Rick Hahn started off this winter by making his first major move as White Sox GM. when he signed 26 year old Cuban defector Jose Abreu to a 6 year $68 million contract. While most are surprised that the White Sox were able to sign Abreu, most are also happy with the signing. So fans are hoping that, along with Avisail Garcia (22) (who we traded away for by way of giving up just a year plus from Jake Peavy), CF Adam Eaton (25) (who the club sent away a #5 Starting Pitcher for) – and now picking up the #77,- 2013 MLB prospect – and future 3B in Davidson (for an average replace Closer) – that you can see they may have four of the Sox cornerstones for years to come – without yielding too much in return.
Rick Hahn made his first major move as White Sox GM. when he signed 26 year old Cuban defector Jose Abreu to a 6 year $68 million contract ;;st month. While most are surprised that the White Sox were able to sign Abreu, most are also happy with the signing. So fans are hoping that, along with Avisail Garcia, Abreu can be one of the Sox cornerstones for years to come.
2013 was, by far, one the worst years for the Chicago White Sox, but one of many in a long run of disappointments for the organization. Teams in major markets should have contending on the field regularly. The Sox have a ways to go in order to shore up their poor farm system, and put home grown talent on the field.
This season was Flowers first chance at being the every day catcher, and he has also disappointed.Flowers was part of the Javier Vasquez trade to the Atlanta Braves a few years ago, and at the time, was a highly touted prospect. But, he has fought through mediocrity ever since his acquisition. Flowers has since hurt his shoulder, and will miss the rest of the 2013 season. While the young backstopper continued to struggle this season, the Sox called up catching prospect Josh Phegley from Triple A Charlotte in July. Flowers is Arbitration Eligible in 2015 – and under team control until 2018.
2013 has not been kind to the Chicago White Sox. What was expected by many to at least be a competitive team, the White Sox haven’t even been that. 2012 ended in disappointment, after being in first place most of the season. But, I don’t think anyone believed they would have the fourth worst record in MLB by the end of August.
Here are the White Sox, in last place in the AL Central, behind just the Astros, Marlins and Cubs for the worst record in the game. And though the season hasn’t been a good one, there are some bright spots.
You almost have to be bitter about the Sox recently sweeping the New York Yankees. While it was fun to do, and booing A – Rod was right up the Southsiders alley, this team just put itself too many wins away from the Astros from the 1st overall pick in 2014. They should extremely active in the August Trade Market – and perhaps the offseason. It is time for the rebuild to commence! Chicago enters play today at 43 – 69, tied with the Marlins for the 2nd worst record in the MLB. This was a team that was within a week of playing in the Post Season in 2012. A major shakeup is needed in going forward.
As a baseball fan, no matter how bad the team you root for may be, the All-Star Game is the best. As a White Sox fan, I haven’t experienced many really bad seasons in my lifetime. As I’ve written in previous posts, this has not been a good year for my White Sox. And, as a Sox fan, it feels like the sky is falling. Come the ALL-Star break, I try to forget about my team’s struggles, and look forward to the Summer Classic.
And that seems to suit him just fine. Though when the spot light shined its brightest at the MLB All-Star Game last Tuesday night at Citi Field, Sale stepped to the mound for 2 innings of perfect baseball.
The bad 2007 season was preceded by the 2006 season, during which the Sox won 90 games, but fell short in the AL Central behind the Twins and Tigers. 2006 was, of course, preceded by the World Series Championship 2005 season (man, a White Sox fan loves saying that. 2005). Following the aforementioned 2007 season, in 2008, the Sox won the AL Central title, but lost to the eventual AL Champ, Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. But, the Sox haven’t had any REALLY BAD teams in recent memory. 2007 was, by all accounts, not good. But, to me, a 100 loss team is a REALLY BAD team.
As I sit next to my daughters on the couch watching SpongeBob, my oldest (Abby, 9), turns to me and says, “Daddy, why aren’t you watching the White Sox?”. To which I respond, “They’re off today, they don’t have a game. They stink anyway….”
She looks at me in disgust and screams, “Daddy!! Don’t say that!!” She’s never heard me say that before. Granted, in 2007, the Sox were pretty awful, going 72-90.
But, she was 3 at the time, and didn’t really care about baseball. (Though I like to pretend she enjoys baseball now. I’m really trying to make that a reality….)
You would think that almost a 100 years of just 1 World Series would teach a Chicago Southsider fan a lesson or two about how to take a loss! I can only imagine what the Cubs die-hard fan has to go through being over 100 years. Despite a lot of popular opinions, fans going through their rituals do not affect their favorite team winning or losing. It is still a part of baseball and sports that can make it fun…or make for misery.
Baseball is supposed to be fun and entertaining. And more often than not, it is. If I didn’t love the game of baseball, I wouldn’t be writing this. As a fan, when your favorite team isn’t winning, it affects you.
A loss may bother you for an hour or so, maybe even longer. It may ruin your day. I know when the Bears lose during the NFL season, it can ruin my Sunday. But in football, there are only 16 regular season games.
There are 162 games in a baseball season. That’s 6 full months, day, after day, after day, of living and dying with your favorite MLB team. You spend, on average, 2 1/2 – 3 hours with your favorite team, and it’s announcers.
You develop a relationship with the announcers, players, and managers, whether they realize it or not.
When a bad call is made, you get upset. Just as upset as the manager who ran out of the dugout to argue the call. When the closer blows a save, you get angry.
When the third baseman hits a game-winning, walk off HR, you yell and scream and jump around your living room like a little kid.
Maybe it’s Paul Konerko’s fault? He’s hitting .239, and has looked lost at the plate for much of the season. 2013 could be Konerko’s last season with the Sox as his contract is up at the end of this year. Adam Dunn’s fault perhaps? He’s hitting .182, but does have 18 HR’s and 40 RBI’s. Looks to be a typical Dunn season. Lots of HR’s, and lots of K’s.Whatever the reason is, or whoever’s fault it is, the White Sox offense has been abysmal so far in the 2013 season. Statistically one of the worst offenses in MLB, the White Sox offense is difficult to watch. But, the offense certainly hasn’t been the only problem. What was a strong defensive team in 2012, has turned into a bad defensive team in 2013.
It must be AJ Pierzynski’s fault. After all, his absence from the White Sox lineup is the only major change from the 2012 team’s lineup. His replacement, Tyler Flowers, hasn’t exactly been lighting the lamp in 2013. Flowers was also billed to be an upgrade defensively behind the plate, which hasn’t been the case either.
Or, wait, is it Kevin Youkilis‘ fault? His replacement, Jeff Keppinger, has been the opposite of what he was advertised to be when the Sox signed him during the offseason. Keppinger’s hitting .229 with an OBP of .234. He was also billed as “a guy who never strikes out”, and should be the perfect number 2 hitter behind Alejandro De Aza. He’s struck out 21 times in 205 AB’s, and he’s walked TWICE.
“You can put it on the boaaaaaard!! Yeeeeeeeeeesssss!!” Almost all baseball fans are familiar with that catch phrase. Some love it, some hate it.
It belongs to Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, play by play TV announcer for the Chicago White Sox since 1982. Though he took a year off in 1986 to become the White Sox GM. That position didn’t suit Hawk very well (he fired Tony La Russa and traded Bobby Bonilla during his GM stint), and he jumped right back into the broadcast booth. He then called games for the Yankees in 1987 and 1988, and NBC until 1989.
In 1990, he once again became the Sox color man and has held that position until today. He’s been a polarizing figure ever since. I would say 70% of Sox fans love him, with the other 30% having grown tired of him over the years, and just want something new (and some hating him of course).
When Gordon Beckham broke a bone in his hand and required surgery, many White Sox fans weren’t overly concerned. After all, Beckham’s offensive struggles have been well documented throughout his young career. Simply move Jeff Keppinger to Second base, and then…. Wait. Who’s going to take Keppinger’s place at third?
Who’s on Third Base for the White Sox you ask…Connor Gillaspie. Who? Connor Gillaspie. The same new guy that’s hitting .291, the highest current batting average for any White Sox player with more than 80 AB.
The same that hit CLEAN-UP in the Sox lineup in Wednesday night’s inter-league game against the Mets. The man from Omaha, Nebraska has been a revelation, so far. He’s played solid defensively, and swung a pretty hot bat.
As I mentioned above, he hit cleanup for the Sox on Wednesday, and went 2 for 4, with 2 RBI.
Any fan of the Chicago White Sox knows that they hit a lot of HR’s. HR’s are a good thing, obviously. Although when it seems like the ONLY way a team can score, some consider it a problem. I wrote earlier in the season that the Sox had gotten of to a good start, going 4-2. They proceeded to get swept by the Washington Nationals, no shame in that, then have struggled ever since.Heading into last Monday, White Sox starting pitchers had 6 consecutive Quality Starts, consisting of a 1.63 ERA and a .201 OPP BA. Based on those stats alone, one would think the Sox went 4-2 in that span, maybe 5-1? Nope, 1-5.
The Club Struggles To String Together hits in 2013 season
Heading into play Monday night, the club has gone 10 – 14 to start this year – and currently sit behind the KC Royals by 4 1/2 Games right now for the AL Central Division Lead. It doesn’t get easy for the team having to face Darvish and the Rangers on Tuesday night – to kick off a 9 Game Road Trip, where they also visit Kansas City and the New York Mets.
So the White Sox are offensively challenged you ask? Absolutely. In the first game of what turned out to be only a 2 game series with the Minnesota Twins this last week due to cold, Jake Peavy pitched masterfully. But, he took a no-decision in a 2-1 Sox loss.
Game 2 of that series, Gavin Floyd had his best start all season. But, it was all for naught as the Sox offense could only muster 2 Runs, and lost 3-2.
Rewind back a week or so ago when the Sox lost 2 of 3 games in Cleveland. Jose Quintana pitched a gem, throwing 7 scoreless Innings, allowing only one hit, while Striking out 7.
But, the Sox offense was shut down by Justin Masterson, and lost in 10 innings, 1-0. Now, games like this are going to happen throughout a 162 game season.
Opening Day saw 39012 brave and tough Chicago and other natives – take in the game. The club narrowly escaped with a 1 – 0 victory against their Division AL Central Rival The Kansas City Royals. Game #2 saw the Bullpen throw 3 IP and only yield 1 hit for their effort. The Sox are not expected to contend for a playoff position – although they carry multiple time ALL – Star players on their Roster. Does everyone forget that the ‘Southsiders’ led the AL Central for the majority of the year during the 2012 season? The Tigers barely nudged them out for the Division at the end of September. The Sox are looking for payback in 2013.
The last time the White Sox won on Opening Day by a score of 1-0 was 2005. They won the World Series that year. They beat the Royals 1-0 on Monday behind a solid pitching performance by Chris Sale and a solo HR from Tyler Flowers.
Monday was Opening Day. Not that that means anything, but baseball fans are superstitious. I know I am.
The Sox were 6-12 against the Royals in 2012, proving to be the Sox undoing. After their victory on Wednesday against KC 5-2, they’re 2-0 against the Royals so for in 2013. You have to understand, this is mind boggling for a White Sox fan.
The Royals have been the Sox’ achilles heel for what seems like forever now. If the Sox find a way to knock around Jeremy “Catfish” Guthrie today, the world may come to an end. Guthrie posted a 0.30 ERA vs the Sox last season, but, only managed one victory against them.
White Sox Opening Day At Us Cellular Field – Mature Content so Parental Guidance is advised:
Team Management thought enough of Sale after his 1st year as a Starter – to have him earn 850 K in 2013, $3.5 MIL in 2014, $6.0 MIL in 2015, $9.15 MIL in 2016, $12 MIL in 2017 and two straight Team Options in 2018 ($12.5 MIL) + 2019 ($13.5 MIL) or a Buyout of $1 MIL in either season. Sale was 4th in AL Wins (17) and ERA (3.05), plus 5th in Win Percentage (.680). The man fanned 192 (9th in AL) and was 5th in AL WHIP (1.135). He was named an ALL – Star for his efforts in the 1st half.
Chris Sale seems relieved after inking his 5YR/$32 Million Contract with the White Sox. Why shouldn’t he be? Rather than going year to year through arbitration, Sale and the Sox decided to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
The deal could be as lucrative as $60 Million by the time all is said and done. After the 5th year, the Sox hold Team Options for 2018 and 2019.
What’s the downside? I suppose Sale could blow out his elbow due to his “bad mechanics”. Chances are, he only continues to get better. Don Cooper, Sox pitching coach, says Sale won’t be “babied”. The Sox are hoping to get 200 plus Innings out of Sale in 2013.
Last year was Sale’s first full season as a starter, and it ended up being a successful one. Sale went 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA – and finished 6th in the AL Cy Young race. Sale is said to have added 7-8 pounds over the winter, and plans on having a strong 2013 from start to finish. He’s looked great in Spring Training so far (2 – 0 with a 4.38 ERA + a WHIP of 1.216).
2012 Chris Sale Highlights Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is Advised:
Jake Peavy was 58-33 (.637) between the years of 2004 – 2007 and lead the NL in ERA for the 2004 and 2007 years. Peavy won the NL CY Young in 2007. The Sox are hoping he can regain his ace like numbers in 2013.
What does someone do when they tear a muscle away from the bone? You immediately walk off the field and head to the locker room. That’s what Jake Peavy did in 2010 when he was pitching against the Angels at US Cellular Field. This was a first in MLB, a detached latissimus dorsi muscle. A little more than a week later, Peavy had surgery to re-attach the muscle, ending his 2010 season. Unfortunately, injuries have been a common theme for Peavy since he was traded to Chicago in 2009. He was still suffering from a strained tendon in his ankle when the Sox acquired him, and injury that allowed only him 3 starts with his new team. But, those 3 starts turned into 3 wins, and a sparkling 1.35 ERA.
This was supposed to be sign of things to come for Peavy in a White Sox uniform. But in 2010, he suffered the devastating muscle injury, and didn’t seem to be completely recovered until the 2012 season. In 2011, Peavy had probably the worst season of his career. He appeared in only 19 games, including one relief appearance, and had to be shut down before the season even ended. He battled through several different ailments, but always had a “never pull me out of the game” attitude, thus earning the nickname Bulldog from Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson. Peavy entered 2012 knowing that it could be his last season with the Sox.
Jake Peavy highlights in 2012 – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised
Adam Dunn has hit 40+ HRs 6 times in his career and 38+ HRs in 8 of the last 9 years. He is the Classic ‘3TO’ Guy. AKA 3 True Outs Guy: HR/BB or SO. At The MLB Reports, we call it a ‘Dunn Trick’ when he does all 3 in a game.
.159 Batting Average, 11 HRs, 42 RBI, 177 SO, $12 Million. Those are the #’s posted by Adam Dunn in 2011 during his first season with the Chicago White Sox in just 415 AB or two-thirds of a season. Quite possibly one of the worst statistical seasons in MLB history. Far from Dunn’s previous season averages leading up to that point in his career: .248 Batting Average – with 33 HRs and 82 RBI. These were not the #’s the White Sox thought they were getting when they signed Dunn to a 4 YR/$56 Million Contract prior to the 2011 season. Dunn never was a high average kind of guy, has always struck out a lot (as a lot of power hitters do), but also walks a lot. Much to Dunn’s credit, he turned everything around in 2012 hitting (only) .204, but with 41 HRs and 96 RBI. His turnaround season was a big reason for Chicago’s success in 2012.
Dunn has been one of the game’s premiere power hitters since 2004. Yet, to this date, has never been on a playoff team. He and the Sox came close in 2012, but fell short behind the Tigers. Dunn surpassed 400 HRss last year for the Sox, ( the same year that his teammate Paul Konerko hit his 400th. Konerko actually hit his 300th HR in the same game, back-to-back with, then teammate, Jermaine Dye) and has a great chance to surpass 500 HR’s. While Dunn will probably fall short of 500 HRs in his next 2 seasons with the Sox, you have to figure he’ll catch on with a team in 2015 and get there. A common complaint about Dunn is, and has been, his average. Last year Dunn hit a “robust” .204, yet still managed to have an OBP of .333. Not quite as good as his career OBP of .370, but not awful either. For a guy that strikes out as much as he does, Dunn sure walks a lot. Though Dunn walked 105 times last year, his K’s more than doubled that amount with 222.
Adam Dunn Highlights: Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised:
Former GM ‘Maverick Kenny Williams has rolled the dice on some big contracts with Rios, Dunn and Peavy.. There have been some moments of prosperity and failure for each, however the results have been ok overall. The team should be competitive with both payroll – and on the field in 2013
Considering the collapse of the 2012 White Sox, the team losing A.J. Pierzynski and Kevin Youkilis to Free Agency, one might not expect the 2013 White Sox to fare any better. But, looking on the bright side, they should have a solid starting staff, with Chris Sale having another year of experience under his belt, and, hopefully, the return of a healthy John Danks. That’s a pretty good 1-2 punch. Next is Jake Peavy. Not a bad 1-2-3 punch, if you ask me. Follow those 3 with Gavin Floyd and/or Hector Santiago/Jose Quintana, not too shabby. An “expert” may look on the not so bright side, and see a “whole lotta outs in the lineup”.
Between Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez (both struggled in 2012) and the newly anointed starting Catcher, Tyler Flowers, that’s a combined average of .237 (which equals a whole lotta outs). While some say Beckham’s and Ramirez’s defensive prowess make up for their offensive deficiencies, many White Sox fans disagree. But, if Alex Rios and Adam Dunn can carry over their production from 2012 into 2013, the Sox could be in the running for the division title again. The addition of Jeff Keppinger at third base, while not a high-profile move that White Sox fans had grown accustomed to with former GM Kenny Williams, he is solid at the plate and in the field. Let’s take a look at the Sox payroll for the 2013 season….
DeWayne Wise’ catch to preserve Mark Buehle’s perfect game:
Paul Konerko heads into the last year of a contract. At 37, Konerko has hit 415 HRs as a White Sox Player – and is 33 Round-Trippers short of Frank Thomas (448) for the ALL-Time Franchise Lead. Will he reach the ‘BIG HURT’ in 2013? Better yet, if he re-signs with the team past 2013, he may enter the top 10 of ALL-Time HRs for one team. Currently Lou Gehrig and Eddie Matthews sit tied in 9th with 493 HRs each for one club.
The South Side of Chicago. U.S. Cellular Field. You’re likely to have heard chants of “Let’s go White Sox!!”, “Ozzie!! Ozzie!!, and maybe even “Oh-E-Oh, Magglio!!”, over the years at this beautiful, yet underrated ball park. But, for the last 14 seasons, you probably would have heard “Paulie!! Paulie!!”, more than any other. No, not Paulie from Rocky fame. Paul Konerko, the 6 time ALL-Star and 2005 World Series Champion First Baseman of the Chicago White Sox. Some would say he’s underrated, much like the stadium he’s called home since 1999. Acquired via trade from the Cincinnati Reds in late 1998 by the White Sox for Mike Cameron, Konerko has been a consistent producer for them for 14 seasons.
He’s averaged more than 32 HRs and 101 RBI in that time frame for the Sox – and has combined for a few quality 1-2 punches over the years with some big hitters. Frank Thomas, Carlos Lee, Magglio Ordonez, and now Adam Dunn, to name a few. He is said to be one of White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s favorite players of ALL-time. He should be, as he helped guide the White Sox to their first World Series Championship in 88 years back in 2005. Konerko even presented the “3rd and final out ball” to Reinsdorf at the victory parade, bringing the owner to tears in front of thousands of screaming Sox fans.
Paul Konerko 2012 Highlights: Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised:
You must be logged in to post a comment.