Thursday, September 23, 2004

It's Clear To Me...Is It Clear to Ozzie?

Despite multiple pronouncements by Ozzie Guillen during the later part of this season, the Sox do not need guys who can play little ball. What they need is pitching. Lots of pitching. Great green globs of pitching. Right-handed pitching. Left-handed pitching. Starting pitching. Relief pitching. Situational pitching. Any pitching will do.

I give you exhibit A:

13 Chicago 5.00 ERA.

Ouch. That's .83 runs higher than last year, when the Sox won 86 games. That more than makes up for the fact that the Sox have already scored 14 more runs than they did in all of 2003.

The offense is not, and never has been the problem for the White Sox - even with Magglio Ordonez and Frank Thomas out. Since the All-Star Break, (without Ordonez and Thomas, essentially) the White Sox are 4th in runs scored in the AL. FOURTH. Ahead of Anaheim, Oakland, Minnesota, and Texas - all teams in playoff contention. The ERA since the All-Star Break has been a disastrous 5.53.

So plan A, plan B, plan C and plan D for the offseason should be the acquisition of pitching. Even if Carl Everett lumbers out to right field for 150 games next year, simply bringing back the current position players should be enough to win 90 games and the AL Central (or the wild card) if the Sox can find one top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher and two good relievers. Simply knocking Jon Garland down to the 5th spot in the rotation should save 60-70 runs alone (Garland has allowed 113 runs in 202 innings, while Sox 5th starters have allowed 107 runs in 104 1/3 innings). Throw in a couple of solid relievers to save 15 runs each, and now the Sox have allowed 100 fewer runs - worth about 10 games in the standings (do the pythagorean math - the Sox would be about 85-66 right now had they allowed 90 fewer runs).

The trouble is finding the one top-of-the-rotation starter and two relievers. But give me Brad Radke ($10 million), a healthy Scott Williamson ($2-$3 million), and Rheal Cormier ($3 million), and I'll get the Sox 10 more wins.

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