Spare Parts: When in Kansas City…

White Sox visit Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, plus: Danny Farquhar improving, but Rick Renteria is grieving

Kauffman Stadium hasn’t been much of a house of horrors for the White Sox of late, but even during the Robin Ventura years, I still always looked forward to the White Sox visiting Kansas City. The chief reason: publicity for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Tim Anderson has taken it up a notch this year, flying in members from the Youth Guidance program in Chicago to take a tour of the museum. Based on a photo from this morning, others from the organization have joined him as well:

The NLBM is a terrific place, and I always recommend visiting should you find yourself in Kansas City. And Arthur Bryant’s is right around the corner.

Spare Parts

Danny Farquhar continues to take positive steps — literal ones, in this case — during his recovery from a brain aneurysm. Members of the team haven’t been able to contact him yet, but they’re wearing “PRAY FOR 43” t-shirts and hanging his jersey into the bullpen for the foreseeable future. Also, Don Cooper talked more about Farquhar’s collapse:

[Cooper] told the Tribune the plan last Friday had been for Farquhar to pitch the seventh inning after he retired two Astros hitters and gave up a pair of runs in the sixth.

But Cooper said that Sox trainer Herm Schneider told him Farquhar had a bad headache and could not remain in the game.

“I turned to Rick (Renteria) and said, ‘He can’t go. I got (Aaron) Bummer going.’ ” Cooper said. “I went over to Danny, tapped him on the leg and said, ‘Go inside. Take care of yourself. Feel better.’ Then I went back to my seat and heard (bench coach Joe McEwing) say, ‘Whoa, whoa!’

Farquhar’s situation isn’t the only one the White Sox are negotiating. Rick Renteria will miss Friday and Saturday’s games to attend services for his mother, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 91.

When the topic was brought up, Renteria politely asked to keep the discussion on baseball.

“Man, we’ve got a lot going on,” [Miguel] González said. “Pray for us.”

Tim Anderson says Justin Verlander’s criticism of his style of play doesn’t bother him. It seems to, but I suppose he means it in the sense that it’s not going to alter the way he goes about his business. That’s fine by me. Considering he didn’t use his legs enough his first 1½ years, I don’t mind him erring on the other side of the equation this season, as long as there’s a fine-tuning process taking place over the course of the year.

Jeff Sullivan uses the one gap in Jose Abreu’s game this year — cashing in a runner from third with fewer than two outs — to explore what the leaguewide success rate is in such situations. It’s about 50 percent, and getting tougher due to the surge in strikeouts, although hitters strike out less in such situations.

The snowouts of April have teams and players more seriously considering reducing the season to 154 or 158 games, and reducing the season’s footprint. The biggest challenge is financial. Jayson Stark says eight teams with massive attendance and TV contracts would lose a lot of money from the gates and broadcast rights to eight games. If those holdouts could be brought on board, then they’d have to figure out how players would feel about making less money because they’re working 5 percent less.

I’m OK with a 154-game season in theory, although if the better relievers are available for a higher percentage of games, the balls-in-play problem could accelerate further. There are also some issues with the finer points of Stark’s plan. A day without any baseball (Monday) is a bad idea, and it’s always troublesome territory when a guy with a BBWAA card says raising ticket prices and concessions by small amounts isn’t a big deal.

It’s cool when top prospects do cool things right away. It’s even cooler when it’s in the National League.

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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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Lurker Laura

I am rooting hard for Tim Anderson. He seems like a genuinely decent human. And we have Tuscaloosa in common.

gusguyman

Roll Tide

Lurker Laura

RMFT, indeed

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Was able to go to the NLBM during the opening series in KC. What a place. I was there for three hours and still didn’t get around to taking in everything. 

Honorable mention goes to the National WW1 Museum also in KC. 

Both stops brought quite a bit of gravitas (and education) to a trip otherwise dedicated to beer swilling and BBQ. 

Anohito

That Sullivan article about the scoring runner in from 3rd with less than 2 outs is just simply fantastic. Abreu not withstanding, it feels the whole team has had a problem with that the whole year. I mean hell, I was already there in person witnessing bases loaded 0 outs and getting no runs let alone just a runner in 3rd. So many games already lost to such horrible RISP and as Sullivan put it, “few things are more frustrating than such a wasted opportunity.”

But the breakdown of that particular situation and how it fares throughout the league and throughout past years is very good info and a very good read.

Also great to see the Sox players and staff and even Benetti too there at the Negro Leagues museum while in KC. And with kids too! Great off the field job Timmay!

Greg Nix

Here’s a cool thing: Moncada is currently top-10 in fWAR across MLB.

Eagle Bones

I must have missed that Astros game with the Anderson/Verlander dust up. Is this more unwritten rules crap? I wonder if these guys realize how ridiculous they sound when they complain about this stuff.

Also totally in favor of cutting down the season (most of the single season records are useless at this point anyway given the changes across eras). Would relievers really be available more if we’re just cutting games off the beginning and end of the season?

Patrick Nolan

I honestly don’t see what cutting the baseball season by 8 games does to alleviate anyone’s issues.

gibby32

Add in 1/2 dozen double-headers, split or otherwise, and you’re starting to get somewhere. The season starts a week later and ends a week earlier. That alleviates some of my issues.

L2R

if you are the coach, player or seasonal ticket holder, what is wrong with starting out with a couple of weeks on the road? I’d rather play in warm weather and be the visiting team than freeze my ass off at home. It would mean more home games in better weather for fans too. Why is that not an option to a shorter season?