This was suppose to be a season in which the White Sox won their division and challenged teams like Boston, Texas and the Yankees for the right to go to the World Series. At least that is what I predicted. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out so well. The White Sox could never get it together for any length of time. While spending the better part of three months just trying to get back to .500, the Sox never caught the Detroit Tigers finishing a disappointing 79-83 and in third place behind the Tigers and Cleveland Indians.
It was such a disappointing year all the way around for our beloved Sox, ending with the departure of Ozzie Guillen and probably Mark Buehrle as well. Adam Dunn was the big off-season acquisition for the Sox. But he along with Alex Rios had very bad years. The closer by committee was also unsuccessful. Matt Thornton struggled for much of the year and Sergio Santos had his ups and downs. The starting rotation outside of Buehrle was inconsistent at best.
Carlos Quintin got off to a great start, but injuries in the second half of the season slowed him down. Alexi Ramirez and Gordon Beckham had decent seasons but nothing like everyone expected them to have. Juan Pierre showed signs of slowing down and A.J. Pierzynski was serviceable. Only Paul Konerko had a great year. Batting .300 with 31 HRs and 105 RBIs, Konerko should finish in the top five for MVP in the American League. He certainly was the best player on the Sox this year.
Gone now is hitting coach Greg Walker who resigned on Thursday, and manager Ozzie Guillen, who was released by the Sox following Monday’s win against the Toronto Blue Jays. Guillen was formally announced on Wednesday as the new manager of the Florida Marlins. Guillen was an intense player and manager. His passion and love of the game drove him to success. After the Sox traded for him back in 1984, Guillen was named the A.L. Rookie-of-the-Year in 1985. He was a three time All-Star for the Sox.
When he was named the manager of the Sox back in 2004, it was a great day for all White Sox fans. In 2005, he led the team to their first World Series title since 1917.The Sox won the division again in 2008 losing though to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. Ozzie finished his managerial career with the Sox in third place on the all-time win list for Sox managers only behind Jimmy Dykes and Al Lopez.
With so many questions to be answered by Jerry Reinsdorf and Kenny Williams in regards to the direction of this team, Sox fans will be on edge all winter. Who will be the next manager? Will the Sox re-sign Buehrle? How many players will be gone by spring training? 2011 was suppose to be a good year for the Sox. What will 2012 hold for the Chicago White Sox?