Brett Ballantini

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Several people read and enjoyed Brett Ballantini’s comment to my blog the other day and have recommended it to others.

To make it a little easier for all to find, here it is again …

(So note, this is Brett, not me.  The only thing I don’t want to have happen is his very last line, but otherwise, great post, Brett.  Enjoy)

BRAVO Ken Williams!

Not once, but twice he swoops in and makes a deal others could not. Other GMs might have had their feelings hurt by Peavy’s rejection in May–as a fan I’ll admit I was turned off–but not our guy.

The tide is turning now. Writers and analysts are being dragged kicking and screaming over to his side. No longer is he considered inexperienced or even underrated, now everyone recognizes he’s the most aggressive GM in sports, with a feel for players that can’t be taught.

Williams gets it: Trade future potential for immediate impact every time. Beckham is a rare case, a player so good he bulled his way into a role quickly. Richard, even Poreda, had a chance to make the big team and never look back, as Beckham did. We wish our young pitchers all the best in San Diego. As Williams himself would say, the best trades, both teams win, and perhaps this is one. But considering Williams’ history, things don’t look good for San Diego.

I did a little, unofficial research on just how brilliant our GM has been over his nine years. I count only four deals where Williams gave up a veteran who had any measure of success in his post-White Sox career: Keith Foulke (for Billy Koch in 2002), Carlos Lee (for Scotty Pods in 2004), Aaron Rowand (for Jim Thome in 2005), and Javier Vazquez (for Tyler Flowers in 2008). Give KW a mulligan for Foulke (Koch was ill and didn’t know it, and one eventually amazing year of Neal Cotts did come back in the deal). The Lee and Vazquez deals were not lopsided and represented essential moves to preserve team culture. Rowand was just the opposite, a deal that hurt us chemistry-wise, but it’s impossible to claim we got the short end of that one–it’s a draw at worst.

Now consider how KW has done in trading away and acquiring young players–and keep in mind the White Sox are more often buyers than sellers, so the deck is stacked against him to come away looking good when it comes to young players. But in nine years, Ken has brought in Damaso Marte, Cotts, Matt Thornton, Gavin Floyd, John Danks, and Carlos Quentin as relative unknowns. He’s dealt away Miguel Olivo, Jon Rauch, and Chris Young. Most would agree the four best players from this group are Matt, Gavin, Danks, and Q.

Now consider the players Williams has signed who were completely off most team’s radars, guys he acquired for “free” from a talent-surrendered perspective: Esteban Loaiza (later dealt straight-up for Jose Contreras!), Bobby Jenks, Tadahito Iguchi, Alexei Ramirez, and Shingo Takatsu. Those players alone (including Jose) represent roughly 15 seasons high-quality play we benefited from just because the Sox were smart enough to grab them.

Finally, KW made major deals for two players who ultimately flopped: Todd Ritchie (in only Williams’ second major deal as GM) and Mike MacDougal. And yet, in neither deal did we surrender players who “haunted” us in any way.

So by any measure, over nine seasons, Ken Williams has traded countless prospects–NONE who became a star (wonder why the Trib never touts Arizona’s “steal” of Chris Young from the White Sox any longer? CY is south of the Mendoza line these days). Allowing for the tricky circumstances surrounding the Billy Koch trade, he’s never been outright pickpocketed in a deal. He has, however, by under-radar signing or trade, picked up Thornton, Gavin, Danks, Q, Jenks, Contreras, Iguchi, Lexi, and Takatsu for nothing.

If I was an opposing team’s GM, if “Ken Williams” or “White Sox” shows up on my Caller ID, I don’t pick up the phone!

37 Comments

Hey Scott! Thanks for reprinting that comment from Brett. We who read it thought he was right on! Also, thanks for the info on the good promos upcoming. I sure wish I was closer than 17 miles away.

About an hour to go and I will be watching on WGN-HD. We finally got that out here, so I’ll check back later…. Go Mark and Go Sox’09….j.k.

Saw you on the White Sox Warm-Up, Scott! Nice job promoting everything!

Back-to-back homers!! All right Thome and Konerko! Nice job in catching up and taking the lead. Quentin…. well, you can’t blame him for trying to stretch it out into a double.

Woops, messed that up. I meant to say Dye and Thome.

It just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe we can take two of three from the red-hot Angels and pick up another game on Detroit. Who knows? You had to expect the Tigers to at least win two from Cleveland but that didn’t happen. Whatever does happen, you all will have to do it without me for a few days… Family matters to attend to and I probably won’t be able to comment. This for the week then….. Go Chicago White Sox’09….j.k.

Haven’t signed in for a few days, not since I heard the Peavy news, but I’ve been reading along. Have to admit I had my feelings hurt as well, when he turned us down the first time, but that’s mainly due to all those media stories about how us Sox fans should feel bad that Peavy said no. But hearing Stoney’s comments about what this means to the future and also his take on who we gave up to get him, I felt a bit better. Reading everyone else’s comments on the Blog (Hi Kenwo, Brett, etc.) made me feel a heck of a lot better about it. To the point that when I spied him at the park on Saturday from our seats high above the dugout (16th row in the upper deck), the butterflies in my stomach weren’t only from the altitude. So hat’s off to KW once again and now I can’t wait for September!!

As for the series with the Yank-mes (hi TQ), even though yesterday was disappointing because we’d all like to see Mark win 20 this year, who woulda taken even money on Weds. that we would take three out of four from those guys? Especially Saturday’s games when we scored all those lovely runs without a single long ball? Imagine how those hits would’ve flown out had they been smacked in the new NY stadium? I get goosbumps just thinking about it.

Now on to the Angels and hoping Jose finds the type of game he had out there in May of 08 when he had a career high of 10 strikeouts against them. We seem to do very well against the teams with the great records (3-1 against the Dodgers, 3-1 against the Yanks) so we should be able to get at least two from LA, right? I will be there tomorrow night when Mark’s accomplishments are celebrated (is he really going to throw out a first pitch? LOL!) Hope they show the ceremony on the broadcast so everyone can see it. GO WHITE SOX!!

It was nice to see us take 3 out of 4 from the Yanks, and I hope we continue this momentum tomorrow when we face the Angels. I read Brett’s post and I have to say it did make me see some of the things KW did in a new light. I was a little hesitant at giving up 4 guys for Peavy, but then again, Peavy is a proven success whereas the 4 others have yet to prove themselves, even with Richard’s great outings of late. I’ve also had a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth when we got rid of Rowand, but then again, Thome hasn’t necessarily been a bust for us either. Excellent post by Brett and I hope he contributes more to this blog. Let’s get the Halos tomorrow. Go White Sox!

Hey kiddies! I’m baaaaack!! Wow, you all managed pretty well while I was away! I just threw in the TCQ comment as a joke, but to have him hitting again is awesome! tc joked that the Sox managed to win a lot while I was away, and the Cards did well when I watched them, so maybe I should switch loyalties…. naw!! Anyways, STL was awesomely fun – everything there is cheaper (even jerseys… one of which I now own…)!! Lets hope the boys keep the bats warm tonight so they are still ready to go tomorrow, and that they don’t mind I’m back in the city!

Hello fellow White Sox fans. I’m here. Can you believe AJ threw out Figgins? Definitely a good start. Go White Sox!

You can put it on the board, YESSSSS! That’s our AL Rookie of the Month! Atta boy Becks!

And that’s why he’s our Rookie of the Month for July. Way to go Beckham!

1-2-3 inning. Let’s get some runs. Go White Sox!

You can put it on the board, YESSSSS! Atta boy Q! Looks like he’s found his swing lately.

Man you could just tell that one was GONE!! You can put it on the board, YESSS!!

Yup, he’s definitely gotten back into his groove. I have really good timing, since I ran out to the garden with 2 outs in the top of the inning, and got back just in time to see the long ball by Quentin.

You do know this means you can’t go back out to your garden for the rest of the game. :)

Come on Jose, fight back.

Jose can’t find the plate now. Ouch. 4th walk this inning.

Yeah, I know it does. But it’s getting dark and a little chilly anyways.

Oy. They already brought in Carrasco. This is going to be an interesting evening.

Atta boy PK! Tie ballgame!

Hi everyone! Still working, but tracking on Gameday out here in Palo Alto! I love how opposing pitchers now have to worry not only about Pods stealing, but Nix, Getz, and Beckham, too. Woot!

Have to take my visiting friends (canine persuasion) out for a stroll, but I’ll check back in later. Hold the fort, get more runs!

Go SOX!!!

Peggy

Need a clutch hit, Pods. Go White Sox!

All right. We need to get some runs and get ahead of these guys!

Heck YES!! Nice hustle Podsednik! Let’s turn this game around.

Woot!! Sox win on the walk-off hit by Pods to score Nix!

Ok, now i can’t wait for peavy! It is more than obvious that Contreras is history.We have strung him along for 1 1/2 years. we were lucky tonight, cudos to the pen. But we do not only have a 5th starter for a few weeks we don’t have a fourth. maybe nobody wants to admit the obvious?

Contreras is always up and down. I’m afraid we have to live with him in the rotation for a while and hope that he has more ups than downs.

That was a championship type win tonight. Beating the hottest team in the AL in come from behind fashion.

Nice to see clutch hits and to get them from the No. 9 hitter and the leadoff hitter with two outs in the ninth is a huge bonus.

Need to get at least one of the next two and win this series.

We have the best team in the division, but the toughest road to win the title. Clutch hits and a good bullpen will help us get there.

Ahhhh, beautiful. :D :D :D

Yes Ames, too bad you were bowling tonight and not at the yard!!!!

Don’t worry Amy, I was there and cheered loud enough for you!! What a great game! Jose just didn’t have it and we battled back. DJ Carrasco you are wonderful for filling in wherever needed. Gordo my crush on you grows every game. Nix with clutch hits. I tell you the guys I least expect to pull us through do it and I’m loving that about this team. The ceremony before the game was nice. I’ll post some pics of FB tomorrow. I go to sleep happy we didn’t go to extras and pleased to have seen a nice White Sox winner!! One more game closer to first to boot too!!

It’s amazing how these guys look like a different team when they are playing at home. Props to the bullpen for stepping it up recently after under performing for the last month.

My girlfriend has also developed a crush on Mr. Beckham. I told her I really couldn’t blame her tho. I’m actually taking her to her very first Sox game tonight. She grew up favoring the north siders, so I’ve been working on breaking and reshaping her into cheering for a real baseball team. I was hoping to get some better seats than our 151 row 32 tickets, but I guess they could be worse. Hopefully Floyd can send us home happy.

Awesome win last night. Becks was clutch in tying the game and thank you Pods for getting the winning hit. Another kudos needs to go to the bullpen for holding it down after Jose’s rough outing. Walks will kill ya everytime. Let’s get another W tonight. Go White Sox!

Over the course of a six month, 162 game season, there are going to be games won which shouldn’t have been…and games lost which should’nt have been…

Last niogh’s opus against the visitors from SoCal was a little of both…

The big Cuban horse that came out for the 3rd inning was an imposter from the first two innings…

Let’s be blunt, kids… He fell apart like a cheap silk suit… and there has to be SOMETHING done by SOMEONE… be it Contreras himself, or Cooper, or a combination of both… before it happens again… because we just cannot take any more of this…

The bullpen, led by Carrasco? OUT-DAMN-STANDING !!!

After scuffling through the first three innings, Lackey straightened HIS act out… Why can’t Contreras?

That is the $64 dollar question…

Then, in the last three innings, it became the Nix, Becks and Pods show… and another ballgame in the books…

Tonight, another pitcher we have never seen…

I am dreading this one, gang… just because of the track record of this team this year in that situation…

I hope I’m wrong in my assessment…

SCAM! Been missing you around here. You haven’t posted too much. Hope you have a great time tonight and that the boys put in a performance to completely transform that girl. Posted pix on FB from last nights game for those on. If not, here’s the link

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2029604&id=1475930540&l=b49afa8c44

Let’s get another tonight!!

So I’ve been hearing and and reading comments from around the web about how amazing Jayson Nix is doing. I figured it was generated from some stupid fans who are only recalling his big hit last night. BUT then I see an article on WhiteSox.com entitled “Nix Filling in Admirably for Ramirez”. Um….NO, HE’S NOT! The guy makes one clutch hit and we forget that his average has only gone down since taking over at short. And when your hitting .230 that is really hard to do. And his defensive has been average at best. How many easy grounders has this guy booted over the last week? Now, I’m not a Nix hater, I think he’s done fine as a rookie utility player. However, people should not forget his .225 average and .917 fielding percentage at SS just because of one clutch hit. I am now done venting.

Scam,

Don’t forget Saturday’s win over the Yanks when Nix walked four times — including twice with the bases loaded — and added a hit (I think). Both bases-loaded walks I think came with two outs and were critical to the two six-run innings.

I really think that batting averages for utility players don’t mean a thing, unless they are .000 (lol). As long as he comes in and makes contributions and doesn’t hurt you while he’s filling in, he’s doing his job. And, if I remember correctly, his errors haven’t been too costly yet.

Still, I am anxious to get Alexei back. His bat at home is usually a big plus for us.

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