It was a close game but the Sox managed to salvage a win from this series.
I was at the home opener of the Kane County Cougars, a single-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s, so I didn’t actually hear any of the game. However, I was catching updates from the two older gentlemen a row ahead of me and my sister, so I knew what was going on… sorta…
The game was tied 4-4 until the bottom of the eighth inning when Andruw Jones, pinch hitting for Mark Kotsay, laced a single through the hole between third base and short. Carlos Quentin came chugging around third base as the ball was being thrown in towards home plate. As Quentin neared the batters’ box area the ball actually hit him in the back of the foot and deflected away from Joe Mauer, allowing Quentin to score without a bang-bang play at home.
Mark Buehrle gave up four runs on eight hits while striking out one and walking two in eight solid innings of work. Just Big Bobby Jenks came on in the bottom of the ninth to close things out for his first save of the season. If Jenks wants the “Bad” to be put back in his nickname I’m going to need to see this type of outing another twenty times.
The Sox are 2-4 after our six-game season-opening home stand and travel to Toronto tonight to face the Jays. Jake Peavy (0-0, 5.40) faces Brian Tallet (1-0, 2.70) in game one of this three-game series.
Boy, would you look at that? We have a lead-off hitter again!
After Scott Podsednik’s departure I was racking my brain trying to find who would be at the top of the order for the Sox come Opening Day. As far as I could tell, that man would’ve been Mark Kotsay. I wasn’t comfortable with him there but he was the best choice of anyone on the roster. There were rumors that Kenny Williams was aggressively pursuing Yankees’ center fielder Brett Gardner to patrol our outfield and hit lead off, but those rumors fell through quickly.
There were also rumors earlier in the offseason that the Sox were looking at (somehow) acquiring Cone Figgins from the Angels, Carl Crawford (yeah right) from the Rays, or even resigning Scott “I’m suddenly a greedy speedster” Podsednik.
It never crossed my mind that Williams would look out West and talk to the Dodgers about one of their many center fielders, much less Juan Pierre. I remember listening to Cubs games in 2006 when they had Pierre at the top of their lineup — his blue camo shirt and all. The guy stole fifty-eight base, was caught twenty times, had 201 hits, and batted .292. What a year he had…
Well, Juan is in Chicago once again, and this time he’s playing for the right team.
Pierre, a career .301 hitter, focuses mainly on speed. He’s quick on his feet and makes good decisions, which is why he has 459 career stolen bases. When the Marlins won the World Series in 2003 Pierre pilfered 65 bases out of the lead-off spot. With guys like Mike Lowell, Ivan Rodriguez, and Derrek Lee hitting behind him he could set them up for any number of things resulting in a run scored. The greatest thing about Pierre is that he rarely strikes out. In 5,533 career at bats, only 337 have finished in a strike out. Scott Podsednik, on the other hand, has struck out 512 times in 3,168 at-bats.
I’m looking at the Sox depth chart and I’m becoming more and more confident that we won’t finish battling the Royals for dead last in the Central division. But now that Pierre is our guaranteed center fielder, where will Rios play? Perhaps Pierre won’t play center… he could be our left fielder. In my opinion, though, we need his speed in center. However, I would like to see him in left because, as I’ve said before, I don’t want to see Carlos Quentin play one inning in the outfield next season. I hate cringing every time a ball is hit behind him.
Here’s our projected outfield right now
- Left Field – Mark Kotsay/Juan Pierre
- Center Field – Juan Pierre/Mark Kotsay/Alex Rios
- Right Field – Andruw Jones/Alex Rios
It could be different, but that’s how I see it.
So on behalf of all Sox fans out there I’d like to welcome Juan Pierre into our family.
Now… does he have a black/silver/white camo shirt to wear under his jersey? That’d look awesome…
When you turn on sports radio, you expect to hear breaking news. However, you don’t expect to hear that two promising players were traded to the Kansas City Royals for a couple bats and a bucket of baseballs.
Oh, we got Mark Teahen too, but I’m more excited about the equipment.
The Sox dealt corner infielder Josh Fields and second baseman Chris Getz to Kansas City today for slugging utility man Mark Teahen. Teahen will most likely play second base seeing as we sent Getz away. Mark may also play right field if we decide to unload Jermaine Dye on someone (which seems to be the reason for this trade).
Could Brent Lillibridge slide into the second base slot? What about moving Ramirez to second, Beckham to short stop, and then bringing in — or bringing up — a third baseman?
We also inked first basmean and outfielder Mark Kotsay to a one-year deal today. I’m glad to see Mark will be coming back to the Sox. I remember listening to AM 670 The Score on the day we got Kotsay from Boston, and this person sent a text into the station that was read on the air, and the text said, “Kotsay is a slightly better version of Darrin Erstad.”
I could only chuckle in agreement, but he’s still a good player.