FanPost

Another Terrible Day at the Trop

I hear Ozzie just went off on a rant, and I don't blame him.  I just returned from another Sunday Kids' Day at the Trop, and am seething about a number of things.  I will compose myself, however, to give a little backdrop as to the gestalt of the day.

-My 71 year old father brought his 70 year old friend Ed f rom the over-55 community, and lo and behold, Keith, there IS knowledge in old codgers.  Ed was born and raised at 63rd and Halsted (IIRC), and at age 5 became a Sox fan honestly - an 8 year old bully asked him if we was a White Sox or Cubs fan.  He relates "I picked the one that sounded cuddly and safe, being 5 years old.  The kid told me 'If you don't change your mind now I am going to hit you in the mouth.  You live on the South Side, you root for the Sox.  Understand?'  So from that day forward  I was a Sox fan."  Ed is a Sabermetrician, one of the first (he says), and (hold on, Wiz)  knows from VORP, OBP, OPS, etc.  So it was a fun day from that perspective - finding a die-hard well-informed Sox fan in Cent'l FL.

-The Trop should be blown up.  There were at least 3 noticeable instances where players lost the ball in the lights (at 3 PM EST) - Crawford and Gomes making diving catches in LF that were fairly routine plays, but that neither player picked up off the bat, and AJ's befuddlement at a foul pop-up that Konerko caught, sprinting (?!) to the Rays dugout.  AJ never left the catcher's box, having never seen the ball.  There were at least 3-4 other balls that nearly hit the lights that were routine pop-ups.

On to the game:

-Sonnastine should've been lit up like Johnny Torch.  We should've had at least 5 runs off him.  He was extremely lucky to only have given up 3.  He looked like the pitcher the rest of the league has seem (above 5 ERA).

-Buehrle, once again, was extremely unlucky.  The 2nd and 3rd runs were scored only because the first 2 runners in the 5th got litle cheapy squib/bloop hits to RF.  He gave up the ringing triple to Gross but then proceeded to get out of the guy-on-3rd, no-one-out situation with no further damage.  He deserved better.

-Slash (dammit, I'm gonna keep trying)/A-Ram is, if he keeps playing like this, an IF version of Quentin (where was Q-perman, anyway?).  3-4 at the plate, and the out was probably the longest/highest out of the day, hit 1/8" too low on the ball.  More impressive than the fact that his hits went to left, right, and a bunt single (with 2 outs) was the play he made on Riggans' double in the 5th.  It was a sawed-off bloop hit that spun toward the RF foul line once it hit, and threatened to score Gomes from first.  Slash grabbed it running away from the field, barehanded on the first bounce, did a Don Kessinger-like spin throw to 2nd and kept the run from scoring.  A helluva play.  A-Ram was a joy to watch and seems to be getting his USA sea legs under him.

-The old and white guys are trying (witness Thomer's 10th inning busted-bat hustle double, catching Upton with his pants around his ankles).  However, after Konerko actually got a hit to RIGHT field the 2nd inning it seemed like no one from 3rd through 7th in our lineup cared to poke it the other way (Thome's ringing double to left-center in the 7th being the exception).  And with runners on 3rd and less than 2 outs the middle of the order continues to choke.  Ed ,who coached for a small college team, asked the question "Why does everyone seem to drop their shoulder and try to hit a fly ball?"  Can't believe the amount of pop-ups in clutch situations (yeah, Crede had another one) we saw.

-Old and young alike see the following:

1.  Swisher is horrible, the called 3rd strike to end the top of the 10th being a perfect end to a horrible day at the plate.  (Yeah, he got a hit because first base got in the way of his grounder in the 2nd.)

2.  Paulie's hand seems to be OK - he was killing it in BP, hitting ropes and HR's as he pleased.  I would imagine if here were in such pain he might've gone easy.  Yet he is clueless with runners on.  Ditto Dye, Thome, Crede, and Swisher.

3.  Walker needs to be a sacrificial lamb.  A 70 year old sees it, as does a 50 year old, and I'd bet a few 30 and 10 year olds on this site, too.

4.  Thornton NEVER should pitch more than one inning.  He blew away folks in the 9th and gives up the gopher leading off the 10th.

5.  Perhaps to emulate Swisher/Thome and their "gaudy" OBP (with respect to their paltry AVG), or perhaps Q!,  the Sox take a LOT of first-pitch strikes.  Say what you will about OC, Slash/AR, etc. but sometimes when you've got a pitcher on the run you get aggressive.  They seem pretty passive (or they are just being fooled constantly).

6.  No duh, but the Rays are better than us.  Think 2005 Sox with less payroll and more upside.  Just doing enough to win.  We were amazed that 2 first place teams had so many guys hitting near Mendoza - I believe only Upton wasthe only player on the fieldover .300; But they are exciting to watch.

All told, another fucking game we should've won with any timely hits.  Crede seems to be done, Thome (his 2 hits not withstanding) looks over-matched.  Paulie is stuck.  JD had no clue at the plate in any situation.  So instead of leaving St. Pete with 3 of 4 in the "W" column we get the opposite.   

Frustrating game, though it was a pleasure to watch Ramirez' creativity, AJ's determination, the professionalism of Buehrle, and Thome's hustle play.  I think we have to sit Swisher, play BA, maybe try a healthy Uribe at 3rd - shake up the somnambulists that is the middle of our order.

And where is Q!?

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