Jose Quintana’s time as Baseball’s Frank Grimes isn’t ending just because he was named an Opening Day starter.
As his luck would have it, Opening Day was rained out. And it’s not just that Opening Day was rained out, but that it was dragged out long enough to hold the pregame festivities. Quintana wasn’t on the field for it, because both he and Justin Verlander were both in circling patterns while waiting to see if they’d need to warm up.
There was never a need, because there was never a window. The weather forecast made it look unlikely before gates opened, and David Haugh’s summary seemed to summarize the dissatisfaction I saw from fans in attendance on Twitter (although your first-person accounts are welcome):
The Sox committed their first error of the season by allowing thousands of people into the park to buy food and beer with bad weather looming. You didn't have to know Tom Skilling to realize that rain threatened the Chicago area throughout Monday afternoon. A smarter gesture than allowing fans to exchange Monday's tickets for another game would have been announcing a postponement before noon.
An organization not necessarily focused on where their season ends showed too little concern about when it starts. Sox fans deserved better than to be teased with pregame introductions, a national anthem and a ceremonial first pitch before the grounds crew rolled the tarp back on the base paths. Finally, at 4:51 p.m., a postponement announcement ended everyone's agony.
In the end, Guaranteed Rate Field effectively hosted a lunch on its first day of business, and Quintana wasn’t even allowed to attend his own parade. It’s the first sigh of many. Quintana will still get to start the White Sox’ first game of the season, but it’s not the same.
At least the writers had plenty of time to do their jobs, and so let’s kick it off with an aborted Opening Day...
Rodon is throwing on flat ground in Arizona until April 10, after which the White Sox will put him on a spring training-like program to make up for the time he missed. Based on Hahn’s description of Rodon’s reaction, that timetable is a generous one, because Rodon didn’t even want to start the season on the disabled list. Based on how Rodon’s spring has unrolled to date, I’m skeptical of all present assessments.
- Fascinated by Yoan Moncada’s Twinkies diet? Wait ‘til you hear this old Alexei Ramirez tale - Chicago Tribune
When asked about Moncada’s vulnerability to Twinkies — described as 200 in a week in a Chicago Tribune story — Hahn said Ramirez had already set a precedent:
“When we had his debut in Cleveland, his major-league debut, he pregamed with two Krispy Kremes with mayonnaise in between,” Hahn said. “He put them together and enjoyed that for his pregame meal. So we're not unaccustomed to the transition in his diet.”
The White Sox don’t look like a contender, but they also don’t look like one of the worst teams in baseball — at least not yet. That bothers the people who have seen the Cubs and Astros chase rock bottom with vigor, but Hahn said that while his roster is surprisingly recognizable, he has proven players who can help stock the system with midseason trades. A top-five draft pick would be nice, and it’s possible when seeing Cody Asche and Dylan Covey playing significant roles on a team. But Luis Robert, a couple trades, and a resistance to decline-phase veterans in the following free agency would do the job even if the Sox win 72 games or whatever.
Chuck Wasserstrom caught up with Duane Shaffer, who oversaw 17 White Sox drafts, albeit with diminishing returns toward the end of his tenure. The 1998 draft was pretty good, though -- Kip Wells, Aaron Rowand, Gary Majewski and Josh Fogg in the first four rounds, and Mark Buehrle in the 38th with a draft-and-follow pick. Shaffer’s first impression of the last guy held up pretty well:
“Buehrle was a very competitive pitcher. He worked faster than turning on a light. His pace was just extraordinary. ‘Give me the ball. I’m ready to go after him and attack.’ No wasted time. He didn’t let hitters get comfortable. And he was going to find a way to carve you up with all four of his pitches.
“All four pitches came out of the same slot. So for a hitter, he doesn’t know what is coming. Also, he had a little reach back to get to 91 (MPH). But that wasn’t going to be the factor of him being successful. It was his ability to have pitchability. He would be able to use a little paint brush and hit the corners with his fastball. I’m sure a hitter was looking for one spot, and then all of a sudden he does a backdoor curveball. Then the guy is hanging over the plate, and then he throws a slider inside on his hands. So he was really able to mix up all four pitches, and hitters were guessing. And his success came out of it.
“My car was still hot by the time the game was over. He was a joy to see.”
Some teams did get to play baseball on Tuesday, and Machado played it better than most.