White Sox set out to defend World Series title

2006 MLB Storylines: With the 2006 MLB season opening April 2, we've created a cheat sheet of things to look for. We've found 12 storylines to watch throughout the summer months. Check them out, read what the experts have to say and vote in the polls.

The Boston Red Sox of 2004 showed that curses can be broken, giving hope to the long-suffering fans of other teams with generational gaps between championships.

The Chicago White Sox were one of those teams. Without a title since 1917, a betting scandel in the 1919 Series, and no Series appearances since 1959, the White Sox shocked the prognosticators in 2005. A deep rotation and a balanced lineup allowed the White Sox to sneak up on the rest of the league and win the 2005 World Series. Now the question remains, can they repeat?

What They're Saying
Jerry Crasnick: "The (White) Sox are loaded in the rotation, and (Sox GM Kenny) Williams, to his credit, didn't let sentimentality stand in the way of self-improvement (in the offseason). The White Sox are just back from the White House and they've gotten better. You sure can't pick against them."

Feb. 15, 2006
Sizing up which teams belong on top

Phil Rogers: "'The defeatist attitude that we always will be Chicago's second team just doesn't fly with me,' (White Sox GM Kenny) Williams said. 'And we all accept the challenge that we must win again and probably again after that to change the culture. More winning will result in the changing of that culture. I hope I'm right, because if not, I'm going to have a lot of answering to do.'

"Williams was referring to how much of owner Jerry Reinsdorf's money he has committed in the hopes of sustaining the magic that carried the White Sox through a historic 11-1 postseason run to finish 2005."

Jan. 20, 2006

Building a perennial contender

Rob Neyer: "Yes, the White Sox might be the best team in the Central Division (particularly if Jim Thome is healthy). But if given a choice between betting on the White Sox or the field, you have to take the field, because there's a pretty good chance that the Indians or the Twins -- both of whom strengthened their rosters this winter -- will knock off the Sox . . .

"So there it is. Defending White Sox and Angels? Out. Defending Braves and Padres? Out. All hail the New Order in 2006."

Jan. 18, 2006

White Sox could be in for a tough year