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A disappointing season for the White Sox ended in a fitting fashion, with their biggest flop grounding into a 4-6-3 double play for the year’s 4,373rd and 4,734th outs.
No, those numbers aren’t for Rios alone.
Two weeks ago, I couldn’t wait for the season to end. Now, I’m getting that same familiar sad feeling as the White Sox slip into darkness. Some things I liked seeing on the way out:
*Jake Peavy has these numbers next to the first mention of the White Sox on his stat sheet: 3 GS, 3-0, 1.35 ERA, 20 IP, 18 K, 0.835 WHIP.
*Gordon Beckham in his first season: .270/.347/.460, and finishing with 53 doubles between the minors and majors.
*Old warhorses Freddy Garcia and Scott Podsednik returning to the Sox out of desperation and delivering more than anybody expected, enhancing their legacies in the process.
*Dewayne Wise ending an up-and-down year (and White Sox career?) with a high note, throwing out a runner at home and legging out an important infield single.
*Alexei Ramirez turning into a reputable and reliable shortstop, something I did not see coming.
*Matt Thornton doing everything he can to erase the notion that he doesn’t have the testicular fortitude to close. I’d still rather see him in a “huge-out(s)-needed” role than a paint-by-numbers closer position considering his handedness, but it’s nice to see illogical arguments defeated wherever they may exist.
*Daniel Hudson and Tyler Flowers making it to the big leagues earlier than expected and keeping their heads above water.
*Brent Lillibridge taking Ozzie Guillen’s advice to heart and making adjustments. Since returning to the team in August, both his strikeout and flyball rates are heading in the right direction. He also had a helluva nice day against Justin Verlander, of all people. That’s not saying I want to see Li’l Bridge anywhere near the 2010 team, but it’s always a good thing when players smarten up, regardless of who the player may be.
It’s hard to find silver lining for Jermaine Dye, though.
Dye may have ended his White Sox career with a strikeout in the fifth inning, after which Guillen removed him from the game. He now enters the offseason with uncertainty for the first time since 2004-05:
“I don’t really have a feeling,” said Dye, who is eligible for free agency. “Right now I just want to go home and get away from baseball, like I always do. Take two weeks off and re-evaluate the situation and get into my program like I always do.”
I’m hoping Dye’s last quote as a member of the White Sox doesn’t involve “tipping a cap” to the other team, though. Quick, Jermaine! Say something else!
And for those of you already juggling your rosters:
- Scott Podsednik likes Chicago, but also likes free agency.
- Chone Figgins may be too expensive, says Guillen.
Finally, 2009 wasn’t a great year here either, what with the server change issues knocking me out for a month and leading to a site re-launch.
Despite it being a painful process, finally being on WordPress softens the blow. Hopefully most of you feel the same way, because there will be modifications and improvements made along the way. I’ll be balancing those with providing daily content for the site and writing the next book.
Thanks to everybody who stuck with Sox Machine through the transition, as well as the 2009 team’s nosedive. I know it ain’t much fun to talk about, try as I might to take the edge off. I appreciate the feedback and conversation, especially since 1) it’s almost always smart, 2) it’s almost always literate (except when Knox hits the booze), 3) you guys can take a joke (hi, Striker), and 4) I’ve never had to use the banhammer.
Somehow, we’ve been spared from the Jason from the Tribs (or Jasons from the Trib?) and Mary Kates (hey, a Facebook link) of the world for almost four years. I guess relative obscurity has its merits.
If you’re new to the site and wondering what’s in store for the offseason, I’ll still have new stuff just about every day. It’s usually wrapping up loose ends through October, formulating offseason plans through November, then discussing trade/arbitration activity as the winter meetings arrive, so I encourage you to stick around.
However, if you’re truly done with the White Sox until spring training, I hope to see you next year. Hopefully it’ll be a better one for all of us.