I hope the White Sox like what they got, whoever he is

Watching Francisco Liriano pitch is like living in a dysfunctional family.

As a fan of the Minnesota Twins, I never knew which Frankie was going to show up on the mound. The stellar strike-out pitcher I respected and appreciated? The hit-and-miss thrower who would get himself into a bases-loaded nightmare and then clean up everything with pinpoint accuracy and a shrug? Or the flaying mess that melted down in the first (or third or fifth) inning, making me wince and want to sneak quietly out the exit?

I was at the Metrodome watching him pitch when he got injured in 2006; eventually, he had Tommie John surgery. When he finally returned to the mound, he was never the same.

I always hoped for the young phenom but in recent years (and especially weeks), I didn’t know what to expect and I just prayed he performed well enough to be picked up by another team.

I couldn’t be happier for the despised Chicago White Sox, which now lay claim to the craziness and take on the Twins again this week. Liriano may actually pitch against his old team. That’ll be entertaining — either Liriano will hurl a perfect game against the Twins or he’ll walk in the winning run.

How White Sox general manager Kenny Williams thinks Liriano will be able to withstand the withering scrutiny of rabid Chicago fans, I don’t know. I suspect this trade will turn out more like Chuck Knoblauch, the impressive rookie second baseman with the Twins who couldn’t hack it with the Yankees and ended up in left field, than David Ortiz, the designated hitter who was mediocre with the Twins but turned into “Big Papi” with the Boston Red Sox.

Whatever happens, I’m glad the Twins dumped Liriano. I couldn’t take the unpredictability, and there’s no Al-Anon for fans of dysfunctional pitchers.

4 responses to “I hope the White Sox like what they got, whoever he is

  1. One of the interesting things about Liriano, especially this year, has been the lack of run support behind him when he’s on the mound. In one of the games we won after his return from the bullpen, the runs were scored *after* he was taken out of the game. Team with Frankie pitching was averaging less than 3.5 runs, but with, say, Diamond on the mound was averaging over 5. I’m okay that he’s gone for exactly the reason you cite: the frustration of never knowing if you’ll get Good Frankie or Bad Frankie.

    Right at the moment, though, I’d be happy seeing them just get ahead of their 2011 record… they’re two games behind that currently [sigh].

  2. I read today the Twins have the best (or maybe second best — I can’t remember) batting average in baseball since the All-Star break. How can they be so bad?

  3. They have a .285 team BAVG, which does make them the best in MLB since the break. And their .347 OBP ranks them third (if you’re familiar with Moneyball, you know that some consider OBP a key, perhaps the key, stat). They’re suffering right now, in part, due to a rough first half; they were 36-49 going into the break. On the season, our .265 BAVG ranks us 9th.

    Very bad pitching (4.70 team ERA, ranking us 22, and .271 BAVG off our pitching, ranking us 26) accounts for a lot, no matter how good your bats are. When you consider our pitching on the season, the only team worse than us is the Rockies, and those guys are even worse than the Cubs this year.

    Generally speaking, their stats are climbing slowly. It won’t be enough, but it’s better than the alternative.

    • minnesotatransplant

      Yes, of course, pitching. Maybe I should just watch the batting half of all the innings and pretend the other halves don’t exist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s