2005-10-15T23:51:18.423-05:00I don't know if I'm going to be posting regularly ever again, but I thought I'd do those that still link to me the service of posting again.
2005-04-24T10:45:29.246-05:00Despite being 22nd in baseball in OPS, the White Sox are 14th in runs scored. What is the cause of this success? Situational hitting.
2005-04-23T23:07:23.596-05:00With the White Sox' 3-2 victory tonight in extra innings against the Kansas City Royals, they are now 14-4. Yes, that's correct, Fourteen and four.
2005-04-03T18:25:50.356-05:00Sorry for the extra-long break. It was a combination of vacation and being ultra-busy, but I'm back in time to post my predicted standings for the upcoming season. I apologize for not having the time to post my predictions in more detail, but I'm going to try my best to make some fair comments on each team, but here we go:AL EastNew York-Additions of Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright will benefit this team, even if Wright and Pavano come down significantly from their career bests last year and dont pitch to their contracts. They bolstered their bullpen with Felix Rodriguez and it's much deeper now, so Gordon and Rivera will have more in them down the stretch. Their offense was never a question and wont be in 2005, especially if Giambi bounces back to a certain degree like I think he will. This team will probably win the most games in the AL by a significant margin, being the only team to win 100 or more. Boston-Many questions on the starting pitching staff. Schilling will be fine, but Wells is old and in the decline. Clement will struggle with his control more in the more offense-oriented American League. Some of their hitters will come off of their better season last year and we've got a team here which is still great, but not the best in the AL. I see them finishing closer to 90 wins than to 100.Baltimore-They can definitely score runs and that's what makes them the favorite in the race for third place in the AL East. Sosa, Palmeiro, Lopez, Mora and Tejada form one of the better power cores in baseball. The pitching is still a major concern, but it should be slightly improved over last year's group, but we're not talking by a lot. This team will end up on the right side of .500 this year, but the pitching will keep them from threating the Red Sox for second.Toronto-The return of Halladay for a full, healthy season and of Vernon Wells will help this team. So will the addition of Corey Koskie. It will be enough to propel them past the Devil Rays, but not that much further. Tampa Bay-After not finishing last in 2004, I see them returning to the basement of the AL East. They only finished three ahead of Toronto and I do not think that they have improved a whole lot. Player development could have a positive impact on this team, but I just don't see them avoiding the basement with Toronto's improvements.AL CentralMinnesota-In all likelihood, the Twins will remain atop the AL Central in 2005. The return of Joe Mauer and the use of Morneau for a whole season will be helpful, but there are some things to watch out for. They lost the left side of their infield and their new members are less than inspiring names (Cuddyer and Bartlett). 2B will still be occupied by Punto and Rivas. Overall the offense probably won't be all that great and there will be great reliance on the pitching staff. Santana might not regress a whole lot, but Radke will after having a career year. So too will Joe Nathan. They still win the division, but with less authority, coming in at about 87-88 wins, leaving the door open if Chicago or Cleveland gets inspired. After outperforming their expected for three straight years, they are a good candidate to underperform, but it's hard to pick against the 3-time reigning champs.Chicago-The hitting will be better than many expect, but the pitching won't live up to the potential...at least the projected pitching staff. Buehrle will pitch at a near Cy Young level, but Garcia will be good, but not great. His ERA will be in the 4-4.25 range. El Duque will stay relatively healthy, but will only be mediocre. Garland will be his average self but Contreras will be a disaster. McCarthy is called up by mid-June for some reason or another and competes for the ROY award. The bullpen will be decent, but not shut down. I see about 85-86 wins with a decent chance of winning the division, but they clearly will not be the favorites. Cleveland-Their hitting is excellent and will be in the upper tier of baseball, but[...]
2005-03-13T20:29:05.543-06:00There have been a lot of changes in the past few days (and weeks) in the baseball blogging world:
2005-03-11T22:33:47.466-06:00It seems as if McCarthy is finally getting his due praise from the national media.
McCarthy led the minors with 202 strikeouts in 2004, and he also posted a sparkling 6.7 strikeout-to-walk ratio across three levels. Not bad for a 17th-rounder. He shows exceptional command of a two-seamer, four-seamer and excellent curve. McCarthy's changeup needs refinement, but he still made good progress with it last season. His mechanics are polished and efficient, and his height (6'7") gives him a good downward angle at hitters. Some scouts aren't wowed by his stuff, but the numbers thus far are tremendously impressive.
2005-03-06T21:53:35.386-06:00One of the biggest stories to emerge from the White Sox in the 2004 season was the emergence of US Cellular Field as one of the top parks in baseball for yielding runs. The split between the home and road stats of White Sox players is exempified in Paul Konerko and Mark Buehrle. Konerko had a 1.079 OPS at home and a .708 OPS on the road. Buehrle, on the other hand, had a 5.02 ERA at home and a 2.63 ERA on the road. Konerko was Albert Pujols at home and Joe Crede on the road. Conversely, Buehrle was Ismael Valdez at home and Johan Santana on the road (yes the splits on these two players were really that big!).
2005-03-05T16:24:02.986-06:00Finally, the purgatory known as "Spring Training games" is upon us! While the games are absolutely meaningless, they provide a lot more fodder than occasional articles and quotes coming out of Tucson. The White Sox so far have dropped 3 of their 4 Spring Training games (and are leading significantly in their fifth) and nobody could really care less about how they are doing.
2005-03-01T21:52:11.573-06:00The Tribune has a new White Sox beat writer. His name is Mark Gonzalez and he is coming in as an outsider who has no biases toward or against the White Sox (from CA originally, via AZ). This is definitely a positive development seeing that Bob Foltman was making up the position of White Sox management to make it appear that Frank Thomas was not going to be welcome to return after the 2005 season. Here's hoping he does a really good job and stays on the White Sox beat for a long time (assuming he does a good job)!
2005-03-01T21:46:03.030-06:00When I read the morning papers, I noticed a similarity between the two: both had an article about Ozzie Guillen and how he is a hypocrite for criticizing Magglio. One was written by Phil Rogers and the other by the Moron: Jay Mariotti.
Maybe he wants to be the White Sox's manager for life. Why else do you take on Jerry Reinsdorf's fights? And how else do you explain Guillen summoning righteous indignation toward recent comments by a confused Magglio Ordonez about his financially driven departure from the South Side?
No one says the Sox had to pay Ordonez $15 million a year indefinitely, especially in light of the serious knee injury that limited him to 52 games last season. In fact, given the club's spending limits—reasonable with their middle-market attendance and revenue—they made the right decision to let Ordonez walk.
But why keep beating him up? And why turn Guillen loose as an attack dog?
Come on. This is silly.
2005-02-26T22:04:04.093-06:00We'll start the first in a series of 6 divisional predictions with the AL West. Notables additions to the division:Adrian Beltre 3BRichie Sexson 1B Steve Finley CFRichard Hidalgo RFOrlando Cabrera SSJason Kendall CNotable subtractions:Mark Mulder SPTim Hudson SPJermaine Dye RFTroy Glaus 3BJose Guillen OFTroy Percival RPEdgar Martinez DHThe AL West is a division that, on the whole, is about as strong as it was last year. The team that has practically defined this division for the past few years, the Oakland A's traded away their two best pitchers in Mulder and Hudson, who also happened to be the two best in the division. However, to make up for that, the Mariners added Beltre and Sexson, which, in terms of divisional strength, counterbalances the departure of those two. Projected Order of Finish:AnaheimOaklandTexasSeattleAnaheimWhile Anaheim did lose Troy Percival, their longtime closer, their bullpen is not really all that much weaker because of the loss. Francisco Rodriguez will end up being a better closer than Percival could have been. The bullpen as a whole is still one of the absolute best in baseball. I dont think Finley is that much of a better player than Jose Guillen would have been, but he's not all that far behind. Cabrera is a fair upgrade over the overrated David Eckstein, but Cabrera is overrated as well. They're going to depend a lot on relatively young players in McPherson and Kotchman, though Kendry Morales is waiting if either of them falter. Their rotation isn't all that stellar. As far as the rotation goes, Colon will almost certainly be better and Kelvim Escobar is probably one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball; however, Lackey, Washburn and Byrd really dont strike me as better than average starting pitchers, so on the whole it's what I'd consider an average rotation, but in this divsion, that's not such a bad thing. The Angels should win this one easily by at least 5 games. 94-95 Wins should be their target.OaklandYes I do recognize that they traded away Mulder and Hudson, but their young pitching talent is as good as any in baseball. While the rotation wont be as good as it was in the past, Blanton, Haren and the best of Yabu/Meyer will be pretty darn good by the end of the year considering the low standards set by the AL and this division in particular in terms of starting pitching. Rich Harden is on the verge of a breakout season. The question is if Zito can return to his 2000-2003 form and conventional wisdom says that it will. On the offensive side, Jason Kendall will be a huge help. They still have Chavez, Durazo and Hatteberg, with other players who should be at least decent in 2005 like Kotsay, Byrnes, Swisher and Ellis. This might also be a great year for Nick Swisher, but his better years are more likely to be further down the line. Back to pitching, their bullpen is stellar. Dotel, Cruz, Calero, Bradford, Jaric, Street, Rincon, Duchscherer, etc, are all excellent bullpen candidates and any way they go, they can't go wrong. If they happen to be wrong, they will have plenty of other combos that they could toy with. The bullpen is going to carry this team to second place in the division and I predict 87-89 wins for the Oakland A's. TexasNow why did I put them below Oakland? Here's my reason: Their bullpen absolutely carried them to those 89 wins last year and I expect regression in three of the major members: Shouse, Mahay and Almanzar. Cordero, Francisco and Brocail will all probably keep it up, but the first three I don't like because they're all above the age of thirty and had career years last year. That's a warning sign for regression. I don't feel the Rangers would have been as successful if it weren't for their pen. Their rotation flat out sucks. Rogers wasn't great last year, de[...]
2005-02-23T20:36:08.856-06:00I'm a Barry Bonds fan and nothing he said yesterday changed that. I don't see how what he said yesterday was a big departure from what he has said in the past. Apparently, Joe Sheehan doesn't either: The fact is, Bonds was correct in much of what he said yesterday. The media does keep running back to the same stories over and over. There are larger problems in our society than athletes using performance-enhancing drugs. Whether steroids are cheating isn't the black-and-white question it's been presented as, not in a game that turns a blind eye to the kind of amphetamine use baseball has seen. His blanket accusation that everyone in the room had lied at one time or another was unfortunate, almost certainly erroneous, and provided an easy way to paint Bonds as a bad guy.I wrote this in December, but it's worth mentioning again: Bonds is facing these questions in part because he was betrayed by the system. His grand-jury testimony, and that of others, was leaked to the media. That is the biggest crime in this situation to date, and almost no one has addressed it with the same gusto as they have the connections between Bonds and his personal trainer. Where are the investigation and the indictments for that crime?As far as that testimony is concerned, I don't think you can have it both ways. I don't think it's fair to treat it as Grand Jury Testimony where the stories are good, but then decide that where the story isn't as good, the person is lying. That's what Bonds is facing here: not only was his testimony leaked, but people have effectively been accusing him of perjury for two months since then. His explanations for his use of the clear and the cream have been dismissed, his performance record seen as tainted.I agree wholeheartedly. There is definitely a double-standard when it comes to Bonds and it has a lot to do with the media's hatred of him. There is no shred of objectivity left from the media's perspective, which makes it seem like people like me, who aren't positive that Bonds did the 'roids or that they helped him even if he did take them, are in a very small minority. It seems as though one cannot suggest anymore that Bonds just might be telling the truth or say that you are on Bonds' side without being attacked for that position immensely and that is entirely unfair. The media hates Bonds. The media has made you connect Bonds with the steroid issues based on their reporting. The media wants to to be on their side of the Bonds issue. I know most White Sox fans should know that the media does not always reflect the truth. I have a lot respect for Bonds, taking a stand against the media who keeps rehashing the same friggin' story over and over and over a billion times because it's a lot easier to discuss than what acutally might happen on the field. Why is it that the media sinks so much time into this steroid issue, when a lot of the team previews aren't even researched thoroughly?The whole proportion of the steroid issue and the question of asterisks is a media invention. Are steroids a problem? Yes they certainly are, but there is a testing policy that will be given a chance for a year or two before anything is to happen. So why bother harping on this story continually? It's because the media is lazy and they can't write (seemingly) well on any other issue. Bonds is 100% correct on that part.I think Bonds overplays the race card sometimes and definitely is not the most diplomatic person in the world, but the content of what he's saying is for the most part accurate. It might not be what the media wants to hear, but that's too bad. Sometimes being candid and pleasing the media don't always match up and Bonds recongizes this.It's really time for this story to die. The story really isn't going[...]
2005-02-22T19:33:00.176-06:00I don't see the Red Sox in the playoffs. I think one of the Twins or Rangers can bump them off. I see the Red Sox as significantly weaker this season than last. The pitching is significantly weaker, and the offense will probably regress. The Staff:
2005-02-21T20:44:12.660-06:00I'm not going to pretend this is scientific, but I'd like to put this out there. On October 2nd, 2005, I think the standings will be:
2005-02-21T15:42:56.370-06:00If you didn't know about Brandon McCarthy before President's Day weekend, you probably knew a lot about him afterwards. The Sun Times, Tribune and WhiteSox.com all had articles about the 21 year old, 6'7" righty. If you're not familiar with the Brandon McCarthy story, here it is:Maybe you had known about him from before 2003. His 2003 Rookie league stats hinted at his potential greatness. In 101 innings at Great Falls, McCarthy posted a decent, but not special 3.66 ERA. However if you look inside the numbers you might have been able to foresee what happened in 2004 (which I'll get into later). He struck out 125 over this time period for a K/9 of 11.14 and walked only 15 for a K/BB of 8.33. He didn't give up all that many homers either, 7 is not a terrible number over that time period. An astute watcher of the minor leagues may have noticed this, but probably not too many others as this was not a ton to get excited about. After all, this was Rookie Ball. In 2004, however, he broke out and proved that those Rookie Ball numbers were not a fluke. He started the season at Low-A Kannapolis where he posted another good, not great ERA of 3.64 in 94 innings, but again some of his rate stats were excellent. His K/9 was excellent once again at 10.82 and his K/BB was also pretty good at 5.38. His record was 8-5 in 15 starts and the organization felt as though a promotion to High-A Winston Salem was due.So about halfway through the season he arrived at Winston-Salem. What did he do? In his 52 innings, he was absolutely brilliant. He posted a 2.08 ERA, had a K/9 of 10.38 and an astonishing K/BB of 20 even (60 strikeouts and only 3, yes 3 walks). On July 31st, in a game against Myrtle Beach, he struck out 16 batters in 7 innings or 16 out of the 18 outs he recorded, a ridiculously amazing performance that left many turning heads. Thus he earned a promotion to AA Birmingham after only 8 starts in High-A. Talk about moving quickly through the system. He only got 4 starts at Birmingham as it was near the end of the year. He went 3-1 in 26 innings with a 3.46 ERA. His K/9 again was extremely high at 10.04, but his K/BB decreased to 4.83. This was probably just a function of the little time he had to adjust to the more veteran hitters of the Southern League than any regression. The fact that he could maintain that K/9 of near 10 at every single level through the system demonstrates his excellence. When it was all said and done on the year, McCarthy led the minors with 202 strikeouts in 176 innings for a K/9 on the year of 10.57. His win total of 17 was good enough for second in the majors. It is pretty clear that he is among the top pitching prospects in baseball.Over the weekend, it appears that Ozzie finally got his first look at McCarthy. He thought enough of him to compare him to the great "Black" Jack McDowell, stating:He's not too far away from the big leagues," said Guillen of McCarthy, who will start a couple of Spring Training games. "Mentally, he's ready to pitch. He's focused and knows what he's doing."When you see a kid so young moving the catcher over and telling him what he wants to throw, that's pretty impressive," Guillen added. This is great stuff to be hearing out of someone who actually played with Jack McDowell. Like McDowell, McCarthy might also be ready to pitch on a high level from day one as he's never had problems adjusting between different levels. Obviously the majors is a whole different animal, but he's very close to being ready. Before McCarthy came on the scene, it was generally thought that Anderson and Sweeney were next in line to impact the White Sox from the farm system, but [...]
2005-02-19T09:53:33.396-06:00I told you the last time that it would just be the first of many mentioned of Thomas's 2006 status. Phil Rogers had a piece today about the case for getting rid of Thomas.This means it's highly likely he'll open the season on the disabled list, a first in his 16-year career. It probably means he will miss all of April and possibly May, as well.This part's true, though I'm not so sure that the chances of missing May are as likely as Phil Rogers does. He's putting it in this light to further his later point. But -- and here's the part I hope to be wrong about -- it looks as if 2005 could turn into a painful farewell for one of the best right-handed hitters in baseball history.And now the anti-White Sox and anti-Frank Thomas stuff starts...There's little doubt it will be his last year in Chicago, as general manager Ken Williams seems ready to hand him a $3.5 million severance rather than exercise a $10 million option after the season. But it would be nice if he could go out somewhat in style.There's little doubt? Maybe there's little doubt in the Tribune sports office and the premature celebration has begun, but I think there's a lot of doubt on whether or not he'll be back. I think it entirely depends on how he does this year. If he can come back in early May and produce well the whole year (a likely scenario), I think there's little doubt that he will be back at the 6.5 million that Kenny would have to pay for him (the scenario that the Tribune expects is that Thomas will excercize his 10 million dollar option and the White Sox will pay 3.5 million to buy him out leaving Kenny with an extra 6.5 million). I just dont see how the Tribune can be so sure in that. This is clearly an opinion and not establised fact. [Going out with style], of course, never happens with the White Sox. It didn't with Carlton Fisk, it didn't with Jack McDowell, it didn't with Robin Ventura or even Guillen. It certainly didn't with Ordonez. Why should Thomas be different?He should be different because he was with the club a lot longer than most of those players and he was/is better than all of them. It's not fair to compare Thomas with the players on this list, in my opinion. Thomas has been with the team 16 years and is the best hitter in team history. It's always fun to be right, but sometimes you wish you were wrong. That's the case with my take on how badly an even more one-dimensional Frank Thomas is likely to fit in on the White Sox, who have been renovated around a National League model.Two reasons why he's already wrong. First is that Thomas, while unable to play defense, is not a one-dimensional player. The absolute biggest thing that hitters are expected to do is.....to hit (obvious). Thomas's hitting ability is one of the best in baseball when he's healthy enough to play and he's not all about the Home Run ball. He also is one of the best players at getting on base in baseball. His average aint terrible either. He's not a speed threat, but I think it's unfair to call him one dimensional as offensively he's not one dimensional. If you want to argue that offense in itself is the one dimension, go ahead, but it won't get you far as it's the most important dimension by a huge margin. On the Second point, I actually heard Kenny Williams say that while he wants a National League feel to the club on the whole, that he likes having an American-League style middle of the order. Now we all know that these distinctions aren't very good anyways: they're quite vague. Thomas can easily fit in with the concept of an American League middle of the order. No, the Boston Red Sox couldn't have won wit[...]
2005-02-18T17:42:09.853-06:00Shingo Takatsu, or Mr. Zero as he is called by many, had an outstanding year last year in his "rookie" season for the Chicago White Sox. On June 12th, in a game against the Braves, he earned his first save for the team and promptly took over the closer's role on a full-time basis for the remainder of the year. Some of Takatsu's impressive accomplishments include going 19 for 20 in save opportunities, a scoreless inning streak of about 25 and a streak where he set down 29 batters in a row, a hidden perfect game as he exceeded the requisite 27 batters in a row (Hidden Perfect games just mean that you retire 27 in a row. It's entirely unofficial and does not have to happen in one game). It was quite an impressive rookie season. He has been annointed by Kenny Williams as the closer for 2005, but there seems to be some concern as he tailed off at the end of the year, or did he?ERAs by Month:April 3.86 (7 IP)May 0.00 (11.2 IP)June 0.77 (11.2 IP)July 0.96 (9.1 IP)August 7.36 (11 IP)September 1.86 (9.2 IP)October 0.00 (2 IP)That stretch from May to July was just incredible. 3 straight months under a 1 ERA? That's almost unheard of. In fact, in 2004, Takatsu was the only pitcher in baseball that could lay claim to such a streak. Not Eric Gagne. Not K-Rod, not Otsuka, Benitez, Nathan, Linebrink, Lidge, Rivera, Gordon or Foulke. Only Shingo Takatsu. (The actual ERA for all of those months combined was 0.55). This is truly impressive. Now you're probably thinking "He's trying to avoid that August ERA!" Well I'm not going to try to poo-poo it. He had a bad month in August. A pretty darned bad one at that which definitely prevented him from an amazing ERA to finish the year with. Some have stated that this was due to hitters figuring out his frisbee and just waiting for the 87 MPH fastball. The problem with this assessment is that his combined September/October ERA was 1.54, not exactly an awful way to close out the year. Here's my assessment of why Shingo faltered in August. It's not statistical in nature, but more of an observation. When Shingo was having success for most of the year, the key wasn't that he was just fooling everyone with his frisbee, but he had excellent location with the fastball on the outer half of the plate. It broke right over the corner of the plate and he was getting strikes with it. When he was having trouble in August, he wasn't throwing that fastball for strikes early in the count and thus had major trouble working behind in the count. When he got back on track again in September and October, the fastball was getting thrown for strikes again and he had success again. Shingo was unhappy with the way he was pitching to lefties last year and decided that he needed to develop a new pitch (at least that's what this thread says). Speculation is that it's a cutter as he spent a lot of time with Esteban Loaiza last year and Don Cooper loves the pitch. If Takatsu has developed a cutter, it would greatly improve his pitch selection. He has enough slow pitches with the 75 MPH slider (I guess) and the 60 mph changeup and an 82-84 MPH cutter will be good for changing speeds with the fastball at 87 MPH. It will definitely help him in 2005. I think he'll do very well again in 2005. Even though hitters might be more ready for him when they face him, he still represents a large departure from the normal MLB pitcher, so a hitter is still probably unaccustomed to him. Besides Jody Gerut with 7 at bats, no one has really had more than 3 or 4 against him anyways. He should do just fine as the full-time closer in 2005. Shingo-time is not going[...]
2005-02-17T20:25:38.946-06:00Now I'm going to go out on a limb with this piece, but it's something that I firmly believe. The first thing is that I recommend that you watch this video showcasing Iguchi from the Official White Sox site before you read any further. Notice the park with the really high walls. That's Iguchi's home park (if you haven't figured it out already). Here are the park factors for all of the parks in the Japanese league, with the home park of Iguchi in bold (They're from 2000 and 2001, but I don't think they've changed much, at least Iguchi's home park):Team 2000 PF 2001 PF CommentsChunichi Dragons 976 888 Hanshin Tigers 959 978 Large dimensionsHiroshima Toyo Carp 1074 1004 Yakult Swallows 1027 1009 Very small dimensionsYokohama Bay Stars 1043 1031 Yomiuri (Tokyo) Giants 952 1081 Chiba Lotte Marines 973 1044 Fukuoka Daiei Hawks 971 969 Nippon Ham (Tokyo) Fighters 1034 1107 Shares with YomiuriOrix Blue Wave 1009 1036 Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes 1005 943 Seibu Lions 1003 998 Now what do you notice? Most of the parks are offensive parks, but this is not the case for the home park of the Daiei Hawks. It is among the minority of ballparks which play large in the Japan League. Allow me to remind you that Ichiro played for the Orix Blue Wave, Hideki Matsui for the Yomiuri Giants and Kaz Matsui for the Seibu Lions, all neutral or offensive parks. Somehow Iguchi has managed to put up lines of .340/.438/.573 and .333/.394/.549 in 2003 and 2004 respectively at this pitchers park with 27 and 24 homers respectively. Fairly impressive stats. Now we can expect a dip from those numbers certainly, but if Iguchi is going from a pitchers' park in the Japan League to one of the best hitters' parks in the Major Leagues, that will soften the drop by a significant degree. Aaron Gleeman recently did an article on what we can expect from Iguchi in 2005 and he crunched the following stat line: YEAR AVG OBP SLG IsoP IsoDTadahito Iguchi 2005 .300 .345 .425 .125 .045Now the way he did it was that he used Kaz Matsui, Hideki Matsui, Ichiro Suzuki and Tsuyoshi Shinjo's first year stats and compared them to the stats of their last year in Japan to make a projection. Now I have demonstrated how this methodology has some problems in that it doesn't at all account for the fact that Iguchi was playing in such a pitcher-friendly ballpark, though I think it gets decently close. I would project a slugging percentage a lot closer to .500 than Aaron Gleeman would, though the OBP might not be a whole lot better than that, but we shall see. I am going to go on record as saying that I believe that Iguchi will hit at least 20 home runs in 2005, assuming health. 17-25 homers is the range of reasonable possibilites that I'd guestimate. I think he's going to be a power/speed threat in the 2 hole of the lineup this year, especially if he ends up hitting in front of Thomas. I think the biggest part of his game that will suffer is the K/BB ratio, but that he'll still find a way to hit out a lot of homers. I'm pretty optimistic about Iguchi. There's not a ton to base an opinion on because he's not an established MLB player, so wild speculation can run rampant about his abilities, but the truth is that we can't know until the season starts. Spring Training is still too early to make a call on him because of what happened to Shingo with his 6.75 ERA in Spring Training and his 2.31 ERA in the regular season.[...]
2005-02-16T17:45:38.626-06:00Buried in the bottom of the White Sox article in the Tribune today is this bit about about Frank Thomas:
In past springs, any Sox controversy has centered around Frank Thomas. This spring, Williams expects peace, because Thomas' contract is running out and Williams seems determined not to push his DH into action after foot surgery last fall.
"I have not seen him," Williams said. "I'm sure I will on the 21st (when position players report)."
Will Thomas be recovered enough to go through drills next week?
"We won't gauge where he is until he shows up," Williams said. "A lot can happen in two weeks, and it has been two weeks since his last [rehabilitation] report."
That report put Thomas "on schedule for mid-March," Williams said. "During his rehab, he has not pushed himself for spring-training activities. But I think the most important person to listen to [about his health] is Frank."
2005-02-16T16:37:53.323-06:00Well it's finally here: The Pitchers and Catchers have reported, and a few others in addition (*cough* Aaron Rowand *cough*). We also have our first quotes of the year (none from Ozzie that I've seen yet).
"There is a little more excitement around here...It is a different feeling than having a group of guys on the team that is going in a different direction."
2005-02-16T15:48:03.273-06:00A few changes to the site:
2005-02-15T22:21:29.240-06:00I too am one of those that does not have any respect for the Canseco allegations.
2005-02-15T21:21:22.140-06:00What has Jose Canseco done, exactly, to earn himself some semblance of respect? His book is not that much different than Pete Rose's My Prison Without Bars. Rose wrote his book because he wanted to get into the hall of fame, and did some highly publicized TV interviews. Canseco wrote his book, from what I've heard, to take down his bash-brother Big Mac. Mark got the glory of breaking the home run record, Canseco spent his career injured, playing only 150 games in a season once after 1991, as pointed out by Will Carroll.