Following up: Dallas Keuchel’s risk pays off

The risk in calling an entire team out, as Dallas Keuchel did after Monday’s loss to Detroit, is the question about what happens if the poor play continues. It’s the same lesson as not asking a question you don’t know the answer to. That card is best played once a season, if that.

Fortunately, the White Sox responded well, and even before they opened up an immediate 4-0 lead on the Tigers Tuesday night. James McCann, Tim Anderson and Rick Renteria were all asked about Keuchel’s comments before the game, and nobody objected.

“It couldn’t have come from a better guy or at a better time,” said McCann. “I think it was received great. The way he went about it, no one was singled out; it was a team-type comment. It was really the first full-team kind of gut check.” […]

“Somebody had to say it, and I think it was the right time for him to say it,” Anderson said. “Hopefully that will light a match under some guys and get them going. I don’t see anything wrong with what he said.”

It’d be in the White Sox’s interest to win a series or two in order to close this particular case. They’ll have a shot against the Tigers a couple hours from now in the rubber match. They’ll get a day off on Thursday, and after that, who knows?

Well, we know a little about about the scheduled weekend set with the Cardinals. Let’s use this post to address some loose ends from that and other recent discussions.

The St. Louis Cardinals

The White Sox are still scheduled to host the COVID-ridden Cardinals this weekend, although the schedule showed the first signs of compromise when Saturday’s game was bumped back from 1:10 p.m. to 6:10 p.m. Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold explains:

The Chicago White Sox moved Saturday’s start time back from an afternoon game to 6:10 p.m. (St. Louis time). If Friday’s scheduled game vs. the White Sox is postponed, that later start would buy time for the Cardinals to get results from Friday’s tests and play Saturday’s game a full week removed from the most recent new positive result.

That said, a hair stylist who cut Ryan Helsley’s hair a day before he started showing symptoms said she never heard from him or the team. The Cardinals regret the error.

Carson Fulmer

If the Tigers have any ideas in how to get more out of the White Sox’s first-round draft pick, the transformation won’t be immediate. The Fulmer the White Sox saw on Tuesday is the Fulmer the White Sox had, getting himself in trouble with control problems and averaging just 92 mph on the fastball. Ditching the cutter is the only detectable difference thus far.

The Astros-Athletics brawl

Major League Baseball suspended Ramon Laureano and Houston hitting coach Alex Cintron for their roles in Sunday’s shovefest, and the punishments are proportional: Laureano for six games, and Cintron for 20. The former appealed, but the latter accepted his suspension. Coaches don’t have a union, sure, but I’m wondering if the league issued specific instructions for Cintron, who probably should’ve already been fired in a fumigation of the Astros’ entire operation.

Laureano did manage to get in a shot at Cintron after all:

Laureano, 26, said he wishes he had chosen not to run toward the Astros’ dugout and waste his time on Cintron. “I regret charging him because he’s a loser.”

Cleveland’s self-imposed suspensions

Mike Clevinger joined Zach Plesac on the team’s restricted list, because Clevinger had joined Plesac in leaving the team hotel to party in Chicago during their series against the White Sox. He did not join Plesac in the car service back to Cleveland, instead flying on the team plane back before his behavior was discovered.

His teammates are not happy.

One DFA stays

If you had to pick between the players the White Sox recently designated for assignment, who would you hope stays: Luis Basabe or Drew Anderson?

Well tough luck. Anderson cleared waivers and is headed back to Schaumburg. The Giants acquired Basabe for cash considerations.

Yonder Alonso

Manny Machado is one step closer to being on the same roster as his brother-in-law, as the San Diego Padres took Alonso off the Atlanta Braves’ hands. Alonso hadn’t reported to the Braves’ alternate training site, but he’s more amenable to being off the roster if it’s in San Diego, where he has more friends and family. Note for future free-agent pursuits: Prioritize acquiring the good player, not the average one.

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Willardmarshall

Man, that’s some unusually sharp intrateam scolding among the Indians….

Sounds like they are very sensitive about protecting guys like Francona and Carrasco specifically.

As Cirensica

Put on the shoes of the players. They are human beings, with family, kids, wives, parents, grandparents. If they are gonna band together playing games and being in planes, buses and whatnot, they need to understand the risk they can put out there with selfish behaviors. This is what they sign up for in this shortened season. They want to party? Then opt-out or wait until the season is over. Is Plutko or Lindor mad about it? They are darn right to be because Clevinger and Plesac, not only bring the risk of getting the virus to Lindor or others, but they could pass it along to love ones. Etc.

John SF

This entire incident has caused me to dislike the guy who was previously my favorite Cleveland player (Clevenger); but makes me like Frankie even more than I did before.

I can’t wait until they change names and also we start regularly beating them next year— I actually like a lot of stuff about Cleveland but for symbolic reasons hey have been my least favorite team in baseball for many years in a row.

Greg Nix

Yeah, I was a pretty big Clevinger fan… not any more. Reminds of Ryan Braun’s whole steroid kerfuffle. You messed up, don’t compound it by selling out your teammates. I wouldn’t even do that to my rec league team.

As Cirensica

I can’t believe how badly managed the covid measures in the Cardinals have been. The Marlins seemed to have received the message, and they are playing baseball with no issues. That the Cardinals are still getting positive tests is just not good. There is no way that team can play a full 60 games season. Most teams have played 18 games or so, the Cardinals have played 5 games. That’s like 13 games to make up. Good luck with that.

John SF

I can’t believe how badly managed the covid measures in the Cardinals have been

Ditto to this. Do we think they are uniquely badly managing this? I mean, the Rangers front office was on a similar trajectory before the season started— but their huge staff Covid outbreak may have wized them up a bit.

Also, when one team can fairly easily infect another, does it matter if the Cardinals are uniquely badly handling this stuff?

And do we count a 29 1/2 team season as real? Like, if the Cards come in 4th in the NLC and only play 35 games this year— but miraculously the rest of the league finishes almost all their games — is that ok?

dwjm3

Assuming we play the Cardinals I’d like to see more mask wearing by our guys for this series. Mendick and Abreu have brought masks out into the field. I think it would be good if Tim wears one for any possible interaction with Cardinals players around second base. Grandal and McCann probably should consider it as well.

John SF

The pitcher is not likely to interact with any other player directly in an inning. But they do have the most interaction with the ball and the most risk of contaminating the field. I kind of think any team that has had a positive Covid test should be required to mask their pitcher and catchers for a couple weeks after that.

And if MLB requires the Cardinals pitcher to be masked, I think it would be fair to require our pitcher wear a mask as well.

lifelongjd

Yonder Alonso=average player? Now that’s a buried lede.

lifelongjd

Just joking, Jim. It was literally the last sentence.

burning-phoneix

Damn, feels weird not having the regular “Will Basabe finally break out this year?” discussion before he invariably gets injured. I don’t think it’s too much of a loss. Our outfield is almost set at this point.