So, Kenny Williams denied that shipping out Jim Thome and Jose Contreras were white-flag trades, even after he indicated he was looking to help Thome get a World Series (sort of implying he wouldn't have that chance if he stayed with the White Sox this season). Then, it's reported in the Tribune and elsewhere that the GM shopped a number of guys last week.
Kenny being Kenny, he said he was just trying to wake up his team, and the 4 wins that followed those trades suggested he did. The debate about whether or not the GM gave up and whether or not he was being sneaky is over-shadowing the fact that both moves were timely and correct. The Thome move is certaintly hard for fans to swallow, and the Sox only got one iffy minor leaguer for him, but it sets the Sox up well for next year, and is already giving Manager Ozzie Guillen more line-up and field position flexibility. It's been interesting seeing Carlos Quentin and Scott Podsednik in the DH role this week, the latter hinting at a creative way of redefining the DH spot with small-ball speed.
The Sox are no worse off right now without Thome. They dropped today's game to the Red Sox, and Podsednik went 3-4 on the DH spot. Rather, they lost because the rest of the line-up only managed 3 hits and Paul Konerko, Alex Rios and Quentin are pretty well mired in slumps.
Meanwhile, the Tigers had another amazing late comeback win and are looking awful tough to beat. The Sox are now 8 games out of 1st place. They play only division foes after Sept. 16, and with 6 games left against the Tigers, and 3 left against the Twins, it's time to hope for the best that those games will actually mean something when the dates arrive. For that to happen, the Sox need to get some help from the Tigers, while also refusing to think about whether or not their GM has waved the white flag.
Sox Century: July 20, 1917
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