I’m sitting here watching the White Sox uninterrupted for the first time in quite a while and find myself wondering what to make of this team.
I denounced them a few weeks back when they were off to a 15-22 start. It’s not often that I give up on a White Sox season so early, and it’s not just the record that led me to give up. It had to do with a lot of things.
I still had faith – and still have faith – that the likes of Gavin Floyd and John Danks will turn in stellar seasons, my angst had mostly to do with the lack of any semblance of talent at three positions: third base, second base and centerfield. Likewise, the lack of a quality fourth and fifth starters gave me flashbacks of the days when our fifth starters went something like 200 consecutive starts without recording a victory.
Those factors, not to mention nobody on the roster proving their worth as a leadoff hitter gave me little hope. I already had little hope entering the season, and for those who know me, I’m one of the most optimistic White Sox fans around.
So now that the White Sox have rode the hot 1-2 duo of Scott Podsednik and Alexei Ramirez (what?) to a 10-3 record over their last 13 games and back to a .500 record, I can’t help but wonder what the chances are that this team can still find the ability to contend.
I’m fairly confident that the combination of Danks, Floyd and Mark Buehrle will be a force to be reckoned with all year. But can the team really contend with Bartolo Colon and Clayton Richard/Jose Contreras at No. 5?
Can Podsednik continue to do his best 2005 impression and provide a spark at the top of the order?
Can Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome and Paul Konerko collectively avoid any extended stays on the disabled list?
Can the White Sox continue to survive with the cluster of Josh Fields, Chris Getz, Jayson Nix, Brian Anderson and Dwayne Wise clogging down the bottom of the order?
The optimist in me wants to quote Kevin Garnett: “Anything is possible!” But the realist in me knows its unlikely.
It’s unlikely Colon will stay both healthy and effective.
It’s unlikely Richard will keep pitching like he’s Johan Santana.
It’s unlikely Podsednik will keep hitting at a .300 pace.
All the odds seem to be against the White Sox. They aren’t a good team on paper. They have flaw after flaw after flaw, and seem destined to finish with a .500 record at best.
But the optimistic in me can’t help but continue to find hope. This recent hot streak has suckered me back in.