Poor Jim Leyritz was in left field. Leyritz is not, was not, and never would be, a leftfielder. Injuries and general incompetence had forced the Yankees to experiment, and they were in the Diet Coke and Mentos phase of the experiment. It was Leyritz’s fourth game in the outfield in the majors, and he had just 55 chances in the outfield in the minors. He was a 26-year-old rookie with the kind of athleticism you would expect from someone who wasn’t drafted. He would become a postseason hero for the Yankees, but in 1990, he was the wrong outfielder at the worst time.
Also, it feels like every paragraph here should start with, “Remembering that the wind was awful,” before each and every thought is presented. And to be fair to Leyritz, he made a sliding catch on the first play of the game, a tough play made tougher by the tornado above the stadium. If he had muffed it, no one would have been surprised or upset. He made that play, and his reward was that he set himself up as one of the goats later….
Look at everything that goes wrong before it almost goes right. Tentative steps in the wrong direction. A dangerous crossover step to change directions. Unsure dancing and backpedaling. Then, just as he almost squares up, someone hits the eject button on Leyritz’s ID, and he’s transported to a different dimension.
It’s the magical confluence of different forces: a fielder who understandably played the ball as if he had about three hours of experience in the outfield, a no-hitter that’s still going because of an error and two walks, a pitcher who was almost unemployed three weeks earlier and the wind. That damned wind.
Dave Cameron wants the White Sox to blow up the team.
Yes, trading the only good players the team has would likely be a huge blow to the team’s revenues, and if you take those guys off this team, you’re left with an unwatchable product in the short-term. But in each case, it’s likely that the White Sox stars are currently at their peak value, and it’s hard to imagine there will ever be another time where the team will have as much leverage as a seller as they would this July. And these are the kinds of pieces that you don’t just have to move for future prospects; if you’re trading Chris Sale or Jose Abreu, you can demand the kinds of young big league talent that the team is desperately lacking.
Sale was the third pitcher since data is available to strike out 12 in four consecutive starts. Martinez did it in 2001 (he had a streak of five in ’99) to go with a four-game streak in 1997. Randy Johnson strung together five straight of 12 or more in 1998. This was Sale’s 24th game with 10 or more, in 97 starts.
“The maturity of Chris Sale from this year to last year is going through the roof, just on and off the field,” Parent said. “It seems like he has really matured to that next level, almost superstar-type guys.”
Sale joined Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax as the only pitcher since 1900 to produce three consecutive starts of 12 or more strikeouts while yielding no more than one run. He also is the first pitcher in the modern era to record at least 10 strikeouts in four consecutive starts while increasing his total each time, striking out 14 in his last start Monday against the Houston Astros.
Of course, much of the talk with a last-place team centers around what it’ll do before the July 31 trade deadline. The Sox are no different, and even though Hahn said “let’s see what the next 30 days have to hold for us, because right now we feel guys are starting to come around” he also stressed “there’s no magic date” when they have to say whether they’re in or out.
“Obviously as you get closer to July 31 you have some priorities you have to put in order, whether it’s the current season and feeding what you’re doing right now versus reshaping for the future,” Hahn said. “As we sit here today our hope continues to be that we’re in a position to add and have reinforcements come in here to contribute in a championship run.”
John Grochowski is at least trying, so I will cut him some slack.
Balls a defender doesn’t reach that an average fielder would mean extra hits charged to the pitchers. You can see that in the early numbers for Chris Sale, Jeff Samardzija and Jose Quintana. All have been inconsistent, but all have FIPs — fielding independent pitching — stronger than their ERAs when you filter out defense.
The solution to Samardzija’s problems may not be that simple. It’s easy to say that he should just go to pitches that worked for him in the past more often; but currently, those pitches—the sinker and the split—are getting hit and hit hard. He’s using his slider, but he’s missing with it badly and frequently. Those are pitches that helped lead him to his best season ever, and they don’t appear to be having the same effect as they once did.
There’s no easy fix here. Samardzija has to find his command and get his pitch usage and sequencing right. That’s certainly not out of the question—we already saw Samardzija emerge as a great starter despite every bit of evidence we had suggesting he wouldn’t. However, until that happens, the White Sox won’t be able to boast the devastating one-two punch at the top of their rotation that they expected to have when the season began.
The Ballpark Pass was a chance to watch weekday baseball during April and May this season for merely $2.64 per game.
The Sox, under an agreement with the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, the public agency that owns The Cell, are required to pay a fee on each ticket sold beyond 1,930,000 in paid attendance. But that “ticket threshold,” according to the agreement, excludes tickets that are given to sponsors or sold for less than $3.
it wasn’t until 2008 the Sox even paid an annual fee to use the stadium
Several years ago, it [ISFA] covered the costs of building the restaurant and team store for the Sox outside the stadium, ceding all profits to the team at the request of Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
Earl Weaver believed the best place to start a young pitcher is long relief. I know long relievers are out of vogue but it seems to me having a young guy start his career there, especially when you want to limit innings, still is a good idea.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has said Rodon’s 2015 innings are scarce resource. The franchise has a tried and true program for keeping pitchers healthy and therefore isn’t going to run Rodon’s inning count up to 180. But Rodon could still move into the rotation sometime in the foreseeable future. The challenge is keeping him built up enough, something pitching coach Don Cooper has a plan for just like the White Sox employed with Hector Noesi last season.
“He’s going to be pitching regularly and there are things coming up that believe me, he’s way up in the front of our minds in keeping him ready,” Cooper said. “Not only to pitch in the role he’s in, but eventually hopefully if he does make a jump in the starting rotation. But again that doesn’t worry me because we did it last year with Noesi.”
He can now retire to pursue he’s lifelong dream - hunting and killing Zack Greinke.
Carlos Quentin, who’s been playing at Triple-A for the Mariners after being released by the Braves last month, has decided to retire at age 32.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Quentin left the Tacoma team Thursday after going 3-for-17 in five games.
Atlanta acquired Quentin from San Diego as part of the Craig Kimbrel trade, but his inclusion was strictly to help balance out the money and the Braves ate his entire $8 million salary in releasing him.
Quentin retires as a career .252 hitter whose power, plate discipline, and ability to get plunked by tons of pitches helped him post a strong .831 OPS. When healthy he was a middle-of-the-order asset, posting an OPS above .800 in six of his nine seasons, but constant injuries limited him to fewer than 130 games in all but two of those years.
Far, far, FAR down on the list of priorities of what is happening in Baltimore now, but…
Monday night’s Orioles game against the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards was postponed due to escalating unrest throughout the city stemming from the death of Freddie Gray last week, and new baseball commissioner Rob Manfred suggested the series could be played elsewhere.
Manfred, who was visiting Camden Yards by coincidence while making the rounds to visit to all 30 teams, acknowledged that Nationals Park in Washington could be an option. Manfred said the decision to postpone the game was made to ensure everyone’s safety.
The following players have been disciplined for their actions leading up to and/or during the incident:
Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has received a seven-game suspension;
Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez has received a five-game suspension;
Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain has received a two-game suspension;
Royals pitcher Kelvin Herrera has received a two-game suspension;
White Sox pitcher Chris Sale has received a five-game suspension;
White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija has received a five-game suspension.
The White Sox will promote left-hander Carlos Rodon, the third overall selection in last year’s draft, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Rodon will join the team tomorrow and will initially pitch out of the bullpen, according to Rosenthal.