Talked with Adam Katz, Vizquel’s agent, at the winter meetings. Yes, the Indians were interested in re-signing Vizquel, but Vizquel made it clear that he wanted to go to a big-city team that had a thriving art community and lots of museums. Honest. Cleveland was on his list, but Chicago held a bigger allure. It had nothing to do with what the Indians did or didn’t do.
February 13, 2010
Williams is still looking for another solid bullpen pitcher. Major League Baseball sources told me the White Sox have talked to the Toronto Blue Jays about the left-handed relief pitcher Scott Downs, who if acquired, would be an upgrade as the second left-hander in the Chicago Bullpen. The Sox have also asked about Padres closer Heath Bell. San Diego officials insist that Bell will not be traded at the beginning of the season, the likelihood is that by the time the trading deadline approaches july 31, that bell will be dealt. The same scenario exists for Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. …
Levine also hears that “the White Sox payroll is maxed out at $104 million for 2010.” Other stuff talked are the Johnny Damon rumors, Kenny’s #1 worry for 2010 being Carlos Quentin, and talking the marketing dept. (Brooks Boyer) before making a trade.
And here’s a link to the podcast of the interview with Kenny (12:29).
Both Downs and Bell are on the last year of their contracts and are making $4 million. Bell would be too expensive to get, and Downs would be bad allocation of money. Bad? Yes, why not use that money to go after a DH?
Employing Hriniak’s unique front-foot hitting style that included finishing swings with one hand on the bat, Thomas finished an 18-year career with 521 home runs, 1,701 RBIs, a .301 career batting average and a .419 on-base percentage. He was a contact hitter trapped inside a slugger’s body with one of his generation’s most discerning eyes at the plate (1,667 walks).
“This isn’t any BS,” said Hriniak, Thomas’ personal hitting guru who was the Sox hitting coach from 1989-95. “People ask me who was the greatest hitter I ever saw and I said if you needed a base hit, Wade Boggs, but as far as the best all-around hitter, it was Frank Thomas, hands down. He could win a game with a single down the right-field line or home run to left.”
Hriniak just laughed when asked if he ever tried to talk Thomas out of his unusual ritual of swinging a 3-foot, 5-pound piece of rebar — a steel rod that reinforces concrete — in the on-deck circle. He knew better.
“Never,” Hriniak said. …
… At least from the point of view of major league stats, Cisco Carlos is the more interesting case here. His rookie year of 1967 stands out due to an ERA of 0.86 over 8 games (7 starts) and 41.2 IP. Furthermore, in those 41.2 innings he allowed only 23 hits and 9 walks while striking out 27.
Indeed, Carlos’ performance was record-setting. It turns out that in those 7 starts he didn’t allow a single extra-base hit, and that is the post-1954 record for most consecutive such starts at the beginning of a career:
Rk Strk Start End Games W L GS CG SHO GF SV IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA HBP WP BK Tm 1 Cisco Carlos 1967-08-25 1967-09-24 7 2 0 7 1 1 0 0 40.2 23 5 4 8 27 0 0.89 1 1 0 CHW