...are changing the game with power? Why arenít we reading, on a daily basis, how hitting the long ball has pushed the Sox to the second-best record in baseball and how their embrace of the home run heralds a new era in baseball?
See, it was just about a year ago that the White Sox were cruising along with the best record in the game. Riding along with that mark was a flood of stories about how they were winning, stories that rarely mentioned that historic defensive performance and their reliance on the home run, but rather emphasized their use of the stolen base and sacrifice bunt. The Sox did attempt a lot of steals and lay down a lot of bunts in 2005, but those things had much less impact on their record than did the amazing defense and the 199 home runs.
More to the point, itís clear that if you want to be successful, you have to hit the ball a really long way. The White Sox, who were among the teams most reliant on the longball to score last year, are even more power-oriented in 2006. They lead the majors in homers and are second in slugging. By acclimation, the three best teams in baseball are the Sox, Tigers and Mets. Those three are all in the top five in homers, slugging and isolated power; keep in mind that the latter two play in pitchersí parks.