It was frustrating to watch. But it is the type of baseball that one gets to see too often when a team thinks that deep fly balls hit over the outfield fence are the key to success. Heck, Chicago Cubs fans know this better than anyone else.
What makes it worse, as they see it, is that Thome managed to latch on for the 2010 season with the Minnesota Twins, who last week DID clinch the division title. Twins baseball fans are quick to say it was Thome’s hitting that helped them fill the gap when star Justin Morneau was knocked out with a back injury for the entire second half of the season.
There are those people who for years have been getting on Guillen’s case who now want to claim this is the ultimate evidence that Ozzie doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing in running a baseball club on the field.
I’M SURE THE central Illinois native would be happy. If it happens (I’d favor either the New York Yankees or Tampa Bay personally), it would be a first World Series appearance for the slugger approaching 600 home runs in his career for the first time since 1997 when he was a young star with the Cleveland Indians.
But when I look at this year’s White Sox team, I honestly don’t think Thome would have made a difference. In part it is because Konerko has managed to come up with a season where he may wind up with 40 home runs (38 as of Sunday) and over 100 runs batted in. He still provided the team with the big bat that would have been essential to a legitimate contender.
What I see as the White Sox shortcomings is the fact that they lost the pitcher who was supposed to become the team ace half way through the season. If Jake Peavy were still pitching, I think we’d still have a competitive race – instead of a final week of the season that means little.