I don't have a real good feel for the Sox play as of late -- other than that which I can glean from a box score -- but I got the impression that today's double header pretty much encapsulated their play of the last week plus. Game 1 was a quick waltz led by Mark Buehrle that saw Juan Pierre, of all people, hit a home run, while Game 2 limped along for a couple innings of foot-shooting wildness by Carlos Torres before he finally remembered how to pitch. Neither game was all that interesting, though the former was a lot more fun. I'm sure Scott Linebrink enjoyed being recognized as capable of pitching in two consecutive blowouts... in the same day.
A split doesn't seem like a great outcome after this afternoon's game, but it still gives the Sox another half-game on the second-place Twins in the standings. I'll take it.
That sound about right? Did I miss anything else over the week? I see OLD is out hooking up with fellow SSSers, so I'm pretty behind on the gossip.
Had I been around, I probably would have written a couple thousands words on the Daniel Hudson deal, but since that's already been covered ad nauseum I'll just leave my two cents that I didn't see covered (though, admittedly, I haven't ventured through the comments).
- The Sox haven't drafted and developed a pitcher (with any success) since Mark Buerhle, who earned his 10/5 rights last month. That's not to say the Sox haven't been successful at developing pitchers, or drafting pitchers that can be flipped for useful parts -- but the goal should be to draft pitchers, develop them into useful players then ship them out when they start to get expensive (i.e. the guy we just traded for).
- Don't blame Mike Rizzo -- Sure, he was being a little bitch since late-June, asking the world for Dunn and expecting to get it. But he comes out of the deadline with more egg on his face than any other GM in baseball, even more than KW. The other GMs can see that he pussyfooted around, wouldn't accept a reasonable offer, and eventually screwed over another team. This will not go unnoticed. Other GMs aren't going to ignore his calls or anything, but he's fallen to the bottom of the list when they're looking to make a trade.
- Williams hasn't made a winning trade since Carlos Quentin (and really the Danks/Floyd deals) and he's made some really bad ones [Swisher (twice), Teahen, Hudson] in the interim -- There's no denying that Williams was one of the best GMs in baseball in the mid-aughts but since that ugly '07 season he hasn't done a whole lot to inspire confidence in his ability to assemble talent via the trade market.
- It was Williams job to assemble a team that could compete in the American League. It was ultimately Williams decision to let Ozzie Guillen force Jim Thome out the door. It was Williams job to acquire any one of a myriad of better DH options than Kotsay/Jones. It's his fault for putting the Sox in that position in the first place. He failed to address the obvious DH issue this offseason, paid lip-service to media (and us bloggers) about internal lists of replacements in April, and then failed to do anything to correct the problem at the deadline. Rizzo or no Rizzo, Ozzie or no Ozzie; this was William's failure from the start.