Move over, Gordon Beckham, Dayan Viciedo is now the possibly rejuvenated hitter trying to earn his way up the batting order.
Wednesday night's losing effort witnessed Viciedo post his third straight multi-hit game, and launch his fifth home run of the year. Better yet, Dayan's deposit of a 93 mph Jerome Williams fastball into the rock pile behind Anaheim's left-center field wall featured his best work turning on an inner-half pitch in the past several weeks.
Despite looking hopeless as recently as a week ago, it's suddenly a shame that Dayan will be relegated to the bench this weekend when Dunn replaces him in left field against the Cubs. Using Dunn in the field gives the impression that anything goes as far as sacrificing offense for defense, but Ventura is only replacing the most range-limited defender in the lineup with someone even more so.
Finding a way to fit Viciedo back in would be a far bigger hit, not to mention an invitation to injury.
Speculation over the 3rd base spot probably has far more to do with the desperation to find an alternative to Brent Morel's bat than it has to do with the viability of the options available. Journeymen Conor Jackson and now Dan Johnson receiving starts at 3rd in AAA Charlotte Knights lend credence to the notion that the Sox are pondering sacrificing a lot of defense in order to get another major-league quality bat in the lineup.
Hawk was quick to call attention to Peter Bourjos' unusually spirited attempt at a takeout slide on Gordon Beckham in the 8th inning. Bourjos slid, then continued rolling into Beckham's leg, who appeared momentarily shaken but avoided injury.
More than the actual slide itself--which was definitely bizarre--was that it took place in the bottom of the 8th with the Angels up five runs, and that Bourjos had slid hard into Beckham last season.
A narrative of the recently benched Bourjos trying to impress his manager with hustle is a lot more plausible than him having it out for Beckham, and there's no indication that the Sox have any notion of making something of it. This is not a roster that courts that type of conflict.
RIP Kevin Hickey
There's absolutely no shortage of poignant retrospectives on former White Sox pitcher and coach Kevin Hickey, who passed away yesterday at the age of 56 after falling into a coma on Opening Day. Chuck Garfien at CSN Chicago's retrospective includes interviews with Bill Melton, Frank Thomas, Ron Kittle, and Don Cooper. Mark Gonzales captured Ed Farmer's memories of his old teammate. But above all is Mark Konkol of the Sun Times' article on Hickey's life, pieced together from dozens of conversations over the years, and detailing his unlikely trek to the major leagues.