I'm ready to admit that I fell for it.
I thought the White Sox were in contention.
The Sox will win eight of 10 and flirt with first place in the AL Central. At this point, the imagination will start to wander....
Because I failed to heed my own warning, I started coming up with trade-deadline scenarios where the White Sox can add to the big club without sacrificing major components of their future. Call it addition without subtraction.
Candidate number one? Carlos Quentin. When TCQ arrived at U.S. Cellular Field earlier this month, it was as if he was a different person. Gone was a slugger of 2008, with the "invisible piano bench" batting stance. Back then, he was a coiled cobra ready to strike. Now he stands up straight in the batters box.
He's gone respectable.
Quentin has indicated he's willing to waive his no-trade clause (part of the three-year extension he signed after he was traded from the White Sox to the Padres). He seems like someone a team can get without giving up a whole lot. However, he is presently hitting .192/.294/.342. He also has two achy knees and never played a complete season in a White Sox uniform.
Thanks for losing that ball in the sun in Kansas City on Sept. 25, 2005. It gave the White Sox some breathing room heading into the final week of the season.
So we're back to our premise from late March. Does this current White Sox team look like a playoff team? Not in its current configuration. It will flirt with .500 all season long, and clock in somewhere around 81 wins. An 18-win improvement over the previous season would be pretty damn good.
Now that the pessimism is out of the way, enjoy the found objects portion of this morning's post.
Here is a pair of White Sox games from 1980. Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall have the call on Channel 44:
And here is the third inning of the 1983 All-Star Game. It ended with the first grand slam in ASG history: