I made a comment at the beginning of yesterday's abortion of a comments section, that it felt a lot like the '04 season. While the focus of that particular comment was about the mid-season trades (for Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras) that seemed as much for the future as the present, the parallel continues as the two take the mound this week against the Royals.
Garcia became the 9th different pitcher to start for the White Sox this season, which is the most since that '04 campaign that featured such luminaries as Arnie Munoz, Felix Diaz, Jason Grilli and Danny Wright. With Jake Peavy and possibly Dan Hudson waiting in the wings, the Sox are virtually assured of reaching double digit starting pitchers on the season.
The stat is noteworthy because the Ozzie Guillen-led Sox have become known for their starter durability. Since '05 the White Sox have used the least number of starters in baseball, and continually ranked 1st or 2nd in innings pitched by their starters. It's arguably the biggest reason they've been competitive (with the exception of '07) in the Guillen era.
Anyway, Garcia made his return to the big leagues Tuesday nearly 11 months after helping the Sox extend their season as a member of the Tigers, and the results were as to be expected. Garcia simply doesn't have major league stuff. The truth is that he could have been hit around a lot harder. He was leaving his fastball up (where it was surprisingly effective) and kept hanging his breaking balls, eventually handing over a 3-run lead to the hapless Royals. But he left the Sox in a position to win, which is all that I could have asked for (though I obviously have low expectations).
- This was the second time in a week that the Sox had a baserunner thrown out at home on a would-be sac-fly in the middle innings of what turned out to be a 1-run loss. Both games featured tons of baserunners in the early innings for Sox against the opposing starter only to be completely shut down by the bullpen.
- Billy Butler's 3 doubles gave him 41 on the year, which is more than any two White Sox who started the season on the major league roster have COMBINED. It also puts him with an outside shot to join that exclusive club I noted Beckham had a shot at next year. Kid's pretty good.
The Royals got away with a couple things you can only do as a last place team on Tuesday
- They sent Alex Gordon to the minors, where he has always raked, to, I don't know, avoid accruing service time, maybe. They might be able to squeeze out another year of club-control with the move.
- Trey Hillman stuck with Robinson Tejada for 3 innings of set-up work, which is the type of thing you can only do when you're playing for only today. Ozzie can't run Matt Thornton out there for 3 innings if he's mowing people down. Ozzie wants to have him available for the next day, should he be needed. Not that I'm complaining, I probably would have done the same thing if I was Hillman, which is the first time you've been able to read those words on this blog.
- The Sox are not without their own roster shenanigans, moving Dewayne Wise to the DL instead of the unemployment office to make room for Garcia. With their being less than 15 days until rosters expand, all the Sox needed to do to keep him on the roster was invent an injury, which was simple enough considering his poor play and shoulder separation earlier this year.
This is NOT /b/
With the comments section to our last recap devolving into a level of discourse not seen outside of a town hall meeting on health care reform, serving as further evidence of the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, and resulting in not one, but two separate emails from the Powers That Be, who have NEVER emailed me concerning site content before, I think it's time to address the tone of the site. I don't exactly run the tightest ship here, so if anyone is to be blamed for things getting out of hand, it's me.
That being said, this is not /b/, or as it's otherwise known, the asshole of the internet. I'm not easily shocked or offended, and am extremely lenient with the ban hammer, which has led some to take advantage. I've never been interested in reading every comment to monitor for good taste, and don't intend to do so in the future. It was always my hope that the community would be able to police itself.
Unfortunately, things got out of hand yesterday. Rather than trot out a bunch of ad hoc rules to make this place conform to the ideals of your typically over-moderated site, I'm only introducing one along with asking you all to tone it down a bit. And I know you know what I'm talking about because of how many comments there were about the content of the last thread. If you think you're over the line, you probably are.
New Rule: All pictures must contain a subject line, which serves as a handy self-moderation tool for all users. You can simply click the subject to make a borderline image disappear. There were plenty of pleas for this today, and I don't think it's too much to ask to keep the site both SFW, readable, and just plain tolerable.
I realize that it's easy to forget the subject line after a year plus without it being a requirement. As such, I won't be handing out any bans for isolated acts of forgetfulness, though there will probably be plenty of warnings.
I'm sure the Powers That Be want me to come up with more hard and fast posting guidelines, and I'm absolutely positive they'll be reading this post and your comments. Let's prove to them we can have nice things. I don't want to be called into the principal's office again because my classroom has gotten out of hand.