GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Call it confidence in his teammates or some brash bravado -- some might call it a little bit of disrespect to the Minnesota Twins -- but Chicago White Sox center fielder Alex Rios said Monday that the White Sox are the cream of the crop in the American League Central.
"Oh yeah, definitely," Rios said during his first day in camp. "We're the team to beat. We have good additions to the team. The core is solid, and with the additions, we're even stronger. I think we're going to give a hard time to a lot of people out there."
But the Twins have experience at turning quiet winters into continued success. They know how to win, often with in-house talent. Manager Ozzie Guillen might be brash at times, but he has consistently shown plenty of respect to the Twins.
"Never count those guys out; I never do," Guillen said Sunday. "We have a great division, a very, very tough division. Those guys still have the big boys [Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau], [Carl] Pavano signed back with them, they still have [Denard] Span and [Danny] Valencia. The ballclub is still there. Don't count those guys out because they will figure out how to win games.
"But like I said, I'll take my chances with this ballclub. I think we have a pretty good ballclub and they're anxious to be on the field. I don't have to worry about the Twins or Detroit or Kansas City or anybody. I have to worry about the White Sox and make sure we do the best we can to get those guys going."
Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.