Alex Rios has $58.7M left on his contract, is coming off a season in which he hit .199/.229/.301 after joining the White Sox, and has, at times, appeared completely lost at the plate. But don't worry, Greg Walker is planning a special trip to Puerto Rico help turn Rios around.
As the Sox slipped further out of the race in September, Rios channeled '06 Brian Anderson and I plotted a post about the Sox most important off-season acquisition; a new hitting coach. You know, one that actually does something, makes obvious adjustments to struggling players instead of letting them 'hit their way out of it' and preaching on about the magical powers of the obverse side of a baseball card. My reasoning was simple; the Sox had roughly 60M reasons to find a hitting coach who would actually do something besides spout cliched baseball platitudes.
But I never expected Walker to be back, certainly not on a two-year deal. I severely underestimated the nepotism factor. You could say it's sticking with the Devil you know vs. the Devil you don't. Only now the Devil's got a plan, traveling camp Walker...
"Quentin and Rios are the two guys that we wanted to work with specifically. They are young middle of the order hitters and should be with us a long time. Q is a guy that watches a lot of video and is a bright guy. We're going to look at the good, bad and the ugly the last few years and come up with a gameplan. No swinging or anything like that. Just some time spent with him, mostly on the computer, come up with a plan.
"We want [Rios] to work on some things in the offseason with no pressure. I wanted to firm up that we're all on the same page."
So while I have to applaud Walker for finally taking a more visibly proactive approach, that little voice in the back of my mind dutifully reminds me; it's Greg Freakin' Walker. He's about as effective as ExtenZe.