(Over the next four weeks, Twinkie Town's RandBall's Stu will take a look at the four teams trying to snatch the AL Central crown from your Minnesota Twins. They will be neither thorough nor terribly accurate, and probably contain at least one sentence that SB Nation's lawyers will have to defend in court on the grounds that accusations of booger-eating are protected speech. Really should have done what Dad said and gone to med school, barrister.)
Who: Chicago White Sox
Last Year's Record: 88-74
Projected 2011 Record: roughly the same. Let's give 'em 90.
Key Departures: Bobby Jenks and his stupid bleeping facial hair, Andruw Jones, Scott Linebrink, ManRam, J.J. Putz, Mark Kotsay, Freddy Garcia.
Chris Sale's Favorite Belle & Sebastian Album: Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant. There are unconfirmed reports that he has the lyrics for "I Fought in a War" tattooed on his torso.
Does A.J. Pierzynski Eat Boogers: he has never denied it. His silence speaks volumes.
Outlook: the consensus seems to be that if anyone is going to unseat the Twins in the AL Central, it will be the Whities. Adam Dunn's signing was universally praised, Jake Peavy appears to finally be healthy, and Ozzie Guillen has only been fighting with former White Sox, not current ones. What this all means: that early-September series at Target Field should be fraught with meaning. Fraught, I say!
Other Items of Interest:
- I really want to see Jim Thome bat against Jesse Crain. My White Sox fan doppelganger is probably saying the same thing about Adam Dunn and Scott Baker.
- Who replaces Jenks as the closer? Matt Thornton is the front-runner, with Sale also in the mix.
- If you're on the Twitter, you could do a lot worse than following @NotHawk, who is just like Hawk Harrelson, only funny on purpose.
- Also, it's a good sign that the regular season needs to start soon when you kind of miss being aggravated by Harrelson's schtick.
- The following players were on the 1989 Seattle Mariners with Sox SS Omar Vizquel: Steve Trout, Harold Reynolds, Dave Valle, Mike Kingery (WHAT UP ATWATER) and Alvin Davis. He's old, is what I'm getting at.
- It's Frieeeedeayyyyy. (I'm terribly sorry.)