Before Monday night's victory over the Cleveland Indians, Jake Peavy took time to speak frankly about the White Sox season. Well...about as frankly as someone who hasn't acknowledged that the team is fatally flawed due to their abysmal defense can speak about the team. Jake avoided topics like poor defense, the struggles of the rotation as a whole, or John Danks looking like Grizzly Adams, and essentially reiterated that the time is now for the Sox to start being a professional baseball team.
Per Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune:
"There ain't no ifs, ands or buts about it," Peavy said before the
cruised to their third win in their last four games. "(Cleveland) has a
few injuries. We have to win this series. I'm not sugarcoating
anything. Hey, we've got to play good baseball. We've got to beat teams
that we feel like we should beat."
Maybe it seems pretty bland for a player to assert that his team should beat the worst team in the AL Central. But the White Sox haven't exactly been the most confident bunch of guys this year, and for someone on the squad (even if it is the biggest loudmouth on the club), to firmly state that things need to turn around immediately, and need to do so in the form of victories over truly, blatantly God-awful teams, is a positive step. Jake went even farther to say that the obliterations at the hands of winning teams needs to stop.
"We're going to Tampa this weekend," he said. "You look at going into
the best team in baseball and you try to go 2-2 and win the series here
and you come off the road 4-3. We have a favorable schedule over the
Good for Jake. Having a competitor on the team who is clearly locked in and values winning can never be overstated for importance. Just ask the Florida Marlins about Hanley Ramirez.
On the more obnoxious side of the news, Phil Rogers released his weekly power rankings in Tuesday's Tribune. The standings used by Rogers were up to date through Sunday, making it a somewhat curious choice for him to cite the Cleveland Indians' record on the season against the White Sox, knowing that it was guaranteed to be out of date by press time. But hey, that's just lazy writing, not unabashedly illogical. Furthermore, one can't really fault Rogers for littering the rankings of other teams with negative comments about the Sox given that it is a Chicago-area paper (people really just want to hear about their team), and they have been quite bad this season. Nor can you really assault Rogers for ranking the Royals above the Sox in spite of their inferior record, because they have played at an improved level of recent.
Where I begin to question Rogers is when he asserts that the Dodgers fleeced Kenny Williams in trading the Sox Juan Pierre for John Ely. Pierre struggled early on, but the Sox also clearly needed a leadoff hitter. However productive Ely may be, it's hard to use the term 'fleeced' when the Dodgers are paying more than half of Pierre's salary.
What I felt was outright wrong was for Rogers to ask "How much longer will the Sox keep giving starts to Freddy Garcia?", as if Garcia has been consistently bombing in his outings. Freddy has made 8 starts this season. 2 were awful, 1 was mediocre, and 5 were quality. 5! Including the last three in a row up to that point! By this standard why haven't we traded away every starter save for John Danks?!?! Heck, Danks struggled last night, maybe Rogers thinks a team official should whisper in John's ear that if he gives up more than three runs in the next start, he's being sent to Charlotte. Geez, Phil, I know everyone is only as good as their last outing, but I don't know if we can afford to dump all these contracted players after each bad outing, we're still smarting after being fleeced in the Pierre deal.