Soxman Sox Fan Exchange

soxmanamerican 

By Soxman and The Soxman Nation 

As Paul M. Banks recovers from the Blackhawks’ postseason elimination by immersing himself in NBA Combine and NBA Draft coverage, all the while also throwing more pitches for site expansion than Vincente Padilla at opposing hitters, Soxman puts out the Sox signal to his American League of Justice super fans, where together, this week’s Sox exchange is a winner!

Ozzie Guillen said earlier in the season that “something would have to be very wrong with the Sox if they called up Gordon Beckham in 2009.”  What is your take and where do you see him fitting into the team’s plans? 

–Alex aka “Soxtober Kid.”

(SM) Despite a sub-500 record, the Sox are only 3.5 games back in the AL Central.  The Sox desperately need to find ways to get more production from their entire infield with the exception of Paul Konerko, who is quietly having a great comeback year.  Beyond Paulie, not one of their infielders is hitting over .250.  This season, six infielders, Fields, Getz, Ramirez, Lillibridge, Betemit, and Nix have a combined nine home runs, 5 less than one player, Jermaine Dye.  So I guess you could say something is wrong offensively.

Beckham, the White Sox’s first-round draft pick in 2008, has batted .326 with 23 doubles, four homers and 25 RBI in 45 games between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte this season.  Including .465 at AAA.

The last White Sox first-round draft choice to reach the majors this fast was pitcher Alex Fernandez (58 days) in 1990.

Ozzie plans on playing him nearly everyday as long as he produces.  As the Sox designated Wilson Betemit for assignment, Josh Fields will likely be called upon to spell Paul Konerko at first base.

Fans thinking that Beckham will be “the Savior” of the Sox should think again, but  he has the opportunity to add offensive stability to our infield, which is much-needed.

The move demonstrates that Kenny Williams is trying to put the right formula in place.

What happens to Scott Podsednik when Carlos Quentin returns from the disabled list?

–Heidi aka Heidi Hot Soxsoxmanredeyecover05-06

 

(SM) Scott Podsednik may have been the best pick-up by the White Sox this year.  He is handling the lead-off spot better than his predecessors, and appears to be playing average defense.  So long as he continues to produce, you will likely see him move over to CF and platoon with Brian Anderson.  Anderson will likely also be a defensive replacement late in ball games.

Dwayne Wise, Chris Getz, and Jayson Nix, are the top candidates to be sent down when Quentin returns.  Getz is the most likely candidate as he has minor league options remaining.

What do the White Sox have to do to win the division?

–Luke (age 5).

 

(SM) They must become more consistent with their offense.  They rank 22nd in MLB in batting average (.254) and are the 4th worst team in the AL in runs scored (221).  We rank 18th in MLB in HRs (53), which is supposed to be the strong point of our offense.  Our team ERA ranks a respectable but not great, 12th at 4.25.

 

It appears as though Kenny Williams is sending a message to the players: they better produce or else.  He sent down Jose Contreras, cut Wilson Betemit and Corky Miller.  What are your thoughts? 

–Kel 

 

(SM) He’s doing the right thing.  He sent another message to the infield by re-calling Beckham and giving Clayton Richard a spot in the rotation.  As Soxman has always been a straight shooter, the front office is to blame for the Sox losing record thus far.  As I said going into spring training, the Sox took way too many risks in shaping the 2009 roster.  Unproven starters at 4 positions: 3rd base, shortstop, 2nd base, and center field, plus the rotation with at least three questionable slots never sat well with me.

Despite great seasons in 2008, Alexei Ramirez switched positions and is a second year player with a wide swing. Gavin Floyd had a career ERA close to 7.00 before last year.  John Danks also had his first good year  in 2008. While much improved, Brian Anderson was/is not an established starter.  Josh Fields and Chris Getz were unproven.  Colon and Contreras were huge injury question marks.

Even last year’s hitting star, Carlos Quentin only had one good season on his resume.  If you look at teams with proven track records of success, only the Minnesota Twins have been successful with major roster gambles from one year to the next.

This approach almost forces Kenny Williams to move chess pieces around in order to find the right formula.

Ramon Castro is an excellent upgrade for reserve catcher, as he also provides the Sox with a great power threat off the bench.

Lets close with the  2009 tradition Maybe or Mirage, where we hit 5 quick points on the White Sox and offer our opinion whether it is a sign of things to come or something likely to fade quickly?  Remember, no answer can be longer than 20 words!  Let’s play ball…

The Nick Swisher Trade was a bust- Jennagordon_beckham

Maybe. Swisher is third on the Yankees in HRs (10), with a .380 on-base percentage second only to Jim Thome (.383).

Gordon Beckham will be the White Sox Savior – All American Katie

Maybe. He can be a valuable piece if he stabilizes infield offensive production.

The Sox miss Ken Griffey Jr.- Deacon

Mirage. He’s a DH hitting .223 with 6 HR.

Clayton Richard’s 15 minutes in the rotation is up.  –Tom

 Mirage. Who would replace him?  Give him 2-3 more starts before you panic.

 The Sox are done trying to make trades.  –Melissa

Mirage.  Roy Oswalt, Miguel Tejada and Cliff Lee have all been mentioned in the rumor mill.

Thanks Sox fans for assisting us in putting together a great exchange!  Offer your feedback or submit your questions for future exchanges at the sportsbank paulb05@hotmail.com or to Soxman directly at thesoxman72@yahoo.com.  High five!

Sox Park will Have Major Upgrades in 09

By Paul M. Banks

Whatever you call U.S. Cellular Field: Sox Park, Comiskey II, The Cell, you must admit the park has come a long way since it opened in 1991. Prior to hosting the All-Star game in 2003, the park began a series of major projects augmenting the park into a warm and friendly baseball-going experience. One prominent detail from 2003, the exploding fireworks within that year’s All-Star game logo, is prominently featured in 2009’s facelift. The same logo catches the eye at the new entrance/atrium at Gate 5.

“It’s something that is our mark because of the fireworks from the exploding scoreboard and you’ll also see the same exploding fireworks on the façade of gate 4,” said Lou Hernandez, director of Public Relations. Fireworks have been a big part of the team’s brand awareness since the Bill Veeck era- when colorful designs shot up to the sky from the “exploding scoreboard” following wins and home runs.

 

Media were allowed to view the U.S. Cellular Field improvements on Thursday, and the demonstration of the team’s new out-of-town scoreboard was another impressive sight. It features dynamic color resolution and up-to-the-second updates on statistics and scores. “It’s all through Major League Baseball’s computer and the advantage of this one is you can see whose up, who’s on base, what just happened and it will flip over to every game in baseball,” said Scott Reifert, Vice President of Communications.

Down the stretch last year, you might remember how irritating and frustrating it was waiting until they posted an update of the Minnesota Twins (or other teams we needed to lose during the pennant race) score, and by the time they did it was outdated. This year, you’ll have a gigantic, enhanced version of Yahoo Game-Tracker available on the wall behind right field to keep you up to speed.

The media tour also included an inside look at the trainer’s room, specifically the new hydrotherapy room at the ballpark. It was kind of like sports bar meets the Sybaris as three massive pools (therapy, cold plunge, and communal hot tub) are centered in a room with four plasma televisions. With all the new upgrades, the White Sox home continues to maintain its place as Chicago’s most state-of-the-art baseball facility.