Kenny Williams is keeping things level going forward by re-signing the entire White Sox staff through 2011. Which makes perfect sense to me, no matter how much of a bummer 2009 ended up being for the Sox. As Williams said, “at the end of the day, it’s the players that make you look smart or make you look dumb, and right now we’re all not looking too smart.”
But while Williams is unwilling to make scapegoats out of his coaches, he’s got no problem with throwing his players under the bus:
”I know who’s quit and who hasn’t, who’s willing to sacrifice. It’s hard to win. Winning and success, whether it be baseball or any other facet of life, if you are not willing to sacrifice, you’re not willing to put in the work, you’re not going to be successful. You’re just not. … If you are not willing to do that, I can’t have you here and I will send you to a better place for you.”
Williams wouldn’t name the alleged quitters’ names, but did say “I am certainly looking at it very hard and see who is willing to make the sacrifice to win.”
The fact is, the failure of players to “sacrifice” is not the White Sox’ problem. The guys they have are basically performing as you’d expect them to perform. The problem is that they simply don’t have a ton of good players, and no real superstars to speak of.
Usually, the blame for a lack of good players falls on the general manager. Rather than own up to that, Williams is trying to turn the White Sox 2009 story into one in which his team, or at least part of it, quit. Maybe a diehard southsider has a different opinion, but my take of the Sox this year doesn’t bear Williams’ view out at all.
Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice sued AT&T, accusing its subsidiary, DirecTV, of being the ringleader in a plot in which it conspired with Cox Communications, Charter Communications and AT&T cable (then a separate company), to refuse to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodger-owned TV channel in violation of antitrust laws.
Now that lawsuit is over. The DOJ settled with AT&T last night.
The bad news: no part of the settlement obligates DirecTV or any of the other alleged co-conspirators to carry Dodgers games or to even negotiate to that end. There is likewise no fine or truly substantive penalty. It’s basically a “do not do this again!” agreement with some antitrust training requirements for executives and some orders to monitor their communications about these things.
“We are pleased to have resolved this matter to the satisfaction of all parties,” an AT&T spokesman said yesterday, likely in the tone of a guy who is pretty happy to have had a major antitrust suit against him settled so quickly.
When the suit was filed, I anticipated a settlement, as most antitrust suits brought by the DOJ are settled. Such a settlement could’ve featured a cash penalty or, more significantly, a brokered agreement between the parties in question in lieu of a cash settlement that could’ve led to Dodgers games being carried on more channels. After all, more competition is the end game of the Antirust Division.
As it is, however, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a surrender by the DOJ and a victory for the those carriers who coordinated their efforts to not carry the Dodgers.
An open question, unanswered in anyone’s statements yesterday, is whether this settlement is 100% about the merits of the case — keeping in mind that the DOJ tends not to file antitrust suits unless they think they can win, instead preferring to negotiate first — or whether it represents a new set of laxer priorities when it comes to antitrust enforcement from the Trump Administration and AG Jeff Sessions.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.