Monday, April 12, 2010
By Chuck Garfien
A week into the baseball season, everything gets magnified. Good is great. Great is gargantuan. Whats better than gargantuan? Well...
How about the Braves' Martin Prado? Hes batting .542.
Twins closer Jon Rauch has 4 saves, to go with about 60 tattoos.
Last year the Jays' Alex Gonzalez hit eight home runs. Hes already belted four. All solo shots. Meaning if he keeps this up, hell finish the season with 108 HRs and 108 RBIs.
I dont know much, but what I do know is that none of those guys are this good. And yes, the White Sox offense is not this bad.
It just feels like it.
In the opening six-game homestand, the Sox batted .203, second to last in the majors. The individual batting averages look like Bill Meltons scorecards after 18 holes:
Juan Pierre .125
Mark Kotsay .154
Alex Rios .174
Alexei Ramirez .182
Id personally take Mark Teahens average of .071. 17 pars and a birdie.
The biggest frustration is probably Pierre. When hes on, he slaps the ball into every open space on the field, and motors around the bases like Speedy Gonzales. But when hes off, like now, theres no motor, no Speedy, just a guy batting .125.
Slow starts are nothing new for Pierre. Just ask your friendly Cubs fan. In 2006, Pierre was ice cold in April and May, but then went on to lead the majors in hits with 204.
Glass half-full? Juan turned it around.
Glass half-empty? The Cubs were out of it by June and it didnt matter (a belief held by 100 percent of my Northside friends).
This is Pierres first season in the American League. Hes got some pitchers to figure out. Give him some time. But have you noticed a certain leadoff hitter who has been tearing it up so far this season? Maybe youve heard of him:
Monday, the 05 World Series hero had his second four-hit game in less than a week for the Royals. Hes batting .444 with five stolen bases, and is currently the best player on my fantasy baseball team. Not bad for a 26th round pick. But even I know better. Pods isnt this good.
But again, everything is magnified.
And yet, there is one dose of White Sox reality that you cannot overstate. Sunday, a Sox pinch-hitter actually drove in a run. Last year it took 109 games for this to happen. Andruw Jones did it in game number six.
The bench is better. The offense will be better. Unfortunately, theyve got 4 games this week in Toronto, where they havent won since 2007, and scored just 8 runs in 4 games last year.
A lot of weird things happen in that place, Ozzie Guillen said. Hopefully, things will turn around there, and we can come back with a smile on our face.
You can watch the smiling faces of Bill Melton and I on White Sox Post-Game Live Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday night.
Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.