WTNYJuly 06, 2006
Mixing Youth
By Bryan Smith

Is it too early to mention the word 'dynasty' in Chicago? With one championship already in tow, the Sox appear to be the near-favorites to repeat in 2007. Even if they fall up short, the White Sox recent run has put fans in the stands, money in the payroll, and wins on the scoreboard. At the least, the Sox need to be thinking in dynasty terms.

Kenny Williams now faces the difficult job of keeping the momentum going. He has set the bar high for himself and the organization, and the pressure will be on to continue winning games. This winter, he excelled in this role, taking chances that -- in the cases of Thome, Vazquez and Cintron -- are now paying off two-fold.

We all remember the New York Yankees dynasty in the 1990s, one built on homegrown success with players like Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams and Mariano Rivera. We have also seen the Yankees on a current world championship slide that I think every Sox fan would hope to avoid in a few years.

So what is it that the Yankees failed to do? Well, with all kinds of money, the Yankees went out and started buying. They bought the perceived best in everything, and forgot what earned them championships - player development. Meshing in youth with proven veterans became a philosophy Brian Cashman discarded.

I'm here to say the White Sox must avoid this trend. Kenny Williams must continue to fill certain slots with youth, making the difficult decisions of when to bring on a prospect, and when to trade him. Today, we'll look at the Sox Major League roster and minor league depth chart, and try to answer some of those questions.

As an outsider, I don't think it's a stretch to say the current White Sox have two weaknesses: Scott Podsednik and the bullpen. Pods is currently manning a .698 OPS, and his defense has drawn criticism from Ozzie himself. As far as the bullpen goes, I think an aggregate 4.43 ERA was not what the Sox had in mind. These are the first places to look into the farm system.

Williams toed the line of angering his team when he traded Aaron Rowand this winter, a good friend to many and a valued member of the clubhouse. Williams was lucky to have Brian Anderson ready and Jim Thome coming to lighten the blow, leaving no White Sox player too upset. However, along the backlash lines, I don't think the Sox can really afford to bench, trade or release Podsednik this season.

Surely, the current lineup has enough firepower to withstand Podsednik's offensive inadequacies. But in the future, the Sox can't afford to depend on that. Luckily, at the end of the season, Podsednik is a free agent. Williams will be making no public relations risk when allowing Podsednik to ride into the sunset. And with that, left field will be open.

Yes, the Sox will have money to potentially acquire a big name to fill Pod's small shoes. But since left field expectations are already low, and the Sox have potential replacements in Triple-A, I don't see the point. To me, this means Spring Training competition: Ryan Sweeney v. Jerry Owens v. Josh Fields.

Fields? Fields. As a pro, the former Cowboy has yet to play a single position besides third base. The Sox have let this ride up to Triple-A, up to Fields' breakout as a prospect. Third base is already manned by someone sub-30, and will continue to be as Joe Crede just entered arbitration in 2006.

One option is to trade Fields while his value is high, his prospect status seemingly at a pinnacle. But answer me this: if you were another GM, would you not see that Williams has a depth problem? If he leaves Fields at third base, he has no choice but to trade him, right? Wouldn't you then offer less for the 2004 first rounder?

My belief is that Fields should begin playing left field now, for the rest of the season, and continue to do so in the Arizona Fall League. Next season, Fields should compete with the other current members of the Knights outfield for the left field spot, which will have been vacated by Scott Podsednik's exit from the lineup.

Seeing as though defense is part of the White Sox brand, I can see you all wince at the thought of putting a never-before-outfielder in left. But we aren't talking CLee-type defense with Fields, to say that would be to underrate his athleticism. This was a Big 12 quarterback, my friends, and a player currently apt to steal a base. It would take him awhile to learn the reads, but with a half-season, the AFL, and Spring Training, I think he would be ready.

Some would argue his bat already is. Fields has both 33 extra-base hits and walks in Triple-A, both in just 243 at-bats. He has stolen 13 bags in 17 attempts (there's that athleticism, again), and is sporting a .957 OPS. The power and patience are there, and he would add another home run threat to a lineup in Chicago chock-full of them. The question mark is his contact ability.

With 78 strikeouts so far, Fields is whiffing in an atrocious 30+ percent of his at-bats. To maintain a .321 batting average, Fields has a ridiculous .448 batting average on balls in play. While his ability to hit the ball hard would indicate his BABIP should be higher than the average player, .448 is completely unsustainable. So, my concern about Josh Fields would be that in the Major Leagues, there's a good chance his batting average will look like Crede's did, in 2004.

If not Fields, the other options would be Sweeney or Owens. Sweeney has been an organizational darling since Spring Training 2004; the field in Tucson still wet from the Sox' organizational drool. His results in the power department, however, have been lacking. This season, Sweeney's ability to hit a single has continued. He remains a fantastic contact ability, though his current strikeout rate (16.2%) is nearly 30 percent higher than it was in 2004-2005 (12.5%).

Sweeney cannot, however, up his extra-base hit percentage. This season, Sweeney has continued to hit for more bases in about 6% of his at-bats, where Josh Fields is at 13.6%. Sweeney will likely be able to hit .280-.300 as a pro, but any slugging far above .400 would be a surprise. Given a walk rate that isn't bad but far from great, you're looking at about .280/.320/.380 next season. Note that I do think Sweeney has upside at this line, but it would take a philosophical change to learning to elevate the ball more that he has to undergo.

The eldest of the group, Jerry Owens, is having the most struggles with Charlotte. His current .241/.305/.314 line is far from a career .757 OPS. But really, our focus should be that career OPS, likely headed to about .720. Can we truly expect Owens to out-perform Podsednik when he has merely done so at lower levels? Like Sweeney, Owens is a gifted contact hitter, and also one that can draw a walk. Add on his ability to steal bases at an awesome rate, and you can see why the Sox like him.

But while Sweeney hits the ball hard, but into the ground, Owens doesn't really hit the ball hard at all. This explains a lower BABIP than Sweeney, and will be the cause of (far) lower 2006 predictions.

The answer, as we've seen it, is Josh Fields. His conversion to left field should begin now, and the Sox should also be preparing Sweeney as a back-up plan. Owens, in this case, is odd-man out. The only other option, in my mind, is trading for a left fielder using one of the already-established starters. But we'll deal with the pitching staff in part two.

Before I go, some quick thoughts on handling the rest of the offense:

  • Pierzynski: Extension was genius. Let contract play out, but seeing A.J. in a White Sox uniform until about 2010 would probably be best option.

  • Konerko and Thome: Re-signed for as long as you'll want them, most likely.

  • Iguchi and Dye: I think the Sox should begin thinking extension for Tadahito this winter. A pay raise for him wouldn't hurt the payroll. While Dye should be back in 2007, it should just be for the option price, and post-2007 they should re-evaluate when looking at Dye's age, the other free agent options, and the development of Aaron Cunningham and Anderson Gomes.

  • Uribe and Crede: The Sox should really maintain this left side for a long time, barring any Miguel Tejada-esque possibilities. They can be retained on arbitration in the near future, but around post-2007, Williams needs to begin considering an extension.

  • Anderson: He'll come around, Sox fans. Have faith, this is your CF going forward.

  • Mackowiak: I'd explore the trade market with him. Owens or Sweeney could take his bench spot with their ability to play CF, and I'd imagine Cintron can play 3B if needed. If not, let him walk post-08.

  • Ozuna and Cintron: I can't believe I'm advocating Ozuna's continued place on this team, but there is really no reason to not let these guys ride out their arbitation, and then evaluate.

  • Widger and Gload: If either demands any sort of premium, look for better options. At dirt-cheap, they work fine.

  • Comments

    I'm one of the more skeptical people on the "youth, youth, youth" craze that's been sweeping baseball bloggers for some time. All a GM has to do these days is have a firesale and he's considered a genius online, I think. Not that I think it doesn't have its place, or I'm anti-prospect. Believe me, if the Yankees peddle Tabata or Hughes for just about anyone this season, I'll be the first to call them fools.

    But it's gotten to the point, I believe, where prospects have almost become overvalued. I say if you can do like the Mets and peddle lesser prospects like Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit, and Gaby Hernandez for proven ballplayers, you do it. I'll even go so far as to say Petit, and guys like Blue Jays pitchers Brandon League and Dustin McGowan had more value as a prospect than he ever will as a pitcher.

    As I've said before, the key to baseball is not to assemble the most jaw-dropping farm system, it's to win. Often the two coincide - not always. Kenny Williams was the black sheep of the AL Central for quite some time among the community of analysts.

    In 2004, Baseball America wrote: "Williams has traded 17 players who have ranked among the teams top 30 prospects in the last three years." They go on to say how risky this is.

    What are the facts? The White Sox have a World Series ring and are a dominating team under Williams. Meanwhile, Shapiro's Indians (and we've all hear endless lectures on how Shapiro's way is the way to build a team) is flailing. Hem and haw all you like, but the White Sox have won and the Indians have not. That is indisputable fact.

    Ah, the joys of internet anonymity. If you're right, you look like a genius. If not, no problem. Nobody knows who you are!

    In summary: Do not trade good prospects, but trade lesser prospects for proven major league players? Sounds good to me.

    APiNG, what's your point?

    - Kent

    Meshing in youth with proven veterans became a philosophy Brian Cashman discarded.

    The problem here is that Cashman did no such thing. That was the doing of George Steinbrenner and the disbanded Tampa faction.

    APiNG, I think your comments above need to be weighed against what you have said previously:

    2/14/06: In my mind the top GMs are Schuerholz, Terry Ryan, Mark Shapiro, J.P. Riccardi, and Billy Beane.

    ***

    3/9/06: I can't think of that many teams with as good a Top 10 as the Indians. Probably 7. I don't have time to get into depth about it right now, but just looking around baseball message boards, a number of fans from teams with poorer farm systems would love to have a Top 10 like that.

    ***

    2/28/06: I'm not sure I see where Kenny Williams is a good GM. Pat Gillick *had* to trade Thome. How on earth did Williams get dunned out Rowand, Haigwood, *and* the organization's best pitching prospect in Gio Gonzalez? It still boggles the mind...The White Sox got lucky last year...It was great luck and great on-field execution, but I'm not sure I can sing Williams' praises. Sometimes these things are just bumbled into.

    ***

    6/17/06: Let's face it, the new breed of online fan sometimes forgets these games are played for real and not just projected by PECOTA - every stud prospect is not a 100% sure thing, and plenty of teams have shown you just can't load up on them and watch the World Series rings flood in. Kenny Williams has fashioned a juggernaut of a team doing exactly the opposite of that; if you look at Baseball America's Top 10 White Sox prospects list after the 2004 season, they lampoon him for doing just that. But the name of the game is not impressing PECOTA or wowing minor league followers - it's winning the games and winning it all.

    Nice article, Bryan. Nice to see the props given to the White Sox.

    I agree that KW has become an outstanding GM. He was awful at first but everyone has to learn their job.

    I also agree with your theory about working in some inexpensive youth here and there for the sake of dynasty longevity.

    However, I am not impressed with the White Sox minor league position players.

    Owens will be, at best, a 4th OFer - and CF is not a position that he can play well.

    Sweeney will be very good but he probably needs one more full season at Charlotte next year. RF is his best position.

    I agree with you about Fields. A position change might be in order if the Sox can't get a trade that they like. Maybe they can afford to hold onto him next year and get rid of Gload. Let him back up 3B, 1B and LF ?

    Pods will remain with this team thru this season. The Sox still like his wheels and he sees a lot of pitches. Next year, he will almost surely be gone. What is up KW's sleeve for that spot ? Who knows ? I wouldn't be surprised to see a starting pitcher traded for Carl Crawford. The Sox will need a leadoff hitter and they will surely open a spot for McCarthy next year.

    I doubt very much that the Sox will have Anderson AND a rookie in their OF next year.

    Lastly, Mackowiack is a GREAT bench player and I don't see the Sox giving him up anytime soon.

    Reading this someone could think the Yankees haven't made the playoffs in a few years. One would also think the White Sox have won multiple World Series or 8 straight divisions or made ten straight playoff appearances. The White Sox would be the luckiest sports organization on the planet to have that "championship slide" described for the Yankees. If Javy Vazquez is a chance that's worked out so far with his 5.15 ERA, then Randy Johnson has been a goldmine move for the Yankees. Also, it helps to remember that 4 of the last 5 seasons the Yanks lost in the playoffs to the team that was crowned World Champions.

    Nice article, Bryan, although I don't think Podsednik is a free agent at year's end. Remember, now, even though Podsednik is 30 years old, he wasn't getting everyday at-bats until 2003. I think he still has one or two more years left of being arb-eligible.

    That's not to say that Podsednik won't be gone after the year. The Sox have really soured on his defense this season (bad reads, dropped balls), and I'm sure Kenny realizes that what he's doing at the plate is replaceable. Plus, I'm sure there's still a couple of GMs out there who believe the Sox' offensive powress is due to Podsednik's speed at the top of the order.

    My only question would be -- if Podsednik is gone, who's the leadoff hitter? I know for SABR-types, it's easy to say that you could probably just slide Iguchi down a spot, and that lineup construction really doesn't matter a whole lot as it is. But I still think Ozzie will want a good OBP/speed guy at the top of the order. I could see the Sox making a move for Ryan Freel in the offseason. I'm not saying that is the right thing to do, it's just something I could see them doing.

    W/r/t your bullet points at the end, we're keeping the faith with Anderson. He's looked better at the plate over the last couple weeks, and his CF defense has been nothing short of superb. I don't think he'll ever be a great hitter, but I could see him turning into a Torii Hunter-type (league average with the stick, great CF defender).

    The bullpen is getting better. Kenny made two smaller moves earlier in the year that have payed off -- Matt Thorton for Joe Borchard, and David Riske for Javier Lopez. The Sox are really only looking for one more bullpen guy, as Cliff Politte clearly isn't the pitcher he was last year. That guy could be Dustin Hermanson, if his back holds up (that's a big 'if'). McCarthy has struggled, but understandably so, as it's his first year throwing out of the bullpen (he'll be in the rotation in 2007).

    Keep up the great work, guys.

    Randy- Im not so convinced MAck is GREAT as you say. A solid bench player, but I dont like him in centerfield at all.


    Kevin- The Yankees history is nice, but its just that, history. Two Royals cast-offs arent going to right the ship either, bub.

    Bryan- Move Fields to left? Thats just crazy enough to work. Pods is around for atleast another season Im pretty sure, but I think they could move him if they netted another big name(probably just a Sox fan pipe dream though). The bullpen is relatively strong after a rough start, Politte being the only weak link right now. I agree that the bench is stout, but I think the Sox should look around and try to replace Widger right now actually. His .500 record in games started counts for 1/3 of all Sox losses, so his game calling isnt an assett, hes not throwing guys out and stopping balls in the dirt, and hes hitting at the Mendoza line. Id like to see them get a backup with more pop. Good article though, thanks for showing the Sox some love.

    Good, solid article and I'm always grateful when the White Sox get some good internet pub.

    Just a few things:

    I agree with Keith that Owens doesn't look like anything more than a 4th outfielder.

    KW's "small" moves have paid off big time in 2006: Thornton is excelling (having suddenly found control to go with his 97 MPH heater) in his role of middle relief and has been a huge surprise to even the most homerestic Sox fan. Cintron is playing well in his spot role, and is probably worthy of a starting spot on a few teams. Both these guys were got for career minor leaguers too. Borchard will never be more than a 4th outfielder with some pop. (usefull at his salary but nothing that would have helped the Sox much in 2006) The kid they sent to Arizona, Bajenero, didn't make the squad out of spring training for them.

    The Lopez/Riske trade looks like a win at this point as well.

    Talking about a White Sox dynasty seems more than just bit hubristic. If "dynasty" means perennial playoff contention, that seems like a reasonable goal for a suddenly high-payroll team. But to talk about a '90s Yankees-like dynasty just seems silly. I don't see a young core of players with the talent of Posada, Jeter, and Williams. And as well as Jenks has pitched odds are against him excelling and staying healthy like Rivera.

    Also, the White Sox simply don't have the minor league talent to mix-in. In fact, the Yankees have a stronger minor league system based on Hughes and Tabata alone. The White Sox have no prospects with ceilengs like those two have (at least from what I've read). Fields is their best prospect, but to me his number look Branyan-esque (but with better splits), and Sweeney looks like the second coming of Sean Burroughs. Tyler Lumsden has the arm to be mid-rotation guy, and is probably their best pitching prospect. The jury is out on their last 2 drafts, but the early returns aren't great.

    All this isn't to denigrate the Sox system, just to point out it is defnitely not bursting with obvious major-league-to-be talent. The Sox talent base is at the major-league level, and their chances of continued contention beyond 2007 rest on Williams astutely selling off some of that talent to get younger and free up money for other acquisitions. Moving a starting pitcher is an obvious such move.

    The White Sox have been competent for most of the decade and have had a very good season and half. That record is enviable to all but a small handful of major league teams. But with the phenomenal young pitching of the Twins and Tigers, and the young talent base in Cleveland, the Sox will have to manage their resources very wisely to maintain their position. I hope they do.

    Kenny Williams was not a great GM until Roland Hemond return to the Southside of Chicago. I am not sure there is a connection but it seems almost too coincidental for there to not be one. Whatever leash was on Kenny early has no doubt loosened in recent years but I am willing to bet every move passes Hemond's desk before it gets to Reinsdorf.

    Kenny generally does a good job of being the face of the franchise but let�s not forget the Frank Thomas rants in spring training, something even the loose lipped Ozzie Guillen held his tongue on (for the most part). For Thomas to spout off is one thing but as a baseball executive to respond the way he did was immature.

    Isn't it possible that the White sox were both good and lucky? All your starters have significantly better years than the season before, Jermaine Dye comes back from the dead and you win postseason games on homers by Podsednik and Blum and a successful con job by Pierzynski? There's not a little good fortune there?

    At the same time, it's an excellent defensive and power hitting team. But one year does not make a dynasty. I expect them to pass the Tigers as Rogers wilts and the rookies pass their previous innings pitched highs. But let's see what happens.

    On a separate note, no, the yankees of this millenium haven't won any titles. But the yankees of '96-'00 were only clearly better than the '01-'05 yankees in '98. They didn't have the standout best team going into the playoffs in any of the other years. Heck, they won a crappy 87 games in 2000. They had a deeper pen with Stanton, Nelson and Mendoza setting up for Rivera but come on.

    Might it not be closer to the truth that the yankees did better than one might have reasonably expected in the '90's? It doesn't fit the nice expected aphorisms but the yankees won a hundred games a few times in the 2000's without taking the title. Were those teams really faulty while the 2000 team, for example, was an example of doing things the right way with its 87 win regulare season total? (And I say this as a Red Sox fan. I'm not inclined to go easy on Cashman or any of them.)

    The White Sox are such an interesting team to discuss.

    All I know about them is that last season, they got off to a great start; and then were nearly compared to the '64 Phillies for ALMOST blowing their lead to the Tribe before turning it back on come playoff time.

    Say what you want about the bad call in Game 2, the fact that OG got 4 CG in this era is unbelievable. If the Angels were healthy or not for the CG, the Angels could certainly have won that series.

    Of course in the WS, the Stros lost 4 games by a total of 6 runs. It was a horrible match-up for us seeing that we had indentical starting pitching (the two best starting staffs last year by far) and equally inept offenses (althought the Sox were CLEARLY better in the clutch) seeing as Im convinced the Astros in 05 were the WORST hitting team to ever make the fall classic.

    What was amazing about that series was the dominance of the Chicago pen, suspected to be their only weakness, and then the meltdown of Lidge & Co.

    All that to say yes, the Sox pen is not as good as it was last year, but the line-up is significantly improved with Thome.

    They are a good team this year. They proved last year was no fluke. But they have not won anything yet. Dont call them a dynasty.

    Great article Bryan!

    I could definitely see Fields or Sweeney in the Sox outfield in 2007. If one of them does replace Podsednik, I am wondering who will take the leadoff spot?

    I would say the biggest issue for the Sox is the starting pitching. The Sox have 6 legitimate starters when you include McCarthy, and they will have to figure out how to work him into the rotation soon. Not a bad problem to have, but still one that needs to be addressed.

    I don't think the relief pitching is as bad as the numbers indicate. If you take out the stats of the pitchers who are not on the roster (Logan) or are about to be gone (Politte), the current relief pitchers (Cotts, Thornton, McCarthy, Riske, Jenks) are pretty solid.

    Out of all the offseason moves, I would say the Vazquez one is the most questionable at this point.

    "I would say the biggest issue for the Sox is the starting pitching. The Sox have 6 legitimate starters when you include McCarthy"

    I would agree staring pitching is the biggest issue, because the White Sox starters have not not been good this year. Garcia and Vazquez have been particularly bad. Garland has a huge ERA, but has pitched better lately. He's young and healthy enough that I think he's worth hanging onto (just don't expect more than a 4.5 ERA from him in future years), but he might be their most tradeable pitcher that they are willing to move. Contreras is the only one with "ace" stuff and he's old. I like Buehrle, but I think he's overrated by many -- he allows lots of unearned runs. The Sox need to get one or two top-of-the-rotation guys to compete with pitching the Twins and Tigers have (and both have multiple minor league pitchers that project as elite major league pitchers: Garza, Slowey, Miller, and Tata). McCarthy has the chance to be a decent pitcher, but he's not an elite talent. He's a good comparison to Scott Baker of the Twins (a Sickels B+ who projects to fill their #4 or #5 slot in seasons to come). The White Sox need to acquire better starting pitching.

    "Out of all the offseason moves, I would say the Vazquez one is the most questionable at this point."

    I don't think its questionable, it's been a disaster so far. The Sox gave up a future All-Star CF (Young), a solid bullpen arm (Vizcaino), and El Duque. Young would be starting in CF for the Sox right now, and the Sox desperately need someone like Vizcaino in the pen. El Duque has pitched about as well Vazquez while earning about 7 million less. It's possible Vazquez could be brilliant in the second half and make this look better, but it looks like a bad trade now.

    how is the vazquez move questionable? El Duque was awesome vs Boston in the playoffs, but his regular season was shakey at best. Young was a top prospect, but his numbers are significantly down this season playing in a hitter park even, and Vizcaino started strong but has since leveled off some. Vazquez has been getting pretty roughed up over the last month or so, getting shelled in his last 3 starts. Hes still going to go out there consistenly every 5th day, work a lot of innings, and Im optimistic he can keep it his ERA right around 4, like he has his whole career after the all-star break. Hes not a true power pitcher, but when youre getting almost 9 runs of support per game, you dont have to be. Adam said McCarthy is a legitimate starter, but Im not so sure about that. I love his potential, but I wouldnt want to see his bird arms attempt 200 IP at this juncture. With him in the rotation, the Sox would be in the same predicament they were in 2003, four good starters and a rough go at it on the 5th day. Hes more ARnie Munoz than John Garland right now.

    The biggest things Im worried about on this team is complacency and injury. Just waiting around to start the post-season. Having Detroit out in front(and Sota charging hard) I think is actually a good thing. If any of the Sox 7 all-stars gets hurt, it will(obviously) be hard to make up for that production in house. How do you replace Dye or Thome this year? Its impossible.

    Id agree with the poster that dynasty talk is premature, but relevance in the post-season for a long time is more appropriate, and as a Sox fan, all I could ask for.

    Guys, I think dynasty talk is premature as well, but when you won a World Series in 2005 and you are as good as they are in 2006, the front office needs to be thinking in those terms. I'm not labeling them anything, I do know how premature that would be. But if you start acting the part ...

    If Pods leaves, Iguchi moves to leadoff. Simple simon. Iguchi would be a better leadoff hitter ten fold.

    I think that the White Sox could be, one day, considered a "dynasty for Chicago".

    Remember, the White Sox have not had a losing season since 1999. Assuming the probable for this season, they will have averaged about 90 wins over a 7 year span. And, 3 playoff appearances. For Chicago, that's tremendous! Just putting a winning product on the field year after year is huge for Chicago baseball.

    Contrast that with "the other side of town". The 1930's was the last winning decade for the cubs. They took over 30 years to have 2 winning seasons in a row - finally accomplished in 2004. This year will be their 5th 90 + loss season in their last 10 !

    The White Sox should end up going down as a dynasty in Chicago anyway.

    heck yeah Iguchi would be a better lead off man. Id love to see them unload Pods right now actually. Although next year he might be back on his upswing with more value. He seems to go god year, bad year, good year, bad year...

    god= good

    I never liked the Vazquez trade and right now I would undo it if I could.

    If Vazquez turns it around this year and pitches well in the playoffs, that would be the only way that it's a good trade. If he continues to pitch this way the rest of the year, it's a bad deal.

    Secondly, I don't see Iguchi as a leadoff hitter at all. He was a # 3 or 4 hitter in Japan. I think that he would be best hitting 6th or 7th. He strikes out a lot and he can steal a base but not under pressure. He has more power than he has shown and would do better to unleash it with men on base. I'll bet the Sox never make him the leadoff hitter.

    LongTimeSoxFan:

    Hemond re-joined the organization weeks after KW was named GM, and several years ago - as Roland told our fanclub - moved back to Arizona and spends his time traveling to minor league affliates. Give credit, where credit is due - that is, to KW. Nothing goes by Hemond's desk.

    Cecil C.