Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Get Up
2005-10-15 05:42
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Well, the Sleater-Kinney show was great. Here's a blurry photo of Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss I took to prove I was there. I'm a big fan of Carrie's windmill moves and guitar thrusts, but despite taking like twenty snapshots of her none have her looking towards the camera. It's a good thing I don't take photographs for a living. In any case a good time was had by all and most of the songs from their "challenging" new record The Woods were run through. I felt they didn't give the fans enough of their beloved old stuff, but isn't that always the case?

OK, sorry, baseball. During the concert I received regular text message updates on the White Sox-Angels game from my best friend Ali, who was driving from San Diego to Las Vegas at the time. We had a litle crisis when his car got out of range of the Angels' home radio network, but sometime between the opening band and the headliners, I got the final score. Frankly, I saw everything I needed to when I watched the first inning before leaving Boulder. Jon Garland was just dealing and Paul Konerko, who the White Sox need to have hits, had a big hit. SI's Tom Verducci has a good piece up about how Garland and the other Chicago starters are going after Anaheim's free-swinging linenup.

Jay Mariotti says this win ought to quiet the chaos regarding Game 2's bizarre ending. Good luck with that, Jay. It is true that this was a textbook White Sox win. They got a big homer and their starter was lights-out. That's how they've won all year and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Rob Neyer was on ESPN Radio last night and said the White Sox were 4th in the league in percentage of runs scored on home runs. The bunting and stealing is a smokescreen. However, that doesn't mean they should stop playing small ball altogether. A guy who can run getting to first can spook a pitcher. A defense preparing for a bunt can be exploited. Proceed with caution, Ozzie Guillen.

Meanwhile on the Rockies beat: Dustan Mohr is a Colorado outfielder no more. Well, he had a decent second half, but the Rockies have so many cheaper and better options for backup outfielders that this move is a no-brainer. Mike DeJean will sign an extension. That's good news. Trying to win games with a bullpen with no veterans is not advisable. After the Mets junked DeJean he was nifty for the Rockies -- 3.19 ERA, 0 homers allowed, a 1.04 WHIP. At 35 he's not particularly young but, hey, John Franco was just getting started at 35. He should continue working in a setup man capacity for Brian Fuentes.

Jaime Cerda and Miguel Ojeda have come in via the waiver wire. One is a pitcher and one a catcher. Cerda, lately of Kansas City, is a lefty who mostly gets out lefthanded hitters, a useful trait if handled properly. Besides Brian Fuentes, whose territory became the ninth inning, Colorado's main lefty "threat" out of the pen last year was Randy Williams, who was not very good. Cerda actually has a lot in common with Fuentes (he hides the ball very well), but he doesn't throw as hard. Ojeda is a useful backup catcher who had a good 2004 for San Diego; in his 2005 with the Padres and Mariners, it's safe to say he struggled a bit. .147/.256/.225. He's not threatening Danny Ardoin's job, but the fact that they've picked him up may mean they're giving up on J.D. Closser.

Much-respected AAA pitching coach Bob McClure has accepted a job as Kansas City's pitching coach. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Rockies Bench coach Jamie Quirk (who incidentally, was once traded for McClure) was to be interviewed for the Oakland managerial vacancy but in a story you may have heard by now, the A's turned around and rehired Ken Macha, who they said "goodbye" to a week ago. It appears as if Colorado will have the same coaching team (on the major league level) as last year. On one hand, continuity is good for a team that has so many young players. On the other, Clint Hurdle and Bob Apodaca have their flaws. There's nothing wrong with using one manager to get a team back to respectability then bringing in a closer to get into the playoffs. NBA teams do it all the time. Assuming Hurdle continues to play the young guys, the numerous strategic mistakes are a secondary concern.

What a day of sports we have ahead of us, huh? As a Cal alum and Notre Dame hater, I'm torn as to whom to root for in the huge Irish-USC game. I guess I'm pulling for the upset since I doubt the Bears will be able to beat the Trojans this year and I certainly don't want USC to win it all again. Charlie Weis is really doing an incredible job in South Bend. It's almost enough to make you not hate Notre Dame, the Yankees of college football. Not enough though.

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