By Joshua M. Hicks
The Chicago White Sox head into 2016 with their heads held high as they begin the regular season this month. After finishing second-to-last in the AL Central standings last season, they came back this offseason and thrived during spring training. The South Siders finished fourth in the cactus league standings with a record of 17-13, according to ESPN.
Demonze Spruiel-Rose, co-host of the D and Davis sports show, said the Sox made progress in spring training, and looks forward to them hopefully carrying that progression into the season.
“I think it was good,” Spruiel-Rose said. “They had a better than expected spring training. It should put notice to the other AL Central teams and let fans know the South Siders will be in the hunt for the division crown.”
Roosevelt senior Peter Mroz feels positively that the Sox are going to bring happiness back to the South Side of the city, turning around from last season’s disaster to potentially this season’s success.
“We should look for how [The Sox] bounce back from last year,” Mroz said. “All the hype in the Chicagoland area is on the North Side. If the Sox can compete in their division, I think a lot of people are going to be surprised with this team.”
The team suffered off the field issues this past offseason with their star player Adam LaRoche leaving the team. This was allegedly due to clubhouse representatives wanting to dismiss LaRoche’s son from attending every practice, and their star pitcher Chris Sale backed up his teammate, making comments against Vice President Kenny Williams.
The White Sox minor-league pitcher Kamron Loe is also currently serving an 80-game suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing drugs policy. These circumstances put the Sox in a tough spot, but Spruiel-Rose said that fans should not be too concerned over these issues.
“The off the field issues were definitely a distraction with Sale speaking out against Williams,” Spruiel-Rose said. “However, Sale is a strong leader for the team and will help keep the issues in the past to focus on winning. White Sox fans should not be worried about this at all.”
With this being the case, can we see any postseason hope for the South Siders? According to Mroz, we may see more than just a postseason bid as long as they can perform through an entire 182- game season, with the possibility of a North vs South Siders series.
“All the hype this year is with the Cubs having the right team to break history,” Mroz said. “Do not sleep on the Chicago White Sox because the Cubs are not the only team in Chicago. I can see a Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox World Series.