The State We’re In

First things first: today’s game was probably the worst game of the season. There is no other way to describe the starter not making it out of the third inning, a defense giving up five unearned runs, walking a batter in, and stranding four runners in scoring position on top of all that.

Awful. Just awful.

Anyway, as we all know by now the Sox decided to give a two-year, $22 million extension to Jermaine Dye. Odd that Kenny Williams low-balled the game’s most valuable commodity when it was time for the Buehrle deal but somehow saw fit to pay what he did for an aging, slowing version of the game’s most common type of player.

There is no obvious answer to this. We cannot try to comprehend how a 33-year-old outfielder on the decline could be worth so much to an organization known for operating on the cheap. Perhaps they’re looking in terms of how locking him up for another couple years makes him more marketable as a trade commodity. Perhaps the Sox are going to start spending like a big-market team just to say they do. Perhaps there is some master plan at work. Perhaps Jerry Reinsdorf and Kenny Williams are smarter than we think. Perhaps they are stupider. We may never know.

The Sun-Times has an idea: “The courting of Torii Hunter is under way.” Seriously, that’s the lede for their story on the Dye extension. No expanding on the idea. No explanation of where they came up with this or why it could or could not happen. No sources. Nothing. Hooray for accountability in sports journalism!

Could Hunter land on the South Side? Maybe. But if a 33-year-old Dye gets an average $11mil annually, what’s a 32-year-old Hunter going to get? If the team is supposed to be built around speed and defense, does it make sense to commit so much to two outfielders who’ve lost a step in the field and on the basepaths? Especially when Scott Podsednik, he of that very same mold, is arbitration-eligible and most likely sticking around another year?

The theoretical 2008 lineup would be something like this:

  • OF: Podsednik, Hunter, Dye
  • IF: Crede, Please Not Uribe, Richar, Konerko
  • C: Pierzynski
  • DH: Thome

Where’s this speed they’re talking about? Where’s the guy who’ll do something besides homer, walk or strike out? What of Josh Fields? Jerry Owens? 2009?

It just makes no sense, unless the team moves Thome and Dye takes over as DH for the next few seasons. Only time and questionable decisions will tell.