It's the second week of February, pitchers and catchers don't report until next Wednesday. There's nothing, man. Nothing.
That in mind, there's only one recourse for the highly professional White Sox blogger to find a story; type in "white sox" into Google and see if something legit comes up. Or, see if something else comes up.
For this purpose, Chase Hughes of CSN Washington offers the piece "White Sox got Rizzo'd".
Don't worry! It's not further speculation on the White Sox trading for Edwin Jackson in order to flip him for Adam Dunn at the 2010 trade deadline. No, that's old hat. It's time to celebrate new triumphs.
"Good general managers, regardless of sport, usually draft well, make smart trades and free agent deals, and also know when it is time to let one of their own go."
The Nationals are an up-and-coming team with a burly farm system, so pontificating on the greatness of their GM Mike Rizzo, who has set them up so well is warranted. He managed to pick the super-consensus top prospect in two drafts where he had the #1 overall draft pick, but there was a lot of other good stuff too.
"Mike Rizzo made a tough decision last season in parting ways with a fan favorite and one of the best sluggers in the game in Adam Dunn. Dunn signed a four-year, $56 million deal to join the Chicago White Sox."
Mike Rizzo had a tough decision on whether to bid on a 31 year-old slugger who figured to be one of the most sought after bats on the market, for a team that didn't figure to compete in 2011.
"At the time it seemed risky, the Nats were losing 40 home runs and lineup protection for Ryan Zimmerman. But just weeks into the MLB season it was clear Dunn was going to struggle, he finished the year with a .159/.292/.277 split and thoughts of retirement."
This is true. Well, except the lineup protection part. That really doesn't have any statistical basis.
"Sounds like Chicago White Sox fans are going to rue the Dunn signing for quite some time.
Count another one for Rizzo."
Damn. Damn. Rizzo not only had the foresight to bail on Dunn so he could cycle in the promising and cheaper Mike Morse in his stead, but used his leftover funds for the far more wise and prudent Jayson Werth contract. I for one feel the sting of the Rizzo; it is deep, and it is all-encompassing.
I can only imagine how hard this is for Williams, coming in every day to the office, flicking on his computer, and seeing the "RIZZO'D" desktop background put on there by that sniveling intern he had fired before asking him how to take it off.
The only solace he can possibly have are the memories from all the times he's done the same to other GMs. Now, there have been plenty of instances of Williams trading out prospects that wound up as busts, or pitchers that wound up breaking down, but those types of trades are based on scouting and knowledge of fundamental baseball truths. For this purpose, we are seeking instances where Williams through divine intuition avoided the otherwise completely unpredictable demise of a player. That, is the true art of The Rizzo.
After the 2003 season, the White Sox made curiously little push to re-sign free agent starter Bartolo Colon. The Angels signed Colon to a 4 year, $51 million deal, only to see his HR rate shoot up to 1.64 HR/9, prompting him to finish with a 5.01 ERA. Colon's home run rate was a .5 increase over his previous career-high, and took place despite his moving from U.S. Cellular Field to a pitcher-friendly ballpark. The White Sox would have liked to retain Colon if the price wasn't so high, and his performance decline was entirely unexpected and counter-intuitive...unless you're Kenny, that is. Poor Angels GM Bill Stoneman was left with the pain of being Williams'd.
After the 2004 season, 30-HR, plus-range shortstop Jose Valentin was allowed to walk in free agency as part of a seemingly misguided attempt to change the White Sox culture away from hitting home runs that worked out anyway when the entire starting rotation peaked simultaneously...or at least that's what Paul DePodesta thought when signed Valentin to a $3.5 million deal for 2005, only to realize when Valentin tore up his knee in Spring Training that he too, had been Williams'd. The next year, Valentin recovered and hit .271/.330/.490 for the Mets, completing the rare Double Williams'd.
At the end of the 2010 season, Manny Ramirez wasn't outstanding for the White Sox, but he did post a .420 OBP on the South Side. And yet, Kenny knew better than to be tempted. Ramirez signed with the Tampa Bay Rays in the off-season, and sure enough, tested positive for performance enhancing drugs again. For Andrew Friedman, the extra 2% is to account for the degree to which he has been Williams'd.
While winning championships is the primary goal of any general manager, goal #1A would probably be collecting awesome instances of totally owning other GMs. And the best path to maximum GM ownage is to trick them into signing crappy players by pretending to not have room in the budget, or to have a competent replacement for them. While not every fan base is lucky enough to have a Rizzo, who projects to do both in the future, we can at least look forward to the next great White Sox player who's allowed to walk in free agency being a fine opportunity to Williams someone.
Everyone! Root for Mark Buehrle to fail!*
*At this moment, the writer passed away due to cognitive dissonance
Filed under: Free Agency
Tags: Adam Dunn, andrew friedman, bartolo colon, baseball, Edwin Jackson, jayson wertth, jose valentin, Kenny Williams, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, los angeles dodgers, Manny Ramirez, mike rizzo, new york mets, paul depodesta, ryan zimmerman, tampa bay rays, Washington Nationals, White Sox