I don’t know why I’m in such an optimistic mood today. Maybe it’s because today is the first of May, and it’s finally sunny instead of the rain and gloom typically showcased outside my window. Maybe it’s because I had chocolate cake last night and am still on a sugar high. Maybe it’s because I know that if I keep moaning about how bad the White Sox are, baseball won’t be fun for me anymore, and that would be even worse than having a losing record.
Or maybe it’s because history tells me that the White Sox’ 2011 season is far from over.
Yes, I am. Right now, the White Sox sit at 10-18, with a .357 winning percentage. Not pretty. But last year on the morning of May 1, the team was 9-14, with only a .391 winning percentage. Not much better. And last year, if you recall, the White Sox were leading the division by the All-Star break. If they could have held on for just a little longer in September, they would have surely eclipsed the Twinkies and seen the fields of October. Far cry from the cellar dwellers of April, right?
So, no, it does not look good now. But it didn’t look much better last year. A couple save conversions by Matt Thornton and we would look exactly the same as the ’10 Sox squad. I’ve been taught many a time that history repeats itself. So I’m thinking that this year, it’s entirely possible that this horrific April will be in the rearview mirror come July 12.
What a surprise…more snow. I look out my window and see a gray sky and more of this white slush. I need to move to Florida.
However, in my head this is a countdown keeping me sane. Yes, it’s that time of year again, and in 5 days, ChiSox pitchers and catchers will descend on Glendale, Ariz. to begin their run at the AL Central crown.
Yes, you read that above sentence correctly. The same White Sox who rolled over down the stretch last season will be playing in October, mainly due to the pitching staff. Don’t get me wrong, I have complete faith that Gordon Beckham will not face a sophomore slump and that PK can make this a year to remember, but they certainly do not boast the best lineup in baseball. However, I will make a strong argument that they have one of the best 1-2 pitching punches around. Discounting SF’s Lincecum-Cain and Boston’s Beckett-Lester (in my opinion, putting Lackey in the #2 spot is a mistake, but I digress), who tops Peavy-Buehrle? New York’s Sabathia-Burnett? I’m not going to go as far to say that Peavy is better than Sabathia, but if Peavy can perform like he did in his three starts at last season’s end (3-0, 1.35 ERA), we might have ourselves an argument.
As for Mark Buehrle…everyone feels the need to remind me of his collapse after the perfecto, as if that didn’t pain me too along with all other ChiSox fans everywhere. I will continue to argue that MB is a low-key guy, and the fanfare in Chicago (Mark Buehrle Day? Really?) overwhelmed him. More importantly, I will point to his first half stats, when he made the All-Star team with a spiffy 10-3 record. We all know what MB is capable of, and with all reminders of his perfecto pretty much gone (though I would suggest to the webmasters at whitesox.com that the link to his perfect game highlights should be removed…It was nearly 7 months ago. No one cares anymore.) I’m looking forward to seeing him in the All-Star game once more.
Backing up those two are John Danks, Gavin Floyd, and Freddy Garcia. Personally, I favor Dan Hudson over Garcia, but I think Freddy’ll be fine for now. Danks and Floyd are solid third and fourth starters, and with a better bullpen behind them, their win totals should significantly improve. Which leads me to ah, the bullpen. Still not totally confident here, though I do like the addition of JJ Putz. I think that the addition of him significantly improved the middle relief corps, taking the load off of Matt Thornton. As for Jenks, I’m hoping some of Ozzie’s insults got to him and he lost some of the pounds (not to mention shaved that hideous goatee. Won’t help his pitching at all, but may make him look slightly less…AJ-ish. The less bleached hair on a team, the better). He belongs in the closer’s elite, where he looked to be heading before last season.
Only five more days, five more days, five more days…