My weekly off-season musings about the White Sox and more…
* While most of the baseball world is focused on the World Series, true Sox fans have an eye on Arizona Fall League action. The way it looks, the South Siders will have a brother combination on their roster before too long. John Danks‘ younger brother Jordan is making quite a splash for the first-place Peoria Javelinas. He’s hitting .400, has clouted two homers, driven in 12, has a remarkable .518 on-base percentage and just ended an 11-game hitting streak. Don’t be surprised if he’s patrolling one of the outfield positions at The Cell some time in 2010 or ’11.
Jordan’s teammate in AA Birmingham and the Fall League, infielder C.J. Retherford, is the kind of grinder that Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen love. He’s turning some heads as well with a .333 average, nine RBI and a .400 on-base percentage.
* Most experts are predicting that Rick Porcello, the Tigers’ pitcher who burst on the scene in 2009 with great success, will be chosen by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America as the AL Rookie of the Year. Even though the BBWAA award is the official one, if Porcello wins it won’t overshadow what Sox standout Gordon Beckham has already won. He got the AL Rookie nod from both the Sporting News and the Major League Baseball Players Association. Both votes were taken from a pool of players, a clear indication of how his peers feel about the Georgian’s first-year performance.
* It’s been irritating to live in the New York area and see how Nick Swisher has captivated Yankee fans this season after he moped around when taken out of the Sox lineup late last year. The bloom may be off the rose, however, as Swisher has been a non-factor in the Yanks’ postseason success and was benched in favor of Jerry Hairston Jr. last night.
It was sort of a win-win for me. I certainly wasn’t unhappy that Swisher got a bit of come-uppance and I was very happy that Hairston Jr. got the opportunity to start. In my travels I’ve gotten to know former Sox pinch-hitter extraordinaire Jerry Sr., even played against him in a fantasy camp at old Comiskey. He’s a terrific guy and I know it’s a proud moment for him to see the first member of his three-generation major league family get to the World Series.
* He’s not out of the woods yet, but I’m happy to say that loyal Sox fan Seymour Berke, my Dad, is improving daily with spring training definitely in his sights.