During the post-game interview this evening Eric Wedge “didn’t think we were very good at all today.” That makes two of us. I had higher hopes for a Felix start, but he got hit hard, and we lost. The White Sox just have our number in AT&T, it seems to be as simple as that. I think the only thing of note – other than Felix’s terrible final line – was that Chone Figgins actually took a single from Philip Humber, his second hit in three days. This may be terribly naive of me, but I’m still on Figgins’ side. Maybe not as much as I used to be like last year, but still there, still hoping the boos at SafeCo stop, still hoping he does something with his at-bats every time he gets a chance. You can say or think whatever you like about that, but keep in mind, I also burned a huge torch for Richie Sexson, too. If not for the player, then for the sake of the team. Why else?
This gives me a little hope for our near future. I’ve liked what Dustin Ackley has provided in Tacoma, and while I have completely lost track of what position they’re having him play these days, maybe Dave is right, and it’s time to make a change. Only a short while ago, people were talking about our “youth movement”, and all the potential we have with guys like Pineda, Halman, and Peguero. But we keep running out Adam Kennedy, Jack Wilson, Figgins…don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against these three in general (and of course the positions aren’t equal), but the hype is getting to me, and if this is a team that’s going to fight for some sort of season-end goal, maybe it’s time to make some of these moves sooner rather than later. The worst that can happen is that the younger guys just aren’t ready enough, and then we really haven’t lost anything, have we? I know that there are a few people (probably more than a few) who want to bring up Mike Carp again, but I’m not so sure. It seems like guys who hit well in Triple A but have no other decent projections are always a disappointment at the major league level. Then again, Carp has already hit 19 home runs in Triple A this year in 252 plate appearances, whereas he hit 29 last year in 463. He also has 58 RBI this year, compard to 76 last year. His walk rate is up, his OPS is ridiculous (1.083)…I’m no mathematician, but that seems reasonably legit. Can you tell I sometimes do research as I go? Yes, yes you can. Carp is a 1B, though, and we already have a very nice one of those. I’ll have to defer to the smarter people on this one. I’m just not sure if Carp can sustain what he’s been doing, and I get the impression that Justin Smoak is here to stay a little while.
In happier less confusing news, Shannon Drayer has her blog post up about the Dave Niehaus statue’s progress in the Rotblatt Amrany studio a ways out of Chicago. Frankly, I don’t think they could have done any better; the likeness, the pose, the setting of the thing…I have no segue here, but today was not a great day for me; I was over an hour late to work due to traffic, Tom left this morning for a three-week trip to Europe, and I overslept my alarm, so I had one of those panicky awakenings where you abruptly realize that you’re much later getting up than you should be. I had to stay at work later than 4, which meant that I couldn’t hear most of the game on the radio, but the minute I left the building and I was able to get signal, the day sort of drained away, and there I was, on the bus listening to Mariners baseball. And if nothing else, for a new fan like me, that’s more Dave’s legacy than anything else – that I would even want to listen to baseball on the radio, that the sound of the crowd and Rick Rizzs joking with his co-host just obliterated the badness of my work day this afternoon and was something I could take a little solace in. And that’s pretty cool.
Tomorrow is Jason Vargas and Gavin Floyd. My prediction: Paul Konerko will probably get some home runs.