Catching Up, White Sox 2011

Well, we’re a couple of weeks into the season and things could be a little better. I’m not one to panic, at least not yet. Last year the White Sox got off to a terrible start, playing very poor baseball through April and May, only to turn it around in June and up until the All-Star Break, when they started to fade. It was a bit of a slow fade, but not being able to play well within their division, especially against the Twins pretty much left the writing on the wall by mid-August. So, a bit of a bumpy start isn’t going to make me all that concerned.

What strikes me as funny right about now is the relative quiet surrounding Don Cooper, or better stated the lack of praise for Greg Walker. Last year when the Sox offense was sputtering out of the gate, the calls for Walker’s job started and reached a crescendo right before the White Sox had that amazing run in June. Even after that, there was considerable grumbling about the Sox offense and its lack of production. This year, the White Sox have one of the best offenses thus far, but I don’t hear a great chorus praising Walker. Honestly, I don’t know how good or bad a coach Walker is, nor do I have any idea how useful a hitting coach is at the Major League level. I have also consistently said that if Walker kept his job or got fired tomorrow, I’d sleep ok. I guess what I find interesting in all of this is that Walker gets the heat turned up pretty quickly, while Don Cooper has a bit of a longer leash. Mind you, I don’t want Coop to get fired, and I really don’t want to hear a bunch of fans calling for his head, but if Walker was such a poor coach last year, he must have taken a genius pill over the winter. Conversely, if Coop is such a great coach when the pitching is going well, how much blame should he shoulder for the Incredible Exploding Bullpen? Let’s face it, over the course of two weeks these guys have sucked. Hopefully when the White Sox get back on the road, they can figure it out a little better and start moving up the standings. Looking up at Cleveland and Kansas City is just plain weird.

Addendum: The Fire Greg Walker bandwagon might just start rolling. I started this post before the Angels series, and the bats went pretty silent for three days. The White Sox were 6-3 and are left town 7-8, not exactly what one would call a hot start. Just to make things better, they’re off to Tampa Bay for four games, a place where they never play well, Detroit and then Yankee Stadium for four. If they come back with five wins, that is an ok road trip considering recent trips to all those cities. Why couldn’t Boston be on tap?

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