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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

The Season Ends

R.I.P. Nardi

Well what do you know Sox fans, Nardi “The Pitcher Killer” Contreas has been demoted, not fired, not tarred and feathered and run out of Chicago tied to the back of a boxcar, demoted. To what position remains a mystery, most likely a “nothing” type position till he can manage to find himself another job and get off of the White Sox payroll, but the fact that he is no longer in Chicago is a plus. The problem is this move comes about twelve months too late, why he was allowed to keep his job after the mess he made of last season’s pitching staff is beyond me, but I think the fact that he and Jerry Manuel have come up through the minor league ranks together may have a lot to do with it. Don Cooper is once again called on to do a job he does not really want to do, be a pitching coach for an MLB team, I am not trying to imply that Don lacks the ability to do the job, he is very well qualified, but it is not what Don wants to do, unless he has had a change of heart from 1995, the last time he was the White Sox pitching coach. Don asked to be relieved of the job to return to working in the minor league pitchers, and was granted his wish. Don Cooper has been with the Sox organization since 1988, in that time he has worked his way up from being a low A ball pitching coach to the director of minor league pitching, a position he surrendered to Kirk Champion at the beginning of this season so that he could travel with the Sox on a full time basis as a consultant to Nardi. I have to ask why it took until after the All Star break to make this move, a move that obviously has been being planned since Spring Training, but I doubt I will get any answers from any member of the powers that be in the front office. For what it is worth I would like to see Don Cooper be more than an interim pitching coach, but I think he will return to the minors after the season ends, whenever it does end, so I want to toss in my nomination’s for the next pitching coach. Please interview Rick Sutcliffe, Rich Gossage, and the longshot, but best choice, Tommy John. If Kenny has a problem with hiring one of these guys perhaps he can hire the ghost of Jim Hunter, at least Jim could show him some heart. 

Ward and Pettis Next?

Can Gary’s Ward and Pettis be far behind Nardi? I hope not, Gary Pettis was brought here to improve baserunning, yet it has gotten worse instead of better. I will give him credit for improving the outfield defense of Carlos Lee, and teaching Magglio the spin move to throw back into the cutoff man, but does that give him excuse to remain the first base coach? I think not, he is at best an outfield instructor at the minor league level. Gary Ward was supposed to correct the problems that the lower end of the lineup was having, yet Mark Johnson is hitting the Mendoza line and Royce Clayton started the season thinking he was a power hitter, and though Royce is enjoying his annual second half surge, wasn’t the point to have all theses guys ready at the start of the season? I am sure that Von Joshua is kicked back in a chair somewhere laughing like hell over the job that Gary Ward is doing as the hitting coach, as well he should be, his firing was an act designed to protect the players, the same players that are underachieving  with Gary Ward at the helm. The sooner both the Gary’s are gone the better as far as I am concerned. If they happen to take Wallace Johnson with them so much the better. I nominate Harold Baines as third base coach, Nick Leyya as first base coach, and the return of Von Joshua as hitting coach. 

Gearing up for Walleye season!

The strike date of Sept. 16th has been denied by the MLBPA, but it will probably happen around then, give or take a few days. Perhaps if the owners would be willing to discuss a salary floor along with their revenue sharing stance the players would be willing to deal a little, but the MLBPA , as well as most fans, know that the small market teams like KC have been pocketing their revenue sharing checks and keep on cutting payroll. Until the owners come up with a system that is fair to both sides the players are not going to listen, nor should they, it is not up to the players to fix the mess the owners have made for themselves. That being said I hate to have another season with no World Series, though the Walleye fishing is usually good in Oct. 

Guess I should fix the prop on my boat and get ready for the Walleye folks.


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 can’t 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 daver@whitesoxinteractive.com.

More features from Dave Schmitt here!

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