Thursday, July 24, 2008

#71 - Scott Linebrink

Not many players have worn number 71 for the Chicago White Sox. The players that would wear this number were usually scrub middle relievers that were around for a few games and never heard from again. That all changed in 2008.

General Manager Kenny Williams was determined to fix a struggling bullpen, which was blamed for the collapse of the 2007 season. The reasons behind the failure of that season were many and shouldn't rest solely on the bullpen, but this was the easiest to fix.

Kenny went after star players from other teams. Former closers who dominated in the set-up role. The plan was to get to Bobby Jenks with the lead intact. One of the guys that Kenny Williams went after was Scott Linebrink.

That instantly gave the middle relief credibility. No matter what Scott accomplished in a Sox uniform under number 71, would instantly trump all who wore the number previously. A funny thing happened when Scott put on the Sox uniform. He regained most of what made him a star. He had lost a step or two the previous season and had gotten lit up pretty well.

There have been some rough patches in Scott's 2008 season, but he has mostly been lights out. If Scott continues at this pace, it will be very hard to unseat him from this number.

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