The early favorite pre-season was that the Sox would finish with a record under .500. In fact, some said you might be lucky to get to 75-80 wins on the season. You did more than that and got a total of 85 wins. You know fans were disappointed, particularly given how the last two weeks of baseball went.
On top of the great season in terms of giving more than expected, there were bounce back years from many players. Alex Rios really stepped up and was producing this season. Not to mention that defensively he was pretty darn good in right field. You could have asked for more, but really given what he produced this season, we fans were pleased with the guy many of us viewed as a bum just collecting his paychecks.
Jake Peavy was in a word – spectacular. Before anyone thinks I am not quite thinking right, hear me out. Jake was spectacular for him this season compared to what he has done in the previous season he was with the White Sox. This season, Jake made 32 game starts and was in 32 games. While his record was 11-12, he gave it his all. A lot of his losses and no-decisions were due to a lack of offensive run support. But for him personally, Dirt Bag has to be pleased to have made it an entire season without his what was becoming standard procedure of an injury cutting his season short.
Adam Dunn. Well, anything he would do this season would be a massive improvement over last season. Last season, he was beyond abysmal. This year, his power numbers were back up with his 41 home runs and 96 RBI. While his slash line (.204/.333/.468) is not the prettiest, it sure is wonderful compared to 2011 .159/.292/.277.) Yes, there were a ton of strikeouts, but somehow this season they were easier to live with. And he did finish with 14 total games this season with no strikeouts.
AJ Pierzynski finished with a career year in 2012. Maybe he was motivated by impending free agency (more on that in another post) or perhaps at the ripe old age of 35, he has finally figured out what he needs to do at the plate to really produce. He also had some success in throwing out would-be base thieves as well. Tyler served as a decent back up this season and now fans are wondering if we have seen the last of AJ and we willingly root for him or if next season we go back to hating him like we did pre-2005.
As for the pitching, we saw a perfect game out of Philip Humber. Addison Reed emerged as a good closer (despite his high-wire act on many nights.) And then of course we had Jose Quintana come up and do way more than anyone expected after John Danks went down with shoulder problems. Seeing what he did and wondering how the Yankees missed out on seeing it before trading him is pretty cool to have seen.
Then we have Chris Sale. Chris “Frickin’” Sale! He was by far the best and most dominant pitcher on the Sox starting staff. It is going to be so fun to watch him in coming seasons. He was still making lefties look bad and even after teams got second and third looks at him, he still was “on” with his pitching.
Yes, it would have been nice to have gotten more from the season and to still be watching Sox baseball right now, but I will take what you gave me and other fans in 2012. I’m not sure what 2013 will bring, but if it is anything like the amazing run of 2012, it should be great.
In case you missed it, below is the Thank You to fans for the 2012 season. Additionally, there is a great site to get a White Sox History Tree. You can purchase an unframed version for $40 and a framed one for $135, but if you use the discount code c70, you can get 10% off your order.
Enjoy the off season and the playoffs. We know there will be some big decisions to be made with this team and it will be interesting to watch what happens and how the team will look Opening Day 2013.