Whether for sheer moments of virtuosity, or Monday night’s delightful tone change into slapstick, it’s been an enormously entertaining World Series. It will bring a pang of sadness when it–and baseball itself–comes to a close, but it will also re-start the journey.
That is, the journey toward a new White Sox season. When things can officially switch from being in post-mortem from an awful 2011, to planning for a new, presumably less soul-crushing campaign. While winning a World Series is always the stated goal, it’s the daily stimulation of a new game, or planning a new roster and watching everything come together that is sustaining. It’s what fans keep coming back to.
Until that start’s up….
Well, there’s the World Series to stare at.
I’ve been trying to determine whether Edwin Jackson’s miserable 5.1 IP, 7-walk start in Game 4 made the White Sox look better or worse. On the one hand, a national audience observed Jackson with this bizarro combination of a fastball he didn’t trust and a slider he couldn’t spot, and had to wonder “This man…in the World Series…what?“.
On the other hand, it was Don Cooper who ratcheted up Jackson’s slider usage, coaxed some of the best results of his career with this approach, and has now unleashed him on the rest of the league to figure out, and it’s highly questionable that they will. Nothing says ‘genius’ like creating problems no one else understands.
And Edwin Jackson is the someone else’s problem now! Unless the White Sox trade off half their current rotation and inexplicably bring E-Jax back in the fold.
Paul Leko, the original composer of the song “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)” passed away two weeks ago. Strangely, that was the biggest White Sox story that the Tribune had for the majority of this past Monday, and served as a reminder that “Na Na Hey Hey” was actually a song, and not some bizarre organic creation of the White Sox fan base’s love of schadenfreude.
It’s been cited that a tradition of derisively singing off opposing pitchers is a prime example of a mean-spirited nature of Sox fans that outsiders don’t appreciate, which strikes me as off because 1) They lyrical content is way softer than anything else that’s ever been said to an opposing team player by anyone, ever and 2) Almost everything is more light-hearted when expressed through song. It’s playful reminder that this is just a silly game, and just because you–the opposing pitcher–just gave up a grand slam to Brent Morel and might never be paid to pitch again after this indignity, shouldn’t distract from that you’re playing baseball with other grown men in matching pants.
If the White Sox were to declare that they were moving to a new city, or Kenny Williams held a press conference to trumpet a series of trades he swung to set up a Vernon Wells-Alex Rios-Vladimir Guererro outfield, a vaudevillian song-and-dance number might do a lot to soften the blow, if for no other reason than that if Vlad could get through the whole routine without fracturing his ankle, it’d really increase my confidence in his health.
Anything is better than giving into the temptation of discussing Terry Doyle as a pitching prospect.
The White Sox don’t have pitching prospects, which is why someone like Terry Doyle gets attention, because out of everyone in the system he bears the most resemblance.
Doyle continues to burn up the Arizona Fall League, as he’s now up to 16.2 IP with a 1.08 ERA with the Mesa Solar Sox (don’t worry, this team name will go away soon and stop existing). Whether or not it’s an advantage that he’s old enough to be able to rent a car to commute to and from games with has not been discussed.
J.J. quizzed Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein on Doyle, and the most complementary element of his analysis might have been him referring to Doyle as a “big, big dude”, which is perfect for in 2014 when Bud Selig panickes about TV ratings, and forces across a bunch of rule changes that make a lead-blocking fullback essential for any competent Major League offense.
Oh great, that was just three paragraphs of discussing Terry Doyle as a pitching prospect.
The White Sox will be having organizational meetings of some variety for the first time since 2007, which was the last season that stunk entirely and made everyone want to hurt themselves. Breaking in a new manager, and accounting for the possible loss of Assistant GM Rick Hahn are as likely motivators as any, but the fact that the number of White Sox employees who hate each other’s guts has been reduced can’t be overlooked.
I’d apologize for the late posting, but if you’ve reached this far, you’ve realized I didn’t have much in the tank.