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Obscured by the Lebron James Immolation Tour, the White Sox have spent the last five weeks roaring to the top of the AL Central.
Their 25-5 tear blows away the rapid climb of the 1983 team that occurred at a similar time. Tony LaRussa’s team was 25-31 (seven games back) on June 11th, and they reached first place after a 21-11 run put them at 46-42 on July 18th. Of course, their 53-21 mark from there on was not bad.
Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA-adjusted playoff odds report now gives the Sox a 53% chance of reaching the postseason, and I assume it is factoring in the loss of Jake Peavy. They project to finish with 89 wins, two better than the Tigers.
Carlos Quentin, amazingly, still has a WAR value of just 0.2. His offense has come around (wOBA now a respectable .372), but his fielding is so awful that his overall value is dragged down. By UZR/150, he is MLB’s second-worst outfielder, costing the Sox 31 runs for every 150 games he plays.
Elsewhere, Tom Ricketts’ platitudes for Hendry and Piniella were undermined by his lack of reassurances regarding next season. He could have mentioned that Hendry is under contract for next year, and he did not.
Great time with the family at Miller Park yesterday — a beautiful day, an exciting game, and a shirt covered with mustard after the dispenser exploded on me. I think the bratwurst gods penalized me for eschewing the Secret Stadium Sauce.
Will the Orlando Magic please match the JJ Redick offer sheet?
And Lance Armstrong crashed. He almost crashed two more times. This after a flat tire during an earlier stage has effectively taken him out of the running to win the Tour De France. Awesome.
I’ll be with you from 1 to 6 today, talking about all this and more.