Apr 11, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) during the first inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY SportsLast season was awful. Let’s not talk about that again, or, do that again. But here we are in April of 2014, and it feels like we’re so far removed from last season, that I’m having a hard time remembering just how bad it was. (Then Dayan Viciedo’s outfield play in today’s game reminds me.)
In fact, this is the closest thing to the opposite of last season that I could have imagined. I mean, did we really score 9 runs again today? Are we really leading the majors in runs scored and runs per game? There’s no way this can be our White Sox, can they?
And there’s certainly no way we can continue on this torrid offensive pace, can we? How can Jose Abreu be THIS good? I wrote earlier this season that Chris Sale has become an appointment pitcher (and PLEASE stay healthy Chris). Well now, we have an appointment offensive juggernaut in Abreu.
He’s become the guy who’s at bats you make sure you don’t miss. If you’re at the game, you say to yourself “I’ll wait to go and get that bacon on a stick until after Abreu bats.” He’s appointment baseball, and not just for us White Sox fans, but nationally.
Who’s the last position player that you, the White Sox fan, couldn’t miss an at bat of? For me, it was Frank Thomas. I am in no way comparing Abreu and Frank, but fans get excited and quiet down when Abreu comes to the plate, just like when Frank came to the plate.
Abreu has a quiet confidence about him, unlike Frank, that will endear him to White Sox fans for a long time. If only he’d been able to escape Cuba much earlier in his life, he might be on pace to break more MLB records than he already has. At the age of 27, he’s already broken two, HR’s by a rookie in the month of April (10), and RBI’s in the month of April for a rookie (31).
Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, especially considering it’s only April 27th. But through just 26 games, this team has peaked the interest of White Sox fans, and baseball fans across the country. Whether or not they can put together any semblance of a decent bullpen, or even stay healthy this year, they’re certainly scoring a whole lotta runs. The complete opposite of (cough) last season. And that’s making the White Sox fun again.