Alas, respectable baseball, we knew it well

OZLET, V-XI
SCENE I. A pressbox.
Working one Clown, with quill:

So how does this play out if the product remains subpar?
By May, expect a coach to be sacrificed. By June, a few players. Why would Reinsdorf want to pay for a Pierzynski on a fifth-place team when he can have a cheaper Tyler Flowers? Why does he need a Paul Konerko when he can slide Mark Kotsay there?
But all eyes will be on the relationship between Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen. Can they live with each other in a purge or will fingers be pointed as the marriage has soured?
Either way, this slow start has a certain amount of doom and gloom about it, and the ending won’t be a pretty one.

OZLET
Has this fellow no feeling of White Sox business, that he
sings at grave-making?
CORATIO
Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.
OZLET
‘Tis e’en so: the hand of tabloid employment hath
the coarser sense.
First Clown
[Sings] But age, with his losing steps,
Hath robbed me in the clutch,
And hath shipped my beard intil the land,
As if I had never been such.

[Throws up a No. 7 road grey] OZLET
That jersey had a ballplayer in it, and could hit once:
how the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were
shroud of Owens, that hath spoiled thy number! It
might be the covering of a grinder, which this ass
now o’er-reaches; one that would circumvent God,
might it not?
CORATIO
It might, my lord.
OZLET
Or of a dirtdog; which could say ‘Good morrow,
sweet lord! More bunting, good lord?’
This might be my lord suck-a-[EXPLETIVE DELETED],
that praised my lord suck-a-[EXPLETIVE DELETED]’s horse[EXPLETIVE DELETED],
when he meant to beg it; might it not?
CORATIO
Ay, my lord.
OZLET
Why, e’en so: and now my Lady Worm’s; punchless, and bats
knocked about the green with a busher’s heater:
here’s fine revolution, an we had the trick to
see’t. Did these bones cost no more than
an honest D.H.? mine ache to think on’t.
First Clown
[Sings] Abhorrent hurling, lackluster play,
Combine not for the wins:
Needed for thy ground to be made
To catch up to the Twins.

[Throws up a skull] OZLET
And again: why may not that be the skull of a
catcher? Where be his quiddities now, his quillets,
his gestures, his tactics, and his tricks? why does he
suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the
sconce with a dirty shovel, disrespecting half of
our fine battery? Hum! This fellow might be
in’s time a Cy Young pitcher, with his sliders,
his running fastballs, his intensity, his glare,
his self-reflexive profanity: is this the glare of his glares, and
the profanity of his profanities, to have his smushed
pate full of fine dirt? will his vouchers vouch him
no more of his promise, and his potential, than
the callow and naivety of a rookie receiver? The
very conveyances of his skills may lie in the National League;
and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha?
CORATIO
Not a jot more, my lord.
OZLET
Is not parchment tradeable?
CORATIO
Nay, my lord.
OZLET
Hath Comcast come true?
CORATIO
Yea, my lord.
OZLET
Thanks comcast I watch venezuelan tv thas important in my life yesssss
******************************
Maybe the White Sox could have used D.J. Carrasco on Thursday, but Carrasco had his own problems.
He entered the game with the Pirates trailing 6-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers.
One inning of work later, the Pirates trailed 10-0.
And they lost 20-0.
So … hey.
******************************
Minor league roundup:

  • Durham 10, Charlotte 2
    • Daniel Hudson mades like his role model, getting pounded by Tampa Bay’s affiliate: 4 1/3 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HR.
    • Clevelan Santeliz worked around a hit and two walks over 1 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out one.
    • C.J. Retherford went 1-for-3 with a double, RBI, walk and two strikeouts.
    • Jordan Danks went 1-for-4 with a strikeout; Dayan Viciedo didn’t have the hit.
  • Jacksonville 7, Birmingham 1
    • Brent Morel went 2-for-4 with a double, his fifth of the year.
    • Christian Marrero drew two walks in four plate appearances; John Shelby drew his first of the year (57 at-bats).
  • Winston-Salem 9, Myrtle Beach 3
    • Nevin Griffith lowered his ERA to 0.90 with seven shutout innings. He struck out five batters, allowing three hits and two walks.
    • Jon Gilmore went 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI.
    • Justin Greene went 2-for-3 with a solo homer; Brandon Short went 2-for-4, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.
    • Santos Rodriguez allowed a pair of runs on two hits and a walk over an inning of work, striking out two.
    • Dan Remenowsky had similar success, except one run allowed and one walk.
  • Kannapolis 9, Rome 3
    • Trayce Thompson continues to roll: 3-for-5 with a double, homer and four RBI. He struck out once.
    • Miguel Gonzalez had his second straight two-hit game, doubling and driving ina  run.
    • Kyle Colligan went 1-for-4 with a walk; Juan Silverio went 1-for-3 and was caught stealing.
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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.

Articles: 3415
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pander

Outstanding parody Jim. Not quite iambic pentameter, but it’s the best Shakespearian-inspired wordplay I’ve seen since the Two Gentlemen of Lebowski.

cushinglee

Thank God for the Blackhawks.
By the way, Peter Cushing did a lot of Shakespeare on the British stage.

fustercluck

I recognized his foul stench when I was brought on board.

ricksch

Ozzie has worn out his welcome and has been an embarrassment for quite a while. I hope he’s given a very public firing before the season’s out. If there’s a stoning held, I’ll be there with the biggest rock I can find.
Williams is another question. He’s shown he’s unable to maintain a decent Minor League system. Lately, he’s proven to be a rather dubious judge of talent with the acquisitions of Rios, Teahen, Kotsay and Vizquel this past year alone. The so-called “prospects” he’s gotten in trades are another sore spot — Jeff Marquez? Tyler Flowers? I like Kenny because he always seemed to know what the team needed. It’s just that lately, the players he gets to fill the slots are either has-beens or once highly-touted draft choices that will never pan out.
Sox need to clear as much payroll as they can and say bye-bye to Konerko, AJ, Ramirez, Williams, Jenks and Garcia ASAP. Thankfully Vizquel and Kotsay are only signed to one year deals. We can decide on Quentin and Pierre later. Basically, aside from the big contracts we’re stuck with, Rios/Peavy/Teahen, (and I do think Peavy will be a good pitcher for us) the only guys worth hanging on to are Danks, Floyd and Beckham. Thornton is great (though we sure could have used the two games he lost for us) but he probably deserves to play on a winner. Buerhle’s a question mark. Quite frankly tired of hearing about his love for the Cardinals. Who gives a shit about your boyhood team? You’d think a guy who plays MLB would know that these are all just big businesses run by rich a–holes who have zero loyalty to the city they play in.
BTW – Knox is right. NO ONE is going to the games. Sox fans are not the types to show up just for a sunny afternoon of beer and stupidity.
Yes my friends, the dark winds are blowing

knoxfire30

Ozzie just needs to win, then his antics become less annoying then they currently are.
I think Williams track record is very solid. Maintaining a farm system is kind of a “who cares” proposition in my world. Kenny has consistently gotten enough from his farm system that he has been able to add major league talent. Thats really all that matters to me, is how the farm helps the big league club. This team hasnt rebuilt full on once since kenny has been here, and they havent drafted in the top ten except once in like the last 20 years it seems, so…. its hard to have a great farm with those two things in place.
Sox will wait til June/July to start thinking trades, but its getting harder and harder by the day to think that this team can compete with the twins.
Yea, 19,000 announced, 8,000 in attendence, that is going to be a trend all year!

ricksch

I don’t know Knox. While it’s true that Ozzie’s more palatable when he’s winning, I don’t think the players on the Sox and those around the league actually respect him. I don’t think he handles the pitching staff well. — Why bring in Williams FIRST last night? Couldn’t that have waited until the game was dead and buried? Ozzie’s during the game strategy is meager. He’s basically a dumb jock who surrounds himself with old pals and yes-men like Cora.
As for Kenny Williams, if you’ve been a Sox fan for any length of time, you probably loved the fact that Williams was the first GM we had in decades who actually went out and made deals. Some have been good. Some have been bad. But at least he gives it a shot. Still, when you make a huge gaffe like Alex Rios — that’s going to hang the team for several years. I think we’re getting all we can expect from Rios now .250/.311. How’s that for $9-14 mil a year! The Teahen deal. I know you’re on board with me there. Having shitheads like Randy Williams on your roster? Infamnia! I mean, Ron Mahay took a Minor League deal. Mahay’s well past his prime, but, unlike Randy, at least he had one. Kenny should have insisted on getting Damon to plug some of the gaping holes we all knew we had offensively before the season started, but he was playing some sort of “Ozzie Wants” game.
I see your point on the Minor League system, but unless you have unlimited payroll, its critical that you successfully bring people up. We need more Beckhams and less Brian Andersons.

knoxfire30

ozzie remains the only manager in sox history to win two division titles, and he has a record well above 500… is he the best out their no, is he in the top half i think so
I also am not sure where you get that his players or others around the league dont respect him, he has lots of players of note saying they want to play for him some day.
Are you really judging rios already? That deal has a long way to go. And we gave up nothing other then money.
More Beckhams and less andersons, haha yea well when you draft top ten vs bottom first round different skill sets are acquired!
Its easy to be billy beane always trading veterins for prospects, always picking up supplemental picks and always drafting in the higher portion of the first round. HE NEVER CONTENDS THOUGH, he has a great farm and it has lead to nothing.
I will hear the debate on ozzie being out as manager he has his flaws, but I want no part of this team not being run by Kenny williams and Rick hahn.

bigfun

I agree with most of what you’re saying here Knox. “Lead to nothing” is selling Beane short, though. 1061 wins and five trips to the postseason on one of baseball’s smallest payrolls is pretty impressive. The shine has come off a bit with the past few years of mediocrity, but he still deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done in Oakland.
But anyway the real example of minor-league oriented system wouldn’t be the Athletics, it would probably clubs like the Rays, Braves, Rockies, and Rangers.

ricksch

There was a poll out a few months ago of ML players about who they’d like to play for and Ozzie scored rather poorly. If you compare Ozzie to the decades of sheer White Sox inepititude, he’s going to look good. BFD.
Again, I appreciate what Williams did for the team. It’s just that this Rios move makes you wonder what he and his staff were seeing. So now our “cry poor” has $10-14m a year tied up in an okay player. You’ve seen the lack of fans in the stands. That would tell me there will be a smaller team payroll next year, while ol’ Alex gets a nice raise.

bigfun

What’s your beef with Tyler Flowers? He’s mostly smashing minor league pitching. Going to be a good player for this team someday.
Rios isn’t going to be a bargain, but he can earn that contract. He’s lacing everything and his BABIP is going to get better. Highest line drive percentage of his career (22.8 percent) and he’s making contact within the strike zone 96.8 percent of the time. Playing pretty good defense so far too. Rios is the least of this teams problems.
Ramirez is a good player. I hope someday he gets to play for a fanbase that actually appreciates him.

bigfun

I mean it kind of blows my mind that you’re complaining right now about the Rios contract and not the Peavy contract. Acquiring Rios was a better move than getting Peavy.

ricksch

Well Peavy did show us something in his three starts last year. He has a considerable upside from here, but with Rios, this is probably as good as it gets. My Rios’ comment was more directed at my worry for how well Kenny Williams and his staff evaluates talent. Do you think that if they knew this is all they were going to get from Rios they’d have taken on his insane contract?
As for Flowers, he’s really just a prospect. Everyone says he needs work behind the plate. Though he hasn’t has much of a sample at the ML level, he’s looked overwhelmed in his few ABs last year and in spring training. Maybe he’ll get it together, but you just don’t know. Again, KW said he’d be ready to play at the ML level LAST year.

ricksch

Ramirez didn’t figure out that to be a great hitter, you have to learn how to take a pitch. He’s in his third year now. Last year he upped his walk ratio and is was encouraging. So far this year, and yes, it’s only 15 games, he hasn’t walked once. From here it looks as though he’s regressing. In the field Ramirez lacks focus. He’s a middle of the pack SS, nothing special. Lots of dumb errors last year and tons of mistakes that weren’t errors but should have been. Do you actually watch the games or just look at statistics?

knoxfire30

Trayce Thompson is quickly becomming the guy I moniter the most in the minors. Big potential!

bigfun

Thanks for this Jim. Somehow it helps a bit.

matt

Hey it could be worse… supposedly the 2011 draft class is supposed to be one of the best in quite a long time. I mean if you had to absolutely suck for a season, ending up with a stud at the end of it might lessen the blow a little.
It’s amazing that it’s two weeks into the season and I’m already breaking that out…

marshlands

Probably my favorite Sox Machine post of all time. Great job, Jim. “More bunting, good lord” made me spit out my coffee, as did “Hath Comcast come true?”
Also, guys, 162 game season! Everyone needs to relax, man. And stop overrating the importance of a manager.

soxfan1

Ozzie & Kenny are the best guys we have had in decades. Sure, they both have their faults but I’ll take the last seven years over any period in Chisox history since the 50’s. I’m more than disappointed in this year’ roster but we are still only 3 players away from contention. We need a new LF, RF & 1B who can hit!!!

Shinons

Another week of this, it’ll be Cummings’ style. Then Hemingway. Then Bukowski.

knoxfire30

whoa whoa whoa what beane accomplished was basically all the doing of zito, hudson, and mulder, since they have departed they are a bad team and going nowhere fast.
Not to steal hawks thunder, but you can have any kind of philosophy you want with 3 stud top of the rotation starters and still win plenty of games. Beane is falling on his face now as his merry go round or rebuilding continues for yet another season.

marshlands

KNOX OMG ARE YOU SERIOUS
Beane drafted ALL THOSE PITCHERS, so there’s responsibility there. Not to mention the seasons following both Hudson and Mulder’s departure the A’s went 88-74 and 93-69. Couldn’t be there doing because they weren’t on the goddamn team.
Takes more than 3 pitchers to make the playoffs 5 times in 7 years with one of the league’s lowest payrolls. Not to mention Eric Chavez, Giambi, Tejada, and maybe Dye were just as if not more valuable than “The Big 3”.
Basically, RE-ASSES YOUR SHIT. Don’t come spewing garbage if you don’t bother looking it up.

pander

knoxfire being wrong is one thing. It’s a common thing.
But I still am going to require an opthamologist to help me with my eyes after reading ricksch’s post, what with their rolling clear into the back of my head and all.
You’re shitting on Rios, who’s playing very well, and Teahan, who owns the kind of OBP and SLG numbers we hadn’t dared dream of at any point in the off-season. Did Tyler Flowers run over your dog or something? Why is Vizquel, Ozzie’s mancrush, Kenny’s fault?
STOP MAKING SOX FANS SOUND RETARDED PLEASE.
Also: marshlands: It’s “reassess”, although RE-ASSES does seem more appropriate.

ricksch

Don’t think I shat on Rios — (not that he’d probably say anything to me about it) — just that his numbers don’t get anywhere near his huge contract. Going forward I hope that changes — but I doubt it. Flowers hasn’t shown us a thing yet at the ML level. If I remember correctly, Kenny said he’s be ready LAST year. Flowers will most certainly get his chance and I hope he tears it up. But he’s still just a prospect. Unlke most of the starting line-up, Teahen is making a contribution and his OBS is stellar, but he looks terrible at third and our defense was the worst in the league last year. He was the poor man’s version of the guy we needed but wouldn’t pay for, Chone Figgins.
Anyone on the roster is in Kenny’s jurisdiction, including Omar.
Look pander, I’m seriously pissed at the way these clowns are playing and some of the garbage Williams is throwing in the field this year. You don’t have to agree with me, but stow the insults.

marshlands

Yeah I was trying some sort of insult/pun thing there, not realizing it might seem I’m incapable of spelling!
It might be worth pointing out here, re: Rios, that no one is making mention of his most valuable asset: his fielding.

ricksch

You can say Williams is 7th in the pen, but Ozzie’s already put him into two games where he’s allowed a close game to balloon out of reach. After being bounced by the likes of the Rockies and the Pads, Randy’s out of baseball for three years before we dredge this guy out of the bargain bin last year. I mean, he has absolutely no track of success and he’s 34. Look, I know Randy has a wife and kids and I wish him good health and all. I just hope he saved most of the $410K he’s getting this year because he will not find a job with another team once the Sox finally wake up and release him.
Rios may be hitting hard liners all day long, but my point is that his numbers don’t get anywhere near his contract. How many $10m contracts can a team carry? Unless you’re the Yankees not many and so you end up filling your roster up with dogs like Randy Williams.

bigfun

Knox, maybe you haven’t looked closely at Oakland’s transactions over the years, but have you looked up what happened to the Big Three after they left? Hudson got hurt, Zito fell to earth, and Mulder doesn’t even play baseball anymore. Beane’s timing in cutting ties with each of them was nearly perfect.
I mean look at the Mulder trade. That’s how they got Haren. A completely one-sided deal. They got Barton too, and he’s finally starting to hit this year (we’ll have to wait and see if it lasts).
They get some great years out of Haren and then move him at his peak value. Look at that trade. They got SIX quality players for that. Including Brett Anderson, who probably will not ever be quite as good as Haren, but could be close. Certainly he looks like a #2 rotation guy.
And they used a couple of the prospects from the Haren deal for the Holliday trade… and then got the better end of the trade when they sent him to St. Louis. Do you see a pattern here?
Only a couple other GMs can pull moves like Beane can.

marshlands

Thanks for the humor, Jim. That’s usually where I go long before I get any sorts of angry, especially this early.
Out of curiosity, the worst Sox, so far, using Runs Above Replacement (since it accounts for defense as well):
Pierre -6.1
Quentin -4.1
AJ -3
Kotsay -2.9
Vizquel -2.6
Alexei -1.7

Freddy -1.3
Peavy -1.2

dudeman

That list looks about right, and yeah, Ricksch is wrong all over the damn place in his posts.
My thought on Pierre: He isn’t very fast anymore. Is there a site out there with player’s times to first? I’d be very curious, because I swear he used to be significantly faster. He used to fly, and now to my eyeballs he seems barely a tick above average. Obviously, that is poison to a guy with his hitting approach. It also makes his noodle arm even less tolerable if he isn’t ranging in left.

soxexile

Just a few thoughts:
1. The team isn’t as bad as it looks right now, but my God, they’re pressing. Exhibit A – Carlos Quentin. Everybody says that as Quentin goes, so goes the Sox, but the opposite is true. If others start hitting, then Quentin relaxes and he comes around. If he thinks he has to carry the team and get 5 RBI with each swing, then you get what we’re seeing now.
2. Same might be true for Peavy, as another high-intensity guy. Kenny has a weakness for high-strung guys like himself.
3. That’s why Ozzie makes sense. Not in spite of being a clown, but BECAUSE he’s a clown. Somebody needs to lighten this group up.
4. Age is taking it’s toll on Konerko, slowly. It might be getting AJ quickly. If you look at catchers’ stats, they fall off the table fast once they start to go. (Fisk was an exception.) I’m looking forward to that in the last years of Mauer’s contract.
5. The example of a well run, farm driven organization is the Twins. I hate what they do to us, but you have to respect their success, which easily stacks up to Oakland on the high wins/low payroll scale.
6. I don’t know whether to blame Kenny for the sorry state of the Sox farm system. On one hand, he always plays for this year, and so a bunch of our better minor leaguers end up playing in the majors for somebody else. On the other hand, how many impact players can you name who came up with the Sox and are now contributing above replacement value elsewhere?
7. I incline to the belief that we have played too well for too long, have had a long run of low draft picks as a result, and so what do you expect our farm clubs to look like? Couple that with the aging of the 2005 core players, and we’re in transition no matter what Kenny does. He can try to patch it together with guys past their prime, whether our own like Paulie and AJ, or rentals like Jones and Vizquel, but it’s not a winning game.
8. So I think even Kenny knew all along that 2010 was going to be a lost year, although he probably didn’t expect it to be this bad. The question is how quickly the Sox will be able to rebound in 2011 and beyond. Personally, I’d vote to take the big pain all at once, trade any of the older position players you can for prospects, and hope to rise from the ashes quickly.

bigfun

Rick-
I’m not sure if that was a serious question or not, but yes, I get to go to the park and see about 15 games a year myself. If you want to compare my subjective interpretation to your subjective interpretation I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. Stats being, you know, objective and all, they’re sometimes a good way to settle those disputes.
Please post a link to where Kenny said Flowers would be ready last year, because that’s hilarious. You’re saying Flowers was supposed to be ready for the majors with barely any AA experience? Pretty sure everyone expected him to do a level per year which is what he’s done. And he’s destroyed those levels.

ricksch

When Williams signed Flowers he made some comments that he could be ready the following year. Sorry I don’t have the link to that.
Admittedly, I may have bad rapped Flowers because of my general wrath towards the team in that moment. He is putting up nice numbers so far in Charlotte.