White Sox stay on the run

The White Sox' ability to maintain pressure on the opposing team's defense is one reason for their early success.

Originally Published: May 6, 2005
By John Kruk | ESPN Insider
The Chicago White Sox have the ability to outlast the Baltimore Orioles down the stretch in terms of being the surprise team simply because of their respective divisions.

The White Sox are competing in a tough AL Central with the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers both possessing the ability to challenge them, but that division is nothing like the AL East. The Orioles are competing against the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays for supremacy and that's difficult when you consider that two of those teams (Yankees, Red Sox) have a strong nucleus already and have deep pockets also for any needed down-the-stretch spending. Personally I'd love to see the Orioles outlast the Yanks and Red Sox, but it's going to be extremely difficult for them to do so.

Meanwhile in the Central, the White Sox have the ability to put a stranglehold on the division because of their consistent aggressiveness. This team is 13-3 in one-run ball games and that's because manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't change his approach to baseball in close games. Most teams start trying to swing for the fences and start to put pressure on themselves, but the White Sox put pressure on opposing teams by constantly threatening to run on them in any situation.

John Kruk

Baseball Tonight analyst
John Kruk, a three-time All-Star outfielder/first baseman, serves as an analyst on ESPN's Emmy Award-winning Baseball Tonight, as well as working select game telecasts. He joined ESPN beginning in the 2004 season.