AC: How have things gone for the White Sox since the 2005 World Series?
SS: Why do I feel like this is a loaded question? I could complain, but something tells me that the fine residents of Astros County won’t be sending too much sympathy my way. Things haven’t been great. In 2006 the Sox fielded a team that was actually better than the 2005 squad, which is to say that we had a more potent offense. The ’05 team was successful based on pitching and timely hitting. A good word to use for timely hitting is “luck”. In 2006 we tried to replace the luck with a better lineup, and then as luck would have it, Detroit and Cleveland were just better than they were before and we missed the playoffs entirely. Since then there’s been some pretty mediocre ball going on, though there is one playoff appearance in there. And 2012 is so far so good.
AC: Ozzie Guillen: Happy, or sad that he’s gone?
SS: Ozzie definitely worked himself into a situation where he wore out his welcome. When a guy is throwing opinions out left and right, perfectly willing to contradict his previous statement with his next, it’s easy to tire of the whole thing. Even when I’m sipping coffee to stay alert through Robin Ventura interviews and press conferences, it’s still a relief to know that our manager is focusing on baseball, and isn’t likely to just be done with it all when there are two games left in the season.
AC: Kenny Williams is one of the longest-tenured GMs in baseball – how do White Sox fans feel about him?
SS: White Sox fans…they don’t seem to like Kenny so much. Everything that goes wrong happens because Kenny is an “idiot”. Only that’s not right. He’s not an idiot. He’s a smug jerk. That makes him a convenient fall guy when things go wrong. You’re not exactly rooting for him but his success has a good deal of control over your day-to-day baseball enjoyment. Kenny’s done a decent enough job in his time here and he makes things interesting by never really sitting on his hands. Baseball fans everywhere tend to pretty reactionary and much of the time it’s patience that pays off. For example 3 KW moves that were slammed all last year for their injuries or complete uselessness (Peavy, Dunn, Rios) are helping to lead the charge this season.
AC: Paul Konerko: Underrated, or criminally underrated?
SS: I’m actually going to go with the former. Maybe I run in the wrong circles but I just don’t ever hear anybody say that Paul Konerko is anything but a great hitter. Though he’s certainly not given the credit he deserves, so he’s at least some level of underrated. I think the problem is he’s turned it up as he’s gotten older. People have a tendency to value talent based on what they project going forward and looking at Konerko each year you think, “oh that’s great but next year he’ll drop off a bit.” You don’t expect a guy of his age to actually get better each year, but that’s what he’s doing.
AC: When you heard that the Astros were moving to the American League, what were your thoughts? Pity? Lots of chops-licking?
SS: The AL West having 4 teams while the NL Central has 6 never made much sense. Somebody was going to have to make the move. What confused me was why it wouldn’t just be the Brewers, who were in the AL to begin with. It’s not like Bud Selig has any interests in keeping Milwaukee in the...what’s that? He what? Oh. Yeah, sucks a lot for Houston fans. Of course it’s not the first time you’ve been screwed by MLB when Milwaukee was peripherally involved. Carlos Zambrano, anyone?
And on that note, we like Matt. Follow him at @2012WhiteSox and at Southside Showdown.