The Silver (and Black) Lining
No matter how bad things get, you can always find a silver lining. With the Sox officially eliminated from playoff contention after last night’s Tigers victory, let’s pick ourselves off the mat and look at some positives:
* Remember July 23. Mark Buehrle’s perfect game and DeWayne Wise’s spectacular catch to save it.
* Sox fans got a glimpse of a hopeful future in rookies Gordon Beckham, Chris Getz, Daniel Hudson and Jayson Nix.
* We saw 2005 World Series heroes Scott Podsednik and Freddy Garcia return from oblivion. Pods was better than ever as the club’s igniter from the leadoff spot and Garcia showed he can still pitch in the major leagues after an injury and a horrible spring with the Mets.
* The Sox faithful enjoyed a terrific year from A.J. Pierzynski, who has been above .300 despite carrying the load behind the plate.
* We have a lot to look forward to in regard to next year’s starting pitching with Jake Peavy, Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd and John Danks. It’s too earlier to predict the fifth starter, but you have to think both Garcia and Hudson have a shot.
* It’s not unrealistic to think that some of this year’s top farmhands could have an impact next season. Tyler Flowers has gotten a cup of coffee this month and there’s a chance he could make the 2010 club as the backup catcher and sometime DH. It’s uncertain whether or not the likes Dayan Viciedo and Jordan Danks will reach the majors next year, but hopefully they are not too far away.
* Matt Thornton proved to be one of the top relievers in the game from his setup role. Whether or not he’s our closer in 2010, he’ll be an anchor in a pen that will certainly undergo a facelift over the winter.
* I’m looking for big things from Alex Rios next year, both offensively and defensively. I think it would be a mistake to write him off based on his performance with the Sox thus far.
These positives, along with the anticipated moves by Kenny Williams, should make us feel we’ll be a whole lot sounder baseball team next year–and a legimate contender.