Chills still run down my spine watching postseason clips of 2005. During 2008, the rush was overwhelming. It was instant déjà vu. The Tampa Bay Rays had to break my heart and prove they were the better team. Deep down I knew the Rays were, but I didn’t want to stop believing.
As the 2009 season draws near, it is getting tough to believe in the White Sox.
The moves Kenny and Ozzie have conducted this offseason are not satisfying to any eye, except naïve White Sox fans.
As spring training begins the White Sox only have three men in their rotation set. At the end of last season, when it came down to the last straw with the Minnesota Twins, Coop and Ozzie decided on a four-man rotation.
This worked for the time being. Danks showed he was ready for the ultimate pressure along with Floyd and Buehrle. Javier Vasquez, evidently, was not ready for these type of demands. Javi was never an under-pressure pitcher, which is why I believe it is best that he is now in Atlanta and not with the White Sox.
Can the Sox depend on only three dominant pitchers? The bullpen compacted Danks winning record numerous amounts of times last season. The bullpen can crush Danks’ winning record again this season, and any other pitchers record. Let’s pray for this not to be a déjà vu moment.
Buehrle has been the only consistent pitcher on the team. He was on the edge of losing this reputation early in the 2008 season, but he found himself in the end.
Can the Sox depend on the same three guys to come out again and produce postseason material?
Even if they do, what happens on their days off? Bartolo Colon, Aaron Poreda, and Jeff Marquez are not the answers to both the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. One could fit in for the last spot, but taking a chance on two rookies again may not work this time. Adding in a washed up Cy Young winner is not too pleasant sounding, either.
The White Sox had a lot of sunshine last season, but it looks like a bad forecast so far for the 2009 season.
Eventually the Sox will have to rebuild. Their pitching was getting older along with their position players.
Konerko seems to have lost his power, eye, and spirit. Last season was the worst I have seen him. He was a main contributor in 2005 and crushed the spirits of his fans in 2008. If Konerko can not get his game together or at least put up more home runs than last season, then I believe it is time for Paulie to hang up his jersey.
Dye does not worry me too much at this time in his career. He is putting up great numbers, still as clutch as always, and showing he can still move in right field. The only dilemma is hoping he can stay healthy for the entire season.
Thome can still put up his home runs and run with all his heart. His health is also an issue. The heart and dedication to every at bat he has though, makes up for the times Thome exhausts and frustrates me as a fan. Thome frequently strikes out looking. This man is paid to hit the ball, not look at it go right into the catchers mitt.
The infield is looking younger by the second. This can be a good thing, or a disaster. Personally, I have not decided what the final outcome will be. The fact that there is not an official backup first baseman for Paulie does worry me.
Alexei at shortstop has many advantages considering this is his usual spot. This may cause Beckham to go to second base when the Sox decide to bring him up.
Who’s on Third? Fields? I am not 100 percent confident is his capabilities along with Betemit and Dayan. One of these men will have to live up to the challenge. Unfortunately, none of them will live up to Crede’s glove or bat.
The outfield looks great, except the fact that center field is vacated. Brian Anderson and Jerry Owens will be competing for this position. Anderson has more experience, noticeable will to want to be a Major League player, and more powerful bat. Owens has speed and one year experience.
The White Sox need speed more than anything right now. The last thing the White Sox need is another experienced player. This is a tough decision. The hardest they will have to go through, I believe.
Podsednik was the last real base runner for the White Sox. Ozzie claims he is all about small ball, but I have not seen anyone running the bases unless they hit the typical White Sox solo home run.
Home runs can only take you so far. It seemed The White Sox clubhouse would celebrate every home run. The shaving cream pies were thrown at the player of the game, but who threw those pies? Swisher and Toby Hall were the energy in the clubhouse. The clubhouse also lost two of the three stooges and is looking pretty dull this season, which can have a major effect on any team.
The White Sox have talent, experience, and some remarkable rookies coming on to the field this season. Kenny Williams has failed the Southside Chicagoans this year and will force me to stop playing Journey’s song Don’t Stop Believin'.
This season, fellow Sox fans and I must come down into reality. We will have to wait for the rebuilding period to end or the economy to rise for Williams to spend money on top players. I am waiting for the end of the rebuilding stages.