White Sox: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Almost 100 games into the 2009 season, our Sox are standing pat at 51-48, only two games out of first place.  The last series in Detroit left a sour taste in alot of Southsiders mouths, but the big picture still reads clear, we CAN win this division.  Today, let’s look at why the Pale Hose have 51 wins, and more importantly, why they have 48 losses.  I’ll try to keep this as civil as possible…

ribbie-and-rhubarb

The Good

Starting Pitchers

Since the All-Star Break (11 games) , Sox starters have combined for a record of 5-2, with both losses credited to Jose Contreras.  Two more of those 11 games saw the starting pitcher leave the game with a lead, that was later blown by the bullpen.  Suffice to say, our rotation, despite a few sore spots, is chugging along quite well. 

Below is the confidence I have in a start by each member of the rotation:

High

  • Mark Buehrle (obvious reasons)
  • John Danks (very solid starts, and misleading stats)

Medium

  • Gavin Floyd (shows promise, then wipes it away with inconsistency)
  • Clayton Richard (he’d be in the low category, but after Sunday’s start, I’m excited to see him again)

Low

  • Jose Contreras (surrendered 9 runs in his last 11 innings)
  • Bartolo Colon (just came back from injury, so I’m skeptical even after his last solid performance)

buehrlegame

Pretty hard to blame Buehrle and the boys on the hill for the Sox erratic play

Scott Podsednik

What else can I say about Scotty Pods, besides the fact that he’s been the most pleasant surprise since Costco came out with “suicide bottles” of Beam that are the size of barrels?  When you have a lead-off man batting .309, the runs should come in bunches.  Unfortunately, when you have a lead-off man that is leading your team in batting average, getting said runs becomes trickier. 

We all know that Pods is far from an everyday center-fielder, so the situation in left-field (return of Carlos Quentin) should be quite interesting over the next few weeks.  My money is on Pods continuing to play in center until it is obvious he can’t hack it, and Quentin being forced to earn a permanent spot in the lineup by making the most of his plate appearances while in left. 

pods

Lock down center-field Pods, we need your bat more than your glove

Gordon Beckham

Becks, our fearless 3rd basemen, has made quite a splash in his rookie season for the Sox.  Despite the 9 errors, he is batting .289, and looks a little better each game.  Gordon runs the base paths like a giraffe on meth, but his hard-nosed style of play should keep him in the bigs (and hopefully on the Sox) for a long time.  The undisputed best thing about this guy is that after 2009, we never have to hear the name Josh Fields again.  Amen to that.

becks

Somebody teach this kid to slide before he kills himself

Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, AJ Pierzynski

Konerko, a tale of two seasons:

2008: .240, 22 HR, 62 RBI

2009: .288, 19 HR, 66 RBI

Pauly is bouncing back from a crappy ’08 nicely, and continues to hover around .300.  Keep it up #14.

Dye:

Jermaine is the heart and soul of the Sox offense, and continues to put forth solid efforts every week.  His 22 homers lead the team, and the 2005 World Series MVP is showing no signs of slowing down.  He is the most indisposable asset we have on this team right now, seeing Buehrle doesn’t play every day.

Pierzynski:

Quietly punching out another respectable season behind the plate.  His .306 BA is second on the team, and his unrivaled leadership and charisma help keep the ship afloat during rocky stretches on the road. 

konerko

It is great to see Pauly smiling again

The Bad

Josh Fields

Well it’s official, Fields will never be the All-Star caliber 3rd basemen we all were promised by scouts he would be.  Watching this guy joylessly strike out and commit errors at the hot corner will thankfully be over after this season, and we are all a little smarter now after doing the whole “Fields is untouchable” act during the last week before the trade deadline for the last three years. 

 Startling Stats:

  • .223 batting average.  His granny against Tampa Bay was nice, but it was an anomaly
  • 70 strike outs (2nd most on team) after only 220 at-bats.  That is a SO almost 33% of the time
  • 8 errors (3rd most on team)

fields

I feel bad for anyone who bought a Fields jersey

Jim Thome

I’ll make this one short and sweet

  • 17 homers
  • .250 batting average
  • 58 RBI
  • Doesn’t lead the team in any offensive category
  • Makes $13,000,000 (which is the highest salary on the team)

Earn it Jimmy, EARN IT

thome

13 million dollars should get you 40 homers, 100+ RBI, and at least a .270 BA

Carlos Quentin

Last year’s break-through star has had a difficult second season with the Sox.  Quentin, recently coming back from an injury that sidelined him most of the season, has been expectedly sluggish in his starts.  “Mini-Hulk” has the most potent bat on the team when at full strength, and we desperately need to see it (sooner than later) to stay afloat in the AL Central race.

Right frickin’ now, Hulk needs to make every at bat a meaningful one, and re-assert himself as a dominant slugger in the 3-5 range of the lineup by mid-August, or we are toast.  End of story.

carlos_as_hulk

Get mad dammit!!!!! Turn green for crissakes Hulk!!!!!

The Ugly

Sox Defense

There’s no way around it, we have witnessed some very shitty fielding across the board by our 2009 Sox.  Errors have plagued this team, and we will never forget Chris Getz’s error that cost us a sweep at Wrigley Field last month.  Team defense has looked despicable at times, and TV remote companies all over the country have benefitted from our boys, and their inability to field the ball.

Stats include:

  • 72 errors (5th in MLB, 3rd in AL)
  • .980 team fielding percentage (26th in MLB, 12th in AL)
  • Alexei Ramirez leads team with 12 errors, followed by Beckham’s 9, then Fields’ 8

We need to seriously step it up on defense.  Losing games is bad enough, but losing them by way of errors makes me puke.  Get serious boys.

wise

We need more plays like this gents

Bullpen

I think we can all agree on one thing:  The Sox bullpen is in shambles right now, and there isn’t a single person out there who doesn’t cringe when D.J. Carrasco, Scott Linebrink, Matt Thornton, Tony Pena, Octavio Dotel, or Bobby Jenks comes into the game.  These guys have stunk it up so bad lately, our gut instinct tells us to change the channel, to avoid needing a triple bypass after watching another lead erased by horrible relief pitching.

Our middle relievers and set-up men are absolute garbage at this very moment.  I have lost all faith in Linebrink, and refuse to watch him throw a single pitch in a pressure situation.  This guy serves meatballs on a silver platter, and until he un-fucks himself, Ozzie needs to stay away from this unreliable option.

To be fair to Linebrink, the other options aren’t much more appealing.  At what point do we sign Damaso Marte and just admit that if our starters don’t throw a complete game, we can’t win????  That’s all for now, seeing I’m biting my tongue, and could easily type a 5,000 word ode to the Sox, and their shit-sandwich of a bullpen.

85139827JD012_CHICAGO_WHITE

Yes Scott, it’s you that stinks……

-Steelhead

 

 

No Comments

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a comment