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updated: 3/31/2014 11:06 AM

Good reasons to expect enjoyable Sox season

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On the South Side, we've not seen an Opening Day quite like this in over a decade.

During that period of time, if the White Sox have not been a preseason division favorite in any given year, they've at least been thought to have a legitimate chance at a competitive, surprising season.

That's not to say that, should a mound of uncertainties fall favorably over the next six months, this can't be one of those seasons. But, as you're well aware, nobody on the outside is expecting a 90-win campaign.

But that doesn't mean 2014 can't, or won't, be an enjoyable year either way. I think this is true for a number of reasons.

Youth: Since the first of a couple of recent miserable seasons occurred in 2007, from many of the die-hards the demand was for a younger, fresher team.

This year they've got it.

With last season's addition of Avi Garcia, and the off-season acquisitions of Adam Eaton, Matt Davidson, and Jose Abreu, the Sox have done just that.

Throw in the homegrown Marcus Semien that will start the season at second base in place of the injured Gordon Beckham, and you're looking at the youngest Sox squad in years.

While Davidson will start the season in the minors, you'll very likely see him on the big club at some point this summer.

And while there is no guarantee that all, or any, of these players will go on to successful careers, they all are legitimate talents and the kind of players Sox fans should be able to get behind.

A true ace: While occasionally some lucky clubs are fortunate to have two, most teams are struggling to find just one. The Sox have an authentic ace in starter Chris Sale, who'll pitch on Opening Day.

In his first two seasons as a starter, few have been better. Sale was fourth in wins above replacement for starting pitchers (with a higher number than AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer) and fourth in strikeouts in all of baseball in 2013.

He has proved just about everything he possibly can on the mound with the only thing left to do on an individual level is win the Cy Young. He finished in the top six in voting on that award over the last two seasons.

Bottom line, Sale is an appointment pitcher who routinely leaves hitters confused, and he's the White Sox' best chance at a Cy Young winner since Jack McDowell.

Well, it's baseball, man: Call me whatever you want, but I love the game.

I love watching it, I love being at the park, and I love talking about it.

In a frustrating year, I'm often asked to give a good reason for a fan to committing his or her time.

The answer I always give is: "Do you like the game of baseball? You do? Then enjoy it. You only get it for six months."

Monday, is the beginning of the next six months of my favorite part of the year.

• Chris Rongey is the host of the White Sox pregame and postgame shows on WSCR 670-AM The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @ChrisRongey and at

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