The other part of my job is to write about the other 29 baseball teams. This is awkward because I don't watch them or know anything about them, but I manage. Of all the other 29 teams, though, there isn't one that I've thought about less than the Chicago White Sox. They're the perfect storm -- a team from the AL Central that hasn't been good in a while and has almost no connection to the Giants.
So our job here today is to force a connection. Much like we did with the Twins, here's everything that might possibly connect the White Sox to the Giants:
1. Conor Gillaspie is good now
I ... huh.
Gillaspie's hitting .329/.381/.435, becoming the clanky Bill Mueller we never thought he could be. Jim Margalus, who runs South Side Sox asked me recently if Giants fans were upset at letting him get away. The answer is no. It isn't brought up on talk radio; it isn't brought up on the yellier Internet forums; it isn't. It was a trade that everyone was expecting, and even though the guy the Giants got back in the deal is in San Jose, walking the entire Cal League, somehow, I still think the Giants won the deal.
There was no place for Gillaspie to play -- not with Pablo Sandoval at third, and not with Brandon Belt at first. There was no reason to keep him as a pinch-hitter, considering he was a complete liability in the field (and still is). And there's no way he would have developed into the hitter he (apparently) is now with a handful of at-bats off the bench for a National League team.
This isn't George Foster turning into a star for the Reds. This is Chris Singleton turning into a useful player for the ... White Sox.
Stop that, White Sox. Or don't. We don't care.
2. You should read this
In 1914, the Giants and White Sox went around the world, playing exhibition games. Margalus chronicled the tour on its 100th anniversary, and if you're even slightly interested in baseball history, you'll love it.
Three years later, the Giants and White Sox would meet in the World Series, with the White Sox winning in six games. Oh, sure, they don't throw that one.
3. The Giants have received playoff support from the White Sox on two occasions
I remember where I was in 1997 when Brian Sabean went on KNBR to announce the Wilson Alvarez/Roberto Hernandez trade. Wasn't any Twitter back then, you know. Sabean's voice was quivering -- at least, that's how it plays back in my mind. He took a huge risk, trading away six prospects for two rental players. But it was a deal the Giants needed, mostly because they weren't really that good.
The deal made more sense when you realized how many compensation picks the Giants were due for Alvarez and Hernandez if they left. The Giants biffed all of those picks, sure, but the gambit was good.
There was a minor trade years later that made a much, much bigger impact. Kenny Lofton for Ryan Meaux was a great, underrated deal for the Giants, and it helped them win the pennant. Aw, heck, let's watch it again.
Thank you, White Sox. Thank you. There is no way Giants fans can be annoyed with the White Sox considering ...
4. A.J. Pierzynski is a legend to White Sox fans
Oh, screw you, White Sox.
Pierzynski is their Cody Ross and Pat Burrell, the player acquired for nothing who turned into a key cog on a team that broke a lengthy championship drought. Except nobody wants to shave Cody Ross's eyebrows and push him into an open manhole.
/checks forums of Mets, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Phillies, Rockies, Braves, Yankees, Orioles, Rays, and Padres fans
Okay, it turns out that several people want to shave Cody Ross's eyebrows and push him into an open manhole. Good. That's how we feel about Pierzynski.
(luv u cody)
5. When the Giants traded Alan Embree to the White Sox, they got David Hasselhoff's cousin in return
6. The Giants should have signed Jose Abreu
Dang it. Remember, this was a thing in the offseason:
According to a source, the Giants are considered a favorite to land his services.
Belt would have moved to left in this scenario, and there's no Michael Morse, so maybe this isn't the biggest loss right now. But I do love me some dingers, and Abreu's got 'em, probably for the next half-dozen years.
7. The most White Sox/Giants hitter ever is ...
Ray Durham. And people who think that signing was anything other than an unqualified success are silly people. I loved watching Durham hit, even as he started getting older and slower. Also, no Durham means no Darren Ford.
For a team that has nothing to do with the Giants whatsoever, the White Sox sure make me nostalgic.
8. The most White Sox/Giants pitcher ever is ...
Hoyt Wilhelm. Take a moment to look at the guy's career. He didn't debut in the majors until he was 29, yet he had an ERA of 2.18 from the ages of 40 through 49. Read that sentence, like, six more times, just to process it.
I like how the Orioles put in him the rotation when he was 36, and he led the league in ERA, so the Orioles took him out of the rotation.
The Giants should get a 46-year-old knuckleballing relief ace.
9. LET'S SPECULATE
Bobby Evans said Giants were close to deal with White Sox this offseason. Ended up not happening. #SABRanalytics— David Laurila (@DavidLaurilaQA) March 14, 2014
Conor Gillaspie for Pablo Sandoval
Adam Dunn for Brandon Crawford
Chris Sale for Madison Bumgarner
Alejandro De Aza for A-ball prospects
It was probably that last one. That would have been ugly.
10. Ronald Belisario is the closer for the White Sox
I couldn't really find a 10th, and this his nothing to do with the Giants, really, but remember this guy? He was like a cross between Vicente Padilla and a Vietnamese mossy toad, but not as attractive, and he couldn't throw a baseball that wasn't 95 and moving all over the place, yet he was never very good. Yeah, that guy.
We get to watch that guy again. To which I say, "oh. okay," which is kind of how I feel about the White Sox in the first place. A two-game series bookended by off days is the most White Sox/Giants thing I can think of.
You stink, Pierzynski.