Art Berke, a lifelong White Sox fan, has worked at the highest levels of the sports industry with Major League Baseball, ABC Television and Sports Illustrated. He grew up in Northwest Indiana, in the shadow of old Comiskey Park, and proudly proclaims 2005 as the best year of his life. Art offers his glass half-full opinions and observations as he lives and dies with the Sox.
The opener of the Ranger series started with a two hour and 25 minute rain delay last night in Arlington…
The Sox treaded water behind another fine performance by Freddy Garcia…
Until tying up the game 3-3 in the seventh inning on an RBI single by Alex Rios and a Paul Konerko sac fly…
Then the South Siders finished the comeback in the ninth as Mark Kotsay doubled in two runs that proved to be the difference in the 5-3 win. It kept the Sox just two games back of the Twins and a game behind the Tigers.
A nice way to begin the July 4th weekend against one of the hottest teams in baseball.
The game got off to an awful start. After both Ozzie and Mark Buehrle were tossed early in the game by veteran umpire Cowboy Joe West–Guillen for arguing a balk call and Buehrle for tossing his glove in disgust after committing his second balk–things looked rather dim as Randy Williams jogged to the mound to relieve Mr. Perfect.
Williams didn’t last long, giving up a run and three hits in 2/3 of an inning. But the day was saved by Tony Pena (above), who pitched four scoreless frames while allowing only two hits. Offensively, Mark Kotsay smashed a homer with a man onand Mark Teahen clubbed a two-out, two-run double. The Sox needed every bit of it in the 5-4 win today against the Indians as Bobby Jenks imploded in the ninth by giving up three runs before getting out of a bases loaded, one-out jam.
Aside from being credited with the victory, Pena’s noble performance also saved the bullpen from work it didn’t need. The Buehrle ejection and the potential negative impact it could have had on the pen was the last thing we needed heading into a four-game series in St. Pete against the Rays. Hopefully Pena’s rescue effort will pay dividends this weekend.
I have one question after witnessing the White Sox lose another game and another series–this time to the last place Kansas City Royals, who continue to sit in last place and improved to14-24 with today’s triumph.
Do the Sox really expect their fans to endure this team as presently constituted for the next four and a half months?
Kenny Williams has admitted he’s losing patience. Kenny, join the club. With high hopes for a division title and all the bravado about being a strong championship contender, the Pale Hose have self-destructed. Either Williams’ architecture is highly overrated or the players he acquired in the offseason are grossly underachieving–or maybe it’s a little bit of both.
There’s a lot of blame to go around. Mark Teahen, Gordon Beckham, Gavin Floyd, CarlosQuentin, A.J. Pierzynski and Mark Kotsay are at the top of my list. If Alexei Ramirez hadn’t rallied a bit recently, he’d be there too.
So, what do we do? I’m not sure, but it’s unbearable watching these guys blow leads and fail to come through in the clutch day in, day out, night in and night out.
KW, it’s time. Something needs to be done to shake things up. Whether it’s via trades, promoting prospects or reading the riot act, do it. The status quo is unacceptable.
Teahen: One of the poster boys for the Sox failures
Aside from my own anger, frustration and the fact that I throw up my hands in disgust almost every night after watching these White Sox, my thoughts turn to what Kenny Williams must be going through.
He’s as hard-working and passionate as any GM and has given us what no other front office exec has provided–a World Series championship. Of course he’s made his mistakes, but all in all he’s been outstanding at putting together contending teams. I wish the Sox could be as consistent as the Twins and various other teams, but considering the mediocrity I’ve experienced in my lifetime as a Sox fan the Williams years have been good. And as a fan, I truly appreciate how much he cares.
After last night’s embarrassing 6-1 loss to the Royals, The Sox are now seven games below .500–the same Pale Hose who many picked to win the A.L. Central. Let’s face it, right now the Sox are arguably the worst offensive team in baseball.
The facts: a .228 team batting average with a .205 mark with runners in scoring position, both last in the league. And they’ve scored just one run in their past 17 innings and three in their past 22. Last night’s lineup had four hitters batting under .200. Get the point?
The list of culprits is a long one. Juan Pierre, Gordon Beckham. A.J. Pierzynski, Mark Teahen, Alexei Ramirez, Carlos Quentin and Mark Kotsay all have underachieved. Williams must be pulling the hair out of his head. After all, he acquired every last one of these guys.
So what do we do? Keep being patient with the hope things will turn around? Blow up the team? Have a come-to-Jesus meeting? I don’t have an answer and that’s why KW makes the big bucks. But I’ll say this, he’s not going to watch this nightmare continue much longer. Mark my words, there will be changes.
You can look at today’s 7-6 White Sox victory against the World Champs two ways.
Option 1: The Sox charged to a 5-1 lead, highlighted by two Andruw Jones homers and one off the bat of Mark Kotsay, temporarily lost the four-run margin and had enough grit to come back and break their six-game Yankee Stadium (old and new) losing streak.
Option 2: The South Siders blew another lead, suffered through a nightmare inning by Scott Linebrink and were lucky to survive.
Whichever explanation you choose, the good news is that Sox won against arguably baseball’s best team at a place where they haven’t won much lately. And aside from the homers, A.J. Pierzynski broke out of a season-long slump with a 3 for 4 day and the game-winning two-RBI double (pictured above) while Bobby Jenks had a relatively calm ninth inning to earn the save.
Mark Buehrle goes in the rubber game tomorrow against Phil Hughes as the Sox attempt to win the series from the Yankees.
Sox note of note: Three former Sox pitchers saw action for the Yanks today–Javy Vazquez, Damaso Marte and Boone Logan. Javy was tagged for five runs and Marte surrendered A.J.’s key double. Logan struck out the only batter he faced.
Leave it to our Ozzie tosum up a situation with a perceptive twist.
Ozzie, of course, was referring to the fact that the White Sox have had little to cheer about recently at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, losing 10 games in a row through 2009. It joined the now defunct Twinkiedome and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as the Sox’s personal houses of horror.
All that changed last night, however, as the South Siders continued to snap out of their first week hitting doldrums by smashing the ball and showing some grit in the 8-7 thriller against the Blue Jays to break their Toronto losing streak. It was the third 11-inning marathon in their first seven games–and the first one in which the Sox emerged victorious.
It was comebacker Andruw Jones and the much-maligned Mark Teahen who provided the fireworks. Jones went 3 for 4, clouted two homers and drove in four. Teahen was 3 for 5 and it was also when he delivered. He sent the game into extra innings with a leadoff blast in the ninth and provided the winning run as he tripled in Omar Vizquel (pictured above). Vizquel was running for MarkKotsay, who had a key single pinch-hitting for Alexei Ramirez in the 11th.
While Jake Peavy had his second straight poor performance, the bullpen came through. Aside from Randy Williams walking in the 7th and go-ahead run in the sixth, Sergio Santos, J.J. Putz, Matt Thornton and Bobby Jenks hurled 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Jenks struggled after getting the first two outs (as he did Sunday) but got the save. Thornton was lights out as he struck out four in two innings of work.
Sox notes of note: Did you see Ozzie’s reaction right before he yanked Williams after Randy walked in the go-ahead run? I’m not lip-reader, but the expletives were flying…Ozzie’s getting beat up a bit about counting on Jones and Kotsay. Maybe the critics will be quieted, at least for today…It was nice to see that the Sox have the comeback gene. To me, that’s the true sign of a winning ballclub.
If the first week of the season is any indication, 2010 is going to be a nerve-wracking year for the White Sox. In their first six games the Sox have played three one-run contests and two two-run games, a pair of 11-inning marathons among them.
Making matters more intense for Sox fans is that until Andruw Jones‘s pinch-hit single (pictured above) in the bottom of the eighth scored the winning run in today’s 5-4 come-from-behind win against the Twins, the Sox had lost four in a row. And this win was no walk in the park as the game ended with the potential tying run thrown out at the plate in the top of the ninth.
* Without his best stuff and location, Mark Buehrle gutted it out for eight innings after falling behind 2-0 and 4-2 for his–and the team’s–second win. He also helped the overworked bullpen catch their collective breaths.
* The South Siders needed a big hit badly and got it from Jones.
* There was no small ball at The Cell today as Paul Konerko, Mark Kotsay and Gordon Beckham all went deep.
* Even this early Mark Teahen is a concern. He looks like he’s in a fog and has to be among the major leaders in weakly hit ground ball outs.
* It’s a good sign that Carlos Quentin belted out a single and a double. Need him to get back to 2008 form.
* Bobby Jenks gave up two hits after easily retiring the first two batters in the ninth, but the good news is that he was consistently hitting 96 mph.
* It’s Jake Peavy tomorrow night in Toronto against the Jays in the first of four. Look for him to bounce back from his sub-par effort on Tuesday.