By Soxman and Rikki Greenberg
Paul M. Banks continues his Sportsbank GM duties this week and is so disgusted with the White Sox performance that his comments would make Ozzie Guillen blush.
So Soxman calls up top blogging prospect Rikki Greenberg from AAA to avoid being shutout from talking White Sox baseball. Batter-up!
(SM) Everyone knows that while I have unwavering loyalty to the White Sox I also call it like I see it. The White Blue a golden opportunity to gain ground in the central this home stand and may have started to put the nails in their coffin in terms of the faces of this ball club as we have known them. While it has been nice to see them fight against the Tigers in Tuesday’s game, at this point I think the Sox really need to start focusing on basics if they have any prayer of turning this season around. Execution, failure to make routine plays, mental mistakes have killed us all season long. As cliché as it sounds, one play at a time, one hit at a time, one win at a time. Your thoughts?
(RG) I couldn’t agree more. The White Sox have seemed to forget what it takes to win a ball game. Fielding grounders, getting base hits and bunting should all be baseball fundamentals any player should know. How does the team expect to win games when they’re bobbling grounders or failing to produce runs with runners in scoring position? I find it very hard to believe that a team can go nine innings without scoring a run, but the White Sox have managed to do this eight times since the beginning of the season against three opponents (Kansas City, Cleveland and Oakland) who have two of the worst records in their respective divisions (Oakland in AL West and Cleveland in AL Central).
The Sox did show some life against Detroit during Monday’s split doubleheader with Contreras’s starting pitching debut (1 H, 0 R and 3 K in 8 IP) and offensive production from Ramirez, Pods and Thome. Now I’m not ready to label Contreras a hero and a savior of this team, but I do believe that Soxman’s point of taking one play at a time, one hit at a time, one win at a time applies directly to this situation.
(SM) We have already discussed the accountability of Kenny Williams and the White Sox ownership for payroll slashing and fielding so many question marks in previous exchanges, so we won’t go there again. But how much accountability needs to start falling with Ozzie? After the game Ozzie said, “we get the bases loaded with no one out and we do what we do best: strike out.” It’s good to be frustrated, but how about putting players on notice and benching them if they don’t perform? Brian Anderson, hitting .196 with 16 Ks since his return from the DL, and was one of the players who failed to execute with the bases loaded on Sunday. Old school baseball would call for him to sit. I’d even put him on notice that CF Jordan Danks, brother of John Danks is hitting .350 at AA and has a .921 OPS. Thoughts?
(RG) If Ozzie were to bench some of his players for not producing, it would send a strong message to the team. However, the accountability and responsibility for a player to be consistently producing and playing to the best of his ability should be equal to Ozzie. Anderson has been in the league for five years now and should have a good idea of what kind of adjustments he needs to make in comparison to Beckham, who has no major league experience and would benefit from intensive coaching from Ozzie, hitting coaches and to a lesser degree teammates.
(SM) How accountable to you think hitting coach Greg Walker should be for an offense that must think its still Easter, for all the eggs they have been putting up on the board as of late. The Sox rank 24th in MLB in BA with runners in scoring position (.247), and are hitting .255 with the bases loaded. They’re 26th in MLB in runs scored (229). A hitting coach doesn’t bat for the player, but if several players demonstrate the same poor discipline time after time, how much blame should fall on his shoulders?
(RG) I think Walker should have the finger pointed at him more than Ozzie. It’s Ozzie’s job to manage the ball club and maybe participate in a hitting lesson or two if he has time, but it’s Walker’s primary job to coach the players on hitting. He IS the Batting Coach. The players are familiar with going for the quick runs without much lasting power, so it’s up to Walker to spend more time on developing the “smart ball” strategy Ozzie coined when describing the 2005 World Series champion season. Time away from big inning ball might help this team out with improving their RISP and produce a greater chance of manufacturing runs when the situation arises instead of relying more on going downtown.
(SM) Nice use of baseball buzz words. You are really working this. Aside from Mark Buehrle, the Sox rotation has been pretty inconsistent as well. Jose Contreras is getting another shot at the rotation after his exceptional performance on Tuesday, and despite being blasted by Ozzie Guillen on Sunday for needing more pitches than a fast ball, the Sox are sticking with Bartolo Colon, who has the third best ERA among starters (4.23).
Now Kenny Williams has re-called top prospect Aaron Poreda. He had 2.38 ERA at AA and 69 Ks in 64 IP. His immediate future will be in the bullpen. On Monday, the Sox also re-signed Freddy Garcia. His career might very well be over, but this is a sure sign he’s anything but confident with anyone beyond Buehrle at this point.
(RG) I realize that Colon’s statistics put him in a favorable light, but I just am not a fan of his and do not trust him to start games. Period. He allowed eight hits, six runs and five earned runs in five innings of work on Sunday and six hits, five runs and two earned runs last Tuesday despite posting a 3.38 ERA.
(SM) Let’s 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 Sox should have never let Joe Crede leave.
(SM) Mirage. Scott Boras is strikes one and two, and he’s only played in 42 games and has a .237 BA.
(RG) Maybe. Crede was my favorite so I could be labeled as biased on this one.
Jermaine Dye’s days on the Sox are numbered.
(SM) Maybe. If the Sox don’t start winning, JD is the most tradable commodity.
(RG) Maybe. The Sox do seem to be looking towards the kiddie pool this season.
Mark Buehrle is underrated.
(SM) Maybe. Only 2 loses in 11 starts, a career 3.76 ERA and is never mention among this era’s greats.
(RG) Maybe. The Sox are in the same big market league as Boston, New York and Los Angeles so who do you think is heard about first?
No White Sox players deserve all-star consideration.
(SM) Mirage. Buehrle, Konerko, Dye, and Jenks should be considered.
(RG) Mirage. I’m going to be crazy and add Pods to the list as well.
(SM) Well that does it for this week. Thanks for coming up kid. You showed us something, playing with heart and determination.