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South Sider John Ely dazzling in second Major League start for Dodgers

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John Ely uncorks a first inning pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Staium on Thursday night. (AP)

John Ely is a genuine pride of the South Side - Harvey, to be exact. So what is he doing helping out the Cubs?

Ely, making just his second big league start - and first home start at that - was a human wrecking ball for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the North Siders' nemesis Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night.

With no less than Vin Scully singing his praises, Ely spun a gem at Chavez Ravine and was in position to earn the win before a Jonathan Broxton meltdown in the ninth. At one point, Ely sat down 16 in a row.

Allowing just one run in six and two-thirds innings Ely, who now has 72 games under his belt in three professional seasons, only allowed two runners as far as second base and took particular interest in embarrassing Jim Edmonds, saddled with three of Ely's seven strikeouts off a variety of high-80s fastballs and and assortment of on-the-corners breaking stuff.

It's a vast improvement on his shaky debut against the Mets, where he lasted six innings, but was touched up for 5 runs.

Ely, called up to sub for a disabled Vicente Padilla, may not get another chance on the Dodger Stadium bump with Jeff Weaver expected back from injury Friday. But with the command he showed Thursday night, he'll also likely find his way back pitching with the big club in the near future.

One thing is for sure: Ely's domination was likely just a little more painful for Sox fans. He was drafted and signed as a Sox in 2007 out of Homewood-Flossmoor, but ended his South Side career as the player to be named that completed the Juan Pierre deal in December 2009.

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I was afraid of that. Yes, the White Sox tradition of trading away young pitching talent for age 30-plus hitters continues, in this case both Ely and Jon Link for Juan Pierre. The fact that Ely is a South Sider makes it sting all the more. Now, naturally, he's already in the Dodgers' rotation and, (what else?) "dazzling in second start". What is he, 22 at the most? Another sore spot associated with this deal is that they could have brought Scott Podsednik back without sacrificing any players at all. Last I looked, Pods was hitting, oh, .330 or so in KC.

I've long been tired of this particular tradition. For me it harkens all the way back to when they dealt away three promising young pitchers for a washed up, 32 year-old Steve Sax. Remember that gem?!

John Ely and Jon Link are just the latest in a long line unfortunately, and with Gio Gonzalez in Oakland's rotation (and De Los Santos on his way?).....oh yeah- what's Nick Swisher up to these days? After being bundled away to New York for three stiffs last year he's wearing a ring and solidly encamped as the Yanks' rightfielder. He was on base all the time last weekend against the White Sox, grinning the whole time- especially as he (frequently) glanced into the Sox dugout. I can hazard a guess as to what he was laughing about!

While the Sox were completely fleeced (by TWO teams no less!) in the sorry, sordid Swisher Affair, it's still fairly early in the Juan Pierre era to be rushing to judgement. Juan does seem to be getting it together lately, and maybe in the end the trade will balance out. But even so, Ely's early success (combined with his South Side roots) does tend to stick in one's craw.

A while back, maybe at the 2008 draft, (or maybe it was when they were bragging about getting Marquez and Nunez in the Swisher deal) there was an article on the MLB / White Sox website that went something like "White Sox organization continues to stockpile pitching talent". Well, at the rate this club eventually gets rid of good, young pitchers- they have to stock up sometime!

why would ely be the pride of harvey? Sure, he was probably born in harvey... in Ingalls hospital. But the only time he probably set foot in harvey after his birth was when HF went over to play conference rival Thornton High School. And does living in a south suburb make you a south sider? Is a Glenview resident a North sider? I am confused. And amused

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This page contains a single entry by Craig Newman published on May 6, 2010 11:35 PM.

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