Remember the Grinder Ball rules of 2006? My favorite is # 23: when all is said and done, make sure you’ve “done” more than you said. These commercials got us all excited about that year in White Sox baseball—the year after we won the World Series. Considering we won 90 games that year, and finished 3rd in the AL central, I would call it a failure of a season. This year, in my opinion, as White Sox fans we have a lot more to be excited about; I mean, we are in first place in our division going in the break.
Before we get into it, I want to mention some numbers: on June 8th, we were a measly 9.5 games behind the then division leading Twinkies. And then, 33 days later, we are leading them 3.5 games. For those of you math geniuses like myself, that’s 13 games we made up in 33 days! During that wonderful and much needed span, the boys had an 11 and current 8 game win streak and were 25-5 overall. Also, Carlos Quentin has gone absolutely insane: our pitching staff gave us a chance to win every night and Paul Konerko, with 20 HR’s and 63 RBI’s at the break, is on pace for an MVP caliber season (Pauly, Pauly, Pauly).
Anyways, enough with the numbers, let’s talk about why this happened and why we as Sox fans have so much to be excited about this year. I have to refer back to them because I really couldn’t describe it any better, Grinder Ball Rule # 76: Pitch. Hit. Win. Repeat.
With the exception of Gavin Floyd, all of our starters have winning records. There is plenty of teams in this league that pay their pitchers twice as much as us and can’t say that (Yankees, Cubs, Cardinals). It feels so good to put the Yankees on that list. Our bullpen has been one of the best in the league. Matt Thornton is playing in the All Star Game today, J.J. Putz is currently on a 23 inning scoreless streak, Sergio Santos has a 1.93 ERA and Big Bad Bobby Jenks has saved 19 out of 20 games this season. And yes, I know that Peavy is most likely out for the year, but what did you expect? He has done this in the past and we gambled that he wouldn’t get hurt when we signed him. I am confident, though, that Kenny knows what he is doing and will give us another reason to be happy in the near future by trading for a pitcher to replace the Jakemiester.
Let’s take it from the top to the bottom. Juan Pierre is slowly climbing to being the .300 hitter that he has been his entire career and has given us something we defiantly needed in the leadoff spot. Alex Rios, in my opinion, was the best acquisition we have had in a while, he has hit the ball hard all season and should 100% be on this All Star roster. I already mentioned what Konerko and Quentin have been doing so far. Ramirez, Beckham and Pierzynski have done their part and since being brought up Dayan “The Tank” Viciedo is hitting an even .300 with a 2 HR’s. Not bad for a rookie who has only seen 40 major league at bats.
Even though everything is clicking on all cylinders, MERCY, and the White Sox are beating everyone, DOG GAUNIT, there still needs to be one more factor in order for a team to do this well. And that is something that we learned in high school: chemistry. It was one of my least favorite subjects until I saw what it really meant; i.e. The 90’s Bulls, The 2005 White Sox and The 2010 Blackhawks. Chemistry is not something you can pay for but something that must develop in itself. Without chemistry the White Sox would not be winning like they are now and we as fans would not be exited about watching this team till the end.
“Stretch, stretch, he looks up, you can put it on boooooaaaaaard, YES!!!” Just keep repeating this phrase and we will have a good second half of the season. Be excited Sox fans, if not for anything I just mentioned then for the fact that the Cubs are 11 games under .500. Haha. Peace.