Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lazy Sunday

Exactly one week until Opening Day, so let's get right to it:
Paul Hoynes addresses the White Sox bullpen issues, among other things. Looking at the White Sox bullpen, one has to feel good about the Tribe ‘pen (regardless of your feelings for Wickman). Hoynes writes that Neil Cotts may be the White Sox closer before too long.

As much as you have to admire the season the White Sox had last year (and the job that Ozzie Guillen did to get them there), EVERYTHING went right for the 2005 Sox. It was their “dream season” where every call went their way, every move Guillen made seemed inspired, and every player outperformed expectations. I’m not saying that it should in any way force us to underestimate the White Sox in 2006; I’m just throwing it out there.

Hoynes also mentions that the Tribe would take a look at Alfonso Soriano, if he were available. I don’t see that. If he doesn’t want to play in the outfield, and Belliard is the 2B – where would he play for the Tribe? Would they acquire a malcontent, on a one-year-deal making $10M a year? It doesn’t sound like the prototypical Shapiro move. Sure, they’d take a look…but that would be about it.

Terry Pluto astutely breaks down the Tribe’s rotation and the next wave of arms available.

Jim Ingraham, once again, shows his ability to describe his always half-empty glass, as he turns a clearly improved Spring by Jeremy Guthrie (who was sent to the Buffalo rotation yesterday) into a denunciation of the former #1 pick.

Tribe brass has finally decided that Jason Davis is a reliever only, not a hybrid starter-reliever (even in Buffalo). Hopefully, JD can settle into the routine of being a reliever and harness his live arm. Usually, when a pitcher goes to the bullpen, the team instructs them to concentrate on 2 or 3 pitches to get through an inning, rather than try to master 4-5 pitches to get through a start. Time is running out for Jason Dangerously to be considered a true prospect, and for him to hone his mechanics to pitch more effectively.

It looks like Josh Bard may be the Red Sox backup catcher after all, mainly because of his ability to catch Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball. He will also wear #77, in honor of Boston Bruin great Ray Borque. Here’s a quick prediction: the honeymoon of Bard honoring one of Boston’s favorites will end when he catches his 4th game for Wakefield and has yet to hit the ball out of the infield. Not even wearing #33 in honor of Larry Legend could save Bard from the inevitable criticism in Boston.

A Lazy Saturday allowed me to make the trip to SouthPark Mall to get the 2006 Media Guide (complementary to Season Ticket Holders). As I was leaving the mall, Media Guide in hand, I realized that, with the trip back home, I had just spent about 45 minutes to get the Guide. No other errands, no other stops…just the Guide.

By the way, the cover features C.C., Lee, Peralta, Sizemore, Hafner, and Victor (as do all of the tickets in season ticket books). Did someone say something about having, say 6 core players to build this thing around? Don’t read too much into it, though. The 2004 Guide had C.C., Milton Bradley, Jason Davis, Omar Vizquel, and Jody Gerut. That’s a .200 average, strangely reminiscent of Brandon Phillips’ career ML average of .206 (Sorry, it wouldn’t be Sunday without the obligatory swipe at B-Phil.)

Did I mention that it's only one week until the 1st game?

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