Monday, April 16, 2007
Breaking My Silence
Sorry to disappear last week. The first few days kept me very busy — what with battling the late night games in Oakland — and a few personal matters with my family that landed us in the emergency room one night (in the end, all will be well).
Funny how things look 11 games into the season.
Coming out of Tucson, the concern was all about our pitching, particularly our starting pitching.
Just two games into the season, our favorite columnist wrote an angry (imagine that), fevered piece with the header: "Spinning Out of Control … Let’s Start with Sox’ Rotation: Just two games into the season, it’s already clear that Williams & Co. were all wrong about their staff."
Among the very best quotes …
"Well, swallow this: The rotation stinks."
"We knew more than you knew."
"… Kenny GM is going to owe fans a major apology for being so smug."
"The Sox are so busy trying to show people how brilliant they are, they twist themselves into silly knots."
Oops. Want a mulligan?
Now, my guess is that this column was actually written sometime during the winter with the columnist’s finger poised over the send button waiting for his next opportunity to strike. It might have been a little premature, and perhaps a little wrong.
It took Sun-Times beat writer Joe Cowley’s article on April 13 to correct the newspaper’s written record with "Trader Kenny On a Roll."
"Looking back on Williams’ trades, he is 3-0-1, and even that tie is swaying heavily in his favor."
Later, Joe concludes with, "Point is, these deals were to be measured in September, not in February. It’s way too early to underestimate what Williams did."
Pretty disparate views, huh. Which one do you think is more accurate?
Actually, it’s way too early, and way too cold, to draw conclusions one way or the other. I sat through most of those spring games. Arizona weather, Tucson altitude and the hard infield, high sun, do matter, but no one looked like Cy Young in Tucson. Matt Thornton and John Danks were our best pitchers in the spring, while David Aardsma struggled all of March to make the staff.
So where do we stand now?
We are third in the AL in pitching with a 3.54 ERA, while our starters — despite the rough/quirky first three outings of the year — are eighth at 3.86. The re-vamped bullpen, led by Aardsma’s 0.90 ERA, owns a 3.10 ERA.
We stand at 5-6, and oh for a few clutch hits, this trip could have been 5-1 or at least 4-2.
Offensively, we rank last in the AL with a .222 mark and just ahead of KC with 38 runs scored (to the Royals 36). I think all of us feel pretty comfortable that this team eventually is going to hit and eventually going to score runs.
If not, we have a completely different issue from the one we all anticipated coming out of spring training. (just review your posts on this blog from mid to late March).
What was it that Coop said this spring? "Never evaluate in spring training." Particularly with veteran teams.
Maybe we all learned a lesson.
(Some of which are dated)
Anyone else struggle with the late nights/early mornings of the Oakland series? I did. All spring and the first two weeks of the season, I was up at 6 am to work out before heading into the office. 6 am comes way too early with the team on the west coast. Even after the game is over, I find myself awake for an hour replaying what coulda been …
Family Field Day
Tickets to the popular Family Field Day are available now at whitesox.com. This season, we timed the Chicago White Sox Charities event for Father’s Day (June 16), so take advantage and bring your dad or your son out and play a game of catch you will remember forever.
All three sessions sold out last year, so act quickly.
Sox Pride Club
Fans who are Sox Pride Club Premium members (or fans who want to upgrade or join now) will have access to purchase a limited number of lower box tickets to specific games. We hope to offer this perk from time to time this season as availability allows. Go to whitesox.com for details.
We received some great feedback on the letter to fans and his definition of the organization vision that Jerry sent out last week. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, check out our site …
Is always a good thing. Mark Newman, BAM superstar who avid readers know looks over this site as a sort of uber editor, informed me that my competition now includes the likes of Alyssa Milano. Like I have a chance!
Mark did say that he has to spend a lot more time proofreading/cleaning up comments made on her site than this one. Go figure.
(But I have been working out lately …)
By now, most people realize that Hawk missed the three-game series in Oakland to attend Boston’s Opening Day reunion of the Impossible Dream Red Sox team. He was really excited to go back to Fenway and see his teammates again. And thanks to Jack McDowell for filling in for Hawk.
Vote and Vote Again
ESPNdesportes.com is selecting the Greatest Latin Team. This week, the balloting is for shortstop with Omar Vizquel, Davy Concepcion and Luis Aparicio as the nominees. So let’s start voting again and again for No. 11.
So in arranging to have knee surgery in the next few weeks (long story), it just so happened that my ortho and his lead nurse are big Sox fans (season ticket holders infact), and she is an avid reader of this blog. So, Barb, thanks for all your help and for fitting me in to see the doctor. Just list me as day-to-day.