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Sox Fate Remains TBD

By: Matt Hoeppner

There is no doubt in my mind that the next two weeks will determine the fate of the 2009 White Sox, and will likely have an impact on the future shape of the team. Despite everything that has happened in the first three months of the year I am not ready to write them off, and I don’t think Kenny Williams is either. However, the Sox play their next 13 games against division opponents leading up to the All-Star break. At the end of that stretch, both Kenny and I should know whether or not this team will be competing for a division title, or waving the white flag.

The Sox took two out of three from the Cubs this weekend in their usual fashion. They lost game one and came back and won the next two. The Sox have taken 4 of the last 5 series in this manner, losing the first game and then winning the next two against Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and now the Cubs. In fact the Sox have not lost a series dating back to June 8-11 when they lost 3 of 5 to the Tigers. The split with the Cubs at Wrigley is the only series the Sox have not taken since then.

The bats seem to have come alive of late as well. The Sox came into the homestand hitting a Mendoza like .217 at the Cell. But in 6 games against the Dodgers and Cubs the Sox hit 14 home runs and scored 36 runs to help them win 4 of the 6 games.

Whether this is a turnaround or just a good week is still up for debate. The next 13 games take the Sox to Cleveland for 3 games, Kansas City for 4 games, then home to face Cleveland for 3 more games, before finishing the first half with 3 games at Minnesota. The Sox are 5 games behind the first place Tigers and one game back of Minnesota. Cleveland has lost 8 of 10 and Kansas City has lost 7 of 10. The Sox need to win the majority of the games against those teams to have a chance at clawing their way back into the fight.

If at the All-Star break the Sox remain around .500 and between 5 and 8 games out of first place, then I don’t think they will be able to get back in the race. And if that is the case it means that Kenny Williams needs to think long and hard about trading some of the veterans for prospects. Jermaine Dye would be the most likely to be traded, but Kenny doesn’t always make the likely move.

The next two weeks will tell the tale of the 2009 White Sox. It could also shape the look of future Sox teams, but whatever the case it will be interesting to watch the events unfold. I will be rooting for the Pale Hose to get back into the mix, but I sure won’t be shocked if they don’t.

1 comment:

  1. Whether or not the Sox get into the AL Central race, I don't see Kenny going into "sell" mode. If the Sox get hot, he'll "buy." If they sputter around .500, he'll stand pat. I just don't see him selling off pieces in a fire sale mode.