The White Sox are off to a pretty slow start to the season. Even though they're only a half-game out of first place in the AL Central, their 11-10 record isn't exactly scaring anybody. Now anytime a team gets off to a slow start, fans and the media begin trying to figure out what the problem is. Sometimes it's the pitching, sometimes it's a slumping lineup, and sometimes it's because a team's just not that good.
In the case of the Sox this year, while teams never like to blame them for it, odds are that injuries are playing a big role in the team's mediocre April. At least, that's what you would think the case would be. After all the team has already gone through two centerfielders, had to sit Chris Getz down for a week, and had Jim Thome sit out for a few games thanks to a bad heal.
Then there's the theory of the Chicago Sun-Times' White Sox beat reporter, Joe Cowley. Cowley thinks it could be the lack of fun in the clubhouse that's caused this team to come out flat. Seriously.
Frankly, for the first time in the Ozzie Guillen era, the White Sox are a rather boring group -- a swaggerless collection of mostly choirboys.
Does that translate to losses on the field? At least one player thinks it might.
''It can,'' Buehrle said, ''but I'm not going to sit here and say, 'Well, since we don't have that guy, we can't win this year.' I'm not going to say that if Uribe was here, we would be playing better. When guys are down or struggling, guys like Toby and Uribe would not be afraid to joke around with them, loosen them up. That's important, as long as this season is, and it helps get guys back on track.''
Were things that slow on the off day, Joe? Did you honestly sit around your hotel room all day and try to figure out the impact of absent shaving cream pies from Toby Hall?
The idea that a baseball team full of professionals would get off to a slow start because there's nobody cracking jokes in the clubhouse after games is completely moronic. Everybody knows that it's because Steve Stone and Darrin Jackson switched places in the radio and television booths.
Oh, and one more thing, Mr. Cowley. On May 1st of last season, with all the crazy antics of Nick Swisher, Juan Uribe and Toby Hall, the White Sox were 14-13. A full game over .500 just like they are right now.
Along with writing for NBCCHICAGO.com, Tom Fornelli can also be found contributing at FanHouse, SPORTSbyBROOKS, and his own Chicago sports blog Foul Balls.