If you believe Twitter, today is the day Gavin Floyd ceases to be a member of the Chicago White Sox.
This level of discourse is more common than you think among newsbreakers, mind you. For instance, when I tweeted Ken Rosenthal asking how the White Sox could be serious about Yoenis Cespedes when they're slashing payroll, he tweeted back, "Lol fine dont trust me. Im only on ntaional tv u butthole."
At any rate, another Blue Jays blogger is going with it while everybody else is ignoring or dismissing it, so somebody's going to be wrong. This is what counts for baseball-based entertainment in the dead of winter.
I haven't given the alleged return much time to marinate, and if you're looking for insight in that respect, I'll point you to CSN Chicago. The few thoughts I have don't pertain to talent, but did send me into a Baseball-Reference.com and Google vortex for a solid hour:
*On Deck McGuire: I know a couple McGuires. Ideally, one of them will be present when somebody says "Deck McGuire," so I can say, "Don't mind if I do!" /PUNCH.
*On Kyle Drabek: He wears No. 4, which is interesting, because the best I can tell, no White Sox pitcher has worn a single digit since Hal Trosky Jr. wore No. 3 for three whole innings in 1958. Of course, Drabek couldn't wear No. 4, since that's Luke Appling's number.
Now here's where it gets fascinating...
The year before, Stover McIlwain wore No. 6. I'd never heard of him, but I'd love to know his story. He pitched a scoreless inning in 1957 at the age of 18, and one year later, he started the final game of the 1958 season. He pitched well, too -- four innings, four hits, one run (a solo homer), no walks and four strikeouts. Had Al Lopez let him go one more inning, he would have picked up the win.
You know who did get get the victory? Ol' No. 3, Hal Trosky! It was his second career game, too.
From the game account on his SABR bio page, Trosky didn't exactly vulture the win, because Nellie Fox's glove (of all things) gave him a hard time:
[Trosky's] stint in the Kansas City game was a bit unusual. SABR member Norman Macht recounted it the Baseball Research Journal: After Trosky pitched a scoreless fifth inning, Chicago scored three in the last of the fifth and took a 6-1 lead. "Taking the mound for the sixth," Macht wrote, "Trosky looked around his infield and took comfort from the steadying presence of [Nellie] Fox. Then a rare series of events occurred. Three ground balls were hit to Fox. Two went through his legs and one bounced off his chest. All three were scored as hits. Trosky walked a couple, and Suitcase Simpson, who had hit Trosky hard in the minors, roped one into center field for the only solid hit of the inning, and three runs were in. In the last of the sixth Jim Rivera batted for Trosky and struck out. Bob Shaw finished up. The win was credited to Trosky.
And that game was the last major-league game either McIlwain or Trosky ever pitched. McIlwain was done at 19, spending the rest of his career in the minors and two years in the military, says his Wikipedia page. He died of cancer at age 26.
Trosky was 20, turning 21 the next day. His baseball career ended two years later, and his SABR bio says it was his choice:
While Trosky was in Nashville, his manager, former New York Yankees pitching coach Jim Turner, had told him that he’d have been in the major leagues "two years ago" with any other team. That morsel of awareness, coupled with his own assessment and the fact that several other teams had been in contact with the White Sox seeking to acquire him, and that Chuck Comiskey no longer owned the team, had convinced Trosky that he had no future in Chicago.
The White Sox asked if his contracts were being returned due to a salary issue. No, Hal assured them, all he wanted was his release. "A year and a half later they were offered what I thought was a generous amount for me," Hal told Norman Macht.. "They turned it down. Every spring for three years scouts came around and wanted to see me throw. They still wanted me. After that I'd been out too long. Physically I could come back but I couldn't get mentally and emotionally ready again. I don't know what the club's thinking was. I guess somebody up there didn't like me." Eventually the team stopped sending contracts, but did not comply with Trosky’s request for a release for more than a decade, until 1972, after he had turned 36 years old.
This is why free agency is ultimately a good thing. Oh, and here's what else is nuts ...
Hal Trosky's dad also played for the White Sox over the final two years of his career, battling chronic headaches all the while. Which is cool, because Kyle Drabek's dad, Doug Drabek, pitched for the White Sox in 1997.
Man, now I want this trade to actually happen. Many single numbers are still available!