Thursday, April 07, 2005

One-Run Wonders?



Don't say we weren't warned.

1-0. 4-3. A few skipped heartbeats.

All offseason the White Sox preached their new mantra of pitching, speed and defense. So it may be best to settle in and prepare for a slew of close, low-scoring games teetering on a stolen base here, a sacrifice there. Yes, gone are the days of the 12-9 slugfests. It may not be easy on the faint of heart.

But it could be fun.

Yesterday the White Sox came up with four runs in the bottom of the ninth off of Indians closer Bob Wickman, who one might describe as a tub of goo. (Hey, I'm not making fun. Look at him!) While both the win and the 2-0 start are refreshing, there are two ways to look at things:

1) The pitching has been phenomenal. While the gems tossed by starters Mark Buehrle and Freddy Garcia were to be expected, the bullpen, which will be further boosted by today's return of Dustin Hermanson from suspension, has also been solid. So far so good.

On the other hand...

2) Take away yesterday's ninth inning and the Sox' new-look offense has produced a whopping total of one run in 17 innings - and that run came courtesy of an error. If not for Wickman's meltdown, South Siders would be nearing panic mode just two games into the season, not to mention recalling the departed Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Lee and Jose Valentin with longing in their hearts and casting an evil gaze in Kenny Williams' direction.

Today Jose Contreras gets his first start, meaning the Sox' starting rotation enters the "Crazy Cubans" portion of the proceedings as Orlando Hernandez will get the ball tomorrow in the Metrodome. It's safe to say the the Crazy Cubans could be the key to everything. If they're consistently solid, the Sox' rotation compares favorably with any in the American League. If not, give us Brandon McCarthy - and give him to us now!

One positive is that the Crazy Cubans likely speak very little English, meaning catcher A.J. Pierzynski is less likely to offend them.

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You miss Maggs? Carlos Lee? Well, this piece paints a not-so-rosy picture of the departed pair. The more I hear about Lee, the more he sounds like a first-rate dickbag. Perhaps his exile in baseball purgatory (i.e., Milwaukee) is well-deserved.

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I'v often wondered why the the World Series title droughts of the Cubs and Red Sox have reached the stuff of legend, while the equally inept history of the Sox has gone largely unnoticed. This piece takes a look at the phenomenon.

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The Cell, still undergoing changes, is looking great. The myth of the Cell as a dump is hogwash, just a lot of people repeating what they've heard. The rest of the seats still need to be painted green, which was a great idea. Meanwhile, when that ivy slowly wrapping around the outside of the stadium covers the whole damn thing, well, that will look real sweet.

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