Beat the Bums.

My pre-season guarded optimism feels rewarded at this point. I wasn’t sure the White Sox would be able to keep up with Detroit, but the ninety loss season predicted by Sports Illustrated seemed a little uniformed and is now an impossibility. I go into all baseball seasons hoping my team will be playing meaningful games come September. Again I feel like my 14-game ticket plan was money well spent. Who am I kidding? Even if the Sox were terrible, it would be money well spent. It’s baseball after all.
The White Sox did look pathetic this past weekend but by the time the games were finished on Labor Day, they were back in first place all by themselves. If I were a Tigers fan, I’d be pulling my hair out right about now. The feeling has to be, “What the hell do we have to do!?” Of course it comes back to the Lou Boudreau dictum of how to win a pennant, “Beat the hell out of the bums.” So far, with the exception of the Royals, the White Sox have been better at that bit of advice than the Tigers. It is most telling within the division where the White Sox have gone 8-4 against Cleveland and 10-3 against the Twins. In contrast the Tigers are 5-8 against the Indians and only 7-5 against Minnesota. Outside of the division the Mariners have provided the White Sox with a great swing when compared with the Tigers. The Sox went 8-1 against Seattle while the Tigers only managed one win in six tries. Looking at other mutual opponents things are fairly even, the Sox doing better against the Yankees, the Tigers doing better against the Angels and so on.
Of course there is still a month left for the White Sox and it can all go pear-shaped in a hurry. They still have a set of tough games on the road with the Royals and Angels and they have the Rays coming to town to wrap up the home season. Throw in four more against the Tigers and by the time the season ends in October the White Sox could be looking up at the Tigers. Even so, I’m willing to put down a deposit for playoff tickets in a week or so, though I’d feel much better about that if they can actually beat Detroit a couple of times in the last four that they play. My guess is that it is going to be a bumpy ride right until the end. Detroit hasn’t been able to pull away and I don’t think the White Sox are capable of pulling away. Looking farther afield, the Yankees are being caught and the wild card is going to be tight so, despite the unlikeliness of it this season’s finish could be as dramatic as the last. It will be a lot more fun for me because I should have a team right there. Then it is on to the playoffs and who knows? A couple of good starts from Sale and Peavy, a trick or two from AJ and October could be a lot of fun around these parts.

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