Have you ever been driving and you get stuck behind someone who looks like they are supposed to be turning soon onto another street, but for some reason, they just don't know which one?
That's what it has been like following the 2009 Chicago White Sox.
They have gone through this season in a pretty mediocre way, hovering somewhere around .500. Periodically, they go on a tear and win a few games in a row. Jose Contreras has a dominating outing. Mark Buerhle throws a perfect game. Old timers like Scott Podsednik resurrect their careers. Newcomers like Gordon Beckham string together some breakout games.
All of this happens and you start to think they turning a corner, and then they don't.
They slow down, they put on their blinker, and then they turn it off and keep going straight until the next turn. Then they do it all over and over again.
Now they've made some deals like bringing San Diego ace Jake Peavy and Toronto all-star Alex Rios in to push them over the top.
A lot of people are very optimistic for these moves, and I, too, would love to be the same way about it. But I just can't. Too many question marks surround these recent moves.
There is always a caveat when signing or trading for National League pitchers to an American League team. The NL is not as good as the AL. The quality of players Peavy was pitching to is lower than those he will face. He won't be pitching to pitchers anymore. His stats might be inflated.
A pitcher making that kind of switch will typically increase his ERA a run or so and lose 2-3 strikeouts per game, leaving the Sox with a mediocre to good pitcher. I'm not saying Peavy can't succeed in the AL. I'm just saying NL pitchers rarely do.
And Alex Rios? He's still young and has had a pretty stalwart career. However, ever since he signed the huge $70 million contract, his stats have gone down. If I was a GM, I would be worried about the lack of motivation. Maybe Rios isn't one who plays for the love of the game. Maybe he is someone who played for the big contract. Now that he has it, will he step up? So far, he hasn't.
I have been a White Sox fan for years. I don't wish these things to come true. And even if they do come true, the White Sox are still a better team than before. They'll just have over $20 million a year locked up in manure. Even farmers will tell you that's a lot.