The TV commercial makes no bones about it. The message is clear. All we have to do is alter the time frames to make it applicable.
"Contact your doctor if your erection lasts more than four years."
That's the message that Kenny Williams, White Sox GM, and 2005 World Champion architect, may or may not need to hear.
One thing that has been an imprint on Williams' tenure as Sox GM is that once a player is in his sights, that player tends to remain there for several years.
It's almost like biding time, until the Baseball Gods align the stars, and put the particulars in place to consummate a deal. Ken Griffey Jr. was the latest example.
Williams subscribes to the "glass half full" theory while he preys on fellow GMs who categorize their prospects as "glass half empty." Players such as John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Jose Contreras, Carlos Quentin, Bobby Jenks, Matt Thorton, Estaban Loaiza, to name a few, were players who at one time, were highly touted, only to provide disappointment and angst for the teams who tendered them.
Willliams, either throug arrogance, confidence, faith or some eerie combination of the above, believed his staff could turn the fortunes of once highly touted players, who for reasons that spanned from injury, to simple failure, fell short of original expectations.
Let us not forget, Jermaine Dye was a member of this club.
These players have something more in common than their failures/injuries. They are all of pedigree. They were all highly touted, and at one point, untouchable, until of coarse, they all became very touchable.
There are many reasons not to trade Jermaine Dye if your the White Sox or anybody else for that matter. He is a great guy, a great team guy. He is a consummate professional. He produces. Teams do not reach the "promised land" without players like him, on the field, and in their clubhouse.
Sounds like I would never advocate a trade involving Dye. In most cases, that would be correct. My utopian views include Dye, not only staying, but eventually becoming the full time DH on the South Side for at least the next three years.
My utopian visions, however, clash head on with the real world. If the Sox are bent on getting younger and faster, in one off season, then the trade of Jermaine Dye is inevitable.
In a perfect world, a dozen or so teams would be lining up for Paul Konerko or Jim Thome. Konerko and Thome, like Dye, are fan favorites, well paid, productive(usually), professional, and great team guys. With that said, Konerko and Thome are virtually untradeable.
The word "virtually" applies because rumor has it that there is one team, the Angels, who may have interest in Konerko. That interest will vanish if Mark Teixeira plants his name on the dotted line on the CC-style contract offered by Anaheim. For now, it appears that only Boston can derail that train.
The market for Konerko all but disappeared after last off season. As Konerko was looming closer to his automatic no-trade clause, the Sox whiffed on the opportunity to trade him to a West Coast team, where it seemed practically all of them were shopping for a power hitting first-sacker.
They have all since procured one as Konerko's no-trade clause kicked in. It seems like a long time ago, when a Konerko for Carlos Delgado trade was agreed upon in principle at the 2005 trade deadline, only to be squashed by Delgado's no trade clause. Paulie's 2005 post season changed everything, at least for the present.
The chances of trading Thome are even slimmer. Perhaps, a team, through injury, or unexpected rise in the standings, suddenly needs a rent a left-handed DH.
It is even less likely, Williams receives anything of value in return, or worse, has to pick up a piece of the cake owed Thome. The Sox have a history of not entertaining such endeavors.
So Sox fans, expect Paulie and Thome to return in 2009.
That leaves Dye. The only major leaguer, on the Sox roster, who fits the bill for a trade involving youngsters. The window, closed for both Konerko and Thome, is slightly cracked for Dye.
The Reds, the team apparently most interested in the aging slugger, may not be in contention at the 2009 trade deadline, making their interest in Dye, wane along with their season.
Simply put, the time to trade Dye is now. The Reds, making available, a raw talent like Homer Bailey, makes this a natural fit.
Bailey, 22, so fits the MO of Kenny Williams. It would be very un-Kenny like if this doesn't happen. His 95 mph fastball is what Williams covets in the young arm that is the return for Dye.
His recent failures are pushing the Reds towards the glass half empty theory, while Williams is revs up the contrary. It is plausible to believe Williams has convinced himself that the Sox coaching staff will turn Bailey around, that he can command his off speed and learn a new trick or two.
The Reds prospect has also been on Kenny's radar for a couple of years. Is your doctor on speed dial?
Bailey has the pedigree, just as all the aforementioned. Kenny likes pedigree. He has shown pedigree can trump some convincingly abysmal numbers. I believe he projects Bailey, with his live arm, as a future "top of the rotation" guy.
The rumors of this deal swirled violently. It had to be hot simply because of the wide array displayed by the rumor mill. We saw everything from "we ain't even talking" to "its all but done."
If it was near completion, I wonder what tripped it up at the last minute. Who wanted whom thrown in? Very interested in feedback regarding that.
All the above strongly suggest that if you are a fan of a Bailey for Dye trade, you are probably going to be happy. If you oppose this trade, you will receive, perhaps in a belated fashion, and what I hope to be, the only lump of coal in your Christmas stocking.