Thursday, December 07, 2006

Blogging Baseball, Blogging White Sox

I'm not sure why, but baseball and blogging go together like the air and Britney Spears' undergarments. Maybe it's the shear volume of numbers baseball can provide and the way those numbers can be applied to every single participant in a baseball game.

It's not like football, the game with players that can hide from the stats such as offensive lineman. The professionals themselves can grade an offensive lineman's performance, but ask the average fan to distinguish whose fault it is that a defensive lineman's stunt move resulted in a quarterback sack, and most people would look at you with that glazed, I-just-finished-reading-Proust look in their eye wondering why their head hurts so much when they only wanna see someone get smashed into little snow angels. There are so many specialty stats for individual performers in football. There's the QB rating for QB's, tackles for the defense, sacks for the d-line, kicking stats for kickers, rushing stats for RB's, etc. Not all football players are judged by the same criteria.

In basketball, you would think the lesser number of game participants would go hand in hand for the instant gratification of blogging. Less to keep track of, less to write about, right? Basketball's blogging niche, however, is based more on the personalities in the sport than on the game itself. LeBron, Kobe, D-Wade and even old timers like MJ, Magic and Barkley and their styles of play are what draw bloggers to basketball. (This is where I wanna point out that one of the greatest pieces of blogging I've ever seen was posted today at Free Darko. If you get a chance, check out Bethlehem Shoals and Big Baby's truly genius piece of writing about basketball styles called Wiggles From the Lavender Grave. It almost made me wanna give up blogging it was so damn good.) And for good reason, most philosophical sports blogging will be found dealing with NBA players, coaches and the games themselves.

But the true sports blog, the true sports blurb will focus on a game that can almost be played strictly by the numbers. And baseball is that sport. With the advent of SABRmetrics as a tool to guide the discriminating GM, stat-heads have a gained a foothold on the all-American game. Never before has Stats-101 been such an important class, and the thousands of students looking for outlet for their recently-acquired knowledge have found a home in blogging baseball.

Now all the above was to say that yesterday the White Sox traded big-game Freddy Garcia for one-time phenom Gavin Floyd and former Sox farm hand Gio Gonzalez, and that there are so many internet baseball people who have erupted with their own opinion on the trade, that what this one little blogger has to say will probably get lost or burnt up in the lava flow. But we're gonna try to shout above the din of our Rice Krispies, as Sting would say. And then as quickly as possible, link you to other blogs discussing the situation in much more depth. Yes, the shear number of White Sox blogs alone will run the gamut of the thought process and is why I think baseball and blogging are perfect partners.

My thoughts on the trade in bullet points form:
  • A starter had to be traded for B-Mac to make the rotation. Garcia and Beuhrle were the names most often mentioned because both would be free agents at the end of the season and the White Sox didn't want to lose both for no return on their investment. Beuhrle, however, is a lefty, and the only one in the rotation, and his starts give some balance to the rotation.
  • Garcia looked washed up until finding his slider in his last five starts. For a hard thrower his fastball disappeared in the high 80's, and was without any movement. At least Beuhrle was never a power pitcher and has had a history of mini-slumps here and there.
  • The addition of two young arms to the farm system adds some much needed depth to the pitching prospects for the White Sox, and bringing back the LH Gonzalez, the "player to be named later" portion of the trade, could be the steal portion of this trade. Many people were saying KW was a dumbass for adding him to the Thome/ Rowand trade in the first place.
  • As a move for the 2007 team, this really does nothing for the team other than opening the rotation spot for B-Mac, but in terms of looking to the future, KW doesn't need another 5th starter debacle from earlier in the decade, and at least he's given the team more options to choose from in AAA and AA in 2008 and beyond. Young pitching prospects are gold in the MLB.
  • I believe Gavin Floyd will benefit from some Don Cooper tutelage and shed the "club-house cancer" moniker he earned in Philly. Remember, Chicago is much easier place to play than the city that boos Santa Claus.
  • And to continue the 2007 thought, this, IMHO, is only step one for KW. He himself said, "The White Sox are still open for business."
As I did with the Podsednik post, what follows are some links to sites who are a lot better informed than me, and hence my "blogging is for baseball" PreRamble. (Tip o' the cap to Soxually Repressed.)
  • As always, our partner here at Fleece & Flog, Jeeves, leads off. (Chi-Sox Blog)
  • Up next, Fornelli -- or is it Panger today? -- says What.The.Hell? (Foul Balls)
  • Of course Mariotti has an opinion, and he's got his unofficial ombudsman to call him out. (Jay the Joke)
  • Phil Rogers calls this a gamble by KW. (Chicago Tribune)
  • Of course some people had to sleep on it to decide what they thought about the trade. (The Bard's Room)
  • And Jim didn't recoil in horror after first hearing about it. (Sox Machine)
  • Lastly there's Cheat, and the host of follow-up comments, with the clearest picture of why KW pulled this trigger. (South Side Sox)
  • Okay, one more link. Jeeves lyrical odes to Freddy from last season. (Chi-Sox Blog)
The above links are exactly why posting about the White Sox is sometimes a futile exercise for me, especially since (as Fornelli at Foul Balls put so well) I live three days behind everyone else.


Blogger Jeeves said...

Perhpas I should bif Freddy adieu with another ode.

9:18 PM, December 07, 2006  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

Isn't Freddy Adieu a young pro soccer player? Different spelling? (Adu)

Sorry, Jeeves, couldn't resist.

12:28 PM, December 08, 2006  
Blogger Jeeves said... need to apologize, that was actually pretty clever.

1:01 PM, December 08, 2006  
Blogger Criminal Appeal said...

Jeeves, I was actually giving you credit for the pun up until your last post. BTW, I'm refusing to comment on this trade until Williams pulls the trigger on step 2. And, yes, I think step 2 is coming still.

11:55 AM, December 11, 2006  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

Hey Jeeves, The Scroll tell us that little Freddy Adu was traded from D.C. United to Real Salt Lake. (Not to be confused with that Fake Salt Lake the Mormons built for the tourists.)Who do you have to anger to get sent to Uath to play soccer?

12:20 PM, December 13, 2006  
Blogger jonnyspace said...

I like sports
Check out my sports blog Sporting NewsBlog

2:44 PM, December 19, 2006  

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