Friday, December 24, 2010

Sox Trade Art Hadden to Angels

No, Art Hadden didn't play for the White Sox.  He was just a fan -- and my father.  But if he's going to be rooting for the Sox from this point on, it'll be as an Angel because he passed away this morning.

Lucky for me, I went to Chicago and visited with him two weeks ago at the nursing home he had just moved into.  We talked about a lot of things, but one of the topics that really caught his interest was my player-by-player evaluation of the Sox. 

Dad was excited about the prospect of Adam Dunn playing in the homer friendly Cell, and he was pleased that the Sox re-signed Paul Konerko.  He wasn't up on all the Hot Stove League happenings because in the moves from the hospital to the rehab center to the nursing home, he hadn't been able to lay his hands on the Sun-Times.  So, I was his source of information on all things White Sox.

It was one of the ways that he and I connected with each other.  Being as computer savvy as most 89 year olds, he wasn't able to read my blog online, so I used to read it to him over the phone.  He laughed at all the parts where I was trying to be funny and was suitably impressed whenever I trotted out statistics.  Just the way a proud father would act with his son.  That made it easy for me to do.

In fact, I doubt that he would have cared about the team nearly as much (or at least pretended to) if I weren't such a fan.  As a father myself, I totally understand -- and appreciate -- that.

Dad, I love you and I'll miss you.  And if you switch allegiances and start rooting for the Angels now, I guess I'll have to start rooting for the Halos, too.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Paulie, Paulie ...

The White Sox re-signed their own free agent Paul Konerko today to a three-year deal worth a total of $37.5M.  Paulie gets $12M in 2011 and in 2012, $6.5M in 2013, and seven years of deferred payments of $1M per year starting in 2014.
Great news as far as I'm concerned.  The meat of the order is going to feature Alex Rios, Konerko, newly signed Adam Dunn, and Carlos Quentin, who hit 21, 39, 38, and 26 home runs, respectively, in 2010.  As discussed previously, Dunn means Konerko is going to see better pitches to hit, which likely means that Rios will too.  With all those better pitches, that should mean more men on base for Q to drive in.  It should be a pretty tough lineup to pitch to.
Now, if Kenny can just get some bullpen help ....  Go Sox!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Big Dunnkey

Jerry Reinsdorf loosened the purse strings and Kenny Williams worked his magic yesterday, as the White Sox agreed to a four-year, $56 million deal with Adam Dunn (subject to a physical).  Dunn who can hit home runs with the best of them, averaging over 40 bombs for the last eight seasons, will remind you of Jim Thome: left-handed power hitter who is best suited to be a DH and is a great clubhouse presence and solid citizen off the field. 

The fans and his teammates here in DC love him, but don't plan on him advancing Ozzie's obsession with small ball.  Dunn walks a ton -- seven seasons with triple-digit base on ball totals -- and it seems like he's walking when he's running.  Slow doesn't begin to describe him, so those walks won't turn into runs unless a couple of guys behind him get hits.  Oh, yeah.  He strikes out a lot too.  He's led the league in Ks three times and fell one whiff short of reaching 200 last year. says that the player that Dunn is most similar to at his age (31) from a batting standpoint is Jose Canseco.  During the seasons that Jose was 31 to 34, he hit 28, 23, 46, and 34 round-trippers and drove in 82, 74, 107, and 95 runs.  I expect better from Adam since Canseco had already started his slide several years before reaching 31. 

As a Sox fan, I'm happy with the signing since I favor tailoring your team to take advantage of your ball park and I like Dunn's persona.  As someone who goes to a lot of Nats games, I'm disappointed he won't be in Washington anymore.

Now, we need Jerry and Kenny to come up with a similar kind of deal for Paul Konerko, though four years seems a bit too long given his age.  They haven't given up on re-signing him, but the timing seems to be a problem.  Paulie's in no hurry, but Kenny is because if he can't ink  Cap'n Crunch to a contract, he wants to sign someone soon before all the likely replacements are gobbled up by other teams.

In other personnel moves, A.J. Pierzynski re-upped with the Sox, which is a good thing since Tyler Flowers is not ready to be a major league catcher -- and may never be.  With apologies to Lou Grant from the old Mary Tyler Moore Show, I like A.J.'s spunk and he's the best catcher out there that we could still get.

Finally, the Good Guys exercised their option on Alexei Ramirez.  Given that he's still cheap at $2.75 million -- I should be so cheap -- won the Silver Slugger, and should have won the Gold Glove instead of Derek Cheater, this was a no-brainer.

Let's see what happens with Paulie and the bullpen.  The rest is in place.  Go Sox!