Let's address the second - and far more important - question after the jump. First, though, Kenny says Gordon Beckham is in the mix for second base:
“Oh, yes. He’s starting at that position or starting in the Minors,” said Williams during a talk just prior to Wednesday’s 6-2 Cactus League victory over the Brewers at Camelback Ranch. “That’s the only caveat I’m going to put on Ozzie and his coaching staff.”
He went on to describe the currently injured Jayson Nix as a guy having "a more conducive swing to come off the bench" and Chris Getz as capable of doing the "little things". As Joe Cowley pointed out in his rankings yesterday, Brent Lillibridge has already played himself down to the bottom of the contenders.
In game action at El Rancho, Mark Buehrle looked sharp in allowing two hits over three scoreless innings, striking out four, walking one, and picking RIckie Weeks off of first base. Scott Linebrink came on and had a shaky two thirds of an inning, giving up three hits and a run while also throwing a wild pitch. However, the rest of the bullpen - Russell, Jenks, Dotel, Egbert, and Carrasco - gave up no runs the rest of the way, which wasn't a surprise considering they were striking guys out and not letting guys reach base via hit or the walk.
Jim Thome provided a bit of a scare as he was a late scratch from the lineup. His balky back balked again. It sounds like, however, that it's nothing more than the usual and he'll return this weekend. It is a bit of a concern, though, that his back is acting up in Spring Training - could be a foreshadowing of things to come.
Yes, The Cheat is seriously ill. Butt cancer to be exact. I'm sure we all know a family member or friend who has struggled against this terrible disease. And, considering the ferocity of this cancer, they're probably long dead. So, to help The Cheat out with his mounting medical bills, the rest of the editors and I have started the "Page Views for the Cheat" campaign. See, The Cheat lives in some shack in the far outlying suburbs. He scrapes his nickels and dimes together from the paper route he's had since he got his cool new bike and from doing odd "interweb" jobs here and there. But his primary source of income is the ad revenue from this site. So, if everyone could just visit South Side Sox a couple more times a day - preferably from different computers so you're a "unique" visitor - and ask your friends to do the same, we could easily raise $10 or even $20 over the next few weeks to help defray the cost of the butt implants The Cheat will (hopefully) be requiring once he's beaten the cancer. And then he'll be able to ride that bike of his again.
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[Note by The Cheat, 03/11/09 10:33 PM CDT]: I'm alive. Butt cancer is in remission. Prognosis good. In fact, I was writing something as Larry posted this. Posted below, because we don't need another post.
If you had two weeks into spring training games in the the When do the White Sox Finally Realize Jerry Owens Sucks, Congratulations. You win... nothing.
In the last few days, we've had Ozzie Guillen say that Owens is fighting for his job, and now Williams seems to be discussing alternatives to have a fast, punchless outmaker at the top of th lineup.
"A lot of people get too hung up with stolen base totals," Williams said. "One of the reasons I got [Scott Podsednik] was to steal bases but he also came with an on-base percentage of about .350.
"The goal is to get to second base to get in scoring position. So a leadoff hitter who will hit you 30 doubles and then steal you, instead of 40 bases, maybe 15 [is fine].
Of course, the questions then becomes Who leads off? Who do the Sox have who fits the above profile?
Kenny would also like to fill his starting rotation with number 2, pitchers, that is.
While Buehrle may not your typical "ace," he is No. 1. That's fine with general manager Ken Williams, who says his theory is "to see how many No. 2's we can get and on a given day go up against a No. 1 and beat him."