Here’s a bit from two such articles that made me chuckle this afternoon.
From whatever the Morris Daily Herald is:
"They picked up Prince Fielder, but they lost a great player in Victor Martinez," reliever Jesse Crain said. "So we’ll see what happens. That’s what's so great about baseball. You never know what is going to happen."
2011 Victor Martinez: 145 G, .330 Avg, 12 HR, 103 RBI, .380 OBP, .470 SLG
2011 Prince Fielder: 162 G, .299 Avg, 38 HR, 120 RBI, .415 OBP, .566 SLG
Well, Jesse, I’m no Bill James, but it appears to me that the team that finished 16 games ahead of you last year (and went 13-5 vs Chicago) upgraded a bit.
I think I know what’s going to happen. More Crainwrecks.
Optimism reigns supreme for all 30 teams during spring training,
Somehow I don’t think they’re planning championship parades in Houston, Kansas City, Oakland, or Baltimore quite yet. Chicago should be on that list, too.
"There’s nothing better than playing above the standards of what the media thinks we’re going to do," Thornton said. "You’re under the radar and everyone thinks we’re going to go out and stink the place up. But we got a lot of guys with a lot of pride around here and a lot of good veterans and play the game the right way.”
Ten minutes later, Thornton was informed that “right way” playing Juan Pierre was no longer on the team. He sighed quietly to himself, took a shot of Jim Beam, and promptly shot himself in the temple.
The Sox would do well to adopt the Twins' underdog mentality.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE! Less Paul Konerkos, more Ben Reveres!
In the past 10 years, Minnesota made the playoffs six times and rarely was considered a favorite.
2010 Twins: Lost LDS 3-0.
2009 Twins: Lost LDS 3-0.
2006 Twins: Lost LDS 3-0.
2004 Twins: Lost LDS 3-1.
2003 Twins: Lost LDS 3-1.
2002 Twins: Lost LCS 4-1.
Can’t see why they weren’t considered more of a favorite. Yes, the White Sox should aspire to be more like those teams. Brilliant.
For the Sox to surprise anyone, however, the 2011 underachievers have to perform to at least career levels.
I can only assume this means Alex Rios and Adam Dunn. But while Dunn’s year was
"It really doesn't matter what people think to start the year," pitcher Phil Humber said. "I feel like as far as our talent goes, we have as much or more than anyone in our division.
Ten minutes later, Humber was informed that talented players Carlos Quentin, Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, and Sergio Santos were no longer on the team. He sighed quietly to himself, took a swig of Jose Cuervo, and promptly strangled himself with his jockstrap.
Our next piece comes from Yahoo, which continues to churn out some comical writing. A couple of quick bits from this piece titled “Struggling White Sox No Longer Divided”.
Rookie manager Robin Ventura can't be expected to lead a team that can challenge the Tigers for division supremacy. However, the White Sox are a dramatically different team on the field and in the lockerroom than they were in 2011.
Yeah. Quentin, Buehrle, Jackson, Santos, and even Pierre are gone. This team is awful. That’s not a good thing for Ventura. Even a four year old with a brain tumor can see that.
That's probably a good thing.
Throughout the last three or four seasons, the Chicago White Sox were a house divided. There were two factions and you were either an Ozzie Guillen guy or a Kenny Williams guy. This war was quite public and while there were lulls from time to time, both sides fired salvos that landed broadside.
I see. We’re in “Operation Blame Ozzie”. Ozzie’s the reason that Rios is terrible. Guillen told Dunn to bat half his weight. Ozzie traded most of the decent players away for garbage. Ozzie signed a brittle, broken down Jake Peavy. Right.
What is this, Boston?
Despite his painful numbers, Guillen continued to put Dunn in the lineup nearly every game. No matter how many hitless games and 3-strikeout performances Dunn put on the board, Guillen kept rolling the big man out there.
Before 2011, Adam Dunn rattled off EIGHT STRAIGHT SEASONS of hitting 38 or more home runs. Eight. Are you supposed to just bench that guy when he starts to struggle? Baseball is a streaky game. No one could have seen Dunn’s struggles lasting all year based off his nearly a DECADE of production.
And as for trotting him out every day, Dunn only played in 122 games last year. Seven other ChiSox players played in more.
Even after Williams begged him to stop playing Dunn, Guillen kept doing it. After all, Williams had signed Dunn and Guillen wanted the world to know what his GM had done. Guillen seemed to take quiet delight from Dunn's failures and Williams' embarrassment.
Is this documented that Ozzie decided to jeopardize his job (and future jobs) by being labeled the guy that would rather show up his inept GM than try to win ballgames? No. That’s bull. You have a guy in Dunn that’s been one of the top sluggers in the game for eight straight years. You’re paying him a fortune. Eventually, you have to figure he’ll come out of it. And if Ozzie didn’t DH Dunn, who did he have as a fallback plan? Mark Teahan?
Ozzie did what was right. Dunn was the one that failed.
They can make excuses all they want. But the fact remains that outside of Paul Konerko and a couple pitchers, the White Sox are a mess. If they want to blame someone, blame Ken Williams. He is to General Managers what the 2003 Tigers were to baseball teams.
I hope they employ him forever.