By Demario Phipps-Smith @DemarioPSmith on March 26, 2014
The Chicago White Sox have been alternating between exciting and disappointing in the last few years. Since winning the World Series in 2005, the Sox have not been able to maintain any level of consistency. In fact, the year after being crowned champions, the South Siders finished third in the AL Central. In 2007, the team finished 18 games under .500, but won the division in 2008.
Here are five players people will blame for a bad 2014.
Most fans love Paul Konerko, but others have suggested that it may be time to cut ties with the seasoned veteran. Pauly has been with the team for almost as long as I’ve been alive and has been extremely consistent in Frank “Big Hurt” Thomas’ absence. If he performs well this year, he will be a rallying point for the team and everyone will support him. But if he doesn’t have a good year, he’ll be asked to hang up the cleats by fans.
When the Sox brought Adum Dunn in they were expecting him to be near the top of the league in homeruns. Year after year, Dunn is one of the league leaders in a different category—strikeouts. Somewhere since the championship team, the South Side front office fell in love with the long ball and have tried (unsuccessfully) to turn the Sox into the Yanks. Dunn will be the most direct correlation to either the White Sox’s success or failure this year.
One of the few bright spots on a disastrous 2013 Chicago team was closer Addison Reed. Unfortunately, Reed is now with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Matt Lindstrom was brought in to battle with Nate Jones for closer duty. If Jones wins the competition, then Lindstrom will be reduced to an overpaid relief guy. As history exhibits, overpaid players kill franchises.
At times he appears to flash high-end power and RBI production. It makes him hard to replace in a lineup devoid of much explosion. However, he leaves much to be desired on the defensive end. He can barely play left field and is quite possibly one of the worst defensive outfielders in The Show. If he doesn’t show up early this year, the White Sox may look elsewhere if the team is in contention come the All-Star break.
There is no prospect in the majors having as baffling a career as Gordon Beckham is. All of the physical talents are there for him, but for whatever reason, he hasn’t been able to put it all together. The Sox aren’t ready to part ways with him either, but the leash is getting shorter the further away from prospect-status he gets. The South Siders need him to perform this year and the fans are hoping on it.
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