So, after an inconsistent season that nonetheless had promise for the post-season has officially imploded.
I know, some will say that the Sox still have a chance with Minnesota losing tonight. It does not matter. In reality, even if the White Sox find a way out of this and win the division, the result would be anticlimactic.
The byword for the season is “inconsistency”. It started with the starting pitching not doing well, but the bullpen, predicted to be a follow up of last year’s horror story, being among the strongest in baseball, while the hitting was as anemic as every early spring for many years.
When the starting pitching picked up, the hitting didn’t. As the hitting started to pick up, the starting pitching went south. As the starting pitching came back in the end, the bullpen collapsed. With the exception of a few stretches of games, the team was never on the same page.
It is, of course, a myth that the 2005 team relied strictly on Ozzieball …. there were plenty of home runs flying out to help the team, but it is also true that in 2005, the team could run produce beyond the homer ….. which carried the team through power droughts as invariably occur. Since 2005, the ability to run produce has evaporated. This feeds inconsistency on a team by attacking the integrity of the team’s batting average and defense, not to mention the ability to manufacture runs.
The problem is: the White Sox now have two issues to deal with: bullpen and speed. Had the speed issue been addressed more readily over the past two seasons, the bullpen would not seem as daunting a task to fix. Now it seems there are multiple issues to address.
I can only hope that this get s addressed in the near future ….. the team still has some core players producing: Jermaine Dye had a great season. Carlos Quentin was fine. Jenks, Danks, Floyd were fine, and Linebrink was fine until his injury …. given rest he might be OK. Alexi Ramirez was a pleasant surprise.
I love Jim Thome, and I hope that the Sox will find a way to keep him with the team after his retirement. But you cannot have a DH batting that low. Ken Griffey, Jr: time’s up. See ya in Cooperstown where I hope your plaque will read “one of the greatest all-around players in the history of the game”. It’s the truth. Swish: loved the attitude, not the BA. If you cannot bunt and keep your batting average over the .260, you gotta go!
The White Sox are still trading a bit on their more recent reputation, which is greatly improved from years ago, when players couldn’t wait to go anywhere else. In recent years, players seem to be more willing to stay. A few more years without a post-season appearance, and that could change.
It will be a long winter on the good side of Chicago.