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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Big Frank, the big #5!

Frank Thomas appears to like hitting in the five spot, he is batting .400 and has three HRís after being switched there, including a two HR† game against Anaheim in the lone Sox win in that series. The numbers have, if anything, improved for both Paul Konerko and Magglio Ordonez since making the line-up change, I hope it stays that way for awhile. Jose Valentin has started to pick up his BA after a relatively slow start, the only one that is really struggling is Carlos Lee, unless you count Royce Claytonís flirting with the Mendoza line, but I donít consider Royce an MLB hitter. Lee has sat a couple games in the last week or so because of his struggles at the plate, when do you think it will be Royceís turn to ride the pine for his anemic plate performance? The least he could do would be to learn how to look at a few† pitches every now and then instead of swinging at the first pitch all the time, ever heard of a walk Royce?

Cheese with that Texas whine?

Tom Hicks is complaining in the press down in Texas because his team has a large payroll and is tied for last place in their division. What I would really like to ask Mr. Hicks is who does he think is responsible †for that? Surely he approved the payroll moves that have been made for this team, and it was his own decision to lose as much money as he has in the last two years. When you are paying one player almost as much as the Tampa† Bay Devil Rays are paying their entire roster you might lose some money on the deal. This is coming from one of the members of the elite group of millionaires that are crying poor on Capitol Hill, claiming that they are losing millions of dollars a year. All I can say is that the owners have no one to blame but themselves for the state of the game right now, they created the system that is crushing their payroll right now, and they are the ones that continue to get into bidding wars over the top talent every year. Last season was the first time that the owners decided enough was enough, and the FA market died, forcing Barry Bonds and Brett Boone to accept arbitration rather than take less money to play elsewhere, and unless there is a work stoppage you can expect more of the same for next year.

Make a date for fishing, no baseball?†

The players have begun discussions on setting a strike date, rumored to be in early August, the same time that the last players strike occurred. While they are doing that Bud is sending his minions to all possible media outlets to inform them that there is no strike date set and that negotiations are set to resume at the end of the month. The only problem with telling the media that is the fact that they know nothing is going to happen till the arbitrator hands out his decision on the contraction issue, and that is still some time off. What is going to happen is that there will be roughly a one month window of negotiation time between Shyam Dysí ruling and the tentative strike date that the MLBPA agrees on, hopefully both sides will use this window to bargain in good faith and insure that there is no work stoppage. At this point the players know that the owners have the upper hand in the event of a work stoppage, from a strictly monetary point of view, FOX signed a deal that pays MLB whether there are games or not, but the players see none of this income unless they are playing the game. Both sides reaching an agreement is still a gulf to be spanned, Bud is intent on bending the MLBPA to his will, and has spent all of the last offseason and most of this season proving it, and it is going to take a lot from both sides to get it done, but I still have some optimism here.†

The Crappies are spawning, itís time to fish, till next week........

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

More features from Dave Schmitt here!

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