White Sox GM Kenny Williams encountered rare criticism for saying the Sox “underachieved.” Of course they did. Also includes items on Bears fans booing the team and NFL holdouts hurting themselves.
White Sox GM Kenny Williams encountered rare criticism for saying the Sox “underachieved.” Of course they did.
The Twins are 9-1 since losing 2006 MVP Justin Morneau. They remain in the race despite four of their 11 players with at least 200 at bats posting an on-base percentage below .300 (the Sox have none) and their only three pitchers with at least 100 innings owning ERAs of 4.18, 4.43 and 5.75. John Danks, Mark Buehrle and Gavin Floyd are all under Minnesota’s best mark.
The Sox have eight hitters with at least 12 homers, three good starting pitchers, four relievers averaging between eight and 11 strikeouts per inning and very few injuries. Yet they haven’t been remotely in the race in baseball’s weakest division.
Don’t blame Williams. Most of us liked his moves this year, dumping Nick Swisher, Javier Vazquez and Orlando Cabrera and adding Jake Peavy and Alex Rios. Maybe that’s the problem. In nine years with Williams as GM, the Sox made the playoffs in the two years they were written off, 2005 and 2008, and have flopped every time they were expected to be good.
Bear fans not wrong to boo
Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye chastised booing Bears fans on his blog, Wale’s World, on chicagnow.com, telling “those fans to stay home. How can we have home field advantage if the other team feels the disbelief from the crowd. Teams sense that and feed off it.”
The only boos I heard during Chicago’s 17-14 win over Pittsburgh were after a pass for zero yards on third-and-6 to start the game and a Matt Forte 5-yard run on third-and-13 in the third quarter. To fans, that smacks of giving up. Quick Shots likes the occasional run on third-and-long. Thomas Jones’ 26-yard run on third-and-22 was a key to the Bears’ 38-20 win over the Giants in 2006. But teams should expect boos every time it doesn’t work.
Holdouts hurt themselves
If No. 10 overall NFL draft pick Michael Crabtree felt he deserved more money, he should have taken the Curtis Enis route. The Bears’ No. 5 overall pick in 1998 turned down a six-year, $18 million deal to sign for three years and $5.5 million, with incentives. He bombed and lost out on millions. But if he had lived up to his own expectations, he would have made far more being able to sign a second contract in three years.
Rookies have the right to hold out as long as they want; they haven’t signed anything and didn’t pick the team that drafted them. But, as the 2-0 49ers’ first-round pick is learning, holding out almost always hurts the player worse than the team.
Rockford Register Star assistant sports editor Matt Trowbridge’s Quick Shots on Sports appear Sundays. He can be reached at (815) 987-1383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.