John Danks, he of the late-season tough-guy brilliance, doesn’t need your stupid money.
Matt Thornton, he of the it’s-baseball-time-all-the-time World Baseball Classic, doesn’t need your armchair commissioneering.
Bartolo Colon, he of the elbow problems and prodigious girth, doesn’t need your pity.
And with that, the table has in all likelihood been set for the season. Gavin Floyd, fresh with that shiny new four-year deal, is free to go all Jaime Navarro on Sox fans while Danks turns in a pair of seasons for the ages auditioning for the Yankees. Colon, the theoretical insurance starter to fill the void for Jose Contreras (or, conceivably, for Mark Buehrle) can’t impress the same people who went out of their way to acquire him twice. In four days the whole thing went from possible best-in-the-division to disaster-waiting-to-happen, and that is the best thing any Sox fan could have asked for.
Think about it: if the Sox are supposed to form a relatively elite pitching staff and then don’t, the whole season ends in failure and those arms go from an asset to bearing the brunt of whatever history blames them for. It’s like a remake of 2006, starring Gavin Floyd as Javier Vazquez and John Danks as Jon Garland.
What Colon, Buehrle, Danks et al just did was remove any element of comfort anyone might have sought in the 2009 season. Time has proven again and again that winning teams begin and end with starting pitching, and Sox pitching in just a few short days has gone from being cautiously great to totally questionable.
In other words, the division may be more neutralized than anybody suspected and the upcoming season now becomes much more dramatically interesting than anyone might imagine a division as lame as this one could. One pitcher better perform because he’ll be here for quite some time while another better not lest some vulture of a franchise get their greedy, high-dollar eyes on him.
Entertaining drama, White Sox Baseball be thy name.