Some Wishes Just Don’t Come True

As expressed in previous posts, I had two wishes for the White Sox going into the trade deadline. One: Don’t deal Edwin Jackson. And two: Get Colby Rasmus. Well, I guess too many people had been making wishes and mine got drowned out. Yesterday afternoon, it was revealed that neither wish would be coming true. Jackson was dealt to the Blue Jays in exchange for pitcher Jason Frasor. I still had hope for Rasmus, until I learned that the only reason the Blue Jays acquired Jackson was so that they could flip him to Cardinals in exchange for Rasmus.

So Edwin Jackson is a Cardinal. Colby Rasmus is a Blue Jay. And Alex Rios is still a White Sock.

*Sigh*

There was one good thing about the Jackson deal though. The horrifically dreadful Mark Teahen and his $5.5 million-a-year contract were also sent north of the border in order to get Frasor. I don’t know much about Frasor, but I do know that I personally would trade Teahen for a bag of peanuts. A .203 batting average and 11 RBIs this season? He’s all yours, Canada.

***

So, after learning that the Sox beat Detroit last night to win the series, I was eager to see what the standings looked like. I scrolled down the White Sox homepage to learn the glorious truth (3.5 games back, 1 game under .500, thankyouverymuch), but next to the standings, I noticed something odd in the ‘Team Leaders’ box.

Hm, I always thought that in order to be a team leader, you had to be, you know, ON THE TEAM. Oh well. It was nice to see a pop of color on the White Sox’ depressingly black-and-white homepage. We’ll miss you, Edwin.

(Until you give up 7 runs in your next start. Then I will pity Cardinals fans.)

EDIT: As of 8:45 p.m., the White Sox don’t have a strikeouts leader at all. Ah, the fun of the trade deadline 🙂

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A Trade Rumor That I Actually Like! Yay!

First off, I would like to thank everyone who wished me a happy birthday! It truly was a great birthday, and I appreciate all your well wishes. I also got a brand new Mark Buehrle shirt, since the one I got for Christmas had been ruined by a bleach stain. Any day I get new Buehrle memorabilia is a good day 🙂

So, I come back, and to my complete relief, the White Sox did not implode while I was gone! Two games, and two wins, against the division-rival Indians. I see our buddy Edwin Jackson got us the win, with a solid 6-inning, 2-run performance. While E-Jax has shown time and time again that “he has the consistency of a shapeshifter”, his past two starts have shown to me that he does have a legitimate chance to be an exclamation point and not a question mark in the White Sox rotation. Right now, I think it would be a mistake to trade him.

So speaking of trades, I hear that the Sox and the Cardinals are having “accelerated” trade talks, regarding a possible trade of Cards’ centerfielder Colby Rasmus. Center field? Isn’t that the same position that the currently abominable Alex Rios plays? Why, yes, it is! While Rasmus isn’t exactly a superstar, I like his .244 average, .331 OBP, and 37 RBI a lot better than Rios’ .207, .253, and 23 in the same categories. Of course, the natural question is who are the Sox gonna give up? Two names mentioned in the report on the White Sox’ website are *sigh* Edwin Jackson or failed-closer Matt Thornton. I’d much prefer the latter, and would love to Rasmus roaming the Cell’s center field over Rios. But, as with all trade deadline rumors, I guess I have to wait and see.

Looking Back: Remember Wilson Betemit?

More importantly, do you remember his stint as a White Sock? Probably not, because it was pretty un-memorable. The only reason I bring it up now is because I saw that the Tigers have acquired Betemit from the Royals. Turns out that this is actually a desirable acquisition. This season, he has been batting .281. Last season, also with the Royals, he posted a .297 average. I didn’t know he could actually hit. All I remember is that in 2009, he hit .200 with 3 RBI. Thanks, Wilson, for showing us your best stuff while you were with us. Glad that we served as a warm-up on your way to actually being a decent player in KC.

In case you totally do not remember Wilson because his season was THAT horrible, here is a picture to help jog your memory. Note that he wore No. 15, the same number currently worn by one of our latest disappointments, Gordon Beckham.

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Now, I know on the morning of Saturday, July 23, you will all be visiting this very blog to read a flowering tribute to my boy, Mark Buehrle, on the 2-year anniversary of his perfect game. Unfortunately, you will be sorely disappointed, because I am going to be away this weekend without Internet access. But, I can’t let this momentous date pass without some sort of commemoration…

The catch…

The score…

The best birthday present I could ask for

Too bad he’s not pitching this July 23rd. A perfect game on my sixteenth birthday would be the absolute coolest thing ever in the history of the world. Alas, it’s not meant to be. I’ll be back Sunday night, see y’all then. Hopefully the White Sox won’t implode while I’m gone and oblivious to their shenanigans.

We Want to Trade This Guy Why?

As I had mentioned in my last post, Edwin Jackson has been rumored to be going places come the trade deadline, with the White Sox reportedly shopping him in exchange for a third baseman. Well, maybe E-Jax took the rumors to heart, as today he delivered one of his finest performances of the season, a complete-game, 101-pitch shutout of the Tigers. I don’t totally renege on my stance that I wouldn’t be sorry to see him go, but if he could pitch like this more often…well, now you’re talking.

More importantly, Jackson’s brilliance couldn’t have come at a better time. Two games after the All-Star break, and the White Sox are two wins richer. Considering that last week we couldn’t even beat the cellar-dweller Royals, it’s nice to see signs that the team’s ineptitude against the division rivals might come to a close. I know, I know, it’s just two games, but 13 runs over two games versus the mighty Tigers? That’s as good a sign as any. (Unfortunately, Justin Verlander is also on my fantasy baseball team. Last night’s performance coupled with Bartolo Colon’s implosion against the Blue Jays has my team’s ERA for the week sitting at an ugly 9.00.)

Today, both the Sox and Tigers donned throwback uniforms in tribute to the Negro Leagues. My first thought upon seeing the baggy blue pinstripes was that these are positively hideous, but it is always kind of cool to see a team honor those before them. Here are some pictures courtesy of the Chicago Tribune. Decide for yourself.

No matter what uniform he's wearing, Ozzie will always be arguing.

Quentin rounds the bases.

 

And of course, our hero of the day. Maybe the baggy blue gave him special powers.

Shall We Bid Adieu to Edwin Jackson?

According to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, the White Sox are willing to deal starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, who was acquired last season in a deadline trade with the Diamondbacks. It wasn’t specified what the White Sox want in return, though I hope that it would be something that might help us in a late-season push (Hey, I still have faith). Hardball Talk speculates that Kenny Williams may be looking for a third baseman, which would be fine with me. Unfortunately, Brent Morel seems to be the latest to fall into the black hole that is the White Sox’ Hot Corner.

As for Jackson himself, I can’t say I’d be sad to see him go. He looked good when he came to us last year, posting a 3.24 ERA and 77 K’s over 11 games, but has faltered this season, with a losing record and a 4.30 ERA over 17 games. You never know which Jackson is going to show up, and with five other fairly strong pitchers around him, I wouldn’t mind it if he was the odd man out. As a commenter on Hardball Talk said, the guy has the consistency of a shapeshifter.

DIGRESSIVE SIDE NOTE: In my previous post, I singled out Tyler Clippard as a player who should not be an All-Star. Turns out he was the game’s winning pitcher. Oops.

DIGRESSIVE SIDE NOTE PART II: Yes, the old theme is back. Unfortunately, it appears us MLBloggers have to use the standard themes in order to qualify for the Latest Leaders list. Kind of a bummer. I really like the sleekness of the old theme.

Is the All-Star Designation Losing Its Luster?

When I think of the All-Star squads, I think of the best of the best, the true “stars” of the game. I think of a very small few, my ideal team filled with MVP candidates.

I do not think of two squads that combined field 83 players.

When I heard that number while watching Sunday Night Baseball last night, I was not initially shocked by it. But then I thought about it. There are 30 teams, each with 25 players on their active rosters. That equals 750 players in Major League Baseball at any given time. 83 players out of 750 is roughly 11% of the baseball populace. That means that 11% of the players, whether they actually attend tomorrow’s game or not, can walk away from this season with the “All-Star” label.

11% may seem like a small percentage, but to me, it is still higher than what I would expect from a game that is designed to showcase the best of the best. In my opinion, Aaron Crow and Tyler Clippard are not the best of the best. I don’t even know what teams those men come from, or what position they play. And quite frankly, I don’t want to turn on my TV and see Tyler Clippard hitting or pitching or whatever he does, and have to believe that he is part of the game’s elite. But I guess when you let 11% of the whole into The Mess That Selig Made, you end up with some Aaron Crows and Tyler Clippards.

Oh well, I guess I’ll use tomorrow night as a time to watch reruns of The Office. If you get lemons, gotta make lemonade.

Where in the World Did My Becks Go?

In mid-2009, Gordon Beckham was called up to The Show, and I immediately noticed him. Every time I watched a game, the kid seemed to get a crucial hit. He smiled, had a slight southern accent, seemed polite, and finished his rookie campaign with a .273 batting average and 63 RBIs over 103 games. He was awarded the Sporting News‘ Rookie of the Year award. Fans nicknamed him “Our Savior”. Bill Madden of the Daily News picked him to win the 2010 AL MVP. I was sure that we had found our star for the post-Paulie generation.

What a difference two years makes.

To follow up that 2009 season, Beckham hit .252 with only 49 RBI, and sported a batting average below .200 until the All-Star break. Management was dying to send him back down to the minors, and he made a few social gaffes that caught the ire of Ozzie Guillen, such as watching college football after a game when the team was mired in a losing streak.

This season, he is toting around a .241 average and only 24 RBI, not worthy of the pedestal I had shined so quickly two years ago. And recently, Becks has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. During Monday night’s home game against the Royals, GB thought it would be a smart idea to scrawl “Getz is gay!” on the infield dirt, as a message to Royals second baseman and good friend Chris Getz. Turns out this message was visible to fans in the upper deck.

Oops.

In all apologies that Beckham gave last night to the media, he seemed contrite (and I would like to know, why did this take so long to get around?), but still. Messages like that shouldn’t be left anytime, but when you’ve let a team down for two seasons, incidents such as this only rub salt in the wound. I accept his apologies and will move on but…

Ugh.