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Eleven and Octopuses

by Mike DePilla
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The White Sox big news of the week is that they un-retired uniform number 11 for Omar Vizquel. Now if they could only un-retire the DH position for Johnny Damon.

Sorry, that sounded a little like Steve Rosenbloom there.

I don't really care much either way about the uniform thing. It isn't disrespectful; if anything this gives more attention to Luis Aparicio, the only Venezuelan currently inducted into the Hall of Fame, and that's a good thing. The Sox like to celebrate their Venezuelan shortstop connection- from Chico Carrasquel to Aparicio to Ozzie Guillen- a lineage which now includes Vizquel, even if he's only here at the tail end of his career to be a bench player.

But is it cheapening the retired number to bring it back for a one-season back up utility player? Probably not enough to make it a federal case.

In any case, Aparicio himself seems jazzed up about the idea, and I haven't heard this much "respect" tossed around by so many parties about each other since some episode of The Sopranos, probably involving a made guy and the 'Bing.


As everyone and their brother knows, I am however still troubled by the Sox lack of offense (like every other Sox writer out there). And since we're short on topics in early February, I'm going to revisit this one one more time. Early this off season, Kenny Williams vocalized a desire to play wait and see with the DH position, hoping to cash in on an inexpensive choice as the market developed.

It seemed like a good idea: with the abundance of free agents, and the down economy, there were bound to be bargains late in the process. Plus, Williams was mindful of last year, when Bobby Abreu languished away free as a bird until late in the winter. As much as the Sox may have wanted Abreu,with no place to put him their hands were tied. Kenny made it a point to be more flexible this time around.

However, something funny happened on the road to 2010. While the Twins were busy doing what the Sox said they would do- picking up value free agents like Orlando Hudson and Jim Thome (both of whom could have improved the Sox significantly if they planned their roster differently), Kenny and co. sat on their hands, content with their early fall bench acquisitions.

Even as other clearance-style discounts have become available, the Sox have not budged. Pass on Thome? OK. But why not take a look at some other potential upgrades?

The assorted shenanigans of Johnny Damon and Scott Boras have been discussed here before, but The Deluders brought us another couple of gems today. Did you see the new reason why, according to Boras, the Tigers should sign Damon?

Because he likes octopus.

This guy is looking more and more ridiculous and desperate by the day. And yet the word is he continues to insist on a two-year contract.

On February 23 Randy Winn will be in Tampa, Fla with the Yankees attending his first day of spring training. Two days later Gordon Beckham, Juan Pierre and Omar Vizquel will be stretching out under the sunshine in Glendale, Ariz with the Sox.

Johnny Damon, as of now, will be doing this:

With spring training starting in a matter of days, how much longer will Boras keep him on the sidelines?


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