Settle Down Chicago White Sox Fans, the Alex Rios Signing Is a Good Thing
With White Sox GM Kenny Williams claiming former All-Star outfielder Alex Rios from the Toronto Blue Jays last night, the White Sox have all the pieces needed to make a deep run in October.
If everything falls into place, on paper, this may be an even better White Sox team than the one that won it in 2005.
What I do not understand is why there is so much public outcry over how signing Rios is a stupid move.
People are calling into radio stations, complaining about how there are now six guys and only five positions. Jermaine Dye, Rios, Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Scott Podsednik and Carlos Quentin are now competing for the three outfield spots, DH, and 1B.
When in sports is it a bad thing to have six former All-Stars in a position battle? Yes, egos do come into question, but among these six, there are no Milton Bradley type players.
These are all team-first guys, and I am sure that none will complain about taking one out of every six days off.
The Rios addition will allow for a much improved defensive outfield. It will allow for older players like Thome, who is 39, Dye, who is 35, Konerko and Podsednik, who are 33 to keep their legs fresh.
It will allow Quentin to rest his legs as well. He can move to DH when Thome needs a break.
Adding Rios is not a bad thing. It may be a challenge, but I would take having too many players than too few.
But in order for the addition of Rios to make the Sox a World Series favorite, a lot of things will need to go right.
First off, the playing time ordeal mentioned above will need to work out.
Second, Jake Peavy will need to come back and pitch like he did last year. The Peavy addition will give the White Sox a rotation of Peavy, Golden Boy Buerhle, Gavin Floyd (who has put together a good second half), John Danks, and Jose Contreras.
The weakest link is definitely Contreras, but he has always been very streaky. If the good Contreras shows up, the Sox may have one of the top rotations in the AL.
Their bullpen has been solid, and if Closer Bobby Jenks can return to form following kidney stones, there bullpen may be one of the higher ranked in the league as well.
Matt Thornton, D.J. Carrasco and Octavio Dotel have all put up solid numbers this year, and if Scott Linebrink can return to his 2007 form, the Sox will easily have one of the best bullpens.
Hitting wise, along with the six guys mentioned above, the Sox have an excellent infield. Rookie of the Year candidate Gordon Beckham and former Rookie of the Year candidate Alexei Ramirez provide a good left side of the infield.
If Alexei stops booting balls, and Beckham continues to improve on his defense, the only concern on the left side would be a wash.
The Sox weakest link is definitely Getz at second, who seems to only provide outs when up to bat. Pierzynski is as solid as any other catcher in the league and has been there before.
Ozzie is a big time manager with a ring already on his finger. There is no doubt that he can handle the pressure.
If the Sox can float to the top of the AL Central and make the playoffs, they could be a force to reckon with this October.
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