Joe Po: Story of an Argument Gone Wrong


Now, Matt Thornton is a very good middle reliever. No, he’s more than that — I don’t want anyone to miss the point again. He’s an excellent middle reliever. I’ve seen him pitch a lot, and I really like his game. He is the guy White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen will bring into the game in the seventh or eighth inning when his team needs an out (something the ninth too), especially when there’s a left-handed batter coming up, and double-especially when the team needs a strikeout. Thornton knows how to deliver the K. He and J.J. Putz and Bobby Jenks have been a big part of the White Sox stunning success this year. But, I’m not going to lie to you: I don’t really want to see Matt Thornton pitch in a high-leverage situation in the All-Star game. Why? Because Matt Thornton is about the fourth or fifth most valuable pitcher on the Chicago White Sox. He is simply not as important or valuable as the starters. He has thrown 37 innings all year. He might be the best middle reliever in baseball — a tenuous title, to say the least* — but even if that’s true that makes him about the 27th or so most valuable pitcher in his own league.