This was an interesting season for the Chicago White Sox. At the end of May, the Sox sat at 22-28, 8½ games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins in the American League Central. On May 30, Mark Teahen broke a finger on his right hand and headed for surgery. When Teahen finished his rehab assignment and rejoined the team on Aug. 13, the team was 64-51 and in a virtual tie with Minnesota for the division lead. Over the next month, however, the Twins pulled ahead and the Sox finished 88-74, six games back.
It would be a stretch to blame Teahen for the White Sox's misfortunes; the Twins deserve a lot of credit for an incredible hot streak without their slugging first baseman, Justin Morneau. Instead, the blame should be placed on the White Sox's atrocious defensive play. In recent years a number of teams have built remarkable one-season turnarounds on the foundation of improved defense, most notably the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays. And if there's one contender that could put itself over the top with a defensive makeover this winter, it's the Pale Hose.