Paraphrasing an exchange overheard during the early part of the Sox game TV broadcast Friday night:
DJ: . . . and of course the news coming out about Tadahito Iguchi being traded to the Phillies for a young minor-league pitcher.
Hawk: Yes, a fine young pitcher, I imagine. I haven’t seen or heard too much of him, bbuut if I know Kenny Williams, this pitcher’ll be something special.
And that’s reassuring. It’s sad to see the Gooch leave, but with him slumping most of the season and Dan Richar tearing up the minors, it was only a matter of time until Sox brass started thinking it was time for a replacement. Who knows, with time Micheal Dubee could go ahead and turn out to be a star, especially considering how Kenny Williams has engineered such brilliant and infinitely remarkable bullpen acquisitions as:
- Billy Koch
- Jon Adkins
- Mike MacDougal
- Felix Diaz
- Mike Jackson
- Gary Glover
- Jose Paniagua (ERA: 108.00[!!!])
- Rick White
- Cal Eldred
You get the point, and that’s not even counting last winter’s assembly of this year’s “nasty bullpen”(Williams’ term at the time, but I
think hope he meant nasty as in unhittable, not nasty as in vomit-inducing) . A second baseman came out of nowhere, made a legend for himself on the South Side, then disappeared into thin air leaving nothing but another gamble on the future of the team’s in his wake. Still, we can remember what it was like to – briefly – have a top of the order that was the envy of baseball. . .
“2 and 0 to Iguchi, here’s the pitch. Podsednik takes off! Strike called, there’s the throw – SAFE at second base! . . . 3 and 1 to Tadahito, swing on a fastball inside! Gooch pops it deep to right field and it’s caught easily at the track. Podsednik will tag and move up, the throw is cut off, and it’s 1 out with good speed on third after a perfect sac fly by Iguchi. . .”
Iguchi didn’t put up exceptional numbers or carry the team to prominence, but what the Good Guys had with him was solid fundamental baseball. A guy who could take pitches, move the runner over and make a great play when the situation called for it. His days on the South Side, much like the team’s limited days of glory, are over now and as number 15 goes, so too go the White Sox. How this will pan out for either club or player is anyone’s guess.