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At least one person had a pretty productive off-day.
No. 1: Sox Machine has a new front page.
It ain’t finished, but it’s better than a text link. Next up, I’ll be fleshing out the right rail of this place.
No. 2: I rented a movie for the first time in three years.

A good movie.
A good movie.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m basically the opposite of a film buff.  If I see two movies by any method besides edited-for-TV cable, it’s a big cinematic year for me.
But I made an exception for “Sugar,” a movie that had a limited theatrical run that ended in Chicago a couple days before I got home.
“Sugar” plays like a documentary about the Dominican baseball system with fictional characters and teams. It follows a guy named Miguel Santos as he makes the transition from a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic to A-ball in Iowa. The movie itself doesn’t hinge on a plot or a story arc — it’s more about capturing the experience of the adjustment and the unforgiving business of baseball.
(The A-ball action takes place at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, Iowa. The backdrop is something else, and here are some cool photos from when the Mississippi River flooded around there.)
One of the extras on the DVD featured guys like Pedro Martinez and Sammy Sosa backing its authenticity. What’s particularly noteworthy is that Martinez said it captured his experience, except instead of heading to Iowa, he ended up in Great Falls, the Sox’s rookie-ball affiliate which was then hitched to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. Roger Ebert liked it, too, as did the New York Times.
No. 3: Backbreaking day in the AL Central.
While the White Sox stood idle, the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers both took advantage with huge comebacks.
Down 3-0 in the eighth inning, the Twins scored six in the eighth inning to pull ahead of the Sox in the division. Meanwhile, the Tigers erased a 5-2 deficit in the ninth inning against Toronto, then won it in walk-off fashion in the 10th.
But if there’s reason for optimism, Justin Morneau is done for the year with a stress fracture in his back. Now the Twins only have about four left-handed hitters who give the Sox fits.
No. 4: Link dump!
*Mike at Scouting the Sally got a look at Jordan Danks and Dayan Viciedo, and he appears to have roughly the same impressions that I had. On Viciedo:

If I were Viciedo’s hitting coach, he would drive me absolutely nuts. From my seat down the third base line, he finished every swing looking in my direction which left me feeling a bit self conscious. When he made contact, the ball exploded off of his bat, but he only made solid contact with two strikes. His bat speed is elite, but his mechanics are messy. He should adapt his two strike approach to be his every pitch approach which would not only shorten his swing, but help take advantage of his tremendous bat speed. At third base, he was iffy at best. His arm was solid average, but he didn’t move well laterally and his hands were just so so. With his size, I’m not sure he’s a great fit in left field or at first base either.

He also broke down what’s left of Jon Gilmore’s game.
*Larry picks his most disappointing Sox prospects of 2009.
*Daniel Hudson, [SPOILER!]who isn’t one of them[/SPOILER!], receives more rave reviews.
*J.J. examines what Jake Peavy will add to the rotation, likely in 2010.
*The guys at Oral Sox have a new podcast up.
*Alex Rios is a “tease,” but Andrew says there’s no need to get all riled up.
*Mark Gonzalez’s mailbag has a lengthy answer worth reading.
*Joe Cowley profiles Chris Getz, which includes some insight on his surprising success on the basepaths.
*******************************
Minor league update:

  • Missoula 16, Great Falls 7
    • Kyle Colligan went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI.
    • Nick Ciolli had three singles in five at-bats, along with a stolen base.
    • Jesus Avila went 1-for-3 with two walks and two RBI.
    • Paul Burnside threw two scoreless innings. The other five Voyager pitchers were roughed up.

And thus brings the end to the minor league update. At least until the Arizona Fall League starts up.

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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.

Articles: 3728
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onlysoxfaninboston

thanks for the review on sugar, i wish i had seen it during a short run in boston earlier this year.
and thanks for the link to mark gonzalez’s mailbag. damn, best response in any mailbag i’ve seen in a long time. he summarized his thoughts nicely, without hyperbole and ranting, on the current state of the sox..rare to see among the sox beat writers in chitown. i don’t agree with all of it, but i respect what he has to say.

soxfan1

Some thoughts on a slow day for baseball. It looks like Joe Crede is done for the year. You have to wonder if he will hang it up and call it a career. His numbers the last 2 years are similar:
2008 – .248ba – 17hr – 55rbi – 97games
2009 – .225ba – 15hr – 48rbi – 90games
He got a $2.5mil contract from the Twins this year but it’s hard to imagine they will bring him back at anything close to that price. Someone will probably invite him to spring training next year to check out his back, but I think it may near the end for Joe. Fond memories for most of his time with the Sox!!
What do you all think?

andrew

A Twins fan friend and I set the over/under on Crede’s home run output this season at 17, he claiming the lineup would help him and I insisting he wouldn’t stay healthy enough to capitalize on it.
Get better, Joe, and thanks for the $100.

marshlands

Saw “Sugar” when it was at Piper’s Alley a few months back. Loved it. While it lacked a bit in places (the motivation for his departure felt a little undercooked) it was a bit refreshing as far as baseball movies go. No big moments, just a lot of sadness and failure, which happens to most ballplayers. Glad you got a chance to see it.
Oh, and there was a pretty good ESPN interview with Robinson Cano a while back, about how much he liked the movie and he was honored to have been cited as Sugar’s favorite player in the movie. So that’s cool, too.

cushinglee

I haven’t seen “Sugar” yet, but I certainly want to check it out.
If you are not a film buff, Jim, I assume you don’t know who Cushing and Lee are?

cushinglee

Christopher Lee!! Lord of the Rings, Dracula, The Man with the Golden Gun, etc. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee were the Fox and Aparicio of British monster movies. Thanks, Channel 32, for not only showing the White Sox when I was a kid, but Svengoolie as well.