Manager rumor mill: American League edition

Maddoning: Good luck with that lunatic, Angels. (@Angels)


I started working on this … and then Joe Maddon got hired by the Angels. This crazy 24-hour news cycle, man. Well, if two teams aren’t enough for you, check out the National League edition, if you missed it.


Kansas City Royals

2019 Record 59-103
4th in AL Central
Former manager Ned Yost (2010-2019, 457-502 .477)

Career highlights Won the World Series in 2015, and apparently Ned Yost is the “winningest manager” in Royals history:

via Baseball-Reference

The Royals are like the sad cousins of the AL Central. I’m always comforted knowing that, though neither of my teams are in the World Series right now, they’re still not the Royals. I’ve been to Kansas City’s airport and I’m good without going back ever again (seriously, I’ve been on cleaner CTA buses). I also don’t believe Ned Yost resigned — he was fired. He coasted for far too long on the goodwill from his World Series win.

Royals rumors No. 1 on their list should be hiring a manager that isn’t going to let the team be the goon squad of the last few years. My favorite moment is still when Yordano Ventura tried to fight Mike Trout, who is not only very nice but also very strong.

Salvador Perez making a great save behind the plate (via MLB)

So who wants to manage the Royals? *touches nose*

I’d say Joe Girardi, but it turns out that he’s going to the Phillies, so who else needs a job? The Royals are poking around internally and have interviewed Mike Matheny, who you might remember from getting canned by the Cards in the middle of the 2018 season for endorsing goonish hazing behavior by his players (toward one another!) which basically negated anything good he did with the Cards. I’ve also heard that they interviewed Vance Wilson, so the Royals appear to be doing an internal promotion thing which … I don’t hate. You want someone who knows the players, the org, and all that good stuff.

Given that the Royals are up for an ownership change, we’ll see where this goes.

Angels

2019 Record 72-90
4th in AL West
Former manager Brad Ausmus

Career Highlights Anaheim has better weather than Detroit.

Angels news: Joe Maddon is no Mike Scioscia, guys, so have fun with that lunatic. Also, he didn’t get super managerial powers from the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant like Scioscia.


Now what?

So we know the Phillies, Cubs, and the Angels snapped up some guys. The Mets, Pirates, Padres, and Giants are still taking their time interviewing.

Knowing how the Mets have been, I’m expecting them to give lip service to manager interviews and pick someone who Jeff Wilpon can boss around. The Padres loves a good dumpster fire, so Ron Washington is a sure bet. The Pirates and the Giants are a little harder to figure out so I’m expecting a surprise (or for Dusty Baker to go to Pittsburgh, because he hasn’t been there yet).

Some teams that should probably clean house on the bench would be the Mariners, Rockies, Tigers, Orioles, Blue Jays, and the Marlins (can someone give Don Mattingly something to work with or set the poor guy free?)

The end?

So that’s it for managers. We’ll see where the rest of the offseason takes us, in the giant LinkedIn that is major league baseball …

Rotten Royals rob Giolito of 15th win

All arm, no W: Sorry Lucas, you deserved the W today. (@WhiteSox)


I admit I am not as gifted with the snappy alliterative titles as our Baller Librarian but I feel that my skills are at least 40-man roster worthy. For those playing along at home, our 40-man roster includes Daniel Palka, Dylan Covey and Welington Castillo, so I’d say the bar is rather low.

Anyway, it’s been nearly a month since Lucas Giolito earned a win, and I’m starting to think he might never reach 15. Here’s a look at what went right and what went wrong today: Since this game was a mix of unfortunate and unlucky, yet still enjoyable, I bring you a mishmash of styles and formats, which is almost certainly going to drive my editor up the wall (Hi, Brett!).

First inning: Giolito Strikeout Count: Two (Whit Merrifield, Hunter Dozier). Jorge Soler continued to slaughter White Sox starters, launching a solo shot supposedly into the stands but if you told me it landed on the moon I’d believe you.

Baseball Theater, thank you as always. I used the Royals broadcast to remind us how fortunate we are to have Jason calling home runs for the Good Guys.

In our half of the first, Yoán Moncada poked a single into right; I’m not sure how I feel about seeing him in the leadoff spot. Abreu drew a walk only to have Eloy Jiménez ground into a double play for the ninth time this season. Fun fact: Million Dollar Manny Machado leads the league in this category with 23.

Second inning: The Royals struck again, as rookie Ryan McBroom, a September call-up singled, advanced to third on a Meibrys Viloria double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Erick Mejia, owner of three career at-bats and a .000 batting average. It was Mejia’s first career RBI, so I feel a duty to let him enjoy his moment:

(Baseball Theater)

Eventually I’ll have some White Sox highlights for you, I hope.

Giolito Strikeout Count remains at two.

Bottom of the second: PALKA HIT WATCH. WE HAVE MADE CONTACT! And we have no joy, thanks a lot, Mejia. You could have let that ball drop. Palka can’t seem to catch a break (new game, drink whenever somebody says, thinks, writes or tweets that sentence).

Yolmer got drilled on the top of his foot by a pitch, which then nicked Viloria in the … let’s just say he’s singing Soprano now.  ꓘollins ended the inning with a ꓘ.

Third Inning: Giolito Strikeout Count: Three more on 13 pitches (Merrifield, Soler, Dozier), for a total of four. Gio’s curve and slider were cruising in at a cool 80 mph while the four-seam fastball averaged about 95. Lucas had some stuff today!

In the bottom of the third, Moncada hit a ball between first and second, Merrifield couldn’t get a grip on it, and YoYo reached first base for the second time in as many attempts. López had his knuckle curve working for him today, and Tim Anderson went down swinging. José launched a ball into center field, and so began the two-out rally! Eloy blasted a ball into center, Moncada scored, Abreu must not have known that it didn’t make it past Merrifield and was thrown out at home. A one-run rally cut our deficit in half, so we’ll take what we can get. I found it interesting that the White Sox announcers blamed José for running through the sign, while KC’s announcers touted Merrifield’s “run-saving heroics.” Both versions are courtesy of Baseball Theater:

The Kansas City version also features my nemesis: the strike zone box. Ban the box! (Do we need to make a shirt for this?)

Top of the Fourth: Giolito Strikeout Count (can we just call it the GSC?): three more (O’Hearn, McBroom, Phillips) so the total is now eight, including a streak of six in a row. This is the Lucas GioELITEo we’ve come to know and love, we just won’t have him pitch against the Cubs next season.

Bottom of the fourth: PALKA HIT WATCH: Palka hit into the shift on the first pitch.

On to happier times, the top of the fifth: GSC: Giolito struck out his ninth and 10th batters, and seventh and eighth in a row (Viloria and Mejia). Lucas’s streak of consecutive strikeouts would end at eight, as Nicky Lopez grounded out. With those eight consecutive strikeouts, Giolito set a new White Sox record! One of my favorite Twitter accounts, Pitching Ninja, has combined all eight for your viewing pleasure:

Engel led off the bottom of the inning, beating the throw on an infield single by an eyelash, followed by Moncada sending another base hit into right field. Anderson popped out to short center, putting him at nada for three so far. Has he forgotten he’s trying to win a batting title? Abreu drove in Engel on a sacrifice fly to the warning track, and brought us to 2-2. I brought my profound thoughts to Twitter:

By now I have fully abandoned the bold inning indicators.  Brett’s head is spinning. (In case you were wondering what the A. stands for in my initials, I wouldn’t rule out Agitator).

Lucas gave up his first walk of the day to lead off the sixth, Soler singled, and then of course Dozier hit a home run to put the Royals up, 5-2. Not all was lost, however, as the GSC tacked on another pair of strikeouts to O’Hearn and McBroom, putting what would be his final tally at 12.

My man James McHotDamn led off the sixth with a sizzling double that bounced off the center field fence. PALKA HIT WATCH: WE HAVE MADE CONTACT! But alas, tis foul. And now we’re behind in the count. On the next pitch, Palka beat out an infield single (of sorts, as it was fielded in short left) and based on the noise in the ballpark, you would think we just clinched the division. Relive the glory here:

🎶 Let’s give them something to Palka ’bout (Baseball Theater)

Yolmer hit a sacrifice fly to score McCann, and that was all she wrote for Jorge López. Left-handed sidearmer Tim Hill entered the game, as did Danny Mendick. Hill’s sweeping sideways pitching motion and horizontal ball movement made quick work of Mendick and Engel, who both went down on strikes.

Jace Fry came out for the Sox in the seventh, struck out Viloria and induced a pair of infield ground outs to Anderson to easily retire the side, but the elusive 15th win evaded Lucas once again.

In our half of the seventh, Anderson finally got a hit! Eloy walked on four pitches and James McDamn hit a ball into left, and Anderson tripped rounding third and had to scramble* back to the base. A pitching change brought Leury García in as a pinch-hitter for Palka, ending the Palka Hit Watch with a final count of one. Leury struck out and into the eighth we went, still losing. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a video of Timmy’s baserunning miscue so you’ll just have to trust me, it was ugly.

* I would not call what Tim did to return to the base “scrambling,” it was more of a lazy stroll.  This makes me see red, and I angered White Sox Twitter saying so. We’ll return to this topic shortly.

My man Jimmy Biceps Cordero came in to pitch the eighth. Some of you might be aware of my adoration for the flame throwing, sleeve-fighting righty, and new SSHP free agent signing Sean made a good case for keeping him around next season. Jimmy is a multi-talented guy, look, he can bunt!

His sleeve-rolling angered our opponent’s fans, which reflects quite favorably in my book.

Betsy, there is so much about the White Sox that should bother you more than a rolled-up sleeve.

Alex Colomé came out to pitch the ninth, and walked the first man he saw.  Next up, Brett Phillips hit a sacrifice bunt and Colomé threw the ball to center field. Allow me to digress, this is why I get so upset about players not running out routine fly/ground balls (or get back to a base after tripping, Tim). Pitchers botch throws all the time and if you turn and walk back to the dugout while you’re losing a game and you’re in a pennant race then you deserve to lose the World Series (to the Cubs of all teams, thanks for nothing, Cleveland).

Anyway, that error, followed by a wild pitch would allow another run to score, putting the final nail in the coffin for this game.

(Baseball Theater)

The White Sox made it exciting, and as billed, Ricky’s boys didn’t quit, but after Anderson collected his second hit, Eloy walked, McCann walked, Leury struck out with the bases loaded, and that was that.

Now for my game rankings, inspired by whoever buried Justified’s Mitchell Report:

Win: Giolito, striking out eight in a row for a total of 12 and earning himself the distinguished title of White Sox franchise record holder for most consecutive strikeouts. It’s just a shame that when he gives up a hit, it’s often a home run.

Place: McCann picked up two hits, scored a run and didn’t strike out at all.  McCann has shown he’s reliable in clutch situations, and got himself on base, but with you-know-who batting after him, the odds of a rally weren’t great.

Show: Palka, congratulations on ending your 148-day major league hitting drought and collecting your second base hit of 2019!

Also-Ran: Abreu had a hit and an RBI, but a bonehead trotting error (sorry, I would not call his craft “running,” per se) allowed the Royals to mow him down out at home. Add that to two strikeouts and it leaves Pito out of the winner’s circle today.

Glue Factory: Leury struck out with the bases loaded … twice.  He’s been one of the most versatile players on the team all season, but today he’s drawn my ire.

As I hinted in the gamethread, we have a brand-new shirt coming out sometime in the next few days. After bitching on Twitter for the better part of two months that someone should make this shirt and sell one to me, I decided to take things into my own hands.  Since we now have our own store, I spent more hours than I wish to admit planning and conceiving this work of art, and searching for the perfect person to design it for me so we could bring it to you! We’ve largely kept it under wraps so nobody tries to knock off our design with an inferior model, but here’s a little taste of what’s coming:

What could it be? Patience- you’ll find out soon!

We’ve got some more ideas in the works, but we want to hear from you! Do you want a Jimmy Biceps shirt featuring our one-sleeved bullpen hero? What about McCann? Moncada? What are some nicknames or catch phrases you’d love to have on a tee? Let us know what types of shirts you’d like to see, either in the comments or email them to me.

Joe has the Mariners game for you tomorrow, and stay tuned for the release of what I know will be your new favorite White Sox design!

Six Pack of Stats: Kansas City 6, White Sox 3

The good, the bad, and the ugly: A new Sox record, a Giolito-start loss, and losing the season series to KC.

Lucas Giolito sets a new White Sox record, but the South Siders drop the season series, 10-9

A Lucas Giolito start that isn’t a winner is usually always disappointing. However, you can’t win them all, but you can certainly try to accomplish that feat. It’s time to go through the numbers of the game to determine what went right and wrong.

-.361

Luc-ace G-elite-o had a very uncharacterisitc, but unusual start during this matinee matchup. He allowed five runs to score, but he established a new Chicago White Sox record: creating an unordinary -.361 WPA Keep reading to find out what our ace of the staff accomplished!

1

Alex Colomé entered the game in the ninth for a well-needed inning to pitch off some dust. However, Alex commited an E-1 by throwing the baseball to center field instead of second base for the forceout. That run came around to score for Kansas City’s sixth run of the game.

2

For some good news, Daniel Palka recorded his second hit of the 2019 season: an infield single in the sixth! Hopefully, that 90-feet sprint to first ignited a spark for the rest of the season.

8

Lucas Giolito recorded three strikeouts in the third inning, three strikeouts in the fourth, and two straight punchouts in the fifth. Luc-ace G-elite-o owns a new White Sox record with eight straight strikeouts!


11

The offense surely tried to string hits together in order to produce runs. With eleven throughout the game, one would think that more than three runs would have crossed the plate for the Good Guys. Unfortunately, during the biggest rally of the third inning, José Abreu ran passed Nick Capra’a stop sign which resulted in the final out of what should have been at least a two- or three-run inning.

115

However, on the bright side, José Abreu took a fly ball to the center-field warning track in the fifth inning. It went as a sac fly to score Adam Engel. Engel’s run counted as Abreu’s 115 RBI of the season!

Gamethread: Royals at White Sox

Stuck in a slump: Even MLB.com has noticed Palka’s struggles.

Happy Free T-shirt Thursday! If you can’t make it to the park, fear not! As you might have noticed, we now have a shop link on our site! We are really excited to be releasing our first original commissioned design, and I’ll give a little sneak peek of it in my recap after the game. We’ve had our site up for a touch under a month now, and we’re trying to keep it ad-free so we can focus on baseball, the White Sox, and our amazing team of talented writers. We all take time away from our families/pets/friends/food (I can’t speak for everyone but when I recap West Coast games I typically trade food for a large volume of coffee) to bring you comprehensive coverage of all things Sox, and we do it because we love it.  Yours truly, resident rookie LWilz has taken the role of Maestro of Merch so that we can reward our staff with a little something, while bringing you AWESOME LOOT instead of forcing you to scroll through annoying ads to get to the good stuff in our stories. All proceeds from sales go to our writers and keeping the site running, and since we’re unable to sign all of our contributors’ friends and brothers-in-law to try to keep them around long term, we really value everyone’s help and contributions to our Patreon and merch shop.  Knowing that you appreciate us motivates us to bring you unique stories, such as Lenny G’s interview with former White Sox first round draft pick Keon Barnum.  Read it over here while you await the first pitch of today’s game!

In what I can only imagine was a decision based on too many/lack of pain meds post rotator-cuff surgery, Ricky Renteria has decided to start Daniel Palka in right field today.  South Side Hit Pen’s unofficial mascot, Angie is on the IL, and won’t be shredding any Royals hats for you after today’s game, as she cut her paw and has a couple stitches, so we wish them both a speedy recovery and hope their paws heal soon. 

Realistic dramatization of Ricky’s mental state when he set today’s lineup. (Photo credit @StacheESQ)

Now, down to business:

Your White Sox lineup for today is:

The Royals’ lineup:

Lucas Giolito looks to bounce back from a no-decision after pitching seven innings of three hit, two run ball only to see the game end via a rare blown save by Álex Colomé. Jorge López pitched six innings of three hit shutout ball against the Marlins his last time around, so let’s hope we can get to the Royals’ bullpen early and get Lucas a win!

The game will be on WGN TV and AM 720. First pitch is at 1:10!

Soler-powered Royals club five homers, blast Sox 8-6

Deja vu all over again! Eloy hits another first-inning moonshot but the Royals hit bunch more and hold on for the W. (@whitesox)

Author’s Note: WordPress crashed on my laptop not once, but TWICE as I tried to do this recap. The first time I had about 75% done before it wiped out. The second it crashed just as I was typing literally this same Author’s Note bit! So I’m pretty pissed. Anyway, I’m tired and it’s time for the Inaugural Bulletpointed Sox Recap Speed Round!

  • Reynaldo strikes out Whit on three pitches. Two batters later, Jorge Soler has hit home run #42:
  • Eloy does the thing with the stick and the Sox lead 3-2!
  • The Law Offices of Mondesi, Starling, and O’Hearn all deposit homers courtesy of first-half Reynaldo López making a surprise comeback. Its 6-3 Royals and López doesn’t make it out of the fifth.
Its not even Halloween… oh forget it.
Here comes Bubba: 3 words that spell your doom in any context.
How dare they steal Oprah’s bit??
  • Eloy collects another RBI but with a ground out so … its a two-run deficit. Just gotta keep it close …
  • Carson Fulmer does not keep it close. Jorge hits No. 43, 8-4, KC.
  • José Abreu, playing like he doesn’t already have a two-year extension in his back pocket, hits his 32nd homer. Its 8-6 and I wish Fulmer the best of luck with whatever new organization employs him in 2020.
  • Three White Sox batters face closer Ian Kennedy. Three White Sox batters make three outs. Game over.

Giolito pitches tomorrow. He is good. Tim Anderson is hitting .333. That is also good. I’m switching to typewriters. Good nigh….Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z….

Gamethread: Royals at White Sox, Round 2 … FIGHT!

Smoke ’em if you got ’em: Can Reynaldo López repeat his one-hitter magic against the Royals tonight? (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)


Well after last night went to the dogs (for the Royals, that is), the Sox look to the fiery, red-hot right arm of young Reynaldo López to seal a series win against Kansas City in their penultimate matchup for the 2019 season.

Reynaldo (9-12, 5.17 ERA) is coming off perhaps the most dominant White Sox pitching performance of the 2019 season, a complete game, 11 K, one-hit shutout of the Lindians in Cleveland. And that one blemish was courtesy of the questionable fielding prowess of noted right fielder (le sigh …) Ryan Goins.

Anywho, López has had an up-and-down season pitching against the Royals despite Kansas City willingly employing Billy Hamilton for most of 2019. López is 2-2 with a 6.46 ERA in his last five starts against the K.C. Not So Special Anymores. The two wins have been six-inning quality starts, while the two defeats have been less than stellar. But seeing as September notoriously has been Reynaldo’s month of utter dominance in his young career, so don’t be surprised if you started getting no-no notifications from your At-Bat app after the sixth tonight!

His counterpart is the man with the slippery change up, Glenn Sparkman, who you may recall was the unfortunate recipient of a very quick hook when a wayward changeup collided with the helmet of the one White Sox player the Royals probably didn’t want to antagonize any further.

Sparkman, in general, has been quite terrible for a quite terrible Royals team in 2019. The owner of a 3-11 record and 5.97 ERA, Glenn has the ironic honor of giving up 27 home runs this season, the exact same number Reynaldo has served! So the Sox offense will likely be happy if Glenn learned to control his pitches just a skosh and lasted a few innings more this time … just long enough for them push ol Spark Man to the 30+ mark.

Lineups!!!

First for the visiting … Kansas City Royals …

And now for YOUR CHICAGOOOOOOO WHITE SOX!

Game time is 7:10 PM CST and you can support fledgling cable channel NBC Sports Chicago by using your eyes and ears to watch on your telly. If you enjoy Ed, DJ, and the occasional K-A-R-S Kars-4-Kids commercial to tickle your eardrums, turn that dial to WGN 720 AM. I will return for the recap of this scintillating September soirée!