Monday, August 04, 2008

AL Central After the Deadline

[Blog deleted because Blogger's blog-writing interface is a piece of crap.]

Most everyone knows the frustration of writing a letter, paper, or essay, and then having it accidentally deleted. Well, we all know most of the ways to avoid this, and most word processing software has come up with failsafes against it.

Not Blogger.

You know how, in a word processor, you can highlight stuff? And then if you push the arrow key right, or down, it takes you to the end of the highlighted portion? Well, on Blogger, they've added a special feature; if you highlight a selection and push an arrow key, it interprets that as "erase."

I was just finishing up my 3-4 hours of work on the AL Central entry. I pushed the letter "A", and accidentally hit "Ctrl" at the same time. This highlighted the entire entry. So when I pushed the next key (a millisecond later), it was all gone.

And guess what? On Blogger, there is no "Undo." Why? Because they are morons. My computer runs Internet Explorer, and is updated, so there's no reason why this is a fault at my end.

But -- Blogger automatically saves your entry as you type. Well, great! I can just go back to the last saved version of my entry, and it's fine. The problem is that Blogger auto-saves whenever you stop typing, even if it's just for two seconds. So as I sat there in shock staring at a blank screen where my blog used to be, Blogger had already autosaved this blankness as my entry.

I have not written the Customer Service e-mail folks at Blogger about this yet, because I'm worried that I might set the internet on fire with my language. But when I cool down, I'll have a nice chat with them about how the most recognizable blog site on the planet has a pretty obvious problem. I'm just thankful that my entry wasn't a two-day project or something.

So, with my entry and my energy gone, I will summarize my views on the AL Central.

White Sox
Best team in the Central by default. Just enough pitching and offense to make October, but if they win there, it'll be a miracle.

Still looking for offense, and after 15 years of mostly futile efforts in that regard, they are criminally negligent. Always referred to as a pitching-and-defense team, which is incorrect; commentators are lazy, and are thinking of previous incarnations of the team. The 2008 Twins have a decent offense, but their pitching is lacking (though adding Liriano will help) and their defense is near the bottom of the league. The White Sox need not worry.

Offense has some issues (mainly with management's lineup-shuffling), but on the whole, they're about as good as you'd expect. Those who expected 1000 runs scored were smoking something. Pitching is an unmitigated and largely unexpected disaster. With most of their pitching either gone for the year or hopelessly lost, they're a real long shot to stay in the race. Their worries should be on whether this indicates a larger problem with their pitching staff; they need to get their act together before their hitters start drawing social security.

They're fielding perhaps the best pitching staff the franchise has seen in 15 years. The offense, though, is still stuck in those 100-loss years. The futility of Gordon and Butler is worrying, as is the team's frustrating attempts to improve. I still haven't made up my mind about the relative skill of Dayton Moore, and he's been on the job now for nearly two years.

Wait 'till next year, although this was really their year to make it, with their hitters aging and Sabathia leaving. Without Sabathia, and with Travis Hafner's days as an elite hitter perhaps over, the team is in trouble. They've got some good building blocks, but a lot of their depth is disappearing, especially in the starting rotation.

I apologize again for the lack of a full, well-written entry. But I intend to write an e-mail and air my displeasure.

For what it's worth . . .

RIP Skip Caray
You were a big part of my introduction to baseball, you were one of my very favorites, and watching the game will never be the same without you.

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