"Everybody wants to ramp up to Opening Day, but the season is a long season, so you can't really look at it like that, unfortunately,"
These are Gordon Beckham's words to reporters on Tuesday explaining his conflicted mental process as he negotiates a tender left oblique. Unless Marcus Semien clocks a dinger every game and never gives him a chance to return, whether or not Beckham's first game is Monday or Friday does not amount to much in terms of the organization's (and his) future at second base. If he winds up screwing himself up for most of the month of April, well, that could be more significant.
Beckham is obviously still trying to gear up in time for Monday, but the ability to back-date his DL-stint in Spring Training really removes the tension here. Semien's really going to trick some people on the White Sox Opening Day Lineup Sporcle Quiz, and starts opening up for him provide the Sox with more time to contemplate whether he's a more helpful utility presence than the no-hit Leury Garcia.
This disregard for the pomp of the beginning of the season is also on display with the White Sox "reveal" of their starting rotation. Pretty much anyone who could be thought to be competitors to the Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, John Danks, Erik Johnson and Felipe Paulino group has been re-assigned already. Robin Ventura just messed with the world by revealing the pitching order will alternate handed-ness rather than emphasize that the right-handers are worse than all the others. It did produce one of the best Robin-quotes of all time:
"You are breaking up the lefties, but also the righties in there," Ventura said
And if you throw a towel on after a shower, you're not wet anymore, and you're also getting dry.
Everyone's rotation order will be lost to the ages by the second week, and when they arrive at that moment of the mid-season nihilism, the White Sox will be there...waiting.
But we can't quite get all the way past it apparently, because there is still a bit of angst over whether 'Accepting a Reserve Role, Not Trying to Be a Distraction, Here to Help' Paul Konerko can possibly get the shaft of being excluded from the Opening Day starting lineup.
The Twins Opening Day starter is believed to be Ricky Nolasco, so Konerko doesn't think the practice of sparing him from every slider that sweeps across his hip should be cast aside just for ceremony. That starting Adam Dunn barely counts as prioritizing winning over all does make the decision a little harder. And that Konerko is more capable of looking good in 150-200 PA's against left-handers than Dunn is in 450 PA's against righties could be quite the source of angst going forward.
Speaking of actually winning the Opening Day Game, Chris Sale finished up his Spring Tuesday, still lacking a truly definitive and jaw-dropping complete effort and saddled a 4.58 ERA in 17.2 innings. Fortunately, we don't even have to form our lips to make the "Spring Training is meaningless" claims, since the 16/3 K/BB ratio indicates that the league should still get ready to die.
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