Saturday, October 22, 2005

Thomas Added To White Sox Bullpen

The south side of Chicago is abuzz with the White Sox hosting game one of the World Series on Saturday.  The club’s first American League championship since 1959 had just one downside.  Long-time White Sox star Frank Thomas missed the playoffs and most of the regular season with an injured ankle.  However, the club ensured that the Big Hurt will realize his dream of being on a World Series roster by adding him to the bullpen for the series.


Although surprising, the move does make sense given the inactivity of White Sox relievers during the American League Championship Series.  The bullpen pitched a total of 2/3 of an inning during the entire five-game series.  Unconfirmed reports claim that three White Sox relievers did not even show up for game five in Anaheim, instead opting for a day at Disneyland.  Therefore, the ceremonial addition of Thomas to the roster will not be at the expense of someone who is actually doing something.


Some may question the logic of this decision.  However, they will not criticize manager Ozzie Guillen directly, because he swears a lot and can be quite scary.  Guillen reports that Thomas will take the place of Dustin Hermanson, who has not pitched in a game since September 30 against Cleveland.  “Hermanson has been stealing money for three weeks!,” ranted the White Sox skipper.  Luis Vizcaino is another reliever who has not seen action in the postseason, but Guillen opted not to replace him on the roster with Ron Kittle.


The only potential risk is if a game goes deep into extra innings and Thomas is forced into use.  The Astros already played an 18–inning contest during the Division Series, and they had the luxury of inserting Roger Clemens late in that classic.  If necessity dictates use of the Big Hurt, the White Sox’ best hope is that he will take so long limping to the mound from the bullpen, the Houston batters will be lulled to sleep.


Most World Series observers feel that the Astros have superior relief pitching due to the presence of Brad Lidge.  However, the National Leaguers do not have a two-time MVP in their bullpen.  For Frank Thomas, his Fall Classic moment has arrived at last.