First, it doesn't take a Vegas whale to tell you the Sox didn't Free Willy when they let A.J. Pierzynski walk last year. Some gambles just don't pay off. Tyler Flowers never bloomed and despite the outbreak of Josh Phegley fever upon his arrival, temperatures have cooled, along with his batting average. While Phegley can likely become a serviceable catcher, the energy and consistency Pierzynski brought to the park were greatly missed.

Adam Dunn and errors

For most of the year I've had a hard time determining what looks more bloated: Adam Dunn's salary, the number of errors the Sox have committed or Batboy after an all-you-can-eat fried chicken buffet. Remember, the homage to the 1983 White Sox was supposed to be called WINNING Ugly.

Last place

Absolutely nothing is worse than finishing last, not even being swept by the Cubs (sorry, Julie). OK, there could be ONE thing worse: finishing last AND being the Cubs.

 

SOX: WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR

Starting pitching

The rotation going forward looks pretty darn good. The lefty brigade of Chris Sale, John Danks, Hector Santiago and Jose Quintana should get better under the mentoring of Don Cooper. They are also under control at a cost more reasonable than the price of beverages peddled by that vendor who screams "I'vvvve got beeeeeeer" at home games (admit it, you love him).

Boston's example

History could repeat itself. In 2012, the Boston Red Sox finished with the worst record in the majors. They dumped some contracts, tweaked their roster a bit and now are on their way to the postseason.

Battle-tested fans

A season like this may test a fan's allegiance and dedication. Come spring, you know where I'll be and who I'll be cheering for. I'm not the type of guy who throws my favorite pair of socks away because they have a few holes in them.

Soxman is a RedEye special contributor. @thesoxman72