The end has come.
Before the season began, I told friends that more than any other year I can remember I couldn't figure out how the White Sox would be. On one hand, if everybody came through, I thought we could be very good. If the comebacks didn't happen, we might be as bad as many in the media predicted.
Now that all is said and done, we have to be more happy than disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Pollyanna. The last two weeks have been unbearable for me to watch unfold. The day-after-day soap opera of missed opportunities were hard to take and then when it was much too little, much too late, we explode for 11 runs--more than we scored in the entire home series against Tampa Bay.
But we can't ignore the positives, here's a sampling:
--Robin Ventura proved he could indeed handle the manager's role. In fact, he will probably be right behind the Orioles' Buck Showalter and the A's Bob Melvin for Manager of the Year honors.
--Alex Rios was magnificent from the beginning of the season to the end and without question the team's MVP--and my choice for Comeback of the Year.
--Chris Sale was a wonder in his first season as a starter. And the best is yet to come.
--Adam Dunn's 41 homers and 96 RBIs (with two games to go) was a welcome sight as he rebounded from the disaster that was 2011. I wish he was more productive down the stretch, but we can say that about everyone with the exception of Rios.
--Paul Konerko trailed off as the season went on, whether it was injury or age, but sizzled as the Sox got off to a good start.
--A.J. Pierzynski, who may be playing his last games in a Sox uniform, had a career year and will leave as a South Side folk hero.
--While it didn't manifest the way we hoped and the players were somewhat disappointing, Kenny Williams's four key moves during the season--acquiring Kevin Youkilis, Brett Myers, Francisco Liriano and Dewayne Wise--showed he meant business. No one can fault him for giving it a shot. All seemed like great moves at the time.
--It's a shame that Alejandro De Aza was injured and sick at the end of the season because it may overshadow how much he contributed to the offense in the leadoff slot. He's a keeper.
--Although I wish he was more disciplined at the plate, Dayan Viciedo was a key contributor to the offense and made the switch to leftfield without a hitch.
--The Kids: Jose Quintana, Addison Reed, Nate Jones, Hector Santiago and a couple of others who will play an important part in the Sox future.
--Although it seems like it was in the distant past, Phil Humber's perfect game was a season highlight even though he was never the same since his glorious moment in the spotlight.
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Tags: A.J. Pierzynski, Adam Dunn, Addison Reed, Alejandro De Aza, Alex Rios, Bob Melvin, Brett Myers, Buck Showalter, Chris Sale, Dayan Viciedo, Dewayne Wise, Francisco Liriano, Hector Santiago, Jose Quintana, Kenny Williams, Kevin Youkilis, Nate Jones, Paul Konerko, Phil Humber, Robin Ventura, White Sox