Friday, April 02, 2010

Jussst a bit outside: the Chicago White Sox preview

Duty calls to preview the MLB season, providing up to 30 superficial, fairly obvious observations sort of about each of the 30 teams. At bat: the Chicago White Sox.
  1. Buerhle and Peavy, how can they lose? There is no guarantee they'll come together. Former Cy Young winner (NL Cy Young winner) Jake Peavy was hit hard in the fake games, for what it is worth.

  2. Worth noting: There's a reason the percentage of its run a team scores via home runs is called the Guillen number; the White Sox are not exactly deep in sluggers. The Sox slumped to 184 homers last season. Granted, that was with outfielder Carlos Quentin being limited to about 400 times at bat.

  3. Over-under: 82½ wins.

  4. Take the ... Under.

  5. Just sayin': A lot of perfect game pitcher Mark Buehrle's comps did not withstand the test of time after reaching their early 30s.

  6. Watch out for that boomerang: Buehrle and left-hander John Danks are good, but both were a little run-lucky in 2009. Buehrle and Danks were right up there when it came to a bad ERA-FIP difference.

  7. Actually, August is the cruelest month: Tom Tango of The Book fame recently wrote that August is the month where correlates the most with overall success. The Sox have had four losing Augusts in manager Ozzie Guillen's six seasons, just sayin'.

  8. Turn it like BeckRam: As in second baseman Gordon Beckham and shortstop Alexei Ramirez. That nickname is trademarked, by the way.

  9. For what's it worth: The Sox' 22 homers during exhibition season was a franchise low since they moved their spring training to Arizona.

  10. Always recycle — to the extreme: See Rios, Alex; Jones, Andruw; Pierre, Juan. Unproductive outfielders don't fade away, they just end up with the Southsiders.

  11. No. 2 with a bullet: Beckham is going to be awesome, but he's never going to create brand awareness with that surname. This jokes hinges on the average American's awareness of soccer.

  12. A very quick moment of silence: Roy Halladay going to the other league means reduces the occurrence of he and Buehrle hooking up for a one-hour, 55-minute game. Those who believe a nine-inning game should be over in 2½ hours are having trouble getting over that one.

    (That being said, the NFL is the real offender when it comes to stretched-out games.)

  13. Captain Obvious says: Guillen probably has hit a point of diminishing returns after six seasons.

  14. The rough equivalent of taking the Barney-guarding job at Moe's: Playing outfielder Mark Kotsay at first base on occasion.

  15. Future Hall of Very Gooder: Omar Vizquel, still playing at age 43, is bound to have a populist groundswell on account of those 11 Gold Gloves, but it's pretty hard to get in just for fielding wizardry.

  16. Yeah, same guy: The Sergio Santos in their bullpen is the same one who was supposed to be the Next Big Thing as a slugging shortstop with the Arizona Diamondbacks a few years ago, until it was discovered he couldn't slug, or play shortstop.

  17. If you believe in the lucky birthday theory: No. 3 starter Gavin Floyd did turn 27 on Jan. 27 and Quentin turns 28 on Aug. 28.

  18. The trades that sticks in memory: The White Sox trading away Mike Cameron for Paul Konerko back in 1998 still gets revisited from time to time, since Konerko is winding down and the Chisox have a recycled Andruw Jones in centre field.

  19. Retroactive Seamhead puzzler: Luke Appling played 20 seasons, had a .310 batting average and yet did not get to 3,000 hits (he was on base 4,062 times, though).

  20. Least self-aware statement of the year: "Chicago baseball fans are not fans of failure and do not accept mediocrity when it comes to their baseball teams." They were awfully accepting of it from about 1920 through 2004.

  21. Way on South Side of Chicago: Sing!

    (That was a total cheat.)

  22. PECOTA says: 79-83, tied-second AL Central, 747 runs scored, 768 against.

  23. In English, please: They're second favourite in probably the second-worst division.

    (Twenty-three. That's kind of an iconic number in Chicago sports.)

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