When your team is vying to be the worst in the American League then somewhere along the way you have made mistakes.
It seems as if it is time for Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams to go. The White Sox have sunk to the level of the Houston Astros and yes, that’s an insult. There are a multitude of reasons why this has happened.
To summarize, Williams failed to procure additional help during the off-season to buttress the roster. That was the No. 1 error. A more objective view of the talent on hand would have shown that the Sox were not going to be AL Central Division contenders without some significant free agent hires. Yet Williams provided no additional weapons for manager Robin Ventura.
The bullpen has been soft, not an area that can be counted on to protect leads and not able enough to prevent other teams from getting leads. Even more significantly, though this is as much in the nature of bad luck as bad judgment, is that the on-paper strong starting rotation has been more disappointment than across-the-board plus.
There have been too many injuries creating too many holes in the rotation so the starting pitching has been erratic. The whole rotation is never whole at the same time and so has never been truly consistent at the same time.
The good news is that first baseman Paul Konerko had a four-for-four day Tuesday, but the bad news is that until that game Konerko was showing signs of deterioration as a hitter for the first time as he ages. Even with that splurge in a 7-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins, Konerko’s average is sitting at .248.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Konerko is extremely popular in Chicago. He has been a six-time All-Star for the White Sox during his 17 Major League seasons and has always handled himself with class. But he is 37 and although you hope that this isn’t the beginning of the end for him as a full-time player, it just might be. Konerko has just six home runs so far this year (428 lifetime).
And then we have the Adam Dunn conundrum. It does not seem as if much energy should be devoted to hoping that he will snap out of his malaise. Dunn will continue to hit home runs on a somewhat regular basis, and drive in some runs here and there, but in-between he will amass a stack of oh-for-four days.
In 64 games Dunn has 18 home runs and 40 runs batted in, but is batting .181. Last year he clubbed 41 home runs, drove in 96, but hit just .204. Illustrating the schizophrenia that is Dunn at the plate, he led the American League in walks and strikeouts. In 2011 Dunn batted .159. He is a mix of Dave Kingman and Rob Deer.
The first time around in 2011 when Dunn’s average dipped below the definition of pathetic, the White Sox were surprised and dismayed. Now that we are into the third straight year of puny Dunn averages the team can’t be surprised. It is inexplicable that a guy so big and powerful (at 6-6 and 285 pounds), who can hit so many home runs (424 career) can’t hit the occasional single.
Dunn is only 33 and is on track for a 500-homer career. The sad part is that if he can’t get his batting average up he won’t be around the game long enough to hit that many.
The sinking of the Sox is not only Dunn’s fault. Except for Gordon Beckham returning from injury, the team does not have a player hitting higher than .285. Outfielder Alex Rios is the team leader in on-base percentage at .345. The winningest pitcher is Jake Peavy with six victories, in only 11 games, due to injury.
Yes, the White Sox have all of the makings of a last-place team. It was up to GM Williams to ward off evil spirits and he failed to do so. It’s time for the Sox, who are supposedly up for sale by owner Jerry Reinsdorf, to start over–in the front office, and on the field.