Sox-Wise and Otherwise: Ohman, Alomar, Vizquel, Soriano, Baines and McEwing


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My weekly offseason opinions and observations about the White Sox and more…

* SoxWorld has been quiet since Oneygate II, but now we hear that lefty middle reliever Will Ohman is about to join the South Siders. An eight-year veteran, Ohman spent five years with the Cubs, had stints with the Braves and Dodgers and posted a 3.21 in 68 games with the Orioles and Marlins in 2010. He is a specialist against lefthanded hitters, who hit only .229 against him last season. While the Pale Hose has lefties Matt Thornton and Chris Sale at the back end of the pen, they were in need of a situational lefty. Ohman will fill that role.

* Despite his less-than-stellar performance in parts of two seasons (2003-04) with the White Sox, there is no doubt that Roberto Alomar is a Hall of Famer. And if he ever retires, his double-play partner and current White Sox infielder Omar Vizquel will join him in Cooperstown. Along with the combination of Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio, both Hall of Famers, the Alomar-Vizquel combo was the best double-play duo I ever saw. All of them are pictured above.
* Speaking of the Hall of Fame, it comes as no surprise to me that Harold Baines is now off the ballot, failing to get the necessary five percent of the writers’ vote. It’s not that Baines doesn’t deserve more support, it’s just that it’s a burden the Sox and their fans have carried for a long time dating back to Billy Pierce and Minnie Minoso. We simply don’t get the love from the voters. That said, things will surely change in a few years when the Big Hurt is on the ballot.
* Although rumors have spread that the Sox have been on the trail of ace reliever Rafael Soriano, the latest is that their interest has waned. It’s likely that the fact Soriano’s agent is Scott Boras and the subsequent asking price are the reasons why. The Sox are pretty close to their salary limit with all the spending this offseason and they still have to deal with the arbitration eligible John Danks, Carlos Quentin and Tony Pena.
* It didn’t get much notice at all, but Joe McEwing‘s appointment as manager of the top Sox farm club in Charlotte may be more significant than it seems. Ozzie‘s contract is up at the end of this season. Who knows?, if the Sox don’t live up to expectations and McEwing distinguishes himself…
For those of you not familiar with McEwing (pictured below), he was a hard-nosed utility player who played nine years in the majors with the Cardinals, Mets, Royals and Astros. A fan favorite, he sported a lifetime batting average of .251, but his hustle and versatility made him a valuable commodity. His promotion is a result of impressing the Sox brass the past two seasons at Class A Winston-Salem.
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1 Comment

I was surprised to see Baines get knocked off the ballot. Is he a HOF? In my mind no, but he did have a very good career and I thought he would at least stay on the ballot for the full 15 years.
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