Tagged: Starting Pitchers

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
respect.

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
rusty.

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.

A Man Without a Nose

Hello friends!  Sorry I have been gone so long!  I have said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t get paid to do this, so when things that I am paid for or have obligations to demand my attention, I must go.  As it is, I’m still a little behind, but I could keep silent no longer.

All right, here it is: SIGN MARK BUEHRLE!

I can understand Ken Williams’ point of view regarding the no-trade clause. Once the Sox offer a no-trade clause to one person, Williams feels that they have to offer it to everyone, and he is not in the habit of giving out no-trade clauses.   

While that makes sense, I would like to respectfully remind Ken Williams about another pearl of wisdom: Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.  Cutting off his nose to spite his own face is exactly what Ken Williams will be doing if he fails to resign Buehrle.

Buehrle wants to stay here. He’s willing to take less money than he could make on the free agent market to stay here.  It’s very rare to see that kind of loyalty these days.  Usually players will play for whoever will pay them the most, and loyalty to an organization is never even considered, let alone talked about.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the players for switching teams if they will make more money. You or I would change jobs if we could get more money with another company, so I don’t blame athletes for doing the same.

I’m not saying that the Sox haven’t been flexible, and I’m grateful that the Sox have been willing to offer some kind of trade protection.  I think Buehrle should give in a little and take what trade protection he can get.  If Buehrle insists on a no trade clause to the point of leaving, I must ask the Sox: Would a no trade clause really be so bad? 

Buehrle is one of the best pitchers in the majors.  He’s been described as “a manager’s dream” because he works quickly and he throws strikes. He very rarely shakes off his catcher. He has a great personality, he keeps things light in the clubhouse, and he’s capable of putting a team on his back and carrying them to a win if need be.  He’s expressed a desire to stay here, he’s never done anything to embarrass the Sox organization, and he’s proven he can win in the postseason and World Series.  All of this makes Buehrle quite a rare commodity. Is Ken Williams planning on trading this guy?  If not, what’s the harm in putting that in writing?

Ken Williams, if that’s not enough to convince you to keep Buehrle – even if it means giving him a no trade clause – I’ve got one last argument: Picture Buehrle on the mound in a Minnesota Twins uniform, a Detroit Tigers uniform, or a Cleveland Indians uniform. 

Enough said.

This lady has said it before and she’ll say it again: I’d like to see Buehrle and Crede in a White Sox uniform and only a White Sox uniform until the day they keel over from old age.  That opinion has not changed.

I think Buehrle could take what trade protection is being offered, and I also think Ken Williams could offer a no trade clause. Clearly one of them is going to have to bend or Buehrle will be lost to free agency.  However, if Buehrle does wind up leaving, I believe the blame should be placed squarely on Ken Williams’ shoulders for letting such a gem get away. 

In all truth, in that case, the blame has to be on Williams’ shoulders. He won’t have a nose left to hang it on.