When it comes to the White Sox, Frank Thomas is usually sunny-side up. I didn't count league-affiliated analysts in my preseason-prediction roundup, but he would've been among the 1 percent of analysts tabbing his favorite club for a postseason appearance.
But he's also no stranger to acrimony. He experienced and observed his share of disappointment and clashes in clubhouses over his 19-year career, so he has an surgically repaired ankle and foot to stand on when he weighs in on the present state of the White Sox. He told Chuck Garfien on Wednesday's CSN Chicago's White Sox Pre-Game Live that heads were about to roll, and he left little doubt about it:
And there's more, as Garfien relayed more quotes from Thomas on CSNChicago.com:
"Right now, the way things are going, I’m sorry I’ve been watching it for three months. Nothing’s changing, I’ve been a part of a lot of big league ball clubs. It tells me that there’s no chemistry in this clubhouse. These guys are not playing well together. It’s not going to happen overnight. I think the writing is on the wall. Something is going to happen real soon."
Jeff Manto is in the crosshairs right now, although unlike Greg Walker toward the end of his career, nobody's detecting any heat from the inside. That might be because Rick Hahn has a better poker face than Kenny Williams, but this year's problems might fall more on the position players. Had they played defense and run the bases like they did in 2012, it'd be easier to single out the hitting as a fatal flaw. But as a group, they don't look professional in any aspect on the game. FanGraphs says the Sox are carrying 10 hitters with 0.5 WAR or below. It's called "replacement" for a reason.
Maybe Manto needs to go, but it's worth noting that Alex Rios may be his biggest fan. I'd at least wait until his market value is assessed (and perhaps acted upon) before risking the removal of his security blanket.
Hawk Harrelson isn't pulling punches, either.
"I’ve said fewer words in a 68-game period than I have in my career. Because it’s been horse [expletive] baseball. Because silence is the great communicator. Am I going to b.s. the fans? No. Today, fans know too much. If you try to b.s. the fans, you’re doing them and yourself a disservice.
"What am I going to say? There isn’t a thing I can say to embellish that moment."
Speaking of trade value, Jake Peavy's rib is still hurting, but at least he's able to use his legs.
Roland Hemond is awesome, and so is Rob Neyer's interview. A couple aspects of the many aspects I found fascinating -- the impact of good crowds at low-level minor-league games, and his first impression of Juan Pizarro. He needs to write a book. He really needs to write a book.
Grant Brisbee tries to write down rules for acceptable home run jubilation. When talking about the Japanese bat-flip montage video:
Bob Gibson just got on a plane, went to Japan, knocked on the front door of the guy from :09, and drilled him in the back with his rental-car keys.
Unlike the White Sox, the Royals were able to dust themselves off from a stretch of embarrassing play. After a 6-22 stretch sent them nine games under .500, they won 11 of 13 to get back to break-even. They've since lost a couple games to Cleveland, but the embattled, vocal Royals fan community had been heartened by the show of resilience.
And then Dayton Moore goes and says that the reason why the Royals have finished in the bottom half of the league in walks in every season since 1989 is because of Kauffman Stadium, and the punch lines come back out:
Royals officials have now told us the park is responsible for them not hitting homers OR drawing walks. WHAT OTHER CRIMES HAS IT COMMITTED?!— Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli) June 20, 2013
Since Dayton Moore's first season as GM, only one AL team has walked more batters at home than the Royals— Sam Miller (@SamMillerBP) June 20, 2013
This isn't making fun of the Royals -- I'm just fascinated by their attempts to change the culture, and the various obstacles they need to overcome, whether external or self-imposed. White Sox fans have no high ground right now, anyway. The Sox start a three-game series in Kansas City against Jeremy Guthrie tonight, so history says the Royals will look incredibly formidable for the next 24 to 72 hours.
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