It's amazing how quickly things can turn in a baseball season. Through the first weekend of the season, optimism ran high among White Sox fans. The Sox were 3-2 after a five-game road trip and were coming home for a six-game homestand against two of the weaker teams in the American League, the Detroit Tigers and the Tampa Bay Rays. Flash forward to the Rays – White Sox game of Monday, April 11. That's when a reported 974 people were in attendance. What happened?

Baby, it's cold outside

The weather was a huge factor. The Sox head groundskeeper, Roger 'Sodfather” Bossard, did a remarkable job of ridding the field of snow and getting the field in shape.

In addition, the weather was frigid. The temperature was 35 degrees with an 11 mph wind. The weather was beyond the White Sox control. The on the field product didn't help. That is within their control.

Recent history had not been kind

The White Sox had lost their previous three home games to the aforementioned weakly Tigers. Plus, the White Sox, while pointing toward the future, missed an opportunity to be more competitive this season by only dabbling in this year's free agent market. A few examples come to mind.

And on the field

The White Sox started the season with Adam Engel penciled in as their starting center fielder. Engel hit a cool .166 last season with an OPS of .517. He's right at that pace at this point in the AL season.

Sometimes consistency is a virtue, in this case, it's not.

James Shields is the Sox number one starter. At this point in his career, Shields is a functional Major League hitter, but he should be a number five starter, not the guy pitching your season opener.

At shortstop, the Sox have an athletic guy with a live bat in Tim Anderson.

Unfortunately, Anderson has something in common with the old boxer, Roberto Duran. They both have hands of stone. Anderson may get better as time goes on, but that's a tough characteristic to overcome.

Help on the horizon

Those some serious blemishes on a team that does have some talent at the major league level. They also have even more talent on the way up.

Most notably in Eloy Jimenez and Michael Kopech. The pieces are in place for the Sox to make a run in 2020. That's probably not going to change. With the foundation for the future already in place, why the Sox weren't more aggressive this offseason is hard to fathom.

But not from the draft

Recent White Sox first-round draft picks have been a mixed bag. Jake Burger, the Sox 2017 first round pick, will miss the 2018 with an Achilles injury and 2016 first round pick, Zack Burdi, is also out indefinitely with an arm injury. The Sox have done better trading for other teams prospects rather than developing their own. Based on that, draft position shouldn't be a big deal for them.

In Summation

Of course, drawing a crowd of 974 is easier when you're playing the Tampa Bay Rays. In addition, when there is more interest in the guys in your farm system than in the big league club, you can expect attendance to lag.