Reading Room: The midwinter rumor mill

Advance apologies for today’s scant Reading Room. I got on a four-hour roll of work on White Sox Outsider 2011, and as many of you would know from huge projects of any kind, when you get in a serious groove, it’s best to stay in it.

South Side Sox plugs

*On Tuesday, I looked at what I learned from The Bill James Handbook 2011.
*On the subject of James, it’s awfully funny how the Jack Morris-Bert Blyleven debate, which was reignited by a rather immature Jon Heyman column, is awfully similar to the circumstances surrounding Phil Rizzuto’s candidacy.
*wOBA fans may enjoy Colin’s attempt at making Marcel projections.

Outside my domains

*James at White Sox Observer patiently waits for Mark Teahen to become tradeable. It might be a while.
*Rafael Soriano rumors won’t go away, but it’s really hard to figure out how it would work in the blown-out White Sox budget. Plus, he’s a Boras client, and Heyman (who has the reputation of a Boras mouthpiece) is reporting it. I’d assume the White Sox are being used.
*Scott Merkin says the Sox would be happy if Jake Peavy were back by mid-April or early May, although there is no formal timetable.
*Jim Thome wants to get paid along the lines of what Lance Berkman received (one year, $8 million). It’s easy to understand his side, but the market for designated hitters has been slow going for a couple years.
*If you like my meandering historical pieces, then I think you’ll love King Kaufman‘s look at the recent airing of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series. He’s going inning by inning, watching how the game was played and digressing from there. He’s done the first and second innings thus far, and I’ll be reading it the whole way through.

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Two points about the 1960 World Series show:
1. I didn’t realize that Stengel bypassed his best pitcher Whitey Ford in Game 1. As mentioned on the show, he could have pitched Games 1-4-7 instead of just 2 games and changed the outcome.
I guess even great managers have brain cramps or outthink themselves. Too bad for Casey it may have cost the Yankees a WS title…and definitely cost him his job.
2. Mantle’s 9th inning base running was appropriately questioned…and Mantle’s response was refreshingly honest (“I froze.”)
But 1B Rocky Nelson was not taken to task. After touching 1B and removing the force play, Nelson HAD to throw home with the tying run racing home. Any time-consuming option was not an option. The play was right in front of him and his momentum was also towards home plate.
But after touching 1B, Nelson pivoted and was ready to throw to 2B with no thought of coming home.
Also, how the heck did Rocky miss tagging Mantle? When Mantle is diving towards 1B, you also dive – but not at Mantle. You dive in front of 1B and block Mantle from the bag. Game over.
However, in Nelson’s defense, the play happened so quickly and Mantle was right by him that your instincts take over and sometimes they short circuit your brain.
This WS was a perfect reminder that the best team does not always win in post-season.


Jim, I suppose its possible the sox are being used in this Soriano deal, but heres another thought.
The Yankees know Pettite is going to retire which will force their hand even further to reach out for some starting pitching help.
Edwin Jackson strikes me as a very good fit for them. Hes had success in the East before, he pitched well to wrap up last season, and hes actually what i would call “reasonable” price wise for the yankees.
Developing a package around Jackson for Gardner or Granderson (id prefer gardner) would seem to make a lot of sense for both sides. Especially if the Sox can get Gardner back, and use the savings on that final bullpen piece (Soriano).
Moving Sale to the rotation is risky, but i would feel confident that a combination of Sale + Pena and whoever could hold down a spot until Peavy returns.