Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The White Sox Season That Was: Spring Training

Time to whip this pony into action, as ChiSox Blog welcomes you to the season that was: 2006.

This first installment : Spring Training 2006.

Your host: The Biler! Yes, that's right. The Biler is back in full effect for the season that was 2006!

It's March 2006 and the Champs are enjoying a leisurely time in the dry air of Tucsan. But trouble is a brewing! Ozzie Guillen and AJ Pierzinski are involved in a fracas with some dude, and SI is all over Tucsan-Electric Park getting the scoop on this story! What the heck do Ozzie and AJ think they're doing, distracting this team from bunting and fielding drills? Don't they know that sacrifices will come at a premium this season? Don't they know that the laze fare attitutde would come back to bite them in the ass later on during the season? WTF?

But also enjoying time in Tucsan are new White Sox Jim Thome and Javy Vazquez . What Kenny Williams hath wraught no man shall tear assunder! Gone are clubhouse cancer Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas, center field hero Aaron Rowand and playoff impresario Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez. And despite the trouble a-brewing hi-jinx, the atmosphere is loose and upbeat despite certain troubles in the field. A foreshadowing maybe?

Toward the end of spring training things are somewhat falling into place. Not surprisingly Pods is gimpy with a hamstring problem, Coop is once again working his magic with reclamation project Matt Thornton (who I, the Biler, contend is the best pick up of the season), and Jim Thome is as en fuego as all Sox fans hoped he would be.

But let's take spring training at face value or rather no value at all. Remember this: Kansas City led the Cactus League with 17-10 record whereas the Sox were dead last at 10-19. (Maybe a little more foreshadowing?)

I, the Biler, was completely optomistic at this point and the idea of some bile-tastic writing wasn't even a spark in my eye. Mark Buehrle was, at this point, still to be counted on, he of a WS win and save! But maybe that hurt his 2006. We shall see as we progress along.

And now the debut of the Biler's White Sox Chances-o-meter! It's a cute little device with a nod in the direction of one Shawon Dunston who was as underachieving a player as you'll ever meet. And since the White Sox also underachieved in 2006, I thought the comparison was apropos.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Good! A Fan Getting His Comeuppance!

I generally don't editorialize that much. I like to stick to the lighter side of sports and just rant about things I'm passionate about, but reading this article made me genuinely happy.

Apparently some jackass named Hooman Hamzehloui, a season ticket holder for the Magic, called Dikembe Mutombo a monkey during a preseaon game between the Magic and the Rockets. This isn't what made me happy, don't worry, what did make me happy was finding out that this shithead was banned by the NBA and by the Magic for a year.

Seriously, who does that? That's a terrible thing to say. I don't mind some good natured heckling, but that's crossing the line. That's hurtful and just plain ugly. This name even got the mild mannered Mutombo worked up. He started yelling at Hamzehloui and started gesturing at him from the floor.

I don't understand why someone would ever heckle Dikembe Mutombo. Ever since he stopped wagging his finger in people's faces after a block, (did he stop because of waht Jordan did or because he suddenly wasn't as good anymore?) he's been one of the most likeable players in the NBA. He's a constant humanitarian, spending a great deal of time and money in Africa. In '04 alone he donated $18.5 million of his own money to fund the opening of two hospitals.

Perhaps, I'm getting worked up, but just the ugliness of the taunt directed to such a good person riled me up. I mean go ahead and and heckle T-Mac for his bad back or Yao for being ridiculously tall, but don't cross the racial lines, please.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Balanced vs Front Loaded Rotation: Which is Better?

Just call me the Kenny Williams of blogging. I've pulled off a trade with the folks over at Mop Up Duty. I sent over an article to them and in return K-Man sent me this masterpiece.

---Using Sabermetrical stats can be useful when looking at certain sets of data – such as comparing players of different eras-- but for the most part they just add a level of confusion. I certainly subscribe to the K.I.S.S. principle in day-to-day life, so it’s time to implement it here. Now that my little rant is over, let’s take care of business!

Recently, one of my esteemed co-columnists at the Mop Up Duty (Early), wrote an article about the Toronto Blue Jays off-season pitching needs. I’m not going to speak for him, so here is a little quote from the comments section of his article:

“… the article is proposing a balanced approach, riding Doc’s coat tails, much like Minnesota rode Liriano’s before the ASG and Santana after the ASG, all you need from the rest of your staff is to play average ball.”

(That reminds me, we’re getting a ton of visitors but few comments. Make your voice heard! If you think we’re on to something, let us know. If you think we’re full of crap, kindly let us know. That goes for us at Chi-Sox Blog too!)

Ok, so the basic assumption is this; Let Roy be Roy, have AJ produce an average AJ type year, and have the rest of staff hover around .500.

Let’s look into this. We all know that Halladay is one of the best, and certainly the most underrated pitcher in all of baseball. He should have a strong thirty or so starts as he does every year. Well, this theory is nothing new to the Blue Jays.

In the past 11 seasons, a Blue Jays pitcher has won the Cy Young award four times. Yet, in each of these seasons the Jays failed to make the playoffs. What gives? Here’s a table that shows the record of the Cy Young award winner, the overall record of the top three starters on that season’s staff, and the combined record of the rest of the staff’s pitchers.

Year - Pitcher

Record

Team Record

Top 3 Record

Rest of Staff Record

1996 – Hentgen

20-10

74-88

44-35

30-53

1997 – Clemens

21-7

76-86

45-31

31-55

1998 – Clemens

20-6

88-74

42-26

42-48

2003 – Halladay

22-7

86-76

47-31

39-45

Ouch. I think it’s pretty easy to see the pattern here. While the top three average a winning percentage 59%, the rest of the staff has an average winning percentage of 41%! That’s not good, not good at all.

What does this prove? I’m not completely sure. It’s certainly open to interpretation. I guess one thing that it does prove is that expecting a .500 record out of your back end starters and your bullpen is a lot to ask. The above examples support a staff that is “front-loaded”, i.e. made up of a few good pitchers at the top of the rotation and a bunch of average and below average pitchers behind them.

Now I’m sure there are better examples out there when thinking of balanced staffs, but I’m going to use teams that had a better record than the Jays in ‘06. These teams made an effort to build a starting staff of at least four solid pitchers, plus a few prospects that had the chance of producing if called upon. (Just a note, I realize that a Bullpen can have a big impact on a team's Win-Loss record, and if anything, these examples are a call for a strong, balanced bullpen as well.)The first table is the combined record of the top three at the end of the season. This stat includes the year-end top three starters, including pitchers such as Wang and Verlander, etc.

Year - Team

Ace Record

Team Record

Top 3 Record

Rest of Staff Record

2006 - Tigers

17-8

95-67

48 - 25

47 – 42

2006 – White Sox

18-7

90-72

47 - 29

43-43

2006- Oakland A’s

16-10

93-69

41-35

52-34

2006- Yankees

19-6

97-65

51-24

46-41

2006- Twins

19-6

96-66

43- 18

53-48

2006 Angels

16-8

89 - 73

40-33

49-40

2006 - Jays

16-5

87-75

41-26

46-49

Here’s a table of these records using pitching depth charts from Opening Day to determine the top three starters. This will obviously not include pitchers like Verlander, Liriano, etc, as they were not among their respective team's top three at the beginning of the season.

Year - Team

Ace Record

Team Record

Top 3 Record

Rest of Staff Record

2006 - Tigers

17-8

95-67

44 - 29

51 – 38

2006 – White Sox

18-7

90-72

42 - 31

48-41

2006- Oakland A’s

16-10

93-69

43-31

50-38

2006 Yankees

17-11

97-65

43-25

54-39

2006 Twins

19-6

96-66

42-30

54-36

2006 Angels

13-11

89 - 73

27- 35

62-38

2006 Jays

16-5

87-75

35 - 17

52-58

As you can see, the winning percentage of the rest of a staff category increases when you look at the second table (i.e. Tigers 51-38 with pitchers other than the season opening top three, vs 47-42 record when adjusted for the season ending top three). This is expected of winning teams, as you hope to have some question marks step up and produce (i.e. Verlander). But not so fast… for some reason the Jays percentage is actually lower at the end of the season than it is at the start!

Again, these stats are open to interpretation, but I can start to see the evidence mounting. The Blue Jays have front loaded in recent history. The other teams in this example took a more balanced approach. And it didn’t always require a bunch of money either. The Yankees and Tigers had two young, farm systems’ players step up (Wang & Verlander). The A’s received production from a player that was a prospect when acquired in a trade (Haren).

Looking at the data, I think the answer is a balanced staff. The question is, how does this get accomplished? ---

(Jeeves' Thoughts)

While K-Man’s team is the Toronto Blue Jays, and most of the data focuses around his team; this is still very relevant to the ChiSox. From the numbers, it does in fact seem like a balanced rotation is best. After all, that’s what won us the title in ’05. So what bearing does that have on ’07? Perhaps we’d be better off sticking with our players, rather than reaching for an expensive pitcher like Zito or Matsuzaka. I’ve heard some people calling for KW to make a strong run at Zito, but I don’t think it is necessary. He carries a high ERA and he doesn’t throw especially hard (remind you of any lefties on our club?); if his curveball is snapping he has a tendency to leave it up, which helps explain his high HR count. I think our best course of action would be to trade one of our starters and plug Brandon McCarthy into the rotation; then we just need to hope that our starters pitch more like they did in ’05.

K-Man is one of the writers over at www.mopupduty.com. They use statistics more than I do, and it results in very insightful analysis, especially if it's about their hometown Blue Jays. So go ahead and take a peak, they get my seal of approval.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary White Sox and Happy Anniversary Chicago. One year ago today, we won the World Series for the first time since 1917. Let's take this opportunity to reflect back on that magical season; forget the fact that the Sox could easily have been champs again this year. The stars really aligned for us that year; it was such a memorable run.

-Paulie having a kid and then ending the week with a World Series grand slam
-Pods homer against the Bo-Sox when we piled in 11 runs
-Blum coming off the bench to hit his 14th inning homer
-Juan Uribe's superman dive into the stands
-AJ stealing first base
-Joe Clutch earning his name with the AJ-scoring double
-Dominant pitching performance after dominant pitching performance
-Really, I could go on and on

Sox fans, just take this moment to savor the title, remember the joy and all the emotions. Relive the goosebumps and the elation. Pop in the World Series DVD. Smoke one more stoagie. Let John Rooney's voice ring through your ears once more; admit it, you have his call on your iPod, just like me.

If you're still feeling down, hell all I can say to cheer you up is 1908.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A View on Cheaters

*Note* Those coming over from the Big Lead, welcome and feel free to leave any comments!

I like how MLB players get blasted for cheating, while NFL players seem to get a relative free pass. I realize the MLB has lost the trust of America after all those years of steroid filled baseball, but it's ridiculous how little crap Shawne Merriman is getting in the press, especially in comparison to the attention being paid to Kenny Rogers.

When comparing these two cheaters, I guess you have to look at the magnitude of the act and the magnitude of the stage it was set upon. Kenny Rogers had a little gunk on his hand, which is something pitchers have been doing for years. An unnamed bullpen coach says that pitchers regularly use shaving cream and suntan lotion to the same effect. So the Gambler having some shmootz on his hand that looked remarkably like poo doesn't seem that big of a deal, to me. I suppose the public outcry about this act is mostly due to the fact that it was done during the playoffs and the World Series, baseball's biggest stage.

Merriman on the other hand, committed an act that is banned by our government. He broke the law; he obtained and used steroids. He broke a federal law, so he gets is a 4 game suspension. It's disturbing ot me that I've heard more talk about how the suspension affects the Chargers' D and their playoff chances than I've heard about this being a black mark on his record. I remember watching SportsCenter and they did a six-pack or a Fact/Fiction, one of those gimmicks, and the first question was how does this imapct the Chargers and their D?

Frankly, it should be the other way around. We shouldn't be lambasting the guy that tried to get a small, but legal (in the court of law) advantage. We should be tearing apart the one who broke a law. In my mind Shawne Merriman is the bad guy, not Kenny Rogers.

This wasn't something I was planning on getting into, but as I was typing, I started to wonder why football players generally get a free pass when compared to baseball players. So these are just my thoughts typed out. There isn't too much rhyme or reason to it, but I just thought I'd get it out there...

I think for the most part, people hold baseball players to a higher standard than football players, but as I think about it, a lot of it comes down to the player. Rafael Palmeiro got busted and was crucified for it, because he earlier had spoken out about steroids and stated that he had never used them. Jason Giambi who was generally liked, admitted to using steroids, sort of, and for the most part he was still generally liked. He ended up winning the comeback player of the year award in '05, which is voted for by the fans. I was shocked that he had actually won. I thought there would be some sort of backlash for his somewhat admitted steroid use, but people happily focused their ire on A-Rod instead. Those are sort of the polar opposite reactions that we've seen. Unfortunately for my analysis, but fortunately for the game, there haven't been too many big name players that have been busted. Jose Canseco admitted to it, but people were more concerned with the fact that he was squealing on others. The jury is still out on Big Mac. Some people hate him for doing steroids, some hate him for not saying anything at the Senate hearing, some hate him for looking like Fat Bastard after the weight loss, with a vagina for a neck, and some like him for "saving baseball" and being a good guy.

It's funny that Barry Bonds hasn't entered my thoughts until now. That's how much of an afterthought he was to me this season. He's been grilled in the media, because for most of his career he's been as ass to the media. In the court of public opinion, he's being grilled for the fact that he apparently cheated his way past the beloved Babe Ruth. If he cheated (which I think he did) then he deserves the abuse. If he didn't, then America went a bit overboard.

I would be shocked to see Merriman receive the Barry Bonds treatment when he returns. There might be one or two signs during his first couple games back, but I highly doubt that this will end up tarnishing his reputation. As soon as he gets another sack or pick, and is back to helping the Chargers and fantasy owners with the Chargers' D win, all will be forgotten. One of the only footballers that has taken a big hit (no pun intended) is Bill Romanowski. Again, that's partially due to the fact that he's an ass and he's crazy.

Maybe I'm off and Merriman will get his comeuppance, but I have a strong feeling he won't. Just from what I've seen and I've heard it seems like footballers get a general pass when it comes to the whole cheating/steroids thing.

I apologize for the rambling-ness of that last portion, but like I said it's just stuff running through my head. It wasn't exactly something I was planning on writing about.

Thoughts anyone?

Oh by the way, some of my friends pointed out that they think Merriman gets off with a light suspension (4 games) at least compared to baseball players (50 games) but when you think about it in terms of the whole season, 4/16 = 25% of the season and 50/163 = 30% of the season.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Let's Just Shoot Ourselves in the Foot

It seems like teams with leads were shooting themselves in the foot all over the country today. Unfortunately this held true about my beloved Bruins; so here's a quick look at the UCLA - ND game and some other examples of teams shooting themselves in the foot today.

UCLA -17, ND - 20

The Bruins were well positioned to come out of South Bend with a 17-13 victory, and the defining win of the Karl Dorrell era but no. Instead all we get is heartache and anger. Prior to the collapse the UCLA front four wreaked havoc in the ND backfield. They sacked Quinn five times and held The Golden Domers to 34 rushing yards. Hickman was a one man wrecking crew, upping his season sack total to 9.5 with two sacks, one of which was a 16 yard loss. UCLA had all the momentum after stopping Quinn on a quarterback keeper on 4th and 1, yet Notre Dame was able to come back.

Whoever came up with the prevent defense should be shot!

Rather than blitzing and applying pressure as the Bruins had all day long, they dropped deep and allowed Quinn ample time in the pocket. BIG MISTAKE. Quinn is after all, the most polished QB in the college game. He could even be the best QB in the game, and you should never give him the opportunity to pick you apart like that. In less than 30 seconds Quinn marched the Domers down the field and found Jeff Smarzjdoilsjdo;sidjoid for the winning TD.

Northwestern 38, Michigan State 41

If I'm this upset, Wildcats' fans must be damn-near suicidal. Northwestern was up 38-3, before suffering Divison 1-A's biggest meltdown, ever. That's nearly 2 times the lead the Cardinals had against the Bears! (Sorry to anyone from Arizona, but I had to mention that, it makes me feel that much better after UCLA lost).

This loss came down to two things. Momentum and of course, the prevent defense. The Northwestern offense and defense took the foot off the gas and like clockwork, the Spartans started putting points up on the board. The more they scored, the more confidence they got and the bigger their wave of mementum grew. This peaked with a blocked punt returned for a TD which tied the game, and then a game winning field goal. In the end 38 second half points, in 22 minutes spelled doom for the Wildcats.

I don't understand the purpose of the prevent defense. Okay, fine, every now and then it makes sense to use it, like if your team has been getting destroyed by the other teams offense, and you suddenly find yourself ahead late in the game. That's okay, I guess, but the prevent is usually used incorrectly. When you find yourself up 38-3, that means you've been doing something right all game long. Why change that? If your defense is holding down your opponents to 3 points, it seems to me you're preventing them from scoring as it is. I don't see a need to change your gameplan. Plus, the prevent defense is bound to fail considering teams don't practice it nearly as much. All week long you gameplan and scheme and simulate situations as though you're going to be in a dog fight. I don't think anyone would spend time practicing out the situation when you're destroying the other team; well maybe West Virginia does, but even that's doubtful. So stick with your gameplan and finish off the game!

Nebraska 20, Texas 22

This one didn't come down to a prevent defense as much as it came to just shooting yourself in the foot. Nebraska was up 1, with the ball, but then they caught a case of fumblitis. Zac "I forgot the H" Taylor completed a pass to Nunn with a couple minutes left, but Nunn proceeded to fumble as he crossed the first down line. Had Nunn held on, the Cornhuskers would almost certainly pulled off the upset and had a marquee win to show the nation that they are indeed back. Instead they shot themselves in the foot and will fall toward the bottom of the rankings.

Kansas 35, Baylor 36

QB Shawn Bell threw 3 TD's over the last 9:22 of the game, the last of which came with 1:08 remaining, to pull out a victory for Baylor. The Bears were down 35-17 before staging their comeback.
I didn't actually see this game, but I'd be willing to wager the prevent defense was utilized.

Oklahoma St. 33, Texas A&M 34

A&M scored with 3 seconds left. Prevent defense anyone? Then in OT the Cowboys had their PAT blocked, losing them the game. So they shot themselves in the foot twice. Ouch. So was that once in each foot or twice in the same one?

They tried to shoot themselves in the foot, but they missed
California 31, Washington 24

The Bears wanted to lost this game, they really did. They gave up a 40 yard Hail Mary TD, thrown by the back up QB, as time ran out. I swear, Cal wanted to reward Ty Willingham for his great coaching job, but apparently the Huskies were too gracious and decided to throw a pick in OT.

There we go. No lead is safe in college football, and I thought the new clock rules had killed the drama in the NCAA. Hell at this rate, make the games go even faster!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Give Me Back the Old Iron Mike, The Wordsmith

Deadspinners....As always, comments are more than welcome.

So Mike Tyson kicked off his "World Tour" today, with a bang. Just one bang; he knocked down his challenger just once. After that Tyson just toyed with his challenger, at least, he did when he wasn't gasping for breath. Apparently this is Tyson's first time boxing since calling it quits after losing to Kevin McBride, and he isn't exactly fit. I guess you didn't need me to tell you that though, considering he couldn't knock out this lard-o.

Maybe it's just me, but I miss the old Iron Mike. The one with the one punch knock outs; the one that struck fear into the hearts of his opponents; the one with the high top fade. Seriously, Mike was a spectacle in and out of the ring, but now he's just a joke. A joke that could easily kick my ass, but a joke nonetheless.

Not only would Tyson dominating in the ring be a spectacle, but it would reignite his utter cockiness and brashness and allow us to hear some of those ridiculous and splendifirous comments we heard through the years. Here's a sampling, and thank to wikiquote for these.

On Lennox Lewis
My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable, and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah!"

My main objective is to be professional but to kill him."

"I want to rip out his heart and feed it to him. I want to kill people. I want to rip their stomachs out and eat their children."


On Razor Ruddick
"Everyone knows you're a transvestite and you're in love with me."

"I can't wait til the 28th....I'm gonna make you my girlfriend."

"You're sweet. I'm gonna make sure you kiss me good with those big lips."


"March 16th, Mike Tyson [vs.] Razor Ruddock, Razor Ruddock dies. If he doesn't die, it doesn't count. If he's not dead, it doesn't count."

Random comments
"My power is discombobulatingly devastating; I could feel his muscle tissues collapse under my force. It's ludicrous these mortals even attempt to enter my realm."

“[He] called me a ‘rapist’ and a ‘recluse.’ I’m not a recluse.”

"I might just fade into Bolivian, you know what I mean? I ain't got nuttin' to do or nowhere to go."

"I can sell out Madison Square Garden masturbating."

On getting his facial
tattoo, "I just wanted to put something on my face,I didn't like the way my face was looking."

"I just want to conquer people and their souls."

"He was tryin' to scrutinize wit' my brain!"


Tyson, the romantic
[To a female reporter] "It's no doubt I am going to win this fight and I feel confident about winning this fight. I normally don't do interviews with women unless I fornicate with them. So you shouldn't talk anymore... Unless you want to, you know."

[To a female reporter] "I wanna talk nice to you, and talk about fornicating with you, and letting you suck my dick. 'Cause if I was eloquent with you, you would still look at me like a scumbag."

I may like fornicating more than other people. It's just who I am. I sacrifice so much of my life, can I atleast get laid? Know what I mean? I been robbed of most of my money, can I at least get a blow job?"


Some More Randoms to Close with
"I think I'll take a bath in his blood."

I rushed him and caught him flush on the temple with a titanic right hand - he was out cold, convulsing on the floor like an infantile retard."

"My philosophy was like people basically suck.



Fine, don't bring back Mike Tyson the fighter, at least bring back Mike Tyson the Wordsmith, the one who could write sentences around the likes of Shakespeare and definitely make him convulse like a retarded infant and could easily sell out the globe by masturbating.

An LA View on South Bend

Check out my take on the upcoming ND - UCLA game at our friend's Fleece the Pig Flog the Pony

Long Lost Siblings?

So when Neil Rackers picture came up (just before he botched the kick, I may add) my mind instantly thought of Bullet Tooth Tony. Here's why...long lost siblings? You be the judge.












Neil Rackers_____________________________Vinnie Jones
So it's not a perfect match, but I do see a similarity, and some people have agreed with me. It you ignore the nose, they look pretty damn similar. And not only do they look a like, but they both were professional athletes that kicked balls for a living. Before becoming an actor and starring in such movies as Snatch (Bullet Tooth Tony), X-Men 3 (The Juggernaut), She's the Man (Soccer Coach), and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, he was actually a professional soccer player in England, and a pretty good one at that.

I Still Can't Get Over the Bears

I still can't get over the Bears. I wanted to write about the game, but I've been too busy and now it seems it's been discussed ad nauseum. So instead of adding new insight, here are some of the mindblowing stats from the game. Thank to Elias Sports Bureau for a good number of these.

-The Bears' comeback from 20 points behind was the largest deficit overcome by any NFL team in a win which advanced a perfect start to 6-0 or better. The previous largest was 17 points by the 2005 Colts against the Rams to bring the Colts to 6-0, and also by the 2003 Chiefs vs. the Packers to go 6-0.
It was the first game in NFL history in which the winning team came back from a deficit of 20 or more points by means of three touchdowns on returns.
It was the first win in Bears history in which they trailed by at least 20 points in the second half.

In Bears history folks! That's quite some time.

-The Cardinals are the first team in NFL history to lose consecutive games in one season after leading by at least 14 points at the end of the first quarter in each game.

-Only the Cardinals or the Royals could pull of something like this.

-In Monday's loss to the Bears, Matt Leinart became the first player in NFL history to throw at least two first-quarter touchdown passes in each of his first two career starts.

-Yah, well...

-Matt Leinart has now lost as many games in the NFL as he had during his career at that other school in LA.

-That's 3 straight losses for you keeping track at home (loss against Texas). I thought he was a "winner".

- Rex completed only 14 of 37 passes (38%), threw four interceptions and lost two fumbles on Monday and the Bears still won! The last time a team won on the road while committing as many as six turnovers was almost 20 years ago: on Dec. 21, 1986, the Bears won in Dallas, 24-10, while throwing three interceptions and losing three fumbles.

We're good at overcoming turnovers, apparently

The last time a team won on the road while completing less than 40 percent of its passes and throwing at least four picks was almost 22 years ago: on Dec. 2, 1984 the Cowboys won in Philadelphia, 26-10, despite Danny White going 8 for 25 with four picks and Tony Dorsett throwing an interception on his only pass.

- Devin Hester had an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown on Monday night after having an 84-yard touchdown on a punt in the Bears' first game. The only two other rookies in NFL history who had at least two 80-yard punt-return touchdowns in their rookie seasons were George Atkinson for the 1968 Raiders and Carl Yeast for the '99 Bengals.

That's an 83.5 yard average.

-The Bears are only the second team in NFL history to score at least twice on fumbles and at least once on a return of either a kickoff or a punt in one game. On Oct. 25, 1964 the Browns beat the Giants, 42-20, behind fumble-return touchdowns by Paul Wiggin and Charlie Scales and a punt return by Leroy Kelly.

-(My personal favorite besides the Leinart losing one) Edferrin James had a key fumble in the fourth quarter and gained only 55 yards on 36 carries. That's the most carries in one game in NFL history by a player who did not average at least two yards per rush. The old record was set way back on Nov. 25, 1951, by the Giants Eddie Price, who ran 32 times for 47 yards.

That's Da Bears shutting down a back from The U.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The 2006 Sox / The Legacy

Let's face it - our Legacy has not exactly been one of great championships and dynasties of dominating teams like our bastard buddies from the boroughs, but rather one of - coming up a buck short, always the bridesmaid, woulda-coulda-shoulda....

This season was no different in that regard as we had it on paper, had it going early, then fizzled into something us older guys have seen way too many painful times before. Underacheivement, fading down the stretch, second-city blues. Mercy !!!!

I'll spare the all too fresh details as they are well covered elsewhere... but rather I'll try to put this into the overall long term perspective and see what this current unit does to our Legacy.

I'm only covering from the Go-Go Sox of the late 50's on up as I wasn't around for anything earlier though I did caddie once for Ray Schalk who was a Hall of Fame catcher for the Sox from like 1912 to 1928. He was as we used to say a "screw loop" a terrible tipper- so forget him and that skin flint Charles Comisky and the rest of the first half century. ( though Shoeless gets a "stud" mention )

The first thing I noticed about this last year, 2006, is that this was the first time since mid 60's that we had back to back 90+ win seasons in a row. We did it 3 times in the Go-Go era,'63,'64,'65 - but never won anything then as the Yanks were always a little better and the bugger Twinks somehow won 102 games in '65. We had "Go" but littler else to Show !

So, it's been 40 years since we did what we just did with the 90+ victories - so I'm taking that as some good vibe that our current identity-"Win or Die Trying" is not done winning yet and too soon to be termed as dieing. Time will tell but I think this era will be our best before it's all over. The South Side Hitmen were a powerful group of sluggers who gave us a memorable season in '77, but they extinguished quickly with 4 miserable years after that one. They were mostly "rented" players for that one year anyways and it didn't work out the way it was intended. Hit turned to shit all too soon !

Fast forward to the Winnin' Ugly boys and their en fuego season of 1983 where we looked to have it all going to Glory. Sweet swinging Baines, The Commander-Fisk, power boys Kitty and the Bull, and a starting staff that went 42-5 in the second half got me so jacked and delirious that when we got eliminated in the 1st round by Baltimore(due in large measure to Jerry F-ing Dybzinski's baserunning blunder) I was shattered...mortified....dumbstruck. I've never taken any loss before or since with that type of paralyzing impact. I had to go on a loooooonnngg waaaaallllkkkkkk after the final loss to settle myself down. I questioned Sports, Life, The Physical and the Beyond (This, of course, all got purged along with many other torturous seasons, with the WS in 2005 and that's why many "OLD PEOPLE" were crying last Oct with total relief ). That 1983 unit never recovered and soon dispersed in many directions including Lamar Hoyt's ultimate brush with the law / deja vu Uribe ??

The next big era - Good Guys wear Black saw us close out old Comiskey and welcome the new park with talents like Ozzie, Fisk and, the best of the Sox since Shoeless - the Big Hurt. 1990, '93 and '00 were all good years and the strike shortened '94 was on it's way to being one of our best ever...ah, the luck wasn't there yet though as we came up with nothing but jack-squat to show for the whole decade. Individually Fisk is in the Hall, Franks on his way and Oz has lead us to our current era - the Win or Die...squad.

So where does that leave us....where are we going....where do we fit in....

I'd say we're in pretty good shape - with the guts of a solid team due back for another run with our GM and Manager both another year older and wiser in the ways. This team needs a tweak or three - not an overhaul of the type the Cubbies and Pinella will have to endure. We've got tradeable youth and Kenny will be relentless till he tastes the champagne and smokes the stogie again. We're fortunate to have the foundation here to see a nice little run for a few more years and this era of the Sox legacy will be one that you'll be telling your grandkids about 30 - 40 years from now.

Nobody liked the way this year finished but stick around for the thrilling conclusion to this Era - I don't think you'll be disappointed !!

More Uribe News

Man this thing is taking a turn for the worst.

The Dominican Republic has issued a warrant for Juan Uribe's arrest.

Authorities have already arrested a bodyguard for the Uribe brothers (his brother Elpidio is also wanted).

I earlier wrote about how Martin Arburua, Uribe's agent, claimed that he had spoken to Uribe and that Uribe had told him that he had already spoken to the authorities.

This means that either Uribe is lying of Martin Aruburua is lying.

Again, as things develop, I'll post accordingly.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Uribe: The Saga Continues

According to Juan Uribe's agent, Martin Arburua, Juan did not actually shoot anyone. The agent was quoted as saying.

''I spoke to a very reliable guy I have in the Dominican, and then I talked to Juan directly,'' Arburua said. ''[Juan] said there was an altercation between an Italian guy at the beach adjacent from his property and said that he had nothing to do with it.
''Juan had spoken to police. I know that he is not hiding from anyone, and he and his family are fine. He didn't seem upset or anything like that. He said he had nothing to do with it and everything was fine.''

I don't know who this reliable guy is, but I'm still waiting to hear from Juan directly.

See Joe Cowley's article here

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Got Yourself Gun? Well Uribe Apparently Does

I don't know how reliable this is, but this article states that Juan Uribe is wanted in the Dominican Republic for shooting two men. He shot an Italian naval officer and a farmer for reportedly walking too near his SUV. God only know what Stephen Jack- sorry, Juan would have done had they been trying to steal his car.

So the question at hand, is will Juan join Urbina in a DR jail? Many Sox fans have been calling for a new SS, and having Juan serving a year in jail would definitely delight that segment of White Sox fans. The possibilty of Juan serving jail time will only intensify the A-Rod to the White Sox rumors. So far I've heard Joe Crede and Mark Buehrle for A-Rod, as well as Joe Crede and Freddy Garcia for A-Rod rumors. Prepare to hear a few more rumors swirling. I'm not going to comment on what I think about the Sox getting A-Rod, that's fodder for another post. I will remind you, though, that A-Rod has a no-trade clause, so A-Rod has to be sold on coming to Chicago for any possible deal to occur.

I'll continue looking into this and post accordingly as I find out more information.

You can plug the article's web address into here to translate. The colloquisims don't quite translate properly, but you can get a sense of what's going on.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Losin' Our Rock

The White Sox have decided not to offer a new contract to Tim Raines.

This whole saga with Rock has been a bizarre affair. In May Greg Walker, Don Cooper, Joey Cora, and Harold Baines had their contracts renewed, but Raines, mysteriously, wasn't offered a new contract. I assumed that he would get a new contract at the end of the year once the Sox figured out what his role would be. Originally, Raines was our first base coach, but later was made the bench coach when Harold had his change of heart about the position.

I never liked having Raines shifted away from first. He was a great basestealer in his day and more importantly, he was very smart on the basepaths. It was only natural that he would be our first base coach, but he got shifted away and now he's not going to be coaching for us in any capacity.

Maybe this is like the Brian Anderson - Ozzie situtation. Maybe there's something going on between Rock and Oz. Otherwise, I can't explain why Raines no longer has a position with us. He seemed to be well liked by the players and all, and when he was coaching first, we seemed to be better at stealing bases.

So the question is, who gets his spot. I've heard rumblings of Robin Ventura coming in and filling the void and Jim from Sox Machine has a feeling it may be Sandy Alomar.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A reason why I should be writing for ESPN

Thursday, October 12, 2006

When Did Jeff Weaver Learn to Pitch?

When did Jeff Weaver learn to pitch? Can someone fill me in? Is it the moustache?

Either the Cards secretly inserted Jeff's brother Jered into the lineup or maybe Jeff finally tapped into that potential that everyone kept raving about.

I guess it comes down to pitch selection and his attack plan.

In his first start of the playoffs, Weaver lived on a steady diet of curveballs. He threw curveball after curveball to the Padres and ended up pitching 5 scoreless innings, while only giving up 2 hits. He wasn't a trainwreck like everyone thought he would be.

Coming into tonight's game, the question everyone had on their minds was which Weaver would show up? The maestro from the NLDS or the same guy that's bounced around the majors and was cut in favor of his younger brother. Seriosuly, that had to be painful. Older brothers NEVER like to lose to their younger brothers, let along lose their job to them.

Well, the maestro showed up today, mostly. He was there for all but one pitch; a Carlos Beltran two-run shot, which served as the difference in the ball game. Before that homer, Weaver absolutely dominated the high-powered Mets' offense. Even though he got the L today, I think his outing today was even better than his showing against the Pads. First off, this was against the Mets. He had to get by the likes of Reyes, Beltran, Delgado, and Wright. Second, he had a longer outing, going 5 2/3.

He also he attacked batters today. Unlike his first start, when he lived on curveballs, he reached back and threw a fastball that reached 96 on the gun and was regularly around 94-05 mph. In Beltran's first AB, Weaver challenged him with an inside fastball. That's a big step for Jeff; in years past I think he would have tried to nibble the corners. I don't know if this is something that he's always done, or something that I've notice only now after watching Jose Contreras, but Weaver throws from different arm angles. If this is something new, the arm angles may be part of his new found success. On the night, he went 5 2/3 and gave up only 4 hits. Not half bad.

Weaver looked good once again in Game 5. He wasn't utterly dominant, but you can't argue with 6 innings of work and only 2 runs against the high powered Mets. Maybe, just maybe, Weaver has turned a corner, or maybe it's a fluke.

The White Sox Season That Was...

...many different things.

Jeeves so far has put together a very comprehesive look back on the 2006 White Sox, and I've been asked to add my two cents. Well, it's time I chimed in with my take. In the coming days, I'm gonna present an overview of the season as a whole -- highs, lows, expectational regressions to the mean, flying higher than expected, Guillen gaffes, etc. I'm gonna do this on a month by month basis, starting with a very exciting Spring Training/April and ending with a hugely disappointing September, and I'm adding a Sox-Chances-o-Meter so you can better gauge where the pulse of the averaage fan stood.

And since I don't have the memory of an elephant, many of my recollections will be based on the information provided for you right here at Chi-Sox Blog. It'll be a trip down memory lane, albeit a very painful one, and one I hope you'll take along with me provided you're the sado-masochistically inclined reader that I am.

Bring your tissues and a glass of wine, get comfy, and let's reminisce about the 2006 White Sox.

Checking Up on the Exes

Whenever you get out of a relationship, whether it be marriage, dating, or sports, you're always curious to see how your former significant other is doing. People are always curious to see if their exes are doing better or worse after the falling out. So here's a look at some of the players we dumped prior to this season.

Carl Everett – The dinosaur became expendable in Chicago once we got Thome. Thank goodness we got rid of him. In 92 games Everett hit .227 and hit 11 HR. I’d Say Thome was an improvement.

Frank Thomas – It pained me to let go of Frank, but it was time he moved on. There was no place for him on the White Sox as they sought another championship. I’m glad Frank did well for the A’s and I hope he plays well, deep into the playoffs. On the season he hit .270 and hit 39 HR with 114 RBI. After struggling at the start of the season, Frank got hot down the stretch and carried the A’s offense as they won the division. His hot streak continued into the playoffs and we’ll see what type of damage he’ll do from here on out.

Aaron Rowand – Aaron unfortunately missed some time this year due to injury. He, of course, was hurt playing at a breakneck speed and because he put the team before his personal well-being. He broke his face (to put it bluntly) after making a running catch and crashing full speed into the wall. He also broke an ankle after crashing into Chase Utley, which ended his season. Although he made some spectacular plays, he struggled at the plate. He hit .262 with 12 HR and 47 RBI.

Willie Harris – Willie caught on with the Boston Red Sox and saw the field 47 times, mostly as a pinch runner. In 45 AB, he had 7 hits, a .156 AVG.

Joe Borchard – Joltin’ Joe didn’t catch on with the Mariners, but did see some playing time with the Florida Marlins. He played in 114 games and hit .230 with 10 HR with 28 RBI. Poor Joe, maybe he should have stuck with football. Oh well, he has the nice signing bonus he signed with the Sox to comfort him.

On the Road to Selling Out

The Sox recently have sold out. No, I'm not talking about seats; I'm talking about start times. The Sox have pushed all home games originally scheduled for 7:05 to 7:11. That's 7:11, which is no accident; The Sox are getting paid $500,000 per year by 7-11 for this marketing ploy. I don't really mind that they're doing this. If anything I would have liked them to get more than (as Cheat pointed out) Dustin Hermanson's buy-out.

I also can't complain about this, because I'm on the road to selling out. I've decided to put some ads on the site. Sorry! I figured, I might as well try and a earn a buck or two with this whole blogging thing. I promise though, that if it isn't really profitable, I will just ditch the ads all together. I'm still working on the configuration of the ads; I'm going to try to make them as unobtrusive as possible. If you go ahead and click on any ads, it would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mets vs. Cardinals Breakdown

Here's a look at the NLCS. I don't know the NL as well so we'll see how good this one is.

First Base

Cards - Albert Pujols, end of discussion. Just for the hell of it, .331/.431/.671/1.102

Mets - Delgado you're good, but not Pujols' stratosphere. Those 38 HR's look nice, but the .265 AVG not so much.

Edge - (If there was a doubt) Cards

Second Base

Cards - I liked the Ronnie Belliard pick up from the get go, but things weren't looking as nice as he struggled to adjust to the NL. Well, I'm assuming it was the adjustment factor, either that or the suckiness of the Cards was bringing him down with the rest of the team. Ronnie is normally good for a .290 avg and good power from the position.

Mets - Jose has kept his hitting going while cutting down on his errors. I suppose there's less time for the throw to go off target coming from 2B rather than SS or 3B. Jose put up a .271 AVG with 18 HR.

Slim Edge - Cards

Shortstop

Cards - Eckstein is good at two things: Intangibles and not striking out. So he's not the most useful player ever. He will hit for average though (.292) but he likes to walk as much as Crede (31).

Mets - Reyes can run, hit, and field. He had 64 swipes, 19 HR's, and a .300 AVG. He's a damn, fine player. I will admit that he will boot a ball every now and then, so it's not a complete slurpfest.

Edge - Mets

Third Base

Cards - Rolen says his shoulder is all (I apologize in advance for the pun) wright. We'll see when he steps onto the field. He ended up sitting out the last game of the DS, which thrust Scott "yes, I'm still playing" Spiezio onto the field.

Mets - David Wright is one of the top third baseman in the league. He hit .311 with 26 HR's and 116 RBI's; not to mention that he's 23! If only Josh Fields were as good as him.

Edge - Mets

Catchers

Cards - Molina (without reading on, guess which one it is!) Yadier, that is, is a great defensive catcher. He has a hose, but he just can't hit. He made a serious run at the Mendoza Line, finishing with a .216 AVG.

Mets - Not as good as Molina defensively but he can actually hit. He hit a solid .318, over .100 pts better that Molina.

Edge - Mets

Outfield

Cards - In left the Cards have a platoon of Preston Wilson and Chris Duncan, neither are great. A healthy Jim Edmonds is a must for the Cards. I reckon he is healthy based on his DS performance. He hit over .300 and looked good in the field. Encarnacion is a pretty good player. He's good in the field and hit .278 with 19 HR's. Not bad.

Mets - I think Cliff is D-U-N, done, which means Endy Chavez gets the start in left. Endy may actually be better for the Mets. He doesn't hit for as much power, but has a pretty.306 AVG. Carlos Beltran is earning some of his paycheck. I think the Mets would appreciate an '04-esque performance. Shawn Green, eh.

Edge - Mets

Bench
(which matters more in the NL)

Cards - I like Spiezio of the bench as well as former Sox player, Aaron Miles. Don't forget So Taguchi. Now re-read that last sentence and say his name properly, with heavy emphasis on the So. SO! taguchi.

Mets - Julie Franco and that's it, unless Floyd plays then add Chavez to this list.

Edge - Cards

Defense

Cards - Gold glove caliber at first, catcher, center, and third. If with a hurt Rolen and/or Edmonds they're still a good defensive ball club.

Mets - Wright is good, but no Joe Crede

Edge - Cards

Starting Pitching

Cards - I trust Chris Carpenter, but I DO NOT trust Jeff Weaver. If it was Jered, that would be something, but I can't trust Jeff.

Mets - Pedro and El Duque are out, which leave Glavine, Trachsel, Oliver Perez, and John Maine.

Based on the the fact that I couldn't immediately think of the Cards other starters (Jeff Suppan and Anthony Reyes) edge goes to

No one

Bullpen

Cards - Wainwright has done decently in place of Isringhausen. Tyler Johnson, Randy Flores, and Brandon Looper give the Cards some options.

Mets - Billy Wagner still brings heat and is still damn good. The bullpen is real good, which helps considering the starters are so shaky.

Edge - Mets

The totals...Cards get 4 categories. The Mets get 5, but they won the jumbo category for outfield, so they get a bonus point, giving them 6.

I'm going to take the Mets in 6.

A's vs. Tigers Breakdown

Note* I meant to get this up prior to the actual game, but I clicked save as draft instead of post as I was going out the door. So read this as though game 1 didn't happen!

Also* Pander, your comments got moved here...sort of

Time to do an in-depth breakdown

First Base

Tigers - Sean Casey ain't the sweetest swinger of the bunch, hitting .245 for the Tigers since coming over. He won't hit the ball out of the park (8 HR), but he'll put it in play for you. He seems to be a nice guy, that's all I can really say positive about him. Oh yah, he's the joker that got thrown out from left field, I forgot about that!

A's - Nick Swisher has quietly been racking up the dingers. He has 35! The average is lacking, at .254, but it's no worse that Casey's performance in the AL.

Edge - A's

Second Base

Tigers - Placido Polanco has a solid average, hitting .295 this season. He doesn't have much power, but then again not everyone is a Tadahito Iguchi. He isn't the swiftest of fellas, but he did bat .412 against the Yanks, so he is going well at the moment.

A's - Mark Ellis broke his finger in the ALDS, so now what? D'Angelo Jimenez? Yes, D'Angelo Jimenez who was on the Sox! I suppose they could turn to Matt Ginter, nope don't know who he is either.

Edge - Tigers

Shortstop

Tigers - Carlos Guillen is damn good. He's no Juan Uribe, and I mean that in a good way; .320 AVG with 19 HR's shows he can hit for average and power. He did have 28 errors this season, but his .571 AVG against the Yanks will help you forget about that.

A's - Bobby -erm, oh right he's hurt. The A's shifted Marco Scutaro (making Italians everywhere proud) to SS and he's done decently. His numbers won't make you forget Crosby, but he's a good fill-in.

Edge - Tigers

Third Base

Tigers - Detroit has Inge manning the hot corner. It seems anytime Inge is mentioned it needs to be brought up that he's a former catcher, so now that we got that out of the way, the fact that he hit .253 is much more relevant. He'll hit the occasional dinger though; he had 27.

A's - Chavez struggled mightily with injuries this year. He could only scrape together a .241 AVG with a career low 22 dingers. (I'm excluding non-full seasons). Still, I'd rather take a dinged up Chavez with his good glove than Inge. So...

Edge - A's

Catcher

Tigers - Now that Pudge has slimmed down to, damn what do we call him now? Husky? Not-so-pudge (NSP for short?). So now that NSP has slimmed down to improve his defense (ahem, steroids, ahem) he has seemed to have lost his power stroke. NSP's hitting ability is still there though, hitting .300 on the dot.

A's - Somehow the fact that he leads off is flying under the radar. I dare you to name one other catcher that leads off...while you're thinking read on...Kendall is a contact hitter. He hit .295 and was decently good at getting on base and good at avoiding K's.

Edge - Tigers

Left Field

Tigers - Just call Monroe the Nick Swisher of the Tigers. He hit .255 with 28 HR's; not as good as Swisher but the stat line looks similar. Just throw Monroe a curveball and he's D-U-N, done.

A's - He's a slapper! Not like A-Rod (geez, no even I'm piling on him. That's it, I vow, if A-Rod continues to take a beating to defend him on my modest site, but back to Payton). He doesn't hit for power but he does slap in some doubles, (10 dingers vs. 32 doubles) and hits for a good avg (.295)

Edge - A's

Centerfield

Tigers - Granderson went cold down the stretch and ended up hitting .260 for the year. He's fast, but doesn't steal a lot of bases. The Tigers should work on that with him.

A's - Kotsay hit better that Granderson (.275) but hit 12 less homers (7-19).

I like the A's more so...

Edge - A's to a neutral party, you would probably go with tie.

Right Field

Tigers - Oh-we-oh...Maaaagglio. Mags came on strong down the stretch hitting .327. On the year he hit 24 long balls with 101 RBI's. Not bad for someone wearing a clown wig underneath his cap.

A's - Milton Bradley, seriously, what were his parents thinking? He had 1 hit in the ALDS, but if he gets hot he could rack up some hits. If he gets hot, he could also punch someone, but that's because he's craaaaaaaaazy.

Edge - Tigers

DH

Tigers - Marcus Thames

A's - Two words: Big Hurt

'Nuff said

Edge - A's

Bench

Tigers - Omar Infante ain't half bad, but Neifi Perez negates any of his goodness. Beyond Infante who's left?

A's - Bobby Kielty is pretty solid and Dan Johnson can take some AB's, but the A's better hope no one else gets hurt.

Edge - Chicago White Sox

Defense

Tigers - The Tigers have been garnering a lot of comparisons to my beloved '05 Sox, but the one department they lack in his defense. Pudge is decent, but nowhere near his Texas days. Everyone else is mediocre to bad.

A's - Chavez is the man continually standing between Joe Clutch and a Gold Glove. For a 2baseman playing SS, Scutaro is pretty good. No one is glaringly bad.

Edge - A's

Starting Pitching

Here's the question you have to ask yourself, will the Tigers young pitchers continue to roll? Or will they get tired/let the magnitude of the playoffs get to them?

Tigers - Their young guns are fantastic. Bonderman, Verlander, and game 1 starter for the ALCS Nate Robertson. Kenny Rogers looked like a completely different pitcher against the Yanks. He was bringing (relative) heat. I saw him clock 93 MPH!

A's - The A's have the bigger names, but will they perform? Zito was magnificient against the Twins, but will this continue? He let the Twins get themselves out, which is usually a good thing but can be a bad thing. He only had one K vs the Twinks. He may need a higher total against the Tigers. Loaiza is pretty good and Haren is solid. Harden makes or breaks this staff, this series. We're either going to get soon-to-be-ace-of-the-staff Haren or clearly coming off of injury Haren. Until I see Haren...

Edge - Tigers, but not decisively

Bullpen

Tigers - Zumaya throws gaaaaaaaaas, of the Bobby Jenks variety. Todd Jones is somehow effective. I don't know how, but he gets the job done.

A's - The A's pen is really solid. Calero, Duchscherererererer, and Street are great.

Edge - A's

So the totals...Tigers win 5 categories with a bonus point for getting the nod among the starters for a total of 6 points. A's win 7 categories and get a bonus point for being Jeeves' team for the playoffs for a total of 8.

So there you have it with a score of 8-6, the A's get the edge. I say A's in 6.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Update to Breaking (Non-White Sox) News

It seems that Georgie Boy has had a change of heart, either that or the rumors were false to being with. Joe Torre appears to be staying put in New York. Frankly I think that's the best thing for their ball club, but I think that may mean that A-Rod is on the outs. Pinella coached A-Rod in Seattle and they got along well, and people believed that bringing in Pinella would help A-Rod, but with Torre still in the fold Steinbrenner may decide that changes need to be made and could look to his third baseman.

Here's the AP's report on Torre notbeing fired.

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Look Back at In-Season Moves

6/15/06

Acquired RHP David Riske from the Boston Red Sox for LHP Javier Lopez

This move looked like a smart one from the start, but now I’m not so certain. We were dealing from a position of strength when it came to LHPs; we had Cotts, Thornton, Boone Logan, and Tyler Lumsden , but Riske closed the season poorly. When he first came to the Sox he pitched pretty well. He was decent to good for most of the season, but allowed 7 runs in his last 7 IP. Lopez on the other hand had a 2.70 ERA in 27 games and 16.2 IP for the Sawx. The ERA is nice, but he didn’t exactly get in a lot of work.

Verdict: Hung jury

7/23/06

Acquired C Sandy Alomar Jr. from the Dodgers for RHP B.J. LaMura

Being the optimist that I am, I looked at this deal as a chance for Buehrle to turn his season around. I presumed that having pitched to Sandy before, Sandy may be able to unlock the Buehrle of old. Boy was I wrong. Sandy brought us nothing. He didn’t call games well and he didn’t hit well. The fact that we gave anything up for him is upsetting.

Verdict: Bad move, again. (I hope I never see the words “Acquired Sandy Alomar Jr.” again.

7/24/06

Acquired RHP Mike MacDougal from the Kansas City Royals for LHP Tyler Lumsden and RHP Daniel Cortes

Mike Mac was out best reliever down the stretch, and had a sparkling 1.55 ERA in 29 games. As long as MacDougal can stay healthy we made a good trade. His mechanics are ugly and he is injury prone so I’m knocking on wood and hoping we get a full season out of him. Again, we were trading from our reserve of lefty relievers, so I don’t really have any regret about losing Lumsden.

Verdict: Good trade

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