Well before Yasiel Puig's bat flips launched a thousand hot takes, Tadahito Iguchi punctuated his dingers with a more subtle flair for the White Sox. An example:
At 40 years old, Iguchi is still active, playing first base for the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan. He's also still hitting them over the fence, including two of them in a game against the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks on Monday.
And his bat-flip game is still impeccable:
There's a lot to love in this clip -- the balloons in the crowd (they get released during the seventh-inning stretch), the "I-guch-i" chant after the homer, and the top-notch cinematography:
After Mark Buehrle started his year with his 200th victory and piled on a couple more, I had assumed everything was going as well as it usually does for him early in seasons.
Checking his numbers on Monday, I assumed incorrectly. While Buehrle did win his first three start, he did so mostly because the Blue Jays scored 12, 12 and 13 runs for him over those games. He's been shellacked in his last two outings, though, leading to a line that looks kinda familiar:
In Buehrle's defense, Danks' defense spared his own ERA during his last start, as he committed two errors that led to four unearned runs. Buehrle also has a better track record on his side. His body, though, may be betraying him:
First, Mark Buehrle. A source familiar with the veteran left-hander's situation told TSN.ca the 36-year-old is dealing with multiple aches and pains and that it's "all he can do" to take the mound every fifth day.
The source was not specific about the nature of Buehrle's problems but didn't deny a question about the status of Buehrle's back.
The four former White Sox sent to Oakland in the Jeff Samardzija trade are meeting expectations, for better and for worse:
Marcus Semien: He's hitting .271/.316/.430 with eight doubles and three homers, and a strikeout rate that could be tenable (19 percent, down from 27.5 percent in 2014). He's also overextended as a shortstop, and UZR really doesn't like him there (already 5.3 runs below average).
Josh Phegley: He's hitting .280/.308/.280 over 26 plate appearances (no walks, one HBP). It was supposed to be something a straight platoon, but Stephen Vogt is crushing the ball right now.
Chris Bassitt: He was promoted to Oakland's bullpen in late April, where he's putting up a pretty wacky line: 9.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 7 BB, 8 K, 2 HBP
Rangel Ravelo: He underwent wrist surgery in spring training, and has yet to play.
The Sox risked losing their best offensive second baseman when they sent Semien west, and that fear has materialized. On the other hand, he looked awkward at third and second, and he's not looking particularly natural at his natural position, either, so his true value is hard to peg.
As a group, they're not putting a whole lot of pressure on Jeff Samardzija to justify his cost. Hopefully professional pride will take care of that part for Samardzija, beginning with his start against Detroit tonight.