Put a Fork in 'em
The Sox were given every opportunity by Cleveland in the
past seven games
to make a challenge for the AL Central title. The Sox weren't up to
challenge. The Sox scored runs in Cleveland this weekend just like
did last year and ultimately it was Mark Buehrle, Bob Howry,
Foulke who couldn't rise to the challenge.
You can stick a fork in the White Sox. They're done.
Anyone who follows these diatribes knows that we threw in the towel weeks
ago, but there was always that little lingering ember of hope. And the
pitching staff, which had been the one thing that held this club together
and nearly brought them back from the dead, drowned that ember this weekend.
The Sox needed to sweep Cleveland this weekend. Now they will be lucky
they get a split. Mark Buehrle, the AL ERA leader was shelled
the Sox lumber somehow kept them in the game. But then, for the second
consecutive game, came Keith Foulke.
You can almost forgive a game-winning double to Kenny Lofton. That's
a rare event. It's hard to forgive what put the Sox in that position
Saturday night, though. The Sox brain trust, or Jerry Manuel,
or whoever, needs to be asked why Bob Howry was allowed to pitch to
Jim Thome, the AL home run leader. Howry hasn't been the same since
his surgery, and unless he pitched perfectly to Thome, it was a mighty big
risk. A manager with any modicum of intelligence tells Howry to pitch
around Thome or to walk him intentionally. But he gets nothing
anywhere near where he can hit it. But that's not how Jerry Manuel
Sunday's game took the cake, though. Omar Vizquel? His second
the year? Off Keith Foulke? You've got to be kidding,
right? Oh, no. Foulke blew his second game of the series and his
fourth huge game of the year with that pitch, an 88-mph beach ball.
Hereafter, Foulke will be known in this column as Big Game Keith.
Those are the only ones he loses.
Foulke turned down Lenny's final contract extension offer (aka Kenny
Williams) , meaning that the Sox will let Foulke go to arbitration.
The Sox should present the arbitrator with the scenario for the games
against Cleveland this past Saturday and Sunday. The Sox had a chance
to get within striking distance of the Indians and Foulke grooved two big
pitches, eliminating the Sox
from the race.
I don't care how good Foulke's overall statistics look. Four times
needed to hold down the opposition in crucial games. Four times he
failed. Foulke is not one of the top relievers in baseball.
Top relievers don't lose big games, and they certainly don't lose two big
games against the team you have to catch in the last series you have against
Maybe it's a good thing, Foulke lost these games, though. It left no
shadow of a doubt that any hopes for the Sox to win the AL Central were just
pipe dreams. The $64,000 question is do we have the guns for next
year, or are we deluding ourselves into thinking that last year was
indicative of the quality of this team?
Editor's Note: Hal Vickery has been a White Sox fan since
1955 when he was five years old. For much of that time he also had a
secondary rooting interest in the Cubs, which he has shown the good sense to
abandon. When not cheering for or writing about the Sox, Hal teachers chemistry
and physics at North Boone High School, in Poplar Grove, IL. Hal commutes
there daily from Joliet, where he lives with his wife Lee, their son Jeff, and
Buster T. Beagle.Have a Thought about
Put a Fork in 'em?
You Can Put it on the Board -- Yes!