The White Sox have a new GM, but the old one isn't going away.
In the midst of the World Series, the Chicago White Sox stole a sliver of spotlight for one fall afternoon with a front office shakeup that apparently actually happened a couple of weeks ago. The press release from the team announced the "promotions" of Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn, though in the former case the use of the term is questionable.
After the news hit, the White Sox held a press conference in the small auditorium where they have most of their notable events. Sports talkers in Chicago discussed the move on the radio. Bloggers weighed in en masse. The front page of the local sports sections had articles and pictures. On the national stage, the move was but a whisper relative to the Cubs' hiring of Theo Epstein last year, and by Saturday even in Chicago the whisper had faded and the spotlight had returned to the next Bears game. That's the reality of the White Sox in the local sports pecking order.
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White Sox unveil their new manager for his first home opener, Jim Leyland isn't saying much but Kenny Williams is, and something is askew around home plate.
CHICAGO -- Friday marked Robin Ventura's first home game in uniform as a member of the White Sox since Sept. 20, 1998. He was asked if he remembered his last game at then-Comiskey Park. He didn't. But of course, we can look it up. He went 1 for 3 with a walk against the Red Sox, batting behind Frank Thomas and Albert Belle.
Kenny Williams and Teddy Ruxpin or: Why the White Sox can't have nice things.
At age 6, I had my first best friend. I do not remember why I was chosen as companion and owner of this particular Teddy Ruxpin, but he was mine. This robot-bear existed solely to read children’s stories via a tape player tucked in his stomach pouch. But it was easy for me, a wallflower with a stuffed animal obsession, to relate to the animatronic bear on a deeper level. I would rewind his cassette tape with a No. 2 pencil, surgically insert the tape into his stomach pouch, secure the Velcro, and we’d talk. He told me stories, stories I knew by heart, that six-year old me looked forward to more than most things— including, but not limited to, reruns of M*A*S*H, tee ball practice, and riding my Cabbage Patch Big Wheel.
What I do remember is a value that was instilled in me long before Mr. Ruxpin came to live with my family: Taking care of oneself and one’s possessions was of utmost importance. Caring for everything, even toys, was a reflection of something larger. It was indicative of a certain self-possession that always seemed important. Fortunately, caring for Teddy was easy.
Will the White Sox look to cut their losses by trading Jake Peavy this year?
White Sox general manager Kenny Williams has developed a penchant over the years for making daring, out-of-nowhere trades. His deal with Kevin Towers to bring in Jake Peavy at the 2009 trade deadline—after Peavy nixed a similar deal that May—epitomized his willingness to leave no stone unturned.
From Chicago’s perspective, the move was risky for several reasons.
The Cubs finished fifth last season, and the White Sox finished third, but the moods of their respective fan bases don't mirror their showings in the standings
You don’t really meet a serious baseball fan, native to Chicago, who roots for both the White Sox and the Cubs.
This is the only two-team town in which I’ve resided, so I don’t know if there is a similar divergence in New York, Los Angeles, or the Bay Area. I have a Chicago friend who is a transplanted New Yorker—he loves the Mets but absolutely despises the Yankees and everything Derek Jeter stands for. (Winning?) My own mother lives in central Missouri and roots for both the Cardinals and Royals, which might not be quite the same thing but shows a certain generosity of spirit. Undoubtedly there are many in Chicago who root for both teams, who grew up in some neutral suburb or West side neighborhood and just like their baseball however they can get it. Those people, assuming they exist, are a decidedly silent minority.
Bernie Williams burned it up with the Yankees during his career, but did the Puerto Rican do enough to blaze a trail to the Hall?
Before Derek Jeter, there was Bernie Williams. As the Yankees emerged from a barren stretch of 13 seasons without a trip to the playoffs from 1982-1994, and a particularly abysmal stretch of four straight losing seasons from 1989-1992, their young switch-hitting center fielder stood as a symbol for the franchise's resurgence. For too long, the Yankees had drafted poorly, traded away what homegrown talent they produced for veterans, and signed pricey free agents to fill the gaps as part of George Steinbrenner's eternal win-now directive. But with Steinbrennerbanned by commissioner Fay Vincent and the Yankees' day-to-day baseball operations in the hands of Gene Michael, promising youngsters were allowed to develop unimpeded.
Jerome Williams is struggling to shed a "bust" label in his return to the bigs, but what do his past pedigree and subsequent struggles tell us about the nature of pitcher prospect rankings?
When you break it down to the base level, Jerome Williams’ story isn’t unusual. “Former top prospect attempting to return to his peak” is a tried-and-true story that teeters from precocity to failure to redemptive triumph in heart-warming fashion. Maybe that’s why the first step in Williams’ return to a major-league rotation felt scripted and even a little predictable—as if the baseball gods conspired to have him face the less-than-full strength Orioles, whose six-through-nine slots went Andino-Pie-Tatum-Davis. Williams succeeded, of course, going seven innings, striking out six batters, walking none, and allowing just one run (that coming on a Matt Wieters homer).
Manny Acta remains upbeat amidst a bad season for the Indians, along with other notes from around the major leagues.
Manny Acta has had plenty of practice trying to find the positives amongst the negatives during his major-league managerial career. He spent 2 ½ seasons with the Nationals, compiling a 158-282 record before being fired last season at the All-Star break. Things aren't going much better in his first season with the Indians, as they are 26-43.
Ozzie Guillen and Ken Williams patch things up again, along with other notes from around the major leagues.
Ozzie Guillen and Ken Williams sat together on the White Sox' charter flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh on Monday night and discussed various matter concerning their team. There was no arguing, yelling, or fisticuffs. It was just a manager and a general manager talking baseball.