Okay lets run it down:
Left Field leading off Scott Podsednik... how can we
say this anyother way then, HE GONE! Scotty Pods
brought us a championship in his first year, but could
very well have costed us a repeat in his second. His
failure to ignite the offense from his lead-off spot,
due in part to his piece of crap on base percentage,
not to mention he's not the best fielder, has made
this left fielder VERY expendable. With one year left
on his contract and not much in means of production
he's not gonna fetch a lot in the trade market but we
gotta get what we can because this will be addition by
Batting second and playing second, Tadahito Iguchi.
He will, deservedly so, get a contract extension.
Numbers 3-4-5 Dye Thome and Konerko. Don't touch it
don't move it don't even think about it. The best
heart of the line-up in baseball, showed great things,
and we haven't seen the best of it as Konerko and
Thome were both nursing minor injuries at the end of
the year. Dye has a team option coming off of a MVP
caliber year, Williams should be committed if he
doesn't pick it up. Next year these three will be a
tandem that no pitcher, I don't care if it's Sandy
Koufax, will want to face come playoff time.
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, loved on the south side,
hated everywhere else in the world. He's still young,
and all though his power numbers were down from '05,
his batting average was way up and he's good. He will
be back and rightly so.
The hot corner, Joe Crede. Who can forget his heroics
down the stretch and into the playoffs in '05? Well,
if reports are true apparently Kenny Williams can.
Reports have Kenny shopping captain clutch to the
Yankees for the big money big game choker A-Rod. It
would seem that rather then go through another
arbitration with Crede's agent Scott Boars**** Kenny
wants to see if he can unload him. In my opinion,
this is a bad move. This is a star on the rise.
Slight back problems be damned. This guy has the
glove and the bat to be a perrenial all-star. There
hasn't been this talented of a Third Basmeman in
Chicago since Ventura, and we were wrong to let him
go. We can't afford to make the same mistake again.
Shortstop Batting eighth, JUAN UUUURIBE! Sadly
expendable. He has an extraordinary arm which helps
him on some of his misreads, and loves to go after
them pop-ups. However his bat is incredibly
inconsistent. He's a very streaky hitter, and this
year the cold streaks outweighed the hot but a
considerable margin. The only question is whether we
can get anything better. Theres not going to be much
available, and Cintron is not the answer. Unless we
get a good offer, you have to stick by your man.
The dog house rookie centerfielder, Brian Anderson.
Is he the best? No. But damn can that boy play the
field. This kid has talent. His bat came alive in
the second half of the season, and that confidence
will be seen from the start of the season next year.
He'll be a solid Major League centerfielder soon, but
it may be that the White Sox Nation isn't prepared to
wait for soon. He may find himself either a) Coming
off the bench next year B) Back in the minors, which
will only hurt his development at this point or C)
Wearing a new cap and having his mail forwarded to
him. Again, a mistake in any three of those
possibilities, this kid will surprise alot of people
next year if you give him the chance to start EVERY
The American League bench is often times little more
than a comprised group of guys to come in for slop
time after the sluggers have built a 10 run lead. But
don't tell Kenny that. He built an outstanding bench
for the Championship and an almost perfect bench for
the repeat attempt. What was missing? A natural
Outfielder. If I have to see Ozuna, Macowiack, or
Gload in the outfield one more time next year, I will
shoot myself. Kenny needs to find someone who can
come of the bench and play the outfield well. Also,
shipping Widger out seemed somewhat petty, almost like
a scapegoat. Bringing Old Man Alomar in seemed
rediculous. Why not bring back Fisk? Kenny needs to
find a better solution for A.J.'s back up, maybe
someone who can hit. Ozuna has to stay, way too good
and way too clutch. He's the perfect Pinch Hitter,
the white sox own, firestarter. Macowiak and Cintron
on the other hand, were capable and solid but seemed
to lack that something extra that is needed for clutch
situations. I would say keep one but not both. Gload
is a solid First Baseman and a decent hitter. Nothing
special, but could be a starter for a few teams in the
MLB. I say if your not gonna play him, let him go.
Give the kid a chance to make a name.
Someone has to go, because Kenny is hell bent on
getting McCarthy into the rotation. Who will it be?
Buerhle is our guy. He's been with us since the start
of his career, brought us to the promised land and
slid on the tarp. As a team leader he is more
valuable then his numbers would show him to be. Is it
possible that years of pitching 3 million innings a
year is wearing on him? Possible but not likely.
Guys who throw like Buerhle, don't have the wear on
their arms like fireballers. He is a pitcher
dependent on location movement and confidence. His
confidence sunk this year and it reflected in his
pitching. One bad year isn't enough to say good-bye.
Kenny is reportedly shopping him, but thats a mistake.
He has a team option this year, Kenny should pick it
up. He pitches like crap next year, maybe see what
you can get.
Freddy "Pass the Bong" Garcia. His velocity was down
and so he suffered. Extra work in the offseason could
bring that back up. This guy is a big game pitcher
built for October baseball. If we could develop a
cryogenic freezing process and keep him on ice for
only big games this guy would deliver. Another
pitcher with a high price tag that may be shown the
door. How are we going to feel next year if he ushers
us out of the playoffs with a perfect game. Can't let
Jon Garland, OOOOH I like this guy. Back to back big
years, and more to come. The youngster has finally
shown what he can do and will continue to do. It
sounds like this is the only current starter thats
spot is secured for next year.
Jose Contreras. How can you deny his dominance from
the end of '05 to the begining of '06. He's good.
But one problem is he's getting old, and we don't
really know how old. I won't deny that he's a good
maybe even great pitcher, but he's expendable. After
this year he is trade bait. Any team looking for a
veteran starter to round out their rotation would
salivate over the possibility of picking this guy up.
I like him but what a trade with him involved could
bring to the team may outweigh what he can bring to
Javier "5-and-done" Vazquez. Sox fans collectively
prayed when Vazquez pitched into the 6th inning.
Watching and waiting for the inevitable, a Vazquez
blow-up. He was a downgrade from El Duque. We need
someone who can go deep for our short relievers.
Perhaps Vazquez can find a place as the most overpaid
long reliever in the game. But as a starter it's
neccesary to find some one better.
Our Achilles heel this year. Three pitchers shined
most of the year, Macdougal (after he arrived
anyways), Thorton, and BIIIIIG Bobby Jenks. We have
two unhittable set-up guys and the big overhand hook
of Bobby Jenks. Macdougal has an unbelievable fast
ball that rides right at batters, Thorton is much the
same except has insane velocity from the left side.
and Bobby, well, he's getting better. He's able to
light up the gun at 100 and then throw a 95er with
sick movement. Couple that with a high 80's slider
and an unhittable curve and he could be the most
dominant closer next year. The back of the Pen is
just fine, now we need to find a way to get it to
McCarthy showed flashes of brilliance when he was
brought in early to save a struggling starter, but
later in the game he just wasn't there. Perhaps a
starting job is precisely what he needs. Because he's
not our answer at long relief. But perhaps Charlie
Haeger is that guy. He showed some real potential
during september call-ups and could compliment the
fireballers at the backend of the pen with his knuckle
ball and wicked breaking stuff.
Neal Cotts just isn't what he was when he won his
ring. The Illinois State University product wowed us
last year with unbelievable stuff. It was much harder
to cheer him on this year. He gave up too many
Homeruns and too many leads. If Coop thinks he can
mend him, keep him, otherwise let him go and good
David Riske... oh never mind just let him go. He was
temporary help anyways and didn't do a very good job
of that. Just ship him out. Pods will help you pack
So thats what we need. What can we get?
As far as replacing Pods goes, we have some viable
options. Alfonso Soriano will be available. His OBA
is not the best but his power and speed make up for
it, but his glove ain't the best, but serviceable.
Juan Pierre is an honest leadoff hitter. He's got
speed and showed up late for the Cubs last year. He's
got alot of talent and deserves a good look. Maybe
move Anderson over to left and give Pierre Center and
we have an outfield that any team would want
defensively. Torii Hunter may be available, but that
would likely spell the demise of Brian Anderson.
Hunter isn't a lead off hitter so room would have to
be made somewhere else. The real question is would we
want to make a comittment to him. We have too many
good prospects and the oft injured (at least this
year) center fielder will be looking long term.
As for probable shortstops the list is one. Ozzie
Guillen really likes Alex Gonzalez from Boston. Maybe
it has something to do with the fact that he was on
the Marlins championship team...maybe. But he would
be the one upgrade to Uribe. If you can't get him,
As for starters. It depends on who we let go of to
get McCarthy. If you let Vazquez go to put Brandon in
the rotation then keep the pieces in place. If you
let anyone else go, You gotta find someone else to
replace Vazquez. Zito will be on the market (If Kenny
wants to break the bank), Mark Mulder might be there
too, but it's unsure if he's as good as you might
As for the Bullpen... Theres not much out there. Good
bullpen help is hard to find. The best thing the
white sox can do is roll the dice on some of their
farm guys or on a veteran free agent, hey even Politte
worked out well for one year.
Just a little tweaking neccesary for the team one year
removed from a championship. We'll be back stronger
next year on route to our '07 championship.