July 2, 2003

I gave my thoughts on the two trades the White Sox made in yesterday's entry and my general thought, which is that they improved themselves, but not nearly as much as they could have/should have, still stands.

They traded for Roberto Alomar, who's play over the last 2 years is no better (and possibly worse) than the guy they already had at second base, D'Angelo Jimenez. And, to make matters worse, they immediately designated Jimenez for assignment to clear room on the roster for Alomar. What that means is that they have 10 days to either trade Jimenez to another team or release him.

I suspect they already have some deal in the works for him, but if they do end up releasing Jimenez without getting anything in return, that means they traded 3 prospects and lost a 25 year old second baseman, all for a 35 year old Roberto Alomar who may or may not even better better than Jimenez in the first place.

Of course, if Jimenez were to go on waivers, I would love to see the Twins claim him and stick him at second base. First of all, how cool would that be? The White Sox make their big deal for Roberto Alomar and we pick up their old second baseman and he helps us to the division title? Plus, our current second baseman is this guy named Rivas, whom you may have heard of.

Anyway, that's a very unlikely scenario because a) I don't think the Twins would value Jimenez over Rivas and b) if Jimenez goes on waivers, I suspect a team would claim him before the Twins got a chance (the waiver claims go in reverse order of W/L records).

Yesterday, I discussed the various options the White Sox have with Everett, including the impact of him playing centerfield or him being their DH. I am still not sure where he is going to play the majority of the time in Chicago, but he played center in his first game with the White Sox last night - against the Twins.

Game one of the Everett/Alomar Era in Chicago was an interesting one.

First of all, Everett and Alomar combined to go 1-9 with 2 walks and Alomar made an error at second base. In addition to that, Everett looked pretty awful in CF and, by my count, missed at least three balls he should have gotten to.

In the fourth inning, Bobby Kielty hit a ball to right-centerfield for what should have been a single, but no one cut it off and it rolled to the wall, allowing Bobby to coast into second with a double. I am not sure if this was a "playable" ball for a better centerfielder than Everett, but it was close at the very least.

Then, in the 7th, with a man on second base and 2 outs, Torii Hunter hit what can best be described as a "hanging looper" into centerfield and Everett came charging in and dove for it, but the ball bounced in for a single and the Twins scored the tying run.

Then, in the top of the 11th inning, Luis Rivas hit a line drive to centerfield that Everett played into a "triple." The next batter (Kielty) singled in Rivas from third for the go-ahead run.

Of course, the White Sox got the last laugh. After another crappy performance from a Minnesota starting pitcher (Kyle Lohse - 5 runs in 5 IP), Johan Santana, Latroy Hawkins and J.C. Romero combined for 5 innings of shutout relief pitching, including back-to-back two-inning, zero hit performances from Johan and Latroy.

Bobby Kielty, leading off in place of the injured Jacque Jones, went 4-5 with 2 doubles, 2 singles, 2 walks, 1 stolen base, 1 RBI and 3 runs scored. It was an extremely impressive performance and maybe this breakout game in the leadoff spot will slap some sense into Gardenhire, who continues to bat Jacque Jones - he of the .473 slugging percentage and .315 on-base percentage - in the leadoff spot. Meanwhile, Kielty has now played in 214 MLB games and he's got a .375 OBP.

Anyway, back to the Sox getting the last laugh...

After Kielty singled Rivas in from 3rd base in the 11th with the go-ahead run, the Twins had a 6-5 lead. They brought in Eddie Guardado to "close out" the game and he got two quick outs and then gave up a pinch-hit, game-tying homer to Paul Konerko, who came into the game hitting a robust .185/.260/.265.

Then, in the bottom of the 12th, Guardado walked Roberto Alomar (remember him?) and then Frank Thomas hit a 2-run homer to deeeeep left field to end the game.

So, as bad as Everett was in the field and as great as Kielty was at the plate, the White Sox ended up winning and, in the end, Robbie Alomar was the guy who scored the winning run.

I do wonder if they will continue to play Everett in centerfield everyday. His bat is a huge asset there, but I've got to think his D is going to absolutely kill the pitching staff in the long-run. I guess time will tell...

Incidentally, Frank Thomas is having the quietest .287/.428/.589 season a former 2-time MVP could ever possibly have. It's amazing, he is one of the top 10 hitters in all of baseball right now and it seems like most people are under the impression he is retired or something.

Okay, I said more than enough about the Twins, the White Sox and trade(s) between today and yesterday, so I'll stop yapping now. If you missed yesterday's entry, click on the following and go read it:

New Sox (July 2, 2003)

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