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updated: 5/10/2014 7:04 PM

Welcome to the Sox' offensive show

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  • Sox slugger Jose Abreu watches his solo home run during the seventh inning of Friday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Chicago.

    Sox slugger Jose Abreu watches his solo home run during the seventh inning of Friday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Chicago.
    Associated Press


There's a real show in town.

Not talking about "Motown," the musical, which I've heard is entertaining but problematic. Or a certain radio program I'd recommend from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The White Sox' offense is a heck of a show. As a team overall, the Sox are also entertaining but problematic.

The problems don't include men with bats. They're averaging 5.2 runs per game, best in the American League, after an often unwatchable 3.7 RPG in 2013. Three Sox hitters are in the league's top 20 in OBP. Alexei Ramirez is the best shortstop not named Tulowitzki. Dayan Viciedo is grabbing his playing time opportunity by the throat. Gordon Beckham has come alive, and Marcus Semien has earned a chance to stay with late-inning heroics.

And, oh yeah -- Jose Abreu became the second player in baseball history to win his league's overall and rookie player of the month honors in his first month in the majors, joining his countryman and former teammate Yasiel Puig.

Abreu is incredibly fun to watch in and of himself. He's a man of many swings, constantly adjusting as needed, capable of power in all directions. He appears to be a baseball rarity: the crafty slugger.

The health and depth of the starting rotation is the main issue. Chris Sale, one of baseball's very few true aces, is cloistered away in a protective DL bubble at the moment. John Danks toggles between competent and horrifying. Scott Carroll is a wonderful story who had a pair of good starts and one disaster. His contact rate is always going to have us waiting for the other cleat to drop.

But when that lineup takes the stage, I demand silence and focus from those around me.

This bunch seems to learn and function as an impressive collective ... producing together as games progress.

Take Friday night's 9-3 win over Arizona.

D'backs starter Brandon McCarthy got the first nine hitters out on 33 pitches, and reached the fourth inning with a 2-0 lead. Then, the Sox exploded for 7 runs on 9 hits. Ramirez hit a grand slam, and even the three hitters after that singled.

What happened?

Said Ramirez: "The first time around, he was able to throw his sinker, he was able to throw his curveball efficiently. The second time, I just kind of lay off of that stuff and that's how I was able to get a good pitch. That's what everybody else did."

These guys share positivity and calm, giving credence to the concept of offensive contagion.

As we hit the middle of May, 12 of the AL's 15 teams are no worse than two games under .500. All three divisions are fraught with flawed teams who could eventually come together for a hot stretch that elevates them towards contention.

The Tigers seem equipped to again pull away in the Central That starting rotation has an ERA of 2.76, nearly half a run better than anyone else in the AL.

But two wild-card spots will be up for grabs.

Soon, the Blackhawks will be done, one way or another. The Bears won't demand full attention until training camp opens in late July.

The Cubs have a few worthwhile objects of our baseball attention. But some of them will be traded away, and the hotly anticipated kids have no certain arrival timetable.

So at this point, we ought to be thankful for the White Sox' offensive show. You know you didn't see it coming.

It's been a strong opening five weeks, well reviewed with players winning awards.

If we get six good performances a week through September, who knows what could happen?

• Matt Spiegel co-hosts "The McNeil & Spiegel Show" 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday on WSCR 670-AM. Follow him on Twitter @mattspiegel670.

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