Tagged: Yankees

10 Reasons Why I’m Not a Happy Camper

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It’s days like these that make me cranky. A 12-3 drubbing by the Yankees will do that to a guy. To make matters worse, after the gritty comeback yesterday the Sox looked like they were more interested in heading back to Chicago than winning the series in New York.
I’ve been hearing from Sox friends and others today with various comments. Since I’m on board with many of their thoughts, I’ve incorporated them with mine in the following opinions and observations.
* I’m not happy that the Sox have won only one series so far this year as part of their miserable 10-15 start.
* I’m not happy that today’s lackluster performance has given holier-than-thou Yankee fans and others the fodder to rip us. By the way, how does Kenny Williams feel about his goal of a championship after the first 25 games?
* I’m not happy that Alexei Ramirez hasn’t taken a step forward. He’s always a slow starter at the plate, but how about his brain cramps at short? Wasn’t Omar Vizquel supposed to help?
* I’m not happy about Gordon Beckham‘s start, but I have confidence he’ll be fine before too long.
* I’m not happy with our farm system. So, where’s the help we need?
* I’m not happy about Mark Teahen. He doesn’t look like the answer. Granted, he’s not Robin Ventura or Joe Crede, but I thought he was better than this.
* I’m not happy that Juan Pierre has been demoted to the ninth spot in the order and Scott Podsednik is on fire for the Royals.
* I’m not happy that Clayton Richard is outpitching Jake Peavy.
* I’m not happy with our bullpen. Maybe it’s time for a couple of changes. No, Ramon Castro being reinstated from the DL and Donny Lucy being sent down doesn’t count
* I’m not happy that the Twins look unbeatable in the AL Central.
Yes, I’m really unhappy. 
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This team definitely needs a kick-start
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White Sox Beat the Yankees (No, It’s Not a  Misprint)

mlbf_7771081_th_13.jpgYou 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.
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Stopper Danks to the Rescue?

Nothing in my baseball life has been as predictable as the phrase, “The Yankees beat the White Sox” and the reality that goes with it.

Oh sure, there have been exceptions to the rule from time to time, but this is a lopsided rivalry. It has been exceptionally difficult for me the past 35 years living in Yankeeland.
Last night had all the earmarks of one those games that just makes you throw up your hands in frustration. The Sox got off to a 3-0 lead on Paul Konerko‘s three-run homer in the first and stayed ahead 4-2 until the fifth when Derek Jeter, God according to our Ozzie, tied it up with a two-run homer. The Yanks scored two more in the seventh on God’s triple off of Matt Thornton and that was it. Remember that games against the Bronx Bombers are eight innings because Mariano Rivera pitches the ninth.
John Danks, he of the 3-0 record and 1.55 ERA goes today against our old friend Javy Vazquez, whose return to New York hasn’t been pleasant. On paper this could be a win, but it IS the Yankees so we shouldn’t get too comfortable.
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Hey Paulie, Sorry About That

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Paul Konerko is off to a great start. After today’s two-homer performance, which proved to be the difference in the Sox’s 7-5 come-from-behind win over the Rangers, he is the major league leader with 10 homers along with 18 RBI and a .292 batting average.
Paulie has been only one of a handful of White Sox to play up to expectations so far. Despite that,  I have been pretty hard on No. 14 in the form of a couple of semi-snarky comments about his propensity to kill rallies by hitting into ground ball double plays.
Konerko’s double play pattern is frustrating, but where would we be with him? Our disappointing 9-13 record would likely be much worse. So, Paulie, I’m offering you an apology–and I’ll have to somehow live with your frequent DPs.

Sox notes of note: Gavin Floyd was impressive in today’s win. He gave up only a single earned run on five hits with five K’s in seven innings…Before today’s triumph, the Sox had lost six consecutive road games vs. Toronto, Cleveland and Texas with a visit to New York on the horizon. It’s never a picnic for The Good Guys against the Yankees and this year’s version of the Bronx Bombers might even be better than last year’s World Champs. That said, I wouldn’t mind seeing Derek Jeter look something like this following after the three-game series in Gotham. A guy can dream, can’t he?
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How About A Do-Over?

If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

If it’s not Gordon Beckham, it’s Juan Pierre. If it’s not Carlos Quentin, it’s A.J. Pierzynski. If it’s not Alexei Ramirez, it’s Jake Peavy. And while Paul Konerko has gotten off to a good start with eight homers, his patented ground ball double plays have proven to be a killer. Fellow Pale Hosers, it’s been a tough April.
Any good news? Well, Andruw Jones, Alex Rios and that sweep last weekend against the Mariners, which now seems like the distant past. Last night, in the 6-5 loss to Texas, Peavy settled down after the disastrous first inning, Quentin slammed a three-run homer and Pierzynski got a couple of hits. But in the end, it was still another loss with the Sox record standing at 8-13.
The South Siders try to salvage a game in Arlington this afternoon and then off to, gulp, you know where against you know who.
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The Springtime Ritual of Predicting the Winners

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We all know that preseason predictions mean nothing–nada, zilch, zero. And while we shouldn’t take them seriously, it’s still a lot of fun–especially when the so-called experts pick your team to win.
Historically, it’s very rare when the baseball media elite pick the White Sox to win their division, let alone the AL pennant or World Series. It’s not that much different this year as the Twins seem to be the most common pick to conquer the AL Central. That said, there are a few “big name” media types among those who have picked the South Siders:
* Hall of Fame electee Bill Madden of the New York Daily News and author of the forthcoming bio of George Steinbrenner.
* Fox SportsKen Rosenthal, who somewhat tongue-in-cheek picked the Sox to win the World Series while referring to them “Team Wacko.” Think that had anything to do with our Ozzie?
* ESPN‘s Tim Kurkjian, who doesn’t exactly wear a Sox jersey on the weekends.
* Jon Heyman, he of SI, SI.com and the MLB Network.
Since I’m drinking the prediction Kool-Aid, I might as well add my two cents. Here are my divisional picks for 2010:
AL CENTRAL

1. White Sox
2. Twins
3. Tigers
4. Royals
5. Indians


AL EAST 

1. Rays
2. Red Sox
3. Yankees
4. Orioles
5. Blue Jays


AL WEST

1. Angels
2. Mariners
3. Rangers
4. A’s

NL EAST

1. Phillies
2. Braves
3. Marlins
4. Mets
5. Nationals


NL CENTRAL

1. Cardinals
2. Reds
3. Brewers
4. Cubs
5. Pirates
6. Astros


NL WEST

1. Rockies
2. Dodgers
3. Giants
4. Padres
5. Diamondbacks

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Sox-wise and Otherwise…Merry Christmas to All!

My Weekly Offseason Musings About the White Sox and More…

We Sox fans don’t expect much trade and free agent action between today and Christmas, but Kenny Williams always surprises so we probably shouldn’t be so sure. While we’re waiting for his next move, whether it’s before or after Christmas, here’s a few things to ponder:

One Man’s Garbage is Another Man’s Gold                                     

The Yankees’ acquisition of Javier Vazquez brought the number to three of Ozzie Guillen castoffs that are on the roster of the World Champs. Javy joins Damaso Marte and Nick Swisher who have gone from Oz’s doghouse to The Bronx.

BA on the Move Again

Once the heir apparent to Aaron Rowand in centerfield, Brian Anderson certainly hasn’t panned out the way many expected. After a failed few years with the Sox, BA was jettisoned this past season to the Red Sox for Mark Kotsay. Now he’s off to Kansas City where he just signed a one-year $700,000 contract in an effort to salvage his career.

Top Pitching Rotations? Don’t Forget About the White Sox

OK, the Yankees have C.C.Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes and now Vazquez.  And the Red Sox counter with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, the newly-aquired John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz.

New York and Boston are all abuzz with excitement over their respective rotations–and, of course, those folks are ignoring the White Sox who have the best rotation in the AL Central. A starting rotation, by the way, that could eventually rank favorably with the more publicized staffs in the A.L. East.

I, for one, am really looking forward to watching Sox starters Jake Peavy, Mark Buehrle, John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Freddy Garcia in action next year.

Top Sox Moments Redux

In my last post, I went on record with my Top Sox Moments of the Decade. It was pretty excruciating to decide only 10, but because the 2005 postseason was the best time in my baseball life I went with seven moments from that year’s ALDS, ALCS and World Series. Hated to ignore the rest of the decade, but a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do.

I wanted to include one moment from the ’05 postseason, but felt it would be too personal for a list like this. But count it as my No.1 Sox moment of the decade–and of all-time.

The moment I’m referring to was being at Game 1 of the World Series with my 82-year-old Dad (please see the photo opposite my blog). Like so many other fathers and sons we went to countless White Sox games together at both Comiskey and the Cell and here I was with him, finally watching the South Siders play in the World Series. You see, he got two tickets for Game 1 in 1959, but couldn’t go because he had to work. I went instead with my older cousin. I had been hoping since then that the opportunity would arise that he and I could go to a Sox World Series game together.

I’ll never forget what my Dad said when the Sox finally reached the promised land when Bobby Jenks retired Orlando Palmiero on that great play by Juan Uribe.

“All those games, all those years, we finally did it.”

Amen.