SoxFest is designed to rally the troops, send out good vibes and convince the faithful that the Summer ahead will be a special one. As a glass half-full guy, I was already drinking the Kool-Aid before the annual event began yesterday.
Realistically, there IS a great deal to be excited about. Ozzie Guillen talked at SoxFest about how much he likes the revamped lineup and there’s little argument about the potential of the starting pitching. Having J.J. Putz as a complement to Matt Thornton and Bobby Jenks in the pen is a big plus and a bench of Andruw Jones, Omar Vizquel and Mark Kotsay is a significant upgrade over 2009.
Speaking of Jenks, he was the big story of SoxFest’s first day. Kenny Williams, who publicly challenged the hefty one at the end of last season to get in shape, emerged from a meeting with Bobby claiming he’d never seen the closer look better. KW even said he was proud of Jenks so it appears the Sox and Jenks are back in love.
Thome or Not Thome
Despite Ozzie’s convincing argument that he would rather have a committee manning the DH role, there’s still a chance that Jim Thome will be returning to the South Side. It appears that the Sox are re-thinking the matter and even Ozzie has backed off a bit on his earlier statements. It’s certainly possible that there could be a compromise with Thome, instead of being the full-time designated hitter, joining the likes of Andruw Jones, Omar Vizquel, Mark Kotsay in a DH rotation and providing a lethal bat off the bench. Not to mention the advantage of having such a great presence in the clubhouse.
And at the risk of burying the lead, there’s one other team rumored to be seriously interested in Thome–the Twins. Think that has anything to do with the South Siders’ supposed change of heart?