Posts Tagged ‘Brent Lillibridge’

Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team

When the White Sox defend their 2008 A.L. Central title this season, they will do so after overhauling a third of their lineup. Opening Day sees new starters at the centerfield, second and third base positions. Additionally, last year’s 2B, Alexei Ramirez moves over to shortstop.

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team

Last week, Baseball Prospectus predicted the Chicago White Sox to win just 73 games and finish dead last in the AL Central. Although the formula and prognostications of sabermetrician geeks sounds bleak, remember almost no one predicted the Sox to win the AL Central last season.

Back in the World Series year of 2005, most people predicted the pale hose to finish third! Lots of people forcasted the Sox to win the division in ’06 and ’07, yet they controlled the division for just 36 combined days during those two seasons. In summation, it’s wide open.

One guy with White Sox knowledge second to none is Soxman, who offered his spring prospectus.

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team Last weekend included St. Valentine’s Day, a time of year that more women than men look forward to quite frankly. But once it’s over, Major League Baseball pitchers and catchers begin reporting to spring training, which is to most guys what chocolate, jewelry and flowers are to women. Since we’re talking love, I consulted Soxman, the person who loves the White Sox more than any other individual on this Earth about what occurred in the offices on 35th and Shields this winter. You might recognize Soxman from…pretty much anywhere local media may roam.

On the Javier Vazquez trade:

“After his miserable play-off performance, almost every Sox fan would agree that Javy wore out his welcome on the Southside. The trade was crucial in rebuilding our anemic farm system as it yielded two of the top 20 prospects overall in the Braves system,” Soxman said.

2B/SS Brent Lillibridge is the player to watch in 2009. He’s expected to battle Chris Getz and Jason Nix for the starting job at second base. Kenny Williams believes he’s capable of stealing 40 bases if he gets 500 Abs.

Tyler Flowers could develop into the Sox next big slugger and 3B prospect Jon Gilmore has drawn comparisons to Scott Rolen.soxlogo

The Southside Dark Knight also opined on the signings of the so-called “Cuban Babe Ruth” Dayan Viciciedo and Bartolo Colon.

“Sox fans should not expect Viciedo to immediately perform like Alexei as he’s only 19,” the Soxed Crusader articulated. “There’s a ton to be excited about however. He slugged over .500 in two of the past three seasons in Cuba and was an All-Star in Cuba’s top league at age 16.

“Colon is exactly the type of pitcher I expected Williams to sign. The once awesome, aging pitcher plagued by injuries, trying to revive his career…at an ultra cheap price. In limited action with the Red Sox last season, he looked very good.”

In the case of Bobby Abreu and Jermaine Dye, we spent weeks listening about trade deals and prospective signings only to see no moves made. It kind of felt being stood up on a date. I asked the love interest of female Sox fans everywhere what he thought of the non-deals- the trades that didn’t happen.

“I was surprised the Sox did not go after Orlando Hudson as he still has not signed with a team, “ Soxman replied.

Finally, Soxman offered his predictions as to whether GM Kenny Williams has a major move or two left in him before the first pitch is thrown April 6th.

“With the economy it is pretty much a buyers market right now ,” Soxman said. “I think Kenny will see how the 2-3 position battles pan out and if any bargains fall his way, he’ll pounce.”

See more of Paul M. Banks’ work at the Washington Times and The Sports Bank

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