Will the White Sox cool off in the 2nd half?

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ozzie guillen

I got a call from my cousin today who was in Chicago on a business trip. He called to let me know that, in what must be an unprecedented event, the World Series had already been decided in early July. I, baffled as to what he was talking about, let him continue.

He said that as he entered into the range of the Chicago radio stations he tuned his dial to a sports talk station and he was shocked to hear the host (he could not recall the host’s name) give praise up and down to the Chicago White Sox and ramble on about how great of a team they were, they were going to make some noise in the American League and were a team to be reckoned with. Typically, I would have laughed off the story, as my cousin is a die hard Minnesota sports fan and loves the Twins unconditionally (like me, but with less objectivity), but when coupled with the boasting of our own Mr. Banks about the said White Sox, I figured it was time someone brought them down to earth before the White Sox do it themselves. Enter me stage left.

THE WHITE SOX WILL MISS THE PLAYOFFS. GUARANTEED!

By Peter Christian

World Series Championship Trophy the Commisioners Trophy

I will freely admit, the White Sox deserve credit for playing some good baseball and their starting rotation have earned a definite pat on the back. However (I pause for dramatic effect), let’s not get too hasty and just hand over any division titles just yet. There are a few things the folks in Chicago need to keep in mind before they get too excited and then get thrown in jail for trying to etch “Chicago White Sox 2010 World Champions” into the The Commissioner’s Trophy in July.

Atlanta Braves Manager Bobby Cox

First, it’s fricking July. Early July at that. If World Series titles were handed out in July, Dave Winfield would have multiple World Series MVP’s, the Montreal Expos would have a World Champion flag flying in Washington D.C. (Mes excuses à la ville de Montréal pour amener un sujet douloureux) and the cigar Bobby Cox is sporting above would would be one reserved for the most successful manager of all time. Unfortunately for Chicagoans (and fortunately for the rest of the sane world) the World Series winner isn’t crowned in July. There are still 75 games to be played (or so). The standings in early July are about as useful as a third elbow growing out of your coccyx.

Chill out about being in first place.

Second, let’s examine how the White Sox got into first place. In the last 32 days they’ve won 25 games and they’ve amassed those wins in bunches. They’ve compiled two long winning streaks (11 games and are currently on an 8 game streak), one short one (4 games) and then two single wins. Only once during the span in question have they lost back to back games. For any team, that is a fantastic stretch of baseball even if they did get 14 of those wins versus teams that are by all means pitiful. Which is exactly what the White Sox did.

Let’s refrain from popping any champagne bottles just yet.

Third, the White Sox, at least in recent history, are not as good after the All Star break as they were before it. Going back to 2004, the Sox have been 3+ games over .500 post All-Star break only once (2005) and have had a losing 2nd half 3 times. That’s a fact. You can look it up. Or you can take my word for it, because I did.

The Southsiders hope this year is different, but it doesn’t appear likely.

Jason Kubel Minnesota Twins

The White Sox play 39 of their remaining 75 games inside the AL Central. The White Sox are 16-17 inside the division so far this year. If that trend continues, they’ll go 18-21 in those remaining games and that half game lead that White Sox fans and media supporters were doing backflips over will have vanished like David Blaine’s career.

Poof.

Gone.

The other 36 games are no cakewalk either. The Sox still have 7 games against the Red Sox, 6 versus the Yankees and two separate six game road trips to the West Coast, which always seem to give non-Louisiana Territory teams trouble. Those 25 games could easily change to celebratory tune the Sox are singing now (think: “We Are the Champions” by Queen) to something far more depressing (like, the cover of “Hurt” by Johnny Cash).

jake peavy

And of course this all goes without mentioning that A) the White Sox just lost one of their best starting pitchers for the season, B) streaky teams almost ALWAYS streak both ways (up and down) and C) THEIR LEAD IS ONLY A HALF GAME!

The White Sox aren’t a superior hitting team (.257 team batting average, 9th best in the AL) and are only a middle of the road pitching team (4.01 team ERA, 6th best in the AL – but partially inflated by the recent hot streak) which means that unless both the Twins AND Tigers play below .500 baseball from here on out, all signs point towards the White Sox finishing outside the top spot in the AL Central.

But don’t tell that to the folks in Chicago. They’ve already started planning the Championship Parade. (Fools)

Comments

  1. paulmbanks says

    You are such an asshole! You are the biggest prick alive. And that’s why I love you and am glad you are part of the TSB team.

    I should have known this was coming. With my multiple glowing reviews of the White Sox play constantly being the featured articles. There are a still couple more pandering pieces, you’ll see in the next couple of days.

    I should have anticipated some blowback from Twins land

  2. paulmbanks says

    Thsi kind of reminds me of the 04 Presidential campaign. When John Kerry’s entire Democratic national convention was an infomercial for his personal war record, I knew the GOP would spend their money on digging up people for attack ads on his military service. Like wise my literary fellating of the Sox would incite an attack piece from Twins Nation.

    However, I don’t buy your 2nd half collapse theory. Soon I will put forth my 1983 theory which contradicts that.

    And also, you can’t say that they’ll have a losing streak inevitably because they had a hot streak. What was april-early june, but a bad streak. We’ve already seen the streaks even out.

    simply put, they’re not as good as the 25-5 team of late, and they’re not as bad as the 9 games under team from earlier in 2010. they’re somewhere in the middle.

    and Peavy gone for year=Nathan gone for season, a wash

  3. Peter Christian says

    A top of the rotation ace > a closer. Even if the closer is one of the best in the league. The closer role is completely overrated.

  4. paulmbanks says

    Yeah but Daniel Hudson could’ve easily made most MLB rotations coming out of the spring. So if there was one position where the Sox could most afford lose someone for the season it was in the starting five

  5. Peter Christian says

    I’m going to stick with history… August = White Sox Kryptonite

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