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The White Sox Report

At first glance, there seems to be nothing wrong with this picture, taken from the White Sox's official website. The team is encouraging fans to vote their favorite players into the All-Star Game, something Sox fans do better than most. And you may as well do your voting now, because the Sox crack promotion staff will surely bombard you from every angle if a Sox player sneaks into that silly Last Man on the Ballot thing. It worked for good ol' Scotty Pods in 2005, and no one could forget the all-too-clever "Punch AJ" campaign of 2006.

quentin.jpg

All the usual suspects are in the picture. Paulie, Thome, AJ, and Swisher, just like you'd expect. Juan Uribe is also present, which, of course, totally makes sense. Anytime a guy has twice as many strikeouts as walks and can post an on-base percentage under .270, you have to recognize that.

But someone's missing.

It's Carlos Quentin. You know, the guy currently leading the American League in home runs. The one with an OPS over 1.000. The guy people want to bench for Jerry Owens. You can vote for Quentin too, I assure you.

General Manager Kenny Williams got blasted the last time he exchanged players with the crafty Diamondbacks, and I'm not talking about the epic Danny Richar-Aaron Cunningham in-season swap last year. Chris Young was maybe the best White Sox prospect of the last 20 years, a graceful centerfielder with loads of power. He drew comparisons to Andruw Jones, back when Andruw Jones was Andruw Jones. Young should have been patrolling center on the South Side for the next ten years. But Young was traded before the 2006 season for pitcher Javier Vazquez, a deal panned by nearly everyone. When Young played stellar defense, belted 32 homers and stole 27 bases last season as a rookie in Arizona, it seemed like everyone was right. It looked like Williams got fleeced.

But this offseason, the roles were reserved. Williams picked Quentin from an already loaded D-backs outfield in exchange for 20-year first baseman Chris Carter, a nice prospect, but one who will probably need at least three more years of seasoning. Quentin battled just to make the roster as a fourth outfielder, and maybe it would have never happened if Owens didn't go down with an injury toward the end of spring training. But since he's made himself the everyday left fielder, Quentin has arguably been the American League's best hitter.

While managers get most of the credit or blame for the performance of a team, GMs are far more important. It's almost a thankless job: everyone notices when you screw up but credits someone else if you find a diamond in the rough. So Kenny Williams, in case no one has told you yet, nice work on that Quentin trade. You got this team a hell of a hitter.

And in case no one has noticed, Vazquez is currently leading the AL in strikeouts. Maybe that deal wasn't so bad after all.

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Week in Review: Like we said last week, baseball seasons always have peaks and valleys. So yeah, finishing a West Coast road trip 7-3 is nice. So is winning five games in a row. So is being back atop the division. But there's still a long way to go. Cautious optimism is always the best type.

Week in Preview: If they can win on the road, then why not at home? Cleveland and Anaheim, two of the AL's best, head to US Cellular this week in a gut-check homestand.

Come buy our junk!: Honestly, I can't think of a better use of $50 than buying a Neifi Perez bat.

Zito'd: You know your career has taken a turn for the worse when Toby Hall can get three hits off you. You can buy a lot of Neifi Perez bats for $126 million, San Fran.

Wait a second: That's the same facial expression the blowup doll had!

That's Ozzie: ''I'm sure some people think, 'There's the crazy Latino again.' But I think it has to do with my age, not because I am Latino. Maybe others feel that, but I don't. I don't believe in that stuff. When we went to visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, that taught me a lot about what is going on - how bad it was with the minority people in this country. I couldn't believe it. I want to believe things are better."

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The White Sox Report staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that you really should vote Uribe into the All-Star Game, solely for comedy purposes.

The White Sox Report: Read 'em all.

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RIcky O'Donnell is the most excellent proprietor of Tremendous Upside Potential.

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