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When President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch of the season in Washington, one thing was eminently clear: this was a guy who loved baseball. Maybe that should have been obvious all along - after all, he did own the Texas Rangers (and traded Sammy Sosa to the White Sox ) - but hearing Bush talk informatively about baseball from the broadcast booth, one couldn't help but notice his passion for the game.
As Deadspin's Will Leitch wrote at the time, Bush was never more engaging or likable as he was that night. Those are hardly two adjectives Bush is synonymous with anymore, and maybe it's even more astonishing that our president was actually able to tolerate speaking with Joe Morgan.
Even so, it was a little surprising to read of Bush's affection for Sox pitcher John Danks. After all, it would seem like the South Side of Chicago couldn't be more different from Bush's White House surroundings.
As a Texas kid who was drafted by the Rangers, Bush has plenty of reason to monitor Danks' development. If not for Carlos Quentin, Danks' transition into one of the best young hurlers in the American League would be the biggest surprise of this White Sox season. With the rest of the Sox playing up and down all year (as is wont to happen in 162 baseball games), Danks has been the Sox' most consistent pitcher, the type of front end of the rotation force that is required to win post-season games.
I'm not sure if Bush's love of Danks is relevant or even interesting. But for a White Sox team that always feels a tad underappreciated nationally, the support one pitcher gets from our inept president may be as much as we can ask.
Week in Review: The Sox' ten-game road trip against division foes is just getting underway, but taking two of three from Detroit is an encouraging start.
Week in Preview: The Sox take on the Twins for four games in Minnesota, and then head to Kansas City for three.
The Missile Tracker: Alexei has been smoking lately, picking up 15 hits in his last 11 games. Kudos to Ozzie for realizing that Ramirez's surprising power and unsurprising lack of plate discipline - you don't walk off the island! - means he is at his best when he isn't hitting at the top of the order.
Fields on the Farm: No longer! With Joe Crede on the DL, the Sox called up Fields prior to the Detroit series. Let's just hope the Sox aren't using this stint as an audition to trade him to another team.
Over/Under: 0: the number of moves the Sox should make at the trade deadline this year. The Sox have what it takes to win this division, and it wouldn't be smart to deal an emerging power hitter like Fields - the team's only prominent prospect - unless something unexpectedly awesome came along.
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The White Sox Report staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that despite what you may read in major newspapers, home runs are a good thing.
The White Sox Report: Read 'em all.
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