“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.

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Comments

  1. paulmbanks says:

    Linebrink continues his 2007-08 Mike MacDougal impersonation. Another game given away…the plane is boarding on the 09 season

  2. rikki greenberg says:

    Soxman!!!

    It’s been a long time since you’ve been on here!

    OMG…Paul has a mancrush on Beckham?? I have a womancrush on Beckham! He’s freakin foine, but most of all I just love the hair. Have you seen that lucsious head of golden locks??

    Very nice.

  3. Paul- great exchange as always.

    Love the offensive “bunt” at the PR staff. Better watch out or you might get added to “the list,” or actually removed from it. :)

    As a Sox super fan I’m sick to my stomach over this team. All this talent and we are just giving up. I NEVER excpeted us to win any series on these road trips because we are playing better teams…PERIOD and never have luck at the dome, but it is all of those other winnable games that we gave away ALL season long that will cost us the division this year.

    Coming Next Week… BLOW it up Sox Exchange. Our plans to fix the Sox in 2010.

    A team with two career 300 HR hitters, a 500 + HR hitter, a C Young award winer and a hurler of two perfect games is under 500? Come on!

  4. paulmbanks says:

    Agreed. they have the best talent in the division, so sad what happened. HA HA, I know I better watch what I say about the White Sox PR department, who do their job about as well Josh Fields played defense at 3b

  5. Correction…one perfect game and two no hitters…LOL. Yes sox fans I made a mistake. LOL.

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