The 2010 Chicago White Sox Preview

The 2010 Chicago White Sox Preview Brought to you by Blammo!

3/4/10 in MLB   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

 (The author is hoping that this article is like Log, that it is better than bad, it’s good.)

Well it is that time again boys and girls. Football is in the rear window, the NHL and NBA are in the dog days.


I am talking about America’s pastime.

No, I am not talking about filling out brackets for your office pool (that will be soon enough). I am talking about the opening of spring training camps and the coming of baseball season. If you close your eyes you can almost hear the sound of cleats on cement, the crack of the bat and the pop of baseballs hitting leather, or the popping sound might be the hamstrings of players who came into camp out of shape. You can imagine the smell of the fresh-cut grass and the stench of Scott Boras. This is a time where hope springs eternal, even at the Pirates’ camp.

So please sit back (or recoil in horror, it’s up to you) as I try to provide for you, the nice people of the Q, a preview of my beloved White Sox.

*Please be warned that this preview may contain dangerous levels of run-on sentences and odd pop-culture references.*

Even with a 79-83 record to end the decade the Aughts were a golden age of baseball on the South Side. It was a decade that saw three 90+ win seasons, two division titles and a magical 87-year-drought-ending World Series title. Many may say that sounds pretty sad, but as the pamphlet said, “Being a White Sox fan was never going to be easy”.

So what does the new decade hold for the South Siders? Well, the Magic Eight Ball has been reluctant to offer up that info, so I think all I can do now is hazard the best guess I can for 2010, but first we must look back.

The Season Past

The White Sox entered the 2009 season as division champs. They looked to try to roll the dice with an aging offense, a thin bench and a talented but still-young rotation. Sadly for the Sox the dice came up snake eyes. Not that things were completely awful in 2009; it was just a season where the team never could make up its mind about either being in the division race or just dropping out of it completely. So in a word, the season could be summed up best by Larry David that is was,
 

Ehhh.

Even in this blahingly-blah season there were some high points:
  •         Mark Buehrle’s perfect game and record for most consecutive outs (45) without allowing a base runner.
  •       Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko hitting their 300 career home runs not only on the same day, but doing it back to back.
  •      The emergence of Gordon Beckham.
But those moments were washed out by things like:
  •       Going 34-40 in the second half.
  •       A slow, inconsistent offense that lost 2008 MVP candidate Carlos Quentin early in the year.
  •       Shoddy bullpen work.
  •       Inconsistency from the end of the rotation.
  •       The Twins continuing to be the Sox primary tormentors.
 
Even though the 2009 season ended up being a lost one, the White Sox made a couple of deals that definitely shape the fortunes for the 2010 season.

Comings and Goings
Arriving
(Greetings Jake)

Jake Peavy – SP (Trade 2009) – The White Sox landed the Padre All-Star after what seemed like years. Peavy finally accepted Kenny Williams’s Facebook friend request. The Sox are gambling that Peavy can bounce back and be more like the All-Star he was in San Diego. Even if completely healthy this is still a gamble because he now moves from the pitcher-friendly Petco to the hitters haven that is the Cell.

Alex Rios – OF (Waivers claim 2009) – Here is another giant Yahtzee roll of the dice for the White Sox. The White Sox felt that Alex Rios was worth nabbing off the waiver wire, even with the $80 million price tag. GM Kenny Williams felt he had too much upside to pass on.
 
Juan Pierre – OF (Off-season trade from the Dodgers) – Out with Podsednik and in with Pierre. The Sox are looking for Juan to be the table setter in the offense. Pierre, who was seen as mistake signing by the Dodgers a couple seasons back, actually provided a big boost to the Dodgers by providing a spark for the offense while filling in for Manny while he was on maternity leave Steroid Suspension.

Mark Teahan – 3B/OF (Off-season trade from Kansas City) – Teahan was acquired not too long after the season. The Sox wanted to find someone to man the hot corner, so they could move their prized rookie back to a middle infield spot. Since Teahan had been in the outfield last season, will it be a smooth transition?

Omar Vizquel – SS/3B (Free Agent) - The Fort-Knox-worth-of-gold-gloves-winning shortstop comes to the organization that every great Venezuelan shortstop should play for at least once in their career. The Sox are looking to have Vizquel be more of a mentoring presence on the squad, for if he is asked to play 162 games he will look like an Old Glove winner.

Mark Kotsay – OF/1B/DH (Trade 2009) – Acquired before the trade deadline. He apparently won over Ozzie and the Sox in 2009, since they have brought the CSUF great back.

Tony Pena – RP (Trade 2009) – Hard throwing but inconsistent right hand reliever who the Sox hope can figure things out.

J.J. Putz – RP (Free Agent) – Over the winter the Sox obtained the former Mariners closer, who is looking to rebound from his one-year visit to the Senior Circuit. He will be expected to shore up the end-of-game group that looks to get the ball into Jenks’s hands in the ninth.

Andruw Jones – OF/DH (Free Agent) –The Sox took a flyer on Jones, who has been trying to eat his way out of the game. The Sox are hoping Andruw can provide them some pop. Note to Ozzie, if you see him trying to eat the batting donut, or if Carlos Zambrano starts looking thin next to him, then it means you got problems. I know the Sox are not paying him a big contract; I just hope they are not going to get killed on meal money.

Departing

Jim Thome – DH (Trade 2009 to Los Angeles, now Free Agent Minnesota) – A fan favorite was sent away late last year. After the season the White Sox passed on resigning Thome. The organization felt he would not be a good fit this season since his inability to play defense was going to hamstring the roster. The Sox will miss having the power bat from the left side, but Thome’s skills had been sliding and he just could not stay healthy. Since the Twins signed him, the “Gentleman Masher” and his tender hamstrings will haunt the Sox this season.
(Thome's homer to get the Sox into the 2008 playoffs finally landed)

Jermaine Dye – OF (Free Agent) – The former World Series MVP’s time with the club came to an end. JD gave the Sox four great seasons but one could see he was not the same player he was even two seasons ago, and the Sox just did not want to pick up that option. That plus the addition of Rios and the return of Quentin meant the Dye had been cast; well, cast aside that is.

(I wish not to think how things would have been different if the D-Backs had signed him instead)

Brian Anderson – OF (Trade 2009 to Boston, now Free Agent Kansas City) – I know he was gone last year and his departure meant little but I feel I must type. The blonde bomber just could never hit enough or get out of Ozzie’s doghouse to live up to the expectations the organization had for him. The man could flash the leather, was a good teammate, and was well liked in the clubhouse. The one thing that I will always remember about the Brian Anderson Era is that if it was not for Scott Podsednik, Brian Anderson probably would have killed Michael Barrett on that infamous day in May in 2006. As an eyewitness to the Barrett punch, I watched Brain Anderson fly out of that dugout ready to drop the hammer on Barrett, but Pods caught enough of him to keep him from turning the fracas into a full-blown riot.

 

(BOOM goes Brian Anderson's fist!)

Scott Podsednik – OF (Free Agent Kansas City) – The Sox pulled Pods off the scrap heap and Pods actually did a decent job in the leadoff spot, well better than what the Sox had tried earlier. Pods was not the table setter he was in ’05 or even ’06. He managed to swipe 30 bases but was caught 18 times. The Sox felt if they wanted a light-throwing speedster, they would try the Juan Pierre version instead.

D.J. Carasco – RP (Free Agent Pittsburgh) – The rubber-armed reliever and spot starter was spotty to say the least. He was given his certificate of participation and an orange wedge and then shown the door.
Octavio Dotel – RP (Free Agent Pittsburgh) – The former failed A’s closer did find a role with his slider getting outs in the seventh and eighth.

Chris Getz – 2B (Traded to Kansas City) – Sent to Kansas City in the Teahan trade, Getz will try to make his name with the Royals. The Sox will miss his speed, but Getz just did not show enough to the Sox to make them want to keep him as part of their longer-term plans.
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3/6/10   |   MrNFL   |   175 respect

3/5/10   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

kramer wrote:
What rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs, rolls over your neighbor's dog?

Well that jingle could also be applied to Josh Fields tenure.

3/5/10   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Lobotomy Jones wrote:
Great. Now I've got the Log song stuck in my head.
Nice job. Although I noticed you missed the chance to say Good Riddance to Mr. Stoneglove - Josh Fields.

What rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs, rolls over your neighbor's dog?

3/5/10   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

He gave birth to beautiful bouncing attitude problem.

3/5/10   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

I will second that!

3/5/10   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

Lobotomy Jones wrote:
Great. Now I've got the Log song stuck in my head.
Nice job. Although I noticed you missed the chance to say Good Riddance to Mr. Stoneglove - Josh Fields.

You are right, I only mentioned him in passing, but now that I think of it I did not say any words about "Sox" favorite Jerry "Can't Steal First" Owens.

3/5/10   |   Lobotomy Jones   |   7573 respect

Great. Now I've got the Log song stuck in my head.
Nice job. Although I noticed you missed the chance to say Good Riddance to Mr. Stoneglove - Josh Fields.

3/5/10   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

Great article. I saw that Manny was out on maternity leave. Did he have a boy or a girl? Hopefully a boy, so when he acts up at school, he can tell the teachers, "Hey, it's just Manny Jr. being Manny Jr."

3/4/10   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

derms33 wrote:
WOW...thats a lot of off season moves...Still a bunch of bums!!!  With the biggest a$$hole ever as a manager

Hey at least he is up front about being one. As for being the biggest, oh there have been bigger to manage. Hell I think Ozzie worked for two of the biggest SOB's ever to be managers, Frank Robinson and Jack McKeon, before Ozzie got the Sox job. Also playing for the warm and friendly Bobby Cox does wonders for one's people skills.

3/4/10   |   derms33   |   17642 respect

kramer wrote:
The title and first sentence made me go search on YouTube for this.

"Its Big Its Heavy Its wood, its better than bad its good"...the Big and Heavy part must be referring to Andruw Jones

3/4/10   |   derms33   |   17642 respect

WOW...thats a lot of off season moves...Still a bunch of bums!!!  With the biggest a$$hole ever as a manager

3/4/10   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

redsox1002003 wrote:
 great job, but im wondering what you used sikids.com for? flash game break?

I actually found the Harold Baines photo on there, and who am I kidding, I was lured in by the bright and shinny objects.

3/4/10   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

The title and first sentence made me go search on YouTube for this.

3/4/10   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

"You can imagine the smell of fresh-cut grass and the stench of Scott Boras."

I am not worthy.

3/4/10   |   Captain_Chaos   |   287 respect

great article - im optomistik that the WSox will be competitive - hell its got me wanting to hit a AA team here for the WSOX in my town.

3/4/10   |   redsox1002003   |   881 respect

 great job, but im wondering what you used sikids.com for? flash game break?

3/4/10   |   MrNFL   |   175 respect

The obscure references alone warrant a thumbs up.

With that said, Go CUBS!

3/4/10   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

Ugh, sorry about some of the formatting, it went a little goofy on me, but that may be the modeling glue speaking.