Chicago's Inside Pitch
On one side, you have White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, who utterly loathes baseball sabermetrics.
“Numbers are the most overrated thing in baseball,” Harrelson complained on MLB Network Thursday. “The more numbers you have, the more information you put in the game, the more instincts you take out of the game."
“On the other side, you have your sabermetric supporters, including FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus and WSCR radio’s Dan Bernstein.
So, which side are you on?
I’m going to side with Paul Konerko.
Before batting practice this afternoon, I asked the Sox’ captain for his opinion on the issue, which includes Hawk’s “TWTW” (The Will to Win).
It's cloudy and cold on the South Side this morning ... but it's not raining!
The White Sox and Indians will wrap up their abbreviated two-game series this afternoon with Jose Quintana (1-0, 2.55 ERA) taking the mound against Zach McAllister (1-2, 3.12).
Tuesday night's game was rained out, and the Sox have been playing in some pretty miserable weather since the April 1 season opener.
Then again, just about every other major-league team has been dealing with the same conditions, so there are no excuses.
"In some ways you can give in to that (bad weather) or you can find a way to win," manager Robin Ventura said this morning. "The other team is playing in it, too, and they're not necessarily making mistakes or doing little things. We're at a level where it's about wins and losses.
Word out of Cincinnati is that Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer has joined the team, telling reporters that he wants to be there during tough times and that field manager Dale Sveum has the full support of Hoyer and president Theo Epstein. For the Tuesday paper, I wrote about the stylistic differences between Sveum and his bosses. In baseball terms, they do speak the same language.
The Cubs enter the game with a 5-13 record and riding a four-game losing streak. We’ll get to some of the numbers here and a look at a minor-leaguer who played his college ball at Northwestern and is off to a hot start at Class AA Tennessee.
The White Sox' clubhouse this afternoon looked like a hospital recovery ward.
In the back corner, second baseman Gordon Beckham sat at his locker, albeit with a cast on his left wrist.
In the middle of the clubhouse, Dayan Viciedo was in front of his locker, his injured oblique heavily wrapped.
Nearby, John Danks completed the trifecta of injured Sox players.
Beckham is out with a fractured left hamate bone, and he's shooting to return in late May, if not sooner.
MILWAUKEE – Realistically, there isn’t much Cubs manager Dale Sveum or the organization can do to make major changes on the roster at this point. Sveum talked after Saturday’s night’s defensive debacle of having “options.” There aren’t many, and in fact, the Cubs trot out their regular lineup for this afternoon’s series finale against the Brewers at Miller Park.
Adam Dunn is still in the White Sox' starting lineup today, even though he is in a career-worst 0-for-29 slump and is batting .098 (6-for-61) on the season.
Given the slump, and considering the Twins are starting left-hander Scott Diamond today at U.S. Cellular Field, manager Robin Ventura likely considered removing Dunn's name from the starting lineup.
But Ventura is still squarely in Dunn's corner, and he says the left-handed slugger has to get it going if the Sox want to go anywhere this season.
"You can think about anything, but for us to turn around and start playing better, he's going to have to get some hits and be part of that, part of the answer,” Ventura said.
So here is the question, White Sox fans.
1. Keep playing Dunn and let him find his swing?
MILWAUKEE _ Still reeling from that Cub-Brewers extravaganza last night. As I wrote, anytime you go to a baseball game, you’re liable to see something you’ll never see again. Out of the box, I asked Cubs manager Dale Sveum if he had “processed” everything.
“When you process it, you’ll probably never see it again, something like that happening,” Dale said. “It’s kind of obviously a strange play. The final result is that a guy gets thrown out stealing after he just stole a bag, the same bag. That one goes unnoticed a little bit, a caught-stealing and a stolen base in the same inning on the same bag.”
The White Sox' injury list is getting crowded.
Not surprisingly, left fielder Dayan Viciedo landed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday (retroactive to April 19) with a strained left oblique.
Viciedo joins John Danks (shoulder), Gordon Beckham (fractured hamate bone), Angel Sanchez (back) and Leyson Septimo (shoulder) on the DL.
"I don't remember an April where we've had five guys on the DL but that's just part of the gig and that's where we're at right now," GM Rick Hahn said Saturday before the Sox played the Minnesota Twins. "Fortunately, nothing seems that long-term. We expect all of these guys to be back in the coming weeks and months.
MILWAUKEE _ The Cubs and Brewers take it indoors this weekend at Miller Park. Good thing, as temps will drop to about freezing here following an afternoon of intermittent snow flurries. The Cubs made another roster move today, claiming outfielder Julio Borbon off waivers from Texas and designated infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment. The Cubs also said infielder Brent Lillibridge had cleared waivers and will go to Class AAA Iowa.
Pitcher Matt Garza also threw a short simulated game today at Miller Park. It was the first of what will be at least 4, and maybe 5, “spring-training” starts.
There were all kinds of stories of getting to Wrigley Field this morning through the rain and flooded streets. I thought two hours from the Northwest suburbs was a pretty good accomplishment. As of 12:40 p.m., the tarp was off the field, and we may be looking good for an on-time start.
Anyway, the cold and rain on this homestand have hampered the work of the Cubs – and their opponents.
“It’s getting a little too much now,” said Cubs manager Dale Sveum. “Hopefully, something happens here. It doesn’t look good. We’ve got a window right now anyway.”