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Reading Room: The last week without baseball action

Addison Reed's iPhone case.
Addison Reed's iPhone case.

Because this week actually offered real actual news in the form of the Kosuke Fukudome signing, a lot of good reading material got pushed to the backburner.

And then there's Addison Reed's iPhone case, courtesy of Gordon Beckham via Twitter. At this moment, the White Sox's probable roster locks average just under 29 years of age, but relative to previous seasons, it's probably going to feel a few years younger.

Jim Bowden, Buster Olney and Keith Law are ranking all MLB franchises in terms of their futures using five measurements -- quality of major-league talent, farm system, finances, stability in management and mobility of assets. By this system, ESPN said the White Sox have the third-bleakest future, ranking only ahead of the Orioles and Astros. The commentary is behind a paywall, but if you're unable to read it, it's nothing you haven't heard before.

This is a handy list of all the players who are out of options this season, because some of these players may become available through waiver claims or spring-cleaning trades. The White Sox are conflict-free this season, since Alejandro De Aza, Philip Humber and Brent Lillibridge are all locks for the 25-man roster.

Danny Knobler relays what Magglio Ordonez told a Venezuelan radio station about his future, or lack threreof. He's not interested in a minor-league contract, so his career could reach a quiet end like Jermaine Dye's did

With Kosuke Fukudome signing on with the Sox, he will be the 17th player to wear both Chicago uniforms since interleague play began.

Jen took copious notes from the conference call for the season-ticket holders, and Mark Parent elaborated on his earlier statements about the need for organizational unity for player development:

As for what a bench coach actually does, Parent said a common misconception of his job is that it begins at the first pitch of a ball game. In fact, his job started the moment he accepted the position. What has been lacking in the past was a communication between the majors and the minors. Parent sat down and worked with Ventura to figure out what he wanted. He needed to figure out how Ventura wanted to play bunts, first-to-third plays, how he likes to do rundowns, etc. He needed it on paper so he can meet with Buddy Bell and others who work with the minor leaguers and tell them how Ventura wants it. This way the systems are all the same and there is no need for a learning curve when players are called up to the big leagues.

At spring training, Parent’s job is to make the schedule for the players. He schedules what drills they do when, when they need extra drills, what fundamentals need to be worked on, and things like that. When Ventura wants extra drills, he has to schedule those. During games, he manages alongside Ventura because at any moment, he could be taking control. When Ventura asks for his opinion, he gives him several options, and Ventura goes from there. Parent also takes care of the clubhouse so any potential problems are not brought on Ventura since he has the media to deal with.

With Parent bringing a fair amount of attention to himself during SoxFest, he left Joe McEwing in the dust as the last completely unknown White Sox coach. Then again, as Scott Merkin's article shows, there's not too much to know. He lives, breathes and eats baseball to the extent that he probably smells like the inside of a bat bag.

  • Fukudome is here, to fill a small role to moderate satisfaction - White Sox Observer
  • Kosuke Fukudome, and a relentlessly functional outfield - White Sox Observer
  • And speaking of elaboration, James explains why he had such initial reservations about the Fukudome acquisition, and then takes a step back and appreciates the potential checks and balances between Fukudome, Alex Rios, Dayan Viciedo, Alejandro De Aza and Brent Lillibridge.

    Yes, the Sox-Twins rivalry is legal fact. A 2004 court case over a battery charge at The Cell (puns!) led to a lawsuit which, after years of inaction, was dismissed on a summary judgment made last week. In the first paragraph of the court's decision:

    [Marianne] Fricano asserts that the Cleveland Indians are "the arch rival" of the Chicago White Sox. While the two teams maintain a healthy rivalry, this court notes that it is generally accepted, at least among informed baseball followers, that the title of arch rival belongs to the reviled Minnesota Twins, to be shared, during inter-league play, with the Chicago Cubs.

    Gary Carter died on Thursday from brain cancer, and among the memorable moments that surfaced in his honor, posted video of his last major-league hit. There's so much that's awesome about it -- he was able to do it in front of a packed Olympic Stadium with fans there to watch him call it a career, it was a double in the seventh that drove in the only run of the game, and he managed to get it over the head of Andre Dawson, which means the play involved the only two players in the Hall of Fame with Expos caps on their plaques.

    Watch this video.

    What a great game.