Where to start, where to start, where to start . . .
How about with the Podsednik deal that never happened? Not to gloat, but I was right about this one. How right? So right that the Sun-Times is finally – FINALLY – acknowledging that waiver claims are about as meaningful as saying “it would be really cool if we had Johan Santana, Alex Rodriguez and Ichiro.” To wit:
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry — who said Friday that he had made about a dozen waiver claims in the last week alone, as a standard part of August maneuvering — said Saturday he still had live claims heading into Monday. But he also said he’s comfortable with the current shape of his roster and isn’t expected to make a deal.
So that’s that. I doubt the lunatic ravings of one angry Sox fan nudged their approach to beat reporting in any certain direction, but you never know.
We could talk about Ryan Bukvich and Matt Thornton joining forces for one of the best middle-inning outings of the year today, but we won’t because on the other side of the equation, Jeff Weaver was putting the hurt on the White Sox for all nine innings. The Jeff Weaver of the 3-10 record going into Sunday’s game who struck out eight Sox batters. The Jeff Weaver who was flat-out released by the Angels last summer. The Jeff Weaver sporting a 5.64 ERA yet shutting down the Sox offense, hitting two batters with ZERO retribution and handing Josh Fields the golden sombrero.
We could talk about Bobby Jenks standing on the verge of relief pitching immortality, but we’ll pass on that not because he hasn’t broken the consecutive putout record yet, but because it just feels wrong typing a sentence in praise of a White Sox reliever.
We could talk about Fields hitting a grand slam Saturday night off of the guy who is possibly the best closer in baseball this year, but we won’t because the subsequent popout by Jim Thome, strikeout by Jermaine Dye, and inexplicable non-substitution of Paul Konerko for Darrin Erstad – not to mention the early shelling of Gavin Floyd – rendered the whole thing meaningless and the whole rally D.O.A.
We could talk about Jose Contreras dominating the Mariners in long relief, but we won’t because the only reason he was there in the first place was because he was dying as a starter. (Well, the aforementioned Floyd shelling contributed a little, too.) We all know that before his move to the pen, Contreras had the highest ERA (6.24) of any AL starting pitcher by a long shot. What you might not know is that, with his new role leaving Contreras ineligible for consideration, the worst starter ERA now belongs to none other than his replacement, Gavin Floyd (8.51).
Still, Floyd actually had some competition in that department until the second-worst pitcher in the league went out and threw a gem this weekend, allowing just five hits and bringing his ERA down almost a whole point in one outing. That second-worst pitcher?
God I hate this team.