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By Dan McNeil-
A baseball lifer once scolded me for writing off a team’s chances this early in the season.
After a dreadful interleague series in Phoenix in 2003, I left Jerry Manuel’s White Sox for dead and expressed eagerness to get on Interstate 57 for a peek at Kordell Stewart running the Bears’ offense for Dick Jauron in Bourbonnais.
“Never bury a ballclub in June,” said John Rooney, then the radio voice of the White Sox. “Way too soon.”
Rooney was right. Frank Thomas put the team on his back in August, and the Sox made it interesting. They ran out of gas in September but finished 10 games above .500 and finished second to the Twins.
I vowed never to make that premature rush to judgment again.
Why would anybody do that with the White Sox right now? How could you when they’re running first in the third month of the season? After they’ve won nine in a row? When they reside in a suspect division?
There’s no reason to think Robin Ventura’s White Sox can’t keep things interesting. On the other hand, there’s no reason to believe Sox fans aren’t sitting on a heaping pile of fools’ gold.
It’s difficult to buy in completely when the ace, Jake Peavy, always appears one misstep away from a trip to the disabled list.
Peavy’s been great, but sitting on pins and needles is just a way of life with the big country right-hander.