Counting Down …

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Today’s Lineup

Ozuna, 2B; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Swisher, LF; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Ramirez, CF.  Floyd pitching.

Cuts

As I’ve written before, nothing is more painful than cut day in camp.  And the later in camp, the tougher because guys understand they were thisclose to making the major league club.

Yesterday was no different.  Josh Fields was told he was going to start the year at Class AAA Charlotte, while Jason Bourgeois, D.J. Carrasco and Paul Phillips were sent out as well.

Josh was a tough one for the obvious reasons.  He understood and took the decision with class.

Paul had a great spring, but once it was clear that Toby Hall was healthy and ready to go, we no longer needed the protection of the third catcher in camp.

An MRI on Jerry Owens adductor showed a small tear.  This means we’ll need to shut him down for 7-10 days to let it heal completely.  Given that he likely suffered the injury in late February, it’s pretty impressive that Jerry played all of March with the injury.

Pitching

Here are matchups for the first two series of the season:

Buehrle v Sabathia

Vazquez v Carmona

Danks v Westbrook

Contreras v Robertson

Floyd v Willis

Buehrle v. Verlander

It’s about time to get going.

73 Comments

Scott:

I wouldn’t set that rotation in stone yet…odds are very good you are going to get snowed / cold out at least once on this trip.

The schedule makers never cease to amaze me with their stupidity. If you are going to insist on playing games the first two weeks in April at least have the good sense to only allow home games in the states of California, Arizona, Texas and Florida…along with domed stadiums and Atlanta (also if needed to balance things perhaps Baltimore, Washington, Cincinnati and St.Louis)

I mean does it make ANY sense to have the Angels open in Minnesota?

———————–

On another note, I ask forgiveness from everyone, I’m just royally mad right now and need to “rant” a tad after the Sox “impressive” performance today.

What can you say after they allow 12 runs, make four errors (including one by the ubiquitous Toby Hall), see Gavin Floyd look like trash and blow ANOTHER late lead?

I could understand if it was March 9th but it not, it’s March 26th. If this team is ready for the season opener you sure could have fooled me.

Kenny made the statement this off season that “29 other teams” would want Gavin Floyd. Maybe it’s time he put that statement to the test.

Mark Liptak

In my view the sox can compete with det. and clev. with the exception of starting pitching. Believing that Danks, Jose and Floyd all will have good yrs is a long reach. The sox need more options at the starting pitching position that is stating the obvious , yet , what is being done about it? Danks should do ok. Jose possibly but unlikely and Floyd doubtful. On another note,
Weaver must be terrible in the club house as he is ok yet noone wants to sign him.

Early in the yr. the sox should go to a 4 man rotation leaving floyd on the bench, and see how jose does.

dleeun – Jeff Weaver is a total headcase. That is why he us still not signed. Remember when he came up with Detroit and looked like a rising star. Then he went to the Bronx and busted out blaming it on the pressure of pitching in New York. He supposedly has serious confindence issues.

Mark – I think Kenny was referring to the other 29 teams wanting Floyd as their right handed batting practice pitcher.

No offense, but Toby Hall is “healthy and ready to go?”

Wow, I would hate to see him when he isn’t ready to go. I sincerely hope that I am wrong, but Mr. Hall has been rehabbing his shoulder for over a year now and he still throws like my little sister. I hope that he can eventually hit like he did in TB, but as of right now, his total game still looks terrible.

I sure am glad that AJ came into camp in great shape because we are going to need him!

sox fan since 1951 we need a left hand bat off the bench

why 12 pitcher’s in april

It is being reported on Yahoo! that the Sox are asking Swisher to become their leadoff batter and regular center fielder while Jerry Owens recovers from a right-groin tear.

Manager Ozzie Guillen announced his plans Wednesday. Second baseman Pablo Ozuna will remain the leadoff batter for Monday’s opener at Cleveland because of his success against starter C.C. Sabathia, with either Alexei Ramirez or Brian Anderson starting in center field.

Here we go again. Another corner outfielder out of position. Will Napolean Guillen ever learn from the past? I sure hope Yahoo is reporting wrong.

Mooney – after finding and reading your rumor

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rumors/post/Swisher-will-bat-leadoff-and-play-center-for-Whi?urn=mlb,73707

I am a little confused because that rumor has 2 starting centerfielders. Is Dusty Baker now working for Yahoo?

First game in CF, first mis-played ball/error. Why do the White Sox insist on playing players out of position?????? This is frustrating!!!!

Swisher played most of his games last season in center fielder. He may not be the best center fielder but i think he will do o.k. I think a bigger concern is orlando cabrera. This guy has looked like garbage going through the spring training. hopefully he is just going through the motions of spring training but i have seen nothing that says he was worth jon garland. I was a fan of that deal when it first went down because i had seen some of cabrera through the years and he was good- but i don’t think he is as good at short as uribe and his situational hitting has been just terrible in the games ive caught. he better perform come the 31st or it will be an extra long season.

and can we finally get rid of the nick massett experience? he is brutal. to have this guy make the team over wasserman would be a sham

There is absolutely NO justification…none whatsoever for Nick Masset to be on this roster.

Absolutely none.

If he does make it, I can’t wait to hear the reasoning behind it.

Yea this club really looks ready to go don’t they?

Amazing.

Mark Liptak

Just because he played CF last year does not mean he is a center fielder.

he will be better than mackowiak. that is all i care about!

Well I definitely agree with you there. But that is part of the problem, Mack was not a CF. He shouldn’t have been allowed to play that position. I would just prefer that Swish plays the usual position, rather than CF.

Well, I see that the armchair GM’s are in full-gear b**ch mode…
Before we start boiling the tar and getting the feathers ready for Kenny, Ozzie and the others…do yourselves all a big favor…

WATCH THEM PLAY A FEW F-ING GAMES AWAY FROM F-ING ARIZONA!!!SEE HOW THEY HANDLE SITUATIONS WHEN THE GAMES COUNT TOWARDS THE STANDINGS!!!

THEN,AND ONLY THEN, IF THEY STINK ON ICE, THEN GET MAD AND BLAME EVERYONE INVOLVED, DOWN TO THE VENDOR IN SECTION 5OO…

AND, IF THEY COME OUT OF THE GATE IN OKAY FASHION, THEN SHUT THE YOU-KNOW-WHAT UP…

This diatribe is now finished…because I have a headache from all the moaning and b**ching I have just read…

Kenwo – you can not deny that Anderson or Owens when healthy will be a much better option defensively in CF.

Mark – I say again, if Masset makes this team it is because they have nobody else in the system to start games should one of our starters go down. Now I would rather have Wasserman, but if they keep Masset that must be why.

Just because people have some concerns or things they don’t like, doesn’t mean you have to jump all over them. Yes, some people are all-or-nothing types, that can get a little old once in a while. But why do you jump on anyone who says anything negative or close to negative? Can’t we, as fans, be unhappy with certain things? Why do we always have to agree with whatever the Sox do?

I’m not here to bash the Sox all the time, but I’m also not here to act like everything is good and nice and fluffy and lovely. Do you really need to be a GM to have an opinion TQ? That’s what I take away from your rants to all of us.

I know IT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING! (See I can type in caps too! LOL) but the Sox are 1-8-3 since March 16th.

Wonderful.

I remember Chuck Tanner telling me in an interview that his goal was to take the best 25 players North….it didn’t matter how much experience they had, or if the entire team was made up of veterans, or if there were two left handers in the bullpen or how much it would cost the team if they were released.

That should be the goal but I must confess, this spring some of the moves the Sox have made have left me very puzzled.

The bell rings Monday (weather permitting) and we’ll see. Right now even my goal of this club having a “winning” season (82-84 wins)seems remote.

Mark Liptak

I agree kr-tre. There is nothing wrong with questioning some of KW/Ozy decisions. I wish something could have been done with the starting pitching. Our 3-4-5 starters have looked bad during the spring. I hope they can get it together when the games count.

Checking in after lurking for awhile. I as well am flabergasted by starting Swisher in CF. Why not start Anderson or Ramirez?

I do agree that Owens and Anderson are better center fielders but Owens should be back in a couple weeks. They probably want to see if Quentin can hit the ball before they make the decision on sending him or anderson out when owens returns. We know Anderson can play good defense so lets see what Quentin can do.

I know that this isn’t popular with the masses of white sox fans, but I think it would actually really really help the team to shop Konerko. I think you could get some pitching, Swisher could play first and you would have JD, Anderson, Owens and Quentin in the outfield. Plus you could replace the weak link of Floyd or Danks with someone other than the brutal Massett. With Konerko slated to become a 10/5 guy in May or June the time is now to move him along.

I agree Konerko as much as I like him does not make sense with the rest of the personnell. My opinion, Quentin can hit big time. Swisher is no center fielder, we do not know who is better long term in center field anderson,alexi or owens, owens looked ok for a short time but hit about 250 in the minors, anderson could repete his performance or excell or alexi could be great overtime , we just do not know for sure all have some talent. I think alexi is way the best but that is just an opinion. Thing is we need quentin and swisher in the line up most of the time, my take. So maybe we should trade dye and konerko and let some younger guys play. Fields, Swisher, Alexi, Anderson, owens cannot all play so make some run and get pitching from the most valuabe trade commodities, dye and paulie. Just speculation thrown out there ,does not mean I would do it in real life without a great return.

so, i only went to three games this year… i was busy. but since all three i saw were wins, i’d have to say that the team looked good….. BUT… i know what happened the games i missed, and usually we were burned by late inning rallys against some of our minor leaguerers… and this has happened for the past several years. it’s not winning in spring that helps us, but getting our main guys ready to play the games that count, so i don’t mind losing games now…. BUT ( a bigger BUT), we do need to play the guys that are doing the job. for me that means that Anderson gets solid playing time in center or left. he really never got a chance from Ozzie a couple of years ago and i think he’s earned a real shot. i agree with you about making a trade for pitching, but i’d move JD instead of Paulie. this makes room for a younger guy in the outfield, and we have too many players now to get into the line-up.

the biggest BUT… i don’t get the talk from KW and Ozzie. we are going to be competitive every year and not mortgage our future, and we’re going back to running aka Ozzie-ball, but i don’t see it happening. like most of you out there, i’m looking forward to the season, but realistically we have too many “ifs”. if Jermaine, and Paul, and AJ improve to their average season numbers, if Joe comes back healthy, if Contreras pitches as he did the first half of ’06, and if Danks and Floyd can produce 20 wins between them, we’ll be in the thick of things….. like i said, a lot of ifs……but i’ll still watch, and i’ll still grumble, and i’ll still cheer for a White Sox Winner every day, and i’ll withhold judgement until after a couple of weeks, and then. well hey i’m a White Sox fan, and no matter what, i’ll be here til the end of the season, i just hope it will be an exciting season….. sorry for the long windedness….. later all,,,, so Sox ’08…….. j.k.

Oh My God!!!! The season hasn’t even started yet and people are already complaining…… So much for the power of positive thinking. I can see this will be a “glass half empty” group this year………. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt before we burn them in effigy…. I’m sure many folks had reservations in 2005 before the season started. GO SOX!! -Dawn

Yea, playing gm and evaluating talent is part of the fun of being a baseball fan not just laying back and being a yes sir to everthing the organization does. Besides last yr. was bad, the moves in the off season are questionable, I personally like Quinton and Swisher, and cabrera but the mix is in question with fields in the minors, who? will emerge in center field and uribe at second, hall back up and starting pitching thin , so some ,to like and some to not like some to see, the fun is to see. Yea I am over optimistic like any fan but reserve a more realistic analysis for fun too.

by the way klein good post

Dawn:

I respect your views and assume that you’ll grant me the same courtesy.

I can only react to what I see…or don’t see.

I hope I’m wrong, I want the Sox to do well especially in the wake of the Cubs perhaps making the post season for a second straight season.

It’s very important for the organization to not let slip away ANY of the remaining good will from a World Championship. That would in fact happen, if they have another disaster like 2007 as well as call into question, rightly or wrongly Kenny’s job as G.M.

Mark Liptak

Kenwo – believe it or not I agree with you. As much as I like Konerko I was hoping he would have been traded to Anaheim this offseason. The rumored deal was him and Crede for Ervin Santana, Casey Kotchman and prospects or possibly Figgins in the place of the prospects. I thought the deal would be good, but apparently it did not work out.

Trading Konerko would have a backlash with fans at first, but it would be the best thing for the future. I fear that at the end of his current contract he will be breaking down regularly. My one reason behind thinking they should keep him is he will be moved to the DH slot next year, and either Swisher or Fields can take over at first. I can’t see the Sox bringing Thome back past 2008.

Speaking of Thome, might be best to leave him out of the lineup against Sabathia. He has a solid .000 career average against the man with the crooked head. 0 for 11 with 7 strikeouts.

And thank goodness no Paul Byrd in the first series!!!

I would trade Konerko this year (and by no means do i think we would be any worse than we are with him, the sox could still contend without paulie) and then thome walks after the season- dye steps right into the DH role. so you would have Swisher, Uribe or Richar, Ramirez or Cabrera, Fields, Quentin, Owens, Anderson and Dye DHing in 09. You also will have whatever you get for Konerko and you will have some considerable cash to spend with the money you will save. I would seriously consider doing something like this if I was GM. But i am not so hopefully paulie has an outstanding year and i see playoff baseball in 08. It could realistically happen with or without the trade of konerko.

Even if Thome has a .000 average against C.C. he will still be in the lineup, just maybe down to 5th or 6th with Swish hitting 3rd.

Oh I’m sure he will be in the starting lineup. Commom sense says sit him and maybe pinch hit late in the game against a reliever.

The season hasn’t started yet (except across the Pacific) and we already have a post on this board worrying about the possibility of another (certainly brief) playoff appearance by the Media Darlings on the North Side.

Who cares?

What happens in that neighborhood has zero effect on what happens with the Sox. I will never judge Sox progress or decline based on what the team that plays in the overrated ballpark does.

Don’t get too worked up yet. Save your worries about the play of the Sox for a few more weeks. Life is too short to suffer stress in March and early April.

Does anyone know where Steve Stone has been lately? I heard him on one or two of the Score’s spring training broadcasts, but the last 3 or so have been Ed Farmer and Chris Rongey. Where’s Stoney?

TC:

It does matter in my opinion and is one of the reasons the Sox are in the position they are in.

I’ve never understood the organization’s “dismissal” of the fact that they share the same city and potential fan base. The Yankees do everything they can to destroy the Mets on and off the field, ditto for the Angels and Dodgers. The White Sox basically ignore the fact that they are in competition (like it or not) with the other team in Chicago.

It wasn’t always that way despite what the media might have you believe. In the 1950′s through about 1964 the Cubs couldn’t even get arrested in this town.

But anyway here’s the reason WHY it’s important. Like them or not “bandwagon” fans increase attendance, which increases the money to the franchise, which increases the chances of getting talent by any and all means.

Trying winning a title drawing two million a season (remember the “bad old days” of the late 90′s after the infamous White Flag Trade?) as compared to drawing around three million.

With the Cubs spending ungodly amounts of money and playing in the worst division in the worst league in baseball, they have a very good chance of returning to the post season. It doesn’t matter how long they stay alive in them, the fact remains they got there.

Bandwagon fans tend to notice ‘little’ things like that and so do advertisers, the media and the folks who actually watch games driving up ratings.

Which is precisely why this season is so **** important to the Sox…both on and perhaps more importantly off the field. Which is why I made the statement I did in an earlier post. The Sox need to have a winning season at least to keep those turn-styles spinning, to keep the money coming in and to then have the funds available to get the talent needed to increase the chances of winning on the field in the future.

Like it or not what the Cubs do does matter and it directly affects the White Sox.

I wish it didn’t but that’s what happens when you have a two team town.

Mark Liptak

Mark,

I agree. The Sox do need to win to keep the turnstiles going and keep the fans’ interest. Yes, attendance and TV ratings are extremely important in a two-team market.

But, the Sox should never — I repeat never — make a knee-jerk reaction with an on-field or personnel decision based on what happens on the other side of town.

The marketing gurus can react to each other’s moves all they want. My point is this. The day that a Sox GM makes a player move because he is afraid of what might happen or is happening on the North Side will be one of the days that leads to his dismissal from the job.

I firmly believe that the Yankees would have won many more division titles and pennants in the 80′s and early 90′s had “Mr. Steinbrenner” not overreacted to what the Mets were doing.

The “rivalry” and the competition between the two franchises should be contested between the marketers and the fans. Not the front office and the players, with the exception of six games per year.

The North Siders had a marvelous year for 172 games and six innings in 2003. They were as popular as the franchise had ever been in the city of Chicago. Just two years later, they were off the radar thanks to a great run by a team that was shrewdly pieced together by Kenny Williams and marvelously managed by Ozzie Guillen.

In the Constitution, they call it separation of church and state. In baseball, it is separation of rivalry from sound personnel decisions.

Enough about the North Siders, the real baseball season is about to start and the real league — the one with the best teams and most of the best players — only visits Chicago’s South Side except for a few days in late spring and early summer. The real league is the one worth paying to watch.

Mark and TC,

I agree with both of you. The Sox *do* need to have a winning season, and personnel moves should be designed to produce a winning season, not to respond to what happens on the North side.

Of course, I agree with TC that the better baseball is played on the South Side, but Mark is right about “bandwagon” fans. Their money is just as green as the money of the “real” fans. Even if they only show up to drink the beer, they are putting money in the Cubs’ coffers, possibly *instead of* the Sox’ pockets.

To all my blog friends, I never meant my earlier post about being worried to imply that I’m not hopeful, or looking forward to a great season. Every fan is entitled to optimism in the Spring, and I am definitely indulging!

Go Sox!

TC:

Just to be clear, I never talked about, hinted or implied that the Sox should make moves based on what the Cubs do or do not do.

I agree 100% with you on that point.

I just think that had the Sox actually understood the impact of what the Cubs were doing in the 1980′s and decided to not let that stand, that things would be very different today, and that includes their place in their own market.

The Cubs are in direct competition for the entertainment dollar of ‘casual’ fans in the city and area. That can not and should not be ignored.

And the best way to get that money, to win (a la 2005) but more importantly to CONSISTENTLY win. To cause the next generation of fans to migrate towards the South Side because the Sox have made the post season in three of five years or six of nine. That resonates greatly with people and secures the future of the franchise.

I honestly thought that was going to happen after 2005 but it hasn’t (much like 1973, 1984, 1995 and 2001…)

Mark Liptak

I am usually optomistic but…

What in the wide wide world of sports is wrong with these people? Why in the world would you reward Masset for nothing and send the 2nd most reliable reliever on the team down to AAA???? Options, politics, B-freaking-S. Admit you made a mistake on Masset and move on.

Why in the world would you start Uribe at 2b opening day? Ozuna is hitting like .420 of sabathia lifetime. At least Swish is not playing CF. Hey, I got an idea how about putting one of the top defensive CF out there? That is alot of pressure to put on Ramirez.

I’M READY FOR BASEBALL SEASON TO START FOR THE MAJORS. It already started in college GO NECKS!!! Didn’t know if u knew Scott but WIU won its biggest game in the history of WIU beating #8 Long Beach State in Cali.

Well folks, and so it begins again. Another baseball season is underway. I went and reread blogs from 2005, I smiled and I cried and I remembered, and I hope this year brings more of the same. I remember still, that my dad was only gone 1 year then, now it’s almost 4.. maybe he’ll reach down to us again like he did in 05… maybe folks, just maybe, all the media hype on Detroit will cause them to choke ‘It can happen, ya just gotta believe’ (Angels in the Outfield) Here’s to a good year guys and gals!

I think that left handed bat one fan suggested we needed was Ross Gload. Trading him for the non-factor Sisco was definitely not one of Kenny’s best moves to be sure.

Baseball Bats

Because baseball has to operate on some levels with a business first attitude, they have to consider themselves in competition with the Cubs for the floating fan base out there. I believe where they have made their mistake in this arena, was they have chosen , for some reason , not to market their great Ballpark. If you have an edge over the competition you should take advantage of that. And by far the White Sox have an Advantage in Ballparks. From Parking to tailgating, Pontiac Fundamentals area, Club Level, a great outfield area, Bull Pen Bar, great food, Stadium Club, Jim Beam Club. I could go on and on. But if you talk to someone who is not a Avid White Sox Fan, They know nothing of most of these things
Let The Marketing side compete with The Cubs (and when The Sox are winning and The Cubs are not, it makes their job easier) and let Kenny and Ozzie worry about winning.
Show Chicago and surrounding areas what a Great Ballpark this is.

tomq, and to all the other Sox fans …

Just wanted to wish you all a good season [but not too good obviosly ;) ].

Here’s to a healthy season for all of our players.

Dean

Interesting new look… can’t say as I like it or not..just different. Any way..on to the day at hand.

HERE WE GO! I’ve been waiting a long time for the season to get started. Much like spring, the start of baseball brings a new sense of hope and possibilities. Don’t necessarily agree with some of the moves, but I don’t think the people in charge will care what I say =) They are paid for this, so I’m willing to give things a shot. Here’s to a year of good things, great plays and safety for the guys. Win or lose, I just want them to play hard and do their best. I can handle a loss..if it’s a hard-fought one. I’ll cherish every victory, and hope to see magic happen again =) -Dawn

Ernie Harwell, the great voice of the Detroit Tigers, used to say this every Opening Day… If it’s good eneough for the gentleman from Georgia, it’s good enough for yours truly to pilfer and present today…

For, lo,the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

My wish today is that we all take a deep, cleansing breath, say our prayers to whomever you pray to that the boys have a successful 2008 regular season, and just sit back to see what occurs…
And my other wish is that whomever the joker was who predicted that the White Sox would win only 50 games this season… would meet the business end of a Louisville Slugger baseball bat, aimed right for his noggin…

Let’s rock-n-roll, kids…

oh my my my…. after going thru a lot of **** to see the game, I’m wondering why I bothered… crikey

Well at least they waited until the second inning of the opener this year to implode. It gave me about a whole 15 minutes of hope.

This new website is AWFUL!!!! It takes forever to load.

The Almighty Tigers lost to the Royals. Strange I thought that they are supposed to sweep teams like that.

Besides Buehrle getting rocked, I didnt like 2 on 1 out and Crede and Uribe both striking out on high fast balls. Other than that, they have looked pretty good, I think.

i’m not loving it either… it’s awful1

This is some of the worst umping that I have ever seen. 3 blown calls that werent even close to being called what they were. Complete bull.

I know, try not coming unglued when your spouse is trying to sleep… wow.. kids told me to have a beer! LOL! These boys in blue are bad news!

THOSE UMPS STUNK! At least there were several things I liked about this game. They played till the last out of the 9th inning. They hit well against CC. Everyone was ready to crucify Masset and he did well. Everyone thought Thome should sit, and we all know what he did. I am disappointed in the loss, but I liked what I saw today. This is a different team than last year. I have high hopes for this season.

Marie

Welcome to baseball 2008!! I can feel the warmth in the air! Let me get my griping over with now….
First is it my computer or is this blog taking longer to load up?
Why did Ozzie wait until Cleveland scored 7 runs to pull Buehrle? This is a serious question and not meant to be a jab at his managing. Is this typical managing or would other managers have pulled him earlier?
Massett deserved a win in this one. Brilliant! Kept us in the game.
Someone needs to tell Ramirez to just make contact and not swing like mini Uribe AND have a good lunch, goodness that boy is thin!!
Ok, I agree the umping stunk, but if Hawk moaned one more time about it, I would have thrown a shoe at the TV (which really would have made Mr. Mack mad). I thought it just made him sound like a whiney baby.
Maybe this is a good sign, we didn’t give up, even in the bottom of the ninth we had a chance there, we scored so many runs in a Sabathia outing and Jim smacks 2 against him and in Cleveland!
I’m done. Even though the score wasn’t in our favor, there was some things to be encouraged about no?
Happy New Season!!

A few thoughts.

I rewatched the controversial plays just to make sure, slowed them down ect.

*I could see giving the umps the benefit of the doubt on two of the calls and that’s being generous, but they absolutely blew the call on Crede. I hope the Sox send the tapes to the MLB offices for review. That was flat out nasty. Part of the reasoning for MLB to try to break the umpires union a few years ago was to increase consistency and make umpires accountable…fine, let’s see them start to do it.

*HOWEVER let’s keep in mind something. With the bases loaded and no outs in the 8th inning NEITHER Cabrera nor Thome could get the ball out of the infield. Rifle a clean hit or drive a deep fly and the umpires aren’t even involved in the play are they? We saw a lot of this awful hitting in the clutch last year didn’t we?

*I wonder if Ozzie now regrets not pinch running for some of the “speed demons” in that 8th inning. Maybe it makes a difference. I’m not saying it would, just offering a “what if” situation.

* Finally this team will only go as far as the pitching carries it. And the pitching was awful today. Dotel gets two out, is ahead 0-2 on the count and decides not to waste a pitch. Obviously not the right move was it?

Other then that I guess you can say it was better then last year’s opening day embarrassment…but not by much.

Remember a fast start is absolutely crucial.

Mark Liptak

P.S. I see this new web design doesn’t allow for paragraphs…bad move. Everything that everyone writes looks like an on going jumbled mass. Very hard to read and understand.

I guess they fixed the paragraph issue. Thank you. The preview section doesn’t do that and I thought it would post the same way.

Mark Liptak

Just watched the 8th inning. (Thank you, TiVo.) My thought is this: The umps have blown calls in the last two games (Saturday and today) and as a result, have likely impacted the outcome of each game. Enough already. What’s it going to take to get instant replay introduced to baseball? Please don’t tell me it all averages out in the end. I’d rather have the right calls made at the right times.

some thoughts from opening day….wow the umpiring was GOD AWFUL. brutal. sickening. ridiculous. ricockulous. Crede was safe by a mile. That may have been the worst call I have ever seen. Hold off on that instant replay in baseball though. just think back to 2005 playoffs- if we had instant replay then it might have been a different outcome.

Secondly….I have heard all of the Uribe bashing for a couple of years. Juan Uribe NEVER played shortstop as bad as Cabrera did today. For a guy that is supposedly a defensive upgrade I just haven’t seen it. 2nd inning he booted a sure double play and that throw to home on Blakes double was just painful to watch. I could have gotten more on the throw for petes sake. If Uribe was at short he would have gunned him down by 5 feet.

Third…. Even though this was a losing effort the Sox looked pretty good minus the Buehrle blow up. To come back against Sabathia in that fashion was great. If they could have won this game in spite of those bad calls I think it could have sent the Sox on a major roll to begin the year. It may still do that because of the big come back. We shall see Wednesday.

Finally….Liptak is right. If the pitching gets lit up like this it won’t matter if we have 5 bad calls every single game. Massett looked good-I eat my words from earlier on that one (still think Wasserman deserved a spot though). If Dotel isn’t reliable and the starters get knocked out early the Sox will lose 90 games again.

Second Finally…Ramirez looked like a bad rookie. hopefully that was just opening day jitters.

The umpires were bad today. The home plate umpire had a bad day all around. He was very inconsistent early on for both Buehrle and Sabathia. As a former high school level umpire I do give a little more leniancy to the umps. Bad calls seem to snowball, and today was an obvious case. Hawk needs to quit crying about them though.

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I am all for some sort of instant replay in baseball. I don’t want balls and strikes or swings and check swings challenged. But it should be stuff like a missed tag at home, a bang bang play at first that can be challenged, or a diving catch in the outfiled. In today’s digital age why not take advantage of what the technologies we have and add to the integrity of the outcome of the game. The NFL’s challenge system works very well. If they could emulate something like that I think it would be well accepted.

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As for Masset’s performance today, I thought him keeping us in the game was fantastic. We could have lost this game by 10+ runs. Today was the reason why I had been saying they would keep him around. He is that “lost cause” pitcher that can give you 4-5 innings whether they be good or bad when a starter loses it like Mark did today. And today Masset helped turn a “lost cause” into a “cause” with his effort

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As for Dotel I have said since it was rumored that they were looking at him that it was a stupid thing to do. Yes it is only one game, but this guy has a history of implosions in tight situations and is an injury waiting to happen.

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As for Ramirez, can’t say I really understood starting him today. He looked very Juan Uribesque at the plate swinging to hit the ball 800ft every pitch. And apparently he needs to work on his “I got it” in English. I thought he was going to take out JD in the first inning.

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Kenwo – I never really saw much if Cabrera at SS so I wanted to wait to judge him until I had actually watched him closely. I don’t see what made this guy a gold glover. Uribe has a much stronger arm. Hopefully today was just a bad day with the glove, but the way he played sure has me wondering.

According to a story by Mark Gonzales in the Tribune, his game recap, Ozzie has apparently already “warned” certain players that they have to perform or else they’ll be replaced.

Gonzales then immediately mentioned the performances by Uribe and Ramirez Monday. Understand Ozzie didn’t specifically ‘call them out’ but he did say “they know who they are” and Gonzales immediately seemed to assume it was those two individuals.

Just FYI.

Mark Liptak

Uribe definitely looked bad at the plate in game 1. Maybe that is what Ozzie was referring to.

The umps made poor calls, but having to listen to Hawk b*#ch and moan for two innings was torture.

It was a good sign that Masset threw so well and the White Sox fought back to make it a game.

Get ‘em next game boys.

Geez, quite a few bad things and a few good ones too. Thome is the man, he’s coming out ready for business this season. Glad to see the offense pick up against a serious team like Cleveland. Dotel, well, I guess that’s what I worried about when they signed him, but its still early. Helluva job by Masset though…. Besides those godawful umps, and some speedbumps, that was a helluva start to the season.

Ozzie wants to point fingers at Ramirez and Uribe??? They never should have been in there. Does it really take a genius to see Ozuna should have started at 2b and Anderson in center? Those umps should be fired. The worst and probably the most costly call was AJ at 1st. It was really nice to see Masset step it up, however after taking the spot of a much more deserving pitcher in Wasserman.

Didn’t get home until the 4th so I missed Mark getting lit up. Great job by Masset though. I agree with the Ozuna situation billb. As far as Ramirez goes though, I like what he brings to the table. Unfortunately that amounted to nothing last night. Ah well…
The Crede play coulda gone either way it looked pretty close but the Cabrera slide was garbage.

I didn’t get to see the actual game, but i got to see the replays on the news last night and all I can say is….we were robbed!!!

I was trying to follow the pitch by pitch on the computer because I was at work but something was wrong with the White Sox homepage…it kept shutting down and aborting the script and kicking me off…extremely frustrating!!!!

Not too pleased with the result but very pleased with the overall effort. Certainly better than last year though….I love the energy Nick Swisher seems to bring to the dugout…was even pleased to see Ozzie animated again…and boy oh boy, do I love me some Joe Crede!!! Soooo glad we kept him, even though I wanted him to be Joe “Clutch” Crede yesterday, didn’t quite work out, maybe next game.

However, I must admit feeling good about the way the guys kept fighting. Keep up the fight!!!!

I know it’s “over” and we need to look ahead, but I’m hoping someone can answer a question. What, if anything, happens when these calls are reviewed or sent to the league officiating crew? Seems like these guys are supposed to be beyond reproach. Players and managers aren’t supposed to say squat about how the crew performs; we never learn of any reprimands or action taken; are they fined? docked pay? does someone keep a tally, and if it occurs over and over something is done? I said I can take a loss as long as our guys played 9 innings, which they did…everytime they seemed out, they struggled back. But when the guys in blue make the difference not once, not twice, but potentially 3 times…you just can’t win. -Dawn

The umpire did make the correct call on Cabrera. Had Cabrera slid reaching for the base with his hands and taking the guy out with his legs it would not have been called that way. The umpire will always call interference if you use your hands to make the contact. If you saw Blake take out Cabrera earlier in the game he did it perfect, reached for the base with his hands and hit Cabrera with his legs. That is how you are taught to break up a double play.

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On the play at first base with AJ, the umpire was not in the best postion to make the call. After seeing the replay this monring he should have been a few steps wider(towards 2nd base) to see the foot come off the base.

Regarding the umpires it was either last year or the year before one of thge newspapers found out and printed a story that Hunter Wendelstad (One of Ozzie’s “best” friends – LOL) had been fined and suspended for a short time because of his actions against the Sox.

He was suspended apparently after Comcast cameras caught him yelling curse words towards Ozzie.

Yes MLB does have rules and can take action against umpires but they try to keep those issues internal, which is something I never understood.

Players, managers and G.M.’s are held publicly accountable…why not the umpires?

And in both the A.J. play and the Crede play the umpires were out of position yet refused to move or do anything to change that. They didn’t move or ask for help…just made a bad call.

This started in 2004 when Bruce Fromming and Wendelstad were involved in an awful call against Carlos Lee. Ozzie challenged them, called them out on it and since then if there’s been a close play it generally has gone against the Sox.

Umpires have “long memories” and don’t like getting embarrassed when they blow a call. They’ve made the Sox pay for telling the truth time and time again and that won’t change until Ozzie is gone.

That says a lot more about the integrity of the umpires then about Ozzie to me.

Mark Liptak

Generally speaking I think you are right Lip but there are times when calls go the Sox way. Specifically, AJ’s dropped 3rd strike and JD’s “Hit by Pitch” are the first that come to mind.

I always say, life’s not fair but sometimes it’s not fair in your favor.

Opinions on Opening Day:
1)Buehrle should NEVER pitch AGAIN in Jacobs/Progressive/Regressive Park…The Indians seem to know what is coming from him… I think it was a year or two ago that he was rocked for 10 runs in a game against them there…
2)Masset should ONLY be used as the innings-eater when coming out of the bullpen…Twice in the last two seasons,he rescued Buehrle and the pitching staff by working in a fashion of band-aid…
3)The umpiring does what people do through the business end of a straw…but they get their noses out of joint and their feelings hurt when it’s brought up to them…
Other than those small instances, Mrs.Lincoln, how’d you like the play?
One other thing… Sabathia gets off the hook against the Sox too many times by having the Tribe work their big bats…SOMEBODY hit this guy, and make it stick, willya?

Rick:

The call on A.J. in game #2 of the ALDS was the correct call and even if the call was bad if Escobar retires the next hitter nothing comes of it.

That’s much a different circumstance then yesterday. On A.J.’s play at first the Sox had no option it cost a run and I think it ended the inning.

Mark Liptak

MB does get hit hard by the Tribe, but he DID have a 2 hitter at the Jake in 2004 in which the Sox won 14-0. Of course, the 2004 tribe are not the 2008 tribe so it’s a little apples and oranges.

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