It’s over. I don’t care if there’s still a mathematical possibility that the Chicago White Sox can reach the postseason – - it’s over. What makes it so frustrating is the White Sox just gave the Detroit Tigers the division. They gave ‘em the friggin’ thing, and in my opinion that sucks as Jim Mora once eloquently said. The White Sox started September with a 72-60 record, one full game up on the Detroit, even after September began with the Tigers sweeping them at Comerica Park. So things were still looking okay for the Southsiders. It was looking even better on September 17th when they beat Detroit 5-4 in a make-up game, extending their lead to three games. Then, all hell broke loose.
The Sox were sitting steady at 80-66 before heading south to take on the Kansas City Royals, a team that had absolutely no business dominating the White Sox but somehow did. Since that series, the White Sox have lost every way imaginable, going 3-10 during that stretch. That comfy three-game lead turned into a three game deficit within a blink of an eye. Poof! Season ova.
There is a lot of blame to go around for the September collapse, and I will get to that within the next few days; ergo, I won’t get into it now. But now that the smoke has cleared and it’s time to reflect on the season, I guess all I can say is: I predicted it to a daggum tee.
Yes, I predicted the White Sox to win the division, but that was on blind faith with a hint of homerism and optimism. Before the season and the new fancy website we have now, I did WAR projections for every division. Obviously, I missed some predictions across baseball – - just as anyone would. However, I know the AL Central like the back of my hand, and I had the White Sox at 83-79 and the Tigers at 88-74. If I miss the bulls-eye, I missed it by a fraction of an inch.
Was the 2012 season a disappointment? Yea – in the same way it was a disappointment to Davidson when they didn’t make the Final Four with Stephen Curry. Similar to Davidson, no one outside of White Sox fans expected them to do this well to begin with. Heck, SI had them losing 97 games I believe. It just stinks that the team led for a majority of the season, only to see it float down the drain in September.
Outside of myself, no one really predicted Adam Dunn was going to drop 40 bombs, or that Alex Rios would have had a bounce-back season. Certainly no one could have predicted AJ Pierzysnki would have turned into the home run animal he was this season. Even though a lot of things went right, injuries, youth, and inexperience did the White Sox in.
I wish I could feel confident going into 2013, but so many things had to go right this season just to do this mediocre. It’s scary to think what is going to happen when Paul Konerko gets older, Alex Rios sticks with this every other year pattern, and Jake Peavy, Kevin Youkilis, and possibly even AJ Pierzynski are all gone. I have plenty time to pontificate on that during the offseason, so I will digress until then.
I just fear the crack of the window that was open for this team is now closed, and we are in for a long, long, long depressing ride.
I really hope I am wrong.
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