If yesterday's game was the surgical removal of the White Sox' heart, Ozzie's insistence on using Rob Mackowiak in CF was the sharp kick in the nuts to the still twitching corpse. Charged with the task of facing arguably the best pitcher in baseball the last 3 years, Ozzie chose to go completely against his assertion that Brian Anderson was his center fielder.
Last weekend the Sox started a stretch of 10 games against their main division rivals. They've played 9 of these game so far, with Anderson starting just 4 of them. I guess 'as long as we can' meant until there's a really important game where I need some inferior CF defense. Obviously, I wouldn't be bringing this up if Mackowiak had played spectacularly, which he predictably did not. As is usually the case, Mackowiak didn't wait long for his presence to be felt in the outfield, with 3 runs scoring in the second inning, none of which likely would have scored had Brian Anderson been manning the position.
Brandon McCarthy's appearance, while great, left more questions than answers:
- Was this finally and audition for the starting rotation?
- If he was able to pitch 5+ today, why wasn't he the guy you turned to in the 6th with a 2-run lead yesterday?
- Follow-up to that question: Is there something you're not telling us about Jose Contreras?
- If there's legitimately something wrong with Jose, or any of the 3 other hacks in the rotation for that matter, what the heck is McCarthy still doing in the pen?
What can you say about Jermaine Dye? You knew, despite his 0-for-career line against Joe Nathan, that he had as good of a chance of taking him deep as any other hitter in baseball. He went to the plate looking to hit one out, just like he did in the final game before the All-Star Game, and did just that (video), just like he did in the final game before the All-Star Game.
He's undoubtedly the White Sox team MVP, and should at least finish in the top 3 or 4 of AL MVP voting. If the Sox had gotten any pitching this season, he would have been running away with the award already. As it is, it's going to take a Herculean effort down the stretch, one that puts the Sox into the playoffs, for him to have any realistic chance of garnering the required media attention to win the award.
The White Sox made a minor roster move Saturday, calling up Jerry Owens, and immediately putting him on the DL. The thought here is that Owens will be eligible for the post-season, since he was officially part of the Sox roster on September 1. Though at this point, the move is a bit like that ugly girl who smelled like used cat litter and was always quoting animated Disney movies in the middle of history class buying a prom dress because she thought she might get asked since she was on the prom committee that decided the prom song would be "A Whole New World." I mean who doesn't want to cabbage patch with the not-so-fresh-step smellin' animaniac?