Cubs

Sox Drawer: Dealing Getz Under Way Early

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Sox Drawer: Dealing Getz Under Way Early

Thursday, November 5

Well, that didnt take long.

Just hours after the Yankees beat the Philles in the World Series, officially marking the end of the 2009 baseball season, the White Sox have reportedly made the first big trade for the 2010 season. The New York Daily News is reporting that the Sox have sent Chris Getz and Josh Fields to Kansas City for Mark Teahen.

But the news might be a little premature. Chris sent me a message at 11:15 a.m. saying that "nothing has been confirmed." At 5:15 p.m., he said that the Sox still hadn't told him anything and called it "an odd situation." Meanwhile, the White Sox are being mum about it, choosing not to confirm or deny the report.

This isnt to say that the deal wont happen. But in our world of lightning-quick technology, rumors of a trade sometimes travel faster than the actual trade itself.

If the report is true, the possibilities are quite intriguing.

First, it immediately opens a hole at second base, leading to speculation as to who might fill it.

The Sox could go the free agent route. Orlando Hudson and Mark DeRosa are available. So is Placido Polanco, who like Teahen has been a White Sox killer over the years. Polanco can hit the ball to all fields, he works the count and rarely strikes out. He also might come relatively cheap. He made 4.6 million a year the last four seasons with the Tigers and is 34 years old.

They could also bring back a certain free agent who can play three infield positions, is one of the best defensive players in White Sox history, and just so happened to record the final out in the 2005 World Series.

Ladies and gentlemen, Juan Uribe. Thoughts?

Of course, the Sox could also make an internal move. Jayson Nix is a possibility. But considering his struggles at the plate last year, and the message Ozzie Guillen sent him and Brent Lillibridge (hit or else), that might be too big of a gamble.

They could also move Gordon Beckham over to second base, or have Gordon play shortstop his natural position and move Alexei Ramirez back to second.

In that scenario, you now have a hole at third base. Chone Figgins anyone? But considering his red-hot demand, its more like Kenny Williams will have to open up the Jerry Reinsdorf vault to get him.

But if there is some money to be spent, heres another free agent candidate: Adrian Beltre.

Hes won the last two American League Gold Glove Awards at third base for the Mariners, but is easily coming off the worst hitting season of his career (eight homers and 44 RBIs in 111 games). True, he made over 13 million each of the last two seasons, which is very much out of the White Sox price range.

But I smell bargain.

The other candidate at third is Teahen himself. He played 107 games at the hot corner last year for the Royals. He also played 32 games in right (good-bye Jermaine Dye?), as well as 11 at first and even three at second.

The man is versatile, and with todays re-signing of the uber-versatile Mark Kotsay, it gives Williams many options with the GM meetings starting next week in Chicago.

If the Teahen deal happens, consider this merely move No. 1. There are plenty more coming. Keep checking back throughout the day. If more news happens, well have it.

Yu Darvish and Cubs pull off dramatic comeback win over Dodgers

Yu Darvish and Cubs pull off dramatic comeback win over Dodgers

There were some added stakes to Saturday night’s Cubs-Dodgers matchup. Darvish made his first start at Dodger Stadium since his infamous Game 7 loss in the 2017 World Series, looking for a great effort in front of a fan base that had their up-and-downs in terms of their relationship with him. He (maybe) took a small jab at the Dodgers before the game had even started, telling the Los Angeles Times that he wasn't worried about being booed because “the Dodgers don't have many fans here in the first three innings, so maybe it will be on the quieter side.”

Well Dodgers faithful certainly got the message and made sure to let Darvish hear it.

However, Darvish got the last laugh on Saturday night. He pitched a stellar seven innings. Over those seven innings, Darvish gave up 1 ER on 2 hits and also notched 10 strikeouts.

Darvish has been hitting his stride as of late, maintaining a 2.96 ERA over his last four starts.

All of that being said, it would be remiss of me not to mention the contributions of Darvish’s teammates. His great outing helped keep the Cubs in the game, but the gutsy performances of Anthony Rizzo and Pedro Strop are what won the contest.

Dodgers All-Star relief pitcher Kenley Jansen had a 10-game scoreless streak coming into Saturday night, but one swing of Rizzo’s bat was all that was needed to restore balance to the everlasting battle of pitcher versus hitter. After Jansen hit Kris Bryant with a pitch to put him on base, Rizzo activated “clutch mode”, mashing a 400-foot bomb out to right field.

Though small, Saturday night’s homer gives Rizzo a three-game hitting streak, perhaps forecasting that things are trending  upwards for the first baseman as the Cubs look to close out the series against the Dodgers with a win on Sunday night. And not to be left out of the fun, Pedro Strop came in to face the Justin Turner, MVP hopeful Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Matt Beaty to nail down the save.

Never afraid of high-pressure moments, Stop came through big time.

Strop got a ground out from Turner, struck out Bellinger and Beaty in his 15-pitch save effort. This was a much-needed win for the Cubs, who have well-documented struggles on the road. As they look to split the four-game set with the Dodgers on Sunday night, the Cubs can be pleased with their fight this week.

Saturday’s win over the Dodgers was the Cubs first win of the season after trailing through six innings, as they were 0-23 in such situations prior to the victory. Amid a season that has been fraught with injury and general roster construction concerns, it was wonderful to see the Cubs pull out a tough win lead by the much-maligned Darvish and the never-quit attitude of his teammates.

For on-the-rise White Sox, learning to win also means learning to lose

For on-the-rise White Sox, learning to win also means learning to lose

The White Sox lost Saturday night.

That’s baseball, of course, they’re not all going to be winners. And this rebuilding franchise has seen plenty of losses. But the feelings have been so good of late — whether because of Eloy Jimenez’s 400-foot homers or Lucas Giolito’s Cy Young caliber season to this point or a variety of other positive signs that make the White Sox future so bright — that losing Saturday to the first-place New York Yankees seemed rather sour.

Obviously there will be plenty more losses for this White Sox team before the book closes on the 2019 campaign. Back under .500, these South Siders aren’t expected to reach elite status before all the pieces arrive, and it would be no shock if they’re removed from the playoff race in the American League by the time crunch time rolls around in September.

But don’t tell these White Sox that an 8-4 defeat is a return to reality or a reminder that this team is still a work in progress. Even if, for a lot of players, development is still occurring at the major league level, the “learning experiences” that have been such a large part of the conversation surrounding this team in recent seasons and their daily goal of winning baseball games aren’t mutually exclusive.

“The Yankees are sitting in first place and they lost two games in a row,” catcher James McCann said Saturday night, providing a reminder of how the first two games of this weekend series went. “Just because you're expected to win and expected to be World Series contenders doesn't mean you're not going to lose ballgames. It's how you bounce back.

“And it doesn't mean you're going to win tomorrow, either. It's just, how do you handle a defeat? How do you handle a bad at-bat? How do you handle a bad outing, whatever it may be? But it doesn't mean that we step back and say, ‘Oh, we're back under .500, we're supposed to lose.’

“We expect to win when we show up to the ballpark. You can take learning experiences whether you win or lose. Do I think a game like tonight reminds us we're supposed to be in a rebuilding mode? No. We still expect to win, and we're going to show up tomorrow with that mentality.”

Maybe that’s a description of the much-discussed “learning to win” young teams supposedly need to do on the road to contender status. Maybe that can’t happen until a team figures out how to bounce back from a defeat — until it learns how to lose and how to act in the wake of a loss.

For all McCann’s certainty about the team’s expectations on a daily basis, his explanation was peppered with questions. He said he’s seen the answer to “how do you bounce back?” from this club, and his three-run homer in the eighth inning Saturday night was fairly convincing evidence that the White Sox didn’t use up all their fight just getting back to .500.

So while the White Sox know they won’t win every game — that no team will — they need to know how they handle defeat. Losing, it turns out, might end up being more instructive about when this team is ready to win.

“I think we've done a pretty good job (bouncing back),” McCann said. “You look at the road trip in Houston and Minnesota where we took two out of four from a good Houston team and then played really not very good baseball for three days in Minnesota only to come home and have an extremely good homestand.

“It's the big picture. It's not the very next day. It's not, ‘We've got to bounce back and win.’ It's not a must-win situation in the middle of June. But it's how do you handle yourself? How does a game like tonight, do you show up flat tomorrow and let it snowball into a three-, four-game spiral? Or do you fight?

“And that's what this team's been really good at doing is fighting and not giving in.”

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