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Ozzie Guillen joins Twitter. Dayan Viciedo receives a public scolding from Kenny Williams for failing to run out a pop-up. A pitching coach gets heckled in a virtually empty stadium. All in the first week of game action.
In a spring training with very few open spots and fewer problems, it’s funny that so many odd secondary plots are emerging … especially when the Sox are the subject of a reality show for the MLB Network.
Joe Cowley spent Monday tweeting often about the presence of cameras, and according to our friend Carl, he also brought it up to Chris Rongey on The Score on Monday evening. Cowley said that Cooper wondered — perhaps jokingly — that the heckler was an MLB Network plant.
It’s an interesting theory. The thrill of spring training is that baseball exists, and there’s not a lot more to it. Especially when it’s cold(ish) and raining and games are delayed or canceled. So when Viciedo gets hammered while a guy with a fat reputation plods like a fat guy and turns an easy RBI single into a play at the plate, it’s not wrong to raise an eye, although Cowley mentions the Swisher thing, too.
But for giggles, if the Sox and/or MLB Network are actually exaggerating events for effect — probably unlikely, but yaneverknow — I have a few more ideas.
No. 1: During Woodjock, Jake Peavy’s charity musical event, Scott Linebrink joins him onstage for “Hotel California.” He takes the outro solo, then promptly breaks a string. Peavy yells, “Damnit, Liney, wait ’til the regular season to blow leads!” The crowd laughs. Linebrink storms off the stage, but guest vocalist Omar Vizquel brings them back together with a stunning rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
But wait! Then, it’s discovered that Vizquel lip-synched the entire song, and Linebrink wonders who isn’t living a lie.
No. 2: Guillen’s open competition for the last bullpen spot results in Jeff Marquez eating uncooked camel testicles. Not only does Marquez start the year in Triple-A, but nobody else partook in that event, much to Guillen’s delight.
“I cant belive marquez he ate it nuts haha yesssssssssssssssssss,” he tweets.
No. 3: Brent Lillibridge goes on the 60-day DL after tearing his Achilles on the Aggro Crag.
And if they’re still starving for storylines, they can make Carlos Quentin and Gavin Floyd swap wives, display 26 briefcase-bearing beauties between Rick Hahn and Craig Landis in John Danks’ extension negotiations, and get Bobby Jenks and Andruw Jones to cry on some oversized scales. Now you have a television show. If they’re gunning for drama, they should go all-in. Williams doesn’t do it any other way.
This one’s on the house:
Q: Besides a striking resemblance to one another, what do Joe Nathan and Count Chocula have in common?
A: They’re both on the shelf.
All week veal.
The ace Minnesota closer has a tear in the Ulnar Collateral Ligament in his right elbow, and while the Twins will wait a couple weeks to officially make a decision, “Dr. James Andrews” has entered the conversation.
Numerous White Sox were polled for a reaction, which seems like a little much to me. Unconvincing body language aside — pause for third cheek-flapping deep breath — Nathan’s a great closer. Still, he only comes into play when the Twins are leading after eight innings, and on top of that, they have another difficult-to-hit righty coming off Tommy John surgery in Pat Neshek. The ledger looks the same.
If the Twins lost Joe Mauer for an entire season, that would change the complexion of the division. Losing a closer only makes Ron Gardenhire’s job slightly tougher. From the Sox’s perspective, Nathan would be a non-factor in two-thirds of the season series, even before the injuries. Let’s save the going overboard for television hijinx.
Like making Williams’ golf cart street-legal.
Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*John Danks threw three scoreless innings, after which he declared the White Sox are “the team to beat” in the AL Central. And here we go.
*Paul Konerko and Mark Kotsay had two hits apiece in a 6-2 loss to San Francisco. The rest of the lineup struggled, and Jhonny Nunez is falling out of the picture.
*Cowley previews Alexei Ramirez’s road ahead. One paragraph worth noting:
Despite all the travails, Ramirez actually played a dominant shortstop the last six weeks of the season, but this fact basically went unnoticed.
Not by me! Ramirez won the Gold Glove for September in White Sox Outsider 2010! BUY IT! LOUD NOISES!
*Dayan Viciedo is now a Scott Boras client. This is old news and you guys talked about it in the last thread, but I wanted to bump it to the top for posterity. It will come into play at some point.