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And so, armed with only a staff for the ages and no bats to immortalize it, the White Sox enter 2010 a little wiser and a whole lot older.
Mark Kotsay batting fifth. Alex Rios coming off an absolutely Swisherian season. All the optimism in the world suggesting Andruw Jones will, at best, get on base 30 percent of the time. The oldest player in the American League backing up the most reckless. Mark Teahen replacing Gordon Beckham replacing Chris Getz. Their best players in decline, their eventual best not yet there, and the whole thing just reeking of another season spent envying the competition. But it's only April, so let's not yet dwell on things which might not happen.
Instead, this being Opening Day and thus The Time When Everyone Has A Chance, let's focus on the positive and wonder not what could go wrong, but how it might just all go so very, very right because if you can't hold on to hope, even at its most fleeting, then you might as well not even bother.
Because the Twins have a terrible rotation. Because the Tigers are weak in the field. Because Cleveland and Kansas City still have so very far to go. Because 83 games just might win baseball's worst division and the Sox, if everything goes right, just might be able to turn so very, very much into so very, very little. And in this, the unspoiled beginning, we are still free to believe they can do just that.
Week in Review: This past Thursday, the Sox squared off against their AAA Charlotte affiliate . . . and lost 4-3. Think about that for a minute.
Week in Preview: Three at home against the hated Cleveland Indians followed by three more at home against the even more hated Minnesota Twins.
Hawkeroo's Can-O-Corn Watch: This team here, I tell you what, this White Sox team assembled here, today, in 2010, this might be the best team I've ever seen coming out of spring training. You show me a team like this, with what Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen have done with our Sox, you show me a team like that and I'll show you a team that can win 95, 96, maybe even 100 games. Because that's what good baseball is: it's teams winning games that they're going to win, and these Sox are as good a team at that as I've ever seen.
Gordon Beckham Hall of Fame Update: White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham home runs through age 22: 14. Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg home runs through age 22: 7. And so we can see Gordon Beckham is, without a doubt, already twice as good a player as Ryne Sandberg ever was.
Alumni News You Can Use: Former White Sox pitcher Jon Garland takes the ball this week as Opening Day starter and ace-by-default for the San Diego Padres.
The "H" in "DH" Stands For: Hurt, after Mark Kotsay, Andruw Jones, and Omar Vizquel missed a combined 275 games in 2009 due to injury.
The Q Factor: Asked recently about how he spent his offseason, Quentin laughed, then simply responded "There is no offseason." The reporter followed up with a question about how Quentin spent his winter, to which Quentin responded "There is no winter, no summer, no spring, no fall; seasons are for the weak of spirit and the thin of heart, an excuse to hide rather than to hunt. You call this the start of a new year; I call this the end of an undeserved three-day weekend." Quentin then punched a hole through the wall . . . of a bank vault.
The Guillen Meter: His team locked in a vicious five-way tie for first place, the Guillen Meter reads nine for "ready to kill indiscriminately."
Endorsement No-Brainer: James Frey's third book for the dawn of a new year in baseball: it's a bright, shiny morning.
Cubs Snub: On May 4, 2008, Carlos Silva started a game by giving up eight runs in three innings. Two weeks later, Silva took the hill and handed over seven earned runs in four frames. Ten days later, he coughed up another seven-spot while facing nine batters, retiring only two of those and not even making it out of the first inning. The White Sox Report welcomes Mr. Silva to Chicago with open arms, and wishes to make him the early favorite to become Our Favorite Cub.
The White Sox Report: Read 'em all.
The Cub Factor: It's funny because it's true.
Andrew Reilly is the managing editor of The 35th Street Review and a contributor to many fine publications.More from Beachwood Sports »
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