Depending upon the day, you’ll find White Sox fans pointing the finger of blame at any of a variety of places. My personal favorite has always been what I call ‘situational’ hitting (otherwise known as having a smart at-bat). But hey I can be swayed to blame the bullpen, starting pitchers, infield, outfield and the general lack of karma that Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen amass. The fact is the only reason White Sox Nation is watching baseball today is because we’re in a pathetically weak division. Put us in the AL East and we’d all be watching NASCAR waiting for Jay Cutler to take practice snaps in Bourbonaise.
Which brings me to my suggestion: How about putting together another ‘White Flag’ trade? “WHAT?” you say. ‘We’re two games out of first place and it’s not even August 1st’. My point exactly. Let’s avoid the holiday rush and begin to build for next year. The only way we’re winning the AL Central is if they give it to us and if they give it to us they better not give it to Scott Podsednik because he’s likely to drop it (or at least misjudge it).
We need to step back from the forest and see the trees. To start with, winning teams are built on pitching and defense. While our team ERA is 4.11 and ranks fourth in the AL, a closer look reveals a mediocre save percentage( 69%) which is seventh in the AL. Couple this with a fielding percentage of .980 (thirteenth in the AL) and the number two position in unearned runs (50) and you have anything but the core of a championship team. How about hitting? Well we’re ninth in batting average, eleventh in runs per game and ninth in OPS. Most telling is that when the game is decided by two runs or less the White Sox are 18 and 24. Victory is that close and yet we can't reach out and grab it. Unfortunately the same is not true for our opponents. With a 69% save rate we apparently are rather charitable because we give until it hurts (the fans anyway).
So who do we deal? Hey I’ve got no ideas there. I guess if you could find a contender that needs a lefty you could try to trade Thome but I don’t see any takers out there. I like the young guys so I’d leave them alone. I guess I’m just trying to pop any bubble of hope that White Sox Nation has in an effort to be realistic.
Let’s not forget that one of the highlights of baseball in Chicago is watching the wheels come off the clown car at Clark and Addison. They can’t take that away from us.