Reed likes White Sox' outlook for 2014
Paul Konerko (14) greets Adam Dunn at home after the pair scored on Dunn's two-run homer off Houston Astros relief pitcher Brett Oberholtzer during the sixth inning Monday in Chicago.
There were a few months of doom, followed by another month or so of gloom.
Then came the dread of seeing popular veteran players such as Jake Peavy, Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and Alex Rios exit via trade.
Now, when they are supposed to be playing out the string, the White Sox suddenly have figured out how to win some baseball games.
Even after losing an ugly 10-8 game to the Houston Astros on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field, the Sox have 8 wins in their last 10 games and still are the hottest team in baseball.
Call it a classic case of too little, too late.
Criticize the White Sox for jeopardizing the highest draft pick possible next June by winning meaningless games now.
Closer Addison Reed has heard the negatives all season, but he positively thinks the Sox are going to return as contenders next year.
"As of late we've been playing well, the type of ball we expected to kind of play this whole year," said Reed, who gave up solo home runs to Houston's Matt Dominguez and Chris Carter in the ninth inning.
"It's kind of exciting because a lot of these guys in the room right now, the young guys, they are going to be on the team for the next who knows how many years.
"It's exciting because it's a young group, it's a group that when the season started off, nobody expected this to be the team we have coming into September.
"I think it's a good. Obviously, our record is not where we want it to be, but there are always positives that come out of everything, I think.
"Us having a down year has given us an opportunity to bring up guys and have them play games they normally wouldn't play if we were in first place."
Speaking of first place, the White Sox haven't been there at the end of the season since 2008.
And with some big offensive holes to fill this off-season, don't look for many prognosticators to be picking the Sox for a playoff berth next year. Reed thinks the White Sox are going to be in contention, regardless of what happens over the winter.
"I honestly think that if we go into the season with this team next year, we're going to compete and fight," Reed said. "I like these guys and I like the way everybody plays. I don't know what they're going to do in the front office, but if they left it as it is, I would still like our chances. If they go out and add a couple bats, that would be even better.
"It's going to fun to see what happens this off-season, if there are any major moves or if it stays the same. Regardless, I think we're going to be ready to go and I think we'll have a good chance next year."
There is definitely a new core of players general manager Rick Hahn is intent on building around, and they include Chris Sale, Avisail Garcia, Reed, Jose Quintana, Gordon Beckham, Nate Jones and most likely Josh Phegley.
"I know everybody says we're playing the spoiler role now, but I hate the term because that kind of means we're trying to win games as opposed to … earlier on in the year, nobody said we were playing spoiler," Reed said.
"We're trying to win every game, from the very first game to the last game of the season, and things just haven't worked out the way we wanted them to. But we still have over a month left to keep trying to win as many as we can and set a good tone for next year."
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