CHICAGO WHITE SOX
We got some middling pitching and a pretty good offense, albeit one that’s going to last as long as you’re impression that Jose Uribe is really a good hitter after all. We’ve also got Minnesota’s underwear, not that they’ve noticed, because if you’ve got Doug Mientkiewicz, who needs a G-string? Friends, no matter what Mr. Ryan says, second place chafes, as Mr. Kenny Williams can attest after two straight years of raw inner thighs. Gird your loins with Frank Thomas and his .334 EQA and you need never say, “Not tonight, Josephine, I left my epidermis at the office because I was afraid to let a DH be a DH, a first baseman be a first baseman, I keep trying to get blood from a stone, and no matter how many elephants I interview, none of them can do calculus.” Even Sharon and Arafat agree that Garcia wasn’t quite worth the freight, but credit the Sox with having a pulse. Late note: Thomas is gone, Carl Everett is here, which is kind of like replacing a dinosaur with a guy who doesn’t believe in dinosaurs. Ironically, it’s neither of them that faces extinction, but Joe Borchard. GRADE: A-
Today’s UTK is about burning questions. Emphasis: burning questions, not burning sensations. UTK stands for “Under the Knife,” not “Urinary Tract Konnection.” Lately everyone who writes me has the same questions. Below, I try my best to answer them.
Powered by Discovery HD Theater, on to your questions about the injuries…
I got mad once when Ken Griffey Jr. admitted that he didn’t try for every ball. If his team was far ahead or behind in a game, he wouldn’t try to scale a wall to bring back a home run. It’s almost offensive to a fan to see players not try. I can know that the cost of a ticket’s not that high, historically speaking, and that it might not have any effect on the outcome of a game. It doesn’t matter. I want to see those ground balls run out. Unless the hitter’s injured.
The more I watch games, though, the more I’m convinced Griffey was right. Derek Jeter’s dive into the stands was dramatic and everything else people said about it, but it was also immensely dangerous. How big of a gap is it, really? When the Mariners told Edgar Martinez not to run out ground balls unless it was really important, was that worth it?
The White Sox get hurt by the Hurt’s hurt. The A’s need better luck for Dotel. The Phillies get much-needed bouncebacks from Bell and Burrell. These and other news and notes out of Chicago, Oakland and Philadelphia in today’s Prospectus Triple Play.
At press time, the Brewers had been outscored by their opponents by a handful of runs. If they can get through the year like that and still manage to stay over .500, I say, “who cares?’ When you’ve been under .500 for 11 straight years, what does it matter if the string is broken by a season that isn’t aesthetically pleasing?
The Brewskers are getting some nice defense these days. In fact, this series features two teams that are among the best in Defensive Efficiency in the major leagues. This is a good thing for Milwaukee, too, because they are, essentially, a one-man offense this year.
After not getting to a game for the first seven weeks of the season, I’ve been
living at the ballpark since Memorial Day weekend. That continued on Monday night,
as I took in the Angels/Indians game with some of the guys who have been
kicking my butt in AL Tout Wars this
season. Sam Walker of the Wall Street Journal, who is actually working
on a book about fantasy, was in town and dragged me, Jeff Erickson of Rotowire and Matt Berry of Rotoworld down to Anaheim to see the classic
Kaz Tadano/Aaron Sele match-up.
Obviously, I love baseball, and enjoy watching games whenever and wherever I
can. But a night like this one–or like last month, when I got to see an
Angels/Dodgers game with Jonah Keri, Rich Lederer, and Brian Gunn–is hard to beat.
Watching a ball game while talking baseball for three hours with people who
know and love the game might not be heaven, but you get a better view and St.
Peter gets a little bit jealous.