Archive for the ‘Chicago White Sox’ category

2008 AL All-Star Snubs

July 7, 2008

The 2008 All-Star rosters have been announced. Here’s the AL version. Way too big and I am still not a fan of each team getting a representative. The voters, coaches, and players got a lot right this year, but as usual, a few mistakes were made.

3B Mike Lowell-Boston Red Sox

Mike Lowell is statistically better than Joe Crede this year, but Crede managed to get the All-Star nod as a reserve. Lowell is batting .297/.356/.517 while Crede is at .261/.338/.478. Crede is winning in one aspect and that is home runs; 15 for Crede and 13 for Lowell. Another stat that makes Lowell a better pick is his defense this year. Only five errors for Lowell and an atrocious 17 errors for Crede. That’s more errors than home runs and Crede is a power hitter.

Any AL catcher who missed the cut

Jason Varitek and his .219 batting average found their way onto the All-Star squad. It seems like if you live in Boston, you can suck as much as you want and still receive positive recognition. I could show my report card or burp the alphabet at Fenway and get a standing ovation. Don’t get me wrong, I think Varitek has been a great catcher and there is no doubt he can handle a staff, but come on. An average of .219, an OBP a smidge over .300, and 7 homers is not an All-Star. It’s not even an All-Average. It’s Paul Bako. There is one catcher in the AL who gets regular at bats with a lower batting average than Vartiek and it’s Angels C Mike Napoli. Napoli’s 12 homers are nice though and his OPS is 119 points better than Varitek.

OF Nick Markakis-Baltimore Orioles

RP George Sherrill will represent the Orioles as their All-Star, leaving a more deserving guy at home. Nick Markakis is a rising star who is batting .297/.394/.486. The Orioles are over .500 right now which has been pretty shocking. 2B Brian Roberts is on the Final Vote ballot which is good news for the O’s. Still, Markakis deserves some press because he is on his way.

P John Danks and P Gavin Floyd-Chicago White Sox

Danks has been pitching like an ace and Gavin Floyd is also pitching well for the AL Central leading White Sox this season. Somehow, his name isn’t on the All-Star roster. In fact, no Chicago White Sox pitcher made the list…

  • John Danks: 6-4, 2.52 ERA, 107.0 IP, 1.17 WHIP
  • Gavin Floyd: 10-4, 3.22 ERA, 109.0 IP, 1.12 WHIP
  • Bobby Jenks: 18 for 21 in saves, 1.95 ERA

It’s harder to make the case for Jenks this year with the good AL relief pitching we have seen, but Danks and Floyd have been having great years so far and deserved some more votes.

AL Final Ballot

  • Jermaine Dye-Chicago White Sox
  • Jason Giambi-New York Yankees
  • Jose Guillen-Kansas City Royals
  • Evan Longoria-Tampa Bay Rays
  • Brian Roberts-Baltimore Orioles

This will be a close race for the last spot on the team. Giambi has been on fire since he grew the stache, Dye has 19 homers and is batting over .300, Jose Guillen keeps making noise, Longoria is helping the Rays to the best record in baseball and has been flashing the leather, and Brian Roberts is one of the AL’s top second basemen. My vote goes to Jermaine Dye because even though his OPS is 19 points lower than Giambi’s, Dye has been much more consistent this season. And a first place team like Chicago deserves more than two all-stars.

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April (and some of March) in review…(AL)

May 1, 2008

The first month of the season has come to a close, so let’s hand out some hardware.

Note: These are for the baseball played since the first series in Japan in late March, through the end of April. Some of these acknowledgments will be completely irrelevant in May (if they are even relevant now)…

Best Team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels are tied with Oakland for the best record in the AL. However, I give the edge to the Angels because the A’s will fizzle. LA just has more star power. Their pitching staff, led by Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana, both have ERAs under 3 and Jered Weaver pitched like an ace the other day against the potent Detroit offense. Santana is stepping it up while Jon Garland is sucking and Kelvim Escobar’s career could be over. K-Rod is 11 for 12 in save opportunities.

The offense is really clicking this season for the Angels. They have scored 140 runs so far with their strong lineup. Casey Kotchman is off to a great start batting .344/.406/.594. Chone Figgins is having an all-star season so far batting .313 with 8 steals. Offseason acquistion Torii Hunter is fitting in very nicely with his new squad and Vladimir Guerrero is batting .271, which is good, but will most likely rise because he is very dangerous. SS Erick Aybar is a young guy to keep an eye on batting .318 so far. He also plays a good shortstop.

Los Angeles is doing just fine without stud pitchers John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar. Though Escobar won’t be back, Lackey should be around soon, and he will only help the Angels pull ahead of Oakland for what looks to be another championship season. (more…)

Water sucks, Gatorade is better

April 25, 2008

According to this piece here, water is not allowed in the U.S. Cellular Field dugout now, due to Gatorade being the official sports drink of Major League Baseball, meaning no water, no Vitaminwater, no Red Bull, no other drinks in the dugout other than Gatorade, and certainly, no tobacco juice from Nick Swisher. I wonder if the rest of Major League Baseball is following this unhealthy attitude for sports marketing.

I wonder what Bobby Boucher thinks of that. He’s gonna open a whole case of whoop-ass pretty shortly on Selig here..

Don’t drink the water! (nj.com)

Nate McLouth, Gabe Kapler, others grabbing all of the headlines

April 15, 2008

This always happens. Some very random players always have a hot streak in the beginning of the season, getting their hot streaks out of the way early. It happened with Chris Shelton in 2006. It happened with one of my simulated seasons of MVP Baseball 2005 with Estaban German once. Right now, Nate McLouth, a Pittsburgh Pirate, and Gabe Kapler, a player who has had a very interesting career going from a 57th round pick by the Tigers to a Minor League Player of the year, decent 15-20 home run guy to a career bench player with the Rockies, Rangers and Red Sox after his stats fell off his age 25 season, sucking in Japan, winning a WS ring in 2004, to a manager for a Red Sox to a comeback with the Brewers. I will also put Carlos Pena in here because although he is hitting under the Mendoza Line, he leads the league with 6 homers, and chicks dig the longball. I will also put in White Sox third baseman Joe Crede, who has basically told everyone to screw off with trade rumors.

Nate McLouth – Pirates

As McLouth is approaching his age-26 season, he has already hit safely in 13 games with a .383 average, continuing hot hitting from Spring Training. Players sometimes break out in their age-26 seasons, but anyone would be laughed out of Vegas if they were predicting McLouth to be one of those players before Spring Training. He was a decent hitter in the minors, hitting .292/.362/.427/.789 and probably projecting as a bench player in 2004, but, although an early prediction, McLouth could breakout for real for one or two years, like this one and his age-27 year and then fade out into .260s numbers. He will not keep up a .383 pace, but, unless he slumps or gets injured, I do expect him to be around .270s to the .280s and an OPS at where he usually is, about the .780s or so. I think that would be a reasonable prediction for him.

Gabe Kapler – Brewers

Gabe Kapler has four homers and is hitting .423 in 11 games, providing the offense for the Milwaukee Brewers, and although I do not think he will keep this up, he has definitely solidified himself in that Brewers bench, and unless he goes to the slump of life, he will stay around with the Brewers. Kapler, Jason Kendall, and Corey Hart are the only three starters hitting over .250 on that team. I have already mentioned his life story, but what he has done this year is nothing short of really, really cool, because Kapler has always been a fun player to watch, and all of us would love to see a guy like him play well. I wonder where he will be this year.

Joe Crede – White Sox

Crede has hit .313 with 4 homers and leading the majors with 16 RBI, and for now he looking like a good choice for trade bait in the midseason to a contender. It is also good to see Crede play well again, with him being a fan favorite for the White Sox. If he plays well and we see the White Sox up there by September (in which it can happen), he could be the AL Comeback Player of the year. A little lofty, but that is entire plausible.

Carlos Pena – Rays

I mean Pena is hitting an awful .191 right now, but those six home runs the lead the league cannot be ignored. Two-thirds of his 9 hits have been home runs, which is probably the craziest stat of the year by far. But he also has 18 strikeouts, which also leads the league. If you can hit them, hit them long I guess?

Nick Swisher.. batting leadoff?

April 10, 2008

I am pretty sure we have not had a Chicago White Sox story yet this season, which is quite surprising because Ozzie Guillen is always an interesting character. I think we’ve had more Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals stories than the White Sox.

But.. Nick Swisher batting leadoff? Well, at least it gives me an excuse to post pictures of how fucking sweet his hair is. He has a .469 OBP so far in replacing typical leadoff man Jerry Owens, and that makes sense as a injury replacement, but if Owens is gone for a long time (GM Ken Williams is not giving him a timetable), they should never, ever put Swisher in there for the long haul. I would rather put someone like Orlando Cabrera, who has always had decent speed, even if he is hitting .194 right now, and would be a viable short-term option. I would never put Swisher’s power, decent on-base skills and run-producing in the leadoff role in the long term, and Swisher batting leadoff is a little bit awkward, even for him.

I just do not get Swisher batting leadoff. Maybe it is that I were manager I would put speed and decent onbase skills in leadoff rather than better onbase skills and walks well. Who knows.

Division Preview: AL Central

March 12, 2008

The AL Central is the best division in baseball. I am not basing this solely on my Tigers being in this division, but it is definitely a reason. I won’t be too much of a Dickie V homer though. The last few years in the AL Central have been the most exciting since its inception in 1994. Cleveland won the division last season but the Tigers made a blockbuster deal this off season in hopes of ruining Cleveland’s attempt at defending the AL Central throne. The White Sox, Twins, and Royals are still around, but most likely will not play a huge role in the playoff picture this season because Detroit and Cleveland will be too dominant. The AL Central is as strong as ever and the wild card winner will be come from this division. Here is a preview of what lies ahead this season. (more…)