Friday, February 18, 2005
21st in MLB? 21st? I mean 21st?!
Buster Olney thinks so little of the White Sox's offseason that he ranks the White Sox 21st among Major League Clubs going into spring training. Among those teams Olney ranks ahead of the Sox:
Chicago Cubs (#7)
Cleveland Indians (#12)
Seattle Mariners (#14)
Detroit Tigers (#19)
Baltimore Orioles (#20)
I guess one shouldn't pay attention to the fact that the Cubs lost 2/3 of their outfield and their #3 and #4 hitters, that Cleveland had a bunch of career years from guys named Casey Blake or Travis Hafner, that Seattle and Baltimore have three or four question marks in their starting rotation each, or that Detroit won only 72 games last year after winning 43 the year before. If you're Olney, you don't know anything about the White Sox, so you don't recognize the fact that Sox fifth starters went 5-15 with a 9+ ERA last year, and that the Sox will have John Garland - a league average pitcher - in the 5 hole this year. Nah, too much research would be necessary to figure that out.
That's OK. Every year since 2001, the Sox were expected to win their division. This year, they are picked - according to Olney - for fourth place. I guess that's just the kind of expectations the Sox need to motivate themselves to kick themselves in the butt and win 90 games this year.