Friday, April 27, 2007

Its a hard knock life.. for Vick..


I have no respect for somebody who allows animal cruelty to happen under their nose.

You want a piece of me?


Oh-K Nick, so you want to complain that the Sox are 2 games under against their nemesii..


On the North siiiiiide, you got a team who's 6-11 in their division, 0-5 in 1 run games, 4-9 at home, and based on their RS/RA have an expected W-L of 12-9, yet are bottom feeders.


They consistently lose 2 out of 3 games against teams in their division. Not good.


They either win by 6+ or lose by 1-2 runs. Not good.


The only bright spots on this team are Jason Marquis, Ted Lilly, Rich Hill, The Riot, and D Lee. I'm impressed they have 3 pitchers on this short list, but its true.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Danks You Very Little




(12-9) TIGERS 6, (11-9) SOX 2

Chad Durbin isn't a great pitcher, but the lineup Ozzie trotted yesterday made him look like he is.

With Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye both out of the lineup, the Sox were held scoreless by the redoubtable Durbin for 8 innings, while John Danks did the honors of giving up the ceremonial 3 first inning runs the Sox seemingly give up every game lately, and the Sox limped to an ugly 6-2 loss on an ugly, cold, drizzly night at the Cell.

I dunno, I may be an idiot, and I know it's cold outside and you want to keep your stars from getting hurt, but trotting out the C team against a team you figure to be jockeying for position with all season long seems kind of stupid to me. The Sox are now 2-2 against the Tigers, 1-1 against the Twins, and 2-4 against the Indians, and no matter what they do against anybody else, that just isn't going to get it done.

Game Scores- Tigers- Durbin 85, Sox- Danks 44

AL CENTRAL ROUNDUP
WED- (11-7) INDIANS 8, RANGERS 7
The Tribe had a 6-0 lead with CC Sabathia on the mound, and still found themselves playing extra innings before a Jhonny Peralta single ended it in the 11th.
Game Scores- Indians- Sabathia 45

(7-14) ROYALS 4, (11-10) TWINS 3
The world has gone insane. Now every AL Central team except the White Sox gets beat up on by the Royale. I no understand. I eagerly await the inevitable day later this season when Sidney Ponson throws a nine inning shutout against the Sox, who field a lineup with Pablo Ozuna batting cleanup.
Game Scores- Royals- Perez 50, Twins- Ponson 42


THU- (12-7) INDIANS 9, RANGERS 4
Sammy's 2 home runs are not enough to stop the rampaging Indians. Joe Borowski is the only man who can stop this team I tells ya.
Game Scores- Indians- Byrd 46

(12-10) TWINS 1, (7-15) ROYALS 0
KC and Minnesota are currently locked in an 11 inning death struggle as I type this. Boof Bonser walked 7 guys in 5 innings, yet the Royale somehow managed not to score off of him. That's what I call Grinder Ball. Oh wait, the Twins just singled in the winning run. Yaaaay. I heard Torii Hunter got hit in the face with a pitch in this game. At that very moment, the hair on the back of Jamie Burke's neck stood up.
Game Scores- Royals- Greinke 69 , Twins- Bonser 62

Game Score Corner
********
The Sox now have been on the receiving end of two of the 12 best game scores of the year, which is not a good thing. When you throw in Buehrle's no-hitter, three of the top 12 game scores this year have happened at US Cellular Field, which is considered one of the worst parks to pitch in in baseball. Must be the shitty weather. Congrats also to Jake Peavy, who earned his seat on Mount Olympus against the D-backs last night despite his team losing the game.

1. 94 Mark Buehrle SOX (v. Tex 4/18)

2. 89 Felix Hernandez SEA (at Bos 4/11)

3. 86 Felix Hernandez SEA (v. Oak 4/2)

3. 86 Cole Hamels PHI (at Cin 4/21)

3. 86 Jake Peavy SD (at Ari 4/25)

6. 85 Kyle Lohse CIN (at Cubs 4/15)

6. 85 Chad Durbin DET (at SOX 4/25)

8. 84 Paul Maholm PIT (v. Hou 4/24)

9. 82 Ben Sheets MIL (v. Lad 4/2)

10. 81 Johan Santana MIN (at SOX 4/8)

10. 81 Kip Wells STL (at Hou 4/8)

10. 81 James Shields TB (v. Cle 4/22)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Another Doggy Style Win



SOX 9, ROYALS 7

Nobody can say that the Sox have been boring in this first month of the season, and nobody can say that they don't play for a full nine (sometimes more) innings either. Thanks to a lengthy rain delay I didn't see very much of it, but the Sox notched their NINTH come from behind victory of this month yesterday, this time coming back from a 4-1 (and later a 7-6) deficit to top the Royals 9-7.

Javier Vazquez got his mandatory catastrophic inning out of the way early, giving up 4 runs in the first last night, 2 of which came on a Ross Gload triple. He was solid thereafter though, and the Sox scored in 5 of the last 6 innings, including 2 in the ninth when the Royals' defense disintegrated, to come away with a 2 game sweep in KC.

Notable last night was that AJ Pierzynski was batting cleanup, and was up to the responsibility. With Jim Thome out, Pierzynski was written into the 4 slot and went 3 for 5 with a pair of runs scored.

Brian Bannister started this game for KC. He is the son of former White Sox pitcher Floyd Bannister, who happens to be the first baseball player who ever gave me his autograph. It was Labor Day weekend 1981, at the old Comiskey Park, when he was playing for the Seattle Mariners. I believe it was a Donruss card.

Game Scores- Sox- Vazquez 42, KC- Bannister 43

UP NEXT-
Weather permitting, the Sox hook up with the Detroit Tigers again after taking 2 of 3 from them at Comerica this weekend. I am hoping they get this game in tonight, because the Tigers are due to roll out the Chad Durbin again. Jon Danks faces him in a rematch of Friday's tilt, and if he doesn't pitch well enough to pick up the win against Chad Durbin, don't count me amongst those who will feel sorry for him.

AL CENTRAL ROUNDUP

(10-7) INDIANS 5, (11-9) TWINS 3
Fausto Carmona beats Johan Santana. What's next, a talking banana?

Game Scores- Indians-Carmona 59, Twins-Santana 55
Up Next- The Indians have rebounded nicely from that ugly sweep by the Yankees. They've won 4 of 5. They now come home for another short 2 game set, this time against the Rangers.

The Twins are headed in the opposite direction, having dropped 4 of 5 after sweeping the Mariners last week. They dropped 2 of 3 on the road against the Royals last weekend, and hope to get their horrible revenge in the next 2 days when KC comes to the Metrodome.

ANGELS 9, (11-9) TIGERS 8
The Tigers came back from a 7-0 deficit on the road to take an 8-7 lead in the ninth inning, only to have their gypsy curse of not having any pitchers who can field their position come back to cost them the game in the bottom half of the ninth. This time it was Todd "Johnnycakes" Jones making a costly error.

Game Scores- Tigers- Bonderman 33, Angels- Escobar 49

Game Score Corner
*********
We had a top 10 performance last night. Paul Maholm of the Pirates spun a complete game shutout of the Astros, good for a score of 84 and a spot on our top scorers list.

1. 94 Mark Buehrle SOX (v. Tex 4/18)

2. 89 Felix Hernandez SEA (at Bos 4/11)

3. 86 Felix Hernandez SEA (v. Oak 4/2)

3. 86 Cole Hamels PHI (at Cin 4/21)

5. 85 Kyle Lohse CIN (at Cubs 4/15)

6. 84 Paul Maholm PIT (v. Hou 4/24)

7. 82 Ben Sheets MIL (v. Lad 4/2)

8. 81 Johan Santana MIN (at SOX 4/8)

8. 81 Kip Wells STL (at Hou 4/8)

8. 81 James Shields TB (v. Cle 4/22)


Awesome-o

Mark Prior is out for the season, finally! Thank you Dr. Andrews.

Now, if only you could put that tiny scope of yours into the arms of Scott Eyre, Bobby Howry, Ryan Dempster, Jacque Jones, and Henry Blanco. Last night, I witnessed another airmail throw from Blacque Jacque in right field to home plate, that ended up 15ft up the 3rd base line and high. At this point, he is such a liability in the outfield, that I would only play him as a DH in games vs the American league. Oh Henry has apparently forgotten how to catch major league pitching, as 80mph fastballs are falling out of his mitt.
I miss Kyle Farnsworth and his tight-sexy pants.


Is the NFL Draft over yet? I keep seeing draft boards on the bottom and sides of the TV screen for weeks now, are those all mock-drafts? Sheesh.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sox Commit Regicide



(10-8) SOX 7, (6-13) ROYALS 4

This is the type of game the Sox would have lost in 2006. They trailed the Royals 2-0 thru 5 innings, and it looked like the typical lifeless performance against the Royals that pretty much sunk our season last year.

Maybe things are different this year. The Sox awoke in the 6th inning, and hung 7 runs on the Royale in the final 4 frames to pull away for a 7-4 victory. Paul Konerko broke out of his early season funk in a big way by hitting 2 home runs and knocking in 5 runs, basically picking up the Sox and carrying them to victory in this game.

Bobby Jenks got the save, but looked shaky once again. He allowed 2 hits in the ninth inning, and got an out on a scalding line drive by Alex Gordon before ending the game on a double play. For a while there, it looked like we were headed for disaster on a scale even bigger than the 2 out bottom of the ninth implosion in Detroit on Sunday, but luckily the Sox escaped this time.

The Sox have played a lot of close games this year, and they've leaned really heavily on the bullpen. So far, they've been up to the task. For the Sox to keep winning games into July and August though, they are going to have to have to make it look a little easier, or else they are going to have some very tired arms in the pen later in the season.

Game Scores- Sox: Buehrle 58, KC: Meche 52

TONIGHT-
SOX (Vazquez 2-0, 2.50, 58.3 Avg GS, 55 Last GS)
at ROYALS (Duckworth 0-1, 1.59, 51.5 Avg, 37 Last)
Duckworth had a nice outing his first time out this year, posting a 66 against the Tigers. Last time out he was hammered by the O's though. He's a a journeyman and a 4A pitcher, and the Sox pay Javier Vazquez a lot of $ to beat guys like Brandon Duckworth.

AL CENTRAL ROUNDUP

(9-7) INDIANS 7, (11-8) TWINS 3 (12 INNINGS)

Well I'll be jiggered. The Twins' magical enchanted bullpen was outlasted by the Indians' crap parade that just last week blew a 5 run lead in the 9th inning. I no believe.
Game Scores- Indians: Sowers 48, Twins: Silva 45

Tonight-
Indians (Carmona 0-1, 6.97, 40.0 Avg, 53 Last)
at Twins (Santana 3-1, 3.00, 63.5 Avg, 69 Last)
Yeah, good luck with that Cleveland.

(11-8) TIGERS 9, ANGELS 5

Nobody jumps on you in the early innings like the Tigers do. The White Sox found that out twice this weekend. In this game, they pinned 7 runs on Jered Weaver and the Angels in the first two innings.
Game Scores- Tigers: Maroth 36

Today-
As I type this, the Tigers are getting smashed by the Angels 7-1 in the top of the fifth. Jeremy Bonderman, who has been really good this year (64.0 average GS), has been not so good today, giving up 10 hits thru 4 innings.

Game Score Corner
***********
We had a couple of new high scorers this past weekend, and they are in bold.

1. 94 Mark Buehrle SOX (v. Tex 4/18)

2. 89 Felix Hernandez SEA (at Bos 4/11)

3. 86 Felix Hernandez SEA (v. Oak 4/2)

3. 86 Cole Hamels PHI (at Cin 4/21)

5. 85 Kyle Lohse CIN (at Cubs 4/15)

6. 82 Ben Sheets MIL (v. Lad 4/2)

7. 81 Johan Santana MIN (at SOX 4/8)

7. 81 Kip Wells STL (at Hou 4/8)

7. 81 James Shields TB (v. Cle 4/22)

10. 79 John Maine NYM (at Stl 4/4)


Monday, April 23, 2007

2 Out of 3 Aint Not Bad



Yeah, the Sox could have and probably should have come out of Comerica Park with a sweep of the weekend series against Le Tigre. For the second time in this young season they managed to lose a game they were winning in the bottom of the ninth with two out, and that's not something you want to do too often in the course of a season.

Still, I'm not going to sit here and bitch about taking 2 out of 3 from the Tigers on the road. All three games were exciting and hotly contested by both teams. The Sox pulled themselves off the deck once to steal a win, coming back from a 1st inning 4-0 deficit, and almost did something very similar on Sunday, but it wasn't to be.

All in all, this was a week that saw a no-hitter for the Sox, and a series win on the road against the defending AL Champions. You can do a lot worse than that.

FRIDAY- SOX 5, TIGERS 4
This looked like it was going to be a stinker of a loss, when a pop fly misplayed by Juan Uribe turned into a double that led to 3 runs. But the Sox changed their hitting approach after that inning, and came out in the sixth waiting out Tiger starter Chad Durbin and making him throw strikes. That led to the Sox tying the game, and later taking the lead in the seventh on a Darin Erstad single, and the Sox got 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief out of the bullpen to grab the series opener.
Game Scores- Sox-Danks 37, Tigers- Durbin 43

SATURDAY- SOX 7, TIGERS 5
I keep reading that the Tigers are a team with "no weaknesses". But, as the World Series showed last year, they have at least one weakness, and that is their subpar defense. In this game, they jumped out to a 4-0 lead on a first inning Carlos Guillen grand slam, but later made 3 errors and allowed 2 unearned runs that turned out to be the difference in the game. The L in this game went to Fernando Rodney, who as a reliever already has 4 losses in 2007.
Game Scores- Sox- Contreras 49, Tigers- Robertson 50

SUNDAY- (10-8) TIGERS 6, (9-8) SOX 5
Just a tough, tough loss. With Bobby Jenks unavailable to close, the Sox turned to David Aardsma to hold onto a 5-3 lead in the ninth inning. He retired the first 2 batters, then gave up a single to Carlos Guillen, followed by a 2 run homer tomahawked out of the park by Marcus Thames. The Sox couldn't get anything going in extra innings, and when Boone Logan entered the game in the 12th, it felt like the Sox were tapping out and conceding the final game of this series so as to save some semblance of a bullpen for the seven games in seven days this week.
Game Scores- Sox- Garland 64, Tigers- Verlander 58

This week the Tigers start out with 2 at the Angels, then come to US Cellular for a pair, and close out the week at home against the Twins.

As for the Sox, they start the week in KC (more on that later), then host the Tigers for 2, and the Angels for 3 over the weekend.

AL CENTRAL ROUNDUP

TWINS (11-7) AT ROYALS (6-12)

FRI- KC 11-7, SAT- MIN 7-5, SUN- KC- 3-1
How refreshing to see the Royals show up against somebody in the division other than the Sox. On Friday they did exactly what a major league team should do against Sidney Ponson, which is shell him and beat him. Saturday, it came down to a battle of the bullpens, and predictably the Twins bullpen won out. The finale saw an unlikely pitchers duel between Jorge de la Rosa and Ramon Ortiz, with de la Rosa coming out on top thanks to a 2 run homer by Ross Gload.
Game Scores- Fri- Ponson 20/O.Perez 38, Sat- Bonser 43/Greinke 34, Sun- Ortiz 55/de la Rosa 73

THIS WEEK
MIN- 2 v. CLE, 2 v. KC, 3 at DET
KC- 2 v. SOX, 2 at MIN, 3 at SEA

(8-7) INDIANS AT DEVIL RAYS

FRI- CLE 4-3, SAT- TB 5-6, SUN- CLE 6-4
The Indians bounce back, kind of, from an ugly series in the Bronx by taking 2 of 3 from the Devil Ray at Tropicana Field. It's nice how everybody in the AL Central has been dancing with the Devil Ray early in the season except the White Sox. I'm just saying. It's notable that the Rays James Shields struck out 12 and posted a game score of 81 in the finale.
Game Scores- Fri Sabathia 60, Sat Byrd 28, Sun Westbrook 56

THIS WEEK
CLE- 2 at MIN, 2 v. TEX, 3 v. BAL

PREDICTED STANDINGS THIS TIME NEXT WEEK

Twins 14-11
Tigers 14-11
Indians 12-10
Sox 13-11
Royals 9-16

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sox Vanquish Sammy, Rangers

(7-7) SOX 6, RANGERS 3

When we're hopefully looking back the end of the year on a successful season, maybe we'll look at this Rangers series as the time when the demons of late 2006 were finally exorcised.

The Sox followed up a memorable evening that saw Mark Buehrle throw a no hitter, by taking the rubber match of a 3 game series with the Rangers thanks to a 3 run homer by AJ Pierzynski, a clutch 2 out RBI single by Joe Crede, and an insurance 2 run dong by Rob "Mackwiak" Mackowiak (the Comcast graphic after his home run said "Home Run- Mackwiak").

Sammy hit his second home run of the series to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead early on in this game. Good for him. He is gladiator.

Game Scores- Padilla TEX 47, Vazquez SOX 55

The Rangers walked TEN White Sox hitters in this game. So hopefully the Sox have learned that patience can be a virtue at the plate, and parlay that into success in the big series they have this weekend:



SOX AT DETROIT TIGERS (9-6)
Fri- John Danks (0-2, 3.97, 52.5 AvgGS, 49 Last GS)
v. Chad Durbin (0-1, 12.46, 24.5 Avg, 23 Last)

This is a great opportunity for Danks to pick up his first major league victory. It's a mystery why Durbin is even in the starting rotation, as the Tigers have to have better options than a 30 year old journeyman who has been pasted in both times out this year. Of course, for Danks to win will require the Sox to abolish their tradition of hitting like the Lovely Ladies everytime he pitches. Simply put, it may sound alarmist to say this, but when the tallyman tallys the bananas at the end of the season, and the Sox can't say they were able to get a win against the Tigers when Chad Durbin was pitching, that won't be a good thing.

Sat- Jose Contreras (1-2, 6.00, 42.7 Avg, 59 Last)
v. Nate Robertson (2-1, 1.80, 60.3 Avg, 58 Last)

The Sox have historically done very well against Robertson, who has been one of the better pitchers in baseball in this young season. He is only 4-6 with a 5.08 ERA lifetime against the Sox. Contreras has a 0.82 ERA in his last 2 starts after an awful opener.

Sun- Jon Garland (0-1, 4.66, 51.7 Avg, Last 49)
v. Justin Verlander (1-0, 1.42, 64.7 Avg, Last 56)

As bad as the Sox are against guys like Johan Santana and CC Sabathia, is how good they've been against Verlander. Verlander is 1-4 with a 7.82 lifetime against the Sox.

There really isn't a game in this series that the Sox can't win. They really need to get a win in the books in a series against a division opponent, being that they've already dropped 2 series to Cleveland this year, and split another with Minnesota. If the Sox can get 2 of 3 here, they are right in the mix in the Central, if not, they'll still be a notch below the other 3 teams they are in competition with.

AL CENTRAL ROUNDUP
YANKEES 8, (6-6) INDIANS 6

Eric Wedge not walking A-Rod, who has been hitting walkoff home runs just about every day this season, with men on 2nd and third and 2 out in the bottom of the ninth of a one-run game to avoid having his right handed "closer" Joe Borowski face the left handed hitting Jason Giambi kind of reminded me of that Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns pinch hits Homer for Daryl Strawberry for the lefty-righty matchup. It's called playing the percentages.



Game Scores- Carmona CLE 53, Rasner NYY 53
Up Next- 3 at TB

(10-5) TWINS 6, MARINERS 5

The Twin rebound from a sucky home series against the Devil Ray to go out west and sweep the M's, with a little help from Felix Hernandez' elbow. I'll note that the Twins blew this game open in the seventh with the help of not one but two bunt singles. They find ways to score.

Game Scores- Santana MIN 69, Washburn SEA 44
Up Next- 3 at KC

Le Tigre and the Royale had the day off. We know what the Tigers are doing this weekend, and KC is hosting the Twins.

Game Score Corner
******************
Yesterday's Best
78 RICH HILL, Cubs at Braves
Hill now has 2 of the the top 10 game scores of this season. The only other guy who can say that is Felix Hernandez. I love how the Cubs prospects you hear about ad nauseum always flop (Corey Patterson, Hee Seop Choi, Mark Prior, Angel Guzman, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera), while the ones you hear nothing about turn out to be studs. I think there is a fundamental problem in the way the Cub evaluate their talent, and Hill is Exhibit A.

Yesteray's Worst
11 ZACK DUKE, Pirates at Brewers
Arr ye mateys....Arrr.

Lakefront property


I'm selling my house in Forest Park, anyone interested?


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Borley No Heets Ranger!



(6-7) SOX 6, RANGERS 0
Last night, for the first time since 1991, when a young and rotund Wilson Alvarez befuddled the Oriole, and the first time in Chicago since 1967, a White Sox pitcher threw a no-hitter! And it was a pretty no-hitter...in fact, were it not for a walk to Sammy Sosa (who was subsequently picked off of first base) it would have been a perfect game.

This felt great as a fan to watch, and had to feel 100 times better for a team that really needed something to feel good about. Not only was Buehrle unhittable, but Jermaine Dye came thru with 2 outs and 2 strikes and the bases loaded to hit a grand slam that blew open a game that up until that point looked like it was following the same script as so many of the frustrating low scoring losses that have happened so far this year.

Thank you Mark Buehrle, your sparkling performance was just the tonic our wounded nation needed after Sanjaya got voted off American Idol.

Game Scores- Millwood TEX 36, Buehrle SOX 94

AL CENTRAL ROUNDUP

(9-5) TWINS 5, MARINERS 4
Supposed to face Felix Hernandez, who has been the best pitcher in baseball this year? No problem, he gets hurt in the first inning and leaves the game. Closer can't get anyone out in the ninth inning? That's OK, the tying run gets thrown out at the plate. Everything is beautiful when you are the Minnesota Twins.

Game Scores- Silva MIN 48, Hernandez SEA 33

(4-11) ROYALS 4, (9-6) TIGERS 3
God bless the Royals. It's about damn time somebody finally got to Todd Jones. I've pretty much had it with teams in our division picking up 58 year old journeymen pitchers who suddenly become enchanted with the Minnesota Twins pixie dust.

Game Scores- Meche KC 67, Bonderman DET 73

YANKEES 9, (6-5) INDIANS 2
I don't know why, but something in my soul feels good when I see the Yankees bitch slap the Indians.

Game Scores- Sowers CLE 16, Igawa NYY 58

Game Score Corner
*******************
We have a new #1...guess who it is...

1. 94 Mark Buehrle SOX (v. Tex 4/18)

2. 89 Felix Hernandez SEA (at Bos 4/11)

3. 86 Felix Hernandez SEA (v. Oak 4/2)

4. 85 Kyle Lohse CIN (at Cubs 4/15)

5. 82 Ben Sheets MIL (v. Lad 4/2)

6. 81 Johan Santana MIN (at SOX 4/8)

6. 81 Kip Wells STL (at Hou 4/8)

8. 79 John Maine NYM (at Stl 4/4)

9. 78 Roy Halladay TOR (v. Det 4/13)

10. 77 Rich Hill CUBS, Aaron Cook COL, Josh Beckett BOS, Tim Hudson ATL, Curt Schilling BOS, Matt Cain SF


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sammy Humiliates Impotent Sox




RANGERS 8, (5-7) SOX 1
So now, we have scored 2 runs in the last 3 games. And since we didn't score after the fifth inning on Friday night, that is 2 runs over the last 31 innings.

What makes that ridiculous stat even more painful, is the fact that Sammy Sosa, of all people, brought in more runs than that with one swing of the bat at the Cell last night, hitting a 3 run homer to add insult to an already ugly loss.

The clock is ticking on this team. They have to prove they can contend, and do it fast, or else we are going to see a July disco demolition of the 05 World Champion squad we know and love. We've got too many free agents to be, and if we're not contending with them, it's hasta la vista to Dye, Iguchi, Buehrle, Crede, and who knows who else. If Ozzie is unable or unwilling to manage a young team, then maybe he'll be gone too.

In order to avoid this, the Sox need to start winning, today. They need to stop making winning look so difficult, and losing being the default outcome.

Sox fans have been waiting and waiting for this team to snap out of it since June of last year, and if they continue to wallow in this funk, fans are just going to stop waiting, and stop caring. That's when the deals will start, and that's when we can forget about another playoff appearance until 2010 at the earliest. It happened in the late 90s, and it looks like history may repeat itself in this decade.

Game Scores- Tejeda TEX 66, Garland SOX 49

AL CENTRAL ROUNDUP
(Mon) (8-5) TIGERS 12, (3-10) ROYALS 5
(Tue) (9-5) TIGERS 7, (3-11) ROYALS 6

The Tigers are a good team. They are the best team in the AL Central. I won't go so far as to say they "have no weaknesses", as I've heard in breathless tones from media experts, but they come out each day and they think they are going to beat you. Meanwhile, the White Sox are trapped in some kind of existential angst that descended on them 10 months ago, and they haven't been able to find a way out yet. For anyone to think that a team with the Sox' aura can finish ahead of a team like the Tigers in standings is asinine. Unfortunately the Sox right now fall into the same category as teams like the Phillies and Angels that are in desperate need of a hose up the ass to flush out the malaise they are in, and they play in a division with 2 teams (Detroit and Minnesota) that get 120% out of the talent they have, which is considerable.

Game Scores- Mon- Greinke KC 28, Verlander DET 56
Tue- de la Rosa KC 44, Maroth DET 40

YANKEES 10, (6-4) INDIANS 3
Forgive the Indians if they are in a state of shock after finally facing a team that isn't as limp dicked as the Sox or Angels, who've they've played all their games against this year.

Game Scores- Westbrook CLE 9, Chase Wright NYY 45

(8-5) TWINS 11, MARINERS 2
I don't see what the point is in not just giving the AL Cy Young to Ramon Ortiz right now.

Game Scores- Ortiz MIN 53, Jeff Weaver SEA 26


Mark Buehrle faces Kevin Millwood tonight at the Cell. Millwood is another of the long and distinguished list of pitches the Sox never do jack shit against, and you can just feel that Buehrle is due to get lit up. This should be awesome.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

VY Is Madden 08 Cover Boy..Prepares for Broken Leg



SI.com is reporting via the Nashville Tennesseean that Vince Young is going to be the cover boy for EA's Madden 08 game. Of course, that means nothing but an alternate ending of Wayne's World-esque sequence of misfortunes awaits him in the next 8 months.

Personally, I can't believe EA passed on Mario Williams. They could have dressed him up in a red beret and blue suspenders, and called it something like Mario Madden 2008. All the players could ride around on little karts, and throw a turtle shell instead of a football.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Bad Weekend for 07 Sox, Play Like It's 1907





This weekend, and I guess in a way this whole week, will probably be looked back on as a missed opportunity to have a really good early season road trip.

As it turned out, the Sox went 3-3 on a tough 6 game trip to Oakland and Cleveland, but 2 of those 3 losses were by 2-1 scores, and those are the kinds of losses you kick yourself in the nuts for when it's September 28th and you are 6 games out of a playoff spot.

It's becoming clear to me that what the Sox' season is going to boil down to is whether or not the pitching they've been getting holds up. This team is not going to hit .220 for the whole season. If the Sox are still getting good pitching on a pretty much daily basis when the bats finally do come around, we'll have a chance to do some damage.

However, I keep getting the nagging feeling that once the bats heat up, that's when the pitching will go back in the shitter. I have scary visions of the Sox vascillating between the way they played in the first Cleveland series (no pitching, good hitting), and the second Cleveland series (no hitting, good pitching) that they went a combined 2-4 in.

So let's take a look at what happened:

FRIDAY
SOX 6, CLEVELAND 4
Well, at least the Sox didn't get shut down by Fausto Carmona. If that would have happened, it would be time for me to go to Home Depot and pick up some wood, and start building my own coffin. Things got a little hairy in the ninth inning of this game, when Cleveland kept hitting double play balls that the Sox couldn't turn into double plays. Bobby Jenks pitched thru it though and picked up the save. At this point, I was happy.

Game Scores- Vazquez SOX 47, Carmona CLE 27

SATURDAY
INDIANS 4, SOX 0
It wasn't so much that nobody was getting hits in this game, it was that nobody was getting them at the right time. The Sox had a weird scoring line of 0-8-1, and a lot of that was due to Darin Erstad and Joe Crede, who kept coming up with guys on base and went a combined 0 for 9. Erstad is hitting a vomitous .176 right now, and I think it's time to move it to Defcon 4 as far as the center field problem goes, because Erstad isn't getting it done, and the Sox would be better off with the Brian Anderson that used to pitch for the Royals playing center than with the Brian Anderson they have.

Game Scores- Danks SOX 49, Byrd CLE 65

SUNDAY
INDIANS 2, SOX 1
So fucking great have we now elevated CC Sabathia to Johan Santana status, where we just pretty much resign ourselves to losing whenever we face them (even though other teams, like the fucking DEVIL RAYS are somehow able to beat Santana)? We are running out of pitchers in our division who we have a chance to compete against. Meanwhile, as I'm sure you know by now, the Sox gave up 1 hit in this game and lost. They also made 3 errors and issued about 100 walks. You lose games like this when you're tired and unfocused, and that's how the Sox looked in this one.

Game Scores- Contreras SOX 59, Sabathia CLE 75

UP NEXT-





The Sox are off today, and welcome the Arrangers to US Cellular for a 3 game set beginning Tuesday night. Texas has given up 22 runs in their last 2 games against punchless Seattle in cavernous Safeco Field, so if the Sox can't score against this team, it's time for us all to take a nice toaster bath.

TUE
Robinson Tejeda (1-1 4.50, Avg GS 48.5, Last 26 v. TB)
v. Jon Garland (0-0, 3.65, Avg 53.0, Last 71 at OAK)
My Pick- SOX- This is the game in this series where I start smashing things if the Sox lose.

WED
Kevin Millwood (2-1, 3.71, Avg 48.7, Last 54 at SEA)
v. Mark Buehrle (0-0, 4.32, Avg 52.0, Last 56 at OAK)
My Pick- Rangers- Millwood has a 1.32 ERA in 5 career starts against the Sox, and God knows that the Sox never make adjustments against pitchers they have a hard time against. Good thing the Indians gave Jake Westbrook the big contract and not him. That Mark Shapiro is a genius.

THU
Vicente Padilla (0-3, 6.62, Avg 40.7, Last 42 at SEA)
v. Javier Vazquez (2-0, 1.50, Avg 60.0, Last 47 at CLE)
My Pick- SOX- If Ozzie can't find a way to beat his man-crush Padilla, who is off to a miserable start, then it's time for him to carioca back to Caracas.

AL CENTRAL ROUNDUP
TWINS 7-5 (F- Lost v. TB 2-4, SA- Won v. TB 12-5, SU- Lost v. TB 4-6)
Wellity wellity wellity, look who can't win a home series against the Devil Ray....Not only that but 1/3 of the starting lineup is injured right now, although given that those 3 are Jeff Cirillo, Rondell White, and Nick Punto, that might not be a bad thing for the Twins.

Game Scores- F- Santana 62, Sat- Ponson 46, Sun- Bonser 45
This Week- 3 at SEA, 3 at KC

TIGERS 7-5 (F- Lost at TOR 1-2, Sat- Won at TOR 10-7, Sun- Lost at TOR 1-2)
A pair of 2-1 losses in one weekend? I think this team needs to move to Chicago. Gary Sheffield is now 5 for 41. That means one of two things, either his bat is ready to explode or he is ready to explode, and being that he is 38 and the roids are not flowing like wine in MLB anymore, I'm going to bet on the latter.

Game Scores- F- Bonderman 75, Sat- Durbin 23, Sun- Robertson 58
This Week- 3 v. KC, 3 v. SOX

INDIANS 6-3
I'm going to hold off on crowning their ass just yet. They've still managed to have Sabathia start 1/3 of the games they've played. Talk to me when they've trotted out Fausto Carmona a few more times.
This Week- 3 at NYY, 3 at TB

ROYALS 3-9 (F- Lost at BAL 1-8, Sat- Lost at BAL 4-6, Sun- PPD)
Thank God the Sox have been getting good pitching, because other than that they've been playing alot like the Royals. I'm sure the Royale will be playing much better when they finally play the Sox.

Game Scores- F- Duckworth 37, Sat- Perez 34
This Week- 3 at DET, 3 v. MIN

Predicted Standings This Time Next Week

Tigers 11-7
Twins 10-8
Indians 8-7
Sox 8-9
Royals 5-13

GAME SCORE CORNER
We had 3 new entries into our pantheon of Top 10 games this weekend, and they are in bold:

1. 89 Felix Hernandez SEA (at Bos 4/11)
2. 86 Felix Hernandez SEA (v. Oak 4/2)
3. 85 Kyle Lohse CIN (at Cubs 4/15)
4. 82 Ben Sheets MIL (v. Lad 4/2)
5. 81 Johan Santana MIN (at SOX 4/8)
Kip Wells STL (at Hou 4/8)
7. 79 John Maine NYM (at Stl 4/4)
8. 78 Roy Halladay TOR (v. Det 4/13)
9. 77 Rich Hill CUBS (at MIL 4/6)
Aaron Cook COL (at SD 4/8)
Josh Beckett BOS (v. SEA 4/10)
Tim Hudson ATL (v. WSH 4/10)
Curt Schilling BOS (v. LAA 4/14)

Top 10 Avg GS (Minimum 2 starts)

1. Felix Hernandez SEA 87.5
2. Rich Hill CUBS 74.5
3. Tim Hudson ATL 69.3
4. Ramon Ortiz MIN 68.5
5. Jake Peavy SD 67.3
6. Ted Lilly CUBS 66.7
7. Ian Snell PIT 66.0
8. Josh Beckett BOS 65.7
9. Rich Harden OAK 65.7
10. Brad Penny LAD 65.0

AL Central Avg GS Rankings
1. Tigers 53.4
2. Twins 52.5
3. Indians 51.9
4. Sox 51.2
5. Royals 47.9

MLB Top 5 Teams
1. Red Sox 59.4
2. A's 57.1
3. Cardinals 55.2
4. Braves 54.5
5. Cubs 54.0

MLB Bottom 5 Teams
30. Devil Rays 42.0
29. Rangers 42.5
28. Yankees 44.0
27. Nationals 45.5
26. Philles 46.0
Padres 46.0

Friday, April 13, 2007

Everybody in the AL Central Is Wonderful

A day off for the Sox yesterday, today they take aim at the arctic landscape of Cleveland to try and spoil the Indians' long-awaited home opener. What's the lay of the land for this 3 game set between division rivals? Let's take a look:



(4-4) SOX AT (4-2) INDIANS

F Vazquez (1-0, 0.00, 73 Last) v. Carmona (1st start 07, 2006 1-10, 5.42)
SA Danks (0-1, 4.50, 56) v. Byrd (1st start 07, 2006 10-9 4.88)
SU Contreras (1-1, 10.29, 60 Last, 34.5 Avg) v. Sabathia (2-0, 2.77, 54 Last, 49.5 Avg)

INDIANS WHO'S HOT
-Grady Sizemore has 4 home runs in 22 at bats so far in 07.
- Trot Nixon has hit very well in his first week as a Tribesman. He is at .353 with 3 doubles.
- Jhonny Peralta had a terrible 06, but has looked good in 07 with a 1.019 OPS.

WHO'S NOT
- The defense. The Tribe has made 8 errors in 6 games this year.
- The bullpen. Roberto Hernandez and Joe Borowski, who are supposed to be the 8th and ninth inning guys, are both getting knocked around pretty good. Hernandez had to leave yesterday's game with an injury.

The Sox hope to get off to a fast start in this series by taking advantage of a favorable pitching matchup in the opener. Javier Vazquez was brilliant in his first 07 outing, shutting down the Twins over 7 innings in frigid temperatures. Meanwhile, the Tribe starts Fausto Carmona, who is filling in for the injured Cliff Lee. Carmona was 1-10 last season, but the Sox have been making some mediocre hurlers look like All-Stars in the past week, so let's hope Carmona isn't a beneficiary of that.

AL CENTRAL ROUNDUP
INDIANS 4, (6-4) ANGELS 2
The Indians get the defensive yips in the seventh inning to fall behind, but are saved by Travis Hafner and the long ball in the bottom half of the inning. Cleveland scored all their runs via the home run in this game. I repeat this mantra seemingly every day, but I've seen too many White Sox teams that had the formula of a lineup with 9 cleanup hitters, bad defense, and mediocre pitching, and I've seen how those teams underperform. The same thing is going to happen with this Cleveland team.

GAME SCORES
LAA- Mosley 59, CLE- Sowers 64

(6-3) TIGERS 5, (5-4) BLUE JAYS 4
The Blue Jays trot out Tomo Ohka as their starter in this game, and since they are not the Twins he pitches like the bad pitcher he is, and the Tigers get out to an early lead and hang on for the win. This game was made close by the Tigers choosing to let Jose Mesa pitch for them with a 5-2 lead. This is the second time in as many weeks he has helped make a not close game close, and I don't see him sticking around much longer.

GAME SCORES
DET- Maroth 46, TOR- Ohka 39

(6-3) TWINS 3, (3-6) DEVIL RAYS 2
The Twins impregnable bullpen coughs up a 2-0 lead in the 8th, then is on the verge of giving up the lead in the ninth before the Rays start playing bumper cars with each other on the basepaths to comically run themselves out of an inning. Actually, let me lay it out for you

- Top of the ninth, 2-2 score. Joe Nathan on for Minnesota
- Leadoff batter Ben Zobrist singles to left field.
- Carl Crawford is up next, and doubles over the right fielder's head. Zobrist holds up at third, but Crawford keeps right on a runnin past second.
- Seeing that Crawford is heading to third, Zobrist starts waddling towards home like a cow being led onto the killing floor, even though the ball is in the infield.
- Mauer runs Zobrist back to third base, and Crawford, who is standing on third base at this point, forgets he is playing baseball and not cricket and decides to run back to the base he just came from.
-Mauer tags Zobrist out, and throws Crawford out by 4 steps at second base, and now instead of having second and third with no outs, there is nobody on with 2 outs.
- Morneau hits a leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth to win the game 3-2.

Seriously, it's like our primitive computers cannot measure how far the horseshoe is actually shoved up the ass of this Minnesota team.

Game Scores
TB- Fossum 59, MIN- Silva 62

(4-6) ORIOLES 2, (3-7) ROYALS 1
The 2nd smallest crowd in the history of Camden Yards attended this game. If Steve Trachsel can't put asses in seats, I don't know what can. As for the Royal, they have a nice little 1-2 combination with Meche and Greinke, but the bullpen is awful and nobody is hitting. Certainly not Baseball Prospectus centerfold Alex Gordon, who is clocking in at .091 in his first few miles on the road to being the next George Brett.

Game Scores
KC- Meche 62, BAL- Trachsel 67

TODAY'S SWEET ACTION
ROYALS (Duckworth, 0-0, 0.00, Last 66 v. DET) at ORIOLES (Bedard, 1-1, 6.94, Avg GS 40.5, Last 60 at NYY)

TIGERS (Bonderman 0-0, 3.75, Avg 54, Last 57 at KC) at BLUE JAYS (Halladay, 1-0, 3.46, Avg 54, Last 55 at TB)

DEVIL RAYS (Kazmir 0-1, 6.75, Avg 41.5, Last 57 v. TOR) at TWINS (Santana, 2-0, 2.77, Avg 63.5, Last 81 at SOX)

GAME SCORE CORNER
Yesterday's Best
74 Jason Bergmann WSH at ATL
25 year old rookie non-prospect converted reliever bamboozles the Bravos over 6 scoreless innings with 8 Ks. National League Baseball!!..It's Craptastic...

Yesterday's Worst
39 Tomo Ohka TOR v. DET
And this against a team that couldn't score against the ORIOLE until the 13th inning the night before...

Top 5 Average Game Scores by Team
1. Atlanta 58.8
2. Houston 58.4
3. Oakland 57.7
4. NY Mets 57.0
5. Colorado 56.6

Bottom 5 Average Game Scores By Team
30. Yankees 39.5
29. Devil Rays 40.3
28. Nationals 42.9
27. Rangers 43.0
26. Blue Jays 44.1

AL Central Average Game Scores by Team
1. Tigers 53.6
2. Twins 53.3
3. Royals 52.4
4. Sox 51.0
5. Indians 50.0

Top 5 Average Game Scores by Pitcher (Minimum 2 Starts)
1. Felix Hernandez SEA 87.5
2. Roy Oswalt HOU 71.5
3. Justin Verlander DET 69.0
4. Josh Beckett BOS 68.5
5. Rich Harden OAK 67.0
5. Jake Peavy SD 67.0

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Scissor Me Timbers! Sox Win Series In Oakland




(4-4) SOX 6, (4-6) ATHLETICS 3

Yesterday afternoon at about 4:30 PM I had a whole writeup in the draft can lamenting how the Sox' lack of offense had cost them a golden opportunity to come out of Oakland with 2 or 3 wins, and how we are in a lot of trouble if we are getting good pitching and still not winning.

Well, almost at the exact same time I was writing that DVD extra, Jermaine Dye was hitting a fly ball to straightaway center that got caught up in a friendly breeze, and just did clear the fence to tie the game at 3 in the eighth inning.

Then, in the ninth, the Sox bashed in Huston Street's dazzling white teeth for 3 runs, Bobby Jenks rebounded from a bad Tuesday night to nail down his 3rd save, and lo and behold, the Sox win a series in Oakland for the first time since the year 2000.

It took a long time for the offense to get going. The late inning explosion was nice, but it could have had something to do with a tired Oakland bullpen. The A's have been relying on at least 3 innings a night and usually 4 out of their pen with non-descripts like Chad Gaudin and Joe Kennedy in their rotation. That definitely caught up with them yesterday.

While winning the series was a nice accomplishment, the game also marked one complete turn thru the rotation with EVERYONE pitching well.

Game Scores
Sat- Vazquez 73 vs. MIN W
Sun- Danks 56 vs. MIN L
Mon- Contreras 60 at OAK W
Tue- Garland 71 at OAK L
Wed- Buehrle 56 at OAK W

We'll see if that holds up during the weekend series in Cleveland. Going back to last Friday, the A's have scored 11 runs total in 6 games. They are having dire problems scoring runs right now, so let's hope the success translates against a team that hasn't been having those problems.

AL CENTRAL ROUNDUP

(5-3) TWINS 5, (4-4) YANKEES 1
Ramon Ortiz, he of the 5.57 ERA last year despite pitching in the National League AND with a home park (RFK) that plays like Yellowstone, holds the Yankees to 1 run on 3 hits over 8 innings (Game Score- 65). Even more annoying to me than Ramon Ortiz pitching like Pedro Martinez the second he puts on a Twins uniform, is the dwarf sticking her face completely inside a glass of water in the Kinetico rolling billboard behind home plate at he Metrodome.

Game Scores- Mussina NYY 49, Ortiz MIN 65

(6-3) ANGELS 4, (3-2) INDIANS 1
Having to play more than once a week is going to mess up the Indians' plan to have CC Sabathia start every game they play. The Indians made 2 errors in this game and allowed a run to score on a wild pitch. I'll take this opportunity to point out that the Tribe ranked 25th in MLB last year in Baseball Prospectus' defensive efficiency stat, which purports to measure team defense. The other teams in the bottom 6? The Oriole, Royale, Devil Ray, Pirate, and a clunker of a Red Sox team. The Indians are the Jerry Manuel-era White Sox.

Game Scores- Saunders LAA 63, Westbrook CLE 52

(5-3) TIGERS 4, (3-6) ORIOLES 1
The Orioles broadcasts have the most undecipherable "who is on base" graphic I have ever seen in my life. I think I could easier tell what the barometric pressure is then if anyone is in scoring position by looking at that thing. It took them 12 2/3 innings to put a run across the plate last night, but the Tigers get a great outing from Justin Verlander, and have now held the Woe-riole to 2 runs in 22 innings. Wilfredo Ledezma picked up the win in relief, and I think if the Tigers are smart, it's only a matter of time before he takes Chad Durbin's spot in the rotation. Meanwhile, Gary Sheffield is hitting .103 for Le Tigre. I can't wait until he metastasizes and poisons that entire team.

Game Scores-Verlander DET 73, Loewen BAL 57

(5-3) BLUE JAYS 7, (3-6) ROYALS 4
Pretty typical performance for the Royale. 5 of the guys in their lineup last night are hitting under.200, so if they don't get pitching, and they didn't last night, they have no chance, no chance in hell.

Game Scores- de la Rosa KC 35, Chacin TOR 48


TODAY'S GAMES
ANGELS (Mosley 1-0, 1.50) at INDIANS (Sowers 0-0, 3.00)
They are in the bottom of the 6th right now as I type, the Indians have just tied it at 1 on yet another Grady Sizemore home run.

ROYALS (Meche 1-1, 4.40, Last Start 39 v. DET) at ORIOLES (Trachsel 0-0, 4.05, Last 55 at NYY)
In Hell, the Royals are always playing the Orioles.

TIGERS (Maroth 1-0. 7.20, Last 41 at KC) at BLUE JAYS (Ohka 0-0, 10.38, Last 29 at TB)
How many teams has Tomo Ohka played for?

(3-5) DEVIL RAYS (Fossum 0-1, 17.18, Last 19 v. TOR) at TWINS (Silva 0-1, 1.80, Last 53 at SOX)
Everyone's going to be rubbing their nipples to the Twins by Sunday Night, and of course will pay no attention to the fact that 7 of their 12 games will have been home games against the Woe-riole and Devil Ray.

SOX ARE OFF TODAY.
****
TOP 10 MLB GAME SCORES YTD 2007
A new #1 last night...by the same guy

1. 4/11 Felix Hernandez SEA at BOS 89
2. 4/2 Felix Hernandez SEA v. OAK 86
3. 4/2 Ben Sheets MIL v. LAD 82
4. 4/8 Johan Santana MIN at SOX 81
5. 4/8 Kip Wells STL at HOU 81
6. 4/4 John Maine NYM at STL 79
7. 4/10 Josh Beckett BOS v. SEA 77
8. 4/10 Tim Hudson ATL v. WSH 77
9. 4/6 Rich Hill CUBS at MIL 77
10. 4/8 Aaron Cook COL at SD 77

Yesterday's Best-
King Felix' 89 at the Red Sox

Yesterday's Worst-
The Rangers' Robinson Tejeda put up a 26 at home against the almighty Devil Ray. Let's hope the Rays bring those sticks with them to Minnesota this weekend.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Let Me Ax You This...



(4-5) ATHLETICS 2, (3-4) SOX 1

Why, in the ninth inning of a 1-0 game, when you have the supposedly excellent-fielding Brian Anderson on your roster and in your dugout, is Scott Podsednik still on the field?

Probably because Ozzie just never thought to replace him for defense, but maybe next time he will, as Pods' noodle arm was directly responsible for the Sox losing a tough one 2-1 in Oakland tonight.

With runners on first and second and 2 out, and a 1-2 count on Todd Walker, Bobby Jenks throws an ill advised offspeed pitch which Walker slaps into left field. Milton Bradley rounds second with what could be the tying run, but a good throw would have had him nailed by about 3 steps. Podsednik's throw was not in the same area code as good, or home plate though. It sailed over AJ Pierzynski's head, and predictably enough, the game was over 2 batters later.

I am sure Todd Walker will have many, many things to say about his game tying pinch hit, as I am sure he has appointed himself club spokesman as he did with the Cubs. What I'm not sure of, but hope to see next time the Sox are in this situation, is for Brian Anderson to be in center field, and Darrin Erstad in left.

The Sox continue to play well, and get really good starting pitching, including an excellent outing from Jon Garland tonight. They are treading water record-wise, though, and it's frustrating. Not a big deal if you think the good pitching they are getting now will continue, but you get the feeling that once the Sox start hitting, the rotation will go back in the shitter. Meanwhile, they make Chad Gaudin look like Johan Santana, blow 2 opportunities to get a guy in from 3rd with less than 2 outs, and lose to fall back under .500 on the season. Now I shall go to bed pissed off.

GAME SCORES- Garland SOX 71, Gaudin OAK 62

AL CENTRAL ROUNDUP
(3-1) INDIANS 7, (5-3) ANGELS 6
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the 2004 White Sox, re-incarnated as the 2007 Cleveland Indians. The Tribe hung on for dear life in this one, with their inflammable bullpen almost coughing up a 7-3 8th inning lead. Inflammable means flammable? What a country! I couldn't really tell what was going on in this game though, because the broadcast just kept showing Bernie Brewer and the Indians Giant Purple Buttplug boofing each other in the Miller Park chalet.

GAME SCORES- E. Santana LAA 23, Sabathia CLE 54
TODAY- ANGELS (Saunders 0-0 4.76, Last Start 41 v. OAK) at INDIANS (Westbrook 0-0, 12.60, Last Start 27 at SOX)

(4-3) YANKEES 10, (4-3) TWINS 1
I watched a little of this game on the Extra Innings package. Let me tell you how you can tell what the Twins are all about just by watching a broadcast of theirs. Watching one of their games is like a baseball clinic. From pitch #1 to the final out it's strictly business, with lots of really good analysis. They've got Bert Blyleven kind of cloistered in the cone of silence as the pitching analyst, and he just scientifically dissects what the situation is and what should be thrown, and then will analyze what went right or wrong in at bat for you afterwards.

I'll compare this to, I don't know, a Cubs broadcast, where they spend 45 minutes each game talking to whatever boob is singing the 7th inning stretch that day, and another 1/2 hour wishing a happy 97th birthday to Hiram Beatwife in Cornpone, IA, and it's obvious that one franchise is about winning baseball, and the other is about appealing to lobotomized yokels.

Anyway, I digress. Boof Bonser got lit up in this game, and it's looking like the Twins are not going to get away with trotting the Bonser/Ortiz/Silva/Ponson axis of shittiness like they planned on.

GAME SCORES- Pettitte NYY 66, Bonser MIN 25
TODAY- YANKEES (Mussina 0-1, 13.50, Last Start 23 v. BAL) at TWINS (Ortiz 1-0, 2.57, Last Start 62 v. BAL)

(4-3) TIGERS 3, (3-5) ORIOLES 1
Let me ax you this, how come it always seems like somebody in the Sox division is playing the Oriole? How many 100+ loss season would the Oriole have this decade were it not for the unbalanced schedule and having the Devil Ray in their division? Is anybody else with me on my conspiracy theory that the Devil Ray and the unbalanced schedule both came into being at about the same time for the purpose of padding the victory total of the Yankees and Red Sox so they can make the playoffs more often?

GAME SCORES- Robertson DET 74, Wright BAL 57
TODAY- TIGERS (Verlander 0-0, 0.00, Last Start 67 at KC) at ORIOLES (Loewen 1-0, 3.60, Last Start 48 at NYY)

(3-5) ROYALS 6, (4-3) BLUE JAYS 3
Zack Greinke can be a Cy Young winner within the next 3 years. If he wasn't a Royal. They should have been playing music from Carmen (the Bad News Bears music) in the Skydome the whole game the way the Blue Jay were playing defense (4 errors).

GAME SCORES- Greinke KC 61, Towers TOR 37
TODAY- ROYALS (de la Rosa 1-0, 1.29, Last Start 67 v. DET) at BLUE JAYS (Chacin 0-0, 4.50, Last Start 50 at TB)

Contreras Staves Off Euthanasia

(3-3) SOX 4, AT (3-5) ATHLETICS 1

It looked like he was ready to absorb a knockout blow in the third inning when he walked 2 in loading the bases with 2 outs, but Jose Contreras got a big out to escape that situation, and after that cruised to a very strong 6 inning performance to pick up the previously impossible White Sox win in Oakland last night. Not a dominating performance (a Game Score* of 60), but certainly gave his team a chance to win, which is all I ask.




- I won't say Scott Podsednik is back to his 05 form, because quite honestly so far this year he's been better than he was in 05. He went 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and a stolen base and even hit a tiebreaking home run last night. I will take this opportunity to point out that everytime I see him I am reminded of Xandir from "Drawn Together".


- Hopefully last night's 3 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBI performance from Jim Thome is an indication that he's getting hot. He's hitting .238 right now and obviously the Sox need him to be better than that. His home run last night was an impressive bomb to straightaway center, but even more impressive was an eighth inning ground ball single placed perfectly in the hole between the second baseman and second base left by the shift they were playing. The hit scored a run that put the Sox up 3-1 and seemed to be the backbreaker for the Athletics.

-Far be it from me to say this about somebody else, but Jermaine Dye looks puffy to me and his bat looks slow. Appropriately enough, he's hitting .100 right now.

- 3 innings, one baserunner for the Sox bullpen last night. Call me a homer or whatever but I think KW got it right with the complete overhaul of the bullpen that began after the All-Star Break last year. It's gone from a being a big minus in 06 to a plus this year.

-Somewhat interesting that Ozzie had Matt Thornton start the ninth last night instead of Bobby Jenks (who finished and picked up his second save). Thornton retired the dangerous left handed hitting Nick Swisher.

*Game Score is a stat I love, and it can be derived from a simple newspaper boxscore. It's a quick and dirty calculation of the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of a starting pitcher. 100 is a rare gem, 50 is average, 0 is atrocious. For example, Contreras' Opening Day start was a Game Score of 9. Kerry Wood's 20 K game vs. Houston in 98 was a 105. No, I'm not going to tell you how I calculate it. If I told you then you wouldn't have to come here to have me tell you what a pitcher's Game Score is, stupid.

AL CENTRAL ROUNDUP
I have to say I got the warm fuzzies watching the Yankees pound Sidney Ponson last night (8 runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3, Game Score: 16). After the Twins went 55-1 or whatever it is they went the last 3 months of last season while trotting out Carlos Silvas and Scott Bakers and Boof Bonsers on the regular, it was refreshing to see that fucking team pay for having a rotation spackled together with cow shit like Ponson (and Ramon Ortiz, and Silva). Hopefully there's a lot more of that to come.

Meanwhile, the Tigers Chad Durbin got a rough introduction to the Oriole Way yesterday (6 runs on 9 hits in 4 2/3, Game Score: 26). He's not going to get too many more chances to fill the Kenny Rogers vacancy in that rotation, but if you remember the 2004 White Sox, and for your own well being I hope you don't, you know that having nobody who can hold down that 5th spot can poison a season.

The Royals never had a chance against the Jays last night with Odalis Perez being smacked around for 4 runs and 7 hits in 1 1/3 (Game Score: 24). They're 2-5 and Buddy Bell should be launched ASAP because talentwise they really are better than this.

And, finally, as everyone knows, the Indians will be playing a "home" series against the Angels at Miller Park in Milwaukee this week. Go Halos.

TODAY'S AL CENTRAL MATCHUPS
(3-3) SOX (Garland, Last Outing 35 Game Score vs. Cleveland) at (3-5) A'S (Gaudin, 52 GScore vs. Angels)

(3-3) YANKEES (Pettitte, 37 GScore vs. Devil Rays) at TWINS (Bonser, 61 GS vs. Orioles)

(5-2) ANGELS (E. Santana, 66 GScore vs. Rangers) at MILWAUKEE INDIANS (Sabathia, 45 GScore at Sox)

(3-3) TIGERS (Robertson, 49 GScore vs. Jays) at (3-4) ORIOLES (Wright, 25 GScore at Twins)

(2-5) ROYALS (Greinke, 61 GScore vs. Red Sox) at (4-2) BLUE JAYS (Towers, 1st Start 07)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Weekend Update- Sox/AL Central



Best. Movie. Ever.

An interesting weekend for the White Sox. I can't help but think that baseball played in sub-freezing temperatures is a ridiculous concept.

FRIDAY- TWINS AT SOX PPD BUTT-ASS COLD
Unfortunately, this game ensured that the Sox did not get to see Sidney Ponson attempt to pitch in some very un-Aruban like temperatures. The Twins hope that somehow they can get every game Ponson is scheduled to start this year postponed, to be made up at some point where they have a better alternative to take the bump.

SATURDAY- SOX 3, TWINS 0
Let me tell you something about Javier Vazquez. He's a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a question mark wrapped in a black jersey, but when he is on he is the best starter the Sox have, and maybe the second best in the division behind Johan Santana. It didn't hurt that hitting the ball in this game must have felt like hitting a 16 lb. Black Beauty. The Twins had a "We're playing this game? You've got to be shitting me", type of vibe this whole game as they struggled to reconcile playing in 30 degree temperatures against the dome conditions they played their first series in, and the White Sox were able to win the game they had to have in the non-Santana game of this series.

SUNDAY- TWINS 3, SOX 1
Next time the Sox face Santana, Ozzie Guillen should hand the ump a lineup card that reads:

1. WE
2. FORFEIT
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

I would rather he do that then sit thru another grotesque charade like today's game.

On the plus side, John Danks looked real good in his first MLB start. I pretty much resigned myself to this being the best-case scenario for this game, a nice start for Danks in a losing effort, so I'm not too upset.

LOOKING AHEAD



AT OAKLAND (3-4) 3 games
The Sox open a 3 game set in Oakland tomorrow night when Jose Contreras tries to be less horrible, and beat the A's Rich Harden, who threw 7 scoreless innings in his 07 debut against the Mariners. That game is probably a loss.

Games 2 and 3 are winnable though. Jon Garland and Mark Buehrle are scheduled to pitch Tuesday and Wednesday against Devil Ray castoffs Chad Gaudin and Joe Kennedy. If the Sox continue to play well, as I feel they have for most of Week 1 despite the 2-3 record, I think they should come out of the much-dreaded Oakland series with 2 wins. If not, they should at least be able to avoid a sweep and get out of Oakland with a not good but not disastrous 3-5 record.

A'S WHOS HOT
- New DH Mike Piazza had a good first week in the American League. He went 8 for 24 and hit a solo home run. OFs Milton Bradley and Nick Swisher also had nice weeks. Kennedy and Gaudin both had strong first outings.

A'S WHOS NOT
- The bullpen. Relievers Kiko Calero and Jay Witasick are both off to Contreras-esque starts.

After that, it's on to Cleveland for an important 3 games, and if this week's series is any indication (a pair of 1 run games), it should be tight.


AL CENTRAL ROUNDUP

TWINS 4-1
The patchwork rotation survived one trip thru. They start this week with 3 at home against the Yankees though, and the pitching matchups don't look good for them. They have 4 at home with the D-Rays next weekend though, who finished last year losing 33 of 36 road games.
NYY 3, TB 4

INDIANS 2-1
Their WHOLE series against the Mariners was wiped out. They now have 8 games in 7 days scheduled this week, so the Sox catching them at the tail end of that stretch is a good thing.
SEA 2, LAA 3, SOX 3

TIGERS 3-2
Won a couple of nip and tuck games in KC this weekend after dropping the opener. 3-0 in one run games this week, but they certainly looked vulnerable. Bullpen is looking shaky to me outside of Zumaya as Fernando Rodney, Jose Mesa, and Jason Grilli all had ghastly weeks.
AT BAL 3, AT TOR 4

ROYALS 2-4
Have scored 2 runs or less in 3 of their last 5, negating some unexpectedly strong pitching.
NEXT WEEK- AT TOR 3, AT BAL 4

This Weeks Standings
TWINS 4-1
INDIANS 2-1
TIGERS 3-2
SOX 2-3
ROYALS 2-4

Predicted Standings Next Week
TWINS 8-4
TIGERS 7-5
SOX 5-6
INDIANS 5-6
ROYALS 5-8

Friday, April 6, 2007

NL Central Roundup


If 3 games is any indication of how well a team will do over the course of 162 games, and it usually is, then I proclaim the Pittsburgh Pirates NL Central championnes. Kudos to the numerous ESPN "insiders" who have predicted this outcome for each of the past 3 seasons. This "is" the year for the Pirates. Too bad Disney didn't purchase the Pirates to market their new Pirates of the Carribean movie. Instead, their "marketing geniuses" are scrambling to deal with Keith Richards and his self-purported "daddy-eightball".

For the Pirates, going down to Houston and winning some tight games says a lot about the Pirates, and even more about the Astros. But the Bucs are scoring late, and in close games, that makes all the difference. P.S. I love Xavier Nady.
Up next: CIN, Adam Dunn will go yay-yo with 7 HRs in week 1

In the #2 slot, we have a virtual tie with the Brewhaus and Reds sittin' at 2-1.

The Brew-crew almost swept the Dodgers, 'cept for Jason Schmidt pitching out of a based loaded jam in the 5th. If Ben Sheets could pitch all 162 games, the Brews should be able to overtake the Bucs. The crew have the Cubs next, which will send my beloved throughly to the bottom of the NLC standings.
On tap: CHC, Zambrano should fare better in his 2nd start, the stats prove it.

The Reds, won 1 convincing game against the Cubs, lost 1 convincingly, and was handed their second win on a Pete Rose betting slip due to gaffes by Will Ohman and Mikey Barrett.
Up next: PIT, take advantage of no Dirty Sanchez in game 1

Cubbies have 3rd place to themselves at the moment, but not for long. An always tough Brewers series looms this weekend, where the scores will range from 10-9, to 13-4, to 9-8. Most days I wish the Crew were still an AL team.
Up next: MIL, Barrett starts the season 0-44, mark my words

And holy-whoa! Houston and St. Louis are bottom feeding after they got their arses handed to them in different ways.

St. Louis got outscored 20-2 against the NL runners-up of last year, the fightin NY Mets. Their defense looks attrocious, and their pitching is quickly falling apart. I bet they wish they still had Jason Marquis sitting in the bullpen, unused, at the beginning of this season like he ended last season.
Up next: HOU, Pooholes starts to carry team on back

I mentioned Houston above, their bullpen is suspect.. especially Brad Lidge. And with no Jeff Bagwell, I don't think they can will themselves to win anymore.
Up next: STL, hit the ball to Preston Wilson, the dude can't catch

And thats your NLC roundup. Should be a fun weekend with all intra-division games going on. We are going to see pretty quickly who can run away with this division and make geniuses out of ESPN at the same time.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Sox Saved From 0-162 Season






Well, I'll be damned if the Sox didn't actually play a pretty good baseball game today.

Of course, one of their assembly line of shitty starting pitchers had to get knocked out in the game in the second inning for it to happen, but hey we will take it.

I got in the car at approximately 1:10, 5 minutes after first pitch, to go to lunch. I flip on the radio, and, half in jest say, "I bet they are fucking losing already." Sure enough, before the phrase even finishes slipping from my lips, Farmy-O tells me it's 1-0 Cleveland after another Grady Sizemore leadoff home run, and Jason Michaels is on 1st base. At that point it's all to clear that today Mark Buehrle is going to be just another donkey on the parade of pinatas that is the Sox' starting rotation.

Then, while sitting at a bar eating my lunch, I flip on my cell phone to see what is going on in the game, and I see "Now Pitching: N. Masset". I'm like, huh? The score is still 1-1, so it didn't seem like MB had pulled a Contreras and given up a half dozen runs and gotten yanked, so I asked the barmaid to turn on Channel 9 to see what had happened.

What I see is a replay of a bolt of divine lightning in the form of a line drive hitting Buehrle in the arm, causing him to exit with a contusion. The next thing I see is Nick Masset actually getting more people out more often then he allows them to get a hit. How can a White Sox pitcher be doing this?? I am dumbfounded.

Masset continued to dumbfound me over 4 2/3 innings, giving up only 1 run, and keeping the Sox in a game where they could not capitalize on 5 walks and a hit batsman from Cleveland pitcher Jeremy Sowers. And then, just like in the 2005 playoffs, the Sox win on a weird play involving AJ Pierzynski (alright not that weird, but how often do you see a walkoff hit batsman?)

Today, Masset pitched superbly, and it should serve as a message sent to the erstwhile starters. The Sox may just be a better team if they no longer have to hold their breath waiting for Contreras, Garland, Buehrle, and Vazquez to get their shit together. It may be time to tell these guys to start getting people out, now, or it's time to step aside for someone who can.

****
In My Doghouse

I need Matt Thornton to be a lot better than this. Today makes twice in as many days Thornton has coughed up a lead in the late innings.

****
Other AL Central Action

Blue Jays at (1-1) Tigers ppd COLD-
The Tigers are all like "yeah right you think we are going to make Justin Verlander and his tired, tired arm pitch in 25 degree weather?" This game is CALLED, bitch.

Red Sox 4, at (1-2) Royals 1
I wonder who will be the first SportsCenter/Baseball Tonight personality to ejaculate during the Dice-K highlights tonight. I am going to have to carry an umbrella while I'm watching it.

Oh-man!




Will Ohman.. your hall pass is being revoked.

Same old Cubs. Starter leaves with a lead.. reliever gives it up on walks and wild pitches.. no chance of a late rally. I think the 3 batters in the ninth saw a total of 5 pitches from David Weathers. I can't wait to see the replays of Barrett and Ohman getting crossed up on a fastball.. and the subsequent passed ball for the winning run.

Last night's 4-1 win might end up being their best played game all season, but winning 1 out of 3 against the Reds isn't going to cut it.

1-1

Ted Lilly, the Cubs new $40mil man looked solid (9 Ks) is his debut for the North Siders yesterday. Had all his pitches working for him, especially a low inside-fastball at the knees to righties. It seems like a while since the Cubs had a pitcher who could throw more than 2 pitches for strikes. We'll have to see how his next outing goes before officially annointing Lilly the new Sausage King of Chicago.


Equally impressive yesterday was the Cubs ability to hit singles and score runs. 4 in a row at one point scored the game's first run. Lilly's suicide-bunt-popup made the Reds look stupid. And the insurance runs later in the game were nice to see, courtesy of Mark DeRosa who looks a little too much like Todd Walker (same uni #7 and unshaven fotch), but appears to be 100 times the clutch hitter Walker ever was.

Ryan Dumpster musta lost 30 lbs, he no longer fills his 2006 uniform. Still throws like a jackass though, walking a guy with 1 out in the 9th is no way to go thru life. Glad to see Piniella out to the mound rather than Larry Rothschild. Rothy probably would have told him to go to hell. Thats probably the worst thing Baker ever did, was let Rothschild go out and talk to pitchers. I know if the manager goes out twice in an inning you need to take the guy out.. whatever.

0-2

Another loss for the Sox yesterday, 8-7 to Cleveland. I dunno, what can I say, when your pitching staff is giving up 10 runs a game there really isn't a whole hell of a lot I can do for you.

At this point the Sox aren't even playing baseball, they are playing bad softball. If they can manage to lose a game 3-2 then they will have graduated to playing bad baseball.

It's just amazing to me that a group of people could ALL go from being so good at what they do to so bad at what they do in such a short amount of time, but I guess when it comes to the White Sox' starting pitchers, there you go.

In fairness to Jon Garland, I think Jermaine Dye was equally as responsible for that 4 run second inning. He had 2 very catchable balls go over his head as the strong wind seemed to mystify him.

Don't worry. I'm sure things will get better in the next 2 series against Minnesota and Oakland. The Sox always play so well against those teams. Call me crazy but I don't think it's that unlikely that these assholes start the season 0-9.


***
In other AL Central action-

Twins 7, Orioles 2
Sure, the Twins get 7 great innings out of Ramon Ortiz, who had a 5.9 something ERA in the NL last year. Of course..it makes perfect sense. Fuck I just give up with this team. They could announce that Brad Radke is coming back and will now be pitching left handed and he would win 18 games. Everything they touch turns to hot naked women.

Tigers 10, Blue Jays 9
Detroit very very close to blowing a 9-0 lead, but Jason Grilli's long relief work is not a critical success factor for this team so who cares.

Red Sox 7, Royals 1
Keep an eye on the Royals relief pitching in the early going of this season, because knowing Kenny Williams they will all be pitching for the White Sox by the end of the year.

Also, Brandon McCarthy made his Rangers debut last night. He gave up 5 runs on 10 hits and somewhat amazingly didn't strike out anyone in six innings of work, taking the loss 5-3 to the Angels. With those kind of numbers, McCarthy would be the ace of the White Sox staff.

***
Today's AL Central Action

INDIANS (Sowers 7-4 3.57) at WHITE SOX (Buehrle 12-13 4.99)
My pick- Indians. Fuck it from here on I out I expect defeat every day until they give me a reason to expect otherwise.

BLUE JAYS (Chacin 9-4 5.05) at TIGERS (Verlander 17-9 3.63)
My pick- Blue Jays. I think the Blue Jays are this year's Tigers, and I think they'll show it by winning this series. I also think Gustavo Chacin is the funkiest man I've ever seen.

RED SOX (Matsuzaka NR) at ROYALS (Greinke 1-0 4.26)
My Pick- Red Sox. Hickory Dickory Dock. Hope you are ready for ESPN's year-long ride on Dice K's cock.

Christ, let's get a win today. It's really not that hard. Even horrible teams do it 60 times a year.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Rules of the game

I don't think anyone could make a compelling argument to me as to why a walk is not considered an at-bat in baseball.

Win! Twins!


Christ almighty it's happening again isn't it? I know it's only 2 games, and I know it's a home series against the Orioles that by all laws of physics no team should lose more than 1 out of 3 games in, but the Twins are off to a fast start, and it's making me want to vomit in terror.

Last night's game was a great example of the seemingly never-ending string of good fortune this fucking team enjoys. They trail 2-1 in the fifth inning, when O's starter Daniel Cabrera becomes completely unable to find the plate. Yet, he still somehow looks like he is going to get out of it when a bounding 2 out grounder comes right back at his 8 foot tall frame. Cabrera non-chalantly puts up his glove to make the play and end the inning, and completely whiffs on the ball. Just completely misses it with his glove, so the ball just leaks past him while they tying run scores.

Then in the 7th, Cabrera walks the immortal Jason Tyner to start the inning. Tyner steals second, and on his head first slide gets stuck Willie Mays Hayes style about five feet from second base. Luckily for him, the Orioles catcher decides to pretend he's a 22 year old Benito Santiago and throw him out from his knees. The throw is about 40 inches from where its supposed to be, so you have a ridiculous race of incompetence where Miguel Tejada fields the offline throw, and is stumbling toward second base trying to tag out Tyner, who is crawling frantically on all fours to try and complete his journey towards second base.

Of course, since this is the Twins, Tyner is safe and the next guy up singles him home with what proves to be the winning run.

On the plus side for Sox fans, I've rarely seen somebody who looks more lost at the plate than Michael Cuddyer looks right now. Everytime I watch him bat he looks like he's trying to hit a ping pong ball with a pool cue. And that bullpen is nice, but it's going to get tired if nobody except Santana can ever give them 7 innings.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The cloud is lifting..


To those people who want the Cubs to be sold to private ownership because they think Tribune Co. didn't want to spend money on the franchise, the Tribune Co. showed them this offseason, to the tune of $300 milly. To the ignorant, they see that as the team "responding" to their wants/needs, finally. I saw that as carbing-up before the marathon.


A business' health is usually linked to its assets (and debts in some cases, like 99% of the mergers over the past 10 years). If you know you are going to try and sell a baseball franchise, why wouldn't you load up your roster with high-priced talent that you won't be responsible for? If the Yankees payroll was a meager $50 mil, do you think the franchise would be worth $1 billy today? The answer is No. In my mind, you have to spend money to be worth money. Its why the bottom-feeders remain bottom-feeders. It can only drive the Cubs asking price up to have a roster chalk-full of guys you know, guys you pay alot, guys that you expect to win with.


The other story to me is, the most blatent conflict-of-interest in my lifetime will soon be coming to a close.. a media outlet owning a media generator. Its the whole circle-of-life thing going on.. baseball team plays, owner televises it, owner writes about it, owner sells advertisements, baseball team plays. The best thing for the Tribune Co. was for the Cubs to have a roller-coaster ride throughout the years.. and it worked. Notice how the Cubs only fielded a decent team every 5 years or so, at least in my lifetime. At the same time, they built the teams assets up, marketed the hell out of themselves, and did their job. Kudos. But the problem here is at the top, the execs don't care if the Cubs win the World Series or not. Too bad for them, because it would be the biggest sports story in the history of history, and they would have been the media outlet for it all. The Chicago Tribune would be sold all over Japan and Southeast Asia, and we wouldn't be talking about selling anything.

Basebol Abbondanza Standings

Mat Tkelleher's Christian Boyz Camp All Starz 1-0 - FLA
Mundelein Monsters 1-0 - NYY
Rea'l Nutbush 1-0 - KC
Homewood Ass Squad 1-0 - CIN
Blue Island Balloonauts 0-0 -1/2 SD
Timber Trails Trousersnakes 0-1 -1 SOX
Oak Park Fops 0-1 -1 HOU

Monday, April 2, 2007

Opening Day 2007

Today started out with such promise. The rumors of a Cubs fire-sale have come true, now that Tribune Co. has picked a suitor to give itself the coveted ROI it so longed for. From $20.5 mil in 1981 to $600 mil in 2007, my math is a little shaky and I'm no financial planner.. but thats a pretty good investment.


The reality of today should have given the 2007 Cubs the spark it needed to start the season, better than 10 shots of HGH to the nutsack. Instead, human growth hormone was flowing onto the field in Cinncinnati. The nutsack burst...


Carlos (don't let it go to your head) Zambrano let the only guy on the field who is taller and fatter than he is take over the game. Adam Dunn torches the Cubs for the 50th time in 5 seasons in the bigs, for 2 homers. And he gets a standing O for his efforts.


Then there's the small problem of Aaron Harang, the lizard faced wax-pitcher who has become the latest in the line of near .500 pitchers (48-43) to absolutely baffle the Cubs lineup.

Here's a breakdown of the Cubs efforts today.

1. Soriano - 1 for 4, a dribbler up the middle reminds me of Juan Pierre.

2. Murton - 1 for 4, a dribbler down 3rd base line with the defense playing him back

3. Lee - 2 for 3 walk, business as usual

4. Ramirez - 1 for 4, 1 LOB with 2 outs, business as usual. He'll turn it on in Sept.

5. Jones - 1 for 4, meh

6. Barrett - o for 4, typical..

7. DeRosa - 1 for 2, freaking walks with the Cubs knocking on the door, takes a 3-0 fastball. Santo can't believe it.

8. Izturis - 1 for 4, 2 LOB with 2 out, pops out during said rally on the first pitch. Great-o.

All-in all, a poor effort. They reminded me much of the 2006 team, so much promise and high hopes being washed away by a passive attitude towards swinging the bat, overrated starting pitching, and no possibility of rallying from behind.

Time to caulk the tub and then watch the NCAA championship. I am going to throw up if Ohio St or Florida win another football/basketball title this decade. It actually makes me yearn for the days when Florida St. would toy with the Gators and Ohio St would get steamrolled by the berserker Michigan Wolverines.

So What Does This Mean?

Obviously, today's 12-5 ass kicking at the hands of the Indians doesn't make us Sox fans feel good. The question now is, how bad should we feel? Was this abortion of an opener an omen of things to come? Well, let's see how some recent openers went, and how the season ended up.


2007- Indians 12, at SOX 5
Contreras gives up 8 runs in 1 inning of work in opener that was over before it started.
Final Record-???

2006- at SOX 10, Indians 4
McCarthy, Politte, and Thornton shut down Indians after lenghty rain delay.
Final Record 90-72

2005- at SOX 1, Indians 0
Sox begin season same way they end it, with a 1-0 victory.
Final Record 99-73, World Series champs

2004- at Royals 9, SOX 7
Billy Koch sets off 6 run ninth inning to blow 7-3 lead.
Final Record 83-79

2003- at Royals 3, SOX 0
Runelvys Hernandez, Jason Grimsley, and Mike MacDougal 3 hit the Sox. Royals on their way to a surprising season that finds them in 1st place in August.
Final Record 86-76

2002- SOX 6, at Mariners 5
Bullpen almost coughs up 6-1 lead, but Sox hang on to pin opening day loss on Freddy Garcia.
Final Record 81-81

2001- SOX 7, at Indians 4
Defending AL Central champion Sox defeat Bartolo Colon and Indians behind 6 strong innings from new acquisition David Wells. Probably his finest moment in a Sox uniform.
Final Record 83-79

2000- at Rangers 10, SOX 4
Nothing expected of young Sox team, and they get demolished on Opening Day. Mike Sirotka gives up 7 in 4 1/3. Kenny Rogers allows only 1 run in 8 innings for Texas. Things soon improve for the Sox though, and they win first division title since 1993.
Final Record 95-77, AL Central champions

So, there you go, in summary we've got

2000 L 95-77 (+20 games over prior year)
2001 W 83-79 (-12)
2002 W 81-81 (-2)
2003 L 86-76 (+5)
2004 L 83-70 (-3)
2005 W 99-63 (+16)
2006 W 90-72 (-9)
2007 L

The Sox have improved over the prior year in 2 of the 3 seasons this decade that they've lost on Opening Day. When they've won, they have finished with a worse record than the season before 3 out of 4 times. So, the moral of the story is, losing on Opening Day isn't the worst thing that can happen to a team, and winning on Opening Day doesn't mean that much either.

Still, Jose Contreras was REAL bad today.

Christ Almighty

Nice way to open the season, assholes. You can't even give us half an inning of a competitive game. (It's now 5-0 Cleveland with the Indians still batting in the top of the 1st).

As if that weren't bad enough, Uncle Bud's MLB.TV Premium subscription works about as well as I thought it would. Anytime I try to watch any game I get a Right Guard commercial and then it conks out with nothing after. That figures. The commercial works but nothing else does. I could not be less surprised.