Its the end of May. The White Sox have won seven in a row and 11-of-12. Paul Konerko is having an MVP season. Jake Peavy and Chris Sale are early candidates for the Cy Young Award. They have one of the best young hitters in the game in Dayan Viciedo, not to mention one of the best young closers in Addison Reed.
Now fifty games into the season, theres one team all alone in first place in the American League Central not called the Detroit Tigers. Or the Cleveland Indians.
Its the team no one believed in.
During spring training, Gordon Beckham walked around the clubhouse comparing the White Sox to the viral video about the Honey Badger. Dont care. He dont care. We dont care, Beckham would say about their critics.
Who were they?
Not only were the White Sox not expected to win the division this season, nobody thought theyd even sniff first place for even a second of it.
The Tigers were expected to run away with the AL Central from day one.
The White Sox? They were supposed to lose 95 games. Right, SI.com?
So much good is happening right now, the stats are coming in at a dizzying pace:
In the last 15 games, the White Sox are No. 1 in the majors in batting average, home runs, runs scored, runs per game, slugging percentage and batting average with runners in scoring position.
Theyve won seven of their last eight games on the road.
Theyve homered in 15 straight games, their longest streak since 2004.
Viciedo has more RBIs in May (23) than Joe Mauer, Dustin Pedroia, Robinson Cano and Michael Young have for the whole season.
Adam Dunn has hit more home runs this month (11) than he did all of last season.
Philip Humber has a perfect game.
Chris Sale had 15 strikeouts on Monday, one shy of the franchise record.
Paul Konerko is batting .386.
Justin Verlander lost to the Red Sox on Tuesday. The Tigers are 23-26. At the same point last year, the All-in White Sox were 22-27. Sound familiar?
And leading this group of men is someone who until this year had never managed a game in his life. The hiring of Robin Ventura was considered by most as a sign that the White Sox had either given up or lost their minds.
What they failed to recognize was Venturas mind. His knowledge of the game, plus his leadership, communication skills and laid-back personality were a perfect for this club. Considering the soap opera that occurred last season with the White Sox, he was the right manager at the right time.
Could 2012 be the White Sox time? Its way too early for that.
However, as June arrives, this team is proving its for real and doesnt plan on going away anytime soon.
The critics, the skeptics, the non-believers? The White Sox didnt care about them then, and they dont care now.
All that matters is winning. That theyre doing.
Its been fun to watch.