Odds and Ends

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Baseball

So how mad were most (all?) of us after Sunday’s loss at Minnesota, feeling like we’d missed an opportunity to gain another game on Detroit and the Twins.  But, the great thing about baseball is there is always a game the next day.  Low and behold, two days and two wins in Seattle later, and we’ve picked up two games on both the Twins and Tigers.  Crazy.

Catching Up

Some of you may have read, watched or listened to coverage at the All-Star game about Kenny Fullman, a youth baseball coach in Chicago and for our Amateur City Elite team who was honored as our “All-Stars Among Us” with a trip to this year’s All-Star Game.  If you didn’t, here are a few links to newspaper coverage of Kenny:

Read about our “All-Star Among Us,” Kenny Fullman, here:

and here

and here

 

The Club

Listen to Kenny Williams on local FOX 32 talking about “The Club.”

Blog Day

It’s fast approaching, so if you are interested, you had better order your tickets soon!

Blog Night V on Sunday, August 1 when we face the A’s (actually, it is a 1:05 p.m. game, but Blog Day doesn’t quite sound the same).

To purchase tickets, click here. Password is: BLOG

A couple of people have asked what happens at Blog Night.  Here’s my pitch, but other fans, feel free to offer your thoughts of the ever-more-popular event …

We come to the ballpark early and meet in the Conference & Learning Center.  Fans enjoy the chance to meet one another and put faces with screen names.  I try to find some interesting speakers for the group — in the past I think we’ve had Jerry Reinsdorf, Kenny Williams, Rick Hahn, Ozzie Guillen, Steve Stone, Darrin Jackson, Ed Farmer, Moose Skowron, Ron Kittle (are all these names correct and did I miss anyone)?  Then we have some fun with door prizes, question and answer, etc. 

After that, it’s on to a ballgame and a White Sox victory.

Second Half Stories

This weekend, I was in my car and caught a national radio host complaining about the lack of compelling story lines in Major League Baseball (this, it should be noted, while he spent much of his show talking about the fact that Tim Tebow has the most popular jersey in the NFL).  He challenged his producer to come up with some story lines.  When the producer could only offer two, the host closed his show by claiming the lack of story lines showed a lack of national and fan interest.

Since part of my job, in theory, is to promote baseball, I was annoyed.

So here are some of my staff’s story lines to watch for during the second half (not necessarily White Sox specific and in no real order):

  • Three-team races in the AL East, Central and NL East; a potential four-team race in the NL West
  • Will the AL Central need 163 games to decide a champion for the third straight year?
  • Success of the Texas Rangers despite the ownership questions
  • Surprise San Diego Padres
  • Can the Braves win it for Bobby Cox (see below)
  • Final seasons for mgrs Bobby Cox and Lou Piniella and questions about Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa.
  • The dominance of pitching (no-hitters, Perfect Games, etc.)
  • The Cincinnati Reds
  • Stephen Strasburg’s rookie season
  • Who is going to win the NL Cy Young race out of a loaded field
  • Amazing turnaround of the Chicago White Sox
  • A-Rod approaching 600 career home runs
  • Miguel Cabrera and Josh Hamilton in a legitimate Triple Crown race

Any others you might want to add?

I’ll offer some White Sox-specific thoughts tomorrow.

31 Comments

It’s just about time to go at it again. This time we face the Ace of the M’s staff in “King Felix”, and from the troubles Gavin has had in the past against Seattle this could be a rough one. Enough of the negativity! We will win tonight and maintain our 31/2 game edge over the Twins (who won) and the Tigers (who are winning)….. GO SOX’10….j.k.

Hernandez has a perfect game going so far!!! Booga-booga……hex, hex……

Wow, what a pitcher’s duel we have! Hope the Sox can come out on top of this one!!!

Guess what? Andruw Jones struck out again. I think this experiment is almost over……. Go Gavin……go Sox’10…j.k.

Still 0-0 into the fourth… Go Sox…..
make that the bottom of the fourth and we’ll see if this comment loads this time……

4-9-6-3-5-9! =second put out of the fifth inning. After a hit by Langerhauns, he rounded first when the ball tipped off Gordons glove and Jones threw to Alexei who tossed to Paulie, who threw to Omar and then to Andruw for the put out. No problem…….Go Sox’10….j.k.

Keep on chunkin’ Gavin. Still no score into the bottom of the sixth……

Bottom of the ninth and I have the same problem with the time thingy,,,,,, go Sox…..
and then there’s the problem of posts not going through….. attempt # 4
And only one out with runners on first and second and Threets coming in to pitch…. Go Sox….
One more try….
worth the wait… double play to get out of the inning…
Bottom of 10 now… Post darn you…..

Do I dare try this again? My last post took a long time to list and then was shoved above a couple of the others….. Top of 11th and we need a hit or two…..j.k.

Weird – my comment posted way ahead of several of your, JK.

Anyway, I’m following on Gameday, while watching the A’s and Red Sox. Maybe I’ll listen to the radio broadcast on my iPhone – the game is pretty amazing!

Yet another loss snatched from the jaws of victory by our “anchor” (get it TC?) sterling closer. A great pitchers duel only marred by the appearance of booby junks. AGAIN.
I think that is two of these abysmal performaces by this bum in four days costing the SOX two wins.
By the way, to all the junks supporters (and most especially my good buddy TC) out there in SOX Land check out the SOX players reactions to the game losing hit and the looks that booby got from his teammates! Yeah, I’m sure those are looks of respect.
Oh right, my bad, he’s not a cancer, he’s the anchor. Many more anchors like this bum and this club could sink. Nite all.

Ninth inning,no score – this one is tight!

Ack! Still tied zippo in the ninth? Well, it looks like I’ll have to find out the score when I wake up in the morning…. Night all. Go Sox!!

We got ONE!!!!! Go Bobby……. j.k.

I’m wondering why, oh why wasn’t Threets brought in for the 11th. Bobby is not getting the job done, and we should have had this win.

Story Line: How many games will Bobby Jenks be allowed to single-handedly lose? The Sox should be on a 4-0 streak right now.

Okay Sox fans, question for you (and that includes you too Buster. BTW, calling someone a “cancer” is maybe the most offensive thing a person can ever say — have you ever lost someone close to you due to cancer???)

If Jenks is moved out of our closer’s role, and Putz moved in (as I guess most people will suggest), who fills that critical right-handed setup role that Putz has filled so admirably this season?

Making a move like that to try to fill one hole only would create another one.

My vote is to stick with Jenks a little longer. Maybe find a couple of less critical situations to use him in and then get him back into his groove and in his familiar role as closer.

The loss hurt but two out of three in any road series is good. Keep doing that and we will be fine.

TC,
Yet again your post has to include a critique of others comments. You can keep “calling my sorry a** out” anytime you want you arrogant, sanctimonious SOB. I spent three years in Iraq & Afganistan helping to preserve your right to do so!
As a matter of fact my mother died from lung cancer so yeah, I’d say I have lost “someone close to me from cancer”.
Your opinion that “calling someone a “cancer” is maybe the most offensive thing a person can ever say” is just that, your opinion, not a fact! Obviously ( my opinion) I DON’T AGREE!
Who is going to fill JJ’s “critical right-handed setup role” ? Whoever raises his hand and says “Give me a shot”. One of the things I so love about this game is that is what every good team must do, have people step up when a fellow teammate falls or can’t perform. Daniel Hudson is a recent case in point.
Thank GOD your “vote is to stick with Jenks a little longer” (keep drinking the kool-air pal) means nothing to OZ. He’s made it pretty clear (finally and thankfully) that booby is going to sit for a while.

Meant kool-aid. My Bad.

Geez buster, take a deep breath! TC was offended by your use of cancer to describe someone. He’s allowed, but no where did I see he put you down the way you did him. Hey, in the words of Kenny Williams, we all have to pull on the same rope. We’re all Sox fans, right? Take a step back and maybe you can cut down on the calling of names. No one else stoops to that level, that was harsh.

Good thing today is an off day so we can all regroup, sit back, and get ready to take another series tomorrow.

Hey jk, I read something really interesting that Chris Rongey (of the pre and post game Sox broadcast) had to say about Jones and Kotsay. There were lots of people dogging Jones and Kotsay. I’m copying and pasting what he said here:

If you don’t have the ability to have a super-talented team (Yankees, for example), you have to fill the roster with guys that “fit”. Guys like Kotsay and Jones will always have a place on this team this year, because they’re doing a great service in the clubhouse for players like Rios and Konerko. In fact, they believe Rios is killing it this year because Jones keeps him loose. And the players LOVE Kotsay, and he’s able to play first so Konerko has days off, which keps him healthy. Rios and PK are probably having good seasons, in part, because of those other two guys. That’s the stuff that can’t be measured but is absolutely critical.

OK, so now I’m back….So, even though Jones and Kotsay may not have the best averages, they are providing a great service – possibly a great reason Konerko has been healthy all year (he’s getting more rest) and Rios is hitting the snot out of the ball. Also, with TCQ out more recently, we at least have a decent outfielder in Jones to put in his place. So, I think the Jones experiment is successful, just not in the obvious ways we might see.

Interesting, don’t ya think? I thought so – as I never really thought to look at it that way before I read Rongey’s thoughts. But makes good sense.

Marie

Marie, Thanks for sharing that information. That puts a different light on the situation, (in my eyes at least). No question that his defense has been there all year, but his bat, well his bat wouldn’t be that bad either, if he just made contact occasionally. Way too many strike-outs in my opinion.

Let’s recap: So far we’re 3-4 on this 10 game road trip, with two blown saves and one error crazed give-away game. So we’re IN every game. We need to take two of these next three to come back home at 5-5 and of course to make Peggy a happy camper out in Oakland…. Go Sox’10…j.k.

Hi Marie, and I second JK’s thank-you. That is a perspective I hadn’t realized, and it does make sense.

Josh, if you are on here, please email me at peggywrites@yahoo.com- need some info from you ASAP!

Thanks, and Go SOX!!!

Buster,

I’m not trying to be “sanctimonious” or “arrogant.” I just get offended when you use such a disparaging cruel term as “cancer” to describe another human being. That’s all. Find a more suitable term and I’ll leave your “sorry a**” alone.

This Jenks situation happened earlier this year, when Bobby blew a Sunday afternoon home game against Toronto (I believe). Ozzie said “closer-by-committee” then as the team headed to Minnesota.

What happened? First game at Minnesota, who comes in to close? Bobby, of course.

We’ll see him soon in that role again. He has been one of the game’s best closers since breaking in to the league at the end of the ’05 season. He’ll get his form back and will help us as we fight for this division.

And, by the way, this is a blog. On blogs, people are expected to read other people’s posts and comment on them. So, why am I different in your eyes than anyone else?

Until the bottom of the 11th last night, that game was one of the best of the year. Nothing better in sports than a 0-0 or 1-0 baseball game. Nothing even comes close. That is one of the beauties of the game of baseball.

Very insightful and interesting thoughts from Marie. The more of her comments I read the more I respect and admire her knowledge of the game and of the SOX in particular.

As far as taking a deep breath, I did, several in fact before I posted what I said this AM. It was meant to be harsh.

TC, you can post whatever you want, it’s still a free country thanx in part to people like me and my buddies (semper fi boys).
You’re not different that everybody else. You’re just the resident blog know-it-all. When someone is offended by my comments about junks I understand. But to make it personal against me and to take it to “calling out my sorry a**”? THAT offends me!
You haven’t earned the right to do THAT! Hence my response regarding you being arrogant and sanctimonious.
I stand by what I said.

Peggy, I’ve sent you an email.

Buster,

I’m sue everyone here is tired of reading the back-and-forth commentary between you and me. So this will be my final comment.

I have nothing personal against you. Just against the poor choice of “word” that you used.

And, finally, I don’t claim to be a “know-it-all.” Far from it. I have my views but they are no better and probably not much more accurate than anyone else’s opinion.

So, I am done with this exchange. And I hope you are too.

Ooo fun! A blog fight! Actually I find it much more entertaining when there is heated exchange going on here. As far as the Bobby situation is concerned, it is very tough to make a decision on the closer when you do not know which Bobby is going to show up to the game. We never know if we’re going to get the Bobby who throws a 96, 97 MPH fastball with a devastating curve, or if we’re going to get the Bobby with a 93 MPH fastball with a curveball that doesn’t break. If there was some way to find out if Bobby was going to be on his game that night while still in the bullpen, then maybe I could endorse him staying in the closers roll. However, I don’t think that would be very practical and thus I have to endorse that Bobby and his 5+ ERA be removed from that roll and either J.J. Putz or closer by committee be tried instead.

Scam – I have been thinking about something for the last couple days. In listening to the post game interviews with Bobby, he said this past game he had all his stuff, but the ball was just getting hit to good spots. He said that in the MN game when he blew the real heartbreaker, he didn’t have anything working for him. What I was wondering is, doesn’t he or the bullpen coach know that when he’s warming up? Seems to me that he knows he’s got it or not. Why not say something? Or, after giving up a walk or two or a couple hits, and he knows he doesn’t have it that night, why can’t he say something then? Are they hoping he “finds it”? Or, is it not cool to say, he coach, I don’t have it tonight? Probably a bad idea for your career to say that? However, if I were the coach, I’d rather know that ahead of time.

May be a dumb question, but I’m just throwing it out there.

I don’t think that is a dumb question at all Marie. I often wondered that myself.
I hear Oakland is having a good run. Here’s hoping ours is BETTER! Let’s Go White Sox!!!
Lisa

Some good thoughts Marie. I’d have to imagine that it’s pride getting in the way. I can’t believe Bobby was able to say with a straight face that he “had all his stuff” in Seattle. His fastball was being clocked at 93 and his curve was nonexistent. In fact his pitching looked identical to how it did in Minnesota. Sounds more like an excuse to me. As always, I’ll trust in Ozzie, despite some of my disagreements with him.

Just the other day, I was sharing your blog with my fernid. Good job. It would be nice if more people kept their entries original. Let me know what you think of my blog. Always looking for fresh comments

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