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MLB Commentary - July 2003
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White Sox Stomp On Youth Program

Which team has the worse player personnel management in baseball? Devil Rays? Most likely. Orioles? Maybe so. Mets? Don`t count them out. Tigers? Upon the evidence, you`d have to guess them. Cubs? I`m still suspicious. White Sox? Ah, Ha!

 

Kenny Williams has caused a lot of baseball experts to drop their jaws or shake their heads over his tenure. Nothing he has done has been as outright laughable as some of the moves made by the Orioles` Thrift or the Devil Rays` LaMar, but Williams is not well respected. The two trades he made on the first of this month (July), however, are pretty desperate signs of panic. Is Jimenez`s fielding that bad? Did he have no chance of recovering from his slump? Hadn`t Rowand turned it around? Wasn`t he one of the hottest hitting White Sox of the last couple weeks?

 

The other thing I don`t like about this trade is that Robbie Alomar and Carl Everett aren`t likeable persons, if you read stuff about them and the things they blurt out to the press. Jerry Reinsdorf is ultimately still in charge of this ball club. He became leader of the ass-hole buyers when bought Albert Belle 7 years ago for over 10 million a year. While the White Sox, seemed to have learned their lesson over the years, since, the Mets and Rangers recently went hog-wild on scooping up troublesome players. Now, this has switched back with the Mets unloading Alomar and the Rangers unloading Everett.

 

With the Royals in first place and Chicago only three games behind, there certainly is a pennant race to be won. Possibly, Alomar and Everett can behave in their new environment long enough not to alienate themselves from their teammates and fans until the end of the year. They both are probably still more exciting player to watch on the field than Jimenez and Rowand. Having older, saner brother Sandy Alomar around is probably good for Roberto and will help him to stay happy and productive. In the short run, this trade might actually work out, if the fans can cheer in blissful ignorance of Alomar and Everett`s off-field character. However, this 60% chance of improving the club now comes at the 90% cost of long-term damage to Jimenez, Rowand, and the White Sox.

 

This trade completely deflates my original release for this month. I still believe everything I wrote, but the most useful bit of information - that Aaron Rowand is a bargain to grab on to - is no longer true for fantasy baseball players, unless he is traded to a team that will use him. My original script follows:

 

I apologize to my readers for not having made more progress in my reorganization and rewriting of my past articles. And, I`m, sorry about my less prolific writing. I guess I`m having a busy summer, and I`m not as disciplined about this site as I was last year. Please, keep checking back every month.

 

You are no doubt wondering what wonderful prospects are out there that no one has drafted, yet. Well, I don`t know. I don`t know who was drafted in your league, and I haven`t done my homework, yet, for my two leagues. So, I apologize about that, too.

 

However, let me remind you that most of you perpetual leaguers go overboard for prospects, anyway. Maybe, I`m doing you a favour by neglecting them. Most managers in my leagues over draft prospects. Most of the prospects drafted either never make it, or it takes them a long time to establish themselves as someone worth protecting after they`ve blown their rookie eligibility. Meanwhile, those who protected all those prospects have been losing picks that could have been used towards useful subs or young non-prospects who manage to take the next step towards protectability - or, at least, have a career year.

 

I`m talking about guys like Randy Winn & Jacques Jones last year, Torii Hunter & Mark Buehrle the year before, or Eric Byrnes and Milton Bradley this year.

 

You were lectured about this in May, but I`m reminding you to remember it this draft.

 

In fact, I`ve got just such a non-prospect in mind, whom you could pick up cheap right now - either in the draft or by trade. Consider Aaron Rowand. He won`t be 26 until next month. He has come along one level a year in the White Sox system posting about a .900 O+S every step of the way. He plays centerfield. Last year, the White Sox gave him 302 plate appearances for the big team. His O+S was just under .700, so he didn`t light up many radar screens. (Although, he hit over .800 his first 123 major league PAs the season before.) After a serious off-season dirt bike accident, Rowand really struggled at the start of this season. His .133 Batting Average and .367 O+S are now disguising what he`s hit since he was recalled from the minors a few weeks ago. His centerfield job has been returned to him and he`s hit .375 with a several homers for an O+S of 1.148! That`s not what`s he going to hit, but a young centerfielder with an 850-900 O+S is good find.

John Carter