The 2011 White Sox have set a record in April, but not one that the team wants to remember. After the 6-2 loss to Baltimore on Saturday the Sox closed out April with a 10-18 record. The 18 losses set a franchise record in the month of April. The most frustrating part is that there is no hint of the trend changing anytime soon. Looking ahead to May, the schedule does not appear to get any easier as the Sox play only 11 of 29 games at home. Included is a 9 game trip to the west coast where the Sox have seemingly never played well.
The biggest question that seems to have no answer right now is why is a team with this much talent playing this poorly? This year is the second consecutive season that the team has started off ridiculously slow. Is the problem coaching? Perhaps. At the major league level a coach or manager cannot teach players something “new” to help them improve. What a coach can provide is a new philosophy or idea on how to approach a specific situation. Spring Training is the time when coaches should have the players prepared and ready to play. I believe the slow starts can be blamed on coaching. Ozzie Guillen has been quoted numerous times that the coaches cannot hit, pitch, or field and his is correct. So then is the problem the players? Perhaps. Guys like Alex Rios, Gordon Beckham, and Adam Dunn have been terrible so far. These are all guys that the Sox are depending on to be integral cogs in the offensive machine. The pitching staff has been just as bad. The bullpen could not close out games early in the season, which put pressure on the starters to be perfect. Recently Edwin Jackson has been the second coming of Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn from Major League. So many questions…. No answers.
In 2010 the Sox rebounded from a slow start by using a 15-3 interleague record to jump back in to the division race only to fade in September. 2011 could potentially be similar if the team can figure out some answers, but right now that feels like a long shot.
About the Author
Written by Shaun Balmer
Shaun is a graduate of Purdue University with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering. His love of the White Sox began as a kid in 1993 watching morning replays of games on Sports Channel. To this day he will argue with anyone that the strike of 1994 cost the White Sox a World Series title. Growing up in Indiana he is also a fan of the Colts, Pacers, and of course his alma mater the Boilermakers.