Taking Over in Center: Brian Anderson Deserves a Fair Shot This Time Around

Jessica ColeCorrespondent IApril 23, 2009

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 16: Outfielder Brian Anderson #32 of the  Chicago White Sox slides into third base against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 16, 2009 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Certainly exceeding utility status, yet short of earning a starting spot in the last three years, Brian Anderson’s position with the Chicago White Sox has been frustratingly undefined.

Anderson has notably reached Gold Glove status and continues to wow Sox fans with his strong hustle on the field and his amusing antics in the dugout.

Undoubtedly a valuable figure on the team, and apparently in the “popular crowd” (among Piersynski and Konerko), GM Ken Williams, Manager Ozzie Guillen, and fanatics alike haven’t even considered letting go of Brian. 

Since the Sox’s World Champion season in 2005, we’ve all been wondering when we were going to see Anderson in center.  Sure, he struggled at the plate, but was he ever really given the start long enough to get in a groove?

2006 was an abysmal season; and with Anderson hitting only .225, mediocre defense-man Rob Mackowiak was given the majority starts in center. Still Anderson got to play in 134 games. 

Then in 2007, things got worse for our favorite blondie.  In his embarrassing 13-game showing for the Sox, Anderson averaged only .118 at the plate. His defense was still undeniable, though, and nobody seemed to mind keeping the young spark on the team. 

It seemed just like sour luck for B-A in the two seasons following the World Series; but mighty confusion came when the Sox actually looked decent last year in 2008.  Anderson played in 109 games but lost the starting spot to another mediocre fielder, Nick Swisher.

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However, with Swisher (pitching?) on the Yankees and the new starting center fielder for the Sox, Dewayne Wise, hopping on the DL this month, 2009 brought Anderson the break he has been waiting for…or not?

Anderson’s attitude about his upgraded role on the team is just as lax as his play at the plate, which has subjected him to most criticism by Guillen. 

We’re also not sure how long this new gig will last. With the Sox attempting to repair the 2005 Dream Team picking up past-his-prime Scott Podsednik and bringing up fiery Jerry Owens, Anderson’s career hangs on every pitch. 

According to Guillen, Anderson will personally dictate how much he’s going to play.

The Quentin-Dye-Anderson trio in the outfield could be that slight stellar adjustment we needed last year to make it past the first round playoffs. And while the goofy 27-year-old doesn’t seem to lack confidence, he might take his role at the plate a lot more seriously (and aggressively) if he expects to be in center for the long haul. 

So far he has. In his 10 games already this season, Anderson is already hitting a career-high .240 with two stolen bases and six walks earning him an impressive .282 on base percentage.

Hey, Ozzie, give him a chance this time.