Jake Peavy’s Debut Offers Sox Taste of 2010

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By Soxman

Coming from a lower-middle working class family, I’m no stranger to having to wait in order to get something you really want. One October during my childhood, I remember feeling excitement as my mom took me to K-Mart and picked out a brand new bicycle.  Man it was loaded.  Mag rims, free wheel and made of alloy instead of metal, so it was very light.  I got it off the rack and was even able to take it for a spin- about fifty feet past the blue light special icon.  Then I was reminded how I wasn’t actually getting the bike now, we were putting it on layaway for next spring.  Dreams of cruising past my jealous friends and being the coolest kid on the block would have to wait until after winter came and thawed.

This is what Jake Peavy’s long awaited White Sox debut against the Kansas City Royals is like for me, and probably for most Sox fans.

As Peavy himself admits that he’s not 100%, and still pitching in a game that has about as much meaning as that 50-foot spin down the aisle in Kmart, I’m excited.  But like all Sox fans, is anyone really thrilled?  It would have much more meaning if we were in the thick of a pennant race, or at the very least if we were seeing the true Jake Peavy.

As the winds of fall have the Sox playoff candle trickling out, I question what Peavy’s debut really means at this point.  He could be awesome, he could get shelled.  Worse, he could get hurt…AGAIN.  If it does not get us anywhere, does it really matter?

I’m not the only one raising this question either.  If you read behind Ozzie Guillen’s interview on Friday, he might feel the same way.

“We’ve been waiting for him for seven months,” said Guillen.  “Hopefully, when I take this guy out or he takes himself out of the game, he’s healthy.  That’s what I want.”

So what should Sox fans take from his start?  Aside from getting a look at one of the anchors of the 2010 rotation, don’t expect much.  Barring a horrific injury or another Williams blockbuster trade, we already know our starting rotation for next year:

Mark Buehrle

Jake Peavy

John Danks

Gavin Floyd

Freddy Garcia

So as the former Cy-Young award winning pitcher, with a career ERA of 3.29, and all the tools to be called ace takes the mound for the first time, enjoy the test drive.  He’ll soon be put on layaway until the spring.  Only then will we truly get to enjoy the ride.

“Sinking” White Sox Exchange

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By Soxman and Paul M. Banks

“Iceberg dead ahead,” is the titanic analogy most White Sox fans are using to describe the Sox play-off chances as they’ve commenced their most difficult road trip of the year.  No sooner are the Minnesota Twins “ruled dead” that they are only a game behind the White Sox in the standings.  Can the Sox still win this division or will they end the season in third place?  Paul M. Banks and Soxman break it down in this week’s White Sox Exchange.

(PMB) Things are looking bleak, they now even have a losing record against the AL East on the season- that stat was my last beacon of hope heading into this monster road trip.


(SM) For Sox fans it is pretty hard to remain optimistic when the most positive thing you can say about your team is “underperforming.”  I’m often asked via e-mail or Facebook, why is there not more excitement about a team in the thick of the playoff hunt.  My answer?  THE TEAM IS ONE GAME ABOVE .500!  In EVERY other division in MLB the White Sox are a 4th place team.  Look it up.

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(PMB) Repeatedly seeing a half-empty U.S. Cellular Field for multiple games each homestand says it all. So did Ozzie. When asked earlier in the year, after they hosted the first place Los Angeles Dodgers to crowds of 40% or less capacity why the Cubs were drawing much better at the time. “Because our fans are smart- they know this team is horses#$t.” The Sox public and media relations teams may be horrible at their jobs, but having a very mediocre product to try and sell doesn’t help. This isn’t a pennant race, it’s a turtle race.

Oh and pardon the picture to the right, that has the wrong colored Sox name and logo on it.


(SM) Let’s talk about what’s keeping the Sox from grabbing the division lead for a minute.  The Sox are the WORST fielding team in the American League (.980 Fielding percentage), and the third worst team in major league baseball; only better than the Washington Nationals and the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are having contraction worthy seasons.  They have given up 65 unearned runs this season.  Hitting and pitching tend to be streaky, but fielding is a consistent indicator- not a positive sign for our play-off hopes.  If our luck does not turn around quickly, we could very well finish the season in third place.  Your thoughts?

(PMB) Hold on, this question reminded me of the 4th inning last night, and I’m about to lose my lunch. Ok, I’m back now, and need to take something for my upset stomach. It’s true this team beats itself more than any other team beats them, but your question at that .980 statistic reminds me of something. Everyone always talks about “hitting a baseball being the hardest thing to do in sports” or “baseball as a game of failure” because if you fail 2/3 of the time (i.e. have a career batting average of .333) you’re a legend, but what about looking at it from the other perspective (no one does that).

Look at the Sox fielding, they succeed 98 times out of 100, and they’re ABYSMAL. We should think about that once in awhile. Or think about girls, or music, or food or whatever to take your mind off a TERRIBLE defensive outfield when you have both Podsednik and Quentin in it. I really thought they were going to improve once they sent Josh Fields back down to AAA. But the problem was much bigger than him.

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(SM) Pitching? The Sox have the 7th best team ERA in the majors (4.13), and over the past month, are second only to the Texas Rangers in the AL (4.07).  Jake Peavy tossed five scoreless innings in his August 24th start with Triple-A Charlotte. He had three strikeouts with two walks, and 52 of his 80 pitches landed for strikes.  Will his return be too little to late?  Why didn’t the Sox make a waiver claim on Billy Wagner?  With Scott Linebrink struggling (8.53 ERA in his last 6 games), he could have helped.

(PMB) Aren’t the Sox lower on the waiver priority wire now after acquiring Alex Rios? I do love how Kenny is taking steps now to address the needs that he failed to address in the off-season. You would think adding a new Ace to your rotation would be make a difference of 4-5 games, which is what we need right now, but I think Peavy’s main impact will be in 2010. I still love the move, I just don’t think it’ll be enough.

(SM) Hitting?  Over the last 30 days, the White Sox are last in the AL with a .253 team batting average.  Luckily, the Tigers are second worst at .258.  The “dead” Twins are 4th at .288.  Jermaine Dye’s bat has vanished since the All-Star break.  He hasn’t homered in his last 16 games and is only hitting .190.  Did the Rios trade impact him?  Other offensive pennant push—overs?  Paul Konerko- .182 in his last 55 at bats, and your man-crush, Gordon Beckham, .233 over the last 19 games.  What do you think is going on here?

(PMB) I don’t know how to explain it, other than maybe they’re “hitting” the proverbial wall- like so many NBA rookies do down the stretch of their first seasons. That could definitely apply to man-crush. As for Dye, maybe his age is catching up to him. I was on the record saying Carlos Quentin’s 2008 was a fluke, so I won’t touch CQ. And yes, I get it, the Twinkies are not dead yet- even though I said they were last week.

Alright, let’s blare PODs, “BOOM” as we go to our “closer” feature, 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…

As Ozzie said, the 2009 White Sox are good enough to go to the World Series.

(SM)  Mirage.  They can’t even control an average AL Central.alexeicheshirt

(PMB) Ha ha ha ha!…Oh yeah. Mirage. All they have to improve is their defense, bullpen, starting pitching, and offense.


2009 will be the last we see of Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome in Chicago.

(SM)  Mirage, we’ll see a lot of Thome when he plays for the Indians in 2010.

(PMB) Mirage and Maybe, Dye can DH next year, Thome can get his option declined. Love your irony btw.


Gordon Beckham will be the AL Rookie of the Year

(SM)  Maybe, BUT Andrew Bailey, 6-3, 18 SV, 1.99 ERA with 75 Ks in 68 IP might disagree.

(PMB) Maybe. You hear him on The Score today with surprise guests, The Outfield? Creators of his theme music…”I don’t want to lose your love, toniiiiight”

Jake Peavy will pitch for the Sox in 2009.

(SM)  Maybe, he already is pitching for the Sox…at AAA.

(PMB) Definitely, he took a line drive off the elbow today, but it’s Minor. He looked Major in that start.



Alexei Ramirez is the reason the Sox defense stinks.

(SM)  Maybe, as he should be much better than he is.

(PMB) Maybe. He does a way better job at 2B, but there’s also blame to go around.

Stretch Run Sox Exchange

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By: Paul M Banks and Soxman

And then there were two. The AL Central pennant race -and I use that term loosely- is heating up as our hometown heroes are the only team left in the AL Central that could conceivably give the Detroit Tigers a run at the division crown. The Sox are currently in a holding pattern just two point five games off the division leading pace. But are they poised to take off and take control once their newly acquired ace, Jake Peavy gets here? Read on to find out…

(PMB) Well it looks like the two teams that are most hated by White Sox Nation, the Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs (I listed the Twins first for a reason) are essentially out of their respective races, while the White Sox will fight on into late August, what are your thoughts on our chances down the stretch? Do you think the recent acquisitions of Alex Rios and Jake Peavy make them “favorites?” Peavy did look phenomenal in his first rehab start.

(SM)  Out of their races?  Even if the Twins are only 3.5 games in back of the Chicago White Sox, I never count them out of a race.  NO SOX FAN SHOULD.  Our record at the dome against them is horrible and despite our 13-12 record against American League East opponents, our toughest road trip of the year awaits us as we travel to Boston, New York and then back to Minnesota, where we were swept on our last visit.soxman

I think the AL Central race will come down to the wire, but the next week could make or break us.  The Tigers have an easier schedule then the Sox in the last six weeks of the season as well, so this will remain an uphill battle.

While almost no sports enthusiast agrees with me, I liked both deals.  Rios is going to be an excellent CF for years to come unlike Brian Anderson who is “proving” he’s an everyday player in Boston hitting .167 and making errors.

While I know many fans feel we need Jake Peavy to win, we should not rush him back.  Even if he’s healthy and his confidence is not where it needs to be, his return would hurt us more than help us.

(PMB) One thing the Sox have going for them is their winning record against baseball’s toughest division by far, the AL East. No other team in the Central can boast of that. However, the flip side is a losing record against both the West and Central. What does Chicago need to do to take care of business, in their own time zone? And what are we going to do about Scott Linebrink…before he degenerates into Mike MacDougal part two.
(SM) Well, maybe Linebrink needs to become Mike MacDougal right now!  He’s the Nationals closer, posting a 2.20 ERA with 13 saves in 32 IP.

The Sox have to close games and execute.  It’s very simple.  The White Sox are hitting .246 as team from the 7th inning on.  Players are swinging for the fences in bunt situations, making mental mistakes on the bases, and Alexei?  Let’s just say his mental mistakes warranted AJ shoving him in Minneapolis the last time the two met in the dome.

(PMB) Great point about MacDougal. Time to talk individual awards. Mark Buerhle has certainly got some national recognition for his achievements, although nowhere near enough as he should. As you like to point out, he’s vastly underrated. Any chance he wins the Cy Young? If not him, who should grab it in the AL? Zach Greinke, Roy Halladay?

(SM) Buehrle is an awesome all-around player, but not outstanding in any one category therefore, he’s not likely to garner much Cy Young consideration.  He doesn’t even hit the top five in the American League in innings pitched, strikeouts, or ERA, yet he is capable of throwing a perfect game.

If the Sportsbank were given a vote on the Cy Young, my vote this year would go to Zack Greinke.  He’s first in the AL in ERA (2.44), 4th in innings pitched (173), and second in strikeouts (182), which translates to domination at his position.  Considering he was almost out of baseball two years ago with severe depression, his comeback is amazing.

(PMB) True. He’s “slowed down” over these last couple months, with an ERA of 3.51. Most pitchers would kill for those numbers. How about Rookie of the Year? Gordon Beckham may be my new man-crush. And Chris Getz is having himself a solid year as well. Who do you see as their chief competition?white_sox-old-school-logo

(SM) The things Gordon Beckham has done since getting called up have to make him a strong contender for Rookie of the Year.  In just 239 ABs, Beckham is hitting .297, 7 HR, 44 RBI and 5 SB.  He has more RBIs than Carlos Quentin.

In my opinion, is chief competition is Oakland’s Andrew Bailey.  He’s completely dominated as a closer, notching 22 saves and posting 2.01 ERA with 74Ks in just 67 IP.  Opponents are hitting just .173 against him.  He’s actually posted better numbers than Jonathan Papelbon.  Saves aside, he’s the third most dominating closer in the AL this season.  With 22 Saves and 5 wins, that means Bailey has factored into more than 50% of the A’s wins this season.

Even though Oakland is a horrible team, those numbers are hard to ignore.

(PMB) I agree. Good to see a former Kane County Cougar achieving big things. I was very glad to make it out to Elfstrom Stadium in Geneva last weekend.

Alright, let’s blare PODs, “BOOM” as we go to our “closer” feature, 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 White Sox Will win the AL Central

(SM) Maybe.  What kind of Super hero would I be if I said no?

(PMB) Mirage. It’ll come down to the wire though

Freddy Garcia will stay in the Sox rotation.

(SM) Maybe, unless Bartolo Colon eats him.

(PMB) Mirage. But Ozzie said he’s a great golfer. So he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.

Alex Rios will go 20/20 in 2009

(SM) Maybe.  Definitely if Bartolo Colon doesn’t eat him.

(PMB) Maybe. If Colon can take down 20 White Castle Sliders in 20 minutes…he probably can


Bartolo Colon will pitch for the White Sox again in 2009

(SM) Mirage.  He’s “Where’s Waldo” at 400lbs.

(PMB) Mirage. Unless the Sox structure a new variable based pay contract for him filled with pizza and incentives

DeWayne Wise will make the 2009 Play-off roster

(SM) Mirage. Bartolo Colon will eat him.

(PMB) LOL! No way. He had his Al Bundy glory moment in Buerhle’s perfect game.

White Sox Get Jake Peavy

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By Soxman

What do you get when you combine Jake Peavy and Alexei Ramirez?  Answer: two of four healthy ankles.

Just minutes after the 4:00 p.m. Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline passed, the MLB network announced that Jake Peavy was headed to the Chicago White Sox…again, and this time its for real.

With the move, Kenny Williams once again proved the following:

1.    He always gets his man.
2.    He is not afraid to do whatever it takes to win now…and later.

For the most part, this trade involves the same names as version 1.0 did earlier in the season.

The difference?  Peavy is currently on the disabled list with a strained tendon in his ankle and won’t return until mid-August at the earliest.  Not more than two weeks ago, Padres’ GM Kevin Towers noted that Jake Peavy could be done for the remainder of the season, saying, “I think it’s 50-50 if Jake will pitch again this year.”

However, Kenny Williams told the MLB network minutes ago that he believes Peavy will begin a rehab assignment towards the middle of August and could return towards the end of the month possibly on-time for the Red Sox series.

The Padres did pretty well in this deal as they will receive Clayton Richard, Adam Russell, Dexter Carter and Aaron Poreda in return.  soxman1

Richard should immediately move into the Padre’s rotation.  While he is 4-3 with a 4.67 ERA, and a 1.47 WHIP on the season, he had a 1.12 ERA over his last two starts, helping the Sox get a crucial win over the Tigers on Sunday.

The key prospect in the trade for the Padres is likely southpaw Aaron Poreda.  In a limited bullpen stint with the White Sox, the 2007 first-round draft pick had a 2.45 ERA in ten IP.

For the White Sox, the move could be to win now, providing Peavy could return towards the end of August.  It could also be to solidify the Sox rotation for years to come. Peavy is under contract for at least three more years, with a club option for 2012.   In the economics of pitching, it could also be a long term bargain.  He’s due $15 million next year, $16 million in 2011 and $17 million in 2012 with a $4 million buyout on a $22 million club option.

Mark Buehrle is signed through 2011,and John Danks and Gavin Floyd are under the Sox control for at least three more seasons.

Even if he doesn’t throw another pitch in 2009, the White Sox get a proven 28-year old ace and Cy Young award winner (2007), who has a career ERA of 3.29. His ERA is likely to suffer somewhat moving to U.S. Cellular Field, but he should still pitch like a front of the rotation ace.

So why did Jake Peavy have a change of heart after turning down a trade in May?

“There’s no assurance that one of his (Peavy’s) prime target teams was going to take a shot at him in the offseason,” Barry Axelrod, Peavy’s agent said in an interview with Padres insider Tim Krasovic.

Peavy’s preferred teams were the Cubs and Dodgers.

In late May, he decided against accepting a trade to the White Sox.

Citing other factors, Axelrod told Krasovic that the White Sox (52-51 and 2.5 games behind the Tigers) are in better playoff contention than when Peavy nixed the deal in late May.

Should anyone be surprised?

Williams was somewhat forced to respond after the Detroit Tigers acquired Jarrod Washburn from the Mariners, and the Minnesota Twins solved their middle infield situation acquiring shortstop Orlando Cabrera.

He has admitted to coveting Peavy since July of last year, and has a proven track record of never giving up on his targets.  After almost acquiring Ken Griffey Jr. at the 2005 trade deadline, Williams finally got him in 2008.

In 2005 he almost traded Joe Crede to the Angels for Darin Erstad.  He later signed him as a free-agent before the start of the 2007 season.

While it somewhat edges away from Williams vow to develop his farm system, it is a good trade for both teams.

Providing the White Sox can stay in contention until Peavy returns healthy, he could easily add 2-3 wins down the stretch.  Did you hear that offense?  Now wake up…AGAIN.