The Baseball Prospectus' Hit List power rankings--based on three different types of pythagorean calculations and league strength--have the White Sox as 2nd in all of baseball.
The difference between them and No. 1 Texas is significant, but BP calculates their chances of making the playoffs at 61.8%, which has raised 27.6% in the last week. Kenny Williams will probably take those odds.
There's plenty of good bits in Gonzales' most recent notebook, and reading it all would be advised. The main features are...
- Alejandro De Aza is fine after getting a pickoff throw whipped at his knee on Wednesday. De Aza's season has been mystifying for both how frequently he's been hit with throws while on the basepaths, and how well he's played through it despite having a reputation for fragility.
- Brent Morel is eligible to return from the disabled list on Saturday, but Ventura wants him to "show no limitations from a lumbar back strain that made him vulnerable against certain pitches," which could easily be read as "he needs to hit to earn his way up". He went 2 for 3 with a double Wednesday night.
- John Danks has multiple bullpen sessions lined for the weekend to see if he can make his next start. He reported progress after throwing from 120 feet, but claims to not yet be 100%. Jose Quintana has escaped trouble to the tune of a 1.76 ERA, muting any pain of Danks' absence, but absurd luck on balls in play (.119 BABIP) might have something to do with that.
- Chris Sale will not skip his bullpen session for his next start, so concern over his elbow isn't present in the organization at the moment.
Hawk rant aftermath
Given his awful reputation with other fan bases and national writers, it's no surprise that the pure bluster of Hawk Harrelson's rant after Mark Wegner ejected Jose Quintana got more scrutiny than his actual point, even if it's disappointing.
It was admittedly hard to tell what Harrelson's specific objection was at the time, but his subsequent interview with 670 AM the Score included a more direct complaint (as well as off-hand admissions of heavy stress-induced painkiller use) that a warning should have been issued after Pierzynski was hit.
Wegner had no true obligation to warn the benches before ejecting Quintana, but assuming he's as attentive to the events of the game as anyone, there's a disparity when a Tampa pitcher hits a batter and receives no warning, and a White Sox pitcher throws behind a batter and is immediately ejected.
If, as Rob Neyer conjectured, Wegner figured everything should have been square after Pierzynski was hit in retaliation for his slide, he had an opportunity to make that clear with a warning, and declined.
Chris Jaffe of the Hardball Times has an exhaustive list of Magglio Ordonez's greatest moments.
Larry from South Side Sox ponders what the Sox will do to shuffle around their still fairly awful bench a month from now.
I shuddered when the lead-in text capsule of Troy Patterson of the Hardball Times' article on Chris Sale was "While everyone was watching Daniel Bard...", but it's good stuff if you enjoy reading positive things about the young left-hander.
Vote for the All-Star Game, or resign yourself to be angered by the selections. Or both.