Three days before the Winter Meetings is an odd time to make plans

Three days before the Winter Meetings is an odd time to make plans

The White Sox are in a state of flux, so much so that the organizational figureheads have no problem admitting that they have no real idea what kind of team they'll have for 2012.  Nor do they have any problem admitting that pretty much everything will be different after whatever massive shake-up next week's Winter Meetings have in store.

Poor Robin Ventura is left essentially asking 'Hey, try to keep some good players, if you can, guys'

"Obviously, I'd love to hand the ball to John Danks 30-plus times and Gavin Floyd the same thing and have Carlos (Quentin) in right," Ventura said Thursday during a conference call. "It's kind of a wish list, but that's not always going to be able to happen. So I don't think (Williams) knows. I don't know. And that's the interesting part about going there."

Interesting!  Losing your top three starters over the course of a week can be interesting.  Or terrifying.  Or exciting.  Or a combination of both that makes your heart contract and expand simultaneously.  That sounds fatal, but we really can't know it will be until after the Winter Meetings.

Everyone's available, except for perhaps low-cost, surplus-value assets like Chris Sale and Alexei Ramirez...except they are!  For exorbitant prices!

Shouldn't every great player have that status?  If Ned Colletti calls and offers Matt Kemp for Paul Konerko....thanks for the memories, PK!  Baseball is ultimately too competitive for sentiment, or worrying about if one of your colleagues has been exposed to ether.

Providing hilarious contrast, is that the White Sox have simultaneously scheduled player appearances for SoxFest 2012.  Sure, this event is months away, they haven't even finalized the list yet, and the audience for the event is pretty much built-in regardless if the lineup changes (especially since NEAL COTTS WILL BE THERE), but without your word, you're nothing.

Sensibly absent from the list, is the preposterously coveted Mark Buehrle, as is the extension-reluctant trade chip John Danks, as well as reverse-platoon-splits-having hair model Carlos Quentin.

Welp, clearly these guys are gone.  This is the damning farewell, and hooray! Clearly Sergio's staying because he wouldn't be scheduled for an event on January 27th if he's being traded on December 5th!

Gavin Floyd's presence on the list is a bit harder to explain, but he's so nice!  He gave a guy new legs!  Surely he's sweet enough to show up for a promotional event for a team he's not under contract with anymore.

And Thornton!  Wait?!? Thornton? The $6MM-a-year reliever who's been on the block for four months and isn't a great allocation of resources as a non-closer for a re-tooling team?  The next team that can offer veteran left-handed hitter who can man multiple non-premium positions can have Easy Heat on a plane tonight.

I think we're going to have to assume that these lineups aren't particularly meaningful and subject to radical change...especially since A.J. Pierzynski isn't on there, and that guy's un-killable.

Also listed to appear are Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, Brent Morel, Dayan Viciedo, Philip Humber, Tyler Flowers, Brett Lillibridge, and I'd put a lot of money on Zach Stewart being available should anyone be interested.

Adam Dunn too!  Oh, that is probably not going to be great weekend for him, not at all.

Alex Rios isn't listed, and maybe he won't be ever.  I get the impression that fans are more interested in confronting Dunn--about his approach, his swing, his workout routine--but Rios is a less compelling preposterous failure.

His ocean of weak contact doesn't draw the focus that Dunn's mountain of whiffs does.  But maybe his appearance would provide some insight--into his choice of a slow and plodding bass line for his walk-up music, or his weird mixture of spite and playfulness in response to outfield hecklers.  Maybe there's a interesting person there that Sox fans can embrace!

Brett Ballantini indicated multiple time that this is not the case.



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  • Other "less compelling preposterous failures"? Kaiser Wilhelm vs. Adolf Hitler in failed attempts to conquer Europe springs to mind.

    Chris Widger at SoxFest? Seriously, at what point is it that whatever it is separating baseball player from baseball fan becomes so blurry and non distinct that you just have to charge a guy like Chris Widger admission? Thanks for 154 PA in 2005 Chris, but you have to pay to see Frank Thomas just like everyone else.

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    Chris Widger's .667 OBP in the '05 Playoffs would like a word with you. Margalus had a piece after the '10 season stating that Castro's year was the first remotely competent season from a White Sox back-up catcher since Widger in '05, and that's including Widger's '06 season. His article was focusing entirely on offense, because The Widge (I just came up with that now) was horrid behind the plate.

    I always thought Italy's craptastical efforts in Northern Africa in WWII didn't get enough pub. Lost a lot of battles they should have won in a breeze based on sheer numbers. This is a good spot to provide a link to how the 2011 White Sox were the favorites in 99 of their games.

  • In reply to James Fegan:

    Right, maybe Mussolini was the Rios-like less compelling preposterous failure. But now this analogy is starting to feel a little weighty. Killing fastballs is not the same as killing people. I'm going to drop it.

    As for Widger? OK, when a marginal player contributes to a White Sox world series run in that way I guess we throw sample size out the window. But a -2.1 career WAR (BR) and only about 240 PA in a White Sox uniform? And from what I understand, catcher is a pretty important defensive position. Though I'm sure Widger will be one of the cooler guys to hang out with at SoxFest. For the most part, I was just trying to be clever, and did a damn poor job of it as usual.

    I'm not sure what I'm supposed to get out of that vegas odds table.

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    I think you're mistaking my "defense" of Widger as genuine, and not just an excuse to sarcastically banter and pull up obscure facts. If I think a joke is funny, usually I respond by adding to it, not by actually typing out "Hahahahahaha".

    Fans having to assess just how excited they should be to meet Chris Widger (Hey, you pinch-hit against a lefty in a game I went to once!) is amusingly awkward situation.

    I think just as weird to see Cliff Politte and Neal Cotts there. Both were pretty much useless ballplayers after that year, and 2005 was pretty much the only good season poor Neal had. He's there because his career's over and he's only 31.

    Joe Crede just makes me sad. One of my favorite players ever, and his back flat-out quit on him

  • In reply to James Fegan:

    If I were Chris Widger I would act all aloof. Arrive in a limo. Have my brother-in-law pose as a personal bodyguard. Charge for autographs. Eat a lot of crab salad.

    I share your regard for suck 'em up Joe.

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    ...and pretend to not remember or recognize Cliff Politte.

    Maybe even get him confused with Sean Tracey just for fun ("Sean? You've aged HORRIBLY!")

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