There is a reason why manager Ozzie Guillen, among others, is so baffled by the White Sox this season.
While again admitting he has no idea how the Sox are going to perform from day to day, Guillen said the 2011 White Sox have more talent than his 2005 club that won the World Series.
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"I think we have a better ballclub right now than in '05, talking about man to man," Guillen said. "In '05 we had a lot of ifs. If (Scott) Podsednik can play, if (Tadahito) Iguchi comes back and plays good (from) Japan, if (Juan) Uribe could play every day, (Jon) Garland never pitched more than seven innings.
"We had a lot of ifs. We had three closers. A.J. (Pierzynski) was a guy nobody wanted; we got him. We got a guy (Chris Widger) playing softball a year before; he's our backup catcher. (Cliff) Politte never was good in his career before that. We were just playing well."
The 2005 White Sox played well enough to win the AL Central with a wire-to-wire effort and they really turned it on in the postseason, going 11-1 en route to winning the World Series.
This year the Sox haven't been in first place since April 7, when they were 4-2.
No wonder general manager Kenny Williams threatened to turn over the roster before Monday night's win over the Tigers.
Williams and Guillen met Monday and again during batting practice on Tuesday.
"What can I say when you're not seeing anything going forward?" Guillen said. "I'm not going to lie to Kenny in his face and say, 'Wow, look, we're going to do this and that.' I'm just honest with him. Listen, I love this ballclub but I'm 50-50. I don't know which one I am going to get.
"I'm 50-50 with them, but I believe in what we have. I think the quality of the ballplayers out there ... and I told him these three, four, five, six, seven games will dictate to you what we have."
Bad news for Pena:
On the disabled list since May 28, White Sox relief pitcher Tony Pena reinjured his elbow during his latest rehab stint with Class AAA Charlotte.
Pena said he has ligament damage and likely is facing Tommy John surgery.
Last Wednesday, he threw four pitches for Charlotte and exited the game.
"Oh my God, it hurt," Pena said.
The reliever said he'll visit with Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles next week but is preparing for surgery.
"I had tendinitis before in '05 and I pitched with that," Pena said. "This is a ligament. It feels like (bleep)."
John Danks gets the start this afternoon as the Sox close out their three-game series against the first-place Tigers.
Fully healed from the strained right oblique that kept him on the disabled list from June 26-July 20, Danks is 3-0 with a 0.88 ERA in his last three starts.
In his first 11 starts, the left-hander was 0-8 with a 5.25 ERA.
"We've been working hard," Danks said. "We haven't really changed a whole lot in terms of our preparation in between starts whatever. Results are there. I'm making more quality pitches more consistently and you know, I mean, getting outs. It seems like even hard-hit balls, there's a chance they will get caught. For a little bit, it felt like there wasn't any of them getting caught."