Results tagged ‘ Kenny Williams ’

The Filibuster

Everyone is calling McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his VP a
“huge gamble.” Of course, you could argue that an even bigger gamble
took place when Pete Rose threw down money on games or when Tim Donaghy
decided to just throw a few games in the NBA. What do you think is the
biggest gamble (legal or otherwise) that has taken place in baseball
recently and how does it compare to McCain’s?
 
– Allen

                                                                                    

mccain palin.jpgGambling, throwing all you’ve got behind one decision, taking a risk… these are paramount aspects of the game of baseball.  Without them, the game would be boring.  When players and managers break from the norm and go out on a limb, we get excited: distancing oneself from the same old thing causes excitement.

And there has been no shortage of temerity nor bold decision making in our most beloved game over the last several years.  Of course, as a Monday morning quarterback, it’s easy to call these moves audacious, ill planned, unrefined after the fact.  Sometimes, as in the case of the GOP’s pick of one Sarah Palin, the decision need not be analyzed over and over again to find sound reasoning: there just isn’t any.

Like Grady Little leaving Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS after giving up three straight hits with only five outs to go and a three-run lead.  That was dumb no matter how you look at it.  And if it weren’t for 2004 and 2007, Sox fans would still be teeming with angst.

Like scores of players (McGwire, Bonds, Giambi, just to name a few) cheating their fans and cheating themselves by altering their physiology in order to make an extra multimillion or three, break records, tarnish the game.  While I understand the desire to perform at the highest level possible, I tend to admire the natural approach over the Frankenstein method.  With information regarding the rigorous side effects of performance enhancing drugs being as known as ABC’s — these guys took a big, dumb gamble and now — for the most part — we despise them for it.

manny ramirez dodgers.jpgBut in my opinion, the biggest recent risk sure to backfire on the gambling party was the cave-in decision made by the Red Sox to ship Manny Ramirez out of Boston for Jason Bay.  The baseball pundits have spoken, and I have to agree: Jason Bay — no matter how good he is — is no Manny Ramirez.  The Red Sox may squeak into the playoff picture, but they are not near as good now as they were with Manny in the lineup and I expect they won’t make it too far without him.  The whining and crying of Ramirez was nothing new to Boston’s brass and erasing him from the team not only left a hole in the four spot, it also diminished the impact of one David Ortiz. 

And losing Ortiz at-bats to walks sure does make a difference in the wrong direction.

Of course, there are always those gambles that seem ludicrous yet turn out to be smart in the end as well.

Like Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa batting the pitcher in the eight hole to create more opportunities for Albert Pujols.  Though seemingly odd because it was such a staunch break from the norm, essentially what TLR has done is make sure AP gets up in the first inning, then contributes as a clean-up hitter for the remainder of the game.  It’s hard to argue against that logic and I’m surprised more managers haven’t followed suit.

TLR isn’t the only NL Central manager who has gained notoriety for his arduous risk-taking skills.  “Sweet” Lou Piniella, when faced with an ailing Kerry Wood, had nothing but faith in a young rookie call-up from Notre Dame.  He threw Jeff Samardzija in the limelight and hasn’t looked back since.  With Samardzija pitching as well as he has in recent months, the Cubs bullpen, for the first time that I can ever remember, has suddenly become an asset rather than a liability. 

kenny williams.jpgBut no gamble in recent memory has turned out as splendidly as that taken by White Sox GM Kenny Williams in trading Chris Carter to the Diamondbacks for Carlos Quentin.  Sure, one could argue that giving up a relatively unknown minor league first baseman for the once considered underachieving Quentin was hardly a risk.  But put in perspective: trading Garland for Cabrera and Linebrink, cutting Podsenik, resigning Uribe, demoting Josh Fields, putting faith back in Joe Crede while giving a young Alexei Ramirez a shot at second base… Kenny Williams has been a very busy man and the moves he’s made — while controversial — have all turned out for the better.  The White Sox have rediscovered their grinder swagger and as I predicted at the beginning of the season, have made a case for winning the AL Central and beyond.

I don’t know what political affiliations Kenny Williams has, if any, but I do know that the GOP’s decision making skills pale in comparrison to the Sox GM.  The invasion of Iraq, the atrociously late and unorganized response to Hurricane Katrina victims, the gross misspending of our inflated tax dollars… and now putting Palin — a woman so unqualified to lead a nation that I can’t help but tell myself this is all just a big joke (punchline to come?) — in line for the highest office in the land; all I can say is:

Wow.

That was dumb

And let me tell ya, you can go on and hate me for my wordy rhetoric, my inspiring the people, my loose analysis of managerial decisions, but you shouldn’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Crying Game

Dear readers, I may not be a religious man (unless you call screaming “goddamn it!” at the television every time Tony LaRussa goes to the bullpen being religious); but I do believe that the world has a certain order to it — a general plan of well-being that should never be tampered with or questioned.  I may not like it, but in the grand scheme of things, there’s a reason why the Redbirds didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline.  There’s a reason why Kenny Williams kept Juan Uribe on the Southside.  There’s a reason why my counterpart, Allen Krause, is a bit delusional in his posts. 

Knowing this, I know I shall not dare test the waters of fate.

howard.wolfson.jpgSo that is why I’d like to offer Hillary Clinton Campaign Communications Director Howard Wolfson a great big RSBS “EAT IT! for his crybaby rumblings of heretical hindsight and coulda-shoulda-woulda politics. 

After Senator John Edwards’ extramarital affair became public late last week, Wolfson offered this statement:

“I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would therefore have been the nominee [had Edwards' affair been public at the time]…Our voters and Edwards’ voters were the same people… They were older, pro-union. Not all, but maybe two-thirds of them would have been for us and we would have barely beaten Obama.”

crybaby.jpgSure, Wolfie.  Sounds good.  Easy to say now even if it is just loosely based speculation.  Did you speak with all of the Iowa voters who cast ballots for Edwards?  Did all of those Edwards supporters contact you personally to tell you they voted for him but would’ve voted for Hillary if they knew Johnny was out fumbling with a lady who wasn’t his wife?  Really?  Is that how you got all of this inside information?  And what if you did win Iowa?  Obviously, that means you would’ve swept every other primary too, right?  No competition at all because winning Iowa makes you a lock to win the nomination?  Uh, excuse me… were you even watching the primary?  Uh… did you see how friggin’ close it was all the way to Puerto Rico? 

Mr. Wolfson, I’m afraid such staunch statements do absolutely no good for a Democratic party that already risks the perils of division simply because your people won’t get on the winning team in the fight to make a difference in November.  Referencing what could have happened if what happened didn’t happen doesn’t do a whole lot in the way of progression.  It just makes you look like a whiny sore losing crybaby who won’t be satisfied until he gets what he wants; but, as you, I and the rest of US America clearly see: that just ain’t gonna happen.

This puling rant reminds me of a certain Northside faction who — to this day — continue to put all the blame on a fan for their 2003 NLCS shortcomings rather than simply admitting to being outplayed by a superior team.

This divisive tirade reminds me of a certain blogger (RSBS‘ very own Mr. Allen Krause) who — to this day — continues to put all the blame on the shoddy defense of the Tigers’ pitching staff for their 2006 World Series fall rather than simply admitting to being outplayed by a superior team.

obama_whitesox.jpgThe ’03 Marlins, the ’06 Cardinals, the ’08 Obamasox…

Give credit where credit is due, people… and quit your whining.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Skeletal Heroics

alexei_ramirez.profile.jpgThere’s a buzz down here on the Southside of Chicago and it’s about a man by the name of Ramirezzzzzzzz.  No, not that Ramirez (we civilized US Americans don’t support inhumane c0ckfight wranglers), I’m talking about Alexei Ramirez — the most influential skeleton playing second base in the Majors right now.

I think it’s safe to say that Kenny Williams — genius as he is — had no idea that things would quite work out this way.  He re-signed Juan Uribe, then traded for Orlando Cabrera and moved Uribe to second base to make room.  Uribe went down with an injury and Ramirez (aka The Living, Eating, Breathing, Hitting Skeleton) took over. 

Uribe’s healthy now — healthy on the bench.  And as long as Alexei keeps on doin’ what he’s doin’, that’s exactly where Uribe (aka Fat ^ss) will stay. 

It’s true.  Ramirez has lifted not only the spirits of Southsiders the world over, he’s lifted the team and lifted the W’s.  With his game-tying homerun on Tuesday night, he proved that his previous five dingers weren’t all just flukes; he proved that a skin-and-bones scrapster from the slums of Cuba could actually swing for the fences and he did it in dramatic style

But to look at the guy it’s hard not to ask yourself, “Really?”

He makes David Eckstein look like Barry Bonds.

Not since Manute Bol has a human skeleton demanded so much attention within professional sports.  See if you can see the similarities:

alexei_ramirez.jpgmanute_bol_mugsy_bogues.jpg

My biggest fear isn’t that Ramirez will suddenly lose his flare for the dramatic or his step on a two-hopper or his penchant for a good eye.  No.  My biggest fear is that Juan Uribe will eat him.

Rumor is Uribe has been put on the Prince Fielder diet so as not to devour his teammates.   I just hope it works. 

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

**ON A SIDE NOTE… Please visit the Prince of New York and sound off on why his latest experience with The Man is downright unjust.  There are very few blogs that I read every single day of the week.  His is one of those few.  The guy knows what he’s talking about and he provides the information, research, numbers to back it up.  His book is well-written, insightful and pertinent (also a great big help to fantasynerds like myself).  Deleting comments on blogs is a crime.  Unless a comment is so blatantly racist/vulgar that it can’t be left up for reasons that are otherwise outlined by the FCC, a real blogger who cares about what he/she does would not delete a comment.   Neyer and DePodesta have proven that they’re not men enough to stand up to the fires that they helped start.  So Allen and I would like to give them a great big RSBS “EAT IT!” for their idiocy, self-centeredness and blatant disregard for freedom of speech.  Rock on, Prince, rock on.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 66 other followers