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White Sox on Track After 1-4 Start
by Jason Vernon
Back on Track
The defending World Champion Chicago White Sox appear to be
back on track after a 1-4 start. Over the past four days they've gone 3-0 to
even up their record at 4-4 and they've done it while allowing just seven runs
total. Mark Buehrle, Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras did their best "White Sox
starters of '05 impression" by reaching into the 8th, 6th and 8th innings
respectively. The Sox play this afternoon in Detroit before returning home for a
nine game homestand. Look for the Sox to hit their stride at home and roll up
Arizona's Two at First
Conor Jackson, the twenty-three year
old stud prospect, is off to a great .300/.481/.450 start in seven games this
year. His seven walks in 27 plate appearances are impressive and predictable
considering the great batting eye he exhibited in the minor leagues. His backup
at first is veteran Tony Clark who is picking up where he left off in 2005.
Clark put together the best year of his career in '05 with an impressive
.304/.366/.636(!) line and in ten plate appearances this year has walked three
times and knocked out a base hit. While Jackson will get the bulk of the playing
Clark will serve as a defensive replacement who can smack the hell out of the
ball. This role fits Clark perfectly at this point in his career considering
that he was a part-timer at first last year also.
One of the
most underrated players of the past five years has got to be Chicago Cub third
baseman Aramis Ramirez. Through his age 27 season of 2005 Ramirez has already
put up three 100-RBI seasons and proven himself a durable middle of the lineup
type hitter. The signings to long-term extensions of David Ortiz and Ramirez's
teammate Derrick Lee, raise the question about Ramirez getting his own
extension. Ramirez has player options for the 2007/2008 seasons and may want to
test the free-agent market at the end of this season. But the Cubs have the
opportunity to make a statement and renegotiate a bigger and longer contract
with Ramirez to keep him in the Windy City into his mid-30's.
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