Sunday, March 25, 2007
Pods, LF; Erstad, CF; Thome, DH; Crede, 3B; Iguchi, 2B; Perez, 1B; Hall, C; Uribe, SS; Anderson, RF. Buehrle pitching. Adam Russell in relief.
We played another B Game this morning at Colorado with Paul Konerko and AJ Pierzynski taking part.
Mr. Danks, I Presume
After yesterday’s game, Ozzie Guillen announced to the media that John Danks would be the fifth starter, but he hadn’t found Danks (who was in the shower) to tell him yet. So the media agreed to wait, and I went up to John with a solemn face and told him, "Ozzie wants to see you."
Ozzie, Rick Hahn and Don Cooper then broke the good news.
Danks was beaming. What is always tough at this time of the spring is that a decision like that negatively impacts several other guys in the clubhouse. So you often get this mix of happiness and disappointement. It’s a tough time as the roster gets pared down.
As part of an initiation into the big leagues, several Sox players reportedly (I didn’t see it) made Danks go into the stands during a game last week (in full uniform) and serrenade a young female fan with a top-of-the-lungs rendition of Happy Birthday.
Danks then returned to the dugout, scoring tons of points with his teammates.
A poster questioned why we didn’t trade Sean, now or later, as opposed to allowing him to be claimed.
I hope I can explain this well.
At this time of year, some teams have a surplus of players, guys who can probably make other teams’ rosters but who aren’t going to make the final cut for the team they are with because of where they rank on the "depth chart" at their position. So those teams often shop those players to other teams, calling around to see if there is any interest in a trade. Of course, the other team also knows you might be caught in a roster bind, so they may adjust their trade offer (downward) or even wait, assuming that at some point near the end of spring you will have to make a roster move.
If a team waits until the very end of spring to make this move, the player is often hurt because suddenly the market is flooded just days before the start of the regular season. Many of these guys have to settle for finding spots with new clubs at Class AAA. Next week you will see this happen to a lot of guys.
In other cases, teams help the players or agree to let the player know earlier in the spring, which gives him a chance to find another big league job. I don’t know if this was the case, but the Rockies released Javy Lopez last week. At least now, he has the chance to get another job. What if they had made him the final cut on March 31?
In Tracey’s case, we did the player a favor in the sense that we could have sent him to Class AAA again for the year as insurance against something bad happening to our big league bullpen. Rather, when there was no viable trade possible, we placed him on waivers to allow other teams to claim Sean. Now, he has a chance to make an Opening Day roster with the Orioles, and we wish him luck. I like the move by our baseball operations staff. Call it good karma.
One of the great things we get do to is work with the Make-A-Wish program to give kids who are battling deparate illnes a chance to fulfill a life-long wish.
Today, Bob Beghtol, our director of public relations, took a young fan around our clubhouse. You should have seen the kid’s face (as well as his dad’s). Ozzie Guillen, Jim Thome and Scott Podsednik posed for photos. Toby Hall gave him a bat. Everyone signed his jersey.
It certainly is a small gesture on behalf of the team and takes only a few moments, but those few minutes are something the child and his family will remember for the rest of their lives. Puts everything in perspective, doesn’t it?