Thursday, July 23, 2009
The 2009 White Sox AKA How Greg Walker Might Keep His Job
With yesterday's come-from-behind White Sox victory, two incredible things happened. First of all, Gordon Beckham's average dropped to .299 by going 0/2. Second, the 6 "constant" players for the Sox (Thome, Konerko, AJ, Dye, Alexei and Podsednik) ended yesterday's game with a combined average of .290. That's pretty much ridiculous for a team that struggled to hit for the last three years.
Obviously, an unprescedented turnaround by Pods has helped his batting average enormously, but no one really expected Konerko and AJ to have career years. Likewise, the team batting average doesn't account for Beckham (as I said earlier, hitting .299), and Quentin (currently hitting .232, but come on - how long is THAT going to last).
One of my high hopes for the 2009 season was that if the Sox offense tanked, it would finally be time to say goodbye to Greg Walker. The majority of "established" hitters that have come here and tanked (see: Nick Swisher, Wilson Betemit, Toby Hall...etc) is a little too common to just call it coincidence. It's also worth noting that the 2007 team's best hitter was Rob Mackowiak with a .275 average. Pathetic.
With this recent resurgence of the offense (I actually watch the games if the Sox are down by less than 3 now), I'm wondering how much - if any - of this has to do with Walker. I highly doubt that he decided to change how he handles the game...so how much of this is just dumb luck? How much of the last few years was just shitty luck on his part? Does the hitting coach DO anything? It's not like my perpetual request to fire Ron Turner - the Offensive Coordinator IS responsible for a shitty gameplan...but the hitting coach? I'm not so sure.