" That's just the sort of blinkered, Philistine Pig ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage!"

John Cleese

Sunday, May 30, 2010

That Seems About Right

Only an injury on a home run celebration could get me out of my weekend away from blogging.

Angels season in a nutshell?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sox Summary Saturday - The Joe West Week

Win, loss, win, loss, win, loss, win.

That was the week. And that's been the year. Nothing sustained. Nothing gained.

The opportunity has been there. The Twins 4-6 in their last ten, 9-11 in their last 20 and 15-15 in their last 30. And only the Rays and Blue Jays have played more games against teams below .500 than the Twins while a recent trend continued...Twins players crap their pants anytime anyone in a Yankee uniform comes within their line of vision. They're now 2-14 against them since the beginning of 2009 including the playoffs.

On the Tigers, Dontrelle Willis, Rick Porcello and the recently sent-down Max Scherzer = bad. Bonderman? That won't last.

The opportunity...has been there.

The week's recap from Saturday to Friday (4-3 overall, 1-1 at home, 3-2 on the road)


.234/.306/.381 for a .687 OPS

Three guys had an OPS above .684 for the week. Geesh, take out Rios and his 1.343 OPS and it's not good.

Konerko's May should also put to rest arguments from guys like Phil Rogers calling for the Sox to quickly give him a 2-3 year deal at $12 million per after his huge April. .205/.290/.349 in May. He's now hitting .248. Quick! Throw him $36 million! How can anyone not like Konerko and he has a few years of productive production left in him. But let's see how the year plays out first. He's 34.

Start of the week: 7 1/2 GB. End of the week: 7 GB.

.246 BABIP for the week.

K rate: 13%

Walk rate: 7.8%

Okay. This is the team. This is what they are. It's been two months now. Sure, they don't strike out much but they don't really walk much either and when they hit the ball, they don't particularly hit it with much authority. They're 7th in the majors in homers but 22nd in runs and 25th in doubles. Oddly, they're in many ways a more bad version of their "all or nothing" former selves.

Avg. w/ RISP: .238 .270 in wins, .111 in losses. Sky is blue, zebras have stripes.

The good: Rios. SSS looked at his numbers and projected them out through the rest of season a while back. They were gaudy in the guadiest way gaudy can be.

Let's do it again. Projecting his stats out to a full season (stupidly assuming no missed games):

.309/.365/.582 for a .946 OPS. 35 homers, 53 stolen bases, 46 doubles, 88 RBI, 49/71 BB/K ratio. MY GOD! He even walked six times this week, striking out only once.

The bad: Jones, Quentin, Konerko, Pierre, Kotsay, Ramirez and Pierzynski. All hit between .154 and .227 on the week. Kotsay contributed this week but his base-running gaffe Thursday at Tampa ran the Sox out of an inning. Quentin has now drawn six total walks this month.

And I will continue to beat the dead horse. Of all the leadoff hitters in baseball, players whose only role is to leadoff and get on base, players with a minimum of 175 PAs on the year, Juan Pierre is second-t0-last in all of baseball in OBP at .306, ahead of only Erick Aybar at .305, a guy that Scioscia also continues to trot out there in the leadoff spot.

The "I'm gonna steal home in the first inning" stolen bases stat: Five stolen bases, caught twice. Rios had three swipes, none caught.


Well...thanks to Joe West's narcissism, Buehrle didn't get a chance to put up any meaningful stats. Floyd looks to be back. He was dominant against the Marlins Saturday and the Sox wasted a quality start against the Rays Thursday. Peavy apparently now has something like arm fatigue, which is code for being bad. Yes, that'll do. We saw good Garcia and bad Garcia this week- BP against the Marlins and pretty much dominant last night against the Rays with the Sox continuing to kinda beat up on David Price.

Tony Pena performed admirably replacing Buehrle in the "balk that wasn't a balk" game, throwing four scoreless. Putz, Thorton and Santos are doing their part to hasten the trade of the delusional Jenks and how does Randy Williams still have a spot on this roster (11 hits in three innings of work to continue his mastery of being bad)?

Inter Alia

Six game week this week with Monday off. Two more at Tampa and then the start of a nine game homestand, three each against Texas, Cleveland and Detroit. It's a good week to pick up a couple games here. The Twins head out west for seven games against improving Seattle and Oakland teams.

That's doable, especially with Danks going twice. Feldman pitched decent enough against the Sox in late April, garnering a no-decision in the Konerko two-homer game but they've beat him up in the past. Shields hasn't been anything special against the Sox in his career but beat them in late April in a workmanlike two-run, six-hit, three-walk effort. Harden's back to his too-walky ways and Masterson, a Phil Rogers favorite because he's local, has been just awful since the trade from the Red Sox. Colby Lewis has given up 15 runs on 20 hits in nine innings of work at U.S. Cellular in his career.

News of the week: The Phillies have been looking at Jenks and Putz. By all means, Phillies. Do what you need to do on Jenks. How about for a bag of balls? He's worth about what Ken Phelps was when he was traded for that. Ozzie and Kenny don't have a friendship anymore according the Tribune. Yawn. And in the "this is the kind of shit you get when your team is bad" world of dippy columns, Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald wondered how a Quentin for Fukudome trade would work.

So Long, Suckers

Out of the blogosphere (God I hate that term) for the extended weekend....Have a wonderful time remembering our fallen soldiers by barbecuing a dead animal and drinking yourself into oblivion while operating a boat!

Yay America!

Friday, May 28, 2010

River In Egypt

The Bobby Jenks Horse's Ass Tour continues.
As predicted in my knee jerk post game rant yesterday, Bobby feels that he's getting the job done.
Sure, it isn't pretty but he DID get the save....

Take a gander at these numbers. That's a 2.06 WHIP BTW....He's a closer.

Snarky comments in red....

May 26, 2010 8:08 PM |

"It was one of those days where you make some good pitches and they get hits," Jenks said. "The only pitch I'm mad about is the Shelly Duncan pitch. I feel that was the only one I missed my location. It's just one of those days in baseball."

"After I got him 0-2, I went with the curveball and then just missed with two bad changeups," Jenks said. "We tried to come back with another slider in. It was a good pitch, but not a good 3-2 pitch. If the location was a little bit further on the plate, we would have got exactly what we wanted." (If only the Sox would've scored more runs than the other team in their 26 losses this season they would be undefeated....)

Hafner was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against Jenks, but Jenks said, "he's still Travis Hafner and we're in a tight game. I think it was a smart pitch." (I'm not getting old...I'm getting....older! You really think it was smart to put the tying run on base?! Jesus, Delusional Justification much?)

"Pretty sad," said Guillen, who had to watch from a clubhouse television following his ejection in the second inning. "Wow, Bobby is throwing the ball good. I don't know why (he struggled). ... He was throwing 95, 96, I don't know why he doesn't throw strikes. Maybe a lack of concentration, but I think this game is big for us." (Because he sucks.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Just trade him for a bag of balls. Or a sack of worms. Or a bottle of Ripple.

Nice outing, Bobby. And, naturally, here will come the "Hey, he got the save. That's all that matters" bullshit.

The fact that he got out of it speaks more for the suckitude of the Indians more than his "heart".

1 IP 3 ER 2 H 2 BB 2 SO = SAVE.

Lockin that door and throwin' away the key!


But it's only late May. Relaaaax. Right, Bobby?

The Check, Please Casting Call!

Here are some applicants for "Check, Please" the BRE has stumbled upon.

I'm an advertising exec from Winnetka but I consider myself "down to earth" even though I'm totally high maintenance and not in any way reasonable. I'm a daughter of privilege and therefore, anything outside my comfort zone is frightening and weird. I will passive aggressively judge you with a large wide smile and yet, somehow, manage to invoke disdain. I claim to like dives, diners and grills but everyone with half a brain knows I don't. The city is scary and full of Brown people and all the restaurants there probably have rats in the kitchen. I so have been south of 18th street. I went to a Sox game with some co workers once......We sat in the sky box.

Hi there. My name is Todd and I'm some sort of wheeler and dealer in a non
descript boring ass corporate gig. I make oodles of money and one of my hobbies is being seen and being seen being seen. Oh, and name dropping and pretending to be busy and letting people know how busy I am. I enjoy that, too. Do I really like the upscale snooty restaurant I've chosen or do I just like people to know I can afford it? You be the judge. There isn't a server out there that hasn't felt the wrath of my pedestrian wine knowledge. I've been to Italy dammit! Twice! Do you like my sports jacket with jeans? I totally just got off work and took a cab down here. I'm a busy, busy man.

Like going to arts and craft fairs on a Saturday instead of watching sports? Then I'm your guy! What do you think of my
oversized, horned rimmed hipster glasses? Do they invoke a bookish sensibility? God, I hope so. I live in Wicker Park and don't own a television. Bet you didn't see that comin'!! Yes, I ooze "gay" but I'm actually not. I just am very, very wussy. That's why I chose a limp dicked Thai place. One, it shows how hip and cool I am. Two, I eat like a bird. Three, it's Thai..Not Japanese or Chinese. Oh, boy! CURVE BALL! That's a sports reference I think....

I'm a
career lady with a law practice. I grew up in Naperville but I have lived in the city now for 20 years. This gives me license to look my nose down at the suburbs and their restaurants. Yeah, the food may be good but I'm surrounded by people with families and nice houses that they actually paid market value for. What a bunch of rubes! Oh, ok, Hayseed, I guess I'll try your specialty. Probably a hot dog. Isn't that cute? They have a wine list! Awwww.... Yeah, the food tastes good at this place. But where's the manufactured ambiance and loud, ear blasting, conversation stifling music? Because nobody goes to a restaurant for a meal! Now back to my condo I paid 4 times too much for to eat expensive, imported ice cream in front of my mirror. Because I'm totally cool with the fact I'm 45 and single.

I'm the killjoy vegetarian idiot who will force you to go to some hole in the wall godawful vegan place. Don't judge it! You haven't tried vegan goulash yet. It's the same thing! I pro
mise! I'm not actually vegetarian because of some strong belief by the way. I just don't want to get fat. Did I mention I sprained my wrist because the wind was really strong one day? Or that I passed out by sneezing? I've also had to stay in the house because of severe lethargy brought on by mildly intense sun. And cold. But I'm healthy because I'm skinny. And I wear head bands. All the time. This vegan place is totally worth it. Why are you going to 7-11? For beef jerky? Sprouts and bean curd didn't fill you up? What's wrong with you?

We will be seeing all of them on the next season of "Check, Please"....We already have.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Quick Hit Monday

If you didn't watch a second of the Sox game yesterday, congratulations. You are a Sunday winner in using your time wisely no matter what you did instead.

But you did miss one of the more stupid moments on the young Sox season.

After going down 7-0, Scott Linebrink, in after the batting practice effort by Garcia, led off the fourth by hitting Brett Carroll with a pitch. It got away from him, wasn't intentional by any measure but Carroll promptly stole second.

Ozzie was upset. In his baseball world, you don't steal a base up 7-0, saying:
"That's just the way we learned how to play the game," Guillen said. "We had to do something about it, and we did.

"We just told the guys not to play like that. Especially when (our) team is last in hitting and runs scored in the American League. With a (big) lead, they think we're going to come back next inning?"
Okay. If the Sox have six more innings to score seven runs and the manager doesn't believe his team can conceivably come back from a 7-0 hole in those six innings, I think that says more than anything. I can name five teams worse than the Sox that did it this month.

There's been a lot of talk about baseball etiquette this year after Alex Rodriguez dared to walk across Dallas Braden's mound (another eye-rolling moment - if anybody not named A-Rod would have done it, it wouldn't have been an issue).

This one is inexplicable, though. Yes, Ozzie. You're just enforcing the Old School rules in which you played. But it's the fourth inning. Any manager or player who doesn't attempt to put the game out of really reach when it's still early seems like they're not doing their job. Again, it's the fourth inning...on the road!

So Randy Williams beaned him again in the fifth. Meyer retaliated in the seventh by hitting Pierzynski on a pitch that wasn't anything wildly dramatic or injury-causing yet somehow, Ozzie decides to start screaming at Meyer.

It was unfun to watch - something akin to me trying to tell the specials to a table last night over three screaming children.

Ozzie's extracurricular crap is just getting really old to me. It was the fourth inning on the road. Seventh inning? Fine. Even the sixth. Fourth inning. No. There is no baseball etiquette on that. Ozzie made it up.

And I think it's a bit uncouth to start a beaning war when you don't face that team again this season. Seems ungentlemanly to me.

That is all.

Mate's Musings

To quote Lou Reed: "You're going to reap just what you sew....Yes, you're going to reap just what you sew."

I have absolutely no compassion for people that throw arrows and slowly kill a bull for amusement and then get ROYALLY FUCKED UP by the same bull. Look closely, the bull has four arrows in him. I'd be pissed too.

If this point of view offends someone I don't care.
Boy, when the Sox stop a win streak they really stop. I thankfully, did not watch a pitch of the game yesterday but it's kind of the Sox in a nutshell when they win 2 out of 3 in a series and yet get outscored in it.
We're getting close to "blow it up" time..... 2 out of 3 in Cleveland and split against Tampa Bay before a fairly large homestand against Texas, those same Indians and Detroit. This is it, guys. I have tickets to 3 games in June. I have a feeling that will be it for Mate Trips to US Cellular this year. Prove me wrong, losers.
"The Office" finally getting through it's "below average" season feels like when you finally get through the piano recital. There's a freshness in the air.
"30 Rock"'s season finale was actually pretty good.
My last 4 weekends have all included trips to Home Depot AND Menard's! High life, indeed!
Next house? Condo.
Throw a rock at the next gaggle of folks wearing Blackhawks stuff and ask them how to pronounce Jonathan Toews last name? Do it. You'll be please with the results.
In all seriousness, it is pretty cool. I don't follow hockey but it is engaging no doubt.
That said, it's 88 fucking degrees outside. Hockey?
For that matter, basketball?
Pro sports need to get back in their own respective boxes. No baseball in November. No football in February. No hockey in June. No NBA ever.
Finally, Paul McCartney, whose recent solo outings have been better than anything he's done in years, put out an album under the moniker "the Firemen" last year. I was a late comer to it but it's really, really good.
Check out the video for the single. The whole album is good.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sox Summary Saturday - Is This A Slow Climb?

Probably not.

The picture is irrelevant. But look at that horn!

If you said before the season that the Royals would be percentage points better than the Sox on May 22, I would say, "How's the running back situation going to play out for the Hawks?"

But collectively treading water with some signs that key offensive sticks are rising from the baseball ooze at least forces a quick check-in on how they're doing during commercials of (the mercifully over) NBC comedies.

The week's recap from Saturday to Friday (3-3 overall, 1-2 at home, 2-1 on the road)


.281/.329/.384 for a .714 OPS

Oh, the consistency! OPS's for the last four weeks have been .714, .714, .717 and .728.

The Sox have been 2009 Brandon Inge, someone who just feels like he will be in a White Sox uniform at some point in his career.

.299 BABIP for the week. Again! Normal!

K-rate: 12.3% Best in baseball for the week and best rate on the year at 15.4%.

BB-rate: 6.3% Third-worst in baseball for the week.

Avg. w/RISP: .375 .....excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. Heck, take out the 0-6 performance Wednesday (sac fly, homer) and it was .428.

So...good with RISP, normal BABIP, normal batting average overall for the week. And all three wins this week looked like real baseball players doing real baseball things. The Detroit win Monday offered no drama. Last night's blowout over the Marlins came against a pitcher they haven't seen before (and a good one, maybe that's the key). And they came back Saturday against the Royals to save a lackluster Peavy performance.

Individually: Quentin seems to be getting his stroke back, hitting .467/.471/.533 for the week. No power but balls are dropping and he's not striking out (one for the week). Alexei's hitting as well, going .391/.391/.565 for the week, striking out only once but it was a big one. Pierre has contributed both at the plate and in the field. Pierzynski and Teahen were over .300 and Kotsay was the best offensive player in the limited time he saw.

On Kotsay, he was tied with Rios for the team in runs for the week with five scored. We was second on the team in walks for the week (three). Coincidence? I think not. Take six regulars in Quentin, Ramirez, Pierzynski, Beckham, Pierre and Konerko. GRAND TOTAL of three walks combined.

And something should be noted on two guys that offensively helped the Sox from absolutely collapsing:

Konerko's splits by month:

April: 92 plate appearances - .297/.413/.784
May: 68 plate appearances - .217/.309/.417


First 71 plate appearances - .276/.408/.724, 8 homers, 12 walks, 18 Ks
Last 62 plate appearances - .200/.274/.327, 1 homer, 6 walks, 12 Ks

Not. Good. As a few guys show life, two guys don't. It's the mantra for the season.

The "I'm gonna steal home in the first inning" stolen bases stat: Four stolen, four caught. Four guys had one swipe (Teahen was 0-2).


First, bullpen - 11 innings, allowing zero, zilch, nada runs, allowing five hits, five walks, seven strikeouts. Kudos. Big kudos.

Overall, 3.23 ERA (xFIP of 4.25), 1.08 WHIP, .215 batting average against, a not too bad 72.5 LOB%. There were things to like.

Danks against the Angels Wednesday was one of them. He allowed one hit through seven (Hunter's homer) until a couple singles and Nix's double error in the eighth allowed an eventually very important insurance run. Buehrle threw eight scoreless Friday on only 91 pitches. Garcia continues to impress in his role.

In fact, take Floyd and Peavy out of the overall team ERA for the week and it's 1.10. Of course, those two had a 6.63 combined ERA and started three of the week's six games. Peavy's become the definition of good pitcher-bad pitcher. The rest of the season seems to beg the question, "Who's going to show up?" with every start.

With a team that hasn't won back-to-back games since the sweep of the Mariners almost a month ago, this week offers the opportunity to stop that with a mid-week series against the even more woeful than previously woeful Indians. Then again, the Sox are already 1-5 against them this year.

Inter Alia

Full week this week with two more at home against the Marlins, then hitting the road with three in Cleveland and the start of a four-game set against the best team in baseball in the Rays.

Floyd and Garcia see two starts each (ugh). Danks, Peavy and Buehrle throw the three-game set in Cleveland. Not ugh.

Two scenarios:

They split the remaining two games against Florida and sweep the Indians. That puts them at 21-25 going into the Tampa series to finish out the first two months of the season. Optimism starts to brew and the team becomes almost worth watching again.

Scenario #2: A split with Florida and they drop two of three in Cleveland. 19-27 going into a four-game set against the Rays, a place that, in the past, hasn't been kind on the field and to the overall team psyche. Remember the Ozzie meltdown in Tampa in 2008 after losing three close games:
"There's only one message I'm going to send -- just be ready because I expect movement Tuesday. I expect Kenny to do something Tuesday, and if we don't do anything Tuesday, there are going to be a lot of lineup changes. That's all I'm going to say about the offense."

"It can be me. It can be [hitting coach] Greg Walker. It can be the players. It could be anybody. I'm sick and tired to watch this thing for a year and a half. I'm not protecting anybody anymore. [Bleep] it! If they can't get it done, Kenny should find someone to get it done. That's it. Another bad game. If we think we are going to win with the offense we have, we are full of [bleep]. I'm just being honest. I expect better from them, if they are in the lineup.''
How times have changed. Ozzie this week addressed his relationship with Kenny again this week. By golly, write the script!

Pitching match-ups this week:

Never faced Volstad. The Sox got to Josh Johnson in his one start against them in 2007 (two players on this team, Konerko and Pierzynski, played in that game, going 4-8 with 3 RBI combined). Masterson has been masterful (ba-zing) in his 22 innings against the Sox in his career with a 1.59 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 26 strikeouts. Everybody knows what Talbot did against the Sox this year. This will be the third time in 2010 that the Sox have seen Westbrook. Niemann threw two, two-run efforts last year against the Sox and they have gotten to Price in the past, beating him on April 20 of this year and in July of last year.

As per usual, by Monday of next week, one thing can be said. The perception of this team will, most likely, be dramatically different than it is right now. A lot of moving parts again.

Par for the course for a White Sox team. It's never just nice and easy on the South Side.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I Don't Care! I Don't Care! I Don't Care!

Out with Mrs. Famber yesterday doing some errands. Or as I like to call it "Watch her shop whilst I try to not blow my brains out".
Anyway, apparently, the Blackhawks game was being played during all this. Now, I really don't care about hockey and I'm pretty sure the 50 or so people at the Menard's Garden Center (don't ask) didn't really give a shit either. Didn't stop some guy from announcing it to the store when they won. Followed by his rendition of the song they play when the Blackhawks score a goal. This one. I actually knew it from the beer commercial first but......

I have had it with the sudden fanaticism this town is showing for this team. Don't get me wrong. I think it's great for the real hockey fan who has toiled for years with a franchise that has pretty much sucked for the last 20 years. Hell, I even think marginal hockey fans have a right to be excited. But 67 year old fat women parading around Meijer in a Blackhawks jersey? The guy at the mechanic's who started up an idle discussion with me while I waited for my car because I was wearing a baseball cap and therefore, must be a fan of all sports? Or the poor Mexican bus boy who's forced to wear a Patrick Kane t-shirt at "Buffalo Wild Wings" where they have 2 dollar pints during the games?

Stop. Just fucking stop. I am not going to insult true fans by pretending I all of a sudden care about a sport i know nothing about and a team 3 short years ago I could get a ticket on Stub Hub for 2 bucks . Ask one of these bandwagon jumpers if they know who Bill Wirtz is? Ask 'em. I'll bet you a thousand dollars they don't know who the man is that made hockey irrelevant in Chicago.
Guess what saved it? WINNING!!! YAY!! Go HAWKS!!

***If you are a true hockey fan, please disregard this post.***

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sox Summary Saturday - The Sox Are No Longer The Worst Hitting Team!

But when you're a point better than the Astros at .229, you don't really go around bragging about it.

Can somebody please tell me how Omar Vizquel is ever, in any sense, an option for the DH spot like he was slotted into last night?

Please tell me. Cuz I need to know. That's "throwin' shit at the wall and hope something sticks" crap. Omar Vizquel. Designated hitter.

It's the kind of stuff that really puts you into Ozzie's thought process. That's incredibly desperate stuff. He said after last night: "I'm not a stats guy because I think stats is overrated but gosh. I'm embarrassed." (..........sigh) Yeah. I see that.

By the end of the weekend, the Sox could easily be in last place in the Central.

The week's recap from Saturday to Friday (2-3 overall, 1-1 at home, 1-2 on the road)


.262/.351/.363 for a .714 OPS

If it not one, it's the other. This week showed big improvement in the "balls dropping" (heh-heh) arena, at least compared to previous weeks, and they got on base but the power absolutely disappeared. For reference, Juan Pierre has a career .369 slugging percentage. The Sox were a collection of Slugging Pierres last week.

.321 BABIP for the week. OH MY GOD! That's normal!

K-rate: 20.8% for the week. Up a tick.

BB-rate: 10.9% for the week. Continues a trend of a small climb up the ranks to just above mediocre.

Avg. w/ RISP: .260 Not an accurate depiction of the week. In Sunday's loss to the Jays, they were 2-17! 17 runners in scoring position. Two scored. Oddly worse was Wednesday's loss to the Twins. 1-2. Two runners reached a base that qualified as being in scoring position!

Individually, Rios (2-3), Jones (2-6), Beckham (0-7), Ramirez (1-8), Pierre (3-5), Quentin (0-4), Pierzynski (2-5), Konerko (0-2), Teahen (0-3), Nix (1-1), Castro (0-1).

Two observations. The Sox could have the worst-hitting middle infield duo in baseball this year. I can't think of a worse two. And how does your cleanup hitter get two opportunities to drive in runs in five games? You want to know how? Well...part of it is having Pierzynski hit in the two hole. But Ozzie's not a stats guy.

The "I'm gonna steal home in the first inning" stolen bases stat: Six stolen bases, one caught. Pierre and Rios had two each.

Individual OPS for the week: Rios (1.060), Konerko (.984), Pierre (.954), Kotsay (.730), Quentin (.710), Jones (.571), Beckham (.556), Ramirez (.513), Teahen (.354) and Pierznyski (the two hitter at .433).

On the season, the Sox have four regulars in the bottom 18 in OPS in all of baseball. Couple that with terrible situational hitting...14-21.


First, the pen outside of Jenks pitched 7.2 innings on the week and gave up one run (Santos). Inside of Jenks, let the trade talk begin. After his response to criticism this week, it's obvious he's oblivious to any problems he might be having and is loathe to even look at it as a possible problem. He seems to have no confidence in his hook and his fastball couldn't be more straight.

Starting pitching was another mishmash. Peavy looks to be back. Feast on the Royals today, Jake. Danks has hit a bit of a bump. He's throwing a lot more pitches out of the strike zone. Something to keep an eye on. Buehrle faced the minimum through five last night before yielding a homer to Betancourt in the sixth and the wheels fell off in the seventh (a lot of dink hits though - he gave them up...but it was a lot of dinks). May have been trying to be a little too fine as the offense gave him NOTHING! Garcia continues to do exactly what you need him to do and I don't worry too much about Floyd...yet. His BABIP on the year is .371. That will come down and the results should improve.

Inter Alia

Full week this week. Two more at KC, two in Detroit, two at home against the Angels (we'll be there - it's supposed to be beautiful weather. I'm dubious) and then the start of a three-game set against Florida at home.

Peavy and Floyd get two starts. The Sox are facing Hochevar, Bannister, Porcello, Bonderman, Saunders, Santana and Nolasco. Not bad at all. Hochevar already pitched well against the Sox this year, beating them 10 days ago. And the Sox pounded Bannister nine days ago to the tune of seven runs in three innings of work. Porcello's been awful this year but just threw seven shutout innings against the Yankees. Bonderman's had his last two great starts wasted, giving up only three runs in 13 innings, walking one. Saunders just threw a complete game shutout against the A's last night, Santana has been either really good or really bad this year, recently shutting down the Red Sox and then getting pounded by the Mariners. And Nolasco has never faced the Sox.

I still say the favorable schedule makes this in the least interesting. Which could just extend the pain of watching this team. Every week seems to be a critical week but if they collapse this week - like going 2-5 or something - Kenny may pull the trigger. School's out soon and attendance will start to matter. Daily revenue streams will be the thought du jour in the front office and something, anything will have to be done to get butts in seats because this team won't do it if they fall to the bottom of the Central. Might be seeing Flowers, Danks, Hudson and Morel quite soon.

To extend my own pain, currently on the Score, Dan Hampton is offering his piquant observations on the Sox. My ears are bleeding.

It's Gil Meche, Guys...It's Gil Meche For God's Sake

Christo and I used to be fairly decent high school baseball players. It's a completely different level of baseball we all know but the fundamentals of it are essentially the same.
We played a team about ten miles east of us about 10 times a year. We knew their guys, they knew ours. By the third game or so we would see the same pitcher. He was a decent pithcer, left handed. pretty good location, decent change up. I would feast on him. Because after the third time you see a guy, you get in a groove where you know what pitch is coming and where. It's just baseball.

Gil Meche is that version of the MLB pitcher. He's a body. He's a guy that the Royals gave way too much money to and now they feel they have to just throw him out there in the same way you wear a shitty hooded sweatshirt you bought five years ago. Because it's there and you paid for it. The White Sox get to see Gil Meche several times a year. This is the same Gil Meche that had an 0-4 record and an ERA in the 8s. Last night he beat the White Sox with 6 innings of 1 run ball with 4 hits.

I'm going to say it. This is the worst White Sox team in 10 years.

When does the Iowa-Eastern Illinois game kickoff?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bobby Jenks Channels Nathan Thurm


I haven't seen a person with their head so far up their own ass since I was convinced that doing a "couple" of shots of Tequila after the wine ran out was a good idea.


MINNEAPOLIS - Bobby Jenks earned save No. 6 on the year Tuesday night, one game after the worst loss of the season in which the closer allowed four runs in the ninth for his first blown save of the year.
His message on Tuesday to the doubters and haters?
"That's the thing I don't understand, all the stuff going on,'' Jenks said. "I mean it's one game. Everyone is hitting the panic button in f------ April. Chill out. I don't want to say everything I want to say, but it was one bad game. The game before that I gave up a solo home run, the wind is blowing out 20 mph, what are you going to do?''
Asked if it was unfair that he seemed to be the one that was singled out, Jenks said, "I really don't want to comment on it too much because I really don't want to start anything, but it was one game. It was one F-ing game. Things happen.'' As far as giving up a double to Jim Thome in his Tuesday save, Jenks did have the one-liner of the night.

"He keeps doing that, I know where he lives,'' Jenks said. "I'll just toilet paper his house.''

For the record, here's Bobby's performances so far this year. Remember, it's MAY 13th!!

Oh! My! God!

It's spelled "definitely!"

Not "definately." Not "defiantly!" Not "defenately!"

I blame the Angels for sending me to the Iowa football message boards this early in the baseball season. This is what happens.

Be more worthless. Both the Angels and message boards.


Horny Old Men

Oh, good. Larry and his wife are getting back together. And I'm so rooting for ultra skeeve Mark Sanford to rekindle the flame with his Argentinian mistress.
But I cannot believe that I missed this one.

My take on it over at the SNC.....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Throw The Ball, Frank."

Which is worse?

I'm going with Mariah. The stupid outfit wins it.

This Is What Passes For Entertainment These Days? Woozle Wuzzle?

Ok, I watched about a half hour of the Betty White SNL. So, in a way, the ploy worked as I watched more of that show than I have in probably 10 years.
It was fiiiine. There were a few moments of slightly above average chuckles but come on! If one more news person (coincidentally all of them seem to be NBC Anchors) fucking tell me how "funny" and "classic" the episode was I'm throwing a rock at the NBC Tower.
It was no more than a "Oh, I can't believe an 88 year old woman said that!! OMG!!"
The fact that a pedestrian, average episode could improve the show is not really a comment on Betty White as it is how far this thing has fallen.
Remember when Phil Hartman did the Frankenstein thing? Hilarious. Guess what? It was on the last ten minutes where the "bad" skits went. That skit today would be the funniest thing on the show. By far.
Can we "Old Yeller" this show please?
Speaking of reaching way too far for a laugh, "Family Guy" did it again with a pretty tacky joke on Sunday's episode.
A guy shooting his family because he's drowning in debt isn't really something I think is fertile ground for humor.
I'm actually not that offended at the joke but I'm more offended as a writer.* It's so lazy and stupid. Sometimes "Family Guy" really falls into the "Oh, man. Can you believe we joked about that? See how crazy we are?! Huh? Huh?" trap.
It's been happening alot lately. I get that a show has to push the envelope and at times, it can be downright guffaw inducing but child murder? Ummm....

* "This offends you as a Jewish person?" "No, it offends me as a comedian!"
Watched "In the Loop" yesterday. I'm not familiar with the TV show it's based on but it doesn't really matter.
The movie is what independent film can be at it's best. There are no stars really (James Gandolfini kinda/sorta) and the story is crisp and almost perfect. It's amazing what good writing and directing can do to entertain you.
And even though some of it may have been improvised, it didn't look like it. Unlike alot of American comedies where they just "let the actors go" and you can see them straining for a joke. All the time forgetting that they, y'know, have to tell a story.
Worth your time.
Giving 'the Office' another shot tonight. It's getting close to the 12th round however.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Prediction? Pain

Yes, the Twins no longer play in the Suck Bag/ Shit Hole /Abortion Dome but they still have the same players.
I predict a typical Sox trip to Minnesota. Lead in the mid innings and then a dink hit, booted double play ball and a walk open the floodgates to a bases clearing Denard Span double and a 5 run 7th.

Prove me wrong, Sox. Prove me wrong.

To paraphrase Christo: You admire the Twins because they win with guys like Nick Punto but you also hate them because they win with guys like fucking Nick Punto....

I hate the motherfucking Twins....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quick Hits Monday: The Resemblance Is Uncanny

Wait...you can turn yourself into a slabbering idiot and get kicked out of the Sox clubhouse, then two weeks later get nominated for the Supreme Court?

If that's the case, I have a former roommate that should be the President of the World.

This should be a fun confirmation process.

Zero judicial experience.

Aah! Aah! We Stink! Aah!

I'm sure you've heard snippets. This is the whole enchilada. You go, Bruce. Tell it like it is.

The Long Overdue Return Of Two BRE Features: Nose Pickers & Booby Ads

Get in there, LeBron. Get it!

And I don't know about you, but when I see boobies, I want chips. Or vice versa. Wait...how is this supposed to work again? I like boobies so I'll subliminally want chips now or when I eat chips, I'll think of delicious boobies. Help me here. I'm confused.

No Jenks talk (just if Ozzie saw something in his warmup...?). Only bright White Sox news today. After an entire F'in winter of "The Sox will be good if Rios is good" talk, he's been good and the Sox haven't. In fact, if you extrapolate his early stats out to an entire season (assuming no missed games), he hits .324/.361/.604 with 33 homers, 60 doubles, 93 rbi, 49 stolen bases and a .419 wOBA. I heart sports radio.

On another note, watch Treme. Because it's stupid good.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sox Summary Saturday - Focusing On The Wrong Bad


Beckham has been bad. And the historic debut of Castro last night hasn't helped because dippy Chicago sportswriters and talk show hosts seem to think comparing Beckham and Castro makes a good story.

In a week, though, that seemed ripe for ripping off four or five wins in a row, Carlos Quentin has been worse. In fact, since April 15, he's hitting .123/.227/.262. Given his place in the lineup and higher positional value, his bad has been more bad than Beckham's bad. I'm starting to completely buy into the argument that Quentin basically had a good 20 weeks in his major league career.

But he's not alone. The Sox have five players in the bottom 16 of qualified batters in OPS in all of baseball.

The week's recap from Saturday to Friday (3-4 overall, 2-3 at home, 1-1 on the road)


.225/.302/.415 for a .717 OPS

.216 BABIP, tied with the Mariners for dead last again for the week. .223 for the year. 2nd-worst is the Mets at .269! It's inexplicable, really.

Still too small of a sample size but it's approaching concrete evidence that this is the team: a bunch of guys that may not strike out much and even walk a little but simply aren't good at hitting baseballs with any authority. Still early and we'll know more in a few weeks but there are critical guys that seem to be falling off a cliff in their career arcs when you take into account their age and/or recent peripherals going back to last season (A.J., Pierre, Alexei, Kotsay and Quentin).

K-Rate: 14.0% second only to the Twins for the week and still best in the majors

Walk Rate: 10.2%, 8th-best for the week and they now sit at 12-best on the year. These are solid peripherals and should translate to runs and then wins. It's not. But it's only 30 games. Still say it's a barrel full of bad luck taking into account their BABIP and...

Avg. w/ RISP: .189 10-53 on the week, 2-23 (.087) in the four losses

The "I'm gonna steal home in the first inning" stolen bases stat: Nine stolen bases, caught three times. Pierre went 6-7 and even hit .286 including two walks for the week. On the defensive side, A.J. had an uncharacteristically good week, throwing out three of the five potential stealers, giving up only two stolen bases, both to former White Sox second-sacker Chris Getz.

Individual OPS for the week: Rios - 1.281, Jones - 1.033, Pierzynski - .969, Kotsay - .856, Konerko - .763, Teahen - .490, Quentin - .422, Beckham - .319


Peavy righted the ship. It was against the Royals but he looked sharp, in rhythm, getting good sink on his breaking pitches, stayed low in the zone and just generally looked absolutely dominant. It seemed he started every pitch in the bottom half of the zone and got the sink when he wanted. In other words, it seemed he was starting it with enough zip to keep hitters guessing what the pitch is, forcing them to commit just as the break was coming. Velocity was up (in fact, way up), flirting with the mid-90s on a few occasions. Today against the Blue Jays is key no matter how cliché that sounds. Stringing together two starts like this would tell us more about the general direction he's going and what he's capable of this year. In other words, it could put a lot to rest.

Floyd was left in too long by Ozzie on Tuesday. Sure, in the 7th, his pitch count was only in the low 90s but he wasn't sharp all night. Probably should have cut his losses. I get that the bullpen wasn't exactly rested at that point and he'd gotten by on guile until the 7th but it felt like that four-run seventh was coming.

Garcia continued to prove his value as a fifth-starter with a two-run, no-walk win against the Royals. Buehrle pitched well enough to win last night but was pitching batting practice to the Yankees on Sunday. Who isn't, though.

Jenks? (sigh). Blew the game last night, setting up the ultimate blow of the game by Putz in the 12th to Alex Gonzalez (he can come back down to Earth now). Randy Williams continues to prove his worth in a bad way and the Sox actually won the long-awaited Linebrink implosion game Saturday against the Yankees. Santos is pitching in slightly higher leverage situations and is quickly becoming the option right behind Thorton.

Inter Alia

Very short week this week with only five games, off Monday and Thursday.

Two more against the Blue Jays and then two at Minnesota Tuesday and Wednesday followed by the start of a three-game set at Kansas City. Another completely winnable week overall and the first visit to the new Target Field in now-domeless Minnesota. First rain-out in 30 years last night in Minneapolis, by the way.

Pitchers facing the week: Cecil, Romero, Slowey, Pavano, Meche. No new ones. We know what happened the last time Romero pitched against the Sox. The Sox have gotten to Slowey in the past but Pavano has pitched very well against them. Gil Meche is Gil Meche.

After this week, the Sox play 12 of 14 games against teams with losing records (KC, Florida, Angels (we'll be there) and Cleveland). Again, this is doable.

On that, the Sox are now smack-dab in the middle of the Strength of Schedule rankings in baseball, sitting at 16th relative to the rest of the league (.496), telling us that their record is probably correct. The expected win-loss record given runs scored and runs against is also 12-18. They are 12-18...

BUT!!! With KC and Cleveland on the schedule 18 times each this year and interleague opponents consisting of the "Thank You" Braves, Marlins, Nationals, Pirates and Cubs, I! Still! Say! This! Is! Doable! Get to .500 by the end of May and go from there

BECAUSE!!! June's schedule has nine three-game sets (five at home) against, in order, Texas, Cleveland, Detroit, Cubs, Pittsburgh, Washington, Braves, Cubs and Kansas City.

There's still a lot to consider before writing this team off.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Fatuousness: Hot Side's Hot, Cool Side's Cool

(McDLT ship is goin' down!!! Ahhh!!)

On the hot side, the Cubbies called up the Messiah an hour ago. He'll be in the lineup tonight at short with Theriot moving to second.

Castro was hitting .376 in Double-A. I don't root against Starlin Castro. When you get swept by the Pirates and your offense looks limp though, making moves are certainly put on the table.

But I think something else came into play. Something a bit odd is happening on Clark and Addison. They have been some seats available at Wrigley. In last weekend's Arizona series, Wrigley was 91% full on Friday, 98% full on Saturday and 93% full on Sunday. Last weekend was gorgeous weather. For a place that used to be an impossible ticket to get, Cubbie fans don't seem to be buying into the Cubbie lifestyle at the levels they used to of late.

Fontenot wasn't ripping it up but he wasn't brutal either. This seems more of a front office, "let's get some butts in seats" move. Castro's 20 and has 243 plate appearances above A-ball. He could be good. But by doing this, the Cubs could also lose a year of service time by bringing him up now. Waiting until the end of May could have saved the Cubs money and kept Castro for one more year.

While other teams talk about attendance issues in terms of "let's wait until school gets out" or "the weather hasn't been ideal," that's stuff the Cubs have never had to worry about. I think they may be starting to worry about such things. If Castro turns out to be good, we can come back to this point in history five years from now when Castro is eligible for free agency. Maybe Murph will be back on the radio and come up with a witty bon mot along the lines of F-A-I-L for Hendry.

On the cool side, Gordon Beckham...hasn't been good. In the last 15 games, he's hitting .145/.273/.164 for a .436 OPS, striking out 15 times in 66 plate appearances (.319 OPS, striking out 10 times in 26 PAs in May). He's looked awful. It's only 15 games, but he has a hitch in his swing that he can't seem to correct, seems to be guessing on every pitch and he's taking it out to the field recently.

Everyone knows this that has watched the Sox recently but I mention it to bring to light what might have been one of the worst fantasy baseball draft strategies in the history of history. Christo put all his eggs in the basket of Beckham, Stubbs, Napoli, Hill, Blanks, Peavy, Kershaw and Zobrist to fill out critical spots on his teams, leaving him with teams that rival the 1989 Camanche Indians fresh-soph team when the core group was called up to play varsity.

So Beckham. Get back on the horse. My fake baseball teams in the leagues populated with people I don't know are embarrassing me.

Inter Alia

The Big Short by Michael Lewis will make you hate Wall Street even more than you already do. Not because they are arrogant pricks. Because you get a peak into the historical level of incompetence that led up to the financial crash. I don't think I've audibly gasped this much reading a book.

Hero Of The Week: George Rekers (not close, really). Is it really that surprising that this happened? I mean, look at his photo. The 'stache alone.

Grant Achatz of Alinea fame is opening a new place. It's going to be called Next (ugh) and the menu will change four times a year. Instead of the typical seasonal menu changing quarterly, each menu will take a place in history and concoct a tasting menu around it. First up is Paris 1912. Creole 1977, Hong Kong 2036 and Sicily 1949 are other possible menus. I don't know about this (especially the "buy a ticket" crap) but at least it's an interesting concept. The last two years have been a wasteland in food innovation.

The trailer:

Friday Isn't For Thinking

Well, I'm back. After a week delay and a hellish trip to Minnesota. I slept on a couch for 3 NIGHTS! And the dog was in pure "wig out" mode for most of the time. Suffice to say, a hotel will be slept at the next time.
I hate sleeping at someone else's house. One night is doable but anything over that and it's Def Con 4 on the Mate Misery Index.
Again with this shit? Only the Sox can shit their pants when the perennially mediocre Toronto Blue Jays come to town.
There are so many things wrong with this team that it's going to take a whole single post to point them out.
I'm gonna go semi meathead here but I think if this team is floundering in mid June you blow it up somewhat. Not full blown overhaul but there is definitely some dead weight that could be thrown over the bow.
And Carlos Quentin is reminding me of Mike Caruso rapidly.
The BRE is a fan of the Boers and Bernstein show but lately I have found it to be bordering on horrible radio. I'm starting to get convinced that they are just becoming a team that does shtick. Boers just sort of stammers and grumbles now and Bernstein can't really contain his smugness as well as he used to.
Yes, alot of the callers are bozos, Dan but your form of arguing (The answer with a question--Why? What makes you say that? When did you....) comes across as brow beating, elitist and arrogant. Y'know, the "I went to Duke and therefore am smarter than you" thing. I know he doesn't think he's like that and I really don't think so either, really, but he does need to stifle it a bit. I'm still trying to figure out his "tribalism" arguments.
That and can we please not spend hours, fucking HOURS, on the Bulls coaching search, please? I get that it's news but for God's sake, I'm actually pining for Bears Talk.
BTW, the fight between Bernstein and Matt Abatacolla the other day was top notch Train Wreck Radio
Am I the only person who is totally "meh" on Iron Man 2? I guess since I have yet to see the first one it makes sense.
Speaking of "meh", I'm almost done with 'the Office'. Last night's episode was so bad that I actually got angry. And '30 Rock' has sucked the last 3 weeks, too.
"Parks and Rec" was hilarious. Best show of the night now. Yep. I said it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Back Tomorrow

Got a little sidetracked this past week.

Be back tomorrow with the usual spiffs, spoofs and humorous vignettes.

And in the words of Chevy Chase in Caddyshack, to the White Sox: "You're not...You're not good."

Christo and Mate could be counting the days until football season by mid June

Fussy Pants!

Our new lease agreement renewal option came in the mail Monday.

While we built ourselves a cozy little life here at the North Side headquarters of the BRE for the last seven years, Mrs. Ney and I, more than in previous years, thought it might be time to find something else, something a bit bigger than the crackerbox we currently live in.

But like previous years, when it was more of a nominal discussion than real thought about moving, we started to list our needs as late 30-ish people that have become accustomed to certain creature comforts. For the past seven years, we have found a way to live in the city without really ever feeling like we're "living in the fuckin' city" in a venom-spitting bad way.

So here is a partial list of our fussy-pants needs:

1. Must allow 50 lb. dogs. 25 lb. dogs is a typical cut-off. That kills 90% of open places right now.
2. Has to be on the first floor. Second floor may be considered. No gardens.
3. Must have easy street parking. "Easy" is a relative term for realtors.
4. Must be at least 300 square feet bigger than our current place. Otherwise, what's the point?
5. Must have central air. Radiator heat and window a/c units are in our past for good.
6. Must have new windows. Our electric and gas bills here are ridiculously low.
7. Kitchen has to be an improvement over our current one. Vast improvement would be preferable. Gas stove an absolute necessity.
8. Must be able to paint the walls.
9. Must allow satellite TV. Ain't goin' back.
10. Don't really want to live south of Irving, north of Bryn Mawr, east of Ashland, west of Western may be considered but it would have to be perfect.
11. Must be relatively safe as Mrs. Ney walks the dog at night.
12. Can't be too close to the El. Not dealin' with the noise (volume up, volume down...).
13. Can't be too close to a main artery in the city. Not dealin' with the traffic.
14. Our current commute consists of five blocks for me, ten blocks for Mrs. Ney. Longer commute would mean the place would have to be a bigger upgrade than places close to our current place.
15. Apartment has to be on a two-way street. One-ways in the city are annoying.
16. The street can't be a shortcut in the city between two main arteries.
17. Near a park or a neighborhood with a lot of grass would be preferable. Dog needs lots of outside time. Trust me.
18. Two bedrooms a must. Three would be great. Under $1200 would be right and proper.
19. Bedroom away from the living room wanted. Mrs. Ney goes to work early, I stay up late.
20. Quiet-ish building would be nice. Hipster squat-box is right out!

That's just the bullet points! I didn't even get into being close to our bank, close to HarvestTime, close to the vet and dog care, preferably more storage, away from any main commercial area and so on and so on.

We took our current place seven years ago mainly because it allowed dogs and it seemed good enough. I knew I liked the area from visiting Mr. Snrub in the 90s and we were sick of looking on a day when it was 98 degrees out.

We fell ass-backwards into a situation that fit our odd needs. So...another year barring something falling in our laps because we're fussy pants.

It's like we're 90. And we're okay with that.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sox Summary Saturday - Alexei Walks, So Ozzie Leads Him Off

In the top of the fifth inning of Wednesday's loss to Texas, Alexei Ramirez took a two-out walk off Rich Harden. It was Alexei's first walk of the year and prompted a visit to the mound from the the Rangers' pitching coach...with two out and Alexei on first...with a 5-0 Rangers' lead.

The visit had to do with Harden's control, of course. He had walked three up until that point and Harden has been a walk machine this year (23 walks in 23.2 innings).

But I'd like to think that the Rangers' pitching coach said to Harden, "How you feeling? Check your release point. Take your time. Oh, and you just walked Alexei Ramirez." Juan Pierre promptly grounded into a double play (natch) and two days later, Ozzie rewarded Alexei's newly-found walkability by leading him off against the Yankees Friday after mercifully dropping Pierre in the order.

To put this in perspective, earlier this week, before The Walk, if Alexei would have happened to hit a sac fly, he would have had an OBP lower than his batting average (both in the low .200s). Let's lead that off. Let's. He was 2-5 lifetime against Pettitte with a homer!

Ozzie ball. Catch it!

First winning week this year!

This week's recap from Saturday to Friday (4-3, 2-0 at home, 1-3 away):


.233/.326/.402 for a .728 OPS

.237 BABIP for the week. Dead last for the week, still dead last by far for the year. In the category of bizarrely-odd, Paul Konerko is having a great start to the year. He also has a .193 BABIP (homers don't count in the equation). He's been woefully unlucky, lower than the team average, and he's still hitting .297 (1.197 OPS!). Contract year for Pauly. Phil Rogers, of course, says a three-year deal should be offered NOW to Konerko. Sigh. But I can't imagine the carnage if Konerko doesn't have this start to the year.

K rate - 14.8% Still best in the majors.

Walk rate - 10.5% That's more like it! This week pushed them to the middle of the pack on the year thanks to Konerko, Quentin and Jones drawing 12 walks combined.

Avg. w/ RISP: .180 including 0-10 in Sunday's win against the Mariners and 1-10 in the Yankees' loss last night.

The "I'm gonna steal home in the first inning" stolen bases stat: 8 stolen bases, caught 3 times with Alex Rios contributing six by himself (caught once). The White Sox now lead all of baseball in stolen bases. There you go, Ozzie. You have your stolen bases team. Look how pretty they are!

Individual OPS for the week: Konerko - 1.798 (!), Rios - .897, Quentin - .879, Jones, Teahen, Beckham and Ramirez all between .558 - .634. Donny Lucy - 1.200 (He's a God!). Juan Pierre had a .361 OPS and grounded into three double plays.

The eleven April home runs for Konerko were a White Sox record.


Let's start with Peavy because that seems to be the theme here at SSS. Five starts, 20 walks with five more Wednesday. He seems to not want to pitch to contact. That's fine when a pitcher has the stuff to miss bats. Peavy doesn't and hasn't adjusted.

Floyd looked great Thursday and seems to be reversing a trend that started in his first three starts. He's getting groundball outs. Thursday was the second game in a row that he got 13 GB outs.

Danks was Danks again. Garcia actually got his two starts for the week and looked pretty damn good for his role and Buehrle found the zone Tuesday but didn't miss bats, especially when pitching to Babe-Ruth-In-Training Mark Treanor. Jenks and Thorton struggled a bit.

Randy Williams had the weirdest line of the week. He relieved Peavy in the seventh Wednesday, getting Hamilton to ground out and then intentionally walked Guerrero, gave up a double to Murphy, scoring Young, then intentionally walked Smoak and gave way to Pena, who induced a fly out from Babe-Ruth-In-Training Matt Treanor. Awesome!

And all together now! Santos continues to excel in low-leverage situations!

I'd like to congratulate Kenny for not picking up Juan Cruz. The urge had to be overwhelming.

Inter Alia

* Andruw Jones has freakin' pounded Javier Vazquez in his career, going 20-51 with seven doubles and five homers. Vizquel is 8-15 lifetime against Vazquez as well. He leads off today. This is the new situation, folks. With Pierre looking looking a trash can with a bat attached to it, the new leadoff hitter is "who hits well against today's pitcher." Sigh.

* Full week this week. Two more against the Yankees in New York and then the Sox come home for a seven-game, ENTIRELY WINNABLE homestand with three against the Royals and four against Toronto. A 5-2 week puts the Sox at 14-16 and back to the mediocre MLB blob. Entirely doable, especially with the pitchers they're facing.

* The Sox have faced every pitcher scheduled this week: Vazquez, Hughes, Meche, Hochevar, Bannister, Eveland and Marcum. They miss Greinke and Sabathia while Danks and Buehrle get two starts each.

* Konerko hit two more homers than the Sox won games in April.

* On April, Sox issues w/r/t batting average, BABIP and such are well-documented. They also grounded into the most double plays in the majors in April while hitting the least doubles. They're 21st in the majors in ERA and 15th in xFIP, so they've been ever-so-marginally unlucky as a pitching team compared to the rest of the league. But they're third-worst in baseball in left-on-base percentage, ahead of only the Pirates and Dodgers.

* And their 30 homers are third-best in baseball, behind only the D'backs and Blue Jays. After all those changes, the Sox are the Sox. Five of their nine wins have come from the result of late-inning home runs that either tied or won the game.

* On the HR note, Konerko beat the Mariners and Astros by himself in long balls with both teams hitting nine...as a team! Casey Kotchman leads the Mariners with three. When Casey Kotchman leads your team in homers, you're probably not a good offensive team.

* Something that SSS will be watching this year: Strength of Schedule. The White Sox were 9-14 for the month. Their SOS was the 7th-most favorable in baseball. Not good. On a brighter side, the Twins and Tigers didn't exactly play a difficult slate either, finishing 9th and 11th respectively. The Angels played the hardest schedule in April, finishing 12-12 and tied for first in the West, a division that is just going to beat the hell out of each other.

* Ozzie Guillen's record since the 2005 World Series: 339-333. With an average payroll of $106 million. Jus' sayin'.