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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Kenny Finished?
by Hal Vickery

Itís not official yet, and probably wonít be until the end of the year, but the Sox have reportedly come to a deal with Cuban exile Alexei Ramirez. The deal is reportedly for $4.75 million over four years.

Ramirez, who gives his age as 26, tried out before a collection of scouts in the Dominican Republic and then reportedly tried out individually with nine teams before coming to his deal with the Sox.

The Sox look at Ramirez as a possible future starter, but due to his lack of major league experience, may spend time in the minors before joining the parent club.

Kenny Williams has to like this guyís potential since, although he primarily played shortstop for Pinar Del Rio, he also plays second base and centerfield. Williams could be looking at him as insurance in case he isnít able to come up with a veteran centerfielder (which Williams is reportedly still trying to do). He also complements Pablo Ozuna nicely as a supersub.

If Ramirez is able to join the big club immediately, his signing could also mean that weíve seen the last of Juan Uribe in a White Sox uniform. With Orlando Cabrera and Ramirez both able to play shortstop, and with Ramirezís ability to play multiple positions, Uribe is likely the odd man out.

If this is the case, itís really kind of sad. Uribe came to the Sox with the rap that he had all the talent in the world but little desire to expend any effort to improve himself (a polite way of saying he was considered by the Rockies front office as being lazy). In one respect, Uribe always reminded me of Ozzie Guillen. He never saw a bad pitch he didnít like (a polite way of saying he has absolutely no plate discipline).

Uribe did show promise his first year with the White Sox, hitting well over .300 for the first half of the year, finishing at .282, and fielding like a wizard. He didnít hit as well in 2005, but he still looked terrific defensively, especially in Game 4 of the World Series. Since then, however, Uribe has looked just like the Rockies said he would be. Thatís too bad, but maybe a trade will wake him up.

You have to admit the Sox depth chart looks pretty strange:

Three potential shortstops, although you know that itís Cabrera who will be starting there;

Two potential third basemen, depending on Joe Credeís recovery from back surgery (will it be Crede or Josh Fields?);

Huge question marks in left field (Carlos Quentin? Ryan Sweeny? Pablo Ozuna?), centerfield (Jerry Owens? Brian Anderson? Ozuna?), and both the starting rotation and bullpen (which weíve addressed previously).

But Kenny Williams is apparently all but finished building the 2008 White Sox. Right now it looks like itís going to be a long season.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Despite the ominous view Iím beginning to have for the future, it is Christmas, and last week I helped deliver about $1500 worth of toys to Childrenís Memorial Hospital. The toys were donated by members of the Windy City Sox Fans from donations made during their annual holiday toy drive.

This is a season for giving, and itís a terrible time for anyone to be hospitalized. I know because I spent Christmas and New Yearís 2001-2002 in the hospital. Imagine spending Christmas in the hospital if youíre a kid. So let me suggest that if youíre looking to do something out of the ordinary this Christmas, donate a toy to a Childrenís hospital, or instead of trying to figure out what to give to the person who literally has everything, make a donation to a charity in their name. Give a gift that has meaning and reflects the true spirit of the season.

______________________________________________________________________

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 hvickery@svs.com.

More features from Hal Vickery here!

Have a Thought about
Kenny Finished?

You Can Put it on the Board -- Yes!



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