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White Sox Tue Sep 21 2010

Sox Playoff Hopes End Quietly

SoxLogoSmall.jpegIt was 10:19 back home in Chicago when the White Sox absorbed the first blow. As Mark Buehrle pitched the bottom of the fifth inning in Oakland, the Minnesota Twins closed out a comeback win against Cleveland, moving to the brink of another AL Central title.

Little more than an hour later, team MVP Paul Konerko grounded out to end a 7-2 loss, the eighth in a row and 12th in 14 games for the Sox. Their postseason hopes were pronounced dead at 11:37 by Hawk Harrelson, as he graciously congratulated the Twins, the first team to clinch a playoff berth, on their sixth division title in nine years.

Two weeks ago, the Sox, riding a seven-game win streak, trailed Minnesota by 3.5 games. The margin now is 12 games with 11 left to play.

Even without this final swoon -- fueled in part by the physical breakdown of seemingly half the pitching staff -- the Sox (79-72) likely would have struggled to catch a Twins team that has roared through the second half of the season. Minnesota (91-60) had a .577 win percentage in July, .643 in August and now .778 in September -- a hellacious .710 (44-18) since the all-star break.

Plenty of questions confront the South Siders, starting with the futures of 10th-year general manager Kenny Williams and seventh-year manager Ozzie Guillen. Either or both -- or neither -- could leave town this off-season. And there's no shortage of roster decisions, starting with veterans Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski and Bobby Jenks.

Unfortunately for the Sox, it's time to flip the calendar to 2011.


Jim Manfre / September 22, 2010 1:46 PM

We certainly need to start learning how to model our teams to those that WIN. Hint, Hint Ozzie and Kenny!!!!!!!!

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