Monday, February 08, 2010

Omar Vizquel Goes Up to 11

White Sox fans had to watch Omar Vizquel make nifty inning-crushing double plays for nearly a decade (1994-2004) as the perennial Gold Glove winning shortstop of the Cleveland Indians. Now we're going to get to see him do his very best impression of White Sox legend Luis Aparicio this season for the Pale Hose.


The White Sox retired Aparicio's number 11 shortly after his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984, but today Vizquel and the Sox announced that he will wear number 11 this year in honor of his fellow Venezuelan shortstop. Doesn't Vizquel's tribute to the 75 year old legend put some warm fuzzies in your mitt?

Unfortunately, in Omar Vizquel the White Sox are getting a player who is basically as old as Luis Aparicio. Sox manager Ozzie Guillen made a joke earlier this season about accidentally calling Vizquel kid: "I don't want to say kid -- he's almost the same age as me." Ha. Ha ha. Oh crap.

But, although Vizquel will eventually get to the Hall behind some creamy career numbers and fancy glove work (11-time Gold Glove winner, 2700 career hits), his best days are far behind him. Despite plenty of team statements to the contrary, the Sox have invested $1.375 MIL in Vizquel as an extra coach to the watch-through-your-fingers-if-you-dare-round-robin tournament they currently have as an "infield". With Gordon Beckham moving to second base from third to make way for new arrival Mark Teahen and Alexi Ramirez seemingly having miniature carrots for fingers at short, Vizquel is going to have some mentorin' to do, as well as filling in as a utility man.

Vizquel is a class act. He's also the Roger Daltry of aged utility infielders. He'll still give you what he's got everyday if you really want it. Do you?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Putz In the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush

Would you like my bonechips?

Baseball is tricky, especially when, as a baseball franchise, you appear to conduct your damn business without a lick of common sense. The difference is that some franchises ride a stunning lack of logic to victory. Or despair and victory, in back-to-back seasons. White Sox fans know a few things regarding these patterns.

Omar Minyana, GM of the New York Mets, must feel like that dead Kardashian OJ lawyer Dad guy: surrounded by utter crazy. His friends were bat-shit crazy, and his kids are bat-shit crazy. After a solid half-decade of historic meltdowns, player tantrums and bad signings, it's rather surprising Minyana isn't playing keytar in a Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre Showband somewhere west of Tuscon.

And now come conspiracy-grade flying accusations of deception/brutal incompetence from new White Sox signee J.J. Putz regarding an elbow he injured last year last year with the Mets. Apparently, the Metsies not only DIDN'T GIVE J.J. THE STANDARD PHYSICAL, team officials told him not to disclose the severity of said injury to the media. It's not a stretch to suppose the Mets wanted to protect Putz' status as trade bait as long as they could. Or maybe, like everyone else, they just hate the New York sports media.

Anyway, the White Sox signed Mr. Putz a few months back to try and shore up their bullpen, a typical "fingers crossed/low shell-out and hope for impact" move Sox GM Kenny Williams is known for (ahem, Freddy Garcia). He's been a dominating pitcher in years past but lost his mojo last year playing in Queens. Now he's apparently made a recovery from surgery, and he's in like flynn in our pen. Yay?