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How Large of a Sample Size Will It Take for the White Sox to Release Mark Kotsay?

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One might have thought 6168 plate appearances would have been enough for a major league baseball team to have realized that a player is not suitable for the purpose they were contemplating for him.  However, the team in question is the White Sox, who have a habit of inexplicably clinging to the belief that veteran players, despite all evidence to the contrary, are, in fact, who they were eight years before.

Let's beat a dead horse here for a bit.  Kotsay hadn't put up a wOBA above .335 since 2004.  That number is important because it is approximately league average.  A league average hitter would be an essentially replacement level DH.  Kotsay's wOBAs since 2004: .321, .315, .253, .316, and .309.  Even more amusing is the insistence to bat Kotsay third or fifth. 

So how long will we be subjected to this? History suggests the pain will last.  After being acquired, Ken Griffey Jr. played center for the rest of the 2008 season.  Darin Erstad continued to bat first until he mercifully injured himself after 48 games.   Considering Kotsay's injury-riddled past, perhaps that is the compassionate end for which we can pine.

But, of course, simply removing Kotsay from this team isn't likely to have much discernible impact.  He's simply the bête noire for an overall poorly conceived offense.  Despite what looked to be very good pitching, the White Sox projected to be an about .500 team before the season and, now that they've decided to start 4-9, the impetus to make changes isn't high.  More likely is that the White Sox will continue to trot out their sunk costs, perhaps just somewhat lower in the order - just like they did with Erstad in 2007.