I feel like I’m living in a broken record. Only a month or so ago, I was fretting about Jake Peavy’s return from the DL. Well, what am I doing now?
Today, Peavy will make his first start since a slightly-shorter stint on the DL, this time due a groin injury. I know this injury wasn’t major, but I still hold my breath every time Peavy steps on the mound. It’s like he’s made of porcelain or something. Hopefully, he’ll be able to make it through tonight without more than a bug bite, and lead the Sox to their 16th straight interleague series win. SIXTEENTH STRAIGHT. I think that’s worth noting. If only we could just move to the National League full time.
Oh, Jake Peavy. You miss 37 games to start the season, make five starts, and then land back on the DL with a groin injury. Let’s not forget you missed a large portion of last season too, with a major shoulder injury. Oh, yeah, and when you came to us at the ’09 trade deadline, you could only pitch in the last three starts of the season since you were rehabbing an ankle injury.
You know what, Jake? You just earned yourself an early Christmas present (or belated birthday present. Sorry I missed that.) See what Jimmy Kimmel is wearing in this picture?
Yep, I got you one of those. Should ship in a week or so. Until then, thank Philip Humber and his two point eight seven ERA. If he wasn’t pitching so well in “your” rotation spot, I would look something like this woman. Then again, after reading that you were injured for the thousandth time in your White Sox career, I’m pretty sure I wore a similar expression.
Good evening, folks, and welcome to tonight’s edition of ChiSox Nightly. We have a very entertaining show planned for you tonight, but first, let’s start with a little trivia question, shall we?
Who is very nervous about Jake Peavy’s season debut tonight?
a) Jake Peavy
b) Catherine, the esteemed author of the fine blog The Wizard of Ozzie
c) That random fan in the stands with mustard on his shirt
If you selected choice “b”, then you are correct! Thank you for playing, and please, stay tuned for more exciting news!
Yep, so tonight is the big night. Peavy steps on the mound for the first time in 10 months, facing the Angels. (Note: Peavy’s injury came against the Angels. Coincidence much?) As exciting as it is to have the guy who is supposedly our “ace” back on the squad, I must admit that I am more nervous than anything else. Peavy hasn’t exactly been a master of control since arriving in Chicago, and coming off of major surgery, I’m afraid of the same old same old. We don’t need our star failing miserably in his debut. That would just rub more salt in the wound. And anyways, I’m liking this Philip Humber kid and his 2.97 ERA. Can’t he stick around for just a little while longer?
For my English class, I have to give a persuasive speech about any topic I want. My teacher suggested that we choose a topic that we are passionate about, and of course, the two things that popped into my head were art and baseball. Not really sure what I could say about art (besides persuading everyone to like it), I turned to baseball. And so, inspired by recent columns by Bill Madden of the New York Daily News and Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated, I chose to talk about why the Oakland A’s should be dissolved. Believe it or not, I found many valid reasons, and I am looking forward to crafting this speech. When it is done, I will post it on here. I’m looking forward to reading other people’s thoughts and opinions on my idea.
All of the members of the 2005 champion squad have a special place in my heart, but Scott Podsednik, or Scotty Pods, holds an even bigger spot than most. He wasn’t flashy, but he hit for average (an overrated stat that I’m a sucker for nonetheless) and stole a LOT of bases. After returning to the Sox in ’09, he went to KC for part of the ’10 season, then spent the rest of the year with the Dodgers…but now where is he?
A simple search on MLB.com reveals that Scotty is now in…Canada.
Yes, he is a Blue Jay, playing sparingly this spring due to a nasty case of plantar fasciitis, a fancy term for swollen heel tissue. He has appeared in one game so far, drawing two walks, scoring a run, and, of course, stealing a base. Not even a messed-up foot will stop him from running.
I hope he gets his foot problems in order soon and goes back to being the consistent player the South Side fondly remembers him as. I also hope he doesn’t get too fat off of all of that delicious maple syrup they have up there over the border.
In other news, Jake Peavy appears to be indomitable, with not even the flu stopping him from making his scheduled start today against the A’s. When I had the flu a couple years back, I didn’t want to walk from the couch to the television, let alone throw a baseball 40 times. But I guess he really values getting out there on a regular basis. But what if Peavy suddenly vomits on the mound, or something equally horrifying/disgusting? Ozzie’s not quite sure what to do next. In his always honest manner, he said, “Anyone own a White Sox uniform?”
I never like waking up in the morning feeling sore, but I’ve also never pitched a major league baseball game. I guess after a few innings of work, albeit in a spring training game, you do get sore, and it’s not a bad thing. Unless you happened to have recently undergone surgery to reattach a muscle to your bone, then you might be more paranoid about soreness than the average pitcher.
Thankfully, Peavy was sore in what he deemed to be appropriate places, so his continued rehab will go according to plan: a simulated game today and a start on Wednesday. I am very pleased. With every pitch, Peavy is closer to returning sooner than anticipated (originally the target date was July 14, the first date after the All-Star break). While our rotation is strong, it’s always nice to have another guy to help shoulder the load. (Excuse the pun. I’ve been hanging out with theater kids for the past two weeks.)
Ozzie, as always, has something to say after the Sox have opened spring with an ugly 1-5 record. Apparently, if things do not come together soon, he will begin “throwing people under the bus.” In Ozzie-speak, that means sending people down. Candidates look like Dallas McPherson, who partnered with that obscene Mark Teahen to commit three errors at third in the last game, and Brent Lillibridge, who killed a potential rally by getting picked off at first. I know it’s only spring, but tension already seems to be in the air. Maybe they just need to get the jitters out of their system before the run to the division crown? I hope…
So, at long last, White Sox pitchers and catchers have reported to Camelback Ranch, and already, one of the biggest questions heading into spring training has been answered. Chris Sale, our top prospect, will not be moving into the rotation to cover for Jake Peavy. I for one, am relieved. I am completely and totally convinced that the flashes of brilliance Sale showed us last season were no fluke, and I get very excited just thinking about him as our shut-down closer in a few years. The thought of moving him into the rotation made me think of what happened to this guy.
We all know how that story started…and how it’s unfolding. Not what I want to see. And note how skinny Joba was in this picture, taken three years ago. Now look at him. If Sale ever shows up to camp like that, I might start bawling.
And of course, you can not start spring training without an Ozzie-ism. When asked who would start in place of Peavy while he continues to recover from shoulder surgery, he said, “Right now, I don’t know. We have a couple names, but I forgot the names.” Oh, Ozzie. When you say something like that, I’m reminded just how much I’ve missed you.
Finally, the long and torturous offseason is about to come to an end. We’re in the home stretch now: 19 days until White Sox pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch. In honor of this milestone, here are the top 19 reasons I can’t wait for spring training:
19) I live in Connecticut, where there is nearly 5 feet of snow on the ground and it is cold and gray outside. I would like hear news from a place where it is warm and sunny and, best of all, there is not a spot of snow on the ground.
18) I’m curious to see if Gordon Beckham plans on bringing back this stylin’ hairdo:
17) It’s officially time for the White Sox and Don Cooper to come face-to-face and either work it out or part their separate ways. It’s clear Don Cooper wishes he was with the Yankees right now, and it’s also clear that the front office is being petty towards him by communicating with him only via text-message. Both sides need to meet, and that will happen in Arizona.
16) Hoping Mark Buehrle will roll up the ball park in his killing-the-ozone-one-mile-at-a-time truck.
15) Is this the year Jordan Danks shows us something special and earns a roster spot? Always hoping to see the younger Danks roaming the Cell’s outfield…maybe my wish will come true this year.
14) I get to see Chris Sale throw again, and be reminded why he is our future ace.
13) Our big free-agent signing, Adam Dunn, is at long last unveiled, ready to show us that we finally have a stable, powerful, and productive DH.
12) The post-Bobby Jenks era in the bullpen will commence, and the race for the closer spot will begin. Will favorite Matt Thornton emerge with the role? Maybe hot-shot Chris Sale? Or even a dark horse, like Jesse Crain? The competition should be great to watch.
11) It’s always fun to see what color AJ Pierzynski’s hair currently is.
10) Can Jake Peavy return to form after his unprecedented shoulder surgery? That question will finally be answered for curious fans like myself.
9) I’m waiting waiting waiting for Mark Teahen to be removed from the hot corner, and will relish the moment when prospect Brett Morel earns the spot.
8) This year will be the year when Carlos Quentin revisits the MVP-caliber self he was in ’08. I just know it. The road back starts NOW.
7) Finally, I can start watching ESPN again. I don’t mind football, but I want some baseball news sprinkled in there. Otherwise, I start doing homework and actually become productive. And that simply cannot do.
6) I can also begin wearing my ChiSox apparel once again in places other than gym class. I don’t like wearing my Mark Buehrle shirt if I know there’s no game it will bring him luck in.
5) Spring training always coincides with the beginning of second semester. I’m halfway through the school year. Baseball reminds me that I’m almost there, that summer will come soon enough.
4) With the dawn of each new season comes hope. Hope that the ChiSox will not disappoint me this time. We will go 162-0 and win the World Series and watch those Twinkies cry themselves to sleep at night in last place. At least, that’s what I can hope for.
3) As teams take shape, I can make predictions for the season…and maybe this year, one will actually be right.
2) We all know that spring training will not end without a word from Oney Guillen and his Twitter feed. He’s not done yet. There’s always someone to bash.
1) And of course, where there’s Oney’s mouth, there’s the man who gave him that voice in the first place.