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The White Sox Report

Losing two out of three to the lowly Royals is hardly the way the White Sox wanted to open up the second half of their season. Luckily the Sox still have nine more games against Kansas City before the season ends, games that will go a long way in deciding if the Sox have what it takes to win the AL Central. With that roller coaster of a first half now behind us, let's make some predictions of what to expect from the Sox in the second half.

* We will continue to see more ridiculously biased White Sox columns from Jay Mariotti. Yeah Jay, we get it: the manager threw a derogatory word at you two seasons ago. Time hasn't healed any wounds for Jay though, as he continues to pile on the organization every chance he gets. "Is anyone out there remotely comfortable with a half-game lead? You shouldn't be," he writes in his latest. "Think the Blizzard of Oz still will be in first place Aug. 1? I don't. . . . The Twins are that good."

Are the Twins really that good?

One of the best ways to judge a baseball team, in a sport that involves a lot of luck, is by looking at the run differentials. So far the White Sox have outscored their opponents by 78 runs. The Twins? They're only +33. So no, the Twins really aren't that good.

* While we're here: I expect Minnesota to fall back to Earth and to make the playoffs as the Sox win the AL Central by at least five games. Something tells me Twins starter Livan Hernandez, he of the Contreras-like 5.29 ERA, won't win 10 games in the second half like he did in the first.

* Nick Swisher will continue to make up goofy home run celebrations in the second half. That Caption Morgan's style pose he does with Orlando Cabrera? It's only the tip of the iceberg. Let's just hope Swish is as creative as this kid.

* The next White Sox player to get a statue won't be Jose Contreras, who is set to go on the 15-day DL. What's the opposite of a blessing in disguise?

* Paul Konerko will continue to dwell in the abyss. Sure, he may be a tad better in the second half- it would actually be more impressive if he could possibly be worse- but I don't see a reason the Sox captain will turn his season around. Good thing he gave the Sox a hometown discount on his 5-year, $60 million contract. We really appreciate it, man.

* Ozzie Guillen will say five to seven really stupid things. It's tough to call this a prediction, it's more of a fact.

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Week in Review: Joe Crede and Carlos Quentin didn't have a great showing in the All-Star Game, but the AL's victory assures the Cubs won't have home field advantage in the World Series. Small victories, guys. Small victories.

Week in Preview: A home series against the Rangers is the prelude to 13 straight division games.

The Missile Tracker: After much coaxing, Alexei finally gave in to team orders and ate a meal over the All-Star break.

Fields on the Farm: I tried to check out what Fields did this week, but when I went to the Charlotte Knights' official website, the site had expired. I bet that never happens to the Yankee's AAA affiliate.

Over/Under: 50: The amount of unearned runs the Sox have already allowed this season. The Trib's Phil Rogers thinks Joe Crede's erratic play at third could be a reason why. In other news, the sun is hot.

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The White Sox Report staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that The Dark Knight, which I will see later tonight, should be more fun than any baseball you'll see this year.

The White Sox Report: Read 'em all.

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Comments welcome. Please include a real name if want to be considered for publication.

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Ricky O'Donnell is the proprietor of Tremendous Upside Potential , a contributor to the Sun-Times's Full Court Press and a lot of other things.

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