Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Enemy of My Enemy

It's not often that I agree with the National Review, but we are of like minds on this. We've written about this before and it remains just as ridiculous now as it was then.

MLB is making no friends for itself with this policy. How long before Congress (which clearly has nothing better to do) steps in and demands change?

Get Well Soon

Danny Farquhar.

Friday, April 13, 2018

This Seems Pretty Fishy

If Miami fans (both of them) thought that finally seeing the last of extortionist thief Jeffrey Loria was a great thing, they should guess again. New ownership, including the allegedly universally beloved Derek Jeter, has reached a new low in deceitful, greedy behavior.

This kind of behavior should result in someone being tarred and feathered. Instead, I'm sure that Bruce Sherman, Derek Jeter, and of course Jeffrey the Destroyer Loria will walk away with millions. Which they clearly need.

Ain't free market capitalism great?

Something I Noticed Watching Tonight's White Sox Game

This Jose Berrios kid is pretty good.

Tank Battle

Here is a good article that I missed earlier. Call it tanking or call it rebuilding, there is nothing wrong with what these teams are doing. People will say that you should always put your best team on the field and always try to win, but when the best team that you can put on the field is aging crap and what's more, aging crap featuring immature, divisive jerks, the best path for a team is to tear it down and bring in new players that at least have the promise of something more special.

This should be stunningly obvious, but not every team has the resources of the Yankees or Red Sox. It's the job of management to see when the window is closing on a team and move accordingly. I would bet that teams like this, this, and this would have loved to have the team building options available to them that teams do today. But remember, those were the Good Old Days, when baseball was perfect.

Monday, April 02, 2018

What I'm Listening To

Three Swings is a terrific podcast that I just discovered today. Here is the summary:

Long suffering baseball fan Rhea Butcher reinvents America's pastime with radically sensible thoughts on baseball, history, culture, gender, race, and more. For baseball diehards and novices alike, Rhea breaks down the week in MLB news, analyzes the culture of American sports, and explores forgotten chapters in baseball history from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League to the Negro Leagues and beyond. Plus in-depth interviews with comedians, baseball insiders, and hometown fans. And maybe even some fantasy tips! New Episodes Every Wednesday.

You can find Rhea here, here, here, or wherever you get your podcasts. Check her out!

Continuing to Reward Failure

Here is the box score for today's White Sox/Blue Jays game. Who was credited as the "winning" pitcher? The guy who allowed the other team to take the lead, of course.

The concepts of "winning" and "losing" pitchers are kind of silly ones in this day and age, but if you're going to continue the practice, MLB, could you at least change the rules to make it more reflective of the way the game is actually played? I made a modest proposal for this years ago.

Today's Reading Assignment

Really good piece here about where the Sox are right now and how they've gotten there. There is no guarantee that what Williams, Hahn, and the rest of the organization is going to pay off, but I have been 100% behind the attempt. Given the choice of the hope of talented young prospects or watching this I'm going to go with the young people every time.

By the way, Rany, I know how you feel. I despised the Royals in the 1970s and 1980s and took a lot of silly pleasure in writing about what a bad organization the Royals were. But a some funny things happened. First of all, I got a little older. When I did so, I realized that wasting so much energy on a rival team is silly and childish. And second, I actually liked the players that the Royals were coming up with, Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain and the like. And so when this happened, I was rooting for them.

Watching young people do exciting new things is a beautiful thing. Especially when the alternative is watching the old guard crash and burn..

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Here We Go!

The Sox open up the season in just four hours. Big ERA James against Danny Duffy at Kansas City.

I'm thrilled to have baseball back but not crazy about playing regular season baseball games on March 29. Two games have already been postponed due to weather and I'll be willing to bet that there will be more that will at least be played under poor circumstances.

I'm guessing that most of these early season postponements will be made up as split doubleheaders later in the season. So why not just schedule them as such from the beginning?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Chicago White Sox 2018 Preview: Hang On, Help Is Coming

First things first, The 2018 White Sox are not going to be good. The 2017 White Sox were 67-95. That's bad. I'll be the most surprised guy in the world if the 2018 team reaches 75-87. There are just far too many holes, too many spots filled by sub-optimal players, to expect more.

This does not mean that Sox management is doing a bad job. On the contrary, Executive VP Ken Williams, GM Rick Hahn, Manager Rick Renteria, and their staffs have done such a great job re-tooling a franchise that was going nowhere that I am more excited going into this season than I have been in a decade. The bad times have been bad, but good times are coming soon.

Yoan Moncada, 2B
Avisail Garcia, RF
Jose Abreu, 1B
Wellington Castillo, C
Nicky Delmonico, LF
Tim Anderson, SS
Matt Davidson, DH
Yolmer Sanchez, 3B
Adam Engel, CF

I love Moncado; I think that he will be every bit worthy of the hype and will be the best Sox second baseman since Ray Durham and maybe even Nellie Fox. He has already shown a solid eye at the plate; now he needs to be confident about going after pitches that he can drive. I'm not 100% sold that Garcia's leap forward in 2017 is for real, but there is a decent chance that it is. Abreu continues to be a devastating hitter. Castillo is decent both behind and at the plate, but I'd be much more comfortable with him hitting in the seventh slot rather than cleanup. Delmonico was an unexpected bright spot in 2017. He still projects more as a solid bench guy than a regular, and he's a placeholder here. I still like Anderson but he's going to have to move his walk rate from "abysmal" to "just kind of bad" to be successful.

The bottom of the order is terrible. Davidson smacked 26 homers in 2017; that was the extent of his positive contribution as he batted just .220 with a 19/165 BB/K ratio. Sanchez is a great guy to have around and would be a very solid bench player but he's stretched as an everyday third baseman. Engel is a wonderful defensive center fielder, the best the Sox have had since Aaron Rowand, but he batted .166 with no walks or power and that is not much worse than the best you can expect from him at the plate.

James Shields
Lucas Giolito
Reynaldo Lopez
Miguel Gonzalez
Carson Fullmer

James Shields. Ugh. That trade for him looked bad at the time and looks worse now. We really gave up Fernando Tatis Jr. for this guy? At least the Padres are still paying half his salary, and the Sox can buy him out after this season. While the trade for Shields is one of the worst in team history, the trade for Giolito may go down as one of the best. He's going to be a good pitcher for a long time. Lopez was acquired in the same trade as Giolito; he doesn't have the upside and may not be able to stick in the rotation, but he has a live arm with a good fastball and curve. If he adds a third pitch he might stick after all. Gonzalez is filler. The Sox keep deluding themselves that Fullmer can be a major league starter; I'm just not seeing it. His command is just not good enough. I do think that he would be effective out of the bullpen.

Joakim Soira
Nate Jones
Juan Minaya
A bunch of replaceable guys

The five guys who pitched the most relief innings for the Sox last year are all gone, not that there is any great loss there. Rentaria says that he will use Soira, Jones, and Minaya as needed rather than making one a true closer. I like that approach but I'm not crazy about the chances of these guys making it work. Soira's best days are behind him, Jones has great stuff but terrible command, and Minaya is a mediocrity. The other guys in the pen are nothing special.

Between drafting and the trades of Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, Carlos Quintana, and Tood Frazier, the Sox have built one of the best farm systems in the game. And we're not just talking about kids who can become major league regulars, which are good things to develop, we're talking about some major impact players. I'll do a separate post on them, because there are so many who are so impressive.

So it will be a year of development, but that's better than a year of mediocrity and disillusionment. It will be great fun to watch the great prospects start to infiltrate the lineup as the season moves on. By next year at this time we'll be ready to start talking about contending.

Good Idea, Bad Idea

Good idea: Every team opening the season on the same day. Which will happen this Thursday. Bad idea: Opening the season in March. Think that there will be some weather issues?

Tel père tel fils

Now this is fun. Vladimir Guerrero was the last great Montreal Expos player. His son is one of the top five prospects in the game, in the organization of the only remaining Canadian franchise. And here he was, in dad's old yard, walloping a game ending homer. Ramenez les Expos!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Spring Housecleaning

After not blogging here for eight years, quite a few of the links that we have listed on the right hand side of this page have, like Joe DiMaggio, left and gone away. So I'll spend some time this week cleaning them up and adding some new ones for you to check out. As soon as I figure out how do do it.

That Wasn't a Bat He Was Swinging

Another former White Sox employee was in the news today. Albert Belle, slugging outfielder and all around jerk, was arrested by Arizona police on charges of indecent exposure, DUI, and Extreme DUI. Leave it to the fishwrap known as the New York Post to bring us the full details in its usual subtle way. Anyone surprised by this? Also, Belle's mug shot looks like a slightly younger Fred Sanford (this one, not this one) after a six day bender spiced by three meals a day at Burger King. This is a life that I am pretty sure isn't going to end well.

"Whatever a Jury Thinks It's Worth"

On April 27, 1994, Nevest Coleman was a 25 year old father of two happily employed as a groundskeeper for the Chicago White Sox. On April 28 a chain of horrific events began that will never be completely repaired. Warning: that link is very graphic and disturbing. The only decent news in all of this is that Coleman and Darryl Fulton were released from their unjust prison sentences in November. And on Monday, to their credit, the White Sox hired Coleman back to his groundskeeping job, a job he says he loved. What Coleman and Fulton went through should never happen to anyone, and yet the behavior of the Chicago Police Department is not one bit surprising. For "the blacks," as our beloved President so charmingly calls them, such is an everyday fact of life. In my own city of Sacramento last week, the police shot and killed 22 year old Stephon Clark, who was "armed" with a cell phone in his own back yard. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that if it had been me in his place, I'd still be here to write this piece. What happened to Antwinica Bridgeman was horrible and sickening. She didn't deserve any of it; no one does. But "solving" her murder by framing two men who had nothing to do with it is a mockery of justice. I hope that Coleman and Fulton take these asshole "detectives" for everything they are worth in their lawsuits. And I hope that Coleman finds happiness in his restored job. But nothing can replace what was taken from these two men. And if you think that their case is an anomaly, you should do some reading.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Silver Haired Middle Aged White Men Have Spoken

One of my favorite podcasts is the hilarious Crime In Sports by James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman. On it they frequently refer to "silver haired middle aged white men," you know, the ones who are always there to bail out athletes who can make them money. MLB's SHMAWM came out today with their ruling that young Twins star Miguel Sano couldn't possibly, not no way, not no how, have done anything untoward to a female photographer last fall. Instead, according to a Twins press release, "Miguel can now return his sole focus to the season ahead." Of course he can. And I'm sure that their investigation was not at all colored by Sano's 28 home runs and .507 slugging average in 2017, nor by the thought of the Twins being a playoff contender this season.

Le Québec aime le baseball

This makes me happy to see, especially because of the way MLB treated the Montreal Expos. Montreal absolutely would support a major league team, just as it supported the Expos when they were actually putting a real team on the field. The Expos need to return! Without Youppi, please.

Now It's Eight Years Later, and He Still Keeps Up the Fight

Greetings to new readers and welcome back to old ones! We stopped doing this blog way back when; it had gotten to be more of a chore than something fun. Now it's time to bring it back. So we'll be posting our thoughts on the great game that we love and probably other things that are on our mind as well. Since we left off, Bob's Cubs finally ended the Curse of the Billy Goat Inept Management and won a World Series, thus joining my White Sox in the winner's circle for the first time in our lives. The Cubs remain a serious contender; the Sox aren't there yet but I'm very positive on the rebuilding job that Ed Hahn is doing. I'm about an hour from my first fantasy baseball draft of the year, and the season is almost on us. Woo Hoo!

Testing...testing...is this thing on?

It's time! It's been a long absence, but the new season is on us!