Young collision nothing more than a distraction

Let's get one thing straight: Delmon Young running into A.J. Pierzynski wasn't Torii Hunter destroying Jamie Burke.

Let’s get one thing straight: Delmon Young running into A.J. Pierzynski wasn’t Torii Hunter destroying Jamie Burke.
Young might have tried to make a statement when he opted to run into Pierzynski instead of attempting a clever slide on Tuesday night. The latter was an option, since Gordon Beckham’s throw was high, and Pierzynski wasn’t blocking the plate, but maybe he couldn’t see that route. Either way, it’s immaterial. Pierzynski held on, and didn’t even fall down. A key insurance run didn’t score, and that became huge when Pierzynski singled to put the eventual go-ahead run into scoring position.
Whether Young was trying to do something more than score, Pierzynski got the upper hand. But a lot of people are going to make a lot out of it, including Ozzie Guillen and Joe Cowley:

”It kind of seemed [dirty], but I like when baseball is aggressive. If anyone has a problem with that, there’s still a way they can resolve their problems. That’s not the manager’s job to get in the way. If somebody in the clubhouse don’t like the way he did it, that’s easy. Resolve that problem before he hits the home run or the base hit [in the 10th].”
Pierzynski took the high road in describing the play.
”It was play at the plate, things happen and you move on,” Pierzynski said. ”It was his only chance and he did what he thought he needed to do.”
It seems like the Twins have the final word in everything these days.

There’s a problem with chalking everything up to not pushing back. Take John Danks. He could have drilled Orlando Hudson after his homer, as the Twins looked exceedingly comfortable against him in the first. Yet it probably wouldn’t have helped considering his struggles to retire the side in order. It may have been a choice between earning “man points” and lasting seven innings. If so, he chose wisely.
At the same time, the Sox didn’t hit a batter. They haven’t in their last 11 games, and in that span, Ozzie Guillen has said his players need protection, and even bullpen coach Juan Nieves sounded a battle cry:

“There’s nothing that would please me more than having a brawl with them and kicking their rear,” Nieves said. “I’ve even thought of telling guys, ‘Hey [Matt] Thornton, smoke [Joe] Mauer, see if you can start a fight. We’re not afraid of anybody.”

And what happens in the opener? Danks gets (temporarily) rocked, Pierzynski gets plowed over, and on the other side, Mark Kotsay playfully pushes Orlando Hudson after grounding out with the bases loaded.
I don’t really care about whether messages are sent or received. I do care about evening the score, and the Sox did a great job of that until Matt Thornton threw two poorly located fastballs to Thome (more on that in a bit). They could easily play the role of even-keeled professionals if they let their actions do the talking.
But when they announce intentions and then play another while losing to a team that is engaging in their own tactics, it certainly looks like the Sox are getting pushed around, physically and metaphorically.
But hey, at least this Young storyline is a nice smokescreen to obscure the increasingly indefensible and harmful decision to let Thome join the Twins. Thome is now 12-for-31 against the White Sox with two doubles, two homers and 1.144 OPS. Better yet, he was a well-executed relay away from another crushing late-inning hit earlier this year.
Oh, and he’s the most responsible for the last two games gained, since he hit a three-run homer in a 4-2 victory against Oakland on Monday. I’d like to stop talking about this, but he and the Sox aren’t letting me, so I’m working on something to make these discussions simpler and shorter from here on out.

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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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blacksox56

ultimate irony…give up on a power hitting left handed batter in the off season to only be looking for a left handed power hitter at the trade deadline. who would have thunk it?

chisoxt

Right on again, Jim. The incident also obscures the light years in disparity in the philosophies that exist between these two organizations right now. And with Kenny’s increasing willingness to deal promising young, inexpensive talent for aging expensive veterans, that difference will continue to magnify.
With Kenny’s total disregard for player development,does your Minoe League Roundup even matter?
Now we are seeing the breakdown of our bullpen, I believe, because the go-to arms that comprise it are older vets that have logged a lot of wear and tear in the careers and this year.
And, BTW, I will be shocked if the White Sox in any way retalliate.

danks50

You did a nice job summarizing the majority on my mind re the white sox. I’m also getting real tired of not only getting pushed around in the standings but on the field.
I’m not a fan of throwing at players who can’t defend themselves in the box but when Delmon Young goes outside of the baseline to go directly for your catchers head somethings gotta me done.
Anyways after my rant I’m still wondering if Kenny was sober when he let Thome go or for much of this offseason for that matter. Well at least we don’t have to worry about Daniel Hudson and his very nice numbers when we have Edwin Jackson making 20x his salary next year. Kenny his brainscratching recent trades, deadball offseason moves and hilarious draft budget is losing my support and quickly.

knoxfire30

This team is flat out TERRIFIED of the freaking minnesota twins, pooing in their pants, peeing down their legs TERRIFIED. Break out the brooms. And if we are gonna lose I hope thome sticks it up ozzie and kennys ass repeatidly!

striker

I hate to say this but the Minnesota Twins are a better team and better organization than the Chicago Whitesox. The Whitesox are better than the NL teams and Seattle but that’s it.

ricksch

I’ve been asking this question since before the season started and many of you, I’m sure, are rather sick of it. Why did we have room for Nix and Raandy on our Opening Day roster but no space for future Hall of Famer Jim Thome? Last night was simply poetic. Next time a legendary bat offers the team a hometown discount, maybe we’ll take it.
Can the Sox recover from blowing three straight? The Twins are 9-4 against us. Sox are 15-16 since the break. Ozzie and Kenny did a nice job assembling an NL team. Too bad the Pirates aren’t on the schedule cause we play UNDER .500 against our own league.
Ozzie’s advice to “have a few drinks” and come back tomorrow is, brilliant. How about, “I’m an idiot for talking Kenny out of Thome. Fire my stupid ass!”
Here’s a great line from a post I read on K-Rod. Ozzie Guillen claims he’s the “only one” who has been telling Latino players not to punch their father-in-laws.
Kenny’s succession of terrible moves, which includes the Hudson-Jackson deal, and Ozzie’s love for the NL tell me they both should be gone. 2005 is history and career years from your entire starting rotation seems more like serendipity than front office skill.
This team really had no chance to do much this year, even if they made the playoff. So Williams, in what looks like sheer desperation, deals our best young arm to come along in years. The reasoning was to have a veteran pitch in a pennant race. Somehow that same theory doesn’t apply to veteren future Hall of Famers?

marshlands

A bit early to be making outlandish statements about the Hudson/Jackson trade, no?

blah

“our best young arm to come along in years”
This is hyperbole… right?

ricksch

If only it were hyperbole. There’s very little basis for comparison which is the actual point. Maybe I’m forgetting someone, but besides Buerhle, which arms have we brought up through our own system in the last decade that have stayed with us?
“Outlandish statement” I said OUR best young arm, not THE best young arm.
The Hudson trade was a desperate move by a GM who couldn’t make the deal he wanted but still had to look like he was doing something.
If this team was stacked in all other areas, then perhaps trading for the experienced Jackson makes some degree of sense. But when you’re chances of going deep in the playoffs are so slim, having a cheap slot in your starting rotation for the next four or five years seems a helluva lot more valuable than some half-baked moonshot effort at a title. Next year we seem to have less salary/roster flexibility than this year when they cried poor all winter.
The real “outlandish statement” was the Sox crapping all over Hudson when they dealt him, giving him the ceiling of a 5th starter or long relief guy. Those kind of blanket comments from an organization strike me not only as outlandish, but classless and insulting as well.

blah

To be fair, Cowley was the one who said that, albeit he used unnamed White Sox sources.
IMO that information can’t be attributed to anyone specifically and thus shouldn’t be treated as an official stance.

eddystankysghost

If Hudson is Arizona’s Brock, Jackson isn’t Chicago’s Broglio. Both are pitching very well for their new teams.
If the Sox were mistaken in thinking they could compete with MIN, it isn’t because of either Hudson or Jackson.

ricksch

On a personal note, these last few nights I’ve had nightmares over this shit. For what? You tell me. It’s time to return to my regularly scheduled life.

knoxfire30

So the 2011 whitesox, should have a good rotation, but an offense that wont get any better which is currently 12th in the league in runs scored and may lose Konerko, a bullpen that has been good until lately but could lose Jenks and Putz, and a bench that leaves a lot to be desired, surrounded by a minor league system with nothing of any impact value on the way…. yikes

chisoxt

Given the high payroll of this team, the fact that we have several guys due to leave in the next year or two, and poor prospects for replacements on the horizon, I would love to be a fly on the wall at the next White Sox board meeting.
I hope that too many season ticket holders don’t get sucked into putting up dough for a playoff run that won’t happen.

tdogg

I don’t understand this logic at all. Next year’s team should be fine. You have one of the best rotations and are great up the middle. Just make better off season decisions. Its that simple.

ricksch

Good up the middle, yes. A great starting rotation? IF Peavy comes back healthy and pitches like a number one. That seems like a big “if” to me.
We still have no 3rd baseman other than Vizquel who you really shouldn’t count on to play full-time. Pierzynski? I’ll be happy if they let him go. Sick of his lousy ABs all year. In the pen, we need to replace Pena, Jenks and possibly Putz (who will want big bucks next year for his part in killing our season). The bench looks pretty crappy, though at least we can assume Kotsay and Jones won’t be back.
Sox have committed a ton of payroll for next year already, juiced up by Jackson’s $8mil. If they pay Konerko, which I think they should, how much is left over to fill other needs?
The Minor League system is threadbare. Viciedo needs another year in AAA to learn how to take bad pitches. Flowers may never bloom. As a team, the Sox appear betwixt and between to make a serious run. They’ve manage to fool us into thinking they’re contenders for the last few years, but at least I won’t be fooled again by this mediocre squad.
The main problem from my perspective is that I’ve lost all faith in Kenny and Ozzie making smart decisions.

tdogg

Fooled you into what? They are contenders. They have one of the best rotations Peavy or not. Many of the pieces you speak of won’t cost a lot. Just make proper moves. I guarantee you KW won’t go into next season without a legit DH (lol) again.
There will be plenty of time for roster construction debate at the end of the season for next year but the Sox are not “hamstrung” as you seem to suggest.
Oh and I’d be fine with a Castro/Flowers catching tandem.

knoxfire30

Fine or better then the twins and tigers?
I just dont see how we can significantly improve, contracts to most of are players are on the rise, and the only salary relief we get would be losing aj’s 6.5 which is negated by jackson on the books for 8 mil, and then konerkos money but we need to sign konerko just to have an average offense
money is going to be tight and big offensive changes are needed, you cant have the same OPS output from 2nd, DH, C, 3rd and LF and expect to win and unfortunately its likely the same 3rd, LF, and 2nd basemen will be back, that leaves just catcher and dh to improve upon, again assuming you bring back your 1B

john

Right, because it’s a given that Beckham will have as poor as a first half next year. Konerko isn’t getting anywhere close to the $14 million or whatever he’s making this year. That will open up some more room.

knoxfire30

Have you honostly gone over the dollars owed to players next year? NO MONEY IS BEING FREED UP!!!!!!!!! Jenks, Putz, Garcia, Konerko, AJ could all walk and raises to arbitration eligible players and guys like peavy and jackson alone account for that money. Thats BEFORE bringing Konerko back who will atleast get 10 mil a year.

john

Jenks is arb. eligible still. You’re also not factoring in any trades that are made to free up space.
Konerko is not getting $10 million.

ricksch

Payroll DOES have them hamstrung I’m afraid. And if they try to sign Danks long term, which they ought to, that’s going to cost a fortune. Sox already have the “cry poor” deal down pat and this year’s lackluster attendance gives them another reason not to spend. Look for another wave of Kotsay/Jones like gasbags to fill in for the departing assclowns.

chisoxt

Trades? Are you assuming we are going to pass off our junk on the current roster or whats left of our farm system to obtain players who will make a difference? And if Kenny happens to catch lightning in a bottle and win the Division, we still have to get past the Rays, Yankees, Rangers and Red Sox. See where I am going with this? For a GM who likes to ‘think big’, Kenny actually We pay a premium for some quality pieces, and end up half-assing the rest of the roster.

john

I was just trying to add a little perspective. You guys seem intent on burying the 2010 and 2011 seasons all in one post, who am I to stop you?

john

I really truly thought that Delmon Young’s cheap shot was going to be the turning point for the Sox vs. the Twins the rest of this season. And if Konerko does almost anything but GIDP in the 9th, Thome likely never even bats with the game on the line. Funny how that works.
It disgusts me how the Twins seemingly win every close game in Minnesota against the Sox. At some point, it has to stop, right? Um, right?

ricksch

Last time the Sox beat the Twins in a game that really mattered was game 163 in 2008. Some cast-off named Jim Thome homered to tally our only run of the game.

john

Well, on that premise, the Twins have yet to beat the Sox in a game that mattered as much as game 163.
It’s just beyond frustrating how everything comes up aces for the Twins late at home. And it’s been that way against the Sox since 2001(Mientkiewicz’s double off the baggy against Foulke in late July is the first I recall), with the early part of 2004 and all of 2005 being the lone exclusion.

john

Whoops, can’t be lone exclusions if there’s two examples. You know what I meant.

ricksch

I was really trying to make a point about Thome, but my definition of a game that “really matters” is one that holds importance to both of the teams playing in it.

blah

The game Jim mentioned held importance to both teams.