- Jim Thome is hitting .143
- Jermaine Dye is hitting .200
- Carlos Quentin is hitting .222
- Combined home runs for Thome, Dye and Quentin: 1
So where o where is the panic over who will swing the slow, stupid lumber for the Good Guys this season? Who among these mighty contenders will strand the legendary speed of Jerry Owens on second base? Why no concern over the all-important two-run-home-run-hitter-hitterer? Why are we, the Soxerati, not engaging in lengthy debates over just who among these caber-tossers is most deserving of the Designated Hitter Hitting Designation?
All kidding aside, it’s an interesting phenomenon, the byes that established bats get during these preseason games. People will destroy Corky Miller and his .500-something average for not being that great with the staff or maul Wilson Betemit for. . . well, that’s too easy but the point is, how closely do the Sox monitor DHs in the spring? And if not, what would they have to lose by doing so?
Say Jim Thome absolutely stinks up the spring. Why not shake things up and really test the club’s 25-best-guys mantra by starting #25 in Charlotte and handing the stick to Jayson Nix and his 1.000 slugging percentage? How about moving JD to the permanent on-deck circle and running a Jerry Owens/Brian Anderson/Quentin trio to cover the outfield? They’ve already spent the money for either, so what, really, have they got to lose?
Oh sure, you know, veteran experience and athlete psyches turnaround slow start blah blah blah, but if they’re really serious about “winning now,” really bent on fielding the best team possible, then why not take a gamble? It’s a long season, you know?
And, some may ask, what of one Captain Paul Konerko?
What, haven’t you heard? He’s through with hitting and past baseball entirely; Paulie these days finds himself training for a lonely war against no less a foe than pain itself, and why shouldn’t he? He’s alone at first base and there’s a glut of bats ahead of him just waiting to take a seat. In the meantime, we’ve been handed some exclusive footage of yesterday’s super-secret Thome/Dye/Quentin home run derby. Enjoy.