Well, I Have Good News, and …

… I also have bad news.

The good news: Mike MacDougal has finally been given his
walking papers.

Those of you who read this blog know that I don’t like to badmouth
anyone. However, to be honest, I lost patience with MacDougal in
2007. I wondered what he was doing on the team in 2008. It’s hard
for me to believe there were no pitchers in Triple A Charlotte who
could have performed better.

When MacDougal had a good spring training this year, I thought
maybe he’s going to be able to throw strikes – or at least that
third strike. I can’t be the only one who’s noticed that he gets to
two strikes on a batter and suddenly can’t throw a third strike if
his life depended on it. He’s clearly talented, but he has not be
able to execute since just after he arrived in Chicago. It doesn’t
matter how talented you are if you can’t execute on a regular basis
when it counts.

For example, most of us can sing well in the shower, but only a
few of us sing in public. Why? When it counts, when someone else is
watching, most of us can’t sing nearly as well.

MacDougal may catch on somewhere else and catch fire, but here in
Chicago I doubt Mrs. O’Leary’s cow could have helped him in that

The bad news? Contreras didn’t have a good outing in the Sox 10-3
loss to Baltimore last night. I didn’t get to see the game because
with this old laptop (and I feel like I should be hearing Bob Villa’s
voice right about now saying “Welcome to This Old Laptop”)
watching the game live online is like watching a series of still
pictures. That’s still more than I expected, even with the quality
turned all the way down. I didn’t even know Adobe made Flash for
linux. The archived feed tends to run smoother, but there are no
guarantees. Perhaps the squirrels sobered up and the hamster is
pretty athletic. Your guess is as good as mine.

Getting back to baseball: Contreras came into Spring Training 40
pounds lighter and further ahead in his rehabilitation from his
ruptured Achilles tendon than anyone would have expected. It’s
amazing that he’s able to pitch at all at this point, let alone that
he was pitching well enough in Spring Training to start the season in
the starting rotation. However, after three starts this season
Contreras is 0-3 with an ERA of 8.04.

In his first start, he pitched just five innings, and in his last
two starts he’s only been able to last five and one-third innings.
In all fairness, perhaps we’d be expecting too much to expect he’d
last six or seven innings right off the bat- no pun intended- but
we didn’t expect he’d be giving up at least four earned runs in each of
his starts, either.

Has Contreras come back too early? I’m not convinced he has. He
did look quite good during the first four innings of his second start
of the season against the Tigers back on April 15. Perhaps he’s just

This lady feels like he deserves the benefit of the doubt for
right now. It’s early yet, and the Sox are part of a three way tie
for first place in the division.


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