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White Sox, fans feeling right at home

Everybody's happy!
Everybody's happy!

The White Sox just wrapped up their only three home games over the last 22 days of July with a move out of George Constanza's playbook.

The Sox lit up the Twins for 26 runs over three games, and with the way they allocated the scoring, they basically gave fans the Satisfying Win Sampler -- one solid victory, one rousing comeback, and one rout -- that leaves them wanting more.

They had the pitching advantages. They had the lineup advantages. They had the defensive advantages. The on-paper edges translated to the field almost perfectly except for the time Cole De Vries outpitched Jose Quintana. Somehow, the Sox still figured out a way to score 11 runs that night.

Sure, the Twins aren't what they used to be. After the sweep, they now own sole possession of last place in the league's worst division, and they have the league's worst run differential to match (-106). This the kind of team the Sox should stomp.

But they haven't taken advantage of such stretches in the past, and it really hurt the Sox last year. I've written about it before -- going 1-8 against an equally miserable Minnesota team in their first nine meetings might've been the biggest reason why the Sox were forced to sell at the deadline in 2011.

This year, the Sox have helped themselves, and they own a share of first place to show for it. They are 7-2 against the league's worst team, and one of the losses can be at least partially attributed to Kevin Hickey's funeral. They're averaging 6.8 runs a game against a pitching staff with a 5.00 ERA. Gavin Floyd, who had dropped eight straight games to Minnesota, is 2-1 against the Twins this year. Francisco Liriano is 1-2 against the Sox in 2012, after the Twins had won each of his last seven starts versus Chicago.

Pull back further, and it looks even better. After the sweep, the Sox have won 10 of their last 11 games at U.S. Cellular Field, which means they're now better at home (27-22) than on the road (26-23).

And best of all, nearly 105,000 fans showed up over a Monday-Wednesday series, which included a day game that neared triple-digit heat by its conclusion.

The attendance is still far from desirable for the Sox (ninth in the AL), but it's trending in an encouraging direction, and locking in a superb turnout for the last pre-deadline home series may have given the front office a little more room for dreaming. If the Zack Greinke rumors have any meat to them, Kenny Williams is indeed thinking big.

And suddenly, the balance is restored! The organization made changes to its product until it proved capable of giving fans an enjoyable night out, and Sox fans feel increasingly compelled to consume said product in greater quantities. In previous years, the Sox expected fans to respond to promises that went unfulfilled more and more frequently. This year, a proactive front office does what it can to fix problems with the support it has, and the support is increasing as a result.

Finally, finally, everybody is holding up their end of the bargain. Now we -- fans, players, Major League Baseball -- wait to see if it leads to deal-making of another kind.