I returned from vacation just in time to see my pick for 2009 White Sox MVP thus far--Mark Buehrle--pitch another gem and break a six-game Sox losing streak. The Sox beat the dread Piranhas 6-2 at home, giving Buehrle a 6-1 record and 2.77 ERA.
Buehrle has gotten a bit of luck getting run support from a Sox offense that has been increasingly anemic for his rotation mates, but if it weren't for Buehrle's luck, the Sox would have none at all. Having just been swept in a four-gamer by the Blue Jays (who afre in first place, but still...), it was good to see the Sox come back and take it to their most-hated rival (no, that's not the Cubs in my book).
The Sox still have plenty of problems, with Jose Contreras pitching in the minors to figure himself out, a talent void in center field (Sorry, Pods, but it's no longer 2005), a lingering slump at shortstop (The Missile is still sputtering on the launch-pad), and now downward batting averages at second base and third base as well.
Finally, to my mind, The Great and Powerful Oz seems a bit lost for possible solutions to it all. Injuries have been a problem, as they are for all teams, but this team seems undermotivated. I wonder if a well-timed tantrum by Ozzie could help things out. In his first few seasons at the helm, Ozzie's emotions, and how and when he chose to put them on display, were a key ingredient to the Sox' success. It's been a tough year all around, but at 16-22 and with the Tigers and Royals playing better ball than expected so far, I would like to see Ozzie step up and step out of the dugout a little more frequently, even if--and particularly if--it's intended to get a rise out of his own players.
The Weekend Desk Report
2 hours ago