 4 home runs (1 each by Gooch, Dye, Thome, and AJ) marks the end of our offensive drought and our power outtage.
The Pessimist says this is old hat and expect the Sox to come up with bupkus offensively tomorrow. Just look at their current run.

-The Optimist says everyone got a hit except BA who walked and hit some hard balls.
The Pessimist says a hitless BA = Mackowiak in CF the next day.

-The Optimist says the starting pitching is coming around. Freddy went another 8 innings and once again only have up ONE hit! That's two starts, 16 innings, and two hits. In his previous 3 starts before tonight, he had a 2.95 ERA. Jose looks to have overcome his injury. Vazquez has been pitching much better as of late and Garland is our ace.
The Pessimist says two words: Mark Buehrle. All games are crucial at this point.

-The Optimist says Bobby Jenks looked strong, striking out 3 batters in an inning of work.
The Pessimist says Bobby (if he's even healthy) Mike Mac and Thornton need to take some days off. Calling for McCarthy (out of the 'pen), Riske and the rest of our Motley Crue gives me heart burn.

-The Optimist says we have another game with Detroit and 3 left with the Twins to help us catch up.
The Pessimist says we can expect one win, if we're lucky.

-Jeeves says...
Why do we own Justin Verlander? His average against teams not named the White Sox is in the .250's. Prior to tonight his BAA the Sox was .360.
I think AJ's grand slam is a harbinger not of doom, but a sign that the offense will perk up. I'm not sure if that will result in wins, but more offense can't hurt.
We scored 7, but still managed to leave 10 guys on base.
Freddy Garcia + Cutter/Splitter = demi-God. I am no longer certain if I want to chase him out of town next year in favor of McCarthy. He is a totally different pitcher with this new pitch. He's challenging Garland for Ace status right now.

Onto the Awards..................................
Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: There are no complaints from me, but then again he didn't have much of a chance to mess things up with Freddy only giving up 1 hit.

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: I like the lineup we had out there, and I like Jenks getting some work in a low leverage situation. I really didn't want to have to find out if he okay in a save situation.

Play of the Game: AJ's slam. It provided all the offense we needed.

Big Ups of the Game: To those who homered and to Paulie and Cintron for having multi hit games.

Sox PLayer of the Game

Freddy Garcia (3)

Sox Record: 85-66

Game 151 Preview

Justin Verlander 16-8, 3.42 for the Motor City Kitties


Freddy Garcia 14-9, 4.82 for the Good Guys who're playing like Bad Guys

The Sox have hit Verlander about .100 higher than the rest of the AL, so hopefully that continues.
Freddy Garcia nearly pitched a perfect game last time around, so hopefully he'll repeat his performance.
The Sox have shown very little fire, so hopefully after getting destroyed yesterday they'll show some desire.

As you can tell, expectations aren't high, but I still have hope.

My pick to click is Crede

The Buehrle Bile File Says, "Well, Hell, Here We Come." Game 150 Recap


If you've ever seen the movie Sneakers, you might remember when Ben Kingsley's character, Kosmo, says to Robert Redford's character, Martin Bishop, "Pain."

Kosmo did time in jail for a crime that both he and Bishop committed. Kosmo got caught; Bishop didn't

White Sox fans are in pain. We are the World Series Champs, and we won't be in the playoffs.


Once again, a former hometown hero killed the home team's chances. In consecutive series, Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez have flattened the balloon of hope that floated over the Sox season.


And Mark Buehrle killed us all. I was driving to my softball game in Alsip, listening to Farmio and Singleton -- a decent diversion from the monotony that is DJ and Hawk -- when Craig Monroe did what many other hitters have done to Mark Buehrle: he hit a first inning homerun.

And I never looked back.

I'm placing the blame for this whole season on the starting pitching, especially Mark Buehrle. His bile-tastic form has ruined any hope Sox fans had of a repeat. And we deserve better.

We have come out in groves. We packed the Cell in numbers not seen in decades; we even overtook the North-siders in attendance. We showed our appreciation for last year's triumph.

And Mark Buehrle let us down. He's the only starter with a losing record. He's at the top of the list for league leaders in HR's given up. His BA against looks like Ted Williams' career numbers. And he might be out the dooor next year.

Good Riddence. I am the Biler and I just don't care anymore.

Thanks alot, Mark.

Awards Time------------------------------------------------------
Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: As I stated before, any Buehrle start would be bad. Yet, his possible replacement, Brandon McCarthy, sucked too. I hope Ozzie has learned something from this year. I hope he sees that sticking with your guys, no matter what they did in the past, isn't always the best approach.

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: Giving Josh Fields a chance to swing the bat turned out pretty good. Pablo starting in LF wasn't bad.

Play of the Game: Forget the inconsequential triple play. The game was over when Monroe hit his HR in the first inning.

Big Ups of the Game to: Thome, for finally reaching 40 HRs.

And, Yes, I have a White Sox Player of the Game...

Josh Fields (1) How many people can say they hit a HR in their first major league at bat? Not many. But if he never sees they field again, he's one up on Doc Graham.

Sox Record: 84-66...and the hope is just about gone.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Buehrle Bile File Says, "We're on a Highway to Hell!" Game 150 Preview

Mark Buehrle (L, 12-12, 4.76) for the Sliding Sox
Kenny "the Gambler" Rogers (L, 15-6, 3.86) for the Detroit Tiggers
The Buehrle Bile File says...

In the Baseball Bible, the Book of Pitching Exodus, chapter 20, verses 2-4 say: "Thou shalt not pitch unto thy enemies any rolling curveballs, for the baseball gods are jealous gods and only wish for such sacrifices in the case of pitching in homerun derby. (Vs.3) Thou shalt keep thy change up low and away or thou wilt give the gods reason to present some fortunate fan in the outfield with a souvenir. (Vs4) Remember the inside cutter, and keep it holy, for the gods are with the cutter and will call upon the strikeout if used correctly."

Mark Buehrle must be either an agnostic or a Satanist or a an atheist all together, cuz he certainly hasn't followed those three Pitching Commandments mentioned above. Personally I think they all gave they souls to rock-n-roll for last year's success. I mean, Journey? Come on. They coulda picked something better, cuz now they look like this...

Hey, Bon Scott, make sure you hit line drives at Mark Buehrle's kisser when he joins you in the nether-reaches of hell. And tell him how much Journey really does suck.

My Pick to Click (btw, I really haven't given up hope, I think a sweep of Detroit will get us right back in it)...Pablo Ozuna
DickDaStick took Joe Crede

Drop your PtC in the comments, and buck up guys, we gotta keep the faith!
(Note to Jeeves: I'll have a recap up a little late, I got a softball game tonight, and I'm taping the game.)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Did Oakland Sweep Away Our Playoff Dreams?: Game 149 Thoughts

Sox blow another lead and another game 4-5

Sox lay an egg

-This game was another showing of mediocrity by the Sox.

-Jose was decent. Nothing great, but he could hav been a lot worse. He gave up 5 runs in 6 innings. If the offense was clicking that wouldn't be a bad start, but the offense, like our pitching today was mediocre.

-The Sox had 10 hits and 4 walks, which was a bright spot, but they only plated four runs. It wasn't a great performance, but it wasn't abysmal. If Jose had been dealing it wouldn't have been a bad output, but like the pitching, it wasn't anything special.

-Yes, I essentially wrote the same thing twice; that's because the Sox were mediocre. If they had either pitched or hit well this game they would have won, but they did just enough to lose. Cliche I know, but it's true.

-The Sox easily could have been the ones doing the sweeping, but instead they were swept. The Sox offense was MIA for the whole series, scoring 2, 4, and 4 runs.

-The 'pen did okay. By the 'pen I mean David Riske; he pitched two perfect innings of relief.

-I'm not going to harp too much on the specifics of the game, but here's a small blurb. AJ homers, Gload has three hits, Pods has a two-out RBI, and Dye has two hits.

-The Sox could have come out of this West Coast trip smelling like roses, or at least not smelling like fertilizer. They made a good start, winning the series against the Angels, but flopped terribly against the A's. I felt like we were going to win 2 games and take back-to-back series, but it turns out we only got two leads against the A's for us to piss away. The Sox now are in a dire situation. The Sox now basically need to sweep the Tigers if they want to make the playoffs. I have no hope, but I have no doubts. Okay, fine I have a lot of hope and a lot of doubts, but it's easier to pretend I don't.

-Oh yah, Frank Thomas hit a three-run homer to turn a two run deficit into a one run lead.

Onto the (abbreviated) awards.......................

Play of the Game: Frank's 3-run jack.

Big Ups of the Game to Ross Gload, he of 3 hits.

Sox Player of the Game: I refuse to give one until the next Sox win, or at least until someone does something ridiculous in a loss.

Jeeves' Spirit Level: At an all time season low.

Sox Record: BLEH! 84-65

West Coast Swing Finale: Game 149 Preview

Jose Contreras 13-7, 3.97 for the Sox


Joe Blanton 15-11, 4.78 for the A's

The A's go for the sweep today. The Sox can salvage a 3-3 record on this West Coast trip. A 2-4 record would represent a fiasco and a lot of missed chances. I can't say I feel confident; we are playing in Oakland, but I'm hopeful.

My pick to click is Frank, er, Gooch.
James has JD.
DT has Paulie.
Dick took Thome.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Firing on One Cylinder: Game 148 Thoughts

Sox crash and burn 4-7

-So the Sox starting pitching is going well. We had another quality start. Javy Vazquez went 6 innings and gave up 3 runs. 5 bucks if you can guess what inning Javy gave up a 2 run homer. Actually, I take that back; that would be an awful bet, because he obviously gave them up in the sixth. 5 bucks if you can guess who hit that two out, two run homer. Actually, that's another silly bet. Who else besides Frank Thomas would pull that? Trend-wise that was a really predictable dinger. Two outs in the sixth against Frank; that's a recipe for disaster.

-The pitching is the only thing the Sox have going for them consistently. The offense has been sputtering for awhile, occasionally breaking out for a big score, but usally not putting up anything more than 4 runs. The bullpen has completely blown up. I'll get to them last, because it's just dreadful.

-Credit is due to the offense for giving the Sox the lead and putting the team in a position to win, but Sox left a ton of runners on base (21). The Sox managed 8 walks along with 9 hits, but scored a paltry 4 runs. JD supplied half of those when he hit a two run jack, and Sandy supplied the rest with a surprising single. It wasn't surprising because he got a single, but because he singled after Uribe and BA both got hits; the odds of those three getting back-to-back-to-back hits are really small.

-A very telling stat that DickDaStick pointed out...
Big Frank - 4 RBI's
Thome & Paulie - 0 RBI's

Thome right now seems to content to take the walk. I know that he has a good eye, but I would like to see him take a more aggressive approach to the plate.

-So Vazquez was pretty good. He started off perfect through the first 3 innings, and was pretty steady, but the bullpen let him down. Thornton came on to pitch the seventh. After giving up a two out walk to Kendall, Oz made the call to MacDougal to get the Sox out of the 1st and 2nd jam. Mac proceeded to allow a single, two walks, and 2 runners to cross the plate. Logan came on and walked a batter. Then Hermy came on and allowed run scoring single, before FINALLY closing out the inning. So we went from plus 1 to minus 3, a complete fiasco by the bullpen.

-Mac's performance raised his ERA around .60. Hopefully today was just the bad day he was long overdue for, and not something related to his ailing shoulder.
The rest of the bullpen's performance isn't as excusable. This isn't any where near the first time that they have cost us a game.

-The thing that drives me insane about the Sox is that they can never pull all aspects of the game together. We'll have a week where we're mashing the ball, but our opponents are matching us swing for swing. We'll have a week where the starters look like the '05 bunch, but the hitting can't muster enough runs and the 'pen can't hold onto a lead. We'll have a week where the bullpen is solid, but they get overworked because the starters can't do diddly. If we could get the whole team rolling we would be unstoppable. If each group got relatively hot, I'm confident we would roll into the playoff, but as things stand now, my confidence is failing fast. I've long been an optimist, and remain one, but we're slowing running out of time to find that next gear. I won't say "stick a fork in them yet" but they're getting dangerously close.

Onto the awards.......................................

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: I actually like going to MacDougal. It may not have worked out, but 9/10 he'll come in and close the door. If I were to call anyone from the 'pen, it would have been him.

Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: There were some moves I disagreed with, but I want to put this loss squarely on the players, especially the 'pen.

Play of the Game: Bases loaded, tie ball game, two outs, Big Frank at the plate. MacDougal doesn't attack him; instead he tries to nibble the corners with sliders and ends up walking Frank. The Big Hurt has potentially the best eye in baseball; there's no way he's going to go fishing in a spot like that.

Big Ups of the Game to JD and Sandy for brining some offense and to BA for the only multi hit game. Credit to Javy for pitching well and leaving the game with a lead.

Sox Player of the Game: I abstain.

Sox Record: 84-64

West Coast Swing Contin: Game 148 Preview

Javier Vazquez 11-9, 4.71 for the Sox


Barry Zito 15-9, 3.86 for the A's

Game's about to start, so I'll keep this short.

Sox need a win.

Fornelli took Pablo.
Dick took Paulie
DT Kelly took Uribe
I'm going with Thome as my pick to click.
Anonymous from yesterday (and potentially from before) we need you to make a name for the standings.

Make those picks to clicks as comments!

Game 147: It's Hard To Have A Broken Heart With A Game Lacking A Pulse

Sox lose, 4-2.

Welcome to Ozzie's Funhouse! Let's turn on Paulie...what's the secret word of the day? Lackluster! So every time you see Mackowiak helplessly flailing for a routine shallow fly, every Jim Thome strikeout, every stolen base off A.J.'s arm, and every brain-freeze by a Sox player, SCREAM REAL LOUD! Oh, wait, you had probably been screaming all night long, with language far out of the realm of most talking puppets from a children's show.

This was a painful game to watch from start to finish. Our most explosive offensive outburst, besides a small pinging culminating with a Jermaine Dye sac fly, was a Rob Mackowiak golfshot out to right. So much talk about jinxing occured with Freddy's near-perfect game that I forgot not to jinx Rob, as I complimented him on a nice grab just preceding his homer early in the game. Ha ha ha, silly me, as the A's did a little merry-go-round on the bases after he botched a grab that, to repeat a recurring theme, BRIAN ANDERSON WOULD HAVE CAUGHT. One run scored by Mackowiak, two runs allowed thanks to Mackowiak.

Tonight, however, was more about revenge for the ex-Sox. Frank Thomas has hit us solidly this year, and Esteban Loiaza stepped forward to thank Kenny Williams for dumping him in favor of Jose Contreras. This win by Esteban aside, that trade still is one of the most rewarding in Sox history, and you almost want to tip your hat to Esteban after he showed what he did back in 2003. I would be tipping it plenty if we had come back off Dustechershershingsher or Husston...houston...hueston...H. Street. But alas, Paulie ended the game with the bat on his shoulders, leaving us to ponder why we put 3 hours of our lives watching this failure in motion.

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: I can't recall any truly GOOD Ozzie moves, there were a number of okay ones though, like putting Boone in for a batter in a tough situation. LOOGY, anyone?

Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: For the 50th game this season, putting Rob Mackowiak in center field. Yes, he can hit. Make him the DH until Big Jim figures out his spring swing again. anything but make him the center fielder. I'd rather see Juan Uribe in center, because if I have to see bad fielding, I want it to be entertaining and humorous, and I think Juan would do a better job of that.

Oh, and other than that, the other bad move would be leaving Neal Cotts in after such a nice job the inning prior. Confidence goes up...and confidence comes back down.

Play of the Game: Esteban Loiaza getting Jim Thome to pop up weakly in the 6th with runners on 1st and 3rd and 2 outs. A double gives the Sox the lead. A homer puts the game away. A pop up leads Pander to drinking.

Big Ups: Jon pitched over a lot of hits and bad defense to actually DESERVE a quality start, missing it by a mere 1/3 of an inning. How you manage a WHIP of 2 for almost 6 innings with only giving up 3 runs is beyond me, for a while Javy was giving up 6 runs in one inning on like 3 hits and no walks somehow, as if by magic. Other than that...

Player of the Game:
...Boone Logan? This one is completely up to you, because I can't point to a single Sox player who had a good night except him, and he only had a good night thanks to brevity and the relativity of everyone else sucking.

Screw that, the player of the game is Ryan Garko of Cleveland for beating the Twins in extras with an RBI single. Blah.

Friday, September 15, 2006

West Coast Swing contin: Game 147 Preview

Jon "The Ace of the Staff" Garland 17-4, 4.28 for the Good Guys


Esteban "Our Former Ace" Loaiza 9-8, 4.95 for the Athletic Club from Oakland

We owe Esteban a lot. We signed him for a cheap salary and he gave us a Cy Young calibe season. THey once he started coming back to earth we were able to pick up a stud in Jose Contreras. He's done a lot for us, but we really shouldn't repay him with a win. The Sox did well in Anaheim, er Los Angeles, um yah, Anaheim and I think they will do well in Oaktown. The Sox pitching has been great as of late, and should continue to do so against the offensively challenged A's.

My pick to click is Jermain Dye, returning to his former stomping grounds.

Readers make those picks here!

(If I really wanted to make sure I won the Pick to Click race, I would disable comments, but that'd be too obvious)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Off-Day Questions to Ponder...

...With 16 Games Left in the Season:

Does Mike MacDougal's recent MRI on his pitching arm give you heartburn?

Or does David Riske entering a one-run playoff game feel more like an acid reflux chaser?

Mark Buehrle or Boone Logan as your LOOGY?

Freddy Garcia's brush with perfection: sign of things to come or aberration?

Does Bobby Jenks frighten you, and I'm not talking about facing his 100 mph fastball?

Which language should Iguchi learn first, English, Spanish or Sign Language? (Waving an arm in a circle does mean go home, right?)

Since Jim Thome is the best OBP guy on the Sox, should he go back to the 3 spot in the line-up?

Whom can the Sox least afford to lose to an injury, Crede (back), Thome (wrist) or Paulie (mental)?

AL Comeback Player of the Year: Jim Thome or Frank Thomas?

With losing Liriano for the rest of the season, can Johan Santana pitch the Twinkies into the playoffs?

If the Tiggers miss the playoffs after having a 10.5 game lead in the second half, will Jim Leyland snap and kill a batboy or will he just quit like he did in Colorado?

Should Neal Cotts try pitching right-handed?

How much more fun would this season have been if, instead of being married to Lisa Dergan, Scott Podsednik were married to Anna Benson?

If Jermaine Dye actaully wins the MVP award, where in The Cell will the White Sox erect his bronze statue?

Has Jon Garland truly turned the corner for his career, or will his dominace once again disappear like a Chicago sun-tan in the winter?

In the very inevitable fued to come, who's the first one out the door, Ozzie or Brian Anderson?

Speaking of fueds, if the Sox make the playoffs, will Jay Mariotti venture it into the clubhouse?

And if he does, will he make it out alive?

Being from the Fattest City in America, which will Sox fans die from first: Home Run Inn Pizza, Maxwell Street Polish and Old Style or the stress of a three team divisional race destined to last until the final weekend of the season?

Last and certainly most important...

Who will win the inaugural ChiSox Blog "Pick-to-Click" race? (I'll give you a hint, he wrote this post.)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Few Steps Short of Perfection: Game 146 Thoughts

Sox Cruise to a 9-0 victory!

-The biggest story of the day was Freddy's run at perfection. Freddy mowed down the first 23 batters he faced. There were only a few sharply hit balls. The only ones that stand out to me are a deep fly by Anderson that BA caught a hair in front of the wall and a liner that Paulie snared. Other than those, Freddy really kept the Angels off balance. He had all his off-speed stuff and reached back occasionally to throw a good, strong (for Freddy) fastball. I know people are going to say bull, but I really had a bad feeling about Kennedy when he came up. He fought off a tailing fastball on a full count and singled sharply to second.

-The Sox offense were pretty close to perfection as well. They put up 9 runs without even hitting a homer. Every Sox starter except Pablo had a hit. Paulie showed up big time today with a 4-4 effort. The Sox seemed destined for mediocrity again. Saunders breezed through the first, but we got to him in the second and that hammered him in the third after Sandy lined a hit off of him.

-The only blemishes on the game were a single by Kennedy and a severe lack of hustle by some players. Tadahito Iguchi had a fine day at the plate, but mentally he didn't seem to be all there. He doubled in the third, but easily could have stretched it into a triple. That wasn't the only mental cramp of the game by Gooch. Later in the game Gooch was a few steps of scoring when he suddenly stopped. "2 outs, Gooch on second Thome on 1st Paulie hits a single in right center and Gooch rounded third and just stopped for no reason whatsoever as everyone was screaming at him to go home, but he just stood there like a deer in the headlights" (Quote from James). It was bizarre, I can't begin to understand what happened. It was either a point shaving scam and he was helping out a bookie, or he got into Freddy's stash before the game.

-On the opposite side of the spectrum Paulie hustled home from first to score on Crede's double and BA stretched a single into a double. Pablo, although he didn't get a hit, really impressed me today. He was absolutely high tailing it down the line every single time he put the ball in play. He very nearly came away with two infield hits just on pure hustle along.

Onto the awards............................
Bad Hawk Move of the Game: Saying Freddy was perfect through 7. Of course the next inning the perfect game was over. Not that i'm superstitious.

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: Good lineup choice by Ozzie vs the lefty.

Play of the Game: Kennedy's single. It wasn't good for us, but it ruined Freddy's chance at history.

Big Ups of the Game: To the offense. 'Nuff said.

Sox Player of the Game

Freddy Garcia (2)

Sox Record: 84-62

PS - Twins lose 1-0 AND more importantly lose Liriano to an elbow injury.
PSS - Tigers lose 11-3!

West Coast Swing, Game 3: Game 146 Preview

Freddy Garcia 13-9, 5.02 for the PaleHose


Joe Saunders 5-2, 3.76 for the Halos

The Sox are 1-1 so far on their trip our west. A win would put them in good shape for the halfway point, even though they should have won last night. If they lose, they'll need a sweep of Oakland to make this a fruitful trip.

Hopefully Freddy fully understands how big of a game this is for the Sox.

2:35 start! So don't miss the game

C'mon Sox, give the birthday boy a win!

My Pick to Click is the Emperor. So dibs on GOoch.
DickDaStick is going with Mr. MVP, Dye
Fornelli has lain claim to Joe Clutch.

Make them picks in the comments section!

The Buehrle Bile File Says, "Angels and Demons" Game 145 Thoughts

Sox fail to cut a deal with the devil and lose 3-4

Buehrle, well, he pitched well today. He went 7 innings strong, giving up only 3 runs. I guess the tender care and gentle (Ok sometimes harsh) urgings of the Buehrle Bile File are paying dividends. Buehrle has continues down the road of improvement. The Bile File took Buehrle, like the Good Samaritan it is and watched over him, and success...well sort off. Time to play the devil's advocate here. Buehrle can't be blamed for the loss or for his first two runs, but he can be blamed for blowing the lead and subsequently the lead.

I don't know how many of you have flown recently, but we're currently at a code yellow. This means we're not allowed to take liquids, gels, or creams aboard. I'm also assuming at O'Hare, they didn't allow the Sox to bring their offense along with their carry-ons. We managed only 3 runs for the second straight night. Again, as the devil's advocate, our dear friend Mark Buehrle should have realized that with the offense locked up somehwhere in O'Hare the Sox would not be able to put up any more than 3 runs on the night. Yet, he still decided to give up the lead. You may argue that it was really the Angels that earned the tying run, but I say nay. Buehrle eased up mentally after the Sox handed him the lead and the win. He grooved in a pitch to Vlad the Impaler who of course hit a double. He eventually scored.

So, yes, give Buehrle credit for only allowing three runs. Two of which came on a ridiculous homer by Rivera. He golfed a shot from his ankles. So credit is due for that, but demerits are due for blowing the lead.

The offense has shown nothing since coming to the west coast. It's as though there's a plague on their offense. Granted they were facing Ervin Santana, but they went ahead and made him look like our neighbor up north. The one who sells his soul to the devil every second half, Johan. The Sox managed to score 3 nice runs in the fifth. It was a good rally, but every other time they threatened, the Angels would toss some holy water on the base paths and the Sox would invariably ground into a DP. The Sox threatened big time against K-Rod, but divine intervention took over and we of course failed to score.

It's too bad the Sox didn't have any of that holy water to exorcise the demons that are taking over Bobby Jenks. His hip is either bothering him or something is up. He didn't have his normal velocity and he got raped like a little boy at a Catholic Church (sorry, low blow, I know). He got into trouble in the tenth, but wriggled out of it like the snake he is. The only problem is, he played with fire again and got burned the second time around. He

The Sox are in a right state right now. This was close to a must win for the Sox. They had already seen the Tiggers and the Twinks win, so they needed to win in order to keep pace. They lost and have fallen back in both the division and wild card race.

Onto the awards....................
Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: I could be obvious and go with Mack in center, BUT I'm going to go the unconventional route and say calling Big Bad Bobby Jenks. Jenks is clearly easing back into the swing of things, and he pitched last night, so I don't see why Ozzie would call Jenksy in a non-save situation. Mike Mac would have been better suited for the situation.

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: Although it was risky, (not David Riske), I like the faith he showed in Hermanson. There's a chance that he will be an important cog in the playoffs and Oz stayed with him long enough to let him work out of a jam. I don't know if I would have had the cojones to leave him in, but Ozzie did.

Play of the Game: The game winning single, that sunk the Sox ship.

Big Ups of the Game: Mark Buehrle. He's the only one that brought anything to this game.

Sox Player of the Game: PASS

Sox Record: 83-62

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Rumor Mill is Churning

The LA Daily News has reported that the Sox are considering trading Joltin' Joe Crede for a package including Chone Figgins.

I really don't like this trade. Chone is a nice player, but I don't think that what the Angels would be willing to give up would be equal value to Crede. Crede is one of the top third basemen in the league; you could argue he's in the top 5. Joe Clutch has successfully built upon his solid post-season last year, and seems to be getting better and better.
Part of the reason this rumor is cropping up, is because A.) Ozzie has openly admired Chone and B.) Crede is represented by Scott Boras.
I think the best course of action would be to sign Joe to a new contract this off-season, while the cloud of back surgery hangs over his head. The surgery will somewhat diminish his value.

The Buehrle Bile File Says : We Like To Lend A Hand: Game 145 Preview

Mark Buehrle (L,12-12, 4.80) for the White Sox
Ervin Santana (R, 14-7, 4.53) for the Nomadic Religious Entities
The Buehrle Bile File Says...

Since Mr Buehrle's opponent tonight happens to be named after a city that happens to be named after a religious figure who supposedly attends to God, we'll stick with that theme and make an outrageous claim.

Almost everyone has once heard the parable of the Good Samaritan, and how he helped care for his Jewish mortal enemy after he was mugged and left for dead on the roadside. His act of kindness was a lesson to all to care for all mankind, even those you hate.

Well, we kinda feel like Mark Buehrle's Good Samaritan, and we have aided in what can only be considered a miraculous turn around in Mark Buehrle's pitching -- our aide coming in the form of utter honesty. To wit: In the 6 starts prior to the first Buehrle Bile File post, Mark was 0-5 with a 9.92 ERA. Since our playing the Jay Mariotti role to Buehrle's Ozzie , in his last 7 starts he's 3-3 with a 5.00 ERA. Yes, since our fray into the journalistic outhouse, we've helped Mark win 300x times as many games and cut his ERA in half!

We picked him off the deck, dusted him off and gave him reason to pause his lousy pitching. He saw the light. He came to his senses.

But he still lost 3 friggin' games (sorry, God, I stop with the swares)! And we'll kick him in the rear end if he pitches like he did in his last outing.

Forget Good Samaritan, we're his guilty conscience. And the angel on his shoulder is fleeing as we speak.
My Pick to Click tonight....I'm going with Gooch

Drop them PtCs into the comments, ladies and gents.
Visitors from Halo's Heaven, feel free to join the discussion
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