So, the hated Piranhas now know what it's like to win Game 163. When the Twins beat the Tigers 6-5 in extras last night--a game that I have to admit was more epic than last year's Game 163 Blackout win by the Sox--it proved what we Sox fans had been saying all season: Detroit just isn't that good, and the division can be won by another team. But, we also assumed that other team would be the Sox, and watching the Twins prove our claim to be true provides no satisfaction at all. If anything, it makes the season seem like even more of a disaster.
While the Piranhas moved on, the White Sox were busy with the pen--both the ink pen and the bullpen. Yesterday, they signed on to 2010 options for possible closer Matt Thornton and aging starter Freddy Garcia. I actually doubt that Thornton will be the closer, though I'm also waffling about current closer Bobby Jenks being with the Sox at all next year.
Meanwhile, Garcia wins the right to come to Arizona next spring and compete with Daniel Hudson and Carlos Torres and maybe some new arrivals for the No. 5 starter job. Contrary to how the year ended, I don't think Garcia has that spot locked up at all. In fact, I sort of wonder how long it will be before he is hampered by an injury and gets criticized for a lack of intensity (the latter being an old complaint that dogged Garcia after he allegedly tested positive for pot in 2006).
I still wonder if the Sox will throw another proven arm into the starter mix, or come up with other ideas at closer. Perhaps Tony Pena should have been the closer mix toward the end--he really under-performed for the Sox, but was considered a closer candidate the last couple years when he played for Arizona.