A new season is upon us. The whole squad is at camp in the warm Arizona and Florida air as we sit and wait for the last snow to fall and melt. Every season is filled with new and exciting things, because as we know baseball is unpredictable. I mean no one would predict that the son of a saloonkeeper would grow up to be arguably the best player of all time, or that a team can come from behind to win 4 games in a row and then win the World Series.
What we do know is that each season starts with a clean slate. It’s a new season, any team has a chance and any player could be the CY Young. However today I’m here to tell you that this year is different. This year is not unpredictable. I can predict the World Series and I can predict the CY Young. The White Sox are going to the World Series and they are going to be lead by the CY Young winner Chris Sale.
The White Sox have made some major adjustments to their rotation and lineup that not only filled holes and answered question marks but made statements. From the moment the season ended last year I watched the free agent and trade market. I made a wish list and I wish I had written it down. My wish list seemed to have been sent to Rick Hahn and the crew because they answered it like Santa Clause on Christmas Day. I got everything that I asked for and as each player got signed I screeched and jumped for joy like I had just opened an N64 in 1996.
I love when players come to their childhood favorite team—coming from the guy that still asks for a million trades until I land on the Chicago Bulls in NBA 2k. Jeff Samardzja did just that. He loved the White Sox growing up and now he is going to love playing on this team. I don’t think he will have to deal with the run support problems that he had on the north side either with 3 silver sluggers in the lineup (Abreu, Ramirez (x2), and LaRoche). It will also be good for Samardzja to have some of the pressure taken off him as he is placed in between Sale and Quintana, two of the best lefties in the game. This will definitely calm his nerves especially in this contract year for him.
The 1-2-3 of the rotation is nice and the back 4 and 5 aren’t too shabby either, especially if the young Rodon can pitch his way into that 5th spot. However you can’t sleep on the lineup that is filled with those 3 silver sluggers and more, including the newest addition Melky Cabrera. Melky will fit in nicely behind a fast, .300 hitting leadoff man like Adam Eaton. I’ve always played baseball with the get em’ on, get em’ over, get em’ in mentality. With Eaton, Melky, Abreu combo I think we have a great shot at that.
The biggest addition that the Sox made that really got me screaming was signing David Robertson. If you have watched the White Sox in the past years you would know that the biggest weakness as been the pen. This struggle definitely was highlighted by the lack of a big time closer. David Robertson is that guy. He can strike out batters and close out the game. With the additions of Duke and Jennings in addition to Petricka and Jones, the bullpen seems ready to throw to a pitcher-friendly-catcher in Tyler Flowers.
Robin Ventura has a lot to work with. If anything is going to mess up this team it’s him. Garcia, a solid bullpen, and a proven front end of the starting rotation that is run by Chris Sale, arguably the best pitcher in the American League.
Now, I know that baseball is unpredictable and full of surprises. Like I said, anything can happen. I just wanted to state my predictions officially. I truly believe that this team can win the division and go to the playoffs. When it comes to the playoffs, baseball changes. Your rotation becomes smaller and I think that benefits the Sox and could give them that extra push to get them into the World Series. When they go to the World Series I can comfortably watch my team knowing that I was not a band wagoner but that I believed in them the whole way.
A Real White Sox Fan Since Day One
P.S. The Cubs won’t finish anything higher than second