Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Pierre now leading man on the South Side

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randywatson.jpgThis is Ken Williams' Randy Watson moment.
The part of the offseason program where the general manager stomps his feet several times on the stage, yells out "Sexual Chocolate ... Sexual Chocolate ...'' drops the microphone and exits stage right.
Love it or hate it, meet your 2010 White Sox.
Sure, this is a team that only a crazy manager could love, but the Sox have that department covered.
Since Ozzie Guillen took the gig in 2004, his three requests have been pitching, defense and speed. It was that last request that his general manager had a hard time meeting, loading up Guillen's plate with snail rather than rabbit.
Until now that is.
In obtaining Alex Rios off the waiver wire last August - whether it was done purposely or not - trading the likes of Jim Thome, letting Jermaine Dye stroll into free agency, and now adding Juan Pierre on Tuesday, it's the "Slow-Slow Sox'' no more.
And unless some team comes a knocking with a left-handed hitting designated hitter and an offer the Sox can't refuse, well, there's the end of your 2009-10 hot-stove talk. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 21.
"Ozzie and I have been speaking on that, and we spoke on it again [Tuesday],'' Williams said of the DH spot. "Right now, what he would like to do is sit where we are right now because he likes flexibility with the DH position, whether it be a guy getting a break or keeping your bench players fresh. Guys like [Andruw] Jones, [Mark] Kotsay, [Omar] Vizquel, getting [Paul] Konerko off of his feet and getting into the DH spot ... he likes the flexibility that comes with it.
"I've given him some names - this is a very critical last thing on our list. I certainly don't want to do anything from my seat that conflicts with what my manager wants, so regardless if I think there may be a need for a bigger left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup, he's the one in there and I fully support how he and his coaching staff see the situation fitting. That's something we'll continue to think about.''
Yeah, like June or July, come trade deadline time.
But will quicker be better?
In adding Jones, Vizquel, reliever J.J. Putz and now Pierre, the Sox would be penciled in for a postseason spot if this was say 2003 - or at least the junior varsity that is the National League. The bar, however, is set high, New York Yankee high, where the World Champs have speed, power, pitching, defense and now a sad, empty seat in the stands that has "Alex loves Kate'' carved into it.
Are the Sox better than they were in 2009? Yes. Are they Yankee better? No.
There's no question that they have taken strides in being Central Division favorites. If that's the end game then Williams sleeps well tonight.
The wildcard in all of this come April, however, is now Guillen. We will find out just how good of a manager he is because this is a team tailored to fit.
"I don't want people in Chicago now to say, we need a power-hitter,'' Guillen said. "The last four years they have been on Kenny and myself, 'we're too slow.' We're excited with what we have. We have a more athletic ballclub and can do a lot of things. Kenny has done a miracle, I don't know how he did it. It's going to be fun. You're going to see a different ballclub.
"And I was looking for a challenge, looking for the challenge to see how good I can be, moving the pieces the way I like to move them.''
He better like challenges because 2005 is starting to seem a long, long time ago.

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3 Comments

2005 a long time ago?

Please. How long ago were the Cubs? Yeah, thought so.

These are decent moves by KW. I didn't like the Rios move last year, but I am willing to wait and see. Personally, the Rios money could have been spent on Chone Figgins. But I digress.

There is no team out there that can approach the Yankees. It's an unfair comparison to make. So stop it.

jason I disagree I would never give Figgins at 32 yrs old that kind of money. You will find Rios will be just fine and Pierre will be a better lead-off man for longer with Jordan Danks on the horizon. Putz and the kid from Detroit along with the moves for veterans like Vizquel and Jones late inning and club house stabilizers with the top five in the rotation this will be a fun season.

How about Barry Bonds as a left-handed DH?

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on December 15, 2009 7:43 PM.

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