What if the guy we were looking for was here all along?
May 9, 2018
A favorite “throw this movie on in the background while we do anything else” film in our household is “The Campaign” the moderately funny take on the political process in the US starring Will Farrell and Zach Galifianakis (among others).
The movie is centered around the evil capitalist brothers, the Motch Brothers (played by Dan Akroyd and John Lithgow) who are basically a fictional version of the Koch brothers.
The Motch Brothers basically create a candidate out of thin air, Marty Huggins, played by Galifianakis, but despite garnering a large lead in the polls, he declines to change legislation that is key to their “plan” and they swing back around to back the opposing candidate, Cam Brady, played by Farrell. Before they switch sides, they are discussing the need for a new candidate and they note “What if the guy we were looking for was here all along?”. This got me to thinking, I’ve been pining for the WhiteSox to develop some halfway decent homegrown players, players we aren’t expecting stardom from, just guys who can be “okay” players on the next good White Sox team.
What about Matt Davidson? We’ve already jettisoned him from this roster back in March, only to jump ceremoniously back on the bandwagon in early April. Davidson’s early season has been disgusting .257 / .372 / .574 and not likely to hold up, but his increased patience does look like it will hang around. He probably won’t hit home runs at the clip he does off of the hideous Royals pitching stuff. He’s literally KNOCKING the COVER OFF THE BALL
SIDE NOTE – I did literally knock the cover off of the ball back in the day. Chorizy-E and Polish with Extra Onions can confirm, we used to have a junky little field that we would play pickup games on (it was like the Sandlot except with snakes and we used bricks for the bases). I remember Polish with Extra Onions hitting a line drive off of some kids head during a game there, we told him to rub some dirt on it and keep playing. Anywho, we were playing with a rubber coated league ball (we were poor and this was all we had, so gfy) and we were playing “lob”, which is basically slow pitch hard ball. This field had a surrounding hill, so if you could knock the ball onto / over the hill, that was a home run. We lost many balls in the lush urban jungle behind the hill and it was always an adventure to go and try and find a ball that was hit “out” so to speak. I’m standing at the plate, tall, muscular (on the husky side) and get a nice lob pitch right down the pipe. I swing and BAM! The ball goes flying into the outfield, except the cover of said ball goes floating out towards the pitchers mound. I remember being pretty happy to tell MadMex that I had followed his orders (he used to tell me all the time before coming to the plate in little league to “Knock the Cover off the ball”).
Oh, yea, back to Frosty…..it looks like a good bet that at least some of his gains on offense are real and while he’s not much of a glove man at 3b or 1b, and his upside is likely limited to becoming a Logan Morrison type, that’s still a usable player, especially in the American League. Now, these aren’t sought after players (at least not with large monetary compensation), but when they come cheap, it is always nice to have the extra power, even if he becomes a 3-4 times per week player. Good teams need bench players like this……injuries happen, good match-ups happen, off-days happen, etc. That’s the good news.
The other other good news is that Davidson is under team control through 2022 and doesn’t even hit arbitration until 2020. Cheap power…..that’s exactly what you’d like to see on a team that plays at the BallPark Formerly Known as US Cellular Field.
WAIT BEEFLOAF! What if Matt Davidson learns how to crush other pitching staffs like how he crushes the Royals (truth be told, the Tigers and Orioles bullshit pitching staffs gotta be in the running for this)?
If Matt Davidson turns into a .250 / .350 / .500 full-time player…….it wouldn’t shock me to see the White Sox trade Jose Abreu thinking Davidson will take over first base. I know, I’d hate to lose Jose Abreu, but the White Sox appear to be ready to do so, as they didn’t take advantage of a depressed FA market to try and extend him when pricing appeared to be favorable. It is almost like they are rooting against Abreu this year and next OR they are pretty comfortable trading him at some time between now and the expiration of his deal. Get used to it White Sox fans, as much as we want our team to spend mucho dinero for the next competing team, don’t assume they’ll play big market team for a few years. Expect them to pinch pennies where possible and turning arb eligible Matt Davidson into 75% of Jose Abreu for a fraction of the price sounds right up there alley. Only time will tell if he can actually maintain his power and patience approach to being a valuable big league stick.
As this trainwreck of a season goes tumbling down through the summer, be on the outlook for how Matt Davidson is doing and how he potentially fits in on the 2020 White Sox. Now is the time to test out players like he to see whatcha got and hopefully we got at least a little sumpin’ sumpin’