Sox: Just trying to survive

March 30, 2014|By Soxman, For RedEye

I had a dream last night that as the White Sox took the field Opening Day, instead of "Thunderstruck" playing, the theme to AMC's megahit "The Walking Dead" oozed through the chilly spring air.

Was the dream a premonition that the Sox's chances of winning the division will be devoured faster than ravenous zombies tearing apart a victim? Is it that my growing obsession with the show is rivaling that of my favorite team? Or maybe it's that I'm hoping the Sox get infected with a disease that consumes them with an undying hunger—for winning.

Pondering this, I drew parallels between the 2014 Sox and the show. And IT ALL BEGAN TO MAKE SENSE.

Jose Abreu = Tyreese

The arrival of Jose Abreu reminds me a lot of Tyreese. He's a huge man with a quiet stature who swings a big hammer to beat the bad guys. In a short time, Tyreese became a central character of the show just like Sox fans hope the Cuban first baseman will. The fact Tyreese protected baby Judith most of this season is also symbolic of Abreu's task of leading the Sox's youth movement.

Adam Eaton = Daryl Dixon

Adam Eaton's energetic presence, grinder mentality and cool swagger reminds me a lot of Daryl Dixon, the most beloved character on "Walking Dead." Like Dixon, Eaton is a tracker in his ability to hunt down balls in center field and will hopefully be as skilled at striking balls with a bat as Dixon is at taking out walkers with his crossbow. Eaton already brings a coolness to the team that has been missing longer than Carol's daughter Sophia was in Season 2.

Leury Garcia = Glenn Rhee

Looking at utility man Leury Garcia, I think of the selflessness of Glenn, who has pitched in anywhere the group has needed him to ensure they survive. While Garcia won't be asked to make supply runs or fortify a fence, he will be counted on to run the bases frequently and strengthen a defense that ranked 29th in errors last year.

Tyler Flowers = Lizzie Samuels

In "The Walking Dead's" most emotional episode this season, where Carol told Lizzie to "look at the flowers" before offing her, I couldn't help but think many fans would like to see the same of Tyler Flowers' tenure as starting catcher. Among many fans, this sentiment likely will be echoed in April when A.J. Pierzynski comes back to town. Seeing him in a Boston uniform will be more devastating than watching Hershel Greene get beheaded in the midseason finale. Pierzynski, after all, was a master at making opposing teams players lose their heads—figuratively, of course.

Nate Jones = Michonne

Can Jones close games swifter than Michonne's katana strikes down zombies?

Adam Dunn = Sgt. Abraham Ford

Dunn needs Ford's focused energy to not strike out in his mission of producing more runs.

Paul Konerko = Rick Grimes

Can Konerko's leadership ultimately lead our group to salvation from the peril and treachery brought down by the The Governor, aka the Detroit Tigers?

In the end, the 2014 Sox are most like "The Walking Dead" because you never know what to expect, who will rise or, sadly, who will fall. You are always kept guessing. Be it salvation, damnation or the prelude to the next chapter, you have to watch the entire season to find the answers.

Soxman is a RedEye special contributor. @thesoxman72

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OPENING DAY

White Sox vs. Minnesota

3:10 p.m. CSN

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