Wednesday, November 23, 2005

White Sox & Phillies - LET'S MAKE A DEAL

Tonight, there is no joy in Soxville. Mighty Aaron has gone out.

The Sox have a tentative deal to send Aaron Rowand to Philadelphia for left-handed slugger Jim Thome, who became expendable after an injury shut down his 2005 campaign and in stepped NL Rookie of the Year Ryan Howard.

This is the first time I have ever been angry at a Kenny Williams move. It isn't so much that I see any big harm heading towards the White Sox as a result of this trade; I simply see no astronomical benefit to shipping off a young defensive stalwart who can hit a little and run a lot. Rowand is the prototype player for the type of baseball Ozzie Guillen manages; Jim Thome is the antithesis. And which player is wearing a World Championship ring right now?

Granted, turnover is inevitable for any championship contender. Look at Boston - by Opening Day 2005 the champs had lost Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, and Orlando Cabrera and would seen see Keith Foulke and Curt Schilling chopped down by knee and ankle problems. You're never on top for too long in sports these days.

But why Rowand? A Gold Glove-caliber centerfielder with the hustle and competitiveness that pretty much made him the team's unofficial mascot during the championship run, for an aging slugger on the downside of his career with injury issues? We already had one of those, his name was Frank Thomas, and at least he had the edge of spending 16 seasons with the Sox organization. Jim Thome?? HE'S FROM PEORIA. That's his Chicago connection.

The Sox do get the power bat they'll need with the departure of Carl Everett and have a safety net now should they be outbid for Konerko (a situation that looks less and less likely with each passing day). Aaron Rowand, you have served the Southside well. And for that, we salute you...

Thome heads to Bridgeport; Rowand's service ends after four good seasons and a world championship.



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