SoxFest: Democracy? Inaction?

Supposedly, we should know by today or Tuesday whether Jim Thome will return to the White Sox in 2010.  And I guess we should be thankful that it’s still a rumor, considering how strongly he wanted to manage a National League lineup in the quintessential American League park. Maybe the people will be heard after all.
I’m going to wait until Guillen retreats to Venezuela before launching full-bore into the issue.  It’s a risk of a lot of wasted words at this point.  I’ll just share one thought I had after reading the Trib story:

First, playing time earmarked for left-handed hitter Mark Kotsay and Andruw Jones would be trimmed because Guillen reiterated his commitment to rotate players into the DH role to maximize roster flexibility.

What the hell has Andruw Jones done to deserve earmarked playing time?  Over the last two years, he blimped up and burned an organization that invested heavily in him… and that’s about it.
I’d recommend Joe Cowley’s perspective and the Cheat’s analysis of the Angels comparison the interim, but I’ll have plenty to say if Thome — or an equivalent — isn’t on board.
From the weekend:

*After following Mark Teahen’s tweets over the weekend, I almost feel bad for questioning his presence on the roster.  I hope he’s able to reverse his slide, because otherwise he’s going to be the player you hate to hate.
*J.J. Putz talked to Chuck Garfien about his elbow problems, saying the Mets never gave him a physical, even though they knew about the bone spurs. It’s amazing that this still happens, nine years after Mike Sirotka.
*Carlos Quentin’s plantar fasciitis hasn’t caused lasting damage to his knee, as was originally feared.
*My wish-I-could’ve-seen-it-moment: A fan rattling off evidence of Greg Walker’s ineffectiveness during a Q-and-A.  Since he hasn’t been fired, I can say that I’ve devoted an entire essay in White Sox Outsider 2010 to why he’s still around when others have gotten the axe.

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Re: Andruw Jones. This whole off-season I’ve been reminded of my fateful meeting with Ozzie Jr. at a bar down in KC a couple years ago. My friends and I struck up a conversation with him. This was the day after the Sox acquired Griffey and if memory serves, Manny was acquired by the Dodgers.
Anyways, a Baseball Tonight segment showed Andruw Jones and out of nowhere, Ozzie Jr. starts telling us about how he’s a top-10 player in the league. At this point, my friend told him he’s full of crap and Jones was currently one of the worst players in baseball. Ozzie Jr. didn’t stop there though. He insisted to us that in the previous off-season before Jones signed with the Dodgers his dad told Andruw if you ever play for me, you’ll hit 50 HR’s.
The rest of the night was spent with my one friend and Ozzie Jr. arguing about what a piece of crap Jones was. It was pretty entertaining.
Since the Sox signed Jones and Ozzie’s insistence on refusing to get a real DH, I think of this night on an almost daily basis.


for once, i was impressed after reading a cowley article. but i don’t think ozzie is going anywhere, unless the team ridiculously underperforms AND there are couple ozzie outbursts.


JR is loyal to a fault, ask any bulls fan how they feel about fucking Paxson, that guy LITERALLY cant get fired. Hell Ozzie has a ring and a division title he probably would have to kill someone to be removed as manager.
FYI, I dont mean to compare ozzie someone I think does a good job to Paxson someone I think does a horrible job but its more just getting across the JR loyalty factor.


Im going to relate the 07 power arms in the bullpen to the speedy NL style of play 2010 sox if they dont bring in a Thome like bat to help in the power department.
We have seen the damn formula at the cell, starting pitching and home runs. Its not that difficult!!! I wasnt all aboard on the Thome train but with little left on the market and a growing sense of this team being brutally power deprived, and Thome’s diminishing market we have to cough up the 2-3 mil to bring him back and add the 20-25 homers he will atleast bring.


Bringing back Thome’s fine, and making Jones earn his time is fine, but he did more than Jim suggests above. He showed a solid recovery in his peripherals last year and could easily be a plus hitter. He also played good defense both years, albeit in a limited sample size. At the price, it was probably the smartest signing they made this winter.


I don’t put much stock in month-by-month splits. People always try to find patterns in them, but I’ve never seen any analysis that suggests there’s any projectable meaning in them for the 99.9 percent of players who aren’t Adam LaRouche.
Andruw’s biggest problem with the Dodgers was that his strikeout percentage shot up to 36 percent. It returned to his career rate in 2009, so he appeared to address his biggest problem.
He won’t be great, but he could be a league-average bat playing decent corner defense, which is a steal at that price. I agree that he shouldn’t be counted on very heavily.
If this team is really committed to getting an additional guy who can play a position, they should start treating Q! as a 75% DH.


April and May is when we need hitting the most. That’s when our hitting sucks because “it’s cold outside”. Of course he was playing half his games in Texas where it isn’t cold.


I would think that would have the opposite effect on his numbers… anyway it’s a tiny sample size to look at.
I wonder if anyone has figured out how much worse the Sox are (if any) than other teams tend to be in April/May, which tend to favor pitchers across the board in most parks around baseball.
I guess Greg Walker’s excuse is that Chicago had April weather all summer long last year…


At Soxfest everyone kept using the word “flexiblity”. To me, that means that the White Sox have a bunch of players who are not top-line talent and who are not good enough to be a starter at one position.


good point, im all for having no flexibility and a set 8 that kick some ass, its the same thing in basketball when teams talk about going 10 deep, give me lebron and 4 shmucks and i’ll take my chances


I go back and forth on Thome. On one occasion I’ll want his HR and OBP and LH bat back. On the other occasion, I think back to 2009 and how Adam Eaton, the Adam Eaton that shutdown the White Sox (I believe twice) and was BP for the rest of the league, how he struckout Thome 3 of 3 at bats.
It was the Adam Eatons of 2009 that beat us, not the Greinke’s or Verlanders. They are going to get their wins. We have to beat the scrubs.
I’d just hate to see that all over again in 2010. But whose to say Kotsay, Jones or Vizquel will do any better.
Either way I’ll praise Ozzie if it works and hate him if it doesn’t 🙂