Monday, May 09, 2005
Damaso Marte (left) after saving another one for the 24-7 White Sox
In 1984, the Tigers got off to that amazing 35-5 start. Never again, we said -- never again would a team equal that after 40 games.
Well, the Chicago White Sox won't, either, but they might come close -- close enough to be within a couple games of it. The Pale Hose are 24-7, and what's to say they can't win, say, seven of their next nine games and be 31-9?
Isn't 31-9 almost in that rareified air of 35-5? Heck, isn't it close to enough to tip your caps to them?
It looked like the White Sox were coming down to earth after they started 16-4 (the '84 Tigers were 18-2), when they lost three straight. But they're off and running again, on an eight-game winning streak as of this writing to climb to the aforementioned 24-7.
Hardly anyone talked about the White Sox as a contender in the A.L. Central during spring training. After all, they lost free agent slugger Magglio Ordonez, and their offense wasn't all that much with him. It was supposed to be the Twins and the resurgent Indians, and if you listened to Tigers DH Dmitri Young, you could forget the Twins and narrow it down to Detroit and Cleveland.
Guillen, in a typical pose
But here the White Sox are, getting timely hitting, great starting pitching, and becoming a mirror image of their feisty manager, Ozzie Guillen. The ex-shortstop is a pugnacious little guy, and as much as I thought his brief war of words with Ordonez was unseemly ("F*** him -- he's a piece of s***"), I kinda admired his spunk. Baseball needs fiery managers. Most of them are too vanilla for my liking.
The White Sox will come down to earth, no question.
Then again, that's what everyone said about the '84 Tigers.