Dave van Dyck:
Dunn now says there “is no doubt in my mind” his April appendectomy caused his season to disintegrate after a strong opening day.
“I was never the same,” he said. “I came back too soon, and I couldn’t even bend like I should have (while batting). And it threw my swing way off.”
Who screwed up? Was it Adam Dunn himself? I think that’s the more probable explanation. That Dunn didn’t reveal the extent of his after-surgery symptoms. It can’t be a coach or a trainer.
Other White Sox links:
CSN’s Chuck Garfien interviewed Jerry Reinsdorf. Here’s Reinsdorf’s comment on Mark Buehrle’s departure:
“Mark Buehrle was a pillar of this franchise. He was a cornerstone, he was here for a long time. He came out of nowhere. He was a 38th round draft choice. He did everything we ever asked for him. He caught all the first pitches, he threw a perfect game, a no-hitter. Anytime you needed him to go to a school or a hospital, or whatever, Mark Buehrle was always there. But the fact is at his age, it didn’t make sense for us to do what the Marlins were prepared to do for him. So he went, certainly with my blessing. I spoke to him and said, ‘You gotta take it. You gotta take this deal.’ And Mark said, ‘I’ll be back in 4 years.’”
Buehrle will be back? Is this meant to soothe Sox fans angry over Buehrle’s departure? Anyway, if the Sox won’t be competing in the immediate future, Buehrle’s talents would be wasted if he stayed here….
Other White Sox links:
This move of Frasor means the White Sox have just over $97 million committed to 13 players for 2012. With right fielder Carlos Quentin being shipped to the Padres on Saturday, the White Sox also have no arbitration-eligible players on their roster.
Tell Marco Paddy to start signing players Kenny!
“He gave us a chance to keep him and I’m sure he would’ve taken less money to come back,” Reinsdorf said of Buehrle. “He just didn’t fit into our plans. That’s the thing. You can’t let personal feelings for players stand in the way of letting the general manager do what he feels is right for the team.”
… “Mark was a 38th-round draft choice,” Reinsdorf said. “We didn’t expect very much from him or he wouldn’t have gone that low, and when he finally made the big-league club, we looked at him as a reliever. I remember we were looking around for starters and someone said, ‘Why don’t we give Buehrle a shot?’ Most people in the room [were skeptical] but the rest was history.
“He was able to locate his pitches, particularly his cutter. He wasn’t a strikeout pitcher but his strikeouts weren’t that bad. He’s not a Hall of Fame pitcher by any means, but he’s a real pro. He took the ball every single time and battled, was great in the clubhouse, caught first pitches, made appearances, was a great guy. He was perfect for our team.”
… “At this stage of his career to get $58 million for four more years, it’s a fabulous thing for him,” Reinsdorf said. “It just didn’t make any sense for us.”
Reinsdorf said it was not his place to judge whether the Marlins overpaid or not for Buehrle, but that the Sox were thinking more in the range of three years, $30 million.
That’s a pretty big difference [between $30M and $58M].
Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times writes about the 1961 trade of lefty Billy pierce to the Giants and tells us the happenings on the Sox at the time:
The 1961 season placed the South Siders at a crossroads. Beginning in 1951, the team rattled off a series of winning seasons that culminated in the 1959 pennant winning Go-Go White Sox. Hoping to seize the moment and create a dynasty for himself, then-team owner Bill Veeck spent the 1959-60 off-season trading away his best prospects for established veterans.
… Worse yet, the veterans did not quite pan out as expected. The 1960 Sox fell from first to third place. In 1961, they fell further still, finishing in fourth place with an 86-76 record.
… So in the 1961-62 off-season, the Sox engaged in a series of trades in hopes of undoing the 1959-60 offseason. …
So, how did those off-season moves turn out?
The Sox actually won one fewer game in 1962 than the year before, but moving out some of their older players helped them out down the road. In 1963, they began a series of three straight 90-win seasons and remained competitive through 1967.
Will Kenny clean house or go for it again? We could know by this time next week!
Other White Sox links:
Daryl Van Schouwen:
[Kenny] Williams said it is not out of the question that the payroll stays near the $127 million mark. He’ll know more by the time the winter meetings take place in Dallas during the first week of December.
“Who’s to say we’re going to lose money and who’s to say we’re not going to win? We still have the talent in place to win. Now, when I say that, that means we have to have some bounce-back years from some guys. Can I give you some logical, sensible reasons why I would expect that? No more so that I would have thought that some of the guys that had tough years would bounce back in the second half of last year. So that would just be blowing smoke up your [butt] and I won’t do that. I don’t know.”
If Kenny keeps this up, he’ll announce a payroll increase next week.
What Williams does know is that the payroll will certainly take a hit. How much?” It’s a little bit less than what we had last year,” Williams said Thursday to a handful of reporters. So maybe not as much as fans feared. However, the changes could be significant. …
Kenny has -25 cents.
UPDATE: Kenny says he’s not ready to deal, yet:
“I’m not ready right now,” said Williams with a wry smile, discussing the White Sox situation after five local high school baseball players, who also took part in the White Sox Amateur City Elite program, signed their collegiate letters of intent during a Thursday ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field. “There’s some fact-finding that has to go on. This is going to take a while.
“We have some players that have garnered some interest from a number of clubs. We’ve got to exhaust ourselves to make sure that if we end up making a deal or we stay the course and try to add to it, that we know exactly what we are getting ourselves into.”
Daryl Van Schouwen:
Sox farm-system hitting instructors Jeff Manto or Tim Laker are thought to be the top candidates to replace Greg Walker as hitting coach, but don’t rule out the Sox making a play for a bigger name such as Jim Thome.
Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf loves Thome, 41, whose playing career likely has come to an end after 21 seasons and 604 home runs. The two share the annual habit of meeting for dinner to talk about life and baseball after the season, and a major-league source said Reinsdorf was eager to move this year’s meeting up.
Jerry is bringing the band is coming together!
Other White Sox links:
Surprise candidate indeed! The 2012 budget must be down to 2 cents. Tom Singer reports:
Robin Ventura on Thursday was named manager of the Chicago White Sox, agreeing to a multiyear deal to lead the team for which he starred for a decade.
Ventura, 44, becomes the 17th former White Sox player to manage the club. …
“Robin is one of the most popular and highly regarded players in this franchise’s history,” White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. “From the very first day he put on a White Sox uniform, it was apparent that Robin was a born leader. Those leadership skills were obvious to staff, players, media who covered him and certainly to the fans of Chicago. We saw those skills again this summer as he visited and worked with our Minor League players.
“You will not find a better teammate, leader and friend. His ability to motivate and lead others will be a terrific attribute as manager. I loved him as a player, from his baseball knowledge, to his professionalism, to how he went about his business in the clubhouse and on the diamond. Robin exudes class in everything he does.
“Since making the announcement this afternoon, I’ve heard nothing but great feedback from our players, staff, friends and White Sox fans.”
Ventura has no prior managerial experience and will return to uniform after rejoining the club on June 6, 2011 as a special advisor to director of player development Buddy Bell.
Here’s Ken Rosenthal.
UPDATE: Here’s J.J.’s take on the Ventura hire.
BTW, I’m ambivalent with the hire. I’d have liked to see Dave Martinez named manager. The Sox won’t be going anywhere in the near future so the ‘no managerial experience’ doesn’t seem so bad, but, still, this is a Major League team you’re putting in the hands of someone with ‘no managerial experience.’
UPDATE #3: And here’s James’ take.
UPDATE #2: Keith Olbermann has some very good words for the hire:
Congratulations to Kenny Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf and all others with the Chicago White Sox who managed to pull not just a complete surprise, but what is likely to be a long-term brilliant maneuver, in hiring Robin Ventura as the team’s new manager.
If anybody in baseball history has ever been better prepared psychologically for the roller-coaster of managing, I can’t think of his name. Ventura was probably the most unflappable, even-keeled player I’ve ever met – completely immune to the impact of wins and losses, interviews and ignorance, the media and the fans. He focused on exactly one thing: playing the game, and helping his teammates play it nearly as well as he did. …
… I’m not saying it’s likely, I’m just saying he doesn’t need this managing crap, and that’s one of the reasons he figures to be great at it.
Williams was extremely candid during the sit down, telling us that he had offered to step down as Sox GM on multiple occasions and that he would “work within the organization if that was what chairman Jerry Reinsdorf felt was best for the franchise.”
However, Reinsdorf has committed to Williams to be the man to fix a team that woefully underachived this season.
“So much so that on a couple of separate occasions I went to Jerry Reinsdorf and I said, ‘Hey listen, If I’m the cog here in the machinery that’s a problem let’s talk about a transition thing because I love the organization, and I got value here and in the scouting world. I’d like to stick around a little bit. Put another banner up there, so if I’m the one here that is the cog that’s a problem let’s figure it out.’ It wasn’t so long ago that I did that again and also in that same conversation I said whether or not Ozzie is the decision I’m telling you straight to your face I can work with anyone, no matter what’s been said and what’s been done at this point. I can sit down here like men and work it out, and that opportunity didn’t come about.”
… Making sure I understood correctly, I asked: If Jerry said to you he’d make Rick Hahn the GM, you would’ve said fine if that’s what it took to get the Sox another title?
“With open arms, I’d welcome it,” Williams replied. “This isn’t easy. I think Jim (former Cubs GM Jim Hendry) just a few weeks ago said, he used the phrase all-consuming; there are only a couple of other people in this town that understood what he was talking about. When that time comes I’m more than willing that if I’m being ineffective, whether from a personnel standpoint or a manager standpoint, I’ll step aside and we’ll go out have a steak and smoke a cigar, it’s not a problem.”
Video at the link.
UPDATE: Here’s part 2 of the interview.
On the same day Florida Marlins manager Jack McKeon said he would retire after the season, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen met with team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf on Monday, and he said he left the meeting with “nothing.”
Guillen’s contract is set to expire after the 2012 season. About a month ago he said he wouldn’t return for the final year of his contract unless he gets an extension.
“We talked about different things, my future here, how we’re going to do it and what we think about the ballclub, what we want, and I left the meeting with nothing,” Guillen said before Monday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays. “We have to wait.
That’s nice. Ozzie is under contract for 1 more year. No need for an extension.
Baseball insiders suggest White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf may “dig in his heels” and force Ozzie Guillen to stay after Guillen’s continuing public blathering about how it might be best for him to be fired and other such musings. But really, it might be best for all concerned to simply trade Guillen to the Marlins, as was briefly discussed a year ago. Those talks ended when the White Sox requested Logan Morrison. But as fortune would have it, Morrison is not exactly beloved these days by the Marlins. Morrison, who was already seen by Marlins management as a bit too opinionated, now has filed a grievance against the team for demoting him at a time he says he didn’t deserve it based on his play.
Again, is this just the Sox trying to gain more leverage?
Other White Sox links:
… If there is a choice, Williams will be safe — every opportunity Reinsdorf has had to choose between coaches and GMs in his past (including the Bulls) indicates that the tie goes to the executive suite.
But there won’t be a choice made. Reinsdorf will deal not ultimatums but urgency — everyone, including the White Sox roster — is getting older. Win now, whatever it takes. Otherwise, the housecleaning that was warranted in 2012 will come in 2013.
Meanwhile, Logan Morrison filed a grievance against the Marlins over his demotion to the minors last month:
“I’m doing this because I’m standing up for what’s right,” Morrison told ESPN.com this week. “If I thought it was because of my performance on the field, then I wouldn’t be filing a grievance.”
So, Guillen for Morrison? NBC Hardtalk’s Matthew Poulliot says such a swap won’t happen:
The funny thing is that if the Marlins made such a trade, it’d be because of Morrison’s big mouth. And there’s maybe just one character in baseball with a bigger mouth than Morrison…
But it’s ridiculous speculation, and it’s never going to happen. Morrison is a 24-year-old with a .263/.354/.457 line and 21 homers in 665 major league at-bats. He’s five seasons away from free agency, and it’s not a stretch to suggest he could be worth $50 million in those five seasons, all while getting paid maybe 60 percent of that. He’s not getting traded for a manager. The end.