Thursday, March 8, 2007
OK, We Get It
OK, we get it. Today’s Tribune contains about the eighth story written within the last two months by national baseball writer Phil Rogers along the same theme, criticizing our offseason moves, Kenny’s long-term plans or outlining just why we won’t win in 2007.
We get it. Phil doesn’t like our team. Doesn’t like Kenny’s trades and disagrees with how he has tried to restructure our pitching staff for this year and into the future. He’s certainly entitled to his opinion, but …
Enough already. How many times are we going to read about it?
I have appreciated all of the Tribune conspiracy-theory emails from you that tie the Tribune’s editorial approach to our club since October to the changes on the other side of town and a new marketing approach/attitude. I’ve never been much for conspiracy theories, but they can entertain.
One correspondent noted that there was money to be made on the Sox post World Series (books to be written and published, ratings points to be had, etc). Now, we are just another team … I can’t believe that would be true.
As you read today’s article, remember that Contreras was our No. 1 starter for 2005-06 and is signed through 2009, Garland is signed for the next two years (through 2008), Vazquez through 2010, and the club approached Buehrle last summer on a reported three-year extension, which he chose to decline. Is there another team in baseball with the quality and stability of those top three starters for the next two seasons?
It appears to me that the New York Yankees are taking a very similar approach to accumulating and developing pitching as we are. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t read the same amount of skepticism about their approach as ours. It also seems to me that an interesting story might be how these two teams are trying to get ahead of the game’s current pitching trends. Will it succeed? October will tell.
Ross Gload just didn’t look right in Royals blue. Ozzie gave him a round of applause before his first at-bat.
Kenny Williams wandered into the WSCR Radio broadcast booth in the second inning to congratulate the guys for being on the air.
Nick Masset impressed with his arm yesterday and with his glove, stabbing a liner right back at him that would have hit him in the hip.
Some correspondents are correct, David Aardsma in uniform does remind you of Billy Koch, but believe me, it’s just the way he wears his pants.
Former PR director Paul Jenson took in the game along with former SI publicist Art Berke. Another former Sox PR guy, Chuck Shriver, has been down this spring and I exchanged calls with Aaron Cushman, who worked alongside Bill Veeck for the Sox in the 1950s, during the winter. See, what they say about old Sox PR guys isn’t true …
Jim Thome has kindly offered to shave my head for me. He looked at the top of my head (which has thinned, I must admit, over the years) and said, "It’s time."
Not sure how my family or the front office will react to it. And I’ll certainly need more sunscreen.
As we rode exercise bikes this morning, Jim was explaining how beneficial it is for him to play in minor league games during the spring.
"I can move from AAA game to AA game to A game and get three or four at-bats in a 10 minute span," the designted hitter said. "For me that’s invaluable."
For those unfamiliar, minor league games are played each day on the back fields at 1 pm (beginning March 15). Several games are played at once and often major league players (pitchers and hitters) are inserted into the lineups. A guy like Thome can hit leadoff in each inning and get repeated at-bats.
"Take yesterday," he said of our home game at TEP. "I was the DH. We don’t have a batting tunnel in the ballpark, so basically, it’s like pinch hitting four times in a game. Compare that to how much work and how many at-bats I can get in a B game or in a minor league game."
The Sox played a B Game at the Rockies this morning. There was Jim, in uniform with his bats and baseball bag in hand, climbing into his SUV to drive over for the game. Reminds you of American Legion ball.
Royals coach Eddie Fisher to Ozzie Guillen yesterday (they were together in Tampa Bay near the end of Ozzie’s playing career):
"Shut up Guillen. We used to walk three guys just to pitch to you."