John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy, Edwin Jackson ... heck, throw Chris Sale's name into the mix and even the possible return of free agent-to-be Freddy Garcia, and the last concern the White Sox should have going into 2011 is the starting pitching.
Should being the key word.
This little dose of reality provided by Buehrle.
"Does that mean we're supposed to be good?'' Buehrle replied, when asked about that part of the team seemingly not a concern. "I don't know. I feel like we could be, but then again I felt like coming into this year we could be too.''
That didn't exactly work out very well, either.
"We all sucked at the beginning the first couple of months and dug us too deep a hole,'' Buehrle then said, summing up what went wrong with the starting unit. "Then I think we started pitching better than I thought we could have in those middle months and went out there and dominated, got us back into things and then kind of fell apart at the end. I don't think it was just starting pitching, it was the whole team. First month and a half we played bad, middle months we played outstanding and the last couple months we played decent, but not well enough.''
It's that thought that should keep general manager Ken Williams up a little later each night. Yes, the start was slow, but even at the Sox' best they couldn't beat the Twins. At last glance, the commissioner had no plans to remove Minnesota from the Central Division, either.
Add the extra revenue the Twins pulled in from the new Target Field and the plans to spend it, and maybe looking at the Florida Marlins job wasn't such a bad idea for manager Ozzie Guillen after all.
In typical pull-no-punches Guillen fashion, he addressed that fact on Wednesday. Asked how far he thought the Sox were behind the Twins, his first reply was "10 games and a half,'' and a laugh.
Guillen then got serious.
"Talent wise? Minnesota is going to find talent no matter where they go,'' Guillen explained. "In this division, everybody's far away from them. How far away are we right now? Very far. How far away are we next year? I don't know, but I don't think we're too far away.
"We have a pretty good pitching staff, we have kids coming up. I don't think a couple guys here on this ballclub can have worse years than they've had. With Minnesota, everything had to click and it did. [Joe] Mauer came here and had like 10 hits in 11 at-bats [in the last series]. [Nick] Blackburn, [Carl] Pavano, it all clicked for them. How far are we in the future? We have a couple guys here that are pretty young and I think we have a couple guys here that can put this ballclub at the top. We'll see what happens.''
EXTRA HELP: Carlos Quentin has vowed that he would start having more fun, but Guillen was taking a let's wait and see approach.
"I think a lot of people say he has to see somebody, a psychiatrist or psychologist,'' Guillen said. "But those guys never play baseball. What is a doctor going to tell me? He'll say, 'You are 0-for-4? Well, you finish 0-for-4 and see how you feel.'
"You have problems off the field, that's a different thing. But you have a problem on the field ... You have to get your own help. Make sure you enjoy the game and have some fun with it.'' ... Guillen said that Gordon Beckham and his injured right hand are probably done for the season.