White Sox all in for 2011 campaign—and their odds are good

By S.C. Zuba
Sports Columnist

Ask any poker player, and they’ll tell you going “all in” is a scary feeling.

It’s when you have absolutely everything in the pot—a win-or-go-home deal. It’s the highest risk, but potentially the highest reward. Few people are willing to risk it all in any given circumstance because the cost is just too high.

Well, you can welcome the 2011 Chicago White Sox to the poker table, because they just put all their chips in the pot.

The White Sox have adopted the slogan of “all in” as their battle cry for the upcoming season. General Manager Kenny Williams had arguably the busiest offseason of any GM in the game, and it’s obvious that anything less than a World Series championship will be a failure.

It’s offseasons like these that put people’s jobs on the line. The White Sox spent so much money and made so many moves that if they fall short of their ultimate goal, you can expect changes in the front office—and beyond—to be made.

Lose the division? You can bet either Ozzie Guillen or Williams will be canned.

Book it.

Since the White Sox concluded their 2010 season, Williams has signed free-agent slugger Adam Dunn and relief pitchers Jesse Crain and Will Ohman. Oh, not to mention the fact that Williams and company re-inked Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez.

Couple that with the starting rotation, and you get one of the most dangerous teams in the American League.

As I said, anything less than a World Series title is a failure.

Are the stakes high enough for you?

As a fan, you have to applaud what the White Sox have done. Some teams settle for mediocrity. Sometimes money stands in the way of winning—not with the White Sox. This organization—mostly because of Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf’s will to win—has never been about saving money.

That’s why they hired Williams. He’s a go-getter. He’ll do whatever it takes to bring in talent.

Year in and year out, the White Sox work to put a competitive team on the field. They don’t have rebuilding years, and they aren’t OK with sub-par performances.

If you’re wondering what sub-par performances in baseball are, see the Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Some teams value winning, others value money.

This is an organization committed to winning. You simply can’t look at this team and say management isn’t eyeing the World Series every year.

After the 2010 season, the big question was whether the White Sox would pony up the cash to bring back Konerko. Many speculated that even if they lost Konerko to free agency, they could still bring in Dunn to replace Konerko’s bat.

Not only did they bring back Konerko, but they got Dunn, too. That speaks volumes to this team’s commitment to winning.

In the poker game of baseball, the White Sox are all in. I like their odds.

Share your thoughts with S.C. Zuba via e-mail at samuelczuba@gmail.com.

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