Same start, different roster

I came back from Chicago just in time to make the drive to Woodstock and see The Hold Steady.  As it turned out, I didn’t miss much on Thursday night as far as the White Sox are concerned.
The good news is that the minor league season opened up, bringing the return of the curse of the minor league roundup.
But while fast-forwarding to get to the crucial parts of the Sox’s 5-3 loss to Cleveland, a few things about the way this year has opened struck me funny, like how:
*The offense that’s built for cold weather is hitting .154, the worst average in baseball.
*The offense that isn’t supposed to walk has drawn 19 free passes, first in the American League.
*The only hitters contributing are the proven ones — Paul Konerko, Carlos Quentin, Gordon Beckham and Alex Rios.  Wishcasting hasn’t helped yet.
*Ozzie Guillen thinks Juan Pierre needs Gordon Beckham to bunt him over twice.
*Scott Linebrink hasn’t been seen in either a blowout or an extra-inning game.
I don’t think it’s coincidental that Jim Thome went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer, three RBI and a walk Thursday night.
Minor league roundup:

  • Gwinnett 8, Charlotte 6
    • Tyler Flowers went 2-for-4 with a home run, striking out once. He committed a throwing error.
    • Jordan Danks hit a two-run homer and struck out once as well.
    • Dayan Viciedo had two singles; Brent Lillibridge doubled and drove in two.
    • C.J. Retherford went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
    • Lucas Harrell got off to a bad start: 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 4 BB, 4 K.
    • Greg Aquino allowed a run on two hits over 1 1/3 innings, taking the loss.
  • Carolina 4, Birmingham 2
    • Brent Morel went 1-for-4 with a double.
    • John Shelby singled and stole a base; the Barons had just five hits on the night.
    • Matt Long allowed three runs on five hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings, striking out one.
  • Winston-Salem 7, Kinston 1
    • Eduardo Escobar went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and one run scored. Only drawback: He was caught stealing twice.
    • Kenny Williams Jr. hit a solo shot.
    • Josh Phegley singled twice and struck out twice.
    • Justin Edwards allowed one run on five hits and a walk over six innings, striking out three.
    • Dan Remenowsky struck out three and walked one over two scoreless innings; Gregory Infante pitched a scoreless ninth.
  • Kannapolis vs. Rome PPD
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Take a snapshot at last night’s game…My fear is that the “six inning quality start that results in a loss becuase of a mediocre bullpen and poor clutch hitting” will be a recurrent theme this year.


sox bullpen is above average


It took 3 games and I already want to slit my freaking wrists! Lets just get this ball rolling.
1. Mark Teahan is the worst decesion maker at third base I have ever seen and its been 3 games. Throw in the fact he cant hit, and was bailed out twice on what should have been strike 3’s to make his obp look better then it should and he is absolute garbage.
2. Ozzie, what the heck is juan pierres value if he cant steal 2nd??? Why in the world would you ever bunt him to 2nd with your best damn hitter??? TWICE!!!!!!! You made the same mistake twice, pierre steals 2nd with ease beckham can bunt him to third or use his natural right field approach to move him!!! I honostly almost had a heart attack watching those bunts.
3. Greg Walker, how many players do we have to bring through this organization that you cant flat out teach to use situational hitting techniques??? How many guys wont know how to bunt? How long are we gonna put up with you being a bottom 3 if not the bottom hitting coach in the league? A 154 average, stay hot kid! Look no farther to see a good coach then don cooper, anyone watch the freaking changeup and slider that sergio santos has? He looked like a 5 year veterin out there. A converted shortstop shouldnt be able to come in with anything other then a fastball, yet santos not only has a great fastball his changeup is outstanding and his slider is well above average.
4. Dumb defensive plays, beckham has no clue the catcher is running and throws a one hopper that paulie cant come up with, teahan is way to deep for a speedy leadoff guy and then inexplicably picks up a ball that goes foul 9 of 10 times with no chance at making a play, and then of course somehow a stumbling travis hafner scores on a double from first cause our relays always have been and always will be garbage.
5. If you have no confidence in scott linebrink why is he taking up a 25 man spot. I know he makes a lot of money and you want to give him a shot, but if he couldnt get in to any of the 3 games this week, he doesnt belong, ozzie has no faith in him and I dont blame him.
There is a lot more I have but its only game 3. I will save some stuff I have already noticed that makes me sick.


Regarding Linebrink…one of the things that the Sox are not good at is owning up to bad contract decisions…to wit, MacDougal, Contreras and now Linebrink.
Great points across the board, Knox, but I dissagree on your assessment of our pen. Sure, the names in our pen would suggest that we have an above average relief corps, but the collective skill level of these guys at this point in their career, IMO, is average at best. I guess we will see.


And how is Johnny Damon and Jim Thome doing? Garbage in, garbage out my friends. Mark Kotsay is your DH. Need I go on? How about Rios, 1-10 so far. His hit was a homer when we were up 5-0.


I was hoping that they would sign Damon….but when you tap yourself out with the Rios pickup and the Pierre, teahns and Peavy trades, you leave youself little flexibility to help yourself in other areas. Kenny truly overplayed his hand late last season and early in the off season with his moves as there were far better options later in the winter. Yes I know, hindsight is 20-20, but based on the previous off season when there were several guys available later in the winter, I was hoping that our GM would be a bit more patient.


Thome mashed in a three runner yesterday..
Rios is going to be fine


I’m as nonplussed as anyone by this series, but the numbers being thrown around here are completely meaningless small sample size junk. That comment about Rios is just silly.


Rios has lots of games to redeem himself, his contract demands it. Just pointing out that he’s still oh-for-suck in a White Sox uniform. Other guys like Teahen and Kotsay are batting .000 and few are doing much better. 3 games is only 3 games, I get it. We knew the hitting would be weak but at least 2-3-4 are doing well. Still, your pen can’t stop a so-so line-up like this? Should have at least managed to win 2 of 3. Here comes the team we have to beat.


I share everyone’s frustration, but the reality is that even the best team in baseball is going to lose at least 60 games. The central division winner had about 75 losses the past 2 years, so prepare for more.
I think Beckham should be batting 3rd. He is by far our best hitter. I’d rather have Quentin bunting than Beckham, but it should probably be Ramirez batting there.
Sure the offense sucked again but the real reason we lost was Thornton’s blown save and who would have ever saw that coming. Hopefully Guillen doesn’t use him in all 162 games like he’s on pace for.


As we watch the regular season slide into disaster and watch our playoff hopes be crushed in Game # 3 of the regular season, in 30 degree icey weather, i will go ahead and post something a little more soxtimistic. I am excited to see Quentin, Rios, and Konerko all homer in the first series of the season. After all, these are the three in the lineup that we are relying on for any offensive firepower over the wall, or at least to the wall. Peavy was rusty because he was really cold, literally. Alexei always has trouble in April. Sergio Santos in his debut was sharp. Nobody thinks this team is running away with the division, including fans. But we have the arsenal to be in the thick of it. Gordon Beckham bunting is a plus in terms of lineup versatility at the top.


So how was the Hold Steady show?


The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Where did Hold Steady play? Kinda surprised they didn’t come to Rockford instead.