By Benjy Lipsman in News on Sep 21, 2004 7:32AM
The White Sox attended their own funeral Monday night as they played host to the Minnesota Twins. With the Twins' 8-2 victory at U.S. Cellular Field, they clinched the AL Central title, eliminating the Sox from playoff contention.
The Sox were 46-38 at the All Star Break, a half-game up on the Twins at the time. But the Sox have gone 28-37 since, including 0-7 against the Twins. It's tough to win a division when losing like that against your top rival. The Sox never recovered from the losses of Magglio Ordonez and Frank Thomas to injury -- their 3 and 4 hitters. Without those two big bats in the lineup, the Sox offense struggled and the team faded once again.
Things may look up for the Sox next year. Rookie manager Ozzie Guillen has a season under his belt. The Sox have solidified their pitching rotation with the acquisitions of Freddie Garcia and Jose Contreras. Magglio's injury may have hurt his value on the free agent market, increasing the liklihood of his re-signing with the Sox. Aaron Rowand and Ross Gload showed they can hit. Like the Cubs fans perennially proclaim, "Wait 'til next year!"