Results tagged ‘ Rangers ’

Konerko Belongs in the MVP Conversation

paul-konerko.jpgThe three names most commonly bandied about for A.L. MVP honors are certainly worthy candidates–Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, Robinson Cano of the Yankees and the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera.
Here are their numbers:
* Hamilton: 30 homers, 92 RBIs, 38 doubles, a .356 BA, a .405 on base percentage and a .634 slugging mark
* Cano: 25 homers, 87 RBIs, 36 doubles, a .322 BA, a .387 on base percentage and a .563 slugging mark
* Cabrera: 31 homers, 104 RBIs, 39 doubles, a .342 BA, a .436 on base percentage and a .642 slugging mark
With the exception of batting average, Cabrera has the statistical edge with Hamilton second and Cano third. But keep in mind that the voters usually like their top candidate to be on a contender and after a fast start the Tigers have faded and will likely finished third in the A.L. Central. That said, look for Hamilton, on a club that looks like a shoo-in to win the A.L. West, to be crowned the league’s MVP.
As prejudiced I am for the Pale Hose, I’m not saying that Paul Konerko should rank above any of the three mentioned above–although he’s pretty even with Cano. What I am saying is that he deserves to be in the conversation and at least among the top four as a result of the following numbers:
Konerko:  31 homers, 87 RBIs, 24 doubles, a .314 BA, a .393 on base percentage and a 
.581 slugging mark. Among the four, he’s tied for the HR lead, tied for third in RBI, fourth in doubles, fourth in batting average, third in on base percentage and third in slugging percentage. And he’s the main offensive force on a serious contender.
Voters, give Paulie some love.
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O’s Baffle Sox, is Manny on the Way?

Manny-Ramirez.jpgAs rumors swirled about the possibility of the White Sox making a waiver deal for the Dodgers’ Manny Ramirez, the South Siders went down tonight to the suddenly “pain in the neck” Orioles by a score of 4-2. Look at the bright side: we didn’t blow a save and the Twins once again fell to the Rangers as The Good Guys remain 3 1/2 back.

So, what about the Sox obtaining Manny? I say, why not?
–When you have a chance to go for a division title, do whatever you can to make it happen.

–Manny can be a huge problem in the clubhouse, but there’s only five weeks left in the season.

–He can carry a club when he’s hot.

–Without another offensive force that would help make up for the injured and sagging bullpen, chances for the postseason are slim.

–The prospects we’ll be giving up probably won’t be blue-chippers. The money? It’s only money.

–I think we’re all getting tired of watching the failures of Mark Kotsay and Andruw Jones at DH.

To me, it’s a no-brainer. But Manny has a no-trade clause so the decision is ultimately in his hands.


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Sunday’s Heartbreak Now in the Rearview Mirror

55047840.jpgYou have to give it to these White Sox. After Sunday’s ninth-inning meltdown in Minnesota, the third Sox loss in a row, no one knew how the club would react as they headed to Seattle and Oakland. Rest easy Sox fans, at least for now.
There are still five more games remaining on the road trip, but the early signs on the West Coast are very promising. Behind a fine performance by 23-year-old Daniel Hudson and homers by Alex Rios and Andruw Jones, the Sox coasted to a 6-1 victory over the Mariners. In the process they increased their division lead to 2 1/2 games over the Tigers and Twins, who both lost–to the Rangers and Indians respectively.
Some highlights:
* The Pale Hose cranked out 12 hits. Omar Vizquel, Rios, Paul Konerko and Gordon Beckham led the way with two apiece.
* Vizquel has been a marvel, at the plate and especially in the field. He’s now batting .271.
* Rios had three RBIs, including the two-run homer, giving him 54  for the season in addition to 16 roundtrippers and a .307 BA.
• Paulie continues to sizzle. His two hits last night raised his average to .303.
* Beckham’s surge has been fun to watch. Once languishing on or near the Mendoza line, GBeck is hitting .571 during his current eight-game hitting streak. He’s now at .241 and 
rising. In other words, he’s back to being the Beckham of a year ago.
* Hudson went 6 2/3, giving up only a lone first inning run. Matt Thornton, Tony Pena and Scott Linebrink closed the door in relief, combining for 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
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                                                 Mr. Hudson to the rescue



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A.J. Explodes, Buehrle Outstanding as Sox Rip Royals for 6th Consecutive Victory

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Two days ago I commented to my Sox posse that I was concerned about A.J. Pierzynski‘s recent hitting slump. One of my guys said his toughness, ability to call a game and his durability outweighed what he did with the bat. Another said A.J. had lifetime immunity due to his now-legendary run to first base on a strikeout in Game 2 of the 2005 American League Championship Series against the Angels.
After hearing their reaction I was sorry I even brought up the subject. Now, after A.J.’s two-homer, four RBI performance in the 8-2 White Sox victory against the Royals last night, I was compelled to send the posse an apology.

Sox Vets Rise Above the Rest
In the wake of the LeBron James PR fiasco, where apparently no thought was given to humility and common sense, we Sox fans need to realize that we have two of the most authentic sports role models in our midst–Mark Buehrle and Paul Konerko.
Their leadership, humble nature and on-field performance should be an example to everyone in the sports world. Ironically, because of their low-key demeanors relatively few outside of the South Side recognize what outstanding examples they are. 

Buehrle On Top of His Game

Speaking of the Sox lefty, Buehrle’s seven innings of scoreless ball last night continued his recent mastery of A.L. hitters. Mark is now 5-1 with a 2.23 ERA in his last six outings, all being quality starts. Buehrle and his fellow starters have surrendered only 16 runs in their last eight games against the Rangers, Angels and Royals.
Standings Update

Sox are now 47-38, a half-game behind the Tigers and 2 1/2 games ahead of the Twins. We’ve won six in a row and 23 of the last 28. Pretty amazing.


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If This is a Dream, Don’t Wake Me Up

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After watching the White Sox play during the season’s first two months, this recent surge–which has seen the South Siders win 22 of their last 27 games–is an amazing phenomenon.
The latest development? John Danks‘ magnificent complete game, two-hit shutout against the Angels this afternoon. It gave the Sox the four-game sweep and a five-game winning streak. Think pitching is the name of the game? Here are the opponents’ run totals in the last two series against Texas and Los Angeles: 3, 3, 3, 2, 1, 2, 0, totaling 14. The Pale Hose countered with plenty to spare, scoring 30 during that span. As Hawk would say, that’ll work.
The Royals are next up as the Sox look to continue their dazzling play into the All-Star break. Now a half-game behind the idle Tigers, we have a real shot at being on top of the A.L. Central at the traditional half-way point of the season. Believe it.
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Alexei: “We Are Very Excited to be Where We Are”

mlbf_9671821_th_13.jpgIt was Alexei Ramirez‘s clutch, two-out, two-run sixth inning homer off of Scott Feldman that proved to be the difference in the 5-3 White Sox victory over the Rangers. 

The game was big, according winning pitcher Mark Buehrle, and that it was. It gave the Sox a series victory over the red-hot A.L. West leaders, a respectable 3-3 road trip and, most importantly, it moved the South Siders to within a game of the Twins and Tigers for the division lead. So it’s no wonder Alexei, whose average is now hovering around .280 after his usual mediocre start, voiced his excitement.
Another factor that can’t be ignored is that revitalized Sox pitching. Against a lineup with the likes of Josh Hamilton, Vlad Guerrero, Michael Young, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz, the Pale Hose gave up only three runs in each of the three games and 18 total hits, an average of only six per contest. 
What seemed like an impossibility just a few weeks ago, the Sox are seriously knocking at the door of the division lead. Now back home for seven games–four against the Angels and three vs. the Royals–before the All-Star break, it is conceivable that we could have a first place team in a matter of days.
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Will BOTH Konerko and Rios Be Named All-Stars?

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The nation’s sports talk shows, to the point of ad nauseum I might add, have created a new national conversation: Should Nationals’ miracle man Stephen Strasburg be named to the All-Star Game?
Frankly, I’m more concerned about what Sox players will be selected when the teams are announced today. We know we won’t have any starters because the White Sox rarely do, but the hope is that we squeak by with two players–Paul Konerko and Alex Rios–instead of the obligatory lone choice. 
Maybe I’m falling into the trap of glorifying the good old days, but I think most will agree that the All-Star Game isn’t what it used to be. There’s no real rivalry anymore, there are more players selected and even though the winning club gets home field advantage for their league in the World Series, the best players aren’t around when the game is decided. 
All that said, I’m still interested when the teams are announced. So I’ll be watching the TBS Selection Show today–confident Paulie’s name will be called and hoping Rios survives from a group of worthy outfielders.
And I’m still waiting for a Sox player to be the MVP of the the midsummer classic. Maybe this is the year.

The Race Goes On…

In the real world, The Sox are looking to end their road trip at 3-3. A victory tonight in Arlington against the Rangers will do it. Then it’s back home against the Angels and Royals before the All-Star break.
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A Long Night in Texas Ends with an Impressive White Sox Comeback

The opener of the Ranger series started with a two hour and 25 minute rain delay last night in Arlington…

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The Sox treaded water behind another fine performance by Freddy Garcia
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Until tying up the game 3-3 in the seventh inning on an RBI single by Alex Rios and a Paul Konerko sac fly…
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Then the South Siders finished the comeback in the ninth as Mark Kotsay doubled in two runs that proved to be the difference in the 5-3 win. It kept the Sox just two games back of the Twins and a game behind the Tigers.
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A nice way to begin the July 4th weekend against one of the hottest teams in baseball.
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White Sox Starters Need to Rise to the Occasion Against Fearsome Rangers Attack

Michael Young (.316 BA, 11 HR, 51 RBI), Ian Kinsler (.294), Josh Hamilton (18, 58, .343), Vlad Guerrero ( 18, 68, .339), Nelson Cruz (10, 39, .319) and Elvis Andrus (.296, 22 SB) comprise the dynamic offensive core of the first-place Texas Rangers, who now hold a 4 1/2 game lead in the A.L. West.

They also represent the huge challenge the White Sox have this weekend as they look to stay close in the A.L. Central after losing two of three to Kansas City on the heels of demolishing their National League opponents.
Sure, the Sox will have to score some runs to match the Rangers prolific attack, but in the end the burden will rest with the Sox starters, who need to minimize the damage for the South Siders to compete.
We will be counting on Freddy Garcia, John Danks and Mark Buehrle to get the job done. The last thing we need is to lose ground after we’ve gotten within 2 1/2 games of the division lead.
The weekend series in Arlington, which begins tomorrow night after today’s off day, is not do or die for the Sox, but it will say a lot about what we can realistically expect going forward.
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            Freddy, Danks and Mr. Perfect will attempt to quell the Ranger offense



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South Siders Win Pivotal Game, Rumors Say Adam Dunn is on the Radar

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I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that last night’s 4-3 squeaker over the Royals was one of the season’s most important wins. I say that because after two straight losses following the 11-game streak, the Sox could not afford a third defeat in a row with Zack Greinke on the mound tonight and three against the hot Rangers in Arlington on the horizon.
On this night it was the pitching, especially the bullpen, that was instrumental in eeking out the victory. The South Siders scored four early runs to take a commanding lead, but the Royals got to Gavin Floyd with three in the fifth to narrow the lead to one. Then Floyd calmed down, went 6 2/3 and benefited from 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief from Matt Thornton and J.J. Putz, who earned the save. With the Twins win over the Tigers, they move back into first, 1/2 game in front of Detroit and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Sox.
Rumor mill:  While the Sox are mum and Ozzie is on record saying we don’t need a big lefthanded bat right now, rumors have it that the club is exploring the possibility of bringing powerful first baseman/outfielder Adam Dunn of the Nationals (above) into the fold by the trading deadline. There’s no question the Sox could use some lefty pop, but they aren’t the only ones who covet Dunn. Whether it’s the D.C. slugger or someone else, I’m confident Kenny Williams will add a lefthanded bat before July 31.
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