Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Ramblings

Those Under Armour advertisements on the outfield wall at Wrigley look horrible. They would have been better off going with something more elegant rather than white paint on the green background. Now the Trib not only looks greedy for putting ads on the outfield walls, but also cheap for putting up ads that are plain and ugly. Of course, cheap and greedy is how the Trib has always run the club, with this last off-season being the exception.

This off-season they spent money recklessly knowing full well that it wouldn’t be their problem once the team was sold.

Some have argued that the Cubs spent money on free agents in order to make the club more attractive to buyers but that makes no sense. The Cubs just increased their liabilities thus driving down the value of the club. They’ll still sell for an ungodly amount of money but don’t think for a second that any potential buyer won’t take into account the fact he is going to have to pay Alfonso Soriano $18 million when he is 38 years old.

The Tribune has a responsibility to shareholders to maximize profitability which is why they shouldn’t have been running the Cubs in the first place. But the one time the Trib brass needed to hold the line on costs to increase the sale price of the franchise, they screw shareholders over by signing overrated players to foolish long term contracts.

But enough about that Chicago team. The White Sox have been exact opposite of what I expected this season. Except for the first two games against Cleveland, the Sox have had dominant pitching coupled with very poor hitting. I believe the offense will eventually get going but I’m unsure of how well the pitching will hold up.

Ozzie came under some fire for his moves (or lack thereof) in Wednesday night’s gut-punch 2-1 loss against the A’s. He had multiple chances to pinch-hit to get a lefty-righty matchup and failed to make a defensive replacement for Pods in left before the tying and winning hits went his way in the ninth.

These criticisms are certainly valid. But I thought the biggest mistake was giving Todd Walker two curves with two strikes on him. Bobby Jenks obviously didn’t have his best fastball, barely getting above 90mph. But Todd Walker is a) old and b) coming in as a pinch hitter. He didn’t look very sharp swinging at fastballs early in the at-bat and I think Bobby could have gotten a high fastball by him.

Why don’t they ever climb the ladder when Bobby Jenks is in? The pitch sequences are entirely predictable. Get two strikes and drop the hammer. When Bobby is on it doesn’t matter; he is unhittable. But when he doesn’t have his best stuff they need to call better pitch sequences.

Of course, the pitch sequence wasn’t the only problem as Bobby left the second curve over the plate. If your going to give a batter two curves to look at, the second one better be in the dirt.

Anyway, the Sox got the game back yesterday by scoring five runs off the Duscherer and Street in the eighth and ninth innings, so I guess you could say things evened out.

My only complaint is that I had to stay up until midnight to watch them blow Wednesday’s game while they made the impressive comeback while I was at work.

DePaul sophomore Wilson Chandler announced he was making himself available for the NBA draft. He could probably be a first round pick if he stayed in school another year. But he will definitley make money playing pro basketball either here or overseas. If he doesn't enjoy college life, nd not everone does,I see nothing wrong with his decision.