When the White Sox went to spring training, they were picked as also-rans and generally picked on as being an underachieving team.

The so-called experts said they had too many ifs to truly be anywhere near contending with the Tigers in the Central Division.

So now the first month of the season is over and the Sox are one game behind the Indians, who come calling for the next three nights atU.S. Cellular Field, and it's time to examine the spring ifs:

If first-year manager Robin Ventura doesn't get lost in the dugout: Actually Ventura has been very good, although he still seems to be learning his bullpen. But his laid-backed demeanor seems to have crept into the team through osmosis.