Morrissey : Kenny Williams Is A Quitter

Posted in Baseball at 2:04 pm by

Mere weeks after the stunning acquisitions of Alex Rios and Jake Peavey, the Chicago White Sox gave up on the 2009 season, dealing P Jose Contreras and slugger Jim Thome to the Dodgers just prior to the waiver deadline last night. “What is it that baseball people like to say?” asked the Chicago Tribune’s Rick Morrissey. “That a 162-game season is a marathon, not a sprint? Well, the Sox just quit at about the 20-mile mark.”

The Sox’ Summer Clearance Sale is reminiscent of the White Flag trade of 1997. That team was 3 1/2 games out of first place on July 31 when owner Jerry Reinsdorf decided to trade Wilson Alvarez, Roberto Hernandez and Danny Darwin for six minor-leaguers.

This team is six games behind the Tigers — a good, not great club — and despite the Sox’ recent struggles, there is a month left to play. Hope for a late-season charge exists when you have a veteran group.

Kenny Williams wants to go younger. That’s a good thing. But with a month left in the season, he sees no way the Sox are going to make a run for a division title? What an awful reflection on the organization.

Especially when the Sox received no value for Thome, who has 23 homers and 74 runs batted in.

You can look at Monday’s maneuverings as an indication that Peavy’s arm problems are a lot worse than the Sox are letting on. Or you can look at it that the Sox are freaked out over how much they’ll be paying Rios and Peavy.

Or you can just roll your eyes and shake your head.

Since Morrissey begs the comparison, the ’09 White Sox find themselves 4 games under .500 after last night’s 4-1 loss to Minnesota. While Willie Randolph can certainly vouch for a 6 game lead on September 1 not being insurmountable, 3rd place teams that far back are generally expected to hold a fire sale. What’s remarkable is that this one occurred so shortly after Williams was a buyer.

5 Responses to “Morrissey : Kenny Williams Is A Quitter”

  1. David R. says:

    Not sure it’s that much of a shocker — grabbing Peavy & Rios was as much about contending in 2010 and beyond as trying to make a run this year. The Contreras & Thome moves are cut from the same forward-thinking cloth. Unless it means replacing Thome’s 39-year-old-yet-productive bat with one of a more Podsedniky nature.

    And if the White Sox were truly serious about making the playoffs this year, they would’ve moved / dumped Contreras sooner.

  2. glenzo says:

    Also left out of the dialogue is the fact that the yield on the 1997 White Flag sale turned out pretty well. And to paraphrase Reinsdorf from that season, anyone who thinks this team can win the division is nuts- it was possible August 1, but the recent streak (and Peavy’s setback) killed any such hopes.

    I never understood why anyone saw Peavy as a 2009 move- after all, they’ve been angling for him for months.

    Contreras is no loss. Unless Thome plans to hang ‘em up in November I’m a little sorry to see him go.

  3. Bobby says:

    Agreed with the above, the way they’ve played lately is so disappointing and frustrating, I’m surprised they didn’t unload more of the vets (unless they couldn’t find takers). Even Jermaine Dye seems to have fallen apart in the past few weeks. Glad to see Contreras gone and hope they don’t ever pitch Colon or even Freddy Garcia again – those guys are done. Sad to see Thome leave, but they weren’t going to sign him anyway for 2010. Maybe he can win a ring with the Dodgers, that would be nice.

  4. Dmac says:

    I don’t know how anyone could expect much for Thome at this stage of his career – Morissey’s often an idiot, this is just more grist for the mill. And didn’t the Sox deal McDowell at roughly the same time as the White Flag trades?

  5. CMG says:

    I applaud Williams for finding a taker on Contreras.

    I like Thome but I see them keeping Dye as DH beyond this season and just setting up for next year is not necessarily a bad thing. Plus they could still win the division.

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