Welcome distractions from Prince Fielder

Welcome distractions from Prince Fielder
Are his teeth crooked or is he just gritting them extra-hard? I've asked myself this question literally all of the 97 times I've looked at this photo // Getty Photo

Prince Fielders had 128 weighted runs created in 2011.  Adam Dunn + Alex Rios + Gordon Beckham had 125.  I would like a distraction from Prince Fielder, please.

Yoenis Cespedes and that other finesse lefty guy

Yoenis Cespedes is a distraction, and is even the opposite of Fielder in many ways.  There's no worry of where to put him defensively on the diamond, he projects to age very well (provided he hasn't aged already), and his immediate impact is the one thing that can be counted on the least.

Also his promotional video boasts of different skill set than that of Fielder's.  (Crap, that video just gave me a nightmare vision of Valverde straining his oblique with one out left in the 9th against the Sox, and Fielder trotting in and retiring Dunn on strikes to clinch the AL Central.  This doesn't get better)

Anyways, Cespedes has established residency in the Dominican Republic and is now officially a free agent.  While he's been in discussions with teams plenty during this entire time, there doesn't seem to be any indication he's in a hurry to sign.

Because they just committed $214 million to Prince Fielder, there's a widespread notion that the Tigers are out on Cespedes, which feels a bit like watching someone commit murder and rationalizing "Well, they got all their aggression out."  I get the feeling that Detroit is willing to bend their typical spending limits this season.

CBS' Danny Knobler reports that Cespedes is going to keep his full-time home in the Dominican Republic, and may not be interested in Miami from a residency standpoint.  That might remove one powerful candidate, but John Arguello figures that the Cubs' spiffy Dominican facilities make them a comfortable fit for Yoenis in that case.  When there comes an update that indicates the White Sox as having the inside edge, it'll be the first.

Of course, in the wake of what's happened this week, and the last two off-seasons in general, the words of the rumor-chasers could use some salt.

Meanwhile, 18 year-old LHP Gerald Concepcion is available and going through workouts with team and such.  The White Sox are said to be interested, but there's not a whole lot of press around it.  Perhaps because the reports around Concepcion make me tempted to nickname him "Clayton Richard's Cuban younger brother".

Throwbacks

In an effort to slap some stylish new drapes on a window rife with bullet holes, the White Sox will be wearing their old 1972 uniforms during every Sunday home game, honoring the 30th anniversary of that season when Dick Allen won the MVP award, Wilbur Wood threw 376.2 IP (!), and Bill Melton was there too.

Being born in '87, I have no memory of this team, and have to fight off my basest urges to say "Hey look, it's the White Sox uniform...but red!"  But the general reaction around the White Sox world is that this is awesome, and if these uniforms are going to cause excitement and enthusiasm, well then mission accomplished.  They do look nice.

Top Prospects!

MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo released his list of the 100 top prospects in baseball!

Addison Reed is #100.

He was the only White Sox entry.

(/walks away from the computer to go start smoking habit)

Daryle Ward!

Former White Sox farmhand and Cubs...uh...pinch-hitter (?) Daryle Ward was suspended 50 games for testing positive for amphetamine use.  The suspension takes effect immediately upon him signing with a major league organization....

...well, that's the end of Daryle Ward!  90 career major league home runs is a lot of career major league home runs.

Heeey, Ward's a 36 year-old rotund left-handed slugger who...uh....um...does anyone else want to finish making this terrible, lazy and derogatory Prince Fielder-comp?  I lost my taste for it pretty quick.

Closers!

There's nothing like a legitimate question for the 2012 major league roster to provide a distraction from the barren, hopeless landscape of the farm system and the AL Central.

Because they will strive to walk and talk like any other major league baseball team, the White Sox will need to figure out which relief pitcher shall earn the role of "closer".  And if they don't need to figure it out, they'll spend time doing it anyway.  If the Sox are within 5 games of 1st place at the All-Star break, I will break out the "maximize our effciency by playing the best matchup in the highest-leverage game situation!" rant again, but until then, I'm putting it away in this cabinet.

In a radio interview on 670 the Score, Ventura declared the job "open", which is to be expected since the pitcher who finished #2 in saves last year is now a starter, and the pitcher who led the team is now a starter named Nestor Molina.  However, Robin did stipulate that "Matt is probably the guy to do that," which is surely music to Thornton's ears, as he lost his dream job to Murphy's Law last season.

Even though Reed's eventual ascension gives the Sox more flexibility, favoring Thornton to start is the best move.  For one, opting against the most experienced shutdown reliever would be a quirky way for Ventura to introduce himself to the White Sox clubhouse, and he was hired with the intention of keeping the quirks to a minimum.

Moreover, Thornton's experience extends beyond just the other veterans feeling that he deserves the job, or that he has 'closer pedigree'.  It means that he's a known commodity, and doesn't have to be watched and tracked over the course of Spring Training for his progress.  Ventura can simply stand pat on the wisdom of handing the top job to the long-tenured warrior, and be pleasantly surprised if receives any good reason from Reed or even Crain, to unseat him.

Considering the rest of the organization, picking from a collection of qualified candidates should be one of this Spring's easy pleasures.

 

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  • Hey, I can do "terrible, lazy and derogatory":

    Ward's a 36 year-old rotund left-handed slugger who . . . was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1994. The same Detroit Tigers franchise who recently agreed to pay Prince Fielder, another rotund left-handed slugger, $214MM. Like Fielder, Ward is the son of a former professional baseball player (Gary Ward) and both are part of a super exclusive group of players who have hit 20 HR in a major league season whose fathers also hit 20 HR in a major league season.

    Ward had his best season at age 25. Fielder had his best season at age 25.

    Quite clearly, and without a doubt, Daryle Ward is like some kind of Prince Fielder doppelganger, and Ward's late career decline can only be looked upon as a harbinger of things to come for Fielder. Obviously, this does not bode well for Fielder or the Tigers but bodes very well for White Sox fans.

    Also, no source has yet confirmed that Fielder was not with Ward when Ward recently purchased amphetamines. It's possible that they both met the buyer at a shady interstate rest stop. Moreover, neither party has denied that they then consumed the drugs at an all night rave or that they later shared the drugs with female escorts in exchange for sex. I'm just saying . . .

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    No court would not convict. Where were Ward and Fielder the night of the Lindbergh kidnapping?

    What do you mean "nowhere"?!??! Well, I can tell you where they'll be for the next 25 years!

    I feel so much better now.

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