Put in on the Board...'s Blog http://www.fannation.com/blogs/show/1426 Tue, 29 Jan 2008 22:53:27 GMT The musings of White Sox fans Back in Black http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/132636 <p>Two weeks.&nbsp; Two short weeks and pitchers and catchers report.</p><p>It&#39;s a new beginning for the White Sox and their fans alike.&nbsp; It felt like some of the shine wore off of our boys the past two years.&nbsp; The team is still built around the same core that won the first Chicago World Series in 88 years.&nbsp; With Dye resigned and still capable of putting up MVP numbers, Right Field is the only outfield position secured.&nbsp; Other Sure things, see Konerko still playing the&nbsp; role of Captain from 1b, A.J. still running his mouth behind the plate, Thome will still be smiling from the bench and hitting in the DH spot, and Buerhle and Jenks will hold their spots as Starter and closer respectively.&nbsp; What is left over is a heap of potential and a butt-load of questions.&nbsp; Fans have to wait until Cactus League play begins before we even&nbsp;get a sense of who&#39;s starting where and who will be traded when.</p><p>However, for this anxious fan, Cactus Leagues are too darn far.&nbsp; So heres my own run down of what is possible, likely, or even just dreaming:</p><p>Let&#39;s start at the hot corner.&nbsp; <strong>3B- </strong>Joe Crede is the man in Chicago.&nbsp; Joe Clutch made himself a comfortable spot in each of our hearts during the 2005 campaign.&nbsp; However injuries, Scott Boras, and the emergence of Josh Fields has made Mr. Clutch expendable.&nbsp; Avoiding non-tendered free agency Ken Williams penned a one-year deal with the once blooming superstar, Kenny&#39;s just waiting to trade him.&nbsp; The only problem is no one will give&nbsp;Williams a quarter for a guy who has had two straight seasons cut short from back injuries.&nbsp; Kenny&#39;s gonna have to wait until Joe can prove himself&nbsp;in the spring.&nbsp; However this&nbsp;opens up an interesting dilemma.&nbsp; What if Joe&nbsp;comes out strong and the heir apparent, Fields,&nbsp;fizzles?&nbsp; Dare kenny keep him?&nbsp; Would Fields become expendable?&nbsp; Does Joe get an extension?&nbsp; </p><p>Not&nbsp;likely.&nbsp; Kenny has made it clear.&nbsp; Josh Fields is the future at 3B.&nbsp; Barring a Brian Anderson style dissapointment, Joe will be sent packing, likely&nbsp;in the spring,&nbsp;definitly&nbsp;before the all-star break.&nbsp; Josh Fields will likely be your starting third baseman, joining the ranks&nbsp;good hitting great white hope 3Bs, along with Joe Clutch and Sweet Swinging Robin Ventura, not to mention the Great Buck Weaver.</p><p>Let&#39;s move over the <strong>Shortstop</strong>, where the starter seems clear.&nbsp; Wait, no it doesn&#39;t.&nbsp; Orlando Cabrera, shipped over in a debatable trade for Jon Garland, is the odds on favorite to start.&nbsp; However, with only a year left on his contract and Kenny still not inking the extension, it&#39;s possible that his career with the Sox may be one and done, perhaps even a trade deadline move.&nbsp; Kenny has said that he plans to keep Cabrera but he doesn&#39;t need to.&nbsp; Uribe can still play the field, despite his growing waistline and streaky hitting.&nbsp; Plus Cuban sensation Alexi Ramirez prefers to play shortstop and has inked a 4 year contract.&nbsp; Perhaps we see Cabrera play one season and let ramirez play second or center and give more time to develop to youngsters like Carlos Quentin, Danny Richar, and Jerry Owens.&nbsp; Either way, it is likely either Uribe or Cabrera will leave via trade if Uribe isn&#39;t starting at second, but Cabrera will likely hit lead-off or second and start at Short.</p><p>I talked about it a bit already so we&#39;ll talk about it more in depth, <strong>2B.&nbsp;</strong>&nbsp;It is possible that Juan Uribe may win the starting job here.&nbsp; His struggles with hitting make him a liability with his all or nothing swing.&nbsp; He is still a sharp fielder but it can be tough to swith sides of the infield.&nbsp; Uribe is not&nbsp;the likely starter, unless Guillen really doesn&#39;t thinK Richar can play and Alexi starts in the outfield.</p><p>Ramirez is currently listed at the top of the depth chart, but may fit better in the outfield.&nbsp; Danny Richar just doesn&#39;t quite seem ready to step into the everyday roll, but weirder things have happened and he could come out and surprise alot of people.&nbsp; He has the quickness to play second, and could be a valuable&nbsp;speedster near the bottom of the order.&nbsp; His BA and OBA must improve. And of course there is always super-sub Pablo Ozuna, who saw some starting time last year in Left before he was injured.&nbsp; He is a natural second baseman and seems most comfortable when he&#39;s playing there.&nbsp; He just doesn&#39;t look like he can operate as an everyday player, and is just too valuable coming off of the bench.&nbsp; Look for Ramirez to start and be either the one or two spot with Cabrera.</p><p>On to the <strong>Outfield</strong>:&nbsp; Dye is solid in Right, no questions.&nbsp; But there are six other players listed on the White Sox depth Chart.&nbsp; Okay, one of them is Brian &quot;The future of White Sox Baseball&quot; Anderson, and it&#39;s not likely he&#39;ll be playing for the good guys come opening day, as word is he&#39;s being shopped around a bit.&nbsp; Another is Ozuna, who like I said is far more likely to be playing off the bench.&nbsp; However, Jerry Owens, Alexi Ramirez, Carlos Quentin, and Nick Swisher will be competing for the two remaining outfield spots. Nick Swisher is guaranteed to play one of the two.&nbsp; So it&#39;s a three man race for the remaining spot.&nbsp; Jerry Owens is super fast and is tempting to place at the top of the lineup because of it.&nbsp; However, Owens hasn&#39;t been as successful at stealing as the Sox would have liked and that and his OBA need to improve before Guillen thinks about putting him in the leadoff role.&nbsp; He could play every day and wants too, but He&#39;ll likely wind up on the bench or in the minors at the begining of the season, allowing him more time to develop into what he could be.&nbsp; We&#39;ve talked quite a bit about Ramirez.&nbsp; He is a stronger center fielder than Swisher, which means he&#39;d be up the middle if he starts in the outfield.&nbsp; However, Swisher would start in center if Carlos Quentin is given the starting reigns.&nbsp; Carlos Quentin is the Diamondbacks version of Brian Anderson, except he had injuries as an excuse.&nbsp; Williams and Guillen both feel certain that Quentin will turn his career back on track.&nbsp; I personally think he&#39;s a utility bench player, but with Owens not quite ready and Ramirez patroling at second, it&#39;ll probably be Quentin starting in left.&nbsp; </p><p>So heres my best guess at the opening day lineup:</p><p>1)Orlando Cabrera, SS</p><p>2)Alexi Ramirez, 2B</p><p>3)Jim Thome, DH</p><p>4)Paul Konerko, 1B</p><p>5)Jermaine Dye, RF</p><p>6)A.J. Pierzynski, C</p><p>7)Josh Fields, 3B</p><p>8)Carlos Quentin, LF</p><p>9)Nick Swisher, CF&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Onward my fellow palehose, to the mound and the <strong>Starting Pitchers:</strong></p><p>This became a little clearer after the Swisher deal that sent Gio Gonzalez out of Chicago.&nbsp; Now instead of having youngsters competing for the final two rotation spots we only have three.&nbsp; Vazquez and Contreras are locks for the starting rotation if they aren&#39;t traded before the season.&nbsp; Contreras&#39; struggles plus his questionable age, plus his contract, make him a difficult sale.&nbsp; However if he continues to struggle the Sox can&#39;t afford to keep him in the rotation in the fiercly competitive AL Central.&nbsp; Vazquez has always had the potential to be a 20 game winner, he just never has.&nbsp; He&#39;s still trade-able, but it&#39;d be silly to do that when all you have is youngsters and a questionable old man.&nbsp; The youngsters we have left are Jon Danks, Gavin Floyd, and Lance Broadway.&nbsp; Broadway looks to be the future The kid has some sick stuff, the name of a&nbsp;pornstar to boot,&nbsp;and can definitly win a rotation spot with a strong spring.&nbsp; However, his time looks to be a year or two off.&nbsp; Floyd and Danks both had their ups and downs last year in their crash course in how to be a major league starter.&nbsp; Both showed, at times, that they had the potential to be starters, but also showed they weren&#39;t quite ready for a permanent spot.&nbsp; They are inked currently as the starters on the white sox homepage, but it&#39;s all subject to competition.&nbsp; </p><p>Don&#39;t forget theirs also a dark horse.&nbsp; The White Sox are reportedly offering an incentive laden contract to the less than fresh Bartolo Colon.&nbsp; He seems to be theres for the taking, if they really want him, as not many other teams are expressing much interest. The addition of Colon would only leave the five hole for competition.&nbsp; </p><p>With a solid one-two in Buerhle and Vazquez, the rest of the rotation lines up with some question marks.&nbsp; Contreras is a tentative three, until he shows he can still pitch.&nbsp; Floyd and Danks are likely to be four and five respectfully, unless they pick up Colon, in which case he picks up the four spot and Floyd is my guess to be the five man.</p><p>Finally we come to the biggest problem from last year, our bullpen.&nbsp; Everytime Ozzie motioned to the pen last year I got a feeling in my gut like I had just been punched in the junk.&nbsp; But Kenny did what he could to buy some help.&nbsp; Linnebrink should be stable, but his contract was far to heavy for a reliever.&nbsp; Octavio Dotel, the newest White Sox addition, offers some experience and some hard throwing.&nbsp; Matt Thorton and Mike MacDougal return, or so it looks for now.&nbsp; Both struggled a great deal last year, but both have closer potential.&nbsp;If they return to &#39;06 form they provide a formidable setup duo for the hard throwing Jenks.&nbsp; Boone Logan and Charlie Haeger could both see some time in the pen next year.&nbsp; Haeger&#39;s knuckle ball provides a nice change of pace to the rest of the hard throwing pen, plus he&#39;s shown some value in the long relief role.&nbsp; Logan surprised alot of people last season making the team, and then stopped surprising.&nbsp; Maybe another season will give him a fresh start.&nbsp; Kenny has a lot of hope for him, but we&#39;ll see how he performs.&nbsp; Andrew Sisco struggled a great deal last year, but is another one of those players with&nbsp;a strong arm, he&nbsp;just needs to keep the ball down.&nbsp;Ehren Wasserman was one of the few bright spots last year posting a 2.74 ERA in minimal work late last season.&nbsp; He seemed strong and is a solid addition as a middle reliever.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Bullpens are a crap shoot each year.&nbsp; Relievers are hard to pick, but the White Sox have certainly put together a lot of talent.&nbsp; It&#39;s just up to Don Cooper to make sure they live up to it.</p><p>So that&#39;s pretty much it.&nbsp; The South Siders enter the third season of their world series drought, facing an improved Tigers team, a well rounded Cleveland team, and an up and coming Royals team.&nbsp; Minnesota may lose some footing with the loss of Santana, but if two seasons ago was any indication, Fransisco Liriano will be a solid replacement.&nbsp; </p><p>I don&#39;t believe that 90 wins is beyond this White Sox teams reach, but they will need to play hard and have a couple breaks if they&#39;re going to make the playoffs.&nbsp; </p><p>Lets Go, Go-Go White Sox!</p> Tue, 29 Jan 2008 22:53:27 GMT http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/132636 Lilwound A day that history may forget, but I never will. http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/994 <p>October 26th, 2005.&nbsp; Juan Uribe streaked accross the field toward a high bouncing grounder just over Bobby Jenks&#39; head.&nbsp; A snap throw to Konerko....&nbsp; pop the champagne.</p><p>Boy did I ever.&nbsp; Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the greatest day of my life.&nbsp; Sad really, that it trumps the day I lost my virginity.&nbsp; That it trumps my first beer or my 21st birthday.&nbsp; It trumps the day I first took a step.&nbsp; But that day became a beacon of hope to the rest of my life.&nbsp; It proved that no matter what life throws at you everything can work out in the end.&nbsp; I argued for twenty one years with Cubs fans about who suffers more, us or them.&nbsp; I pointed out, they&#39;d won more series, they&#39;d been to more series.&nbsp; They were loved world wide.&nbsp; And most prominently I argued, at least they had an identity.&nbsp; They were the lovable losers.&nbsp; The Red Sox were the Cursed ones.&nbsp; But the White Sox 86 year drought?&nbsp; Nearly never talked about.&nbsp; That was the pain that I carried for all of my short life.&nbsp;</p><p>That is until, that fateful day last year, when it all changed.&nbsp; I had had the championship experience with the bulls, six times in fact.&nbsp; But for me that was never a question of if, just when and how.&nbsp; Come on, who could beat Jordan?&nbsp; With the White Sox, my whole life, talking with elder Sox fans, I always wondered if.&nbsp; IF they could make it the whole way.&nbsp; And I&#39;ll be honest, years of bitterness, the white flag trade, letting go of Ventura, the 1993 playoffs, the strike shortened year when we were the team to beat, all that had made me skeptical.&nbsp; They seemed to let me down.&nbsp; In 2000 I sat in the stands and watched them swept by the wild card Mariners.&nbsp; Ouch.&nbsp; And so they couldn&#39;t do it to me again, I told everyone they would lose the first round to Boston.&nbsp; </p><p>It took three games for me to realize what was going on.&nbsp; By the time the ALCS rolled around, I refused to make predictions.&nbsp; &quot;We&#39;ll see what happens.&quot;&nbsp; I&#39;d say.&nbsp; Game one, sad.&nbsp; Game two, sitting in the upper deck, more confused than everyone at home, Something lit up.&nbsp; With A.J. running to first with three outs, thats when I knew what was happening.&nbsp; Three games later, I&#39;m jumping up and down celebrating a world series birth.&nbsp; After a whole night of watching game three, in the wee hours of the morning on October 26th 2005, Geoff Blum ended all of my fear and doubt.&nbsp; I cried that morning, I&#39;ll admit it.&nbsp; After that home run I knew we were the champs.&nbsp; Then I celebrated that night.&nbsp; </p><p>But it&#39;s so fast gone.&nbsp; The Tigers are the new cinderella darlings.&nbsp; The Cardinals are trying to prove that the National League is worth something.&nbsp; And the south siders are at home.&nbsp; And their fans can only remember that day.&nbsp; October 26th 2005.&nbsp; I&#39;ll remember it forever.&nbsp; If I have my way I&#39;ll be married that day.&nbsp; I&#39;ll find a way to make sure that all of my children are born on that day.&nbsp; Just so that my wife and my kids won&#39;t feel like second fiddles when I tell them that the greatest day of my life was October 26th.</p> Wed, 25 Oct 2006 17:20:54 GMT http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/994 Lilwound What Do we have to look forward to this offseason? http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/957 <p>Okay lets run it down:</p><p><strong>THE LINEUP:</strong><br /><br />Left Field leading off <strong>Scott Podsednik</strong>... how can we <br />say this anyother way then, HE GONE!&nbsp;&nbsp;Scotty Pods<br />brought us a championship in his first year, but could<br />very well have costed us a repeat in his second.&nbsp;&nbsp;His<br />failure to ignite the offense from his lead-off spot, <br />due in part to his piece of crap on base percentage,<br />not to mention he&#39;s not the best fielder, has made<br />this left fielder VERY expendable.&nbsp;&nbsp;With one year left<br />on his contract and not much in means of production <br />he&#39;s not gonna fetch a lot in the trade market but we<br />gotta get what we can because this will be addition by<br />subtraction.<br /><br />Batting second and playing second, <strong>Tadahito Iguchi</strong>.<br />He will, deservedly so, get a contract extension. <br /><br />Numbers 3-4-5 <strong>Dye Thome</strong> and <strong>Konerko</strong>.&nbsp;&nbsp;Don&#39;t touch it<br />don&#39;t move it don&#39;t even think about it.&nbsp;&nbsp;The best<br />heart of the line-up in baseball, showed great things,<br />and we haven&#39;t seen the best of it as Konerko and <br />Thome were both nursing minor injuries at the end of<br />the year.&nbsp;&nbsp;Dye has a team option coming off of a MVP<br />caliber year, Williams should be committed if he<br />doesn&#39;t pick it up.&nbsp;&nbsp;Next year these three will be a<br />tandem that no pitcher, I don&#39;t care if it&#39;s Sandy<br />Koufax, will want to face come playoff time.<br /><br />Catcher <strong>A.J. Pierzynski</strong>, loved on the south side,<br />hated everywhere else in the world.&nbsp;&nbsp;He&#39;s still young,<br />and all though his power numbers were down from &#39;05, <br />his batting average was way up and he&#39;s good.&nbsp;&nbsp;He will<br />be back and rightly so.<br /><br />The hot corner, <strong>Joe Crede</strong>.&nbsp;&nbsp;Who can forget his heroics<br />down the stretch and into the playoffs in &#39;05?&nbsp;&nbsp;Well,<br />if reports are true apparently Kenny Williams can. <br />Reports have Kenny shopping captain clutch to the<br />Yankees for the big money big game choker A-Rod.&nbsp;&nbsp;It<br />would seem that rather then go through another<br />arbitration with Crede&#39;s agent Scott Boars**** Kenny<br />wants to see if he can unload him.&nbsp;&nbsp;In my opinion, <br />this is a bad move.&nbsp;&nbsp;This is a star on the rise.<br />Slight back problems be damned.&nbsp;&nbsp;This guy has the<br />glove and the bat to be a perrenial all-star.&nbsp;&nbsp;There<br />hasn&#39;t been this talented of a Third Basmeman in<br />Chicago since Ventura, and we were wrong to let him <br />go.&nbsp;&nbsp;We can&#39;t afford to make the same mistake again.<br /><br />Shortstop Batting eighth, <strong>JUAN UUUURIBE</strong>!&nbsp;&nbsp;Sadly<br />expendable.&nbsp;&nbsp;He has an extraordinary arm which helps<br />him on some of his misreads, and loves to go after <br />them pop-ups.&nbsp;&nbsp;However his bat is incredibly<br />inconsistent. He&#39;s a very streaky hitter, and this<br />year the cold streaks outweighed the hot but a<br />considerable margin.&nbsp;&nbsp;The only question is whether we<br />can get anything better.&nbsp;&nbsp;Theres not going to be much <br />available, and Cintron is not the answer.&nbsp;&nbsp;Unless we<br />get a good offer, you have to stick by your man.<br /><br />The dog house rookie centerfielder, <strong>Brian Anderson</strong>.<br />Is he the best? No.&nbsp;&nbsp;But damn can that boy play the <br />field.&nbsp;&nbsp;This kid has talent.&nbsp;&nbsp;His bat came alive in<br />the second half of the season, and that confidence<br />will be seen from the start of the season next year.<br />He&#39;ll be a solid Major League centerfielder soon, but <br />it may be that the White Sox Nation isn&#39;t prepared to<br />wait for soon.&nbsp;&nbsp;He may find himself either a) Coming<br />off the bench next year B) Back in the minors, which<br />will only hurt his development at this point or C) <br />Wearing a new cap and having his mail forwarded to<br />him.&nbsp;&nbsp;Again, a mistake in any three of those<br />possibilities, this kid will surprise alot of people<br />next year if you give him the chance to start EVERY<br />day. <br /><br /><strong>THE BENCH</strong><br />The American League bench is often times little more<br />than a comprised group of guys to come in for slop<br />time after the sluggers have built a 10 run lead.&nbsp;&nbsp;But<br />don&#39;t tell Kenny that.&nbsp;&nbsp;He built an outstanding bench <br />for the Championship and an almost perfect bench for<br />the repeat attempt.&nbsp;&nbsp;What was missing?&nbsp;&nbsp;A natural<br />Outfielder.&nbsp;&nbsp;If I have to see <strong>Ozuna</strong>, <strong>Macowiack</strong>, or<br /><strong>Gload</strong> in the outfield one more time next year, I will<br />shoot myself.&nbsp;&nbsp;Kenny needs to find someone who can<br />come of the bench and play the outfield well.&nbsp;&nbsp;Also,<br />shipping Widger out seemed somewhat petty, almost like<br />a scapegoat.&nbsp;&nbsp;Bringing Old Man <strong>Alomar</strong> in seemed<br />rediculous.&nbsp;&nbsp;Why not bring back Fisk?&nbsp;&nbsp;Kenny needs to <br />find a better solution for A.J.&#39;s back up, maybe<br />someone who can hit.&nbsp;&nbsp;Ozuna has to stay, way too good<br />and way too clutch.&nbsp;&nbsp;He&#39;s the perfect Pinch Hitter,<br />the white sox own, firestarter.&nbsp;&nbsp;Macowiak and <strong>Cintron</strong> <br />on the other hand, were capable and solid but seemed<br />to lack that something extra that is needed for clutch<br />situations.&nbsp;&nbsp;I would say keep one but not both.&nbsp;&nbsp;Gload<br />is a solid First Baseman and a decent hitter.&nbsp;&nbsp;Nothing <br />special, but could be a starter for a few teams in the<br />MLB.&nbsp;&nbsp;I say if your not gonna play him, let him go.<br />Give the kid a chance to make a name.<br /><br /><strong>Pitching:<br />The Rotation:</strong><br />Someone has to go, because Kenny is hell bent on <br />getting McCarthy into the rotation.&nbsp;&nbsp;Who will it be?<br /><br /><strong>Buerhle</strong> is our guy.&nbsp;&nbsp;He&#39;s been with us since the start<br />of his career, brought us to the promised land and<br />slid on the tarp.&nbsp;&nbsp;As a team leader he is more <br />valuable then his numbers would show him to be.&nbsp;&nbsp;Is it<br />possible that years of pitching 3 million innings a<br />year is wearing on him?&nbsp;&nbsp;Possible but not likely.<br />Guys who throw like Buerhle, don&#39;t have the wear on <br />their arms like fireballers.&nbsp;&nbsp;He is a pitcher<br />dependent on location movement and confidence.&nbsp;&nbsp;His<br />confidence sunk this year and it reflected in his<br />pitching.&nbsp;&nbsp;One bad year isn&#39;t enough to say good-bye.<br />Kenny is reportedly shopping him, but thats a mistake. <br />He has a team option this year, Kenny should pick it<br />up.&nbsp;&nbsp;He pitches like crap next year, maybe see what<br />you can get.<br /><br /><strong>Freddy &quot;Pass the Bong&quot; Garcia</strong>.&nbsp;&nbsp;His velocity was down<br />and so he suffered.&nbsp;&nbsp;Extra work in the offseason could <br />bring that back up.&nbsp;&nbsp;This guy is a big game pitcher<br />built for October baseball.&nbsp;&nbsp;If we could develop a<br />cryogenic freezing process and keep him on ice for<br />only big games this guy would deliver.&nbsp;&nbsp;Another<br />pitcher with a high price tag that may be shown the <br />door.&nbsp;&nbsp;How are we going to feel next year if he ushers<br />us out of the playoffs with a perfect game.&nbsp;&nbsp;Can&#39;t let<br />him go.<br /><br /><strong>Jon Garland</strong>, OOOOH I like this guy.&nbsp;&nbsp;Back to back big<br />years, and more to come.&nbsp;&nbsp;The youngster has finally <br />shown what he can do and will continue to do.&nbsp;&nbsp;It<br />sounds like this is the only current starter thats<br />spot is secured for next year.<br /><br /><strong>Jose Contreras</strong>.&nbsp;&nbsp;How can you deny his dominance from<br />the end of &#39;05 to the begining of &#39;06.&nbsp;&nbsp;He&#39;s good. <br />But one problem is he&#39;s getting old, and we don&#39;t<br />really know how old.&nbsp;&nbsp;I won&#39;t deny that he&#39;s a good<br />maybe even great pitcher, but he&#39;s expendable.&nbsp;&nbsp;After<br />this year he is trade bait.&nbsp;&nbsp;Any team looking for a<br />veteran starter to round out their rotation would<br />salivate over the possibility of picking this guy up.<br />I like him but what a trade with him involved could<br />bring to the team may outweigh what he can bring to<br />the team. <br /><br /><strong>Javier &quot;5-and-done&quot; Vazquez</strong>.&nbsp;&nbsp;Sox fans collectively<br />prayed when Vazquez pitched into the 6th inning.<br />Watching and waiting for the inevitable, a Vazquez<br />blow-up.&nbsp;&nbsp;He was a downgrade from El Duque.&nbsp;&nbsp;We need <br />someone who can go deep for our short relievers.<br />Perhaps Vazquez can find a place as the most overpaid<br />long reliever in the game.&nbsp;&nbsp;But as a starter it&#39;s<br />neccesary to find some one better.<br /><br /><br />The Pen:<br />Our Achilles heel this year.&nbsp;&nbsp;Three pitchers shined<br />most of the year, <strong>Macdougal</strong> (after he arrived<br />anyways), <strong>Thorton</strong>, and BIIIIIG <strong>Bobby Jenks</strong>.&nbsp;&nbsp;We have<br />two unhittable set-up guys and the big overhand hook<br />of Bobby Jenks.&nbsp;&nbsp; Macdougal has an unbelievable fast <br />ball that rides right at batters, Thorton is much the<br />same except has insane velocity from the left side.<br />and Bobby, well, he&#39;s getting better.&nbsp;&nbsp;He&#39;s able to<br />light up the gun at 100 and then throw a 95er with <br />sick movement.&nbsp;&nbsp;Couple that with a high 80&#39;s slider<br />and an unhittable curve and he could be the most<br />dominant closer next year.&nbsp;&nbsp;The back of the Pen is<br />just fine, now we need to find a way to get it to<br />them. <br /><br /><strong>McCarthy</strong> showed flashes of brilliance when he was<br />brought in early to save a struggling starter, but<br />later in the game he just wasn&#39;t there.&nbsp;&nbsp;Perhaps a<br />starting job is precisely what he needs.&nbsp;&nbsp;Because he&#39;s <br />not our answer at long relief.&nbsp;&nbsp;But perhaps <strong>Charlie<br />Haeger</strong> is that guy.&nbsp;&nbsp;He showed some real potential<br />during september call-ups and could compliment the<br />fireballers at the backend of the pen with his knuckle <br />ball and wicked breaking stuff.<br /><br /><strong>Neal Cotts</strong> just isn&#39;t what he was when he won his<br />ring.&nbsp;&nbsp;The Illinois State University product wowed us<br />last year with unbelievable stuff.&nbsp;&nbsp;It was much harder<br />to cheer him on this year.&nbsp;&nbsp;He gave up too many <br />Homeruns and too many leads.&nbsp;&nbsp;If Coop thinks he can<br />mend him, keep him, otherwise let him go and good<br />luck.<br /><br /><strong>David Riske</strong>... oh never mind just let him go.&nbsp;&nbsp;He was<br />temporary help anyways and didn&#39;t do a very good job <br />of that.&nbsp;&nbsp;Just ship him out.&nbsp;&nbsp;Pods will help you pack<br />David.<br /><br /><br />So thats what we need.&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong>What can we get?</strong><br /><br />As far as replacing Pods goes, we have some viable<br />options.&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong>Alfonso Soriano</strong> will be available.&nbsp;&nbsp;His OBA <br />is not the best but his power and speed make up for<br />it, but his glove ain&#39;t the best, but serviceable.<br /><strong>Juan Pierre</strong> is an honest leadoff hitter.&nbsp;&nbsp;He&#39;s got<br />speed and showed up late for the Cubs last year.&nbsp;&nbsp;He&#39;s <br />got alot of talent and deserves a good look.&nbsp;&nbsp;Maybe<br />move Anderson over to left and give Pierre Center and<br />we have an outfield that any team would want<br />defensively.&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong>Torii Hunter</strong> may be available, but that<br />would likely spell the demise of Brian Anderson.<br />Hunter isn&#39;t a lead off hitter so room would have to<br />be made somewhere else.&nbsp;&nbsp;The real question is would we<br />want to make a comittment to him.&nbsp;&nbsp;We have too many<br />good prospects and the oft injured (at least this<br />year) center fielder will be looking long term.<br /><br />As for probable shortstops the list is one.&nbsp;&nbsp;Ozzie<br />Guillen really likes <strong>Alex Gonzalez</strong> from Boston.&nbsp;&nbsp;Maybe<br />it has something to do with the fact that he was on <br />the Marlins championship team...maybe.&nbsp;&nbsp;But he would<br />be the one upgrade to Uribe.&nbsp;&nbsp;If you can&#39;t get him,<br />keep Juan.<br /><br />As for starters.&nbsp;&nbsp;It depends on who we let go of to<br />get McCarthy.&nbsp;&nbsp;If you let Vazquez go to put Brandon in <br />the rotation then keep the pieces in place.&nbsp;&nbsp;If you<br />let anyone else go, You gotta find someone else to<br />replace Vazquez.&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong>Zito</strong> will be on the market (If Kenny<br />wants to break the bank), <strong>Mark Mulder</strong> might be there <br />too, but it&#39;s unsure if he&#39;s as good as you might<br />think.<br /><br />As for the Bullpen... Theres not much out there.&nbsp;&nbsp;Good<br />bullpen help is hard to find.&nbsp;&nbsp;The best thing the<br />white sox can do is roll the dice on some of their <br />farm guys or on a veteran free agent, hey even Politte<br />worked out well for one year.<br /><br />Just a little tweaking neccesary for the team one year<br />removed from a championship.&nbsp;&nbsp;We&#39;ll be back stronger<br />next year on route to our &#39;07 championship.</p> Fri, 20 Oct 2006 17:01:14 GMT http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/957 Lilwound Well, it ended badly... http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/910 <p>Ah, the sweet smell of fall is in the air, and the White Sox are at home resting.&nbsp; What a total bummer.</p><p>But what a great ride!</p><p>I agree with the Sports Guy here, after your team wins a Championship, they get a 5 year grace period.&nbsp; I&#39;m fine with that...especially since I think we&#39;re still going to be competing for another WS title for the next few years.&nbsp; And, hell, we could be Cubs fans.</p><p>I have a feeling that Kenny has something in store to get this team back on track.&nbsp; And I think that Ozzie needs some time away to recharge his batteries...and Jay Mariotti needs to go away.&nbsp; Seriously, how is it that this guy speaks for Chicago sports?&nbsp; He&#39;s the biggest jackass out there.</p><p>Anyway, I think there is plenty to be excited about as a Sox fan, and I want to see what other real fans think.</p> Wed, 11 Oct 2006 22:43:05 GMT http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/910 Josh