Whenever someone asks, “Do you want the good news first, or the bad?”, I tend to be one of the few who opt for the good. I feel that whatever bad is coming, at least I can offset it with the positive tidbit I know. Well, fellow White Sox fans, I ask you the age old question: Do you want the good news first, or the bad?”
Well, since this is a blog and you can’t actively respond, I will tell you that you most certainly want the good news first. And that is: Paulie’s in! Yep, thanks to fans’ hours of obsessive voting, Paul Konerko finally earned the credit he deserves and earned the final spot on the American League All-Star team. Okay, in truth, it probably won’t turn out to be the final spot, once all of the inevitable “injury” withdrawals ensue, but the important part is that fans finally recognized his on-field brilliance. Did it help that there weren’t Yankees or Red Sox on the ballot? Hey, we’ll take whatever breaks we can get.
Now that you have that joyous piece of information tucked into your minds, hold on to that dearly as I give you the bad news: We lost last night. To the Twins. For the fifth time this season. To go along with those 5 losses, we have zero wins against that hated ballclub. 0-5, on the season. If we had won all 5 of those matchups, we’d be 2 games over .500. If we won only three of those, we’d be at .500 exactly.
No wins. Five losses. Stupid Twinkies.
Oh well. Paulie’s in! *breaks out in happy dance*
On a more serious note, I would like express my condolences to the Stone family, after 39-year-old Rangers fan Shannon Stone fell to his death last night when reaching for a ball at Rangers Ballpark. Such tragic events remind us all that as frustrating stats and standings can be, the most important and valuable part of this game is the health and safety of everyone involved. May God bless Mr. Stone and his family.
Well, it’s been a busy couple of days in ChiTown, starting with the fact that Alexei has reportedly signed a four-year extension worth $32.5 million. This makes me very, very happy. I had been skeptical about Alexei for quite some time, but last season, when he won a Silver Slugger and should have won a Gold Glove, he convinced me that he was more than worthy of being our shortstop.
Another tidbit of news is that Freddy Garcia will not be rejoining the ChiSox. Instead, he signed a minor league deal with the Yankees, leaving me to wonder what exactly the Yankees are doing. I realize Freddy won 12 games last year, which isn’t anything to sneeze at, but these are not the Yankees my father introduced me to when I was little. First Bartolo Colon and now Freddy? The Yankees always signed the best, the brightest, and the most worthy. As a member of the ’05 squad, not to mention the pitcher who I saw when my dad took me to my first baseball game, Freddy will always hold a place in my heart, but I think even his most ardent supporters can agree that his best days are most likely well behind him.
I see on the Detroit Free-Press website that The Sporting News picked the ChiSox to edge the Tigers in AL Central this year. Even though it’s still very early, I like the sound of that, especially because the Twins aren’t involved in the equation. This is probably irrational on my part, but I hate the Twins much more than I hate the Tigers. I’m not quite sure why. So if the Twins are the ones to be clawing and scrapping this year, I will be very pleased.
Yet, sadly, I will not be able to see my boys on their march to the division crown. This summer, I will be turning sixteen, and I was planning on making my first pilgrimage to the Cell in honor of this occassion. Unfortunately, I recently learned that that will not be possible for several reasons. One is that my mother hates flying, and is refusing to come with my father and I. Since I will be away on a retreat on my actual birthday, the trip would be my birthday celebration, and I cannot imagine celebrating my 16th without my mom. Secondly, I know that next year, I will want to head out to Chicago to visit Northwestern and the University of Chicago as part of my college search, and it’s probably smarter to pay for the airfare when I absolutely need to go. That’s not to say I’m not disappointed. I’ve been a fan for six years, but I’ve yet to see my guys on their home turf. But I know I’ll get out there someday. For now, I’ll have to settle for their Memorial Day match against the Red Sox at Fenway. I’ll still be their biggest supporter, even if I’m in the wrong part of the country.
Or maybe not. But either way, it’s still very exciting. Tonight at 9 PM eastern time, MLB Network will be counting down the top 50 prospects from around the league. I’ve made a point of watching this show for the past two years for two reasons. 1) By this point, I am usually desperate for some sort of baseball talk that doesn’t involve discussion of washed-up free agents (Hi, Andruw Jones. How ya doing?), and 2) I enjoy watching games during the season and discovering that I’ve actually HEARD of these guys before. I went to a Giants game at AT&T Park last June, and when Madison Bumgarner came up to pinch-hit, I was the only one in my family who knew something about him other than the fact that his name was sort of funny.
But of course, it’s not Giants prospects I want to see on the screen tonight. I want to see White Sox prospects and marvel at how bright our future is, and then I want to see Twins prospects and grumble about the competition facing us. Looking at MLB.com’s top 10 prospect lists by position, it appears that neither team has top prospects at catcher, right hand pitcher, first, second, or short. The Twinkies have the No. 5 third baseman Miguel Sano, who is apparently a “physical specimen” with “above-average raw power and excellent bat speed.” Well, I certaintly wouldn’t want to have a specimen on my team. Specimens remind me of something like this:
The other two top Twinkie prospects are described somewhat less biologically. No. 5 outfielder Aaron Hicks has “a chance to be one of those five-tool types”, and No. 9 outfielder Ben Revere “is making a career out of proving people wrong” due to his small size. Ooh, goody, another Dustin Pedroia type. Lord knows how much I love “I’m short, so I can be arrogant” attitude.
Our prospects, on the other hand, are much more solid. No. 6 LHP Chris Sale (who we all know and love already) “should be able to handle the opportunity to join the White Sox rotation soon without any real difficulty” and No. 3 third baseman Brett Morel might “land the job at hot corner by Opening Day.” That would be lovely. The less time this guy spends fielding, the better.
We have no specimens. We have no guys who merely have chances or who feel the need to prove people wrong every minute. No, our top prospects are tough, developed, and most importantly, ready. Here’s to their success this season!