It’s the holiday season. Everyone is running around drunk on happiness and the spirit of giving in the season. Of course, there are some who are more in a taking mood. While I don’t consider myself to be a giver or taker at this point in the season, I do have things I want. Jen gave you her wishes over the weekend in a Dear Santa letter. I have holiday wishes as well.
At least for my White Sox. Next season could be a trying time, so before we get too far into the holiday season, here is my wish list for what I want out of the team in 2012. Of course much of this is a pipe dream. But I am allowed to dream. So here goes, my wish list.
Robin Ventura has to have a great first year as a manager. At this point, I think most people are expecting him to fail miserably. Mainly because he has zero coaching experience. But I have always loved Robin. And I want him to succeed. He has to succeed. He can’t have his reputation sullied because a certain GM thought it a great idea to put him in a position to maybe not be the most amazing he can possibly be.
AJ Pierzynski will finally, after numerous years behind the plate, finally learn how to throw out would-be baserunners. Sure, he’s had a tough time because sometimes his pitchers don’t do a good job at keeping runners close to the base. He will also miraculously learn how to transfer the ball from his glove to throwing hand so he has a better chance at catching runners.
The King have a good year. He’s getting older and production will slow. I want him to continue being productive and having a Paul kind of season. I know it may be a lot to ask of him, but if he doesn’t get traded, then I want him to be just spectacular again for the White Sox.
Bacon will FINALLY have the kind of season that fans have been waiting for since he got the call to the show in 2009. Last season was just miserable for him. At the start of the season, he was showing promise of finally being THAT guy. Sadly, when all the team hitting went, Bacon’s went as well. And it never returned. His defense never really suffered, but given how we now look for offensive production out of a second baseman, Bacon needs to step it up at the plate too.
The Cuban Missile will put things together so that he is the undisputed best short stop in the game. Occasionally he still has those brain farts on routine plays. Because of that, many may have thought he wasn’t the bet short stop in the game. In 2012, I want him to show he is the undisputed best man for the job.
Brent Morel will have a season offensively that won’t be offensive to baseball fans. What does that mean? Well, he will be above adequate with the bat. He has had great September months. Great as in he looks amazing at the plate and like he is a star in making at third base. Unfotunately for him, third base is viewed as power position and April through August he showed anything but. In 2012, I’d like for Brent to show why he earned the starting nod at third and why he belongs at the hot corner.
Alex Rios will become a ball player again. Harsh to say he’s not a ball player now? Maybe, but did you *see* him last season? He looked like the laziest mofo on the planet at times. Sure, there were a couple of games where he ended up being the hero. However, they were so few and far between that when it happened, I was in utter disbelief that he’d done something useful. I’m sure you were feeling the same way. If we are going to be stuck with him for the next few seasons, then I want him to play like his life depended on it and he is excellent in the field as well as with the bat.
The Cuban Tank will show us that what he did in 2011 was not a fluke. He will continue to mature and show that YES, he can do more than just hit a baseball really hard with the balls sometimes going really far. Count me among those who was skeptical that he could play the outfield. But he’s proven me wrong so far and I am happy about that.
Big Donkey. Oh where to begin? There is so much that could be said regarding what I wish for Adam. So, I will keep it simple and hope that he returns at to at least 80% of what he was before the 2011 season. He was just so awful that toward the end, I started to feel sorry for him. If he has a bounce back season, then maybe the Sox will have a prayer in the AL Central as opposed to potentially taking over the spot my fail face PITA Royals typically occupy. Ok, anything that Big Donkey does that is an improvement over 2011 is a welcome thing.
Philip Humber has to continue growing as a pitcher. He was one of the most reliable starters in 2011. No one expected it from him. That made what he did all the more amazing. I realize that early on, he was pitching out of his mind and had a regression to the mean in the season. But, I am hoping what he found to be successful in 2011, he can replicate in 2012.
Sergio Santos has to take another step (or two) forward in his work as pitcher. Did you see him as the eventual closer for the team? I sure didn’t and I am glad he rose to the challenge. Now that he has two season as a professional pitcher under his belt, I want him to keep going and perhaps not suffer too much as the season wears on. When he is on, he can be so dominating. I just need him to keep it up and let us all marvel in his position switch.
That is it for my 2012 wishes for the Sox? What about a few other players you may ask? Well, I am not sure some of the guys I didn’t mention will still be around. I hope they are, but I am choosing not to set myself for a crushing blow if those guys are no longer on the team. Have any wishes? Let me know in the comments what you want to see.