Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Do you think Jerry Reinsdorf's been reading the Update? On August 21, we wrote: "We hate to say this, but let's get this stinker of a season behind us and start over in 2008." And just this past Monday, we reiterated: "The Update still doesn't understand how this team got this bad this quickly -- the Sox won 90 games last year with largely the same roster -- but it did. On the other hand, the same players might do a hell of a lot better next year. We desperately need to get this season behind us." Reinsdorf was quoted in today's Washington Post as saying, "It will be nice when its over so we can start playing for next year.... Most people thought we had a team that would contend and we never were in it." Maybe it's just that every Sox fan feels it's time to put the 2007 team out of its misery.
Let's look for the silver lining. Jim Thome hit his 494th home run last night and has 30 games left in which to collect the six he needs to join the 500 Club. We still think he's going to do it, although ARod proved that No. 500 comes a little harder than the rest of them. Speaking of homers, unless there's a homer frenzy, the Sox's streak of consecutive seasons with 200 or more homers looks like it will come to an end. Maybe that's the missing ingredient this year -- the long ball.
Other "good" news: Gavin Floyd pitched a quality start. Not much to write home about -- or for the Update to write to you about -- but a large improvement for the guy who was supposed to step in and take Garcia's place and racked up a 6.92 ERA instead.
Anyway, the team is still in last place, 17.5 games behind Cleveland. The Magic Number is 49. The elimination number is 14, which means if the Sox and Indians play like they have over the last 10 games, the Tribe will officially eliminate the Sox from the race over the next 10 games. In other words, they'll be out of it before the NFL starts play. Remind me that we won the Series just two seasons ago, will you? Go Sox!

Monday, August 27, 2007


Even Bluto Blutarsky would say it's over. The White Sox dropped four in a row to the Red Sox over the weekend and were outscored 46-7 in the process. The Elias Sports Bureau reports that it was only the fourth time since 1900 that a team allowed its opponents double-digit runs in each game of a four-game series. The White Sox find themselves in last place, 1.5 games behind the fourth-place Royals, in the A.L. Central. They're 16.5 games behind the Indians and on the verge of being eliminated by the Tribe, whose Magic Number over them is a meager 17! By contrast, the Magic Number for the Sox is almost triple that -- 50.
The Update still doesn't understand how this team got this bad this quickly -- the Sox won 90 games last year with largely the same roster -- but it did. On the other hand, the same players might do a hell of a lot better next year. We desperately need to get this season behind us. And say your goodbyes to another one of the World Series champs roster members. Scottie Pods is likely seeing the end of his White Sox career. Josh Fields is getting on-the-job training in left field in hopes that he can play there next season. We'll see how that works out, but he's off to an inauspicious start, misplaying a ball in the ninth inning of Sunday's game.
The Update will continue to publish, but it will be more like a weekly than a daily blog at this point. It's just too painful to have to relive these games the next day. Go Sox!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Jim Thome cracked his 21st home run of the season, and more importantly, the 493rd of his career last night to lead the White Sox to a 5-2 victory over the K.C. Royals. At his current pace of 21 dingers in 98 games, Thome will need to play in and keep up that pace for at least 33 of the Sox's remaining 37 games to reach the 500 mark. At his higher career homer rate, he'll need to hit at that pace in only 29 more games to join the 500 club this season.
Paul Konerko and Danny Richar also contributed round trippers to support Javier Vazquez's fine effort -- only one earned run in six innings. Who -- besides big Javy fan Mike Sehr -- would have thought that Vazquez would have the best record among the Sox starters (11-6)? Not the Update, which has roasted Vazquez in the past for his inability to get through the lineup three times in a game. This is one time we're happy to admit we were wrong.
Bobby Jenks extended his streak to six consectutive batters retired (that's 47 of his last 48 for those keeping score at home) and needs about 12 more innings like that to break the record of 41 he now shares. Oh yeah, he earned his 34th save in the process. Not too shabby.
The win chopped the Magic Number to 51 and allowed the Sox to move into sole possession of fourth place in the A.L. Central. We've got our sights trained on third place, although overtaking the Twins, who have a six-game lead, won't be easy. Go Sox!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Time for our annual Richard Nixon quote upon returning from the beach: We're "tanned, rested, and ready." Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the White Sox. Hey, whoever's job it was to take care of the team while the Update was on vacation dropped the ball. The Sox lost eight in a row -- only a win last night prevented the team from matching its most recent futility streak from August 1991 of nine straight losses. The Sox reached the depths of the A.L. Central, even falling behind the lowly Royals. Last night's win brought them back into a tie with K.C., whom they've beaten seven of nine times this season.
The best thing to happen during our time off was Bobby Jenks. He tied the Major League mark for consecutive batters retired at 41, essentially a 13.2-inning perfect game. His steak ended last night when Jenks gave up a hit to the first batter he faced, but Big Bobby went on to earn his 34th save. That means that Jenks has saved 61.8% of the games the Sox have won this year -- an incredibly high total. And he's bringing the heat once again, consistently throwing in the mid to upper 90s.
The other piece of good news during the last two weeks was Kenny Williams's signing of Jermaine Dye to a contract extension. Dye, who is having an off year, still is having a better year powerwise than anyone else on the team. So much for not negotiating contracts during the season.
Oh yeah, we do like Jerry Owens. Even after enduring a horrendous slump, he's hitting .252 and has stolen 19 bases (two last night) in 22 attempts. Owens, Josh Fields and Danny Richar -- all of whom started the season in the minors -- are looking like they have a future with the big league club.
And speaking of additions to the team, the Update was glad to see the Sox nab Mike Myers. We loved him as Wayne in Wayne's World and as Austin Powers/Dr. Evil in the spy spoofs. Hopefully, they didn't have to pay him "one billll-yun dollars." Oh, it's the left-handed submariner, you say. Well, that works too.
Anyway, the Magic Number (we're still calculating it only because that's the name of this blog) is now 53. More important, the elimination number for the Sox is 26. We hate to say this, but let's get this stinker of a season behind us and start over in 2008. About the only thing worth watching the rest of this year is Jim Thome's pursuit of 500 home runs. We predict he will get the eight more he needs to join Frank Thomas and ARod in attaining that goal. Go Thome! Go Sox!

Friday, August 3, 2007


On the 100th anniversary of Walter Johnson's first appearance for the Washington Senators, the man whom many think is his equal, seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, gave up eight runs in the second inning to the White Sox. But as all readers of the Update know, the Sox can't stand prosperity, so Jon Garland returned the favor to the Yankees in the bottom half of the frame, giving up eight runs of his own. At least Clemens had the excuse that Robinson Cano had a couple of throwing errors, making only three of his eight runs earned, while all of Garland's were. However, Garland doesn't get paid $1 million per start like the Rocket does, so the expectations for him aren't as great.
The second inning was something to watch though. It was the second highest-scoring inning in Major League history, required 90 pitches, and at one hour, lasted about half as long as an entire Mark Buehrle-started game does. For the game, the two teams combined for 32 hits and 22 runs, with the Sox finally coming out on top, 13-9. Jermaine "Aren't You Glad You Didn't Trade Me" Dye had 12 total bases on two homers and two doubles, and the bullpen gave up only one run in 7.1 innings. All in all, a nice way to get out of the Big Apple after being pummelled in the first two games -- the Yanks hit 15 homers for the series, although none by A-Rod, who is still desperately seeking his 500th.
Now, it's on to Detroit, where the Sox have a chance to cut into the Tigers' lead (12.5 games) and the Magic Number (68). Fortunately, for the Good Guys, Detroit doesn't play as well at home as it does on the road and the A.L. Central leader has been in a bit of a slump lately, losing two in a row and eight of the last 10.
The Sox are going to have to do it without Rob Mackowiak, who earlier in the week, was traded to the Padres for Jon "the Missing" Link, another seemingly lackluster low-minors pitcher. Hopefully, GM Kenny Williams knows something about him that isn't apparent from his stats, which aren't that impressive. And speaking of trades, Jose says "No way" he wants to come out of the bullpen next year, and if the Sox intend to do that, Contreras says he wants a trade. Jose, wake up. With your 9-23 record since the 2006 All-Star game (1-10 in your last 12 starts this year) and your $10 million a year salary for the next two seasons, you're virtually untradeable. The Sox would be lucky to get two used squash balls for you at this point. Better to let Don Cooper try to fix what's wrong with you -- or better yet, bring in El Duque as a consultant to do that. It worked before with great results. Go Sox!