This was Paul Konerko’s last summer with the White Sox.
It’s unseasonably warm today. As September crawls to a close and gets ready to give way to October, it’s 84 degrees in Boston, t-shirt weather that seems more appropriate for at least a month earlier.
It’s been a weird summer that way. After a brutal winter that practically wiped out spring until mid-May, there were fewer brutally hot days than New England is used to, but all the same, the summer seemed to whip by. And what started with so much hope and ramped-up expectations quickly gave way to a different kind of hope, one directed towards the future and peppered with attempts to find the good as the chaos reigned for so long.
A season that started with the Red Sox as World Series champions, with Derek Jeter in New York and Paul Konerko in Chicago and Adam Dunn bashing home runs indiscriminately ends today with none of those things happening. The Sox fell apart and traded away a number of players who were so important to a championship a year ago — Jon Lester, Jake Peavy, John Lackey, Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew among them. Jeter’s bat went into hiding with his already AWOL glove, but he kept his spot near the top of the order all year as the Yankees missed the playoffs again. Konerko went quiet, too, but he gave way to his successor, Jose Abreu. Continue reading
Posted in Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Los Anaheim Angels, Oakland A's, Pennant races
Tagged Derek Jeter, Jose Abreu, Paul Konerko, Rusney Castillo, Yasiel Puig
I wanted to see Jose Iglesias play in Boston until I was at least 40.
I was having such a good night.
I had just hopped out of a cab on the way back from seeing the Black Crowes on the harbor in Boston, feeling warm and buzzed from the music and the jams and perhaps the Harpoon beer, when I pulled up the laptop to see what had happened in the rest of the world while I was lost in my little rock and roll sphere.
And there it was. The Red Sox had picked up Jake Peavy from the White Sox in a three-team trade that sends three minor leaguers to Chicago and, most troubling, shortstop Jose Iglesias to the Detroit Tigers.
Peavy has been seen as one of the prizes of this trade-deadline season, a pitcher who, when healthy, can be the ace of just about any staff in the league. Iglesias is an all-field, no-hit shortstop who was blocked both at short by Stephen Drew now and Xander Boegarts later, and by Will Middlebrooks at third for the foreseeable future. It all makes sense, and hearing about this trade made me furious anyway. Continue reading
Beyond being tall and left-handed, there is little similarity between Andrew Miller and Chris Sale. Obviously. But this was a diagram born out of an inside joke and the frustration of watching a classically ineffective lefty warming up for my favorite team.
As Cee Angi so eloquently explained in The Platoon Advantage yesterday, she sympathized with my plight in having to watch Miller pitch, and countered that she was taking the opposite experience, watching Chris Sale pitch for the Chicago White Sox at whatever they’re calling Comiskey Park these days.
So, of course, that led to this Venn diagram, comparing the two when there is no comparison. But I’d like to explain why, exactly, Miller gets under my skin as much as he does. Continue reading
Fisk didn’t waste any time getting comfortable in his new sox in the 1980s.
Last month, Kevin Youkilis joined a special branch in Boston Red Sox lore, that of the star and fan-favorite sent off to Chicago after spending quality time in Fenway Park.
Nomar Garciaparra joined the club in 2004, sent off to the Cubs as part of a three-team trade that sent Doug Mientkiewicz and Orlando Cabrera to Boston, jump-starting their run to an eventual World Series crown.
There have been others, too — Dennis Eckersley was traded to the Cubs in 1984 for Bill Buckner, for example — but the bad blood that seems to exist between the hard-swinging third baseman and certain members of the team, along with his dramatic return, more closely mirror that of catcher Carlton Fisk.
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The contract fiasco that Fisk lived through in the winter of 1980-81 is famous and well-documented. Haywood Sullivan, the Red Sox general manager, “forgot” to mail the All-Star catcher his contract for the 1981 season, turning Fisk into a free agent. Continue reading
Luis Tiant long ago earnd a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Ron Santo, the great Chicago Cubs third baseman of the 1960s and ‘70s, had the title of “Greatest Baseball Player Not in the Hall of Fame” removed from beside his name this week, when the Veterans Committee elected him into Cooperstown, as part of their “Golden Era” ballot.
This is an event that should be celebrated. Santo, long a great ambassador of the game, was one of the best players to man third base, an under-represented position in the Hall. He was the heart of the Cubs for more than a decade, hit with power, played with grace and performed at a high level while keeping his diabetes in check in an era that wasn’t as kind to sufferers of the disease, both in perception and treatment.
Of course, this is also an event to be ridiculed. Santo was first eligible for induction in 1980, and won’t be able to enjoy his induction in person — he died last year.
Why he was kept out for so many years, and why the voters suddenly saw him eligible after he left the Earth, is anyone’s guess. There are a lot of flaws with the election system and debate over what makes a player worthy of enshrinement. Some say they can just “feel” it, that they know a Hall of Famer when they see one, and don’t need to think about it. Others hold firm to statistical evidence, coldly drawing a line in the mathematical sand — per position, this guy is in, this guy is out, and there’s no debate. Continue reading
Posted in Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Hall of Fame, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals
Tagged Dom DiMaggio, Lou Whitaker, Luis Tiant, Minnie Minoso, Ron Santo, Ted Simmons