Monday, August 15th is the birthday of former White Sox team owner, and former stadium namesake, Charles Comiskey. I don't imagine there was much celebration, because it tends to damper birthday celebrations when the guest of honor isn't there. Especially if he isn't there because he's dead.
Celebrate Charles Comiskey's 152nd birthday? Why? He didn't make it to 152. He wasn't even close!
Another reason to not celebrate his birthday is because while Charles surely had many warm moments with family and friends, history views him as kind of a cheapskate jerk, whose low wages and general stinginess is viewed as a catalyst to the 1919 White Sox deciding to throw the World Series for money.
He made players pay for their own laundry, he had Eddie Cicotte benched so he wouldn't fulfill a contract incentive, and he served his players flat champagne when they won the pennant. On the other hand, a still-living Comiskey would probably not have approved the Alex Rios waiver claim.
Other notes while I'm perusing Comiskey's wikipedia article:
-He is said to have begun his career in baseball at age 17, when while riding by a game being played, Comiskey was struck by how awful the pitcher was and felt that it was his duty to replace him. This is awesome, but will sadly never happen again because anyone trying such a gambit would be tackled before they got within 50 feet of the mound.
Whenever you find a moment when you're not blaming the LeGue family, blame them again for the hell of it.
-Comiskey is credited with introducing the practice of playing behind the bag and inside the line at 1st base. That seems like one of those developments that someone else would have figured out eventually anyway.
The pesky Tigers made their third deal of the season, and it's yet another low-risk trade offering slight improvement. They acquired OF Delmon Young from the Twins for some guy throwing out of the bullpen in A-ball.
Young is having a dreadful year at the plate (82 wRC+), and is nowhere near as good in the field as his current 3.9 UZR indicates. Yet he's still an upgrade over Magglio Ordonez, because poor Maggs' career is ending.
The Tigers give up essentially nothing, and can non-tender Young after 2011 if they choose. It'd be a genius deal save for the fact that Young has never even had a 2 WAR season, and was about as loathed as one can be by Twins fans without committing a crime.
Lo and behold, Young homered in his first plate appearance for the Tigers. They lost anyway, as Jim Thome hit his 599th and 600th career homers. Congratulations, Jimmers.
Monday also brought around the deadline for signing draft picks for major league teams. To borrow a line from Grey of Fire Gerald Laird, the White Sox signed their 1st round draft pick in December, and his name is Adam Dunn.
Bah, t'was a terrible draft!
Actually, the Sox already signed 10 of their top 12 picks, and this deadline was pretty much meaningless for the organization. Of the 12, only JUCO pitchers Ian Gardeck and Benjamin O'Shea spurned their offers for the thrills of college. Enjoy your significantly higher contract offers/career-derailing arm injuries, boys! Those are pretty much the only two options.
Scott Merkin had an article on the White Sox website Monday detailing how the marketing department has not given up on their 'All In' slogan for the 2011 season, despite that it was being roundly mocked before the front office changed their approach mid-year and dumped salary at the deadline. It was your standard "I know what you're thinking, but we regret nothing!" piece.
Really, there's no way they should be regretful of it. The primary goal of the slogan was to generate excitement for the new season, and it did that. Any kind of early optimism will predictably look stupid at the end of a shoddy season, but it's completely besides the point.
However, my roommate texted me the other day to let me know that on a poster on the subway that featured Buehrle bent over and flipping a ball between his legs, someone had carved "your butt" next to the phrase "All In". The marketing department couldn't have foreseen that! Or they could have; sophomoric vandalism only goes but a few ways.
Once more in life, Juan Pierre has staged a furious 2nd half rally to drag his hitting stats back in the neighborhood of his career averages. His current line of .285/.339/.335 is right around anyone's reasonable expectations for Pierre coming into 2011.
So of course, cue the "Can you believe those morons wanted Pierre DFA'd?!!?" articles.
As a representative of said moron contingent, I would just like to add that my criticisms of Pierre also touched on how his base-stealing game had collapsed. As it stands, he'll have to hustle to eclipse his full-season career-low of 30, and his 61% success rate is still quite bad
I also mentioned something about him no longer being a plus-defender, and UZR, and DRS all still have him firmly in the negative, while Baseball Reference puts his Defensive Runs Above Replacement at just 0.1.
Finally, for all this rallying at the plate, Pierre has scratched his way to a .301 wOBA while playing a position typically reserved for power hitters. Among regular left fielders in baseball, he's tied with Carl Crawford's nightmare season, and outpaces only the abysmal Vernon Wells, along with Corey Patterson and Ryan Ludwick...two guys who have lost their starting jobs.
If this is Pierre turning his season around, I wonder what we were waiting for.
Oh for Pete's sake.
I haven't said much about the Fan Confidence widget on the right rail because to vote on it, it looks like you need to register for FanTab, and I don't know what that is.
Eyeing it lazily, it dropped to around 50% after the Yankees debacle, shot up to 70% in the middle of the Baltimore series, and now sits at 91% after the Sox won 2 of 3 at home versus the Royals. At this moment, it would seem that the people who choose to join FanTab suffer from a staggering lack of perspective.
Tags: Adam Dunn, Baltimore Orioles, baseball, benjamin o'shea, Carl Crawford, charley comiskey, corey patterson, Detroit Tigers, ian gardeck, Jim Thome, John Danks, Jordan Danks, Juan Pierre, Kansas City Royals, magglio ordonez, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, ryan ludwick, scott merkin, vernon wells, White Sox