For example, Magglio Ordoñez "almost" won a second consecutive batting title. Don't get me wrong, he had another very good year, and was one of the few players who lived up to expectations, but almost doesn't quite qualify for this little rah rah list.
Gary Sheffield "almost" joined the 500 home run club. It got exciting, because he served a four-game suspension right at the end of the season. Everyone was like, "there go his chances at 500 this year." Then he steps in and launches two in his first game back. I really thought he'd get there then. Again, no, he fell short.
Even Miguel Cabrera's home run title has to be qualified, because Carlos Quentin of the White Sox went down with a broken wrist on September 5. He already had 36 at that point, and Cabrera ended with 37. That being said, Cabrera really smoked some balls this year. Two of his massive jacks were caught less than a row away from me in right field behind the 365 corner -- impressive opposite field knocks.
Marcus Thames went on a tear, and hit eight home runs in seven consecutive games in June, a club record. There's a bright spot for you.
Matt Joyce came up, showed us what he's got, provided a lefty bat, and rescued a black kitten from the batting practice cage. If that doesn't cheer you up, stop reading now.
Todd Jones got demoted as closer, but still retired with class, and the organization gave him a worthy send-off during the second-to-last home game. Jones literally and symbolically took off his jersey and handed it to Mike Illich to signal the passing of the guard.
Small things, I know, but I'll take a little solace from them and hope for a whole lot more in 2009.