Recently the GNUru was asked to contribute to the "If I ran" blog. Since the GNUru's Cubbies were already taken, the GNUru decided to take over the White Sox.
As a die-hard Cub fan since the days of ‘the Sarge’, ‘the Deer’, ‘Zonk’, and the unforgettable ‘Jody, Jody, Jody’, it pains me to provide the enemy with a blue print for success. Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” While Napoleon’s statement may ring true, the GNUru will gladly take credit should Kenny Williams wisen up and heed the words of the GNUru. Heck, should the White Sox do well with the GNUprintTM , some hapless team may look to the GNUru for their next general manager (who are you to shoot down the GNUru’s dreams?). So without further adieu, here are the keys to the White Sox future success:
Designate a new Frank Thomas:
White Sox fans likely aren’t pining for the return of the Big Hurt but the fan base surely misses having someone to blame all their problems on. Frank the Tank was an easy target with his cancer inducing club-house antics, lack of media savvy, and general disrespect for the fans. If the 2005 championship season taught us anything, it’s that no matter how well the Sox do, the crusty-curmudgeonous fans need something to complain about. Frank Thomas provided that and no single player has since been able to unify both the fan base and the team as well as Frank. A unified enemy will take the pressure away from the whole team, focusing all the negative energy on one player. Brian Anderson unnecessarily took the brunt of the abuse last year and his stats suffered as a result. Since trading for Barry Bonds seems unlikely, the White Sox need to promote from within. The leading candidate: A.J. Pierzynski.
Drop the Silly “Ozzie Ball”, “Small Ball”, and “Grinder Baseball”:
The White Sox are widely know to use silly, and often times, inappropriate strategies to unsuccessfully market their product. Perhaps the most inappropriate of which is the semi-new marketing, “This is grinder baseball…” This only serves to perpetuate the myth that the White Sox play “Small Ball” or how Southsiders like to term it, “Ozzie Ball”. Let’s face the facts… the reason the White Sox won the World Series in 2005 was not because of “Small Ball”. The White Sox won because they had an incredible pitching staff and hit the ball very far. Any team that bashes 200+ homeruns doesn’t not play “Small Ball”. For some reason the media loves to portray Chicago as this blue-collar city despite the fact that Chicago is much more a white collar city when compared to other cities like Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia. The White Sox need to come out of the closet and embrace what they are.
Let the Kids Play:
In the mid-late nineties the White Sox brass employed a marketing campaign with the slogan, “The Kids Can Play”. While that campaign failed miserably, it’s time to revive that thinking to some degree. It’s no secret the White Sox are aging and if they are to remain competitive, an influx of youth is needed. For starters, let Brian Anderson play. While Anderson struggled at the plate, his defense was impeccable. Given time to bloom, he could turn into a Joe Crede success story. Even more important give young Charlie Haeger a shot at the fifth spot in the rotation. Charlie Haeger has been perhaps the most impressive statistics of any pitching prospect in the minors. Despite this, just about no one see Haeger winning the job let alone much of a prospect. Why would someone with a 14-6 record and a 3.07 ERA be so over-looked? He’s a knuckleballer. What discrimination!
Keep Stockpiling Flame Throwers:
If Kenny Williams is doing anything right, it’s his strategy of obtaining hard throwing pitchers that have been forgotten about or have been given up on. Bobby Jenks and Matt Thornton are classic examples of this strategy paying off. If Don Cooper is the pitching guru (note not a GNUru) Kenny thinks, then the White Sox will be stocked with a plethora of quality arms.
Last but not least, if the GNUru were running the White Sox, he’d move them to Joliet. The White Sox are the red-headed stepchild of Chicago. In order to move out of the Cubs spotlight, a move is needed. Joliet is the perfect place as it is home to the federal penitentiary that houses infamous fan William Ligue Jr. (made famous for attacking Royal 1st base coach Tom Gamboa).
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