Sunday should've been a helluva day for White Sox fans, as the promotion of Dayan Viciedo paid immediate dividends. In his 2011 debut, he hit a three-run homer, singled and walked in four trips to the plate.
Instead, it threw more fuel on the fire for those upset with White Sox management, since Viciedo should've been given the chance to provide this kind of spark six weeks ago. The frustration manifested itself all over Twitter, including a continuation of Saturday's debate with Chris Rongey.
Scott Merkin took it to another level, playing up Viciedo's supposed mythical status on Twitter and calling Viciedo the S-word (no, not that one) in his game recap.
And questions about the delay in Viciedo's arrival prompted Ozzie Guillen to drop expletives after his team swept Seattle.
"I don't give a [darn] what people say. I only give a [darn] what [White Sox chairman] Jerry Reinsdorf and [general manager] Kenny Williams say," Guillen said. "People out there can have their own opinion; that's their job -- talk.
"There's nothing I can do about it. I get paid to manage a team. In the time they wanted that kid here, I didn't have any place for him. We would've had to make a trade or release somebody. I wasn't in the position to say, 'Bring him up.' I couldn't play with 26 players. I don't play him because it's not my decision who's coming and who's not.
And Mark Gonzales also provided an incomplete chronology of Viciedo's previous inroads to the roster (remember, there are other shortstops).
This is precisely what I meant when saying the timing of Viciedo's promotion was designed to kill any buzz. We should be raving about Viciedo's power the way Tyler Flowers did:
"He hit the crap out of that one, didn't he? It was about 10 feet high," Flowers marveled at Viciedo's shot. "Especially against a lefty who's not overpowering, I like that matchup every time. He's gonna do some damage."
Instead, Viciedo love has become a battlefield, and I don't like the way it's shaping up.
Most people canvassing for Viciedo's promotion didn't expect him to be a one-man wrecking crew. They thought he had a good chance at being average, which would be enough to serve as an upgrade over Adam Dunn's historical putridity. Given the way he hit with the White Sox last year, and the maturation of his approach at Charlotte, this was not an unreasonable expectation.
It's easy to see why Guillen's on the defensive. It's harder to understand why some beat writers are joining him, because they theoretically shouldn't have a dog in the fight. Nevertheless, they're completely missing the "relative to Dunn" part of the equation, and with their forces combined, they're pumping gas into the Viciedo Hype Machine just so they can make fun of it. And when Viciedo hits his first rough patch, we're going to hear all about the buildup, most of which they created.
So gird your loins for a healthy dose of smug. And in interim, I'm going to try to enjoy Viciedo's might. It's a sight to behold.
Christian Marrero Reading Room
- Viciedo no savior, but has the pressure like one - Beerleaguer
- The year where no one gets what they want - White Sox Observer
Before we leave the topic of Dayan Viciedo, here are J.J.'s and James' perspectives on the matter.
Dunn can read the writing on the wall -- Viciedo will be cutting into his playing time, and Dunn can't find a way to object to it.
Carl follows up on his #HatsOffCWS campaign by drawing a shirtless Dunn. For the ladies.
And now it's Gordon Beckham's turn to talk about his struggles, with some insight from Kenny Williams, both of whom realize the high fastball is killing him. He did drop his bat on one for a double on Sunday, prompting him to say that he felt great for once.
James wraps up all the storylines from a 3-2 West Coast swing that shouldn't have been as bipolar as it was.
The White Sox are a family-oriented team, so they don't troll for tail on their downtime on the road - they troll for salmon. Beckham, Mark Buehrle, John Danks, Zach Stewart and assistant trainer Brian Ball spent a morning on a boat, and this was my favorite part:
The group managed to catch nine pink salmon, and lost just as many.
No matter what they do, these White Sox can't get away from .500.