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Over the years, it’s been hard to find new things to say about Greg Walker.
The Sox have had the same issues with cold weather, advance scouting and prolonged slumps for years, and nothing changes. People around the Sox organization insist that Walker is the first to arrive at the ballpark and the last to leave, Walker insists his guyare putting in work and will eventually be the players the backs of their cards say they are. Sometimes they come around, sometimes they don’t, and either way, he isn’t held accountable.
After reading Joe Cowley’s interview with Walker, I guess it’s good that Walker is outwardly ramping up his efforts to reverse course, but it’s hard to be encouaged.
It’s a pretty fun read if you’re into gallows humor. I’m not sure which part is my favorite. It’s either this quote:
“I’ve done this for seven years and I think for those seven years we’ve underachieved two of them. Even those years we did underachieve we went about our business the right way. When they decide it’s someone else’s turn then it will be someone else’s job.”
Or this part:
The search for more answers begins Sunday for Walker when he flies to California for a sit-down with Quentin. It will be the first of two trips he may make out West to work with the outfielder this winter. In December and then January he will be off to Puerto Rico to meet and work with Rios.
Already crossed off the to-do list is meeting with Beckham, who drove to Walker’s home last week.
The former is great because it overlooks that the Sox have had the same exact problems for three straight years, and I don’t even know what that last sentence actually means. The latter is amusing if you imagine an overhead map of North America, and Walker leaving a trail of devastated hitters in his wake.
Needless to say, I’m not sure why Walker is still around and I’m not expecting big things. Either way, 2010 should really put the Sox’s renowned organizational loyalty to the test — and the Cubs’ three-year investment in Rudy Jaramillo after an equally disappointing season should provide a fascinating comparison.
Given that I don’t particularly care for either the Phillies or the Yankees, I was planning on treating the World Series as background noise while working on the book.
Cliff Lee reeled me in. He was easily the most confident pitcher I’ve seen on a mound since Pedro Martinez in his prime.
To tie it in with Walker, Lee had truckloads of swagger.
“Swagger” is a word the White Sox bludgeoned into parody over 2007 and 2008. Every time I see it now, I laugh, because what the Sox described as “swagger” back then was really just acting like a ballclub full of competent ballplayers. That’s something that often escapes them.
Lee took it to another level. Tim McCarver and Joe Buck made a big deal of the blase catch Lee made after sawing off Johnny Damon, but I thought he degraded the Yankees much more so when he fielded a nubber off the bat of Jorge Posada, and then casually slapped the tag on Posada’s backside. Posada slowed to a trot as he approached Lee halfway up the first base line, and Lee basically told him which way to go from there. If that isn’t submission on a ballfield, I don’t know what is.
By the time he snagged Robinson Cano’s chopper behind his back, he had entered the zone occupied by Michael Jordan in Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals. Just like Jordan after sinking his sixth three-pointer in the first half, Lee could only shrug and smile.
And I could only smile when Lee sent Nick Swisher back to the dugout with a backwards K. That made Swisher 3-for-23 this postseason, and 9-for-59 in his career. At least until last night, Swisher was still mugging it up everywhere in spite of his struggles, so it was refreshing to see real swagger triumph the synthetic kind on the game’s biggest stage.
Arizona Fall League:
- Phoenix 11, Peoria 6
- Jordan Danks went 1-for-3 with an RBI, a walk and two strikeouts. He was also caught stealing.
- Brent Morel went 0-for-4.
I still have a couple more offseason plans in my email, but since there was actual news, I’ll save the next one for the next dead day.