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"Smartball" -- Day 17

In case you weren't aware of this (and I can't blame you if that's the case), Ozzie Guillen has dubbed the White Sox's style of play smartball. You know, winning with pitching and defense, "manufacturing" runs through stolen bases and (groan) early-inning bunts, getting your uniform dirty, what have you. A major tenet of Ozzie's plan is stealing bases, which is one reason why the Sox acquired Scott Podsednik. Guillen wants the White Sox to be aggressive on the basepaths, even if that means running into outs here and there.

And run into outs the Sox have. After Wednesday's game, the White Sox are 10-16 (63%) on stolen base attempts this year, which means they're doing more harm than good.

The offense continues to falter (still dead-last in the majors in OBP and walks; hitting .259/.285/.425 as a team) but the pitching continues to be fabulous--and that's why the White Sox are 11-4. The team's ERA is the best in the AL, and the Sox have managed to win a lot of low-scoring games.

With the Sox's inability to get on base, they really shouldn't be risking baserunners on a lot of stolen bases, but that's "smartball" for you.

Despite themselves, the Sox are winning. And (while I like to pick at Guillen) it's a helluva lot of fun.