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Sox take dump on, off field

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A large part of the reason I peppered my last post with pessimistic-optimism was that I had a bad feeling the Sox ship would be facing some turbulent seas this weekend. For some reason, I thought the decision to skip Baseball America's #2 Rookie signaled trouble ahead. Well, that, and the two teams seemed to be opposites; one has played mostly poor baseball on the season yet carried an above .500 record, while the other played mostly good baseball with brief stints of total ineptitude to find themselves just below .500. The larger trends seemed to say both teams couldn't continue for like that the entire season. Why not change directions this weekend?

There's no way I could have foreseen such an incredible display of CubDumb by the Sox though. After getting a gift of an insurance runs courtesy of Alfonso Soriano in the 6th -- I was surprised Mark Buehrle hit for himself in the inning. The Sox were lucky that Soriano can't field, turning a single into a double and a should-be out into a run-scoring double to give the Sox a 2-run cushion -- Buehrle issued a 2-out walk to Henry Blanco and gave up a single to Ryan Theriot before being pulled in favor of Mike MacDougal. And the Wheels came off.

There were throwing errors, mental errors, lots of hits, and overall a damn good impression of the Royals, Devil Rays, or Cubs inventing new ways to lose. Leading the way was former Royal Mike MacDougal, who has now allowed 15 of the last 26 batters faced to reach base thanks to 5 hits in just .2 innings of work Friday. MacDougal got a big assist from Pablo Ozuna, who couldn't field a throw from Juan Uribe, and one batter later attempted to turn two when the proper play would have been to take the out at home.

Toby Hall, former Devil Ray, made his debut with as many errors as hits. Though he tripled the Sox hit total for their backup catchers in one game, so it's an even trade-off, I suppose. The non-Hall batters managed just 4-hits on the day, one of which was the aforementioned gift from Soriano. It was another banner day for the Greg Walker All-Stars.

* * * * *

Homework assignment for somebody with more time/knowhow than myself:

  • When was the last time the Sox had double-digit hits in a game?
  • How many straight games has it been without a double-digit hit output?
  • How many double-digit hit games have the Sox had this season?
* * * * *

As if taking a crap all over the field in the late innings at Wrigley wasn't enough good news to report, Ozzie teamed up with Mike North and AJ Pierzynski to make for some interesting radio this morning. And by "interesting" I mean completely unnecessary noise from three people who love nothing more than to hear themselves speak.

It all began when Pierzynski, a regular (read: paid) guest on the North show, expressed displeasure with being out of Friday's lineup in favor of Hall. You'll recall that Pierzynski complained about missing at-bats when Hall was acquired. Pierzynski, serving as the media whore who is always good for a quote, was immediately defended by North, to which Ozzie, who was apparently listening, took umbrage. Ozzie called in, and the fireworks began.

"Oh, shut the [deleted] up!" Guillen barked. "I know you like A.J. but there's no reason for you to make lineups and [deleted]."

North reminded the fiery manager that he was live on the air and that his catcher was disappointed to not be playing.

"I don't care what A.J. thinks," Guillen said. "I make the best lineup. I want to find out what Toby Hall can do for this ballclub, find out right away how we are going to use him. I never said A.J. was in a platoon."

Then Guillen went back to his more colorful vocabulary.

"Believe me, I'm tired of you guys and this bull[deleted] every god[deleted] day."

North cut Guillen off: "Hey, Ozzie, clean up your mouth. Clean up your damn mouth when you're talking on the radio and talking to me. Have a little respect, all right? Don't go talking to me like you're talking down to somebody."

The two declared their friendship while continuing to argue. North was clearly offended.

"Don't you ever talk down to me. Don't ever talk to me like I'm some ... Yeah, you better hang up the damn phone."

North continued, fretting about his job security, perhaps over a potential FCC violation from Guillen's comments.

"You got no class for swearing on the air three different times," North said. "I'm not going to lose my job because of him. If you can't stand the heat, get out the hell out of the kitchen, junior."

There's sure to a media firestorm surrounding the incedent, which is exactly what North wants, save the possible FCC violations. Pierzynski, after a talk with Kenny Williams, said he will consult with his agent about ending his relationship with the Mike North show. In other words, it looks like North and Pierzynski cooked up some controversy and set the perfect trap for Guillen, who predictably took the bait and made North temporarily relevant.