Posts Tagged ‘AJ Pierzynski’

Go Go White Sox

Heading into the All-Star break, July is a perfect time for a battle of division deaders, albeit two very different divisions with two very different sets of circumstances. 

Two-time defending American League Champions, Texas came to town sporting the league’s best record and plenty of confidence in their ability to power through the Sox and the rest of the AL again this year. The story coming in was supposed to be about Texas’ lineup, but with the recent addition of Kevin Youkilis at 3rd base, it’s the White Sox who are suddenly the offensive juggernaut. Taking nothing away from the Rangers, because they still have the league’s best lineup (and a first place team as Manager Ron Washington pointed out after the sweep was complete), but Robin Ventura has surprisingly assembled the right kind of lineup in a short amount of time in the South Side dugout. DeAza’s coming into his own leading off the order. Youkilis now overflows the 2 spot with veteran savvy and timely hitting. Adam Dunn/Paul Konerko has the potential to be the most productive 3-4 in the league. Batting 5th, Alex Rios has regained the form for which he was signed. The newly anointed most snubbed All-Star catcher, A.J Pierzynski has come into his own, and he wants to make a name for himself among White Sox greats when it’s all said and done. He’s got it in him batting 6th. Dayan Viciedo, Alexei Ramirez, and Gordon Beckham have been inconsistent at best, but if the three of them can regularly get it together at the bottom of the order, we’re looking at a force to be reckoned with all year. That being said…

…Game 1 was evidence of that force. 19-2?!?! After a highly touted pitching bill of Sale vs. Oswalt, it was Sale who shut down the MLB’s #1 offense while Oswalt simply got rocked…maybe right into retirement. The Sox jumped all over Ole Roy early, plating 7 runs in the first 2 innings-including a 2-run shot by Youkilis in his first plate appearance at home as a member of the White Sox. They never looked back after an explosive 9 run 5th inning put them up 16-0. They finished with a season high 19 runs, and they tied their season high in hits with 21. The crowd at The Cell was extra energized by the 4th of July looming overnight, and the buzz was felt throughout the deceptively not sold out crowd. Plenty of Rangers’ fans made their way to Chicago for this series, but they were promptly quieted and sent home to the Lone Star State lonely and baffled at the beat down administered on the South Side.

Game 2
Game 2 saw a return to small ball for Sox, Hamilton being Hamilton for Rangers, A.J. plowing over his counterpart (but not Ron Washington, unfortunately), and some back and forth scoring. Oh, and Kevin Youkilis continuing to welcome himself to town-this time with a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 10th to go along with some sparkling defensive plays at the hot corner. We’re going to like this guy. We’re really, really going to like him. Thanks for providing us with the 4th of July fireworks, Youk.

Game 3
Smelling blood and sensing sweep, the Sox sent newly promoted Jose Quintana to the mound to face off against Matt Harrison. Fans waiting for some semblance of a pitching duel got one in game 3, and Kevin Youkilis delivered another game winner, this time a 6th inning blast to put the Sox up 2-1 for good. Quintana has pitched extraordinarily well since joining the Sox’ staff. Subtract the start against the Yankees, who spurned him, and he’s done nothing but dominate. Yesterday’s performance was just what the doctor ordered: a quickly worked game by Quintana in the sweltering heat, and another Sox W. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
I know it’s just one series sweep, but I can’t help but notice that the way this team is put together right now reeks of a contender. They’ve got a perfect blend of youth and veteran leadership, accentuated by the acquisition of Youk. The change of scenery does wonders for certain veterans, and the scenery at The Cell seems to agree with The Greek God of Walk. To say the man accomplished is a vast understatement, and his experience in big games, ability to produce and play defense, and overall attitude toward the game will do wonders for the predominantly young club. 
No one expected much from the White Sox this year. Sometimes, going under the radar brings out the best in teams. Don’t forget that all this first place ball has been played minus John Danks from the rotation. I have a feeling the best is yet to come this year, folks…
 
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Ed. Note- Thanks to Shelley Holmgren for submitting this with the very apt headline, Shit Bitches Shouldn’t Wear At A Baseball Game. We at Cad T. Wasp notoriously hate pink jerseys (that aren’t for breast cancer awareness), but Shelley details proper female fan wear etiquette in more detail.

by: Shelley Holmgren

Baseball season is a sacred, holy time. I choose to observe it with the holiest of rituals: drinking excessively and going to ball games. However, there are times when I have to swig my drink ferociously in order to stomach some of the shit I see women wear to a game.

As a (mostly) logical woman and faithful baseball fan, I decided to educate other estrogen-prone creatures of ways they shouldn’t show up to a game or face the wrath of my stink eye.

1) Save the stilettos for your walk of shame, sister.

It blows my mind that I actually have to say this. Ladies. Don’t wear your damn heels to the game.

If you are like me, you plan on ingesting a fair amount (understatement) of ale while cheering on your guys. After that fourth beer, that flight of stairs will look more like Mt. Doom than a few short steps. You definitely don’t want to scale it wearing four-inch heels/devices of torture.

Although drinking several vodka lemonades will help you loose all sensation in your face, you will need a horse tranquilizer to numb the pain in your feet from wearing heels for nine innings.

I’m not saying don’t be feminine. You may be attending the game on a date and might want to get your male seduction on. Fight the urge to
wear a leather catsuit (save them for special occasions, like bar mitzvahs) or a ball gown or whatever ridiculous outfit you wear to prepare for a sexy time. My advice – just go casual. The best route to go is fitted player t-shirt and a pair of tight jeans that make your ass look like Beyonce’s. The jeans will do all the work for you and your date will reward you with various forms of physical contact and cheap beer. Let the romance begin.

2) Handle cleavage with care.

Don’t get me wrong – as a well-endowed woman, I know how much joy there is in displaying your assets like prized hams. Boobs are magnificent and should be shared. But know your limits when it comes to breast exposure at sporting events. I’m at the game to watch my guys kick ass, not to place bets on the probability of one your loose mammary glands slapping your date in the face.

But then again, what do I know? I’m just a girl that likes to whip out her sweater melons only for special occasions or when I owe a member of the male population an apology/money. If you want to wear an insanely low-cut shirt, have at it. Make sure to wave to your parents (and the parents of the young niños in the crowd) when you are featured on the jumbo screen. You’ll make them so proud. I’ll just be the woman sitting next to you, embarrassed to have ovaries.

This is a ball game. Not an audition for Bravo.

3) Remember, people spill shit.

Don’t show up wearing a 80-billion-thread-count silky blousey-thing and not expect it to get it stained. If Alexei Ramírez steals third, you will likely be sitting by someone who celebrates with a dance similar to an exorcism being performed. You’re not going to want to be wearing expensive threads when someone knocks into you and obliterates you with concessions. And trust me, that shit ain’t going to come out.

Also remember: If you are a true classy woman like I am, you plan on making sweet, tender love to a fully-loaded ball park brat with your mouth. There is no way to consume delicious smoked meats without there being some wardrobe casualties. It’s not worth it otherwise.

4) Know your player.

If I show up in a Sox game clad in my Pierzynski jersey, I’m going to be able to tell you his position, his stats, his batting preference, his sexual preference (OK, maybe too far … probably … nah). Regardless of A.J.’s impending restraining order against me, he is my guy. Don’t show up to a game wearing a jersey for a player you know nothing about. Show some respect, yo.

5) Respect the game.

This is just a nugget of general knowledge – don’t be on your damn smart phone the whole time. Going to a game is a sacred act. If I see you playing DrawSomething through a double-play, I will slap the phone out of your hand. Probably. If I didn’t cherish my beer so much, I’d possibly try to spill my drink on you at least. (I swear, I’m usually not a belligerent drunk.)

And one last piece of fashion advice: You will never be taken as a serious fan, let alone a serious human being, if you wear a tube top.

Have some self-respect.

Ed. Note - I uhh, respectfully disagree. More tube tops at ball games!

“Isn’t it strange? The same people who laugh at gypsy fortune tellers take economists seriously.”

I think it’s important for baseball fans on both sides of Chicago to understand that neither the Sox nor the Cubs will be seriously competing this year. The Sox have a better shot at catching lightning in a bottle this year if they get great years from their roster, but it’s a big if at this point and oddly enough it can all hinge on Jake Peavy’s health, which is a scary proposition. The Cubs have virtually no hope, the rosters of the teams in front of the Cubs are all better. The Reds, Brewers and Cardinals will fight for the Central lead leaving the Cubs in a slap fight with the Astros and the Pirates to avoid the cellar.

So a lot of people are going to tune out without properly understanding what you’re watching. For the Sox this is Kenny’s last stand. His acquisitions all have a strange propensity to blow up in his face. Manny Ramirez, Ken Griffey Jr., Jake Peavy, Alex Rios and Adam Dunn were all massive faceplants to this point. He let fan favorites Ozzie Guillen and Mark Buerhle take their talents to Miami. He hired a manager that no one knew was a serious candidate and took full control of this team moving forward. Any success the team enjoys will be his, but so will the failure. Not many GM’s get to fire 2 managers, so Kenny’s on the clock

Epstoyer is enjoying a honeymoon currently, but they’ll have to work efficiently to rebuild a decimated Cubs organization. The Cubs have almost no pitching help in the minors. There are a few Cub fans that will want the Cubs to win now . When Cubs start getting traded most of these will get restless and wonder what the aim of the organization is. There are even a few that believe Theo and company only won because they spent Yankee money. This is true to an extent, but the Red Sox also drafted wisely and had good talent come up from their farm system. The make over the Cubs are going to get will be impressive, but the clock will start once the Cubs trade a marquee name.

Which brings me to the purpose of these two pieces. AL/NL Central “Predictions.” I’m placing the teams in order of believed finish, but I’m not going to place a W-L value on it. We’ll start with the AL Central. NL Central will go live tomorrow.

1. Detroit Tigers – They are the favorite to win the division and they are a candidate tot make some noise in the playoffs. They added Prince to Miggy and have a potent offense. The lose of Victor Martinez will hurt as Ryan Raburn will get more burn in the lineup, but Prince more than makes up for that. We all know what Prince can do with the bat, ditto with Miggy. The real question is how awful that IF defense will be. Prince-Raburn-Peralta-Cabrera has a serious chance at being the worst IF defense of all time.

Especially considering that this dude played third 60 lbs ago.

It would be pretty astounding to see what Verlander would do with a good defense, but as it stands the defense shouldn’t affect him too much. He probably won’t be as great as his 2011 season, but he’ll still be a Cy Young candidate in 2012. The rotation guy that might suffer is Doug Fister. Verlander and Scherzer both strikeout batters at an above average clip, but Fister’s career SO/9 is 5.5. He upped it to 7.3 in 70 ip with the Tigers, but I would expect that rate to fall. The ‘pen is solid and a name to look for is Daniel Schlereth. If he can gain some semblance of control he can become a high leverage pitcher.

2. KC Royals – It’s hard to predict a 2nd place finish for a team that boasts Bruce Chen in it’s rotation, but here they are, on the back of what should be a rather impressive offense. The kids can play, Hosmer is legit and should emerge as KC’s best player overall this year. Alex Gordon is going to be a great leadoff hitter this year, and Moustakas should make some positive gains at the big league level this year. The question with this team is when will the pitching help get here? All of their starters are projected to be below average this year, the only pitcher that may be worth his salt will be Jonathan Sanchez. Daniel Duffy is a few years away and like I said, Bruce Chen is an important part of this rotation. A lot of what this team does moving forward will depend on what they can do to solidify the starters. The bullpen has some names to keep an eye on, but losing Joakim Soria hurts. I think the Royals take a major step forward but the rotation will hold them back from competing for a wild card spot.

3. Cleveland Indians – Carlos Santana is the damn truth. He will emerge as the best catcher in baseball this year. He’s great with the stick and he’s a good defender. The Indians should surprise people this year, but a bad offense will keep them from really making noise in the central. Shin-Soo Choo is key for the Tribe. If he can get back on his star track this year the Indians can scare the Tigers for a few months. If not, the Indians will be relegated to fending off the Sox and the Twins in third place. Ubaldo Jimenez won’t be competing for Cy Young’s anymore, but he is a solid top of the rotation pitcher. He should emerge as the ace over Justin Masterson this year. Josh Tomlin needs to increase his K rate to his minor league levels to have a breakout year, but he should still remain as a decent mid-rotation option. The Bullpen will keep this team from being a complete cellar dweller.

4. Chicago White Sox – It’s not an awful rotation. Danks should have a rebound year, Gavin is a candidate to have a great year, Chris Sale will make some noise in the rotation, but their success or failure all depends on the offense. Adam Dunn was historically bad and that saved Alex Rios from more criticism. Gordon Beckham lost his swing and will have a difficult time getting it back. AJ Pierzynski is hitting second in the lineup. Brent Morel will get significant playing time. It’s just a bad offense. Dunn should rebound somewhat, he’s currently crushing fastballs which is a good sign considering how slow his bat looked last year. Dayan Viciedo has light tower power but we have to wait and see how his game translates in the MLB. Rios is likely to hit 3rd for most of the season. The Sox have too many questions regarding the offense to be a serious contender, you have to hit HR’s in the Cell to compete, because everyone else will.

5. Minnesota Twins – This team is awful. Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham will carry the load on offense, and their pitching rotation will be flat out awful. Carl Pavano’s K-rate might dip below 4 this year. They have no frontline starter in their rotation. The bullpen will be using gasoline to put out the fires this year, there’s little help down on the farm, Justin Morneau is probably done playing baseball, they will be in the cellar this year. They have a long rebuild ahead of them and Gardy should probably get fired this year.

[audio http://awmr01.podbean.com/mf/web/qz9pzj/Episode011.mp3]

In this episode we briefly look at the Brandon Marshall trade, then we go to our true love, baseball. We check in on Jamie Moyer, look at the AL and NL Central, list off our top 10 baseball memories and sit back, relax and strap it down. Enjoy kids, all love and no hate here.