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updated: 6/18/2013 12:54 PM

Can Ventura turn this Sox team around?

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  • White Sox manager Robin Ventura, far right, has watched his club struggle in the first half of the season, and Mike North wonders if Ventura has the right demeanor to turn this team around.

      White Sox manager Robin Ventura, far right, has watched his club struggle in the first half of the season, and Mike North wonders if Ventura has the right demeanor to turn this team around.
    Associated Press

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

I can't remember the last time the Chicago White Sox looked this bad.

From bad pinch running, to being picked off at second base, to the manager defending his starting catcher, things just seem to be in disarray for this team.

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I don't envy Rick Hahn, the general manger for the White Sox. When he took over for Kenny Williams, I don't know if he knew how bad the situation was -- I'm not sure any of us did.

A few years back when the Sox gave shortstop Alexei Ramirez a boatload of money, I thought he was going to be a perennial all-star. It sure hasn't worked out that way. The signing of Adam Dunn in 2010 thrilled Sox fans back then, but now his .183 average and occasional home run are disappointing. Manager Robin Ventura still has Dunn batting too high in the order -- he should be seventh or eighth because he has been too much of a rally killer.

I liked Robin more as a player than I do as a manager, and maybe his persona just doesn't work to lead this team.

The plan to get rid of A.J. Pierzynski at the beginning of the season still makes no sense to me. If the Sox were going in that direction, then they should have let go of Paul Konerko and Alex Rios and declared 2013 a rebuilding year.

The good news is there is plenty of time left in the season, but that's the bad news too.

I know these guys are playing baseball and it should be fun because it's a game, but sometimes they must dread going to the ball park. Where's the good times?

When the Houston Astros are taking you to the woodshed, it's time to speculate who is going to be on the trading block. The championship of 2005 seems like a really long time ago.

A mentally lost Tiger

Tiger Woods will continue to be one of the favorites to win whenever a major comes along, but didn't he looked terrible last weekend?

Of course it just wasn't Tiger who looked like an amateur, but since he is the one chasing Jack Nicklaus' record all of the pressure is on him and not on Sergio Garcia, Rory Mcllroy, Ernie Els or Hunter Mahan.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but Tiger looks lost and mentally out of it. I'm talking about someone once considered one of the mentally toughest players in the game.

He needs to focus on just winning one more major for now and put all the talk of beating the record of 18 major wins by Nicklaus to rest.

I'll admit the game is still more interesting when Woods is playing and in contention, but his play is just not what it once was.

Tiger had an amazing run with 14 majors, but his putting and his concentration in the big moment seem to have disappeared.

Don't forget, Tiger plays against the whole field and they are younger and stronger than ever.

I believe Tiger will win more tournaments, but he won't win another major.

Program note:

Watch me on "Mancow" on WPWR Ch. 50 at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Friday and Monday

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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