Back From Nashville
Friday, December 7, 2007
Back In The Office
All of my best-laid plans to blog during the week from the Opryland Hotel in Nashville fell by the wayside with my crazy schedule of meetings, so sorry again to stay dark for much of the week.
I caught myself many times thinking I should blog but could never get to my room and my computer at decent hour with any energy left.
I have to be honest that I was stunned by today’s tabloid and then to hear other reaction to KW’s quote that the Miguel Cabrera trade only put the Tigers in better position to contend with us. I took the comment completely as dry humor both when he said it to Chicago writers and later on when he did a bone-chilling outdoor interview with Chicago Tribune Live. I really am stunned that people took this comment literally …
Sometimes you have to laugh through the grimace.
When the Tigers added Gary Sheffield to a pennant-winning club and yet missed the playoffs in 07? No one wins on paper.
And it’s December 7
It seems ludicrous to pick a division-winner the first week of December when there are still nine weeks of offseason to go (unless no one holds you responsible). My guess is that on Feb. 15 rosters will have changed considerably. Let’s avoid rushing to judgment.
I’m not sure how the "Miguel Cabrera is a lock to go to the White Sox opinion" became so entrenched. We certainly inquired and talked to the Marlins about Cabrera, but in the end, the Tigers were able to put together a better package than any other club (not just us) to claim the young slugger. On the day of the trade, no one with the White Sox in Nashville felt we were even close to getting him. By then, it was obvious we couldn’t better the offer. Many teams realized that, not just us.
But we certainly were in the conversation. And in some way, that might be the issue …
Personally, I would prefer to work here when we annually are involved in conversations for the very best players available with a GM who is more than willing to be aggressive and explore all our options to get a marquee player. But it also means you are going to miss more often. And the misses are going to be public.
To me, that sure beats not even being in the discussion. So in the end, maybe all the disappointment is a good sign because it means all of our expectations are raised.
I also loved the comment this week that we low-balled Torii Hunter. No one was writing that when our offer of $75 million for five years looked like it would be enough. Actually, we had the highest offer until the Angels came in and offered $18 million per year for five years and gave Hunter 24 hours to make a decision. It’s a stretch to call that low balling.
Here’s a sample of what I’m talking about:
"Learning nothing from the Torii Hunter debacle," one columnist wrote. " You’ll recall how the Sox made a Spiderman-like recruiting video of Hunter climbing the skyline, told everyone how badly they wanted him, then lowballed him and watched the Angels steal him at $90 million — Ozzie Guillen was in full babble mode Tuesday afternoon in Nashville. He eagerly told reporters at baseball’s winter meetings that fellow Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera, the sport’s most gifted young hitter, was all but Sox property. Describing the 24-year-old third baseman as his “fourth son,” the Blizzard raved how Cabrera has lost 30 pounds and adopted a new attitude. He went so far to predict he’d hit 50 home runs with U.S. Cellular Field as his new home base.
“I think he is going to bring more leadership to the ballclub,” said Guillen, using present tense.
Once again, the Sox were making it sound like a done deal, just as they’d made the Hunter “signing” sound like a done deal two weeks ago.
However, according to MLB’s official transcript of Guillen’s formal press conference, the question and Ozzie’s full answer went like this:
Q. How would you project him homerun-wise at your ballpark?
OZZIE GUILLEN: Cabrera? It’s hard because the pitching in his division in the National League is little bit different than what we are. Every day you got to face a pretty good pitching staff no matter what team come in town. This kid is a natural hitter. This kid, I’ll say will hit about 50. I think going to bring another leadership to the ball club, but whoever this kid play for earnings, he’s going to be fine. With all my respect with Cabby, I don’t think Cabby worth seven prospects for one guy. They want to do it, that’s fine.
I, this is Scott writing again (and I was sitting near Ozzie when he said this), struggle to see how this could fairly be interpreted as “making it sound like a done deal” when the same sentence includes the words, “but whoever this kid play for.”
But when you are sitting and reading your sources on the internet two degrees removed from reality, it’s easy to make comments fit your agenda.
Our clubhouse sale was a huge success last weekend with many fans coming out just to check out the home clubhouse (thanks, in those cases, for the donation to Chicago White Sox Charities). Many others bought early Xmas presents, ordered bricks and picked up a few game-used baseballs our Charities group was selling.
When MLB announced on Monday that the White Sox would play the Mets in the second annual Civil Rights Game in Memphis, Tenn. on March 29, the five men on the dais were Ozzie Guillen, Ken Williams, Jimmie Lee Solomon, Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph.
To quote the great Benjamin Franklin (not to mention another Patriot, Tom Brady):
"Well done is better than well said."
Hey, maybe that applies to baseball offseason’s as well …
Hang In There
It is early December, our club is far from complete yet and we continue to be very aggressive. Someone called our offseason a "failure." With the addition of a Gold Glove shortstop, the best middle reliever available on the free agent market and a good young offensive outfielder, don’t believe the critics. Let’s make our judgments when camps open in February.
Do we still need to improve? Absolutely, and I think we will. Games don’t start until April.