That game was a microcosm of the season: seems hopeless, Sox make it exciting, fall behind again, and Manny can’t save the day . . .
This sums it up nicely. Catching up on a weekend of news before using the late-night games to work on some bigger questions…
*Manny Ramirez, who struck out looking twice on Sunday night, bringing his Swisherian backwards K total to eight in just three weeks, may be another last straw between Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams.
“Kenny and Jerry [Reinsdorf] never get involved with my lineup,” Guillen said. “They never did and I don’t think they ever will. I hope not. You never know. But all of a sudden you don’t play Manny for three or four days and he’s healthy … we bring this guy here to play every day. […] By bringing aboard Ramirez, Williams was essentially forcing Guillen’s hand with lineup decisions. Or at least that’s how Guillen seems to look at it.
“In the meanwhile it’s hard for me to make the lineup every day because of that situation,” Guillen said about Ramirez’s presence.
I would have a whole lot more sympathy toward Guillen if he were employing some sort of mastermind platoon. For instance, the example I always come back to is the 2006 Cleveland Indians, who got a .319/.376/.534 line with 31 homers and 118 RBI out of a first base rotation of Ben Broussard, Ryan Garko and Eduardo Perez.
But it always comes back to Mark Kotsay. Even though he’s contributed an OPS above .700 for only 18 games this season, Guillen feels hamstrung when he can’t get that bat in the lineup. I honestly don’t get it.
What I do get is this divide:
- vs. NL: 15-3
- vs. AL: 64-67
Manny Ramirez may be a flop, but it was a risk worth taking. Ramirez wasn’t going to do it alone, either way, and with Carlos Quentin struggling and Gordon Beckham’s hand hampering him, a Kotsay-Mark Teahen-Andruw Jones hydra wouldn’t help matters, either.
*Speaking of Beckham, he might be shut down for the rest of the year, and Bobby Jenks could join him if his forearm doesn’t improve.
*Guillen thinks Dayan Viciedo will be exploited until he learns more about the strike zone, but he loves him some Brent Morel.
*Nancy Faust won’t be missed by every member of the White Sox organization. In the middle of a nice New York Times profile on the departing Sox organist:
The people who say organ music gives a ballpark the feel of a cathedral are being supplanted by the likes of Guillen, the White Sox manager who grew up in Venezuela, where he said organ music was not part of the game-day experience.
Guillen compared Faust’s music to the vuvuzela, the South African horn. “At the beginning of the season, it’s fun,” he said. “Now in June or July, it gets old.”
Guillen’s the first person I’ve heard who has complained about Faust, or really any organist, and I’m kind of glad he said it. Not because I want Nancy gone — of course I don’t — but because I hadn’t heard anybody who preferred Now That’s What I Call Stadium Music crammed into every moment of silence. I’d always wondered who justified the movement every sports team has blindly followed, and now I have some idea.
MLB.com has a video of her kinda-farewell speech, and she did a nice job with it.
*Speaking of touching video, Carl found this three-part series of a fan’s Old Comiskey Park experience. A guy brought his camcorder during his last visit to the Palace in 1990, and posted it for posterity. I always remember what the field looked like from my seats (I was eight in 1990), but the concourse escaped my memories. This helped bring some of it back, and you can hear Nancy in the background.
*Matt Thornton is the most predictable pitcher ever, according to FanGraphs. Hey, it’s like the Louie from The State — stick with what works. “You know what I’m gonna throw… You knooooow what I’m gonna throw!”
*larry at South Side Sox ponders Paul Konerko’s career year and what can be taken from it.
*Oral Sox has a new podcast up, featuring a Phone Sox segment with Carl Skanberg.