For the first time since the last day of the 2010 season, when the White Sox finished the year 88-74, the team is six games over .500 at 28-22. The 7-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday, coupled with the Cleveland Indians loss, brought them into first place.
For a team that many MLB publications predicted to lose 90 or more games this year, being in first place with June just about here is a very pleasant surprise.
Three of the biggest reasons for the unexpected surge are the three high priced acquisitions which are finally pulling their weight and earning their big time money.
Jake Peavy– pitching like his old self during his Cy Young days with the San Diego Padres.6-1, 3.07 ERA
Adam Dunn– Has effectively put disgrace of last season behind him, as his average is no longer in the 100s. Bashing the ball again as A-Bomb is putting up numbers like these: 16 HRs, 37 RBI in 170 AB, .969 OPS
Alex Rios– Got off to a really hot start before cooling off a bit. Still a massive improvement over 2011, as he’s at .274 BA 24 RBI
Each one of the players above is starting to play up to their contract. But two veterans are playing like MVPs
Paul Konerko– He won’t finish the season batting .400, no one does, but he’ll likely set a new career high for hitting: .395 BA, 1.142 OPS, .671 SLG, 11 HR, 33 RBI
A.J. Pierzynski– .306 BA, 8 HR, 32 RBI, .878 OPS, .529 SLG
They warrant serious All-Star consideration, as does starting pitcher
Chris Sale– 6-2, 2.34 ERA, 61 K, 16 BB in 57.1 IP.
Now it’s a very long season, and the Detroit Tigers will not stay 3 games under .500 much longer. Eventually, the Tigers will play up to the money they’re paid. They’ll be the team they’re supposed to be on paper. But for now the Sox have first place, so enjoy it!
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.
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