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He wants to walk? Here's an idea: Let him walk. Let him leave. Wish him well in Florida or New York or Lakeview or wherever he ends up and move on.
Not because it's easy to find a guy who overestimates the value of the Mark Kotsays of the world. It is, but that's not the point.
Nor is it because awkward roster construction is much less daunting a task than it seems.
Nor because an arm is an arm is an arm, even if it's attached to Randy Williams or Mike MacDougal or whoever is available when the team is going to win with "confidence" instead of "superior skill."
Nor because there are countless players, who play the game the right way (with heart, drive, and a good work ethic) even while actually playing it the wrong way (without sound defense, fundamental hitting skills, or even a modicum of power) just waiting for someone to give them a chance.
Nor because there are plenty of other people who insist wins mean something as a pitching statistic and are totally ready to leave their starter in way too long because, you know, when he wins we win, or whatever it is those win-minded winners win win win.
Nor because a lot of people did something great five years ago and have been holding it over our heads ever since.
Nor because tacky remarks regarding a beloved ballpark icon are the exclusive province of number 13.
Ozzie Guillen has repeatedly remarked that part of his job is to deflect blame and negative attention from his players; let them take the credit for successes while he bears the burden for the failures, that sort of thing, which would sound nicer had the team not long since degenerated into nothing but failures. Yes, 2005 was great. Yes, exactly three of the 166 games the Sox played in 2008 were unquestionably compelling baseball. What of the other 84 percent of Guillen's tenure?
Yes, the Sox are "usually in contention" and "fighting" and "not terrible all the time" but, armed with the largest payroll in baseball's worst division, perpetual contention is not really much a consolation prize. If it was, we'd be getting a little more excited for the upcoming annual second-place parade; instead here we sit, resigning ourselves to the fact that one major factor of the equation no longer helps solve its larger, ever-growing problems.
So let him go. Give him his speedy bunters and scrappy grinders who fight to play, or whatever it is the Sox - the Sox team he wanted, mind you - aren't capable of anymore. We don't know who out there holds the key to unlocking greatness from the team we cheer for but, another lost season almost in the books, I think we know a little more clearly who doesn't.
Week in Review: In a microcosm of their season, the Sox opened the week dropping two to the A's to run their losing streak to eight, then ripped off four straight wins including a sweep of the Angels. Forget steroids, this team needs Abilify.
Week in Preview: Finally. Finish out the season at home with four against the Red Sox and three against the Indians to once and for all put an end this nonsense.
Hawkeroo's Can-O-Corn Watch: "I tell ya, it's always a treat to see these two Sox teams, the White Sox and the Red Sox, play against each other, and that this rivalry can be showcased in historic Fenway Park and right here in beautiful U.S. Cellular Field. It was always one thing I loved in my time with Boston was playing those White Sox teams. You had guys like Joe Horlen, Gary Peters, Jerry Nyman, guys who just gave us fits in the batter's box. I remember once I asked a teammate of mine, a pitcher by the name of Jack Sanford, he said to me that the best games he ever threw were the ones where hitters came ready to hit, and that those Sox teams he faced always were ready to do just that. And I asked him, 'Well, who's the best at that skill of hitting to hit?' And he just looked at me and said, 'Maybe you should ask the man wearing that number 8 jersey over there.' And I tell you something, that was something that has proved to be more and more true ever since."
Gordon Beckham Hall of Fame Update: Gordon Beckham career earnings: $445,000 and counting. Cy Young career earnings: $12,230. Advantage: Beckham by a thousand swimming pools full of quarters.
Alumni News You Can Use: Former White Sox pitching enigma Javier Vazquez tied a Major League record (held by Dock Ellis, among others) by hitting three batters in a row Thursday night against Tampa Bay. The White Sox Report salutes Vazquez' achievement, but prefers Ellis' method and motivations.
The "H" in "DH" Stands For: How ever will they replicate this masterstroke next year? Is David Eckstein a free agent yet? He is? Good. Can we trade the farm for him anyway? That kid's got the type of grindiness this city needs.
The Q Factor: All things end, he reminds himself, but only so all things may begin again. And as the season goes, so shall I. Some may call it the circle of life. I choose to call it more trips to the weight room. Sleepless nights in the batting cage. Speed drills. Blast lifts. In the world where I live, inactivity is reserved for the weak and the dead, and tonight, friends, I plan to live.
The Guillen Meter: The job getting worse by the day and his annual performance review coming up, the Guillen Meter reads 2009-11/12 for "Hey, is your company hiring?"
Endorsement No-Brainer: Janet Jackson, Cinderella, Joni Mitchell, Amy Grant, and Counting Crows featuring Vanessa Carlton for emerging Oakland superstar pitcher Gio Gonzalez: don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
The White Sox Report: Read 'em all.
The Cub Factor: It's funny because it's true.
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