Friday, December 31, 2010

Card Spotlight: 12-31-10

2010 Upper Deck Season Biography #SB-189 - Jake Peavy

And we end 2010 remembering those who have fallen along the way and hope that things will improve in the new year. The slate will be wiped clean and everyone will start anew. This is a time of remembrance and a time to look to the future.

Happy new year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Last Hit Of 2010

The stocking was hung on the front door with dare
With hopes that Mr. Hankey soon will be there
My diet had been recently high in fiber
So my stocking would be filled by the late Avery Schreiber
I rushed downstairs on Christmas morning
So fast that I did not heed my cat's warning
Slipping in hairballs hocked up overnight
As part of some feline cleaning ritual rite
Washing my foot in the tub couldn't erase my smile
Even though the job was quite vile
Clean as a whistle and soon I was off
Pausing only to listen to my father's smoker cough
I spotted my stocking with glee
Imagining what wonders inside will be
There were many packs of baseball cards
Topps and Obak were met with warm regards
Lottery scratch offs turned out to be a bust
Making me question the State of Illinois' trust
Odd little candies sprinkled among the loot
At the end of the stocking was the obligatory fruit
Something made me think of Ned Beatty
As a code card produced a checklist from 1980
In the last pack of Topps, finally a hit
But the ex-Sox player pictured made me feel like...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WSC Birth Years: Boone Logan

Card #85 - Boone Logan

Born: August 13, 1984

Boone was drafted in the 2002 amateur draft in the 20th round by the White Sox. During the spring of 2006, he made the leap from rookie ball to the majors based on his performance.

Logan made his MLB debut on April 4, 2006, pitching the fifth and sixth innings in a loss to the Indians. The next day he blew his first chance to save a game. It wasn't until April 25th that he would earn his only save as a member of the White Sox.

Boone's best year in Chicago came in a disappointing 2007 season for the team. He enjoyed an ERA below five and a 2-1 record. After the 2008 season, Logan was traded to Atlanta with Javier Vazquez for Brent Lillibridge, Tyler Flowers and two minor league players.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

From Awesome To Meh In The Click Of A Mouse

First off, there is a selection of some of the cool things under the tree this year. The fifth season of SNL, DVDs of Lost Highway (finally in widescreen!) and Young Mr. Lincoln, the first John Swartzwelder novella, a smattering of card packs and a 2011 White Sox team calender (already rendered obsolete by the inclusion of Bobby Jenks). Other things included cologne and Blu-ray discs of The Hangover and Paths Of Glory (which I won't be able to play from the lack of a Blu-ray player, but should sometime in 2011).

In one of the packs of Topps second series packs...
A bonus Christmas gift of a code card! Cool, maybe that 2006 card of Rob Mackowiak will finally be mine. Again. Or I could hit the jackpot and get a vintage common. I've learned that I will never pull something cool, like a Pete Rose rookie or a (Topps favorite) Mickey Mantle card from his playing days. No Brewers Hank Aaron cards will ever be unlocked by me. No fifties card will ever be unlocked by me. I'm OK with that. I'm perfectly happy and surprised that I unlocked a common from 1964.

So I entered the code and...

A 1980 checklist card. Meh.

That won't ruin the good cheer and it won't taint the other gifts. It's just less than I expected from a bonus. Or it could just be karma.

Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas Card

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Card Spotlight: 12-24-10

1958 Topps #347 - Don Rudolph

Actually, I can't take credit for the genesis of this post. That would have to go to a follower of the Facebook page. A submission of the 1959 Topps Don Rudolph card to the White Sox Cards Facebook wall inspired me to feature this 1958 Topps card.

Let the holiday spirit engulf you and enjoy Rudolph. Happy holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WSC Birth Years: Joe Crede

Card #84 - Joe Crede

Born: April 26, 1978

Joe was originally selected in the fifth round of the 1996 draft by the White Sox. He made his MLB debut in 2000, but was behind Herbert Perry at third base. When Crede played a full season at third, in 2003, his defensive skills improved dramatically. The last few years of his tenure with the Pale Hose drew defensive comparisons to Brooks Robinson.

Crede has never been a prolific hitter, but rather a smart hitter. During the 2005 playoffs, Joe played a big role in Chicago's success by hitting extremely well in the late innings, when the game was on the line. Some fans even dubbed him "Clutch Crede" because of his uncanny ability to come up with lethal hits in crucial times.

Lower back troubles have sidelined Crede during the last years of his career, including a short but productive stint with the Minnesota Twins. His last hurrah with the Sox included his only All-Star Game selection, in 2008.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Mail Part Three: Emerald City Diamond Gems

The best card packages are the unexpected ones or the ones that slipped your mind. Inside a funny Christmas themed card with Blitzen the reindeer flying on a commercial airplane after calling in sick, there were ten cards ranging from 1959 to 2003, with most falling between 1959 and 1977.

That's definitely my kind of Christmas card! The contents inside the card were pretty great too! I have to definitely give a shout out of thanks to Larry of Emerald City Diamond Gems for sending these along.

But before the Christmas cheer was known, I had just seen the mail carrier place our mail in the box, after our dog had alerted us to the postal workers presence. Thirty seconds later, I brought the mail inside and started to sort it. A community college course catalog, a few bills, an Entertainment Weekly and then I saw this.
One of my fears about sending baseball cards through the mail had finally come true. The ripped open package.
Amazingly, there were cards inside! I have no idea if all the cards made it through, but ten managed to survive, even with the side of the envelope ripped open from end to end.
There was no attempt to cover it up, which leads me to assume that the contents of the envelope were too bulky and troublesome for the mail sorting machine. The Christmas card was a bit wrinkled, but no worse for wear. There was slight damage to each card, but the 1960 Topps card of Ed Hobaugh seemed to obtain the worst of it, with a corner partially mangled. A close second was the Konerko that split on a corner, separating the front from the back a little bit. Surprisingly, the most pristine looking card is the 1972 Topps Jay Johnstone.

Regardless of how the cards survived, I am grateful that vintage cards made it this far, considering the bizarre set of circumstances. I am thankful for the generous nature and great thought that Larry had when sending these to me. Out of all my years of trading, this is one of the very few mishaps that has happened through the mail. That ratio alone gives me hope and demonstrates everything that I am thankful for throughout the year.

Thanks, Larry! The cards are great and the journey has been inspirational.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

WSC Vintage: Walt Dropo

Card #29 - Walt Dropo

Walt was selected in the ninth round of the 1946 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears. He turned that down, to find that he was selected in the first round (fourth pick) by the BAA, which would turn into the NBA in 1949. Dropo turned that offer down too.

His heart belonged to baseball. Walt rejected those offers to sign as an amateur free agent with the Boston Red Sox in 1947. After stints with the Red Sox and Tigers, he was traded to the White Sox in December 1954.

Dropo was with the White Sox from 1955 until June 1958. His best seasons were behind him before he landed in Chicago, but the first baseman still could pack a punch at the plate and maintained an average in the mid-200 range. Despite the dip in production, Moose could still hold his own, which is evident to any fan who saw the 6'5", 220 pound Dropo during an on-field brawl.

In June 1958, Walt was picked up on waivers by Cincinnati. He was traded almost a year to the day later to the Baltimore Orioles, where he played until released in May 1961.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cards That Never Were #40

1963 Topps - Rookie Stars (Daryl Robertson, Ramon Conde, Cap Peterson, Bill Kern)

I'm not a huge fan of the multiple player rookie card. I believe that every player should have their own card. It rose out of the need to showcase more players than there were allotted card spaces in the set. It's quite an ingenious device that has been abused in the past two decades.

This type of card was most effective from the early sixties until the early eighties. When Topps introduced the multiple player rookie card in the early nineties, there was no need for it. Sets had ballooned to gigantic sizes and were large enough to fit every draft pick and prospect worth a darn (and then some), plus room for several cards of each star player.

Daryl Robertson never had a Topps card. He played for the Chicago Cubs in May 1962, appearing in nine games, six at shortstop, one at third base, and two pinch hitting appearances. In twenty-two plate appearances, he batted .105, with two hits, two RBI, two walks and ten strikeouts. He never made the big leagues again.

Ramon Conde never had a Topps card either. He debuted with the White Sox in July 1962. His final game was in August of 1962, after playing in fourteen games. In 19 plate appearances, he hit .000, but managed three walks and an RBI. He played seven games at third base.

Cap Peterson's rookie card came in 1964, shared with Phil Gagliano. His debut came with the Giants in September 1962, playing shortstop. Cap would enjoy eight seasons in the majors with the Giants, Senators and Indians. He later converted into primarily an outfielder.

Bill Kern never had a Topps card. He played in eight games for the Kansas City Athletics in September 1962. Bill started three of those games in left field. In sixteen plate appearances, he hit .250 and hit a home run. Bill signed with the Athletics during their last year in Philadelphia.

Christmas Mail Part Two: Stampman12345

The second package to arrive is from someone I haven't heard from in awhile. Bill, also known as Stampman12345, hasn't had a computer for a year and a half, so contact has been very sporadic and trading has pretty much come to a standstill for him. It was with great joy and surprise that I received a Christmas card from Bill. Inside was a brief note explaining what I just recapped earlier and Christmas and New Year's wishes. Also, a 2005 Bowman Heritage autograph of Wes Whisler!

Thanks, Bill! The good wishes will last throughout the new year and the Whisler auto will become a nice addition to my collection.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Mail Part One: The Angels, In Order

I've been blessed with a number of small packages this week, that were sent in the spirit of the season. The first envelope to arrive came from Tom, of the excellent blog, The Angels, In Order. If you haven't checked it out, I highly recommend doing so. It is a treasure trove of information!

In the envelope was a 1998 Pinnacle Mint card of Albert Belle and a short note wishing me a merry Christmas and happy blogging. This is my first Pinnacle Mint card and I have to say that it is probably one of truly unique pieces in my collection. I'm stunned at how well a coin fits into the design of a baseball card.

Thanks, Tom! This helps brighten a very lean holiday. Merry Christmas to you and your family and happy blogging!

And The GIBBY Goes To... Mark Buehrle!

Congrats, Mark! Well deserved!

Card Spotlight: 12-17-10

2009 Upper Deck First Edition #77 - Bobby Jenks

"A ground ball past Jenks, up the middle of the infield. Uribe has it, he throws... OUT, OUT! A White Sox winner and a world championship! The White Sox have won the World Series and they're mobbing each other on the field!"

Plucked from relative obscurity, Bobby Jenks was dropped into the middle of the most serendipitous season in White Sox history. He dominated and excelled in the closer role and became a legend to a Chicago town that has seen its fair share of disappointments with their baseball teams. His first taste of the big leagues was met with outstanding success.

The fast, meteoric rise of Jenks set him up for a spectacular fall. His fastball, once clocked triple digits on a regular basis, fell to the mid-nineties. The seasons dragged on, with stupendous accomplishments and amazing failures. Then, the dread would set in to each fan, whenever Jenks trotted out of the bullpen. The man could get the job done, more often than not, but you had to come along on a thrill ride which threatened to derail at any moment.

This is in no way meant to be a slight on Jenks, merely a celebration and a sobering reality that Chicago was not a fit anymore. I wish Bobby Jenks, the wide-eyed innocent man-child that perfectly captured the spirit of the '05 team, the best in his future endeavors with the Boston Red Sox. I thank Bobby for all the happiness that he brought to White Sox fans everywhere. I'm saddened that another part of the World Series team is gone from the fold. Yet, I understand that it was absolutely necessary to move forward, for both Jenks and the White Sox.

Good luck, Bobby. And thanks for the wonderful memories that we will have for a lifetime.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WSC Birth Years: Adam Russell

Card #83 - Adam Russell

Born: April 14, 1983

Adam was signed from the draft on June 16, 2004 and made his MLB debut with the White Sox on June 17, 2008. Russell was brought up to help in the bullpen during interleague play. His debut was during a 16-5 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Despite having an ERA above five, Adam was the recipient of a stellar 4-0 record in 22 appearances. Good fortune seemed to be smiling on Russell in 2008. During the 2009 season, he was an important cog in the trade to San Diego which brought Jake Peavy to the White Sox. Through the 2010 season, Adam has had luck keeping his ERA down and has an impressive 3-1 record with the Padres, over two years.

This May Be The Best Card I've Unlocked

I was at Target picking up a few supplies this morning. Lo and behold, a pack of Topps Updates slipped into my order. Whoopsie-daisy! When I got home and entered the code card that I had found, I was expecting to see a 2006 card of Rob Mackowiak. Instead, I see a 1964 card of Grover Powell.

Not being a die hard fan of the Metropolitans, I don't remember hearing the name Grover Powell. There's a good reason. He made his MLB debut with the Mets on July 13, 1963. He appeared in 20 games between then and September 29, 1963, which was his final MLB game. He spent 1964 through 1970 in the minors and died in 1985. In fact this was the only Topps card of Grover Powell, not including the 1964 Venezuelan counterpart. In fact, he only has five cards in the Beckett database. Three of which were issued after his playing career had ended in 1970. One of which was issued after his death.

With these parameters in play, I think it's awfully lucky that I got this card. This may truly be one in a million.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tribune White Sox Cards Exposed By Hackenbush

"Well, it was too small for a basketball, and I didn't know what to do with it."

Normally, I'm on top of all things White Sox related regarding cards. This release escaped my wide dragnet, even though it was released in my own hometown. It probably doesn't help that my family subscribes to the Chicago Sun-Times. These cards were distributed as an insert in Chicago Tribune papers in 2008.

Thanks to Hackenbush of Can't Have Too Many Cards fame, these cards are not only no longer a mystery to me, they are in my possession! I received twenty perforated (and separated) Tribune cards, along with two different 1983 Fleer logo stickers.

I can see that the Chicago Tribune was looking to Topps for its inspiration. There are elements from the 1972 and 1973 sets on the front. The back incorporates the color of the 1964 set along with an allusion to the floating heads from the 1971 set. This is a mosaic of vintage Topps cards.
I am unsure as to what order the cards are supposed to be in, so I will present them in the order that I found them.

John Danks
DeWayne Wise
Juan Uribe
Joe Crede
Mark Buehrle
Octavio Dotel
Jim Thome
Gavin Floyd
Scott Linebrink
Javier Vazquez
Matt Thornton
A.J. Pierzynski
Carlos Quentin
Nick Swisher
Paul Konerko
Ken Griffey Jr.
Orlando Cabrera
Brian Anderson
Toby Hall
Adam Russell

Thanks, Hackenbush! These cards are even better than I imagined, when you e-mailed me about them. This is a great addition to my White Sox collection.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

WSC Vintage: Lou Fiene

Card #28 - Lou Fiene

Lou was drafted by the White Sox in 1904. He bragged about mastering the spitball pitch in the spring of 1906, shortly before he made his White Sox debut on May 7, 1906.

Fiene appeared in 26 games with the Pale Hose between 1906 and 1909. Although the 1906 team did win the World Series, Lou was not on the big league roster at the time. In his four Major League seasons, Fiene compiled a 3-8 record with a 3.85 ERA. His last MLB appearance was on August 15, 1909.

Big Finn had most of his success in the minors, where he went 73-59 over nine seasons. Lou hurt his arm during the 1911 season, but bounced back by transforming himself into a utility player. Fiene hung on in the minors until 1915.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Best Laugh I've Had All Day

In case the picture turns out to be too small when clicked, let's review what someone is willing to trade for a 1952 Mickey Mantle card.

1971 - Clarence Gaston
1976 - Bobby Valentine
2005 - Carl Pavano
2006 - Brandon Webb
2002 - Mark Grace
1968 - Jack Fisher
1972 - Elrod Hendricks
1989 - Kirby Puckett
1972 - Ted Ford
1986 - Fred Lynn
1972 - Lee Richard
2002 - Glendon Rusch
2001 - Ivan Rodriguez

That's thirteen cards! The person holding the 52 Mantle in their Topps account will be overwhelmed by the generosity of the person offering the thirteen cards (from between 1968 and 2006) and be starstruck by the numerous superstar names, that the Mantle holder will automatically hit the trade button because they will be getting such a wonderful deal.

Or that's what the person offering the embarrassment of vintage commons and overproduced stars is hoping will happen.

Oh, wait. A couple of those vintage commons became successful managers. Well that changes everything.

Good luck with that one buddy.

Card Spotlight: 12-10-10

1976 SSPC #145 - Lee Richard

There have been numerous posts this week about Bee Bee, so here's a great opportunity to revisit one of his little seen cards. By now, most everyone knows I'm a sucker for oddball cards, or underdog cards with an interesting history. The story of SSPC is pretty legendary around collecting circles.

SSPC was the one company to stand up to Topps in the middle of its dominance and actually release cards to the masses. The blow to Topps was that SSPC presented a decent alternative to the malaise that came over some of Topps' output during the mid-seventies. Sure, the Topps designs of the seventies are mostly classic now, but that wasn't necessarily the case when they came out.

If you've ever really studied Topps photography of the seventies, the colors seem muted, feature odd angles and can be of questionable quality. Part of the blame lies in the photos themselves and a small portion can be blamed on the card stock. I usually blame the glib way that the photos were chosen. The cards were still being presented as an afterthought. Only something to increase gum sales.

SSPC came along and put the focus on the cards themselves. They are riddled with errors on the back, but that's still something that Topps hadn't yet perfected either. The cards didn't feature much in the name of action, but it had clear, crisp photographs, which showed detail in the face of every player; something that Topps couldn't claim. The cards were produced on brighter stock, which only enhanced the photography.

Topps made three cards of Bee Bee. In 1972, Lee is shown in a side pose, with a nonchalant smile on his face. The card looks airbushed and is a fair representation of Richard. It's a little muddy looking, but you get the general idea of Bee Bee. in 1975, Lee looks a bit worried. He knows his time is short on the White Sox. The colors are washed out and it shows. In 1976, Bee Bee is shown in a batting pose. The photo is a little off-kilter and the background is slightly out of focus. Lee looks fed up. It's a decent card, but it could have been a lot better.

In contrast, Bee Bee's 1976 SSPC card shows him with a gigantic smile. The colors are bright. He's wearing a helmet, but doesn't seem buried in it, like in the 1972 Topps card. It's a revelation to see his face clearly. Glad to finally meet you Bee Bee! Topps never wanted me to see the real you.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More Stax Of Cards

I received another great package from Stax Of Wax Pax in the mail recently. It filled a few holes in my collection, including an original back Aparicio rookie "Your Momma" card. A Lance Broadway autograph, a few chrome cards, a Tyler Flowers card and an awesome Mark Buehrle card that I did not have before.

Thanks so much! I see that your want list has expanded. I'm sure I'll be able to find a few cards from that list to send your way.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Sure Sign Of Rejection

You really want my 1973 Roger Metzger? It's that important to you? Then please don't insult me by offering a 1988 Eddie Murray. While Eddie Murray is completely bad-ass, I'm not going to trade a 1973 card for a 1988 card. Not gonna happen. You really want it? Offer me an older card. I don't care who it is. It can be any year up to 1972.

As for the people trying to wrestle my 1972 Carlos May away from me...

This is a card I really want in my collection. Only one person has offered me anything that gave me slight pause. That happened yesterday, when someone offered a 1972 Lee Richard card for my 1972 Carlos May. I didn't have any intention of trading away Carlos May, and if I didn't already have the Lee Richard card, I may have been tempted further. I traded for this particular card of Carlos May and it would take a card of some substance to pry it away before I redeem it. I can safely say that the card will be eventually securing a spot in my binder with the rest of the 1972 White Sox cards.

As for the Roger Metzger card? I don't care if you offer me two 1988 cards (as someone already did), it will take an older card than 1973 for me to trade it away. Keep those offers rolling in.

WSC Birth Years: Paul Phillips

Card #82 - Paul Phillips

Born: April 15, 1977

Paul made his White Sox debut on September 5, 2008, in the late innings of a laugher against the Angels in Chicago. In all, Phillips made four appearances for the Sox, all in late inning situations, during September 2008. He only batted twice in those four games, lining out to the shortstop in his first plate appearance and striking out in his second.

Phillips impressed enough people in Spring Training to warrant a September call-up, but he was granted free agency in November 2008. Paul previously spent a good number of years in the Kansas City organization. Since his time with the ChiSox, he has spent time with the Colorado Rockies. On December 8, 2010, he was signed by the Cleveland Indians.

Welcome Back, Paulie!!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

3rd Anniversary Swag: Orioles Card "O" The Day


Congratulations on your 3-year anniversary of blogging! I picked this up for you in August at the National, and I guess I was saving it for a special occasion. This would certainly qualify! Here's to many more years of blogging excellence.

Orioles Card "O" The Day
The Great 1965 Topps Project

Thank you Kevin! This has to be one of the most unique gifts I have ever received! I missed out on attending the National this year, but I'm sure this is what I would have picked up.

It's quite an amazing sight, seeing all the White Sox regular issue Topps cards, from 1952 through 1987, in one place. I was going to scan a few pages, but I was afraid that the binding would crack. Instead, you'll just have to imagine it.

The book gives a summary of each season, then follows with glorious color reproductions of each card, in alphabetical order. For some odd reason, 1986 features the 1985 Topps Traded cards, alongside the regular 1986 counterpart cards. No other Topps Traded cards were in the entire book. Just a weird little anomaly, I guess.

There's even a special article on Carlton Fisk at the back of the book! I've always wondered what these Surf books were all about. I'm very impressed! I wish there were update books for the seasons after 1987.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

WSC Vintage: Lena Blackburne

Card #27 - Lena Blackburne

Lena began his MLB career in 1910, as a shortstop for the Chicago White Sox. In 75 games, he hit a low .174. He next appeared in five games in 1912 for the Sox, hitting .000. Blackburne spent 1913 with AA Milwaukee, but returned in 1914 to the Sox to play in 144 games. Lena lasted through the 1915 season with the White Sox, hitting no higher than .222, in any given year up to that point.

Blackburne skipped around between the minors, Cincinatti, the Braves and the Phillies until the end of the 1919 season. He spent the next seven seasons shuffling around the minors until the end of the 1926 season. He became a coach for the Sox in 1927. Fate stepped in, on June 28, 1927, as Lena was put into the game for the White Sox, where he helped the Pale Hose rally past the Indians in the ninth inning. Blackburne would eventually become the manager of the White Sox in 1928, a position he held until 1929.

Lena, who was an infielder his entire career, entered the game on June 5, 1929, as a pitcher and pitched to one batter, giving up a hit to a Red Sox batter. This came in the eighth inning, at Fenway Park, after the Red Sox were up by fifteen runs.

Perhaps Lena Blackburne's greatest achievement was finding and selling rubbing mud to MLB clubs, starting in the late thirties. It is the same mud that is still used to this day to rub down each baseball. Not bad for a career .214 hitter nicknamed Slats.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Top Of Topps White Sox: 2001 - 2010

Sorry about the lateness of this final edition. The last decade of cards are so fresh that it makes it more difficult to choose a representative for each year.

2001 - Ray Durham
Stop! In the name of love!

2002 - White Sox Team
Nothing stands out from this set more than the team photo.

2003 - Frank Thomas
A sweet swing and a sweet smile!

2003 - Joe Crede
Crouched and in position for some stellar defense!

2005 - Willie Harris
Team 4! The little things made this team special and is on display on this card.

2006 - Ozzie Guillen
The mouth of the South Side has the floor. Remember to project your voice, Ozzie!

2007 - Ryan Sweeney
Because sometimes you just gotta use the bat as a fashion accessory.

2008 - Mark Buehrle
Captured for posterity, in between no-hitters.

2009 - Jim Thome
This may be the greatest card of the entire set.

2010 - Gordon Beckham
The aura of Bacon trumps all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Card Spotlight: 12-3-10

2002 Bowman Heritage #313 - Paul Konerko

The offseason is an exciting time. Players are moved around. Big splashes are made. Tiny ripples too. Every move can have unintended consequences. Every decision is crucial.

Some are easy. Some are hard. Sometimes the significance of a trade or a signing won't be known for years. It is a period of uncertainty and I'm happy that I don't have the pressure on me to make those types of moves. I'll leave that in the capable hands of the GMs and the owners.

The pieces of the 2011 White Sox roster are forming before our eyes. Adam Dunn has been inked to a four year deal. Pierzynski signed a two year deal. Scott Linebrink was traded (with cash considerations, since you would have to pay any team to take him) to Atlanta for a AA pitcher. Bobby Jenks and Erick Threets were non-tendered. It doesn't mean that the White Sox couldn't re-sign them, but it gives other teams the opportunity to sign them as well.

All these moves have been made in the past few days. It's been pretty busy and exciting following the club this week. The flurry of activity has some heads spinning, wondering exactly what will come next. What should come next? Paul Konerko.

In the end, I believe that Paul Konerko will re-sign with the White Sox. Adam Dunn and Konerko could be as lethal of a one-two punch as Frank Thomas and Albert Belle were as teammates. There are still question marks, but what club doesn't have those? If the Sox can also find a decent bullpen, the 2011 team could be one for the ages.

It hinges on Konerko's decision. Could the White Sox contend without him? They have a good shot. The club has a better shot at the World Series with Konerko though. He is the club leader, whether he admits it or not. He is the glue that holds the team together. He leads by example and the others have usually followed suit.

If Paulie signs with another team, so be it. I would hope that it wouldn't be a team in the AL Central. The Sox have already faced that in 2010, when Jim Thome experienced a renaissance with the Minnesota Twins, after the Sox decided not to retain him.

The White Sox and their fans don't want to say goodbye to Paul Konerko just yet. I think Konerko doesn't want to say goodbye to the White Sox just yet. I think there's somewhere in between where everyone can get what they want.

All of this is just speculation, until something happens. When all is said and done, hopefully, everyone will be saying hello, rather than goodbye.

RIP Ron Santo

This is probably the only smile he had in a White Sox uniform. He was a Cubs legend and will now be up there with all the great Cubs legends. He may have not been the best radio announcer of all time, but the passion was always there. It's something that I can respect and admire. Maybe this will be the final push needed for Cooperstown.

Goodbye Linebrink

He's your problem now, Atlanta.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WSC Birth Years: Esteban Loaiza

Card #81 - Esteban Loaiza

Born: December 31, 1971

Esteban's first year with the White Sox was his finest year. In 2003, Loaiza came in second for the AL Cy Young and started his first All-Star game in his then current home park. He sported a 21-9 record, which is nine more wins than in any other season that he appeared in the majors.

In 2004, the White Sox traded high and acquired Jose Contreras from the Yankees for Loaiza. Esteban's career success with the ChiSox doesn't come close to any other team's luck with him. He hit the wall hard in New York, rebounded with Washington, then continued his spiral down. Looking to regain his glory days, Loaiza signed with the Sox in 2008. He lasted three games, out of the bullpen, totaling three innings, surprisingly with an ERA of 3.00. Esteban's luck had run out and the Sox ended up releasing him before the 2008 trade deadline.
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