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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

In it to win it?

Can we believe the Sox GM?

It was scary when you looked at the headline in Saturday’s Sun-Times:  “Williams not looking for any trades.”  It was scary when the five-second summary was heard on WSCR radio the same day:  “…and Kenny Williams says the Sox won’t make any deals before the trading deadline.” 

When you read the actual column by Toni Ginetti, however, you really don’t know how to feel.  Here is what the Sox GM actually said, thereby staving off the change in identity to Prof. Chaos for another week:

''I asked [Gen. Disarray and the coaching staff] what they felt we needed, if anything, to take us to the next level.  There are a very select few players they expressed to me, along with our scouts, who could do that for us. We will explore those options to a greater degree--and some already have been.

''But the message they made loud and clear was that, unless it was an impact-type player, they were very comfortable with what they had to work with.”

Williams also assuaged the fears of Sox fans everywhere who feared White Flag II before the end of this week by emphasizing that the Sox would not be unloading players.  Williams put it this way, ''There is no other side of it.  We're in it to win it.''

On the surface that seems to be just what championship-starved Sox fans want to hear, and just the opposite of what the headline writer and the story on The Score implied.  Williams is not through trading.  He is not going to stand pat.  He will be looking for and possibly dealing for the impact player or players that his field staff recommended.

This sounds great until you remember exactly who leads the field staff making the recommendations.  Just who are those impact players Gen. Disarray and his minions are recommending Williams deal for.

The needs are obvious, but does the general realize what they are.  Does he know that he has been overworking his bullpen “regulars” Tom Gordon and Damaso Marte.  Does he realize that those two-plus inning appearances wear them down while other pitchers such as Gary Glover continue to rot in the bullpen because the general only thinks about them every ten days or so?

Does the general realize that the fifth spot in the starting rotation has been next to worthless all year?  Danny Wright didn’t work.  Mike Porzio is gone after three appearances.  The general gets a break this week with the off-day on Monday.  He can wait until next week to use whoever the fifth starter will be.

And there is the rub.  If the Sox are going to gain the four games they are behind Kansas City as they enter an extremely tough August and September, they are going to need help from all five slots in the rotation.  Many Sox fans remember several years ago when the Sox desperately needed a fifth starter and got no help from anyone inserted into that spot in the rotation and Ron “What Trigger?” Schueler did nothing because he was too busy renting right fielders.

No one knows what the recommendations were except the participants, but any Sox fan who has looked at the schedule and at the options available within the organization for a fifth starter knows that a trade is necessary.

The Sox bats were silent for three months, and that’s what got us into that position, and now they’re going to need a strong arm out there to help bail them out. 

It’s time to get another starter.


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!

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