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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

by Hal Vickery

Once again Kenny Williams has gone to the baseball’s annual Winter Meetings, and once again the Sox apparently come home empty handed. If you read the WSI message boards, you’d be convinced that this is one of the signs of the approach of the end times.

Of course it isn’t, and of course it doesn’t mean that the Sox GM still isn’t bargaining either with some free agent or working on a trade with another GM. I don’t think I can count the number of times the Sox have returned from the Winter Meetings empty handed – and sometimes they make a big deal or sign a quality free agent weeks later.

So now is not the time to panic Sox fans. We don’t know anything about what is going on behind closed doors in the Sox front office, and neither does anyone else, including the media who were critical of Williams for “allowing” Detroit to pick up Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from the Marlins.

So far, though, Williams’ moves have been at least cause for discussion. So far the Sox have acquired Olrando Cabrera in exchange for Jon Garland, which causes concern if only because of the apparent weakening of the starting rotation. Right now Mark Buehrle is the only starter who has ever shown any consistency. Javier Vazquez may have taken a big step in that direction in 2006, but one year does not make a pattern. Just ask the third man in the rotation, Jose Contreras, who seemed to have turned in around before 2007, but turned back into Mr. Hyde last season.

John Danks may or may not be ready to show he can win consistently in the big leagues. His 5.50 ERA in 2007 doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. Add to that picture Gavin Floyd, he of the 1-5 record and 5.27 ERA, and it makes one long for the days where the Sox only had to worry about the fact that it was the fifth starter who couldn’t win.

Still, it is early, and Williams might have a lot more up his sleeve. The only thing that is disconcerting is that Williams seems to be content with his pitching. He loved last year’s bullpen, and we know how that worked out. He apparently feels the same way about this year’s starting rotation, and that is cause for concern.


Last Sunday we attended the annual holiday party of the Windy City Sox Fans. This group of loyal Sox fans was founded in 1995 in order to provide activities that Sox fans could enjoy while raising money to benefit Children’s Memorial Hospital.

We approached the date of the party with much trepidation because of a printing problem which caused the distribution of tickets for our annual raffle to be much later than normal. Fortunately our fears were unfounded as our membership came through in a big way with ticket sales. Just from estimating the number of tickets in the “big Bozo drum,” we appeared to have come close to equaling last year’s sales.

The other good news is that with the income from the raffle, the WCSF is guaranteed that with this year’s donation to Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities, the total amount of donations since the first one twelve years ago will exceed $100,000. Next Sunday there will probably be no column here because I’ll be leaving early for Children’s to help deliver the toys that our members brought to the party.

The holiday party also serves to kick off our annual membership drive. If you’re a Sox fan who would like to do something to help kids suffering from cancer, you might want to consider joining. The annual membership fee is $30.00, payable by check or money order (no credit cards) to:

Windy City Sox Fans
9923 S. Ridgeland Ave, #184
Chicago Ridge, IL 60415

If you’d like more information about the club or its activities (which includes a series of luncheons featuring Sox players during the baseball season), you can telephone the club’s InfoLine at (708) 424-8520. The club will also have a booth at SoxFest, and you can join there.


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, and their dog, Buster T. Beagle. Hal's opinions are not necessarily those of North Boone High School, his wife, or Buster T. Beagle. You can write Hal at

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