Thursday, September 24, 2009
The Spotlight In The Cold Of Winter....
Heading into what seems to have already started for our Chicago baseball teams, the off season presents many challenges for each side of town. On one side of town there is an ownership change and a team of highly paid underachieving ballplayers whose manager seems to have retired many years ago when he took a dream job in Tampa. On the other side of town you have a team that tried to rebuild and win at the same time and in the end picked up 107 million dollars in future contracts of two franchise type players. Either way you look, either side of town, both the Cubs and the White Sox have questions that need to be addressed.
But what's the #1 mission heading into the off season for our baseball teams?
On the north side of town it could be find someway to get rid of the 30 million dollar mistake Milton Bradley. No matter what team, no matter how much you gotta pay....get rid of him. He was a cancer when you signed him, and to use a line from someone in the know..."Once a dog, always a dog." This is for sure the #1 mission for Jim Hendry and the new Ricketts regime.
The south side's #1 mission is even more clear than the train wreck on the north side. SIGN BOBBY JENKS!!
Now I know some White Sox fans have been down on Bobby this year and rightfully so. He's had a bad year like a lot of his team mates have. The White Sox bullpen as a whole isn't anything to write home about. Being 3rd worst in opponent batting average and allowing the 4th most hits in the AL as a collective means when you think Sox bullpen as a whole.....you think bad.
Bobby Jenks has 6 blown saves and he's allowed a career high nine home runs this season. He's allowed fifty two hits in fifty three innings which is bad for any closer in baseball. Some critics have criticized Bobby for always being out of shape and losing a little zip on his fastball.
However Bobby Jenks has been in the top 10 in saves every year in the American League. His history with the White Sox is more good than bad, and plus...from 2006 to today, Jenks is 5th in the AL in total saves.
Joe Nathan (159)
Francisco Rodriguez (157)
Jonathan Papelbon (150)
Mariano Rivera (145)
Bobby Jenks (140)
He's in a class with some of the best in the game and yet many believe that Jenks heading into arbitration will cost too much money for the White Sox taste.
For a team that went out and mortgaged their future for a Jake Peavy and went out and took a chance with Alex Rios, this isn't the time to go out on the cheap now. Bobby Jenks of all your pending talent looking for new paper is by far the most talented guy you need to bring back. Off all the mistakes the White Sox have made in the bullpen over the past couple of years (trading for Tony Pena, signing Linebrink to a 4 year deal, MacDougal, etc.), THEY HAVE TO SIGN BOBBY JENKS!!! PERIOD, END OF STORY!
At the age of 28, in baseball terms he hasn't hit his prime yet and closers have been able to pitch well into their early 40's. He's a fan favorite also and right now is not the time to mute the fans voice. You need to keep people coming into the Cell as best as you can, and Bobby Jenks sells tickets. He may not be an everyday kind of pitcher, but he's someone who the fans can relate to and love watching.
Youth, talent, strong performance, fan favorite......how can you say bye bye Bobby?? That could easily be the worst move Kenny Williams could pull in his GM tenure.
Bobby Jenks means more to the White Sox getting back to their winning ways than any other player on that roster. Pay the man!!