Kenny Williams held court prior to the White Sox's 6-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs, which meant that he had to tell everybody why Dayan Viciedo still isn't on the major-league roster.
"I admire the focus, hard work and the thought that he knows he’s put himself in a position where he’s ready and going to be a major contributor,’’ Williams said, "but also in keeping his focus on the job at hand and keeping his head and a-- in Charlotte vs. having his head in Chicago. And that’s not easy to do all the time. I admire him for that.
"But right now we’re going to hold tight. Ozzie likes the team he’s running out there every day. If it turns out he wants a little more offense and change up the mix a little bit, we know we can tap into him at a moment’s notice. And he knows he can get him at a moment’s notice if he wants to change up the mix."
This is all meaningless, because the White Sox have basically waited long enough to wait a little longer.
In about 11 or 12 days by my count, they'll have the freedom to promote Viciedo for the rest of the season without him eclipsing a full year of service time, thus delaying free agency by a year. As Larry noted, this is the difference the presence of Scott Boras makes.
Viciedo's agent used to be Jaime Torres. He represents Alexei Ramirez, and we saw how they were able to agree to a contract extension that allowed the Sox to buy a year of his free agency. Scott Boras does not advise his clients to follow that route -- Jerry Reinsdorf will point to Joe Crede as a chief example, so service time considerations become much more important in this case.
As much baseball sense Viciedo makes, there is a significant financial bonus that will make this painful holdout more sensible down the road. It's hard to watch a team stick with inferior options for three months, but it'd be even harder to see them finally change their mind at the most inopportune moment.
Christian Marrero Reading Room
I'll start with the piece that most fits my mood, with Brett Ballantini relaying this Williams quote:
"You know, generally during the course of the day I can generally see what’s coming my way," Williams said after a long pause. "And I thought Cubs-Sox, we’re both under .500 right now but we’re uh, [laughs], putting some things together coming [off of winning] two out of three in Arizona, and your f------ ass wants to go down that road. I don’t have any comment on that stuff. It’s a waste of time."
I wish I could take Joe Cowley more seriously when he writes about Ozzie Guillen, because he does have access that others don't. For instance, he's the only guy saying that Jerry Reinsdorf gave him bad news. Alas, he can never resist carrying the torch for the man he so admires:
Memo to the chairman: You might want to get the checkbook out today because you’re one bad decision away from watching your baseball team go from "SoxTown’’ to slipping back to irrelevancy.
Yes, once again Cowley trumpets Ozzie Guillen's mysterious ability to add "relevancy" without it showing up in the ticket sales. Even the opener of the Crosstown Classic didn't sell out. Personally, I'd rather have Reinsdorf open the checkbook for players who never rejected a trade to the White Sox. Any publicity isn't good publicity.
After all the reactions to Guilllen kicking Geovany Soto's mask, I thought Alexei Ramirez's insight was the most valuable:
Meanwhile, Ramirez simply appreciated his manager once again having his back.
"Not only for myself but for the whole team to see that in a situation like that, your coach has your back," said Ramirez, through translator Jackson Miranda. "I don't speak English very well, but I knew when Ozzie was coming out, he understood what I was saying."
If you want more of the mask-kicking, Cheryl has a great angle of Guillen's follow-through.
Phil Rogers has plenty of nice things to say about Rick Hahn, and a not-nice suggestion that he could potentially replace Jim Hendry as GM of the Cubs. I'd rather see him stick around, because I have a feeling he would have different ideas about protecting his low-cost players.
Underneath Donkey's praise of Kong, Daryl Van Schouwen gets Greg Walker's thoughts on Gordon Beckham and his multi-game benching:
"Looking back at Gordon’s 2009 tape, it was brilliant how simple it was," Walker said. "When Gordon goes bad, his leg kick is bigger, his hand move is bigger and he ends up with bad posture and a loopier, longer swing. We need less of a leg kick, hand move — less of an effort level."
At least he's seeing what we're seeing.
I pretty much agree with most of this.