He Is The Last Great Public Figure On This Team

That Dewayne Wise is hurt should not really shock too many people; 31-year-olds face similar fates every day doing far smaller things, and where a normal man would’ve played deep or watched the ball bounce off his leg and roll towards the fence, Wise made a fantastic catch and sacrificed his shoulder so that the Sox might maintain a four-run lead rather than stay up by a measly two, surely not enough to beat these vaunted Detroit Tigers.

Anyway, when Jerry O makes his triumphant return tomorrow, some of you making the trip to Comerica might get out the boo horns and lambast young Owens for committing the horrible crime of losing something – anything – to Dewayne Wise. That may be justified to some, but around the 35th Street offices we found ourselves handed a startling revelation this afternoon: Jerry Owens cannot fail under any circumstances. Not that he isn’t capable of failure – oh boy, is he capable – but that neither the team nor the fans can bear the weight of another .324 on-base campaign or 0-fer afternoon, and not just for the obvious reasons.

Sure, it’s extremely important to have solid defense up the middle and okay, you want to put speed as prodigious as Owens’ to good use by actually putting it on base, but think about what Owens really represents: a backup plan to the backup alternate (Brian Anderson) to the pipe dream scenario (moving Alexei Ramirez to center and calling up Gordon Beckham). If Owens fails, the fate of the team suddenly falls on the shoulders of that riskiest of propositions, the unproven prospect; if Owens fails, idiotic ideas like “trade the farm for Ichiro” will suddenly have to be taken seriously; if Owens fails, the White Sox don’t have a centerfielder but more importantly, we will have to admit they never had one. Which would hurt, except we’ve actually had to do that plenty of times before.

So what are we looking at? A stopgap Plan J filling in for a Plan D destroyed making a brilliant catch Plan BA would’ve been parked under except, you know, Brian Anderson is not the centerfielder. Up is down, left is right, Jerry O is still Jerry O and somewhere out there Aaron Rowand smiles a mischievous smile.

6 thoughts on “He Is The Last Great Public Figure On This Team”

  1. Oof.

    I’ve never, never, never understood why they didn’t just stick with Brian Anderson. I’ve never understood the need for Junior. I’ve never understood why Jerry Owens gets at bats.

    I just don’t get the White Sox sometimes. Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen won in 2005, and I guess that means everything, but don’t you just want to smack them in the back of the head with a rolled-up newspaper sometimes?

  2. You would think of the two, successful reclamation projects on the pitching staff would be much more difficult to have success with than the quest for a decent-fielding, decent-hitting center fielder. And yet, turning scrap-heap arms around has become one of the club’s strong points while Brian Anderson becomes the Rex Grossman of the South Side. Hilarious.

  3. Nice summary of the situation, and I like the throwback to Rowand. He definitely left a hole that has yet to be filled.

    It’s Brian Anderson’s job to lose now, especially now they’ve determined Wise is not a leadoff man (didn’t we all know this?). If he can be solid at the plate (not even great) I think he’ll keep the job for the rest of the year.

    I also hope when they do throw Owens in there they don’t lead him off. He doesn’t need any help failing.

  4. For quite a few years we’ve had no true pinch-running solution, which for the slowpokes we’ve fielded has actually been a necessity. Pablo Ozuna was our best option for what felt like forever. I like what I see in Lillibridge, he did a great job scoring on a shallow pop. With him, the one great strength I saw in Owens, situational pinch-running, is now unnecessary. We’re slow, but we don’t need to keep TWO “Speed is my best friend!” players.

    Anderson is the only true CFer we have who can hit balls into the outfield. Let him hit .235, so long as he knocks lefties out and maintains stellar defense. The Sox waited so patiently on Crede to finally break .230, what’s so much different in this situation?

    I think Skanberg hits the nail on the head in this case. The Legend of Aaron Roward, gutsily diving for everything, versus Anderson’s easy gliding under flyballs (since he doesn’t NEED to pour everything into making the catch). Sigh. Ozzie’s team. Will we be re-signing Sandy Alomar and Carl Everett in July too?

  5. damn, wise and anderson don’t work out so they bring back scotty? now they’re just laughing at us.

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