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Thome Launches 550th Homer, White Sox Back to .500

Well that was a thoroughly satisfying win. 

Gavin Floyd continued his return to BHB-form, ending his night with a bases loaded strikeout of Orlando Cabrera. Matt Thornton threw enough heat to melt the polar icecaps. And Jim Thome topped it all off with some SEVERE DAMAGE, the 550th of his career. 

The win moves the White Sox back to the .500 mark for the first time since May 3rd. Yep, I feel like loosening up the belt a notch and laying down on the couch to fall asleep to some Conan after that one.

In any other division, celebrating a .500 record might seem a bit absurd. But in the AL Central a .500 record puts you alone in second place, firmly in the hunt for a division title. Which got me thinking about something...

Is this the year the Ozzie Guillen-led White Sox finally have a second-half winning percentage that outpaces their first? I've often brought up the fact that Guillen's teams have been a first-half bunch, but I honestly don't think he has much to do with that disparity. If anything, that anomaly has more to do with the Sox lack of impact players on the minor league level who are ready to step in and make the club better in the second half. 

I can think of only one player, Bobby Jenks. And he didn't really have a chance to impact the Sox record. Though he obviously made a significant impact on the Sox trophy case. 

I'm sure you know where I'm going with this now. The Sox just might have a couple of impact players lurking on the farm this year, and for the first time in, well, seemingly forever, there is a position player making a push. I don't need to get into specifics here. You all do a good enough job posting his positional status and most recent batting line from the Charlotte box score in just about every thread.

When Hawk and Stoney are breaking down Josh Fields' loopy swing after he swings through another not-that-high fastball, the same mechanics we lamented at length here 2 freakin' years ago When Fields and Greg Walker have appeared to make no discernible attempt to tighten up his hitch. When the organization's only plan appears to be moving their top prospect up a level to get reps at 3B... Well, the writing is on the proverbial wall. That writing is Gordon Beckham, and he's part of the reason the Sox have a shot at being better in the second-half this year.

Also, 3e8 deserves credit for pointing out that the Sox' R H E line on the scoreboard read 5 5 0 following Thome's HR.

I'm not quite sure that I'll be agreeing with Black Jack McDowell that often, but I have to say that he has made his blog an every-post read for me. His latest entry on the Jake Peavy-Roy Oswalt saga is a good example. He gives you the player's perspective without spouting off a few Jacksonian/Singletonian cliches.

I don't even know how the Oswalt discussion got started. Was that a WTGTD-generated rumor using the misspelling Ozwalt? I ask only because I wasn't here this weekend and Kenny Williams is wondering.