2:16 PM CDT, July 11, 2011
There are so many White Sox players to rip thse days --- jeez, all year --- after they dumped three of four to a Twins team that is worse than the Sox, which followed dumping two of three against a Royals team that is worse than everybody in the division and the wholeAmerican League.
Oh yeah, all of this was at home. Seven games against Central Division opponents, and the Sox drop five of them, provoing that Adam Dunn’s home run against the Royals was as much a fluke as Alexei Ramirez’s game-ending single in the 10th against the Twins.
Anyway, there are a lot of Sox targets, and you really can’t go wrong once with any of them, but today I’m hating onAlex Rios.
I don’t know if he’s the worst big-salaried player in baseball, but he’s certainly in the starting lineup, and, folks, that’s the only starting lineup he should be in right now. He needs to go away during the All-Star break and never come back.
Rios has become as lame and stupid in the field as at the plate. Either that, or he just quit and nobody’s doing anything about it.
Rios’ offensive numbers are preposterously bad: a .213 batting average, a .309 slugging percentage and a .572 on-base-plus slugging percentage. Some perspective on how preposterously bad he is: All those numbers are worse than Juan Pierre’s. No lie. True fact. Rios is worse than one of the most useless players in the majors, which makes Rios, I don’t know, what’s below useless?
But wait. It gets worse with this guy.
If you’re going to stink at the plate, then at least catch the ball and do something smart with it. Gordon Beckham might be overrated, overpromoted and overmatched against big-league pitching, but his offensive ineptitude hasn’t stopped him from making plays at second, some of them spectacularly so.
Rios? Yeesh. He’s either bad or heartless, or both. His season has included a lack of hustle and some nonchalance that has resulted in dropped fly balls. His week included a bad attempt at bringing back a home run that he would’ve caught every year before this and then his week ended with some killer stupidity in the 6-3 loss to the Twins on Sunday.
Rios overthrew the cutoff man --- several of them, I believe --- in the critical fifth inning to allow Danny Valencia to take second. If Rios had a brain, he would’ve made the right throw to keep Valencia at first, then the Sox infield wouldn’t have been forced to play in, and then Ramirez gets a ground ball to end the inning. Instead, the Sox shortstop is forced to dive futilely, and the decisive run scores while setting up an insurance run right behind it.
Why is this guy still starting for the Sox? I’ll hang and listen for another lame excuse.
I don’t think that benching Rios immediately turns around the Sox, but it’s a start,a nd wouldn’t we all feel better if the Sox’s lineup was determined by merit instead of money?
Truth is, I wrote off the Sox on May 2 because there is no season long enough for these guys to win anything. I wrote then that general manager Kenny Williams had better start selling off parts and changing things. The Sox had no offense, no bullpen, no chance against AL Central teams, and were placing a bunch of hope on Jake Peavy, trying to keep him healthy and on schedule to pitch Game 1 of the playoffs.
No lie. I swear. That’s what Don Cooper said: Peavy, playoff opener, starter. How’s that working out for the guy with the glass body? Peavy will need a lot of body parts transplanted to make the postseason. Jeez, the way Peavy’s losing altitude having to pitch every fifth or sixth day, the guy’s can’t be wheeled out and unwrapped and counted on unless baseball goes to an NFL schedule.
And another thing: How silly does Peavy sound now with all his yammering about everybody’s needing more intensity and that’s all the Sox need, more intensity, and just be more intense from the first pitch and intensity is everything and --- no, Jake, intensity is a lame default setting, and you, Jake, are a perfect example of why intensity doesn’t mean squat when compared to ability and brains.
Sorry, I digressed. I just get so intense sometimes. Anyway, back to Rios’ lack of ability and brains. He’s not the only Sox player in that exclusive club, but he has become particularly aggravating. He has stunk at the plate, and now has become a waste in the field, and he’s still costing the Sox more than the Indians roster.
No lie. True thing. Rios is owed $50 million this season, next season, season after that, and after that through a $1 million buyout in 2015. Cleveland’s opening day payroll was $49.4 million.
And he’s your White Sox starting center fielder.
The only people more humiliated than Rios ought to be Kenny Williams for taking on an Alfonso Soriano-like albatross and manager Ozzie Guillen for playing this stiff.