Catching Up

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.

Random Thoughts

(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.

Jerry’s Letter

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 …

Competition

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 …)

Hawk

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.

Support

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.

17 Comments

Scott:

Hope all goes well with you knee and that you are back to the grind (sorry, I couldn’t help myself…) as soon as possible.

Mark LIptak

Thanks for the updates Scott and for putting everything in perspective….there’s alot of baseball to play! Best of luck with the knee surgery.
Donna

That certain writer has been eerily quiet. I think he is waiting for another losing streak so he could start spewing from his mouth. God forbid he say he was wrong. Way to jump the gun after two games *********.

Hello Scott and all. Help me watch the Sox! Last 2 years I have been watching the Sox on MLB.TV. Now after I pay, and become a Sox pride member, I am blacked out. Who is behind this? I have Comcast cable and can’t get Comcast Sports Net. I have been a Sox fan since I was little boy in the 50′s. Please write MLB.TV and Comcast and help us Sox fans! Thanks!

Okay, major components addressed in the offseason: BULLPEN, whatdayathink? Improved? Stupid question, it looks like a huge improvement. (caveat on everything I write- it’s early) CENTER FIELD, Better? Erstadt, big pick-up, problem was solved. LEADOFF, stayed with Pods, healthy again, off to great start. Not a bad move, sticking with own player. FUTURE OF STARTERS, don’t mean to sound like a homer, but I’m liking Masset and Danks for McCarthy right now. Garcia trade, jury is out. Not bad, Kenny, I’m with you. BUT, who thought the hitting would go south, after so many big offensive numbers put up in 2006? Hopefully they heat up with the weather.

Scott,

Best of luck with the surgery.

I was in Boston over opening day and, to my surprise, there was a significant amount of talk on the sports radio circuit about Hawk’s team and to my delight he was featured quite prominently. It’s always good to hear Hawk getting his due credit.

Mark

Scott,
Good luck with you surgery. Hopefully you are not going to be off your feet too long, or missing too many trips to the ballpark.

Scott,

Thanks again for your help with the MLB Audio issue. I have one other question for you: Why is the White Sox ‘TV Blackout Area’ so large? It covers 80% of IL and IN, 20% of WI, and 100% of IA. About 90% of that area doesn’t get WCIU, and about 50% of that area doesn’t get CSN. However, by claiming them as ‘home territory’, the White Sox prevent those people from seeing the Sox on MLB Extra Innings/MLB.tv even though they can’t see the Sox games on cable/satellite, except for the handful of games on WGN.

Although this probably goes for many other areas as well, I’m thinking of Indianapolis in particular. None of the cable systems in Indy carry WCIU or CSN, yet nobody there can see the White Sox on Extra Innings or MLB.tv. What benefit can this possibly be to growing your fan base that a million plus metro area that’s less than 200 miles away can only see 25 of your games?

A 5-6 record is hardly anything to brag about, but it’s not exactly a complete disaster either. I’ve been feeling pretty good about the pitching so far. In fact, if you removed opening day from the equation (wouldn’t that be nice?) the pitching stats would be even better. We’ve seen quite a few low-scoring Sox games, which I’d much rather see than games where the score is 9-7 or 10-6 or whatever. The Sox have just been coming up on the short end of them. The competition is so tough in this division, though, that the Sox can’t afford to get too lax in their approach thinking that things will just “come around.” I’m not sure we can count on the same type of rally that the Twins made in the second half last year.

Glad to have you back, Scott, and glad to hear you’re mostly OK. Take care of that knee.

Cabi,

The Sox don’t control blackout issues. That is MLB with its 200 mile radius. If the Sox and other teams could pressure MLB to relax that rule, GREAT!!

I’m a 4-5 year STH that will soon be moving to Indy, to be with my beautiful fiance, and I am able to get CSN at her home through DirectTV. It’s an additional charge per month ($5 I think) but I told her there was no way I could move down there without my Sox. She called DirectTV and had it added the next day. :)

I won’t get the WCIU/CNS+ games but with WGN and CSN I should get 80% or so, XM or MLB audio will suffice for the rest. Also hoping with Zell buying the Trib we’ll see a change in broadcasting, i.e. putting more Sox games on WGN?

As an aside, Scott, I know a certain 4 year old who really enjoyed himself at Soxfest doing the training academy thing. I know its a bit of a cruise but I asked at Soxfest if the training academy goes down to Indy at all, which unfortunately they don’t. I think the Sox academy would do well around there. Some great talent on some local teams as they have made it to the Little League World Series recently. Indy is a good place for baseball they just need access, which is difficult with the blackout rules.

Anyways, thanks for listening.

Roadtripper aka Scottiehaswheels aka

Tom

Scott,
Good to hear from you. Good Luck with knee surgery. We’ll keep you in our prayers. God Bless and Go Sox! BTW, great to see Hawk get his props! Would it be possible to ask the players where they stored that hunger they displayed throughout the 2005 season? I haven’s seen it yet this year. Perhaps they have put that hunger on ice and it is cutrrently in the process of thawing. I don’t mind cheering even when they lose as long as I see there is truly a fighting spirit there trying to emerge but FIGHT doggone it FIGHT! to the very end!! I miss that intensity.

Exactly, Imunoz, no fire. Just don’t see it. It just seems like a team with good players, going through the motions.

Mr R. … Arthroscopic surgery, as you are well aware from being around the team, is not really that big a deal… you’ll be on crutches (perhaps) for a while,but there is a bright side to that… If, say, one of the “vultures” of the print world writes something that displeases you…you can ask AJ how to go up behind them and give them a “crutch shot” to the back…maybe that would cure them…
To lmunoz and brother tucker… Lisa, Timothy, how many times does an old man have to advise you all (sounds like I’m from the South, doesn’t it?… or maybe it’s a tribute to that Bulls forward…you know, “You All” Deng…(I’m sorry…but I couldn’t resist…))that everybody in the East and Midwest has suffered from meat locker temps so far, and hitting needs to be done in much warmer temperatures…so patience, dear friends, patience… PLEASE !!!

If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work…If it works, they have the firepower to make things interesting…

By the way, to Mark Newman…BAM superstar and uber editor…If at all possible, I would like to be considered to help clean up Alyssa Milano as well…
(I’m a baddd boy…either that or a desperate one…)

I’ll leave now…you don’t have to show me where the exit is…

The time difference between here and Oakland bothered me, but I also had to wait up to watch the 10:00 news to see the video of Joe’s third “strike”.
I hope he’s alright today… and I hope he shows them all!

Go Sox…

PLEASE work your magic and let them offer Alyssa’s Touch Clothing wear with the White Sox logos! Our ladies NEED this!

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