Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Stretch Run Has Only Just Begun


Once again we have reached that time. You know the time. That time. It's time to take a hard look at the White Sox and reexamine their existence in the universe. After yesterday's day off - their first after 24 straight days of action - the Sox open a series with Tampa Bay tonight. The bare essentials:

- They remain 5 1/2 games behind Detroit in the AL central.
- They are a 1/2 game behind the Twins in the wildcard chase.
- They have 32 games total remaining.

There really isn't much to say, is there? We have heard every holy truth uttered again and again. The starting pitching needs to be much, much better. The bullpen, too. No more always swinging for the fences; manufacture some runs - small ball. Win the close games. No costly errors. No mental mistakes. Jermaine Dye should be MVP. Starting pitching. Starting pitching. Starting pitching.

We've heard it all. But in the end, only one thing, really, needs to be said:

Just win, baby.

There are positive signs of late. Mark Buehrle looked like his former self over the weekend. Finally. That needs to continue. Javier Vazquez, a cauldron of horrors, had a decent outing on Friday, even if he had to be pulled early to avoid the meltdown that was just waiting to happen. Scott Podsednik, who has been more disappointing this season than Scarlett Johanssen in the arms of anyone who isn't me, bunted his way on a couple of times and stole some bases against the Twins. Why he hasn't been doing this all season we can only wonder. I mean, if he isn't doing these things, then what good is he? It certainly isn't for his batting average, his power, or his defensive prowess. So unless Podsednik's hottie wife, Lisa Dergan, is servicing Ozzie in the clubhouse, there really is no reason for Scotty Pods to be a regular unless he does the things that Scotty Pods is known for. So just do it, Scotty Pods. Jime Thome's hamstring, hopefully, has rested up sufficiently.

But again, in the end, there is only one thing to be said:

Just win, baby.

Here we go now.

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