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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Speaking of Oakland

Well Sox fans, all I can say about the Oakland series is UGH!! Look up Losing Ugly in the dictionary and you will see the box score from those three games, a textbook example of everything going wrong at once, from hitting, pitching, and defense it was just not pretty. Luckily I was spared the expense of having to actually watch it, one of the few times I can say that I am glad I missed three games in a row. Instead of dwelling on an ugly performance, it is far more important to bounce back and win a few at home to sustain the division leading record. Not that I am making excuses for the White Sox, but I think that the schedule makers kinda screwed the Sox with the schedule to open this season, starting the season with a long road trip, followed by a brief homestand, and then flying back out to the west coast again. Hopefully a decent homestand is what it takes to right the course, and beating a winning team at home may turn the trick, the Mariners open this homestand unbeaten in all their road games, they offer a chance for the Sox to make a statement.

Left Field Platoon?

There has been talk of platooning Carlos Lee in left field with Aaron Rowand and Jeff Leifer, due to his poor plate performance so far this season. I have to ask why? I, for one, have no interest in Jerry Manuel going back to playing musical line-ups as he did early in the season last year, all it did was make for a horrible start last year. I am not a fan of Carlos Lee, and I never have been, but his strides to improve his defense as an outfielder have impressed me enough to believe that he deserves to be allowed to play his way out of his slump. This is not a guy with a questionable bat, it is a player that has proven in the past that he can hit MLB pitching, and hit it well, benching him does not solve what his problem at the plate is. Has anyone else noticed that Leeís hitting problems time out close to the firing of Von Joshua? Von was made a scapegoat for a few players inability to get the job done at the plate last season, and time has proven that it was the fault of the playerís, not the coach, but the team is now suffering the effects of that decision. The question can also be asked of why Nardi Contreras still has a job, if Von Joshua was at fault for the teamís woes at the plate, who is responsible for an entire rotation on the DL?

Konerko or Cameron?

Paul Konerko is proving that he can be one of the best hitters in the game, no one sees a fastball better than he does, and at twenty five years old he can do it for a long time, his defense has done nothing but improve from one season to the next. The only bright spot that came out of the weekend in Oakland is the fact that Paul has continued to hit the ball well, and has a 16 game hitting streak going to boot. The Sox are winning despite Frank Thomasí annual slow start, and Paul is a big factor in that, he leads the league in RBIís, and has a good chance of doing it all season if Kenny Lofton and Ray Durham continue to get on base at the rate that they have been so far this young season.† For everyone that consider the Sox the loser in the trade of Mike Cameron for Paul Konerko, I think you should think again, Cameron has had one very good season, Konerko is well on his way to having many of them, and he plays a position that will allow him to play for many years if he chooses too.

Labor Front Storm Clouds

MLB is reporting that attendance is down throughout the league by roughly 5%, it is quite possible that this is due to the current labor situation right now. As it sits right now there is no CBA, there is no promise that the players wonít strike before the season is over, and there is no guarantee that there will be play-off baseball this year. No wonder people are staying away from the ballpark, how else can they show their displeasure in a league that refuses to put its own house in order? This does not apply strictly to the owners, it includes the MLBPA also, both sides are to busy taking care of their own agendaís as to which side should make more money than the other as opposed to working together to guarantee that the GAME will not be interrupted. I think that perhaps in their quest for cash both the players and the owners seem to push aside the fact that the money they make for playing a kidís game, and for owning the teams, comes from the fans that go to the games, and that keep their TV ratings up, but when the fans walk away in disgust, never to return, the money disappears. A spectator sport with no spectators is a losing proposition.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 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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