One foot is already out the door, but Mark Buehrle gave the Sox another reason to consider bringing him back. Buehrle became the 1st Sox pitcher in history to win three straight Gold Gloves. I know how excited he was to win his first, so I would assume he must be elated to get the trifecta.
Who knows which way the Sox are thinking when it comes to Buehrle, but if they don’t look at his stats, they no doubt have to consider how great he is in the clubhouse. I think he is primed to get an astronomical offer that will take the Sox out of the running. If he comes back, it may be out of loyalty to the organization. I say that because there are are so many teams that are throwing out reclamation projects, or guys that aren’t, and may never be, prime time players. If I’m a GM and I am looking for 200+ innings, 13-15 wins, and ERA in the 3′s, Mark Buehrle is the guy I am looking at. I think he’ll cash in big time.
The Sox staff is now set, like it was any secret. Joe McEwing is your new 3rd base coach. Mark Parent is the new bench coach, and Jeff Manto is the new hitting coach.
Manto was the Pirates hitting instructor in the 2006-2007 seasons. Two of the bigger hitters he helped were Jose Bautista and Freddy Sanchez. It’s hard to judge a guy who worked for the Buccos earlier this decade, as they were horrible. If he can get Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham on track, he will be revered on the South Side of Chicago.
I’m gonna miss Coach Jeff Cox. Coach Cox was a different bird. He was excellent at what he did, but also a truly funny guy. He was a great interview. Always entertaining, and informative. He’ll have no trouble landing on his feet. He might even take his talents to South Beach.
You should all read the article on Gordon Beckham on MLB.com. I will bet any money I have that Beckham will one day fulfill the promise that everyone has in him. He is already in the top echelon of 2nd baseman defensively. Once he finds his niche offensively, which Manto will be in charge of, the Sox faithful will give thanks everyday that he is on the team.
This quiet off-season should get more exciting soon.