It’s football season at US Cellular. Lethargy has settled in. The scent of Jim Thome’s butch wax has long since dissipated from the locker room. Mark Buehrle’s post-perfect-game season lay in perfect ruins. Scott Linebrink is learning how to look for jobs on Craigslist, Jose Contreras has been pawned off on mountain rustics, the search for Bartolo Colon has been called off, and Bobby Jenks has been shut down for the year after injury to his calf. 2009 is so over, I can’t even bring myself to extract the Bobby / veal joke from the above.
Now that the AL Central has decided to send a different delegate to the Yankees’ dinner table (upon a carving tray as opposed to a seat), the Sun-Times Joe Cowley seems convinced that Jermaine Dye won’t be in the picture next year.
The veteran is trying to survive, trying to show that he’s not washed up at 35. And realistically, he now knows that this is his last homestand on the team he won a World Series with.
“I’m not concerned about that,” Dye said about his fate now being all but sealed. “Whatever happens is going to happen. At this point you just want to try and get into a somewhat of a little bit of a groove before the season is over. Go into the offseason and see what happens.
“I’ve never struggled like this before, never had a whole half that has been nothing. Over the course of a career, I think that’s pretty good. The five years I’ve been here I’ve had five pretty good years, and it just so happened that I struggled here at the end, we were fighting to get into the playoffs, and it’s just the way it is.”
The struggling Dye was out of the starting lineup on Tuesday, unable to change the .168 second half he’s had with just five homers and 19 RBI. A second half he has no explanation for.
“I have no clue,” Dye said. “I put in the work and sometimes it doesn’t work out. There’s nothing wrong with the mechanics. When you struggle, the pitches you should hit you foul off. The pitches you take normally when you feel good they’re balls, they’re strikes now. When you struggle everything goes wrong. This second half it just didn’t happen.”
Somewhere in the bowels of University of Chicago, – perhaps down the hallway from where Milton Friedman’s skull is ritually bathed in the blood of infants – Nate Silver and the PECOTA crew are getting an early jump sharpening their knives for the inevitable prediction of doom for the 2010 Pale Hose. Last half of ’09 notwithstanding, I bet a Dyeless lineup only justifies the doomsaying, if Alex Rios at this years’s numbers is supposed to pick up the slack.