By Laurence Holmes–
CHICAGO (WSCR) For the record, I personally like Mike Quade. I want him to succeed. I think he’s an earnest man with good intentions, but he confounds me. Whether it was the Cardinals series in St. Louis or this series vs. the White Sox, he seems intent on letting the opponent’s best hitter beat him. In St. Louis it was Albert Pujols. On the southside, it’s Paul Konerko.
Konerko has been on a tear. He’s hit safely in 19 of his last 20 games. He’s had five games in a row where he’s homered. Since May 27th, he’s raised his average 44 points. His 2011 OPS is a ridiculous 1.010 (.900 would be great) Right now Konerko is the biggest bully on the block. He’s King Kong with a bat. He’s in Beast Mode (Power Up). He’s a monster.
I scratch my head why any manager especially Quade, would dare pitch to him. Especially when Adam Dunn is hitting behind PK. Dunn has struck out seven times in his last nine at-bats. More on him later. So why even allow your pitchers to make a mistake and watch Paulie hit it a long way? That’s what happened to Matt Garza last night. He missed his spot, Konerko was looking inside and blasted a homer to left. Hold up four fingers and put him on. Quade should be putting pressure on the White Sox and Ozzie Guillen (who continues to hit Dunn fifth in the order), but he doesn’t. I think he gives the Cubs less of a chance to win every time he allows Konerko to swing the bat.
-Dunn’s struggles have left a lot of Sox fans confused and angry. In the back of your mind you’re expecting a regression to the mean, but at this point for that to happen, he’d have to have a historic rest of the season. For Dunn’s career, he’s consistently 40 HR and 100 RBI. He’s stuck on 7 HR with 29 RBI. The season is about halfway over. You do the math…
-One of the great things about this series between the Cubs & Sox is the shortstop play. It’s really fun watching Starlin Castro and Alexei Ramirez make rangey plays and strong throws.
-Sanity has finally shown up in the NFL Labor negotiations. We’re actually seeing clear-headed give and take now instead of rhetoric filled proclomations. Perhaps this is a lesson for all leagues. Sometimes the best thing to do is to be in the room with each other and leave the mouthpieces in the hallway. At this point, I expect a full season, with just a slight delay for Bears training camp. That is because the Bears play in the Hall of Fame game against St. Louis. Those camps start the third week of July rather than the fourth.
-I’m working on my pronunciations for tomorrow’s NBA Draft. Jason Goff and I will be broadcasting live from the Berto Center and this year’s draft will be the most Eurocentric that you’ve ever seen. You’ll be sitting on your couch when some of these names are announced going: “HUH!?! Where did he come from?” Don’t worry, Goff and I will be ready.