Chicago's Inside Pitch

Williams' best trade?

Posted by scotgreg on Sun, 05/11/2008 - 16:45
Gavin Floyd didn't have it Sunday. After coming close to pitching two no-hitters this season, and holding opposing hitters to a paltry .149 average before his start against Seattle, Floyd was knocked around pretty good by the Mariners. The White Sox won't be getting a sympathy card from the Philadelphia Phillies. After taking Floyd on the first round (No. 4 overall) of the 2001 draft, the Phillies waited for the 25-year-old righty to emerge as a quality starter. Instead, Floyd bounced back and forth between the majors and minors, and his mental toughness was openly questioned. The Dec. 6, 2006 trade that brought Floyd and Gio Gonzalez to the Sox in exchange for Freddy Garcia should go down as one of general manager Kenny Williams' best.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Thome continues all-time climb

Posted by scotgreg on Sun, 05/11/2008 - 00:04
Here's a heads-up to fans planning on catching the White Sox in person this season. If you happen to be sitting in the outfield and come up with one of Jim Thome's home-run balls, hang on to it. Since he's climbing up the all-time leaderboard _ the 37-year-old DH hit career home run No. 514 against Seattle Friday night _ Thome is offering autographed items to the fans who catch the balls. Just don't get carried away. The fan that came up with his home-run ball Friday wanted an autographed bat, but Thome got the exchange done with a signed baseball and signed batting gloves. With 514 homers, Thome ranks 19th in major-league history. Frank Thomas, somehwat ironically, is No. 18 with 516.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

The much maligned, much misunderstood "quality start"

Posted by Bruce on Fri, 05/09/2008 - 14:03
Regular readers of the Daily Herald will note that I often point out when a Cubs pitcher turns in a "quality start." To get a quality start, a pitcher must work at least 6 innings and give up no more than 3 earned runs. Now, here's where we need to stop for just a minute. Critics of the quality start like to point out, "Well, 3 runs in 6 innings; that's a 4.50 ERA. That doesn't sound very 'quality' to me" And they'd be right. But the 6-inning, 3-run thing is only the lowest qualification for a quality start. Last year, I began keeping a log of Cubs quality starts. Anybody care to take a guess what the Cubs' record and the starters' ERA were in quality starts. Maybe just over .500 with, say, a 3.50 ERA? Nope.

Suburban Political Recount

Making "no" mean NO!

Posted by JP on Fri, 05/09/2008 - 07:48
State Sen. Rickey Hendon made headlines for his comments about the latest recommended pay raises for lawmakers. Some colleagues want to vote to block the raises -- which are automatic enacted unless both the House and Senate take the exact same action to reject them. Hendon, a Chicago Democrat, took issue with state Sen. Susan Garrett, a Lake Forest Democrat, leading the opposition, calling the suburban lawmaker "filthy rich" and from "Richville." Hendon heads the committee that will decide if the pay raise rejection effort ever sees the light of day. He indicated Thursday it will not without a significant change. Here's the amendment Hendon would like to add. If you vote against the raises, you don't get them even if they ultimately go into effect.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Feel the heat

Posted by scotgreg on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 16:22
Here's an update on Mark Buehrle's bat attack on the space heater in the White Sox' dugout Wednesday night. After being pulled from the eventual 13-1 loss to the Twins following 5 2/3 miserable innings, an angry Buehrle grabbed one of Juan Uribe's bats and started teeing off on the heater. Maybe Buehrle's outburst did what the blow-up dolls and Ozzie Guillen's bleeping diatribe could not _ inspire a win Thursday. Anyway, Buehrle said he was worried about the damage he caused to the space heater, which was smoking after the assault. On Thursday, the heater showed obvious signs of abuse, but it was actually working. And according to a "source,'' Buehrle never came close to blowing up all his teammates on the bench.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Night and day

Posted by Bruce on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 13:26
OK, that's a cliche, but stick with me. It means something to today's conversation. Cubs right fielder Kosuke Fukudome ought to be the happiest man on the team about returning home to Wrigley Field, where the Cubs open a three-game weekend series against the D'Backs beginning tomorrow. Fukudome has absolutely torn it up at Wrigley Field this year while struggling on the road. At home, he's 26-for-58 for a .448 batting average. He also has a .543 on-base percentage at Wrigley Field and a .638 slugging percentage. Away from the Friendly Confines, it's a different story. He's 14-for-67 (.209) with an OBP of .289 and a slugging percentage of .299.

Suburban Political Recount

Pay raise debate turns personal

Posted by JP on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 12:41
Tensions are high and senators are getting snippy. Here's the latest on the pay raise issue at the Capitol SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers and other state officials are likely to get pay raises because the Democratic leadership in the Illinois Senate does not plan to let members vote on whether to block the increases, lawmakers confirmed Thursday. State Sen. Rickey Hendon, a Chicago Democrat, said he thinks the rejection effort is flawed and claims state House members are using the Illinois Senate as a political fall guy on the issue. Hendon said the Illinois House votes to reject the raises all the while expecting the Senate will block rejection and everyone ends up with more money.

Suburban Political Recount

I need 20 x-larges, hold the red ink …

Posted by JP on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 07:48

Senate staffers were spotted taking numerous pizza boxes to the appropriations staff offices Wednesday night. That could be a good sign as so far the current budget woes have received little attention let alone the next budget’s.
Keep in mind, Democrats have just a few scant weeks before the May 31 deadline comes around and then House Republicans gain a seat at the bargaining table.
The existing budget options – barring a winning lottery ticket – include further delaying state payments to health care providers, schools and others until the next budget year so the books look balanced this year and it becomes next year’s problem.
Hope that pizza place insisted on cash.

Missing inaction

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Ozzie's not all wet

Posted by scotgreg on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 20:48
Greetings from the Rainforest, a.k.a. U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox and Twins are still waiting to play Wednesday night, and the skies might clear by 9 p.m. or so. The again, maybe not. The weather on the South Side has been brutal so far this season, but let's not harp about all of the moisture that has thus far made groundskeeper Roger Bossard the busiest man in major-league baseball. Let's talk about managers, specificially Ozzie Guillen. As the rain has been falling, I've been thinking about how Guillen really stands out among a pretty bland group of counterparts. Then I started thinking about managers from other big-league clubs. I used to be able to name just about all of them without much thought. Now, it's a struggle.

Widescreen

More is more?

Posted by Sean Stangland on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 16:03

I have no idea why a Hollywood studio would greenlight a $100 million-plus adaptation of an animated series that has a cult following at best. And I really have no idea why said studio would release said movie at a butt-numbing length of 135 minutes.