Friday, March 31, 2006

Mixed Results from Bullpen

I don't know if I should say it, but it seems that Don Cooper has actually tapped into that "limitless" potential of Matt Thornton. He had another superb outing yesterday.
He pitched two scoreless innings with three K's, while surrendering only one hit, against the Rockies. All I can say is WOW!

Bobby Jenks on the other hand. Not nearly as pretty. He gave up a run and blew the save in the ninth.

Ozzie Interview

Interesting short quote... Final question for you: Where is Ozzie Guillen going to be 10 years from now?
Guillen: Managing the White Sox.

That's a stark change from what Ozzie said when he said he would retire if he won a World Series.

See the whole interview here.

Rob Neyer is on Crack

ESPN columnist Rob Neyer picked the White Sox to finish third in the division.

What gives? How in your right mind can you make that prediction. If he said second, I wouldn't doubt his judgement. If this was last year, I wouldn't question his sanity. But this year, clearly he's hitting the crack pipe.

Starting Rotation Preview

1. Mark Buehrle

Buehrle is a horse. He’s been a good and consistent starter for the Sox his whole career. He’s pitched at least 221.1 innings every season, which is a testament to his durability. Last year he started the season on fire and was the AL starter in the All-Star game. If he could put together a full season like that, he would win the Cy Young, no problem. He’s averaged about 16 wins the last 5 years, and I think he’ll win around 17 this year with an ERA in the mid to low 3’s. Not quite Cy worthy, but pretty damn good nonetheless.

2. Freddy Garcia

He’s another horse, as are most of the pitchers in the rotation. He’s pitched over 200 innings the last 5 seasons. Freddy isn’t spectacular, but he’s good. He’s an upper-echelon, number two starter. Look for 15 wins and a 3.80 ERA or so.

3. Jose Contreras

He’s a pitcher that I never trusted. Even when he was doing amazing during the second half of the season, there was a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that he would regress to the pitcher he was for the Yanks. His kryptonite in the past has been BB’s and wild pitches. He had 75 and 20 respectively. I’m not even going to make a prediction on his output for the year. I still don’t know what he’ll put up. We may get solid as a rock, carry the team into the playoffs Contreras, or the inconsistent, wild, hair-pulling Contreras.

4. Jon Garland

He’s in the same boat as Contreras, maddeningly inconsistent until last year. I have more faith in him, because he’s young and it looks like he’s turned the corner. I also will admit that part of the reason I have more faith in him is that I’ve always pulled for him, ever since we stole him from the North Siders. I think he’ll continue with last season’s form and put up similar numbers. Something in the neighborhood of 15 wins and 3.80 ERA.

5. Javier Vazquez

He is by far the best 5th starter in the bigs. Teams would kill to have even their third started put up numbers like Vazquez has. He’s another innings eater and has averaged 13 wins the past five seasons. So look for something in that ballpark for this season. I think he’ll get progressively stronger as the year goes on due to his work with pitching coach Don Cooper.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Outfield Preview

Left Fielder – Scott Podsednik

Podsednik is the pace setter for the Sox at the top of the order. Last year, when he was going, the Sox would score a good number of runs. When he was suffering through a groin injury, the Sox struggled. They struggled so much that they almost gave up the division to the Indians. This is what makes this new injury to Podsednik so worrisome; an injury to the groin can really hamper his ability to run. If he’s healthy he should put up slightly better numbers than last year. Look for a .300 AVG and close to 80 steals. If he struggles to shrug off this groin problem, all bets are off. If he isn't good to go at the start of the season look for Mackowiak and Ozuna to platoon for him.

Center Fielder – Brian Anderson

Anderson is a pretty big question mark. He struggled last year when he was called up, batting .176 in 34 AB, but this spring he is batting .333 in 54 AB with a solid .939 OPS. I think Anderson will put up numbers pretty comparable to what Rowand put up last year. I’m looking at .270 AVG with 15 or so HR. The only difference though, is I think Anderson will run really hot andreally cold. I think he’ll start the season hot, carrying with him the momentum that’s he’s built during spring, and then start to slump around the time of the All-Star break. In the field, he’ll be an adequate replacement for Rowand; he may not make as many spectacular plays but I think range-wise he’s pretty similar.

Right Fielder – Jermaine Dye

People seem to forget that JD has a history of injury problems. He amazingly made it through last year without suffering anything major. Hopefully his health will hold out. Losing Jermaine would be a big blow for the Sox. He’s the only Sox outfielder that puts up typical production for an outfielder in terms of power and avg. Look for JD to hit around .275 with 30 or so jacks and around 80 RBI.

Designated Hitter – Jim Thome

I know he’s not an outfielder, but this will be the shortest post of the preview section, so I put him in here.
Thome looks poised for a monster year. He changed his off-season workout this year, concentrating much more on strengthening his core, which should stop his balky back from keeping him out of the lineup. I’m curious to see if he’ll play any first base this year. If he’s hot, it may be to the Sox benefit to play him at first during interleague play, but Ozzie and Kenny may not want to risk his health. I think Thome will regain his old power, especially with the short porches at The Cell and Konerko hitting behind him and put up around 45 HR, with 100+ RBI and around a .300 AVG.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Infield Preview

I’ll take this one around the horn…

1st Base- Paul Konerko

Offensively he’s a top five first basemen. I’d put Pujols, Teixeria, Helton, and maybe D-Lee ahead of him (D-Lee if he proves last year isn’t a fluke). Leadership-wise he’s top of the list. Paulie should have another monster year with Thome hitting in front of him, as long as he doesn’t let the pressures of his contract get to him I reckon he’ll hit around .280 with 40+ homers and 100+ RBI’s.

2nd Base – Tadahito Iguchi

Last year Tadahito was really up and down. He’d either be hitting ‘round .300 or striking out repetitively. I think Tadahito will do better after having a full year in the majors under his belt. I don’t think his Spring Training troubles are anything to really write home about; I think now that he’s back at home in the 2-spot he’ll be fine. I think Tadahito will take his place among the elite second basemen, somewhere toward the bottom of the top ten this year, while maintaining his solid, if not spectacular defense. .280, 20 HR, 80 RBI’s would be reeeeeal nice.

Shortstop – Juan Uribe

Juan is no Miguel Tejada, but he is a slick fielder (anyone who disagrees go see the last inning of the World Series, two magnificent plays). Juan doesn’t hit for that high of an average, but he’s pretty dependable at the bottom of the order for 15 HR and 65 RBI. Juan is one of the players who frustrates me the most. I love him at times but every time he drops down on one knee, flailing at a curveball I get ready to yell. Look for Alex Cintron to spell Juanny if he gets hurt or if he starts to slump a bit.

3rd Base – Joe Crede

It seems every year, around this time, people are forecasting a break out year for Crede. So this year, I’m going to predict a somewhat break out year. I think power numbers will stay consistent, somewhere in the 25 HR range; RBI will increase a little, toward the 75 region; but I think he’ll show the biggest signs of growth in AVG and BB’s. Last year he batted .252 with a paltry 25 walks. I think he can budge that up to the .270 range with 35-40 walks.

Catcher – AJ Pierzynski.

AJ put up some pretty good numbers, but I wonder if this is a result of playing at the Cell or true growth. When looking at his splits he hit twice as many dingers at home (12:6), but he struck out nearly twice as much and his AVG was 13 points lower at home. So maybe, AJ swings for the fences on purpose while at home. I dunno, but I foresee a .260 AVG with a similar number of homers, 10-15, while continutally calling great games behing the plate.

4 days 'til Opening Day

Thome on FIRE

In their last spring training game, Thome hit another pair of HR. That's three multi homer games with the last week. I hope he keeps this up going into the season, and doesn't use it all up during Spring Training.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

SI Jinx...

We all know about the SI cover jinx, but hopefully it doesn't extend to stuff inside of the cover. Two people within Sport Illustrated have tabbed the Sox to repeat this year and have the best record in baseball.

Tom Verducci (whose opinion I regard very highly) makes his picks here.

Bullpen Preview

Here's the first installment as I analyze the Sox, now that the Opening Day Roster has been announced.

In my honest opinion the Sox ‘pen will make or break the season (assuming there are no major injuries). The ‘pen seems to be the only unproven commodity for the Sox. Yes, the bullpen was solid last year, but many relievers had career years. That begs the question, was last year an aberration or the a sign of things to com?
Neal Cotts last year had a 1.94 ERA which is real solid, but the year before he had a 5.65 ERA. That’s a big gap, but I think the lefty will level out closer to a 2.50ish ERA, which is legit.
Cliff Politte also had a career year with a 2.00 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. He’s been up and down during his career, going as high as 7.12 and as low as 2.42, so it remains to be seen what he’ll pull out this year.
If Bobby Jenks can pitch like he did at the close of the season, the Sox will have their best closer since Keith Foulke. If Jenks continues to struggle like he has for much of the spring don’t be surprised to see Neal Cotts slide over into the closer’s role. I think Jenks will get back on track and finish with around 35-40 saves posting an ERA in the low 3’s.
Brandon McCarthy will serve as the long reliever. I think after playing most of the year in the bigs last year, he’ll be even better than before. I think he’ll cut down on the homers (13 in 10 starts) and continue to post a lot of strikeouts. If any starters struggle or get injured, he'll be the first in line to fill in, but look for him to spend most of the year in the 'pen. Next year is Contreras' walk year, so McCarthy will probably become a full-time starter then.
Boone Logan is one of the wildcards of the group. He struggled earlier in his minor leagues career posting high ERA’s (in the 6-7 range), but last year he changed his delivery from over the top to more of a 3/4 delivery and saw great improvement. The southpaw had a 3.31 ERA in the minors last year and shockingly has made the squad this year.
Matt Thornton is the last in of the trio of lefty relievers in the ‘pen. He's the other wildcard in the group. To sum him up, he’s a hard throwing lefty, who can shut down lefty batters. His strike out rate is pretty good, but he’s hampered by an insane number of walks. Hopefully his work with Coop and the lengthened stride in his delivery will help him cut down on the walks. For more on Thornton see below.
And yes, with Boone Logan in the lineup that means Dustin Hermanson will open up the season on the DL. This could actually be better in the long run for the Sox. If they get along okay without him, he’ll be a fresh, strong arm come the dog days of summer.
Overall, I’ll give this group a B/B+. If they approach numbers anywhere near last year I’ll give them an A/A-, but I’m just expecting at least one or two of the pitchers to come back down to earth.

Podsednik's Injury and Game Notes

Scott Podsednik left yesterday’s game against the Cubs after feeling a ‘twinge’ in his groin while running out a double. The Sox trainer Herm Schneider doesn’t think it is serious; he reckons Pods would be fine to play today against the D-Backs. I don’t share his optimism. I really, really hope that Podsednik is fine, but this sounds an awful lot like the problem that plagued him during the second half of the season. His numbers say it all, pre-All Star Game his SB% was 83.0% vs. 51.7% post-All Star Game when he was hampered by a groin injury. If Podsednik isn’t ready to go by the beginning of the season, it looks like Ozzie will go a with a platoon in left field with Ross Gload and Rob Mackowiak splitting time. Hopefully Podsednik is healthy and he can help the Sox get off to another fast start.

Jim Thome seems to be peaking at the right time. He hit two bombs for the second consecutive day.

After the second Thome home run and after Konerko hit one to the track, Greg Maddox (who was pitching) plunked Jermaine Dye. Buehrle, who was pitching for the Sox, didn’t retaliate, but I bet the Sox players will remember that when the two teams square off in May.

6 days 'til Opening Day!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Ryan Who?

Now, you may be wondering who the hell Ryan Sweeney is...

He was a second round pick for the Sox in 2003, the same year Brain Anderson was taken (in the first round). He hit .298 for the Birmingham Barons last year in Double-A as a 20 year-old, but he hasn’t received that much hype outside the organization. This is probably due to the fact that he displayed Ozzie Smith like power with only 1 HR and only had 47 RBI. He showed a little more power the year before with 7 HR and 66 RBI, but that still won’t cut it for a corner in fielder.

This spring, however, he seems to have found some power. In just 36 AB he already has 3 HR. Think about it, that’s three times as many homers as he had ALL of last season. It’s not as though he’s sacrificing his hitting for power, he’s not pulling a Frank Thomas and either getting out or hitting a yardball; he’s hit these homers while maintaining a .333 average. He’s also toting a robust 1.029 OPS. I don’t know where this power surge has come from (please don’t be steroids), but if he continues like this is AAA he may find himself joining Anderson in the bigs.

6 days 'til Opening Day!

Forgot to Mention

I forgot to mention, the Opening Day roster is set, so in the coming days I will take a pretty in depth look at different aspects of the line-up.

I'll discuss...
The infield
The outfield
The bench
The starting rotation
The bullpen
(not necessarily in that order)
Culminating with a Season Preview/Season Prediction

Blog News

I have some quick updates.

I have posted the 2005 Regular Season and the 2005 Post Season stats on the supplemental site, so check it out. (And again, I know it looks like I ripped the stats off of someone, but I typed them and then had to turn them into a picture, that's why they look lthe way they do)

Also, I plan to post, by the end of the night, my piece on Ryan Sweeney, so stay tuned!

6 days a few hours 'til Opening Day!

Oz in Action

Here's a cool pic from the March 27, 2006 Sports Illustrated

Caption reads: Let it be known: "Ozzie Guillen can still swing." So says pro wrestler Simon Diamond, who last week took a folding chair to the back from the White Sox manager. Diamond came by Chicago's spring training camp in Tucson to visit Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski. The former VCU player took BP and got into a faux fracas with Pierzynski. Guillen broke up the "fight," then rushed off before Diamond could retaliate. "Ozzie was gone by the time I got up," says Diamond, who wants a rematch. "But he certainly didn't walk away. And I didn't take too kindly to that."

Pitching Rotation

Very interesting…The White Sox MLB team page has the Sox rotation as follows.

1. Buehrle
2. Garcia
3. Vazquez
4. Contreras
5. Garland

There’s no way in hell Vazquez is the third best starter on the team. He’s the 5th if not the 6th best starter. What’s going on here?!? I’ll keep y’all posted if this changes.

6 days 'til Opening Day!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Wonders of Coop

(Pitching coach) Don Cooper made a small change in pitcher Matt Thornton's delivery, and it's paying instant dividends. He pitched two scoreless innings, giving up only one walk. It's kinda sad that him only giving up one walk is news worthy, but maybe this is the start of a turnaround for Thornton.

In other news, Jim Thome launched two bombs today, representing his first and second homer of the season.


Big ups to George Mason. They easily could have folded after Brown made that crushing shot to send it into OT, but they fought on and beat title favorite UConn. Very impressive.

Hermanson Update

According to Ozzie Guillen, Dustin Hermanson is going to start the season on the disabled list. The Sox apparently don't want to wait around for his back to heal up. The front-runners to take his spot, while he's hurt, are Boone Logan, Armando Almanza, Javier Lopez, and Tim Redding.(see Spring Training Stats for current statistics)
It's possible that Ozzie might pick two pitchers to fill in for Hermanson, which puts Ross Gload's roster spot in trouble.
"I'd like to keep Gload, but it depends on how many pitchers we're going to
take," says Guillen.

That's an interesting question, I think we'd be fine with 11 pitchers and Gload, but the real question circulating Chicago land is...

Who's going to be lost for the season first, Dustin Hermanson, Kerry Wood, or Mark Prior?

7 days 'til Opening Day!

Preview of Ozzie Comments

We will do a full post on Ozzie’s more famous quotes, so don’t fret Anonymous, but before this can serve as a nice little preview.

I opened up the sports page this morning, and the headline on page 5 read “Guillen wants Bonds to break HR record” I was a little shocked by this to be honest; I figured Oz would be the type that wanted to preserve Aaron’s record, a true ambassador to the game. After hearing Guillen’s thoughts about Minnie Minoso and his impact on the game, I would have figured he would want Aaron’s record to stand.

Guillen said, “I think it will be great for baseball. This is my opinion. A lot
of people think I might be wrong or whatever. To me, he’s the best hitter ever
in baseball.”
I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with Oz on this. I do think that Bonds may be the best hitter ever, but that doesn’t mean I want him breaking Aaron’s record. 755, that’s a number you grew up revering with an understanding of how much crap Aaron had to go through on his way to the record.
I hate to do it, but I’ve got to disagree with Oz, I want Bonds to pass Ruth, but fall short of Hank Aaron.

755___________________________708 & counting

Spring Training Stats

I've posted Spring Training Stats (current as of last nght) on the supplemental site to this blog. Follow the link in the sidebar or go straight to the page. Spring Training Stats
I'll try and update them frequently as Spring Training is comeing to a close.
And no, I didn't steal those stats, I actually typed them out, but the only way I could get them to fit on the site was as a picture, so that's why it looks a little weird.

Oh, by the way, 7 days 'til Opening Day!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Jenks' Latest Outing

Jenks had a three inning stint today with the Double-A guys.
It was a 47 pitch outing and he only gave up one walk; hopefully this is a sign that he's regaining his control.
For those that are wondering he topped off the radar gun at 95 mph, which like I said before is pretty good for spring training.

8 days 'til Opening Day!

Matt Thornton Scouting Report

This is the new mystery pitched we got in exchange for Borchard.
From what I’ve gathered, the biggest thing he has going for him is potential…lovely! Whenever people rave solely about a kid’s potential, odds are you’ve got a lame duck on your hand, a potential Joe Borchard. Let’s take a closer look though, before we write him off.

Raw stats – 5.21 ERA (gross), 0-4 record (W-L, are an overrated stat so I’ll ignore that) 13 HR (bad)

Stats don’t look that hot, but let’s keep going.

He’s a lefty. Mmmkay, so he’ll fill Damaso’s spot and be the lefty-specialist. So, since he’s the lefty specialist let’s see how he did against them;Vs. lefties last year, this guy gave up E-GAD! 0 runs. Wow, no runs in 26.2 innings. Maybe there is hope for him yet. He’s a hard thrower, that’s good. He can’t sniff the strike zone, that’s bad, but Coop might be able to straighten him out. 9 K/9, not bad. 6.63 BB/9, real bad.

I think to sum him up. He’s a hard throwing lefty, who can shut down lefty batters. His strike out rate is pretty good, but he’s hampered by an insane number of walks.

So if Coop gets him to throw strikes, we’ll be in good shape with Thornton, if not we essentially gave away Joe Borchard for free.

8 days 'til Opening Day!


Welcome to Ozzie=God and Skup who are now joining Chi-Sox Blog!


8 days 'til Opening Day

Who's Up and Who's Down

This post is in response to Anonymous' comment...See I actually answered it.

Here's a brief look at who's been tearing it up and who's been stinking the joint up during spring training. (I only looked at players who have a legit shot at playing this year).

Who’s Up

Paul Konerko – He’s batting .321 in 53 AB with a .956 OPS
Living up to his fat contract and the captaincy.
Brian Anderson – He’s batting .306 in 49 AB with an .874 OPS
Aaron who? Keep it up kid.
Ross Gload – He’s batting .318 in 44 AB with an .871 OPS
Good-bye Joe Borchard, hello last bench spot.
Ryan Sweeney – He’s batting .333 in 36 AB with 3 HR and a huge 1.029 OPS
This guy is a minor leaguer; he’s not going to make the squad, but more on him to come soon.
A.J. Pierzynski – He’s batting .407 in 27 AB with a .948 OPS
Good hitting stats, but he's yet to cause any controversy.
(Nearly all the other hitters are raking the ball or playing at their average level. I really could have included another 5 hitters in who’s up.)

Neal Cotts – 2.08 ERA in 8.2 innings with a .58 WHIP
Solid like always. Thank the lord we got him in the Koch trade.
Mark Buehrle – Leads all starters with a 3.27 ERA in 22 innings
Steady Mark Buehrle.

Who’s Down

Tadahito Iguchi – He’s batting .128 in 47 AB with a .393 OPS
Let’s see if moving back to 2nd in the order (see below) will make things better.
Jermaine Dye – He’s batting .293 (yes I know that’s good) but he does have 10 SO in only 41 at bats. That’s basically 1 every 4 at bats or once a game.
I’m nit-picking a bit, but none of the other sox regulars have really struggled.

Matt Thornton – Has a 13.50 ERA in 7.1 innings with 6 BB
Is this our lefty specialist? Scouting report to come on him.
Dustin Hermanson – Has a 12.60 ERA in 5.0 innings with an iffy back
That ERA hurts, but it can’t hurt nearly as much as his creaky back. If his back gets better, the bullpen is solid. If his back is done, the bullpen is starting to look like a weakness.
Bobby Jenks – See below.
Brandon McCarthy – Has a 6.28 ERA in 14.1 innings
Well, he’ll be in the bullpen.

Some Pictures

I put some World Series pictures up on the sister site for my blog. Check out the "links" to the right.

8 more days 'til Opening Day!

Friday, March 24, 2006

What Do You Want?

If you look below, to my first post, you'll see some of the topics that I'll be writing about, but if you want to read about one of those topics soon or want me to write about a different topic, leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do.

Back to the 2-Hole

It’s a good thing Tadahito has struggled this spring. He just saved Ozzie from making a big mistake.

After his struggles so far this spring Ozzie, has decided to put Tadahito back into the 2-hole. According to the Oz,

“We’ll do that for the rest of spring, and if Iguchi does good, I’m pretty sure we’ll leave him there.”
I dunno, maybe Tadahito was sucking on purpose to save Ozzie. I love Ozzie and all (he was my favorite White Sox player back in the day, used to put pins on my baseball hats and all) but why on earth would you move Juan Uribe with his .301 OBP into a spot in the batting order where you want a high OBP guy and someone who will regularly make contact. Juan’s a wizard in the field and all, but he drops down on one knee while swinging a few too many times for a #2 hitter.

9 days 'til Opening Day!

The Struggles of Bobby Jenks

I know spring training doesn’t really mean much. I know it’s just a time to get loosened up before the season, but I just can’t help worrying. Blame it on the insecure White Sox fan in me, but Bobby Jenks is freaking me out. Granted he wasn’t Mariano Rivera to begin with, but he was pretty dependable last year. If he had a rough outing he always bounce back strong, and he was lights out when it mattered most…see Game 4, World Series.

He started spring training just where he left off in 2005, as the fat, lovable, lights-out closer. He kicked off Cactus League play with 4 straight scoreless appearances, but since then, in his last four outings, he’s allowed 7 runs and 6 BB’s.

His stat line for the spring is ugly.
1-1 7.88 0 8.0 9 7 6 2

I don’t know why he’s so all over the place right now. Some people are blaming it on a loss of velocity on his fastball. He’s only clocking in at 95-96 mph range. Yeah, right, whatever. Most major leaguers would give up their non-pitching arms to throw that hard (something Jim Abbot did...low blow I know), but the thing people are forgetting is that it’s still spring training and his arm isn’t fully loosened up. If he came in and threw 100 mph right away, his arm would fall off.

Give him time, say a month, and his velocity will be back up to triple digits. I just hope he can find some control and regain his dominance and aura.
If for some reason Jenks flames out, I think we’ll be okay. We made the transition after Shingo flopped, and I think Neal Cotts can fill in no problemo.

9 days til Opening Day!

Off-Season Recap

Here's a recap and my thoughts of all the big moves the Sox have made since they won the World Series.

(I know some of these moves are really old news, but it's good to take a look back at them.)

Acquired Matt Thornton from the Seattle Mariners for Joe Borchard

Joltin’ Joe’s another player that didn’t pan out, whom I really wanted to become a star. You couldn’t help but be in awe of his power. That massive blast he hit at The Cell was unreal.
For those of you who don’t know why he got traded, it’s because we ran out of minor league options on him. It was either put him on the roster or trade him. I know Kenny would have wanted to keep him, but he did well to get a LHP to replace Damaso.
Let’s see if Don Cooper can tap this kid’s potential.

Acquired SS Alex Cintron from the Arizona Diamondback for RHP Jeff Banjenaru

The D-Backs had a glut of SS and had to get rid of one, which is why they gave up Cintron for such little in return. He’s a pretty good player, he did bat .273, but his OBP leaves a bit to be desired (.298), so we’ll see.
This looks like a good trade, but I wonder if Cintron will accept a very limited role. He ended up playing a lot for the D-Backs last year 122 games, so it’s yet to see if he’ll play the good soldier or if he’ll make a stink.

Re-signed LHP Neal Cotts, RHP Bobby Jenks, and RHP Brandon McCarthy

Alrite! Lock up those young guns.

Re-signed 3B Joe Crede

Sweet. Crede is Mr. Dirtbag and Mr. Clutch for us. He makes a ridiculous number of clutch plays. I’ll always remember this one home run he hit vs. the Tigers on July 24, 2004 to win the game. It was a clutch hit and all, but what made it memorable was the fact that the pitch before, he fouled a pitch back and I caught the ball.Let’s see if Crede can put together a consistent season this year

Re-signed RHP Jon Garland

Wow. We’ve waited a long time for him to break through. Hopefully he’ll put on a repeat performance this year, and doesn’t pull an Esteban Loaiza on us.

Non-tendered 2B Willie Harris and OF Timo Perez

Timo was a pretty good role player. Mackowiak more than adequately replaces him.

Man, I’m bummed Willie didn’t pan out. I really liked him. I remember seeing his first game with the Sox after the Chris Singleton trade. He ran onto the field and did some aerial flips a la Ozzie Smith, and then he hit his first homer. I thought for sure after that performance he’d be good, at least the next Ray Durham, but he didn’t pan out. Good luck, Willie!

Acquired RHP Javier Vazquez and cash from the Arizona Diamondbacks for RHP Orlando Hernandez, RHP Luis Vizcaino, and OF Chris Young

I’m conflicted about this one. I guess I’ll have to judge it after we see how things pan out.

On one hand, we traded an aging, starting pitcher and our most unreliable reliever for a young pitcher with a lot of potential. On the other hand, we give up a top prospect, one who Kenny Williams said is the first prospect he gave up that may actually pan out, and we exile Brandon McCarthy to the bullpen.
It’s nice having 6 legit starters, but I really like McCarthy and I was looking forward to him starting this year. His delivery may be a bit herky-jerky, but hey it works for Dontrelle.Hopefully Vazquez will start pitching like he did back in Montreal and he will make Kenny Williams look like a genius again.

Re-signed C A.J. Pierzynski

What a difference a year makes! A.J. had to beg his way onto the team last season, but now he’s an integral part of the team. Hopefully he puts up similar production and handles the staff the same way. We don’t need much from him just leadership. It would help if he just makes things happen again…see ALCS, Josh Paul.

Acquired INF Rob Mackowiak from the Pittsburgh Pirates for LHP Damso Marte

Damaso can be a great pitcher when he’s on, but I found him to be too much of a liability as the season came to a close. I found myself holding my breath every time he got the call from the ‘pen. For all I know, he may bounce back in Pittsburgh, but Mackowiak is another good role player. It’s good to have him aboard.

How many former Sox pitchers do the Pirates have?
They have Damaso now, who joins Kip Wells, Josh Fogg, and Roberto Hernandez.

Seeing how the other pitchers worked out, you’d think they’d quit taking pitchers from us.

Re-signed 1B Paul Konerko

Pau-lie! Pau-lie!
He’s staying, oh happy day!
I can live with the fat contract. If we lost Konerko on top of giving up Rowand, we would have lost the soul of the club.

Acquired DH/1B Jim Thome and cash from the Philadelphia Phillies for CF Aaron Rowand, RHP Dan Haigwood, and a player to be named later

My initial reaction when I heard Rowand was traded was disbelief. I was shocked! But as I learned the details of the trade and thought about it, I realized it made sense. It was a legit trade for the White Sox. In Thome they got two things, protection for Konerko (an added incentive for him to re-sign with the Sox) and an insurance policy if he decides to chase greener pastures.

I love Aaron Rowand; I can’t say enough about how hard he works. I mean his reckless play in centerfield illustrates just how hard he works. It pains me to see a life time Chi-Sox player leave, it sort of brings back Robin Ventura feelings, but at least this time it makes sense.

I just hope Thome’s back and elbow and body hold up for a full season.

Re-signed INF Pablo Ozuna

Solid role player. I like it

Re-signed C Chris Widger


Declined options on DH/OF Carl Everett and DH Frank Thomas

At the time these moves in tandem seemed a bit risky. Thomas and Everett represented two big bats in the middle of the line up.
These two guys, though, are both aging and can be clubhouse cancers, so I wasn’t overly upset with them being released.
Solid role player. I like it

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Coming Soon...

-Under Construction-

Soon to be added:
-Thoughts on off-season moves
-General thoughts and concerns on upcoming season
-Game analysis
-White Sox team preview, once roster is set
-Much, much more!
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