A Rocky Start

I have been away from this blog but that does not mean I haven’t been watching the Sox.  With nearly a month played the White Sox have been dreadful.  First the team couldn’t close a game with too many blown saves.  Then the defense starts to crumble and then to add on top of that the offense suddenly couldn’t score.  Sort of the perfect storm and what has led to a 9 and 14 start.

Now we did put on a great show yesterday beating the New York Yankees in a 2 to 0 shutout. Phil Humber was outstanding who actually went into the 7th inning with a no hitter.  Pretty impressive for someone’s first trip to Yankee Stadium.  Plus the bullpen was actually able to close out the game, thank you Mr Santos and Chris Sale who also pitched scoreless innings.

Yet I still need to see more to say we have got out of this early funk.   The offense has been unable to stay consistent enough as the starting pitching has really been the strongest part of this team so far.  The Sox are in the top of the league with quality starts but closing the games has been what has killed this team in the first month.  Hopefully the move of Santos to the closer role will help. 

Overall it is only April and it is too ealry to get frustrated but it would be nice to at least take two out of three in New York and come home with some positive momentum for the next homestand.  GO WHITE SOX!!  Oh and Adam Dunn will be okay that early appendectomy has slowed him up but Dunn will “Get er Dunn” as that is my post on Facebook every time he hits a big home run. Pass it along.   

Until Next Year

Well 2010 ended on a sour note.  The Sox just ran out of gas or maybe it was the Twins year as they just out hit and out pitched us this year.  However the Chicago White Sox do have things to be proud of for the upcoming season.

1) Jake Peavy will be back.  Maybe he is not what he used to be in San Diego but when one of your aces goes down there is going to be an affect throughout the whole pitching staff. His return hopefully starts something better in 2011

2) Ozzie Guillen will be Back.  Ozzie will coach next year after some hesitation at first but for now Ozzie is our coach and he should be the guy in charge of this team as White Sox players know what to expect when Ozzie is in the dugout.

3) Gordon Beckham, Alexi Ramirez, Chris Sale and Sergio Santos had a strong year.  These young guys had an overall good year and they all are going to be in the league a long time and it is nice to see they will be wearing our colors.

4) Veteran Support  No matter who stays or goes the core of veterans still is good enough for this team to compete.  Paul Konerko and Aj Pierzynski are big question marks this off season but for all Sox fans we all know these guys want to be back.  Let’s hope and see.

5) If you look at the current World Series teams what do they have, great outstanding pitching. The Sox are only a guy or two away from putting together a very strong pitching staff and as long Coop is here we are in good shape.

Enjoy the off season and until next year Southside Pride will be back again stronger than ever in the Spring.  Can’t wait for 2011. 

It’s Manny Time

Guess who’s coming to the Southside this year and not just stopping in but staying for the rest of the season as not an enemy but for now an Allie Manny Ramirez.  What are the Sox just trying to gather the whole 1990 era roster to the Cleveland Indians eventrually.  First Sandy Alomar, then Alber Belle, then Jim Thome, this year Omar Vizquel and now none other than one of the biggest Sox killers of all time Manny Ramirez.

Sure it is strange to be on the same side of one of more contrversial athletes of this era but if he can win us a few games for us then so be it.  The guy can hit a rcok with a twig if he had too and sure he is 38 now but still he will probably make more money the rest of his years as a DH than a every day left fielder where I’m sure no one is caring he is going to get limited action.  Yes he may play some left but more of a breather for Juan Pierre who has played a great left field this year for the Sox.

The greatest thing about this is that Manny is know in the smame dugout as Ozzie Guillen and if you are not excited about the home stretch then you too better get out of town because we sure ain’t in Kansas anymore this is the Land of Oz now and how exciting the playoff run is going to be.  I predict at least one game clinching hit from Manny and I hope it happens either in Clevelnad or even Boston this upcoming week.

Can’t be mad at Thome

Last night was a tough loss for the White Sox.  Jim Thome helped deliver a win for the Twins and you should not feel upset.  Yes it hurts to lose against the Twins, but we still got two games against them and it all starts with Gavin Floyd tonight.

Yes we have lost 3 in a row and lost the last two series to Detorit and Minnesota. Plus Jim Thome a player that was not picked up after the off season delivers a walk off homeorun against Matt Thornton.  This was right after we took the lead with two outstanding at bats by Alexi Ramirez who got lost in the loss as the lone hero not only tieing the game in the ninth but getting the go ahead run in, before the two run blast by Thome.

Yet you know this team came back from a 9 game deficit in the standings.  This team was at one point fighting for last place earlier in the year.  Well if not in last close to it in the AL Central.

As for Jim Thome good for him, he is well worth the moment and I hope he is a hall of famer one day.  Slugger JIm or Mr Incredible never ceases to amaze and now he is tied for first all time in walk off homeruns with the one only Babe Ruth and a few other notable Hall of Famers.

So don’t hate on Jim he is just doing what he has been doing for a long time in this league.  A good team like the White Sox can learn from this loss as it was one that got away but you tip your cap and you get ready for the next game. We still got 43 games left and 5 more against the Twins so anything can happen.  I expect this team to fight to the end of the season and be there the last week of the season.  

First Half Anaysis 2010

From being one of the town jokes of the summer to now being in first place.  Quite a ride for any fan but particularly for the White Sox faithful.  Myself and family got the chance to view a couple of games and plan on going to couple more.  The first game was on Mother’s Day where let’s just say it was not what Mother’s were expecting from their beloved White Sox.  The team got ahead early but a late ninth inning rally against closer Bobby Jenks sent Mother’s away with a sour taste in their mouth.  Game two was more recently against the Anaheim Angels.  This game was a polar opposite of the result as the Sox did win yet still Jake Peavy left the game early with a torn muscle in his back letting Sox fans wonder if this will be a lagging injury.  Despite the injury the Sox led to a win and even wound up sweeping the Angels in a 4 game series for the first time since 1984.
 
Overall the Sox did climb out of the cellar and now are one of the hottest teams in baseball.  A team that was sellers in late May is now buyers come late July.  The biggest question will be who will step up as Jake Peavy recovers form his latest injury.  Cliff Lee was a option but no longer as Texas ended that quickly before the All Star break yet their are other options out there might not be as pricey  The offense will have to put more weight on their back for now but that has been a positive as well lately as players Carlos Quentin, Gordon Beckham and AJ Pierzynsk are starting to hit much better compared to all three of their very slow starts.     

Grading the first half is like looking at two different teams right now.  If you gave this team an early grade they probably would have a D or F but now with two of the longest winning streaks in recent years as well only losing three times in inter league play then you have to give this team a A or B.  For now let’s not get too carried away as the Sox still have a battle in the AL central against Detroit and Minnesota whom are not going away and will be adding more pieces to their lineup come trade deadline.  Of course I am an optimist and believe this team will play more like the later version of this team but to know that this team is capable of going back to old ways still worries me.  If the White Sox finish  the deal and head to the playoffs then those first couple of months will be an after thought.  Thanks for reading and let’s Go White Sox finish the deal!!DSCF1175-2.jpg

Those Darn Yankees

Well the White Sox got outscored 25 to 14 while in the Bronx this past weekend.  If there was a couple bright spots it would be one we did win one game and did avoid a sweep and another Paul Konerko is bashing homeruns.  Even though there is no I in team captain Paul might as well be the lone ranger of the White Sox. 

Besideds Paul Konerko homeruns the Sox are in trouble offensively. Releif may be coming into town as the White Sox will now face the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jay in the next homestand.  Nevertheless these are two teams that the Sox historicaly have issues with in which they should win these series but the way this year has gone nothing seems to be that easy for the Sox this year.

Now it is early still and we are just in May. However with no lead off man and a non power source from the left side of bat the Sox need all the help they can get as we are going into another stretch where divisional rivals will be far from feeling mercy for the wimpering Sox.

The Jump Start We Needed

After the weekend I’m sure White Sox fans felt somewhat revealed after a 3 game sweep of the Seattle Mariners.  I know I did, but still a lot of work is still to be done and here are five keys to our climb up the standings.

First we need to stay consistent.  The key is starting pitching as they set the tone for the whole team.  Yes it has been nice the offense has been delivering lately in the late innings but the team is still not hitting with consistence.

Second What is up with AJ? He look like he is lost at the bat right now?  It has been nice to see Lucy step up but we need AJ out fo this slump soon.

Third Jake Peavy needs a win as he is a key for this whole season.  I’m sure he is the least worried out of all of us but c’mon man let’s fix what needs fixing and lets go!

Fourth Close it up! As the back end of the bullpen has been losing itself lately after a descent start.  If the Sox did not come back these three games the bullpen would be the blunt of the criticism.

Fifth and lastly the Sox need to start playing their division rivals better.  2 and 7 that can catch up to you later down the road but for now let’s go out and give the Rangers and Yankees a reminder we still are a good road team as well.  

Southside Pride Back in Action

Yes it has been some time since I have dedicated my time to this blog but been busy with a lot of my other works, so if you were a fan sorry if you lost touch, but for new visitors your presence is always welcomed!

So here are the major signings so far far in the off season for the Sox:

JJ Putz, Andrew Jones, Juan Pierre, Mark Teahen and Omar Vizquel.

Considering the White Sox did not give up much to get many of these players you got to be pleased with at least the tenacity Kenny Williams has done in a off season where the Sox finished a season where they lacked a strong bullpen, weak late inning clutch hitting and just overall bad luck.

As fo the most of these problems mentioned Williams has addressed them in the off season including bringing in a every day lead off man Juan Pierre to replace Scott Podsednick.  He may be older but had a very productive year with the Dodgers last year mostly when Manny was serving his 50 game suspension.

Third base seems to be locked up with Mark Teahen signing a three year deal giving Gordon Beckham the likely everyday second baseman and with the addition of Omar Vizquel the infield suddenly has some veteran depth that the team seemed to miss last year.
  
Then we are left with JJ Putz and Andrew Jones who may be the question marks as Putz is coming off arm surgery but could play a major role in the future of Bobby Jenks and Andrew Jones is not the player he was back at Atlanta where he was a gold glove center fielder.  He is now perhaps the biggest concern as far as what to be expected but for the price we got him if he is anything remotely close to his prior greatness then the Sox will be the pure benefactor. 
    

Opening Day

The wait is over and the White Sox are ready for ball on opening day.  The cold weather and rain might still tell us it is not baseball season but after last year’s result, every game means something and if you are not on board with that then you better get it together White Sox fans!

The Kansas City Royals come into this season with nothing to lose as they have felt this way pretty much the last few years.  They are getting better and the way the AL Central is this year every division game is going to be important.  The Royals are better but in my opinion the Cleveland Indians maybe the most improved from last year as both of their two major offensive weapons are healthy and ready for the new season.  

Honestly the White Sox have a good shot for repeat to be the AL Central Champs again and three key things need to happen for that to happen!

1.  The veterans need to stay healthy.  Jim Thome is best at 100% as is Jermain Dye, Paul Konerko, Mark Buerhle and even Bartolo Colon. If these guys stay away from major injury then the expectations are for them all to have solid years.  Sure they might have lost a step or too and might not have that threat to blast one or blow a batter away every at bat but they are still good players and bring a lot of experience to the field.

2.  The new regime of players need to take on the torch, which means it is time for the Dewayne Wise, Alexi Ramirez, Josh Fields, the Gavin Floyds to take ownership and make other teams across the majors that the White Sox are not only filled with veteran players but a solid core of youth ready to take this team beyond the 2009 season.

3.  A quick start to the 2009 season I believe is important, because if you look at the 2009 schedule you will see that the White Sox do not even play the Red Sox or Yankees until the second half of the season.  If the Sox can get a 1st place lead in the first half they may stay there until the very depths of the season.  It is always easier to be ahead of the pack going into games, where you know each game is going to be a dog fight especially in late July and August.

In summary it is nice to be AL Central Champs but you know after last year’s quick exit from the post season the Chicago White Sox are on a new path to become American League Champions and possibly once again meeting their biggest cross town rival, the Cubs, as they too felt they underachieved in the 2008 post-season.       

We’re Back.

Well the first Spring Training game was yesterday and well it was good it did not count as the Angels scored twelve on the White Sox while we only managed three.  No problems thou as the Spring will work out some of those kinks still in the armor from the off-season.

The biggest key this Spring is making sure we know who will be the opening day starter at third base since Joe Crede has traveled north.  Josh Fields will now get his chance he has been waiting for as he is ready for the challenge.  I’m sure their might be some others playing third as well including newcomer Wilson Betemit as Ozzie always likes to rotate his players. Fields has played well in his limited play but last year was a little bit of a set back as game time was limited in the majors.

Another question mark will be the starting rotation as Javier Vasquez is gone and Bartolo Colon steps in as a returning player from year’s past.  The one thing that Bartolo may lack compared to Vasquez is his durability to stay clear from injury.  When this guy is healthy he can carry a ball club from time to time and that is what the Sox are hoping from him in 2009.

Lastly it is just nice to talk baseball again and surely this is not the last time you will hear from me the winter is gone and Spring is right around the corner.  The count down begins to opening day.  Talk to you soon.  

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