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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Who is to blame?

Dropping two out of three to the usually docile little bears that normally roam around harmlessly on the north side of Chicago was quite depressing, especially coming on the heels of a well pitched, well played game against the Mets that resulted in a 2-1 victory, but the past cannot be changed, to quote Mike Ditka the past is for cowards and losers. A couple observations from a rotten weekend of Sox baseball, this team has a bad habit of playing down to their competetition, a habit they can ill afford to maintain, and Jerry Manuel finally tinkered with the line up in the right way instead of vice-versa, Kerry Wood paid for his wildness in a big way with Carlos batting in the three spot. My hat is off to Carlos for his 7 RBI performance, but† I would like to see him continue to be successful at the plate before I change my mind on platooning him in LF, he should be a .300 hitter with power, not a .240 hitter with 8 HRís on the season. This teamís offense is floundering, and who is to blame for that? Von Joshua was fired for a lot less than this, and if it continues much longer I doubt Ward will be spared, because changes have to be made.

Pitching Woes

The pitching on this team has started to turn around, although it is not from the number one or two slot lately, Mark Buehrle has struggled in his last few outings, and Todd Ritchie is in what you would call a major funk. I have heard some speculation that Todd might be feeling the pressure of the expectations when he was brought here, I donít buy it, not at any price. I will agree that his run support is the worst of any pitcher on the staff, but that being said and done he is not getting the job done, and most of his mistakes can be traced back to mechanics, his curve hangs every time he throws it, if it goes across the plate at all, and he is not the type of guy that can win throwing a fastball alone, he ainít got Randy Johnson heat. I donít know if the problem is with Todd or with the coaching staff, but I would lean towards it being Todd, he looked good earlier this year and was an effective pitcher, whatever problem he has in his head needs to get worked out, I just donít trust Nardi to do it. Danny Wright is continuing to progress at a good pace to become a decent, if not more, MLB pitcher, and Jon Garland is gaining the confidence to use what he has instead of thinking he has to be pinpoint with every pitch. Needless to say what was thought to be a weak point at the beginning of the season is turning into a pleasant surprise, and I am glad to see it.

Fearless leader, Kenny Williams

That brings us to the hot topic about this slumping team, Kenny Williams, the same KW that has everyone calling for his head on a plate with an apple in his mouth, the same KW that is treated like a three legged horse at a horse race, the same KW who has the guts to pull the trigger on a deal, unlike his predecessor, Ron Schueler. Upper management always gets attacked when a team is in a slump, and Kenny is no different, he is being attacked at every turn. Does he deserve it? No, not really. Has every deal he has made been a good one? No, not really. But he has yet to make a deal that wasnít in the best interest of making this team better, not one. I could agree with calling for him to be burned at the stake if he was making trades just to make them, but that is not the case, every trade he has made was meant to benefit the team. I have heard the calls to bring back Ron Schueler, and that absolutely has me rolling, Ron was a slug that never made a move unless the Sox were out of it, he never had the guts to make a trade when the Sox were in the running for anything, yet people want him back. Donít expect any blockbuster deals any time soon either, with the impending strike no one is going to be willing to deal for much, and the last thing any team will do is add payroll, especially if it costs them players that are not on a forty man roster.†

Welcome to the world of baseball business.†

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Daver

Dave Schmitt is a life-long resident of the Joliet area, with the exception of two years spent being the only Sox fan in the hell hole known as Baytown Texas, where the trucks are large and the alligators are hungry.† Plumber by trade, hunter by choice, and fisherman 'cause you canít hunt year round.† Married With Children, and four dogs that are confirmed Sox fans.† The kids have less sense.† You can send email to Daver at

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