White Sox Week in Review: Where Do We Go from Here?

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White Sox Week in Review: Where Do We Go from Here?
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Since May 18, the White Sox are nine games over .500.

They have had three winning streaks of four games or more.

They have worked their way up from six games behind the division-leading Detroit Tigers to a mere three and a half.

But are they for real?

They have a solid batting order.

Scott Podsednik is looking for a Comeback Player of the Year award, and Alexei Ramirez has found his stroke over the last two months.

Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko are hitting like the veterans they are, and Gordon "Bacon" Beckham is every bit the cocky rookie we hoped he'd be.

But are they for real?

The pitching staff that looked feeble in May has turned in some masterful performances. Mark Buerhle has been Mark Buerhle (even today's performance was Buerhle-esque).

Gavin Floyd and John Danks have been very solid. Jose Contreras took the humble route, demoted himself, and came back strong.

But are they for real?

That's been the question for the whole season: Are the Sox for real?

Can this club contend?

Should we pack it in early and wait 'til next year?

A tough loss against the Twins today seems easy to shake. The Sox are only 3.5 games behind Detroit and a half-game in front of Minnesota. With KC and Cleveland out of it, the AL Central is officially a three-team race.

So, where do the White Sox stand?

Where does Kenny go from here?

In my opinion...

 

"Win, Or Die Trying": Why the White Sox should be buyers at the trade deadline

The Sox could have rolled over in early June.

June 11 to be exact.

They had just dropped their third straight game to the Oakland A's, a team that was double-digits under .500 at the time.

To make matters worse, every Oakland starter in the four-game set was a rookie. A Jim Thome homer in the first game saved the Sox from the ignominy of a four-game sweep.

The weekend before, the Sox lost two of three to the Indians, who were a few weeks short of trading Mark DeRosa. The nine of 12 winning streak at the end of May looked like a fluke.

Things were looking down.

Now things are looking a bit brighter.

The Sox are in second place within shouting distance of the Tigers. Before losing two of three to the Twins this weekend, they hadn't lost a series since Jun. 11-14 versus the Tigers (6-0-2 in that span).

That series against the Tigers was make-or-break for the season, and while the Sox couldn't win the series, they played well.

Now, the Sox are going to Detroit for four games after the All-Star Break with a chance to really put some heat on them. But they need to stock up, and just in time: Roy Halladay's on the market, and you can bet Kenny Williams is gunning for him.

What package he's putting together, I'm not sure, but rumors have been swirling about Bobby Jenks and Josh Fields.

While Toronto has a great crop of relievers, Jenks could give them a boost, and Fields' bat would be solid off the bench for the Jays. Either way, having Halladay would be great for the Sox in the dog days of July and August.

On the batting side, another right-handed bat off the bench could be a boon late in the season.

Possible candidates?

We'll see.

The main point is that the Sox need to keep the team together. No more talk about blowing up the team. This club can make the playoffs, without question.

 

Voices from the South Side

Now that I've said my piece, what do you think?

Should the Sox be sellers at the deadline and play for next year?

Or should they be looking to add the proverbial "missing piece"?

And who should that missing piece be?

Write an article about what the Sox should do and what the near future holds for them, along with any key matchups for the rest of the season. Publish it under the heading of "Voices from the South Side".

I look forward to seeing what the Sox community has to say.

(Note from Chris P.: I will be in Italy from today, July 13 until July 23 with my college jazz ensemble, so I obviously won't be able to see or listen to any games. I will check scores daily and try my best to get a "Week in (P)Review" done while I'm there.)

Well, that does it for the first half of the regular season. Until next time, let the sock fly on.

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