Jake the Fake? Peavy's looking Swishalicious

With the White Sox’s season on the ropes, Jake Peavy did what any ultra-intense, fiercely competitive bulldog of an ace would do.
He told the media that he would want out if Kenny Williams started dealing away veterans for younger players.
Wait. What?

“I just want a chance to win,” Peavy said. “I believe it can happen here. I’m excited to be in the situation. Nothing’s changed just because we haven’t played well. I’m excited to be in a situation where you talk about it’s not going to be a rebuilding process. If that were the case, I would certainly try to be moved, but that’s the least of my worries.”

This is the second time Peavy has expressed zero desire to be part of a rebuilding effort.  From May 17:

“At this point in my career, I certainly don’t want to be a part of any rebuilding process. I hope that would be understandable.”

It’s understandable to a certain extent.  There’s just one small, teeny, tiny little problem, and in case Peavy happens to reading:

Jake, you’re the reason this team sucks.

That’s only a mild exaggeration.  Everybody knew this team would be struggling to put up runs, and that if there were any hope of competing, it would rest on the shoulders of Peavy and the rest of the starters. Three-fifths of the rotation have faltered, but Peavy’s been the biggest disappointment by far.  He needed seven innings of one-run ball against the injury-ravaged Indians to drop his ERA below 6.00, and it’s still the third-worst in the American League.
He’s not the only reason the Sox aren’t even within spitting distance of .500, but when it comes to the players, it’s his mess.  Carlos Quentin, Mark Buehrle and Gavin Floyd may also have huge shares of the culpability, but Peavy is making more than any of them.  And he was certainly talking the biggest game.
If I’m Kenny Williams, I’d be awfully tempted to invite Peavy into my office, close the door, and channel this rage:

This isn’t a Roy Halladay situation. Halladay put up Cy Young-caliber numbers year after year, only to watch his organization deteriorate from the inside out as he entered the second half of what might be a Hall of Fame career.  He truly gave the Jays all he could, performance-wise, and they weren’t giving anything back.
And even then, he didn’t request a trade formally; he just told the Blue Jays that he was going to enter free agency at the end of his contract, giving Toronto a chance to recoup some value.
Peavy isn’t Halladay, a great pitcher trapped in an awful situation.  His lousy year is Reason No. 1 — or 1(a) at worst — why his team is having a lousy year.  It doesn’t necessarily surprise me that he thinks he deserves better, but it certainly goes against everything we were led to believe.
If this situation disintegrates, this would be the second time in three years that the Sox made a major investment of talent and money into a player who goes from poster boy to pariah.  Peavy is Google Mapping the Nick Swisher Tollway Out of Town, so much so that even the beginnings of their respective White Sox careers are marked by the same harbingers of doom.
Ozzie Guillen on Swisher:

Guillen’s hatred had nothing to do with Swisher’s style of play or his competitive bravado often times coming forth in the heat of the moment. There was another reason for dislike.
“Because he was good,” said Guillen with a laugh. “I like the cockiness, and I think we’re missing that. We need people with a little flavor on the ballclub.
“This kid goes out there and enjoys the game. He wants to win and he wants to beat people. When you’re good, I think you have a tendency to hate the guy when he plays against you.

Ozzie Guillen on Peavy:

Manager Ozzie Guillen joked about not liking Peavy very much when he saw him pitching during Spring Training, due to his boisterous mound antics. Guillen even started yelling back at Peavy. But in watching the ultra-competitive Peavy journey down this comeback trail with great determination, Guillen has dubbed him a “real bulldog, not a fake bulldog.”

There is a difference between the two situations, and it’s slightly funny.  Swisher, extrovert and class clown supreme, let his differences with management play out mostly under the media radar, whereas Peavy, Everybody’s All-American and The Guy You’d Want In Your Foxhole, is outwardly expressing interest in fighting for the other side.
If there’s any justice, Peavy won’t be the Bob Nardelli of White Sox pitchers and granted an entirely undeserved golden parachute.  But, if you read on, it looks like this is one of many fights Williams may not have the endurance for.
**************************
Williams sounded resigned in his interview with MLB.com, during which he and Jerry Reinsdorf officially confirmed that tensions this year were at an all-time high.
He also gave credence to one of my running theories:

“Whether or not the maintenance of that relationship is such that we still have the drive to get through some things and still have the drive to get through some differences … I’m still in that assessment mode for myself, in particular.
“That should not lead to the assumption that I mean that [Guillen] is the one [who may benefit from a change of scenery]. If I determine that I am the one that is the cog in the machine, then I am the one who will stand in front of [White Sox chairman] Jerry Reinsdorf and tell him so and step aside. … I will not deny that I am growing weary of the soap opera.”

And Joe Cowley elaborated on the latest melodrama, as an argument over Ozzie Guillen’s comments over Ozney Guillen’s draft position almost led to blows:

One source indicated that Williams was instructed by Reinsdorf not to travel on road trips — which he hasn’t — to avoid any confrontation with Guillen. But a confrontation couldn’t be avoided Tuesday. Guillen watched Ozney slip to the 22nd round in the draft before the Sox selected him. Guillen then commented, ”I give my kid 50 grand just to go to school [at the University of South Florida rather than sign with the Sox]. I got 50 grand in my pocket to send my kid to go to Niketown or buy something.”
According to the source, that comment led to Williams questioning Guillen to his face, and the situation got heated.

If the upcoming MLB Network reality show doesn’t have us watching it through our fingers, they’re doing it wrong.
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Minor league roundup:

  • Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 5, Charlotte 2
    • Dayan Viciedo went 2-for-3 with a double.
    • Brent Morel and Tyler Flowers each went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts; Jordan Danks struck out once.
    • Carlos Torres limited damage: 5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K.
    • Clevelan Santeliz had control issues, walking three batters while just retiring two.
  • Montgomery 13, Birmingham 5
    • Charlie Shirek still has major problems, allowing seven runs on 13 hits and two walks over 4 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out two.
    • C.J. Retherford went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI and two strikeouts.
  • Wilmington 13, Winston-Salem 2
    • Jon Gilmore went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk, but committed two errors, Nos. 19 and 20.
    • Justin Greene went 2-for-4 with a strikeout; Brandon Short 1-for-5 with a K.
    • Eduardo Escobar was hitless in four at-bats.
    • Short outing for Nevin Griffith, who allowed six runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks over two innings, striking out two.
    • Kyle Bellamy allowed four unearned runs on three hits an in inning of work, striking out one.
    • Dan Remenowsky threw two shutout innings, striking out two while allowing three hits.
  • Kannapolis 2, Asheville 1
    • Joe Serafin went eight strong innings, allowing one unearned run on five hits and a walk. He struck out five.
    • Nick Ciolli went 1-for-3.
    • Kyle Colligan (one K), Brady Shoemaker (two Ks) and Miguel Gonzalez (the same) each went 0-for-3.
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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.

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Kevbo

It’s not like anybody would take him anyways. With those numbers and that contract, he’s literally untradeable.

cushinglee

I told you Peavy had some Big Z in him.

blacksox56

The spiraling trend downward started after the 2006 season and then hit overdrive after the 2008 season and 2010 is the stuff those two off season sh*t out. We got nothing in return for swisher, that may be the worse trade I have ever seen, before. And we received nothing for vazquez from atlanta, other than flowers (which his mlb worth is in serious question due to his lack of ability to hit the ball even at a mediocre .250 clip) and mind you atlanta turned around and received melky cabrera from the yankees, an up and coming young outfielder and you’re telling me we couldn’t pry anything better than tyler flowers away from the braves? Ozzie and Kenny can’t co-exist and one of them has to go. I lean towards keeping Ozzie because overall I think he is an above average manager (I don’t see the Sox bringing in anyone better) and I think, given a decent team to work with, he can get good results. Jenks gotta go, he couldn’t save a drowning kid from a pool right now, I’d march him out there to only lower his ERA and up his trade value. Putz won’t come back because he wants to be a closer, so trade him too. And please, for god’s sake, bring in some bench players that are better than, wait for it…jayson nix, brent lilibridge and mark kotsay. I left andruw jones off because, well, he’s only getting 500k this year, so you get what you pay for. There’s a reason nobody else wanted him in the off season. When teams like the Rangers were persuing Vlad Guerrero, we went after Andruw Jones. I’m calling for Kenny’s head. I think he was lucky in 2005, that Pods lived up to his end of the deal in the Carlos Lee trade and I think he was lucky the Orland Hernandez and Jose Contreras found the fountain of youth at just the right moment.

bigfun

Tyler Flowers’ overall minor league numbers are very good, and as Jim has noted, his recent slump may well just be a Don Cooper mechanical issue.
And what about Santos Rodriguez and Jonathan Gilmore? Rodriguez is a ways from the majors but he’s still young and has elite strikeout numbers. Gilmore is also young and is having a very good year; we probably won’t know if he’s a major league contributor until he faces AA pitching, but he was certainly worth trading for.
And seriously, Melky Cabrera? So “up and coming” to you is a 25-year-old with a .634 OPS?

chisoxt

My biggest fear after 2005 was that this organizartion would lose perspective on hyow and why it won a WC and that no one would be accountable going forward if things blew up. That’s what seems to bwe happening now.
I never thought that Kenny was a very good GM. Those that like him seem to remember how bad Ron Schueler was and how reticent Schueler was at making the ‘prospect for veteran’ deals to improve the team. Well, when I look at the Swisher, Pierre, and Peavy deals, I cerftainly don’t want Schueler back but I do want someone who recognizes the value of developing and RETAINING younger players.

tdogg

This is crap. The sum of a gm is certainly more than 3 deals. And last I looked it’s way too early to be claiming anything on Peavy, disappointing start or not. Methinks last year you probably had Rios on your “list”. Im not absolving KW for recent moves, he deserves some jibes for off season roster construction, but I have zero issue with the Peavy deal. Pierre is blah and more a failure to maximize a situation.

jimbo

This is crap too. For every good move Williams has made since after we won in 2005, I guarantee I can name 2 that were terrible.

knoxfire30

Growing real freaking tired of Jake Peavy saying fucking anything, that “bulldog” needs to get a lease put on him fast, and maybe someone ought to hit him over the head with a rolled up newspaper. HE IS FAR AND AWAY REASON 1 why this team blows.
Cooper was on the score totally downplaying the kenny vs ozzie rift but there seems to be way to much smoke for there not to be some fire.
, I still like Tampa as a trade partner, I know you think they are going for it by playing well and keeping crawford but they still have 3 regulars in the lineup hitting 240, 220, and 190 and a starter in the rotation with a 5 era, and EVERY team needs bullpen help regardless of where they are in the standings.

bigfun

Konerko to Tampa makes sense, although I don’t think the Sox will get more than a B or C prospect (depending on how much money goes with him) in that deal.
As for the bullpen, who do you think Tampa would be trying to upgrade? They have a whole collection of guys as good as or better than Putz and Jenks. Maybe they could do better than Choate, but they’re not going to trade for Thornton just to use him as a LOOGY.
And their starting rotation is awesome, a #5 pitcher with a 4.91 ERA isn’t exactly sinking them. And Hellickson could replace Wade mid-season if necessary.

tdogg

I like Peavy and think he will be fine overall, but Jim is right. He needs to shut his trap. He’s on the frontline with Q and Beckham for disappointments this season.

bigfun

I still dislike the Peavy trade as much as ever, but if you guys want a silver lining on the Jake Peavy trade, this is it:
Dexter Carter 2010: 1.526 WHIP, 5.7 BB/9
Aaron Poreda 2010: 1.76 WHIP, 9.4 BB/9 (26 walks in 25 innings, holy crap)
Clayton Richard has been great for the Padres, but if the Sox did sell high on Poreda and Carter that at least is comforting.

Shinons

I don’t have a problem with Peavy encouraging the front office to let the guys try to work through the problems with this season – my problem is with saying “trade me if you’re going to rebuild.” Maybe behind closed doors, let Kenny know that. But leaders don’t come out and say “I’m only committed to this team if personnel decisions go the way I think they should.”
Our schedule in the next couple weeks is favorable (and playing NL teams, maybe Peavy might remember how to pitch) and after the Twins and Tigers both looking mediocre, there’s hope that we could close the gap some – of course, then we’d go on a losing streak that turns the season into a fiery wreck, kicking the entire fan base right in the nuts. That’s White Sox optimism right there.

striker

I don’t think it’s Kenny’s or Ozzie’s fault this team sucks. It’s the player’s faults. We dropped Contreras and Colon for Garcia and Peavy and we end up going from the second best rotation to the worst? You can’t blame that on Kenny or Ozzie or the coaches. Sure we expected the offense to suck too but not this bad. If Quentin, Pierzynski and Beckham batted .250 we’d be a better team.
If someone has to go I say Ozzie. He’s lost the players. The clubhouse atmosphere has to suck. He’s a drama queen. He has a big mouth. Boston got off to a bad start but turned it around. Angels got off to a bad start but turned it around. Atlanta got off to a bad start but turned it around. Our team is just as good as any of those team, talent wise. What’s the difference??? Management.
Unemployment is what 10%? And he’s bragging about how much money he has??? What a f$cking scrub.

bigfun

Our team is not nearly as good, talent wise, as any of those teams, especially Boston. They turned it around because they had good players.
I’ll agree with you that no one could have foreseen how bad the pitching could have been, but the offense is not that far under where it was projected to be. The blame there is absolutely on Kenny and Ozzie.

striker

Yeah? Where did you project Beckham, Pierzynski, Quentin to be batting at this point in the season? .200?

bigfun

Of course some guys will perform below their projections. But if the Sox had more guys with higher ceilings they could survive those disappointments.
Good players performing below expectations + mediocre players performing to expectations = mediocre team (the White Sox)
Good players performing below expectations + other good players performing equal to or above expectations = good team (e.g., the Rays, who have done very well even though Pena and Upton, two very important hitters, have struggled all year)

blah

Nice observation bigfun.

striker

BTW, I know everyone else is ready to throw in the towel but I’m not. I still say we can take this division. If we get within 6 games by the all star break then we are within striking distance. The starting pitching needs to turn it around, we need a real DH and the hitters need to hit.
I think if we win and especially sweep this series with the Cubs that we go for a good run. The Cubs are hurting so we should be favorites.

blah

Yeah, the Cubs are hurting. Nevermind the fact the White Sox have only won two games in a row 5 times. That is a statistic for a mediocre team at best. 60 games in you are what you are. The White Sox are a bad team. Even or this division. I’ll be surprised if the Sox aren’t swept this weekend. Cubs starting pitching has been way better.

soxicano

Not trying to sound blindly soxtimistic, but this team could very much have a surge in wins before All Star game, mainly because the starting pitching is now piecing together good back to back starts, unlike end of May and beginning of June. The hitting has been getting hotter, more big hits coming from Quentin and Alexei and Juan Pierre. The batting averages haven’t surged as much but the situational hitting has, and we continue to see big run innings from the offense, and getting on board early. My suggestion, if we retool, because rebuilding is a swear word, is see what the Sox can get for AJ Pierzinski and Bobby Jenks. Two coveted players on the list of some major league teams. Try to get a left handed big hit run producer, under the age of 40 please, additionally a prospect catcher and/or lefty bullpen stopper. Ramon Castro is hitting bitter than A.J. right now, has more power burst, better arm to throw out runners, and is a stout veteran behind the plate. Castro would probably be better at cultivating youth behind the plate than AJ the A-Hole. Not a guy who’s known to be mentor to anyone.

soxicano

Hitting better than AJ i meant.

striker

I agree with you. And the Twins are no powerhouse team either. Unless you get blown out of the water with a trade then you keep everyone and hope they turn it around.

bigfun

The Twins have a top five offense by wOBA (largely due to a top three BB%) and the seventh best ERA (fourth best FIP) in baseball. Sounds like a powerhouse to me, especially in the AL Central.

knoxfire30

haha ok all you optimists let me ask you this about the sox winning this division, which i personally think is about 100-1 shot at this poitn
what are the chances the twins play 500 ball the rest of the way and go 51-51 from here on in?
then, what are the chances the sox play 17 games over from here on in and go on a tear of 60-43 on the way in
combine those two brutally unlikely scenarios and arrive at both teams finishing at 86-76
ITS OVAH!!!!!

soxicano

ok last season the twins ended 86-76 right? They were 56-62 at two thirds through looking like a third place cellar dweller twin. Much like the Sox. I would say 50-50 chance conditioned on the sox hitting continuing to improve and the starting rotation putting together a solid second half. Not out of the picture. Just gloomy feeling right now.

knoxfire30

Maybe im reading this wrong but you think their is a 50-50 chance the sox win this division??? Thats not optimistic thats just ignoring the facts.

knoxfire30

not to mention your twins record includes the month and a half or so they were without the mvp, the sox have played the entire season in basically full health and the teahen injury actually has made our team better since omar has hit and played defense very well since he went down

striker

Alright:
1. What are the odds the Sox returned the same exact team to the field in 2011 and they do this bad again?
2. What are the odds the Sox rebuild and field a contender in the next 3 years?
I agree the odds of winning the division aren’t the best this year but it’s still probable. And I’d rather take that chance then take some chance at some half assed rebuilding approach.

bigfun

Yeah Knox is absolutely right here.
Baseball Prospectus estimates playoff odds by simulating the rest of the season a million times and they have the Sox at a 3.5% chance to win the division.
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/ps_odds.php
Non-SABR places like Cool Standings also estimate the White Sox in the 3-4% range.