How are the White Sox this AWFUL?

SOXMAN AND BATBOY

By Soxman and Paul M. Banks

As we are now into week three of the 2010 MLB season, White Sox fans have to be asking at this point: “What the heck is going on?”

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Soxman breaks down the White Sox first 9

SOXMAN AND SOXGIRL

Through one week of baseball, the Chicago White Sox are 4-5.  The only team they have a better record than in the AL Central is the Cleveland Indians who are 2-6.  Ironically, the Indians two victories are against the Sox.  So what should Sox fans be saying about their team after 9 games?

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Former Bears & Loyalty Lines as a Chicago Football Fan

cutler_training

By Soxman

As the Bears record drops to 3-2, with tough divisional match-ups still on the horizon, I couldn’t help but notice how well former Chicago Bears players are doing these days.  Yes I said FORMER players.  What’s even more shocking is that fans’ desire for these player’s exits from Chicago came almost as fast as the gusts of the windy city could push them out of town.

At this point in the season, would we take them back?  Let’s examine and see where your loyalties lie.

Out:  Kyle Orton

In: Jay Cutler

Orton has a 100.1 QB rating on the season, has thrown for 1465 yards and only one interception in six games.  His team is 6-0.

Cutler has an 86.9 QB rating and has already thrown 7 interceptions on the season.  We know “his team’s” record.

Out: Cedric Benson and Thomas Jones

In: Matt Forte

Benson has become the third leading rusher in the NFL (594 yards) and has found the end zone 4 times.  Yes.  I’m talking about the same Cedric Benson who I was critical of since he was anointed the “face of the Bears” two years ago and left Chicago with mace in his eyes and the label of another RB bust. Thomas Jones, who the Bears pretty much gave away after he rushed them to the Super Bowl, has racked up over 1100 yards every year since he’s left Chicago and has already rushed for 481 yards and six TDs this season.

It would be an understatement to say nicknames like “Sweetness II” and “the answer” once being bantered about Matt Forte have been put on hold as the Bears’ running game is now a defined as “a problem.”  Forte has rushed for just 294 yards and scored one touchdown. Is it not inevitable that as Bears fans we are so quick to rush to judgment?  Especially when the year 1985 is our only recollection of super bowl glory?  matt-forte-inside

I still remember when Rex Grossman returned from one of his many injuries to supplant Orton as the Bears starting QB in 2004.  How many Chicago Papers said how great it was to “finally have a real QB in Chicago?”   Remember how quickly that changed when Grossman posted a 66.4 QB rating in 8 games in 2007?   Last weekend, I noticed a Grossman jersey being used as a hand towel at a local Chicago restaurant.

It goes without saying that if the Bears were 5-0, we would care less about former players, or that Matt Forte is currently one of the lowest ranked RBs in the NFL.  But, we are here instead.  So instead we voice our frustration and fantasize about a backfield with the 2009 Cedric Benson and Thomas Jones, or spew hatred at Kyle Orton because he “found himself” in Denver. A special lady in my life recently opened my ears to the possibility of appreciating country music.  Something that I never thought possible.  So as a Bears fan I can say with 100% assurance that it is possible to find something good out of something perceived to be bad.  Ironically, a song by Little Texas entitled “What Might Have Been” just randomly started playing on I-tunes  as I type this article.

The refrain is interesting: “Try not to think about what might have been.  That was then, and we have taken different roads, we can’t look back again, no use giving in, there’s no way to know, what might have been.”

So I guess you can say that in the spirit of divine intervention, I will not begin to theorize or debate how Forte would fare in New York, or how Benson would perform with the 2009 Bears offensive line blocking for him. But in the spirit of irony, I’ll also reveal that I’m wearing my Chicago Bears Kyle Orton jersey as I type this article and strangely find myself thinking that the 2009 Broncos have all the fixings for Sportsbank readers to love:bearspractice1

-New England Patriot ties
-Chicago Bears castaways
-Underdogs predicted by everyone to be in a re-building year
-The Sportsbank colors or Bears colors.
-The “Monsters of the Mountains” defense.  Catchy isn’t it?  (patent pending by Soxman)

And both cities have fair weather…conditions… albeit fans. Now we only need to come up with a sappy white man’s rap to rival the 85 Bears Super Bowl Shuffle and we truly might be on to something here. For diehard fans who love the Bears no matter what, remember, a trade is not measured in one season alone. Jay Cutler is 5th in the NFL in interceptions.  Only Mark Sanchez, Jake Delhome, Kerry Collins, and Carson Palmer have thrown more picks.  Three of those four players may lose their starting gig before the season is over.  Roast accordingly and swim in the cess pool of negativity that only the Chicago media, or perhaps more aptly the Bears PR (“Police Resistance”) staff can generate.

Where do your loyalties and thoughts lie?  Think about it while I consider accepting a Jay Cutler and Matt Forte for Kyle Orton and Cedric Benson swap in one of my fantasy leagues.   After all, there are loyalties.  Especially when it comes to winning games.

The Sox Exchange

soxman

“Your Best in the Midwest Chicago White Sox Weekly Report”

By Soxman and SoxGirl

Paul M. Banks is on assignment scouting perspective in-laws, so sports super fan Soxman is joined this week by the newest member of the American League of Justice, SoxGirl, who is hotter than Gordon Beckham at the plate.

(SM) White Sox Nation rejoice!  This was a very exciting week for our franchise and fans.  After a humiliating sweep at the Metro”dump,” by the Twins, we are right back in the play-off hunt, acquired a Cy Young Award winner, had a perfect pitcher break a major league record and took three of four games from the New York Yankees!  SoxGirl care to start?

jake-peavy-padres

(SG) How about Jake Peavy?  Talk about a surprise blockbuster!  The White Sox acquired a proven ace, with a career ERA of 3.29, solidified their rotation for the next two years at least, and have made themselves a stronger team for the stretch run.  What’s not to like about this trade?

(SM)  There was a belief not even a month ago that Peavy’s ankle injury was so severe, he could be shut down for the season.  This scared a lot of suitors away.  However, he threw off the mound Sunday.  The Sox now believe he will be ready to go before the end of the month!  People argued that we gave up a lot.  Clayton Richard has posted a 1.25 era over his last three starts including over five innings of two hit ball in his Padre’s debut.  Aaron Poreda should be solid as well.  Adam Russell has not shown much in his time with the Sox and Dexter Carter is very young.  Sure the move turns away from GM Kenny Williams vow to grow talent from within somewhat, but you can’t pass on the opportunity for a pitcher like Jake Peavy.

Still it leaves the open question of the fourth spot in the rotation and who occupies the fifth spot until Peavy returns?

(SG) Here’s where the gamble is on our season.  Providing we hit like we did against the Yankees, we should stay within striking distance until Peavy returns.  If he returns healthy, we will only really one question mark in our rotation.  By the end of August, I’m hoping to see starting five of Buehrle, Peavy, Danks, Floyd and then Contreras, Colon, or “Big Game” Freddy Garcia.  As far as “spot starts” for a fifth starter goes, I expect I Ozzie to turn to D.J. Carrasco or you’ll see a “one start” call-up of a hot minor leaguer as was the case with Carlos Torres a couple of weeks back.  Where I’m left scratching my head though is over who owns the fifth starter spot for the rest of the season?

(SM) Ozzie will go with the hot hand or I guess you could say “healthy arm.”  Contreras has a 5.94 ERA over his last three starts.  Control has been an issue for him.  Colon had a great start in his return from the disabled list but was immediately disabled again with elbow inflammation.  Freddy Garcia looked good in his first minor league start last week.  Garcia went three innings and did not allow a run on two hits and one walk. He also managed to strike out three and induce two double play balls.  Garcia could be ready in within two weeks.

(SG) Well pitching should be our strong suit down the stretch.  If anything positive came from our visit to the Metro “Dump” last week, it was once again Mark Buehrle.  In his first start since making history, he was perfect once again through  5.2 innings.  He set the major league record with 45 straight batters retired spanning his last two starts, surpassing fellow teammate Bobby Jenks who tied the record a couple of season back.

(SM) Those poor performances in twinkiville were quickly forgotten in our “bombing” of the Bronx bombers.  The exciting thing was to see a balanced offensive attack from this team extenuating the importance of Scott Podsednik and Gordon Beckham, who has looked great atop the batting order.  Beckham could very well be the 2009 Rookie of the Year.  He’s hit .407 over his last six games with a .311 average overall on the season.

Dodgers Sox Spring Baseball

(SG) “The Savior” has been great I admit that, but lets not forget other players who have been clutch as well.  Chris Getz is getting little attention despite hitting .333 with 1 HR and 4 SB over his last 15 games.  And, how about my man, Mr. Controversy A.J. Pierzynski, who is raking with a .526 batting average over his last six games and a .393 batting average over his last 15 games!  I noticed he was booed loudly by the Twins fans.  As A.J. was drafted by Minnesota, why is he hated so much there?

(SM) Leave it to SoxGirl to find a way to work AJ into a Sox exchange!  I have no clue.  The Twins were forced to deal A.J., as they had perennial All-Star, Joe Mauer ready for the majors.  Before joining the White Sox in 2005, he was traded to the Giants for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Boof Bonser.  Nathan has emerged as one of he best closers in the game, so you would think Twins fans would be grateful to A.J.

aj

(SG)  I am every time I watch him play!

(SM) Well lets close this week’s exchange out with 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…

Ladies first…

The Sox cannot beat the Twins.

(SG) Mirage.  The 2008 tiebreaker game.  Enough said.
(SM) Mirage.  SoxGirl, great minds think alike.

Brian Anderson will comeback to haunt the Sox.

(SG) Maybe.  He’ll haunt the Red Sox for acquiring him.

(SM) Maybe.  He already has for convincing the Sox he could replace Aaron Rowand.

Bobby Jenks will remain the White Sox Closer.

(SG)  Maybe.  He has huge stones…kidney stones that is.

(SM)  Maybe. I shutter at the thought of Linebrink or Dotel getting the ball in the ninth.

Mark Kotsay is this year’s Geoff Blum.

(SG) Mirage.  But he’s still better than Brian Anderson.

(SM) Maybe.  They both played with Jake Peavy…LOL.

Jake Peavy will play better than Jarrod Washburn.

(SG)  Maybe.  But Washburn will have a better ankle.

(SM)  Maybe…in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Great exchange SoxGirl!  Paul M. Banks returns next week!