Football season is over.

The hockey season, because of three-plus months of millionaires’ bickering, is just getting in full swing.

And this past week, we got to hear four of the sweetest words: Pitchers and catchers report.

It’s that time again, time for some baseball.

Now, I realize this is Cardinals’ country. I’m going to leave the Cardinals’ talk to Les Winkeler and Jeff Wilson.

This one’s for the Chicago fans.

And let me say this, guys: There’s plenty of room for excitement on both sides of town this year.

On the North Side, the Cubs will be better. But, hey, they can’t be much worse.

Coming off a 101-loss season, the Cubs have added some much-needed pitching in Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman and Scott Baker to go along with Jeff Samardzija and Matt Garza.

That’s not a bad rotation.

But, remember, folks, the Cubs are still rebuilding. Dreams of capturing a World Series title are still a ways off.

Luckily, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have a plan. And that plan seems to include a bright future of prospects and plenty of wins.

Be patient, Cubs fans, your time will come. This year, a .500 record looks like the goal, and probably the reality.

Now, it’s a little different story on the South Side.

Last season, the White Sox had a three-game lead with two weeks left in the season, but ran out of gas.

They probably overachieved a little bit, but they were competitive.

In the offseason, Kenny Williams moved up the front-office chain and left the general manager duties to Rick Hahn.

And, Hahn hasn’t done much with the roster. He added infielder Jeff Keppinger and reliever Matt Lindstrom.

He lost A.J. Pierzynski to the Rangers, leaving the catching reins to Tyler Flowers.

The core of the roster is aging, and the Sox don’t have a whole lot in the minors.

But, the pitching staff is solid, starters and relievers. Plus, John Danks returns from shoulder issues.

The Sox will be competitive, but it’s hard to believe they can beat the powerful Tigers. But, then again, that’s what they said last year.

Is a World Series title coming to Chicago in October? Probably not, but it will still be a fun year on both sides of town.

TOM ENGLISH is sports copy editor for The Southern Illinoisan. He can be reached at tom.english@thesouthern.com or at 618-529-5454, ext. 5177.

(2) comments

boone76
boone76

I keep hearing that White Sox have suddenly gotten old........offensively maybe that is a bit true. To be fair they have a stable of live young arms (starting and out of the bullpen). My philosophy in general has always been that defense wins championships.....regardless of the sport.

In baseball who is more in charge of defense than your pitcher?

Not about to say the Sox are championship level but they are a pretty good team going forward.

wiseman
wiseman

"The Sox will be competitive, but it’s hard to believe they can beat the powerful Tigers. But, then again, that’s what they said last year."

The sox were 6-12 last versus the Tigers. If they would have played .500 against the Tigers they would have tied for 1st place. But, they couldn't beat the Tigers.

Sox will be one of the bottom 8 teams this year. Not just in the American League either.

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