Spare Parts: Actual Baseball Eve for White Sox

White Sox line up initial starters, plus new pace of play rules, men's curling going for gold, and more

Last night, MLB.tv decided to make all its old games unavailable — hopefully only temporarily. That delayed one post idea I had.

This morning, Team Shuster beat Canada, the defending three-time Olympic gold medalists. That delayed the other post idea I had.

And then I was on Mully and Hanley, talking about the Olympics, and then some White Sox.

So let’s take a jog through some things I’ve been meaning to link to, after going through the probable starters for the first Cactus League games.

Tyler Danish was supposed to start Friday, but the recently outrighted Covey gets the start instead as his strange beginning to spring training continues. Danish will appear in relief, pitching exclusively out of the stretch.

The biggest name is Kopech, who will be starting for a webcast audience on Monday. Make your plans now, since those games aren’t archived. The full White Sox spring training broadcast schedule is here, and also on the menu at the top of the site, in case you need to access it at any point this spring.

Spare Parts

Major League Baseball is avoiding implementing pitch clocks, but the solution to limit mound visits sounds like it could create more problems, at least assuming umpires even bother enforcing them. There are so many potential headaches even before guys like Willson Contreras get a chance to create more of them.

A lot of the dissatisfaction about Carlos Rodon’s condition stems from his admission that he didn’t have a routine. That sounds like a cardinal sin for a starting pitcher, but that’s also a byproduct of getting fast-tracked. Usually a young arm has a couple of full five-month seasons to find out what it needs to survive the jump from the collegiate schedule. Rodon didn’t even get a full April.

The Rays are in the process of trading or dumping normally affordable arbitration-eligible players — Souza, Corey Dickerson, Jake Odorizzi — for cheaper, more volatile versions of them. (OK, Carlos Gomez is making a hair more than Souza, but they acquired a couple prospects with the deal, too.) It’s extremely fan-unfriendly, the incumbent veterans aren’t thrilled, and it even puts the marketing arm of the front office in an awkward spot, but there’s a logic to it that could make the Rays no worse for the wear while giving them a little more malleability supplementing their next wave of prospects.

Sam Miller tests your mettle by asking whether how much embarrassment you could tolerate while starting for an MLB team on your current salary. This is how it starts:

All you have to do is get to the park five hours early, hang out awkwardly in a clubhouse where the players all try to avoid acknowledging you (your presence is actually quite shameful to them), feebly take batting practice in front of those same major leaguers, wear a uniform that looks wrong on you, strike out three or four times — once or twice with runners on base — against a major league pitcher in a game that counts, run out to left field nine times and stand out there while strangers yell weird insults in a melted gummy mess at you, attempt to catch a couple of cans of corn, periodically sprint (while trying to track incomprehensibly high fly balls) in front of a television audience, try to throw a baseball farther than you actually can, and perhaps cower at a line drive hit directly at you that at the last second you dive away from. You will have to turn and chase after the ball, and you will think about how television viewers are looking at your butt; after the play ends, the camera will focus on the face you are making, and this face will forever be the first return on a Google Images search of your name. Would you play?

One game is an easy call. That basically makes you a trivia question associated with your favorite thing for the rest of your life. I think Will Ferrell showed it’s more fascinating than embarrassing watching a normal guy try to hang, so one game seems doable, even in the regular season. Sure, I’d be the Scott Halpin of baseball.

 

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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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Lurker Laura

Party at my house tomorrow night to watch #TeamShuster go for gold in curling.

Josh Nelson

We may need a GameThread for that match.

Lurker Laura

In reality, I turn into a pumpkin at 10:30, so I will be setting my alarm to get up at 12:30 a.m. to watch. But if there’s a game thread, I’m there.

lastof12

Possible themes: Curls for the curlers or Get stoned while the stones are rolling. (Do they “roll?”)

Lurker Laura

Not really. They glide, or, um, curl. But your thing sounds good anyway.

The Wimperoo

I am a complete curling neophyte, but Team Shuster has me pumped for this otherwise disappointing Olympics.

Question for Jim, is team USA an all-star team or is Team Shuster a team that normally competes together?

Lurker Laura

Curling is everywhere today – Time, SI, The Post, Slate. Crazy time’re living in.

The Wimperoo

Wow! Great story. Thank for the link.

katiesphil

Just read that and was going to come here and post it. It IS a great story.

karkovice squad

Might want to swap out the NPR link for the MLB one on Rodon.

madridsox

Hey Jim, that link to the Rodón article is pointing to the NPR segment on Scott Halpin

madridsox

Great story, though

Josh Nelson

Meanwhile in Tampa. . .

katiesphil

And their master plan begins to slowly unfold…

Josh Nelson

Update #1

jorgefabregas

Two of the top 5 righty pitching prospects down in two days. Put Kopech, Ohtani, and Buehler in full-body casts as a precautionary measure.

Reindeer Games

Does a body cast prevent taking aderall?

jorgefabregas

Yes, unless they can tip themselves over onto a bottle of pills.

Right Size Wrong Shape

No, but it would probably prevent you from punching your roommate.

mqr

This should be a cautionary tale for all of us

theSKOT

Update #2:

BREAKING: #Rays Honeywell has torn UCL, recommended for TJ surgery

— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 23, 2018

#Rays Honeywell said he actually felt a pop on the first pitch to Ramos Thursday then when he threw the next one and it wasn’t right that he knew what had done. Went right to see Dr. Eaton but knew what he’d tell him.

— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 23, 2018

the_switchman

I knew I should have stayed off the blog until I finished the replay of the match lol!

Buzzkill during End 3 for me as I now know the enivitable… But I have really came to enjoy curling – at least on a national level!

One question…why 38 minutes for “stoppage time” (I don’t know the proper term for it)? Is that a pace of play for TV or a usual regulation for all curling matches?

Lurker Laura

Stoppage time is in effect for tournament play at the national and international level, nothing to do with TV. There’s no good “down time” in curling for commercial breaks, except for the halfway mark (which is not a thing in club play). You’ll notice you miss a few shots when they go to commercial. Also, at the club level, there is a game clock to monitor pace of play, but not usually an official stoppage time clock. We just have to get our butts off the ice in 2 hours.

Keep watching the replay. Ends 8-10 are a thing of beauty.

the_switchman

Thanks for the insight. I will definitely keep watching as I have been pretty well hooked since they faced Canada the first go around.

Just as a heads up, watching the matches on the app via Comcast (the telecasts available online before the CNBC replays) are great because they did not show ads and kept a camera on the ice for every throw. Some of the matches are still available on demand that way and you don’t miss a thing. There weren’t national broadcasters (just a single British accented announcer) and it seemed there was much more focus on the players banter about strategy because of the lack of booth talk, so I feel I was able to learn about the game a bit differently and enjoyed it that way.

Of course for this match they just used the NBCSN replay feed, which is a bummer.

Ha, it’s alright Jim, I should have known better before going to the site lol.

Lurker Laura

Yes, Jim is right, it’s called “thinking time.” The only time that clock stops is for the time out. Each team gets one per game.

lastof12

I’d probably embarrass my self in the hitting aspect if I were to play one game in MLB. I’d hope to be put in RF where no balls were hit my way. If I were unfortunate to have a gapper (heck even a fly) where I’d have to actually move, I’d show them my sloooow trot.

I’d gladly take all the ribbing, though, for one more try. /weeps bitterly.

Anohito

To Sam Miller’s question. Hell yeah I would! I’d play horribly even below the level he describes but still hell yeah I would. is there really even any argument against it? I mean if you suck that much, you could secure your spot in the worst players of all time right next to Hank Aaron XXIV eventually!

As Cirensica

Baseball is a multi-million dollars sport, and it gets on my nerves how so many teams keep dumping affordable players for prospects transforming MLB for PLB (Prospect League Baseball)

Sorry for the rant. Canada just lost in Curling. And hockey!!

jorgefabregas

Re: Corey Dickerson not likely to actually be waived (he wasn’t) https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/rays-trade-corey-dickerson-pirates-daniel-hudson.html

Sounds like Hudson is healthyish

Trooper Galactus

It’s actually an interesting trade for the Pirates. Dickerson replaces McCutchen’s overall production (albeit limited to left field), and their previous trades gave them enough fresh arms in their bullpen to part with a guy like Hudson. I’ll be interested to see how that team looks when the rubber hits the road.

zerobs

Why do you hope the old games are only available temporarily, as opposed to permanently? I’ve been watching 1980 Sox games on Youtube over the winter when I have the time. It’s fun watching the game while they talk about the new DeBartolo ownership.

zerobs

Oops. I misread unavailable as “available”.

Reindeer Games

ahhh the ole “flammable” vs “inflammable”

mikeschach

regardless or irregardless, baseball tomorrow!

Foulkelore

What a country!

Foulkelore

Whoops, I missed that replies to replies no longer nest directly, making my dumb Simpsons reference even dumber. Duly noted.

karkovice squad

Any thoughts on the Vox Media/SBNation layoffs? Sounds like the “pivot away from the pivot to social video” cover story rings hollow since they also gutted SBN’s copy department.

Good luck to WGA East and the laid off workers in impact bargaining.

PauliePaulie

Heyman says CarGo still a “possibility” for the Sox. Seems iffy after not trading Avi and with 6 OF’s to cycle through. But I wouldn’t hate the acquisition.

Trooper Galactus

I would hate it. He was a sub-replacement level player in 2017 and 2014. In-between, he was above average, but his counting stats were probably being propped up by Coors Field (116 and 111 OPS+ in 2015-16). I don’t think there’s enough left in his tank to justify taking time away from players who really need to be evaluated at the major league level further (Tilson, Cordell, Leury, Delmonico, Engel, and eventually Eloy). I think the team is moving past the point where they grab flip candidates and tank; they want to start seeing results on the field from the next core of players.

PauliePaulie

I agree with every word. That’s why I find it so odd that I don’t hate the rumor.

lil jimmy

I like Cargo, but as you say, we need to take a look at what we have.

Patrick Nolan

I actually put CarGo in my offseason plan, but that also included a trade of Avi. With Avi still here, it doesn’t make sense.

PauliePaulie

I put Grabderson in mine, also with a trade of Avi. Hadn’t realized that Heyman was just a Boras mouthpiece and this rumor isn’t likely real. Personal mental crisis averted!

Trooper Galactus

Is Grabderson running for Congress? Perfect name for it.