Shot at record a 'Bridge too far

Some of you may have been disappointed by Brent Lillibridge’s RBI “single” in Monday’s 6-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians. As well you should.
Not only did Lillibridge drive in his first and only run of the season with a 60-foot nubber — he needed Jhonny Peralta to mishandle it as well. Why didn’t Lillibridge make like a real Sox shortstop and call the official scorer during the game? There’s no way that should’ve counted.
However, it turns out that Lillibridge wasn’t in control of his destiny in his quest for immortality . Had that been ruled an error, Li’l Bridge would still have an uphill climb toward setting the record. As it turns out, somebody has beat him to it — and he’s playing right across town.
The Cubs’ Sam Fuld is up to 99 plate appearances without an RBI this season. But unlike Lillibridge, who used medium-range flyballs to pad his total, Fuld appears to be a victim of incredibly bad luck. He’s batting .280/.404/.354 this season.
Even more amazing, he’s 5-for-20 with RISP, but still doesn’t have an RBI. Maybe the Sox aren’t the only team that fails to treat second base as “scoring position.”
(It might also bring a new meaning to “being Chicagoed.”)
Cardboards Gods isn’t to blame. At the time, Lillibridge had more plate appearances than Fuld.  Then Fuld started three straight games over the weekend, racking up 12 plate appearances to blow by everybody on that list. Such is the rapidly changing nature of ignominy.
So while the Lillibridge anti-fans might rue this day, it may turn out that he wouldn’t have had a shot at the title, anyway.
He’s just another Toby Hall, now. In 2007, Hall went 100 plate appearances with just one RBI. He racked up his first one on the Fourth of July, and didn’t get his next until after Labor Day. He finished the year with three in 120 plate appearances, which isn’t all that unique, as it’s been achieved 193 times.
If you want a real reason to get riled up — Lillibridge played the exact kind of game Ozzie Guillen wanted to see when Lillibridge was demoted to Charlotte in May. He slapped two infield singles, drew a walk and went from first to third on a hit-and-run.  Guillen had urged Lillibridge to make better use of his speed instead of trying to muscle the ball past the outfielders, and maybe he’s heeded that call. He has only struck out once in 15 very sporadic plate appearance, which could serve as further proof.
It’ll still take a great spring for Lillibridge to overcome his poor first impression — or a Chris Getz injury, which is more likely. But his White Sox future, unlike his shot at infamy, is still alive, like it or not.

Om-nom-nomming his way to a big payday
Om-nom-nomming his way to a big payday
After notching his first major-league complete game, I think we can say that John Danks made good on his gamble.
Danks now has a career high in wins (13) to go along with a career high in innings (195 1/3).  And while he’s regressed slightly in some peripherals (walks and strikeouts) and significantly in others (home run rate), the results are still remarkable for a guy who experienced a huge jump in innings the year before, and battled blister and circulation problems for an extended period of time.
One more start, and Danks will eclipse the 200-inning mark for the first time. That’s always an excellent thing for a pitcher to point to when making the case for more scratch.
(It should also erase the notion that Danks is nothing more than a good No. 4, aheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeem.)
Danks declined the same offer Gavin Floyd accepted in the offseason — four years, $16 million — and it looks like he’ll be a little bit wealthier for it. Floyd is set to make $2.75 million next year, so $3 million for Danks might be a good baseline.
At South Side Sox, Larry had a great poll question: Who will be the White Sox’s scapegoat this coming offseason?
The rules:

You can’t be someone who will be retained for the 2010 season.  So that eliminates the coaching staff and front office.  You also can’t be someone who has an unmovable contract.  So Scott Linebrink will have to wait to take the fall for the 2011 season.  Essentially, you’re looking at guys who are free agents to be or will be traded or are already gone.

Jermaine Dye is the leading vote-getter by a landslide, but I have a feeling about A.J. Pierzynski. The college football subplot is the kind of late-developing excuse that led to Nick Swisher’s departure. Plus, we know he has always bristled at any threat of reduced playing time, even if it’s for the greater good.
On the other hand, Dye has expressed discontent about his contract situation before, back in 2007 after the Sox worked out Mark Buehrle’s extension, so he’s one “the Sox were great to play for, except for that one time…” comment away from getting the Magglio Ordonez treatment.
The only difference is that Dye will have to initiate the backlash, since Guillen gave him a glowing review on Sunday.
More links:
*Guillen says his only regret is rushing Bartolo Colon and Jose Contreras at the start of the season. Honestly, I can’t think of many more from a personnel standpoint. I’d say he’s had a weaker year with words than anything else.
*A few days late with this, but Phil Rogers said “some baseball people” think that the Sox are interested in Carlos Zambrano, even if he might cost Jake Peavy. Scot Gregor mocked it — and rightly so. Pay no heed to the original report; I’m only linking to this for posterity.  It could be the dumbest rumor of the offseason, and the offseason hasn’t even started yet.
*Mark Kotsay sounds like he’s leaning toward re-signing with the Sox, all things being equal. I’d be perfectly OK with that for the price of an Erstad.
*D.J. Carrasco is done for the year after straining his left hamstring while stretching. Evidently, Sox relievers can’t be trusted to get loose anymore.
Carrasco will fall short of his goal of 100 innings, but his lead in multiple-inning appearances appears to be safe. Carrasco is at 34, while Brian Bass is second with 30. He won’t be able to close that gap with less than a week to go.
*Oral Sox has a new podcast up.
*J.J. ponders the fifth starter spot.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Anyone else impressed with Flowers behind the plate and think that maybe we should have seen him more at the start of september in favor of Castro? I am
Love the fact Danks is still thought of as a 5 or 6 inning starter despite the fact he likely breaks the 200 inning mark this season.
I want Kotsay back even if its for a little more then what Erstad got. He is versatile, good clubhouse guy, nice line drive hitter and plays with an edge. Which leads me to my next point if AJ is the guy the sox are mad about for watching football TOO BAD, this guy is an example of how everyone should play, on the edge of the line between going hard and going dirty, never using an injury as an excuse for poor performance or needing days off, always coming up big in cluth situations. Really dont think AJ is the guy they are gonna single out and move this offseason his value is higher to the sox then just about anyone else. We lack guys like AJ who play with an edge, if anything we need more of them not less. Say what you want about ocab and swisher but that team won the divison in 08 and swish is going back to postseason play and if minnesota had ocab a little earlier they might be too.


Tampa Bay needs a catcher. Maybe they deal BJ or Carl afterall in a deal that nets them AJ.


Alexi Ramirez was the guy who turned the TVs on. He was looking for some cartoon show in Spanish.
How about Linebrink and some major cash to the Brewers for Seth Mcclung. Seth is the only pitcher I can think of who is worse than Leinie.


Whoever said Danks is a good #4 starter is a complete moron 🙂
I think he just needs to be more effective with his pitches. It seems like everytime out (with the exception of last night) he throws 20 pitches every inning and he’s out in the 5th or 6th. He pitched 7 or more innings 12 times compared to 15 by Buehrle and Floyd. Sure it’s just 3 times but thats 3 smaller opportunities for the bullpen to blow it.
I guess gone are the days where pitchers throw 230+ innings on a consistent basis.


The other argument I can make is the longer your starters can stay in the game the less you have to rely on your bullpen, which is one of our weaknesses.
Plus the bullpen is more expensive that starters. Jenks will pitch 1/3 of the time Buehrle does but will make 1/2 of what Buehrle does.


Thats a tricky arguement, those three outs at the end of the game are pretty darn important. I really dont want to get into the pay scale of pitchers because its an impossible subject to figure out.