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Chicago White Sox: The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Remaining Schedule

As the White Sox continue to play well and make their push to the playoffs, we as fans remember that sometimes it’s the team with the most favorable schedule that ends up making it to the postseason.

Taking a look at the White Sox schedule, it’s a combination of 19 games against playoff contenders, 20 games against playoff wannabes, and 19 games against teams who already want the season to be over.

The South Siders will be at home 28 more times over the course of the regular season, and on the road for 30 more contests.

Overall, their remaining opponents have a collective winning percentage of .485 (that’s lower than the Twin’s remaining opponents – .503)

Let’s take a look at who the White Sox have to face the rest of the way.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Edwin Jackson on the Verge of Heading To White Sox

Late last night word got out that the White Sox and Diamondbacks are close to agreeing on a deal that would send Daniel Hudson along with a minor league pitcher to the Diamondbacks for Edwin Jackson .

On the surface this seems like a logical deal for each team. With Jackson the Sox would be getting a more experienced version of Daniel Hudson and a guy who would instill a little more confidence when he takes the mound down the stretch.

That being said, the numbers for Jackson this season have been less than impressive. On the year Jackson is 6-10 with a 5.10 ERA. If that’s not enough, he also has 60 walks and 13 wild pitches in just 132 innings. So why would the Sox want him?

Well look at what he did in the AL last season with the Tigers. 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA, 161 K, and 212 IP. That’s a workhorse.

Jackson is also signed for next season at $8.35M. This means that he’s not just a rental and would slot in nicely as a No. 4 starter in the 2011 rotation.

On the flip side, the Sox would be trading away what appears to be a younger version of Edwin Jackson. In both of his stints in the big leagues, Hudson has had control problems. Last season he walked nine batters in 18 innings, and this year he’s walked 11 in just 15 innings.

All right, so he’s not Greg Maddux. But Hudson has shown an ability to strike out major league hitters (14 K/ 15 IP ).

He’s also a couple years away from being arbitration eligible, which is especially enticing to a team like the Diamondbacks that is looking to rebuild with younger, cheaper players.

The main complaint from Sox fans with this deal (if it goes through) will be that if I’m saying Hudson isn’t getting it done, then I have to say Jackson isn’t getting it done this season either.

That’s a fair point, but at least Jackson has some track record of being effective, and not only that, but he also did it in the American League.

Hudson does not have that track record .

It’s always tough to give up young, major-league-ready talent. But Kenny Williams has shown he wants to win now, and Jackson gives the Sox a better chance to do that than Hudson does.


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MLB Trade Rumors: Time Is Right for the White Sox to Add Lance Berkman

Picture Mark Kotsay wearing a blue and white Royals uniform. Got that image? It’s easy to imagine, right? That’s because Kotsay is that caliber of player. He’s not the caliber of player that should be “contributing” on a playoff caliber team such as the White Sox.

The Red Sox knew that last season, and that’s why they waived him .

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Mark Kotsay should not be in the middle of the White Sox lineup .

Allow me to break down the positives that Mark Kotsay brings to a baseball team:

Kotsay is a nice guy to have come off the bench and pinch hit against a tough righty.

He’s also able to play a couple positions, which makes him valuable over the course of a 162 game season.

The end.

Notice I didn’t bring up his ability to produce consistent numbers for 162 games. That’s because he isn’t a player who is capable of doing that anymore.

Oh, and you may be wondering how he hits lefties. Chew on this number: .000

That’s right, we’re in mid-July and Slugger Mark is still hit-less against southpaws .

So what’s my point? Why complain about a guy when there’s not a preferable replacement already there? (I like Viciedo as much as anyone, but he needs more at bats before he should be an everyday player.)

The point is this: there is a guy out there who could be the left handed bat that the White Sox need and chances are it won’t take the farm to get him: Lance Berkman.

Now I’m aware that Berkman is not the same puma of old. However, even in a down year, his power potential and OBP would be welcomed additions to the middle of the Sox lineup.

The Astros are reluctant sellers, but it’s no secret that they want to get some return for Berkman as opposed to declining his 15 MM option next season and having him walk away.

I wrote about the fact that the Sox should not trade away their best young talent for Adam Dunn and I feel the same way with Berkman.

The difference between the two situations is that the Sox can get Berkman for less than they’d have to give up to get Adam Dunn. In addition to that, they would have the option of bringing him back for another season (albeit at an absurd amount).

Kenny Williams is an aggressive, ambitious, and occasionally reckless GM. He’s seeing the same thing we as fans are seeing. He knows that Mark Kotsay is not an adequate DH.

Now all we can do is wait and hope that Kenny pulls the trigger on a deal that gives the South Siders a legitimate chance at making a playoff run.

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2010 MLB All-Star Game: 10 All-Stars among All-Stars

My baseball loving cousin was born in 1997. Now, for the first time in his Cubs loving life, he can say he saw the National League win the All-Star game.

The win didn’t come easy for the NL. It took the things that so many apply to National League baseball. Namely: great pitching, alert fielding, and timely hitting.

Among the gaggle of ultra-talented players there were ten All-Stars who shined brighter than the others.

Not all of them played for the winning side, but they all stood out as All-Stars among All-Stars

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2010 Home Run Derby: Five Ways to Make The Derby Interesting

For me the home run derby has always been viewed the same way I view horse racing – I can see why people enjoy it, but it’s just not for me.

Sure as a baseball fan I don’t mind seeing sluggers blast home runs to eager fans. And watching the kids in the outfield bowl over each other in a battle of “which lanky kid will jump in front of a girl this time” is mildly entertaining.

However, after the second or third “back back back” from Chris Berman I’m usualy gone gone gone.

So in an effort to improve the event I’ve come up with some improvements. Now I’m not saying that all of these should be implemented together. But if at least one of them were added, it would be a more watchable event for everyone.


1. Play it a different field than that years All-Star game

What’s unique about watching players hit home runs at a regular MLB stadium. Moreover, what’s interesting about it? Solution: play the home run derby at a little league field and pick natural points or place markers (bike racks, flag pole…anything) as the home run line.

Not only would this be something different, but it would bring the players as well as the fans back to their youth.

For 4 years in little league my home field had a road 20 or so feet beyond right-center field. Can you imagine Prince Fielder hitting a bomb OVER the street and into the fields across the street? If my best friend Jim who had a slight eating problem as a kid could get his girth behind one and park it just short of the street, I’d love to see what the pros could do.


2. Team vs. Team

Let me get this straight, we have 2 full teams in Anaheim right now, yet only 8 guys are participating in the home run derby? And some of those guys aren’t even in the All-Star game!

Solution: Pick 9 guys from each team to participate. If their respective regular clubs don’t want them to participate then don’t come to the game (Robinson Cano, I’m looking at you.)

Part of the joy of being on any team is overcoming the pressure of holding up YOUR part of the bargain.

Imagine this: the NL is done batting and the AL is through their first eight hitters and now the entire AL team is getting behind Joe Mauer or Ichiro or Miguel Cabrera.

Sure they only need three homers to tie and four to win, but can he do it!?

I’d tune in to find out.


3. Hitters vs Pitchers

How hard is it to hit a home run off of a pitcher throwing batting practice? Decently hard. Now imagine it off of a pitcher who is in his own contest, trying to get out the current batter so he can move on to the next round of his own contest.

I imagine it going something like this. Instead of eight different BP pitchers pitching to the eight different batters there would be eight All-Star pitchers doing their best to strike them out and NOT give up home runs.

The pitchers would be penalized for throwing balls and giving up home runs, and hitters would be rewarded for hitting home runs and showing plate discipline by not swinging at pitches outside the zone.

The rounds would widdle it down in the same manner 8-4-2-1 and ultimately we’d have a champion pitcher AND a champion hitter.


4. Let the little guys hit

Every time the Mariners come to town I’m sure you hear the “Ichiro can hit home run every pitch if he wanted to” story. Well, I’d like to see he and his other pint size brethren prove it.

Ichiro, Juan Pierre, Chone Figgins, and Rajai Davis can represent the American League.

Michael Bourn, Nyjer Morgan, Ryan Theriot, Luis Castillo and Adam Kennedy can represent the National League.

Better move those awkward lanky kids in a few steps for this one.


5. Aluminum bats

I get it aluminum bats are dangerous and could never be used in regular MLB games. But the home run derby is the perfect spot to show off what a major league players with years of *ahem* weight training could do with a metal bat.

Hitting the ball further than is ever seen in a regular game? Likely

Creating a market for spots outside of the actual stadium to catch home runs? Possibly

Hitting a ball far enough that Chris Berman has an aneurysm in his attempt to describe every home run in the most annoying way possible? Hopefully


These are just a few ideas of ways to improve the home run derby. As a baseball fan it’s weird to feel so disconnected from an event like this. With these changes or others out there that have been mentioned already, MLB can bring the home run derby from the stables to must-see tv.






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White Sox Don’t Need Cliff Lee: Replacement For Peavy Is in House

Flash back to July 31st 2009. The trading deadline. Jake Peavy agrees to come to the White Sox.

The pretty girl at the dance who had already snubbed the White Sox, has now changed her mind and has agreed to leave sunny San Diego and come north to the south side of Chicago.

White Sox fans, myself included, have never been happier to trade for an injured pitcher. Sure he won’t be able to pitch in a meaningful game this season, but when he’s added to the rotation next season—watch out.

Flash forward to July 6th, 2010. Jake Peavy goes down for the year.

When Peavy took a hop, skip, and a jump off the mound and immediately walked toward the dugout we all knew he was done. I am able to place a band-aid directly over a cut so that the adhesive part doesn’t hurt when I take the band-aid off. That is the extent of my medical expertise. But even I knew immediately that Peavy was going to be out for some time.

That brings us to where we are right now. No Peavy, eight games over .500, and only a half game out of first place in the AL Central.

So where do the Sox go from here?

Easy. They turn to Daniel Hudson.

Going into the season, I wrote that we’d see Hudson sooner rather than later, likely because of a Freddy Garcia injury or release.

Hudson had a 3.38 ERA in 18 innings for the big club last season, and it’s reasonable to expect more of the same from his this year.

Taking a look at his minor league numbers, two things jump out—his great command and unfortunately number of home runs allowed.

It’s never a good thing to have a potential ace go down. Especially one that had been pitching so well recently. But while this injury closes the door on Jake Peavy this season it opens the window for Daniel Hudson to establish himself in the White Sox rotation.

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MLB Trade Rumors: White Sox Should Say No Thank You To Adam Dunn

Some White Sox fans have lost their minds.

You need proof? Here you go.

I’ve heard from more than a few usually knowledgeable White Sox fans, that the Sox should certainly give up whatever it takes to get Adam Dunn.

That’s right, whatever it takes .

Now I’m no GM (although I’m thinking of going as Theo Epstein for Halloween. Hello ladies!) But even I know that you can’t continually trade away your best young talent and still hope to be competitive in the long term.

The Yankees can’t do it. The Red Sox can’t do it. And the White Sox certainly can’t do it.

Therefore when I hear my fellow White Sox fans claim that it would be a smart move to put together a package of Jordan Danks, Dan Hudson, and at least one other top prospect of the Nationals choosing for Adam Dunn, I have to wonder what caused my fellow fans to lose their intelligence.

Maybe it was the recent 11 game winning streak combined with Dunn’s very unDunnlike batting average so far this season.

Maybe it’s the fact that Kenny ignored the DH position this off season and now overpaying and jeopardizing the future seems like the only option.

Maybe my fellow Sox fans just weren’t that bright to begin with.

Whatever the reason, this is not a deal the White Sox should make.

I’ve been begging for a real DH since the beginning of this past off season. I’d still love one now. But not one that costs a top prospect, let alone a guy who costs two top prospects .

Time will tell what Kenny ends up doing. But here’s hoping he makes the prudent decision for the short term as well as the long term.


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White Sox Winning Streak Comes To an End: What Now?

It’s over folks. The winning streak has come to an end.

After winning 11 games in a row, the Chicago White Sox were finally defeated and once again, it was at the hands of the Chicago Cubs.

As the White Sox walked off the field as losers for only the second time in their last 17 games, what’s next for the South Siders?

The last time a White Sox team won 10 games in a row was in 1976. Good right? Well, that team also lost 10 games in a row that season as well. Uh oh.

Could this team possibly repeat that? Not likely.

The same thing that got the White Sox going on this winning streak is the same thing that will keep them out of a prolonged losing streak – pitching.

The entire starting rotation has contributed to the recent success. Most notably, Freddy Garcia looks like the Sweaty Freddy of old. For the month of June, Freddy went 4-0 with a sub-4 ERA. Not to mention a 20:5 K:BB ratio. Oh, and he’s only costing the White Sox exactly one million dollars this season.

It’s not just the starters who are contributing; it’s the flame throwers out of the bullpen as well.

In a game over the weekend it was suggested the White Sox might be the 2010 version of the “Nasty Boys.” I couldn’t agree more.

From a mop-up guy in Tony Pena, who touches 96 mph, to Thornton, Putz, Santos, and Jenks, who on bad days are at 95-96…once again that was on bad days.

The pitching on this team is built to win. Moreover it’s built to avoid long losing streaks.

Now the White Sox are certainly going to need help from the lineup if they’re going to parlay this recent success into bigger and better things. Over the weekend it was clear that the White Sox and Cubs weren’t all that far apart. In fact they appeared to be separated by one thing: timely hitting.

This year’s White Sox team was not set up to mash the ball. So to overcome that and score the way an American League club needs to score, they need to get timely hitting. And that’s exactly what’s been happening lately.

From Carlos Quentin to Juan Pierre, the hitting with RISP and the two-out hitting has been (for lack of a better term) very unsoxlike.

There’s hope on the South Side and rightfully so. If the team can continue to play how they have been the last two weeks, this year’s White Sox should be in contention to bring home more than just the BP Cup.


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Chicks Dig The Long Ball But The White Sox Are Winning Without It

Before the season I lamented time and time again about the lack of power in the Chicago White Sox lineup. After all, how can any batting order that on occasion features both Omar Vizquel and Mark Kotasy in the top five part of the lineup succeed?

Well, seeing is believing. And after these past 11 games, the White Sox have proven this Doubting Thomas wrong.

Before this stretch of games where the Sox have gone from sellers to possible buyers, they ranked fourth in home runs. Not just fourth in the American League, but fourth in all of baseball.

However, as of right now they’ve slipped to eighth, and if it means they will keep winning, then here’s hoping they slip all the way to dead last in long balls.

See, I fell into the same trap as Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux. I know what you’re thinking, what am I talking about. Remember this ?

In the commercial, Maddux and Glavine want to hit home runs because that’s what the fans (particularly the retread actresses who appear in the commercial) want. Not necessarily because having the most home runs as a team means you’ll be successful. Although, call me crazy, but I’ll take a home run over a double any day.

I chirped and chirped about the Sox’s lack of power and how they weren’t built for their own ballpark. And maybe they aren’t. In fact they’re under .500 at home (16-18) and over .500 on the road (19-16).

However, with the way they’re hitting right now, they’re not necessarily built for one particular park but they have the lineup to be successful in every park .

Not trying to do too much at the plate and playing smart baseball (read: hitting the ball the opposite way instead of trying to turn on every pitch) translates as well to Petco Park as it does to U.S. Cellular Field.

Do I think the Sox will play this well the rest of the year?

No way .

Do I think they’ll make the playoffs?

Possibly , who knows.

The point is, it’s refreshing to see this team play a winning brand of baseball.

When the Braves jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, the White Sox of three weeks ago would have folded and Tony Pena would have been in the game by the fifth inning.

Instead, this team bounced back. And with the aid of a tight strike zone for Tommy Hanson, the Sox took what was given to them and battered one of the better young pitchers in baseball.

So, to Mr. Maddux and Mr. Glavine. You were right, chicks do dig the long ball. But for now, if hitting fewer home runs but winning more games means slightly less female fans on the South Side, I think I can deal with it.

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Chicago White Sox: Jake Peavy Not Interested in Rebuilding

As a fan, I try not to be too harsh on players when they speak their mind. After all, don’t we as fans want to hear the truth?

But in the case of Jake Peavy and his feelings about sticking with the White Sox through a rebuilding phase, I’d rather he kept them to himself.

On Thursday, Peavy was asked about the position the Sox are currently in and the possibility that some of the veterans could be moved in the next month-and-a-half.

He responded by saying “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.”

Like I said, I usually like to hear the truth from players. But in this case, I don’t want to hear Peavy say he’d want to be traded from the South Side because they wouldn’t be in a position to win.

Hey Jake, you’re one of the reasons the Sox aren’t in a position to win this year .

Moreover, Peavy’s a former Cy Young award winner that has struggled so badly lately he hardly resembles a major league-caliber pitcher. It seems odd to me that he’d be the one to speak out against a possible rebuilding year for the Sox.

I still fully believe that Peavy will be a major contributor for the Sox down the road. I don’t think it’s clear to anyone what exactly is wrong with him right now, but between he and Don Cooper I feel comfortable that it’ll be fixed sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, here’s hoping Peavy will build on his last two outings and help the Sox put themselves in a position where they won’t need to go into rebuilding mode.

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