GLENDALE, Ariz. - General manager Rick Hahn was amused last spring when a scout said the White Sox "might lose 100 games.''
He knows his team, which will fly out of Arizona Wednesday for Chicago, will be picked by most to finish behind the favored Detroit Tigers in the American League Central this season. Many prognosticators will peg them for third- or fourth place. Hahn's not seeing it.
"I honestly don't worry too much about whatever publications put out, whatever the projections are for this year,'' Hahn said Tuesday "We care a little more about what we see and what we project in terms of our performance and how we match up, and we feel confident about being in this thing till the end. We fully intend and believe we're capable of making the postseason regardless of what any projections have.''
The Kansas City Royals improved over the offseason and played like gangbusters this spring. The Cleveland Indians also made improvements -- more than the Sox - during the winter. Hahn takes the optimistic view of that, seeing competitive balance working in the Sox favor
"They're certainly right in saying that Detroit is the cream of the crop in this division and is the team we're all hunting,'' Hahn said. "I also feel this division is more competitive this year and because of that nobody will run away and hide from anybody.''