The air smelled sweeter on the south side that day, as clouds descended on San Diego

The analogy:  You really liked this girl.  She looked good.  Everybody wanted her, even though her 'bad girl' reputation preceded her.  You set that distraction aside, though, and pursued her with vigor.  Flowers.  Candy.  Ill conceived poetry.  Doing the Lloyd Dobler thing, where you held the radio over your head, while Stay With Me blared toward her open bedroom window on a breezy, spring night.

And the result of all this full throttle courting?  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Goose egg.  She was interested in a rich guy, and you got the shaft.  Yet, you heard some time later that she married this guy, stole all his money, flew to Portugal and opened a 70s themed disco.  The last time someone mentioned her name, the word was she was on the run from Portuguese loan sharks, and her ex-husband had put a two million dollar bounty on her head, dead or alive.

In other words, you're pretty lucky you didn't get stuck with this girl. (I'm working on less convoluted analogies.)

I keep reading and hearing that Sox fans are upset about the Hahn-Williams whiff in acquiring Manny Machado.  Is that true or is that an assumption born of lazy reporting and disassociated speculation?  There is no doubt, Sox fans, that Machado said this:

"Obviously I'm not going to change, I'm not the type of player that's going to be 'Johnny Hustle,' and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen. That's just not my personality, that's not my cup of tea, that's not who I am."

That's not taken out of context.  That's not a misquote.  Machado is too good to hustle.  You want to root for a guy like that?  You want to tell your son, nephew, or the Little Leaguer you coach to root for a guy like that?  Just because he has talent you want him, despite the warts?  I can't wrap my brain around that concept.  Don't you want to like the guys that wear the Sox logo across their chests?  Machado throws on a Sox jersey, and you forget what he said?  You forget his attitude?  You forget the effect he has on the young, impressionable players around him?

Am I misguided?  Maybe, but I don't think so.  Let me tell you a little (true) story about a guy I'd like to see in a White Sox uniform, no matter how improbable the idea.

I was watching a rebroadcast of a spring training game recently.  A Los Angeles Angels outfielder hit a pedestrian ground ball to the shortstop of some other team I've already forgotten.  The shortstop moved to his right, planted his back foot, and threw to first base-a sure out baseball fans have seen ad infinitum 50,000 times.  And remember, it was a spring training game.  An exhibition-it counted for nothing.  It was practice.

Only the Angel that hit the ball didn't see it that way.  He had the uniform on, and he was playing the best game in the world.  When the throw arrived to first base, the hitter had already crossed the bag and taken another long stride.  He was clearly safe after hitting an ordinary ground ball to short, a ground ball Machado would have deemed worthy of four or five slow jog steps and a turn right into the dugout before the throw had arrived to first base.

And the guy that busted his a** down the first base line in a meaningless spring training game?  A rookie?  A burned out vet trying his best to make a major league club one more time?  A Triple A player trying to get over the hump?  No on all counts.

It was Mike Trout, the best baseball player in the world.

Put an S-O-X across his chest, and I'll root for that guy.  The guy I can point to and say to anyone sitting next to me, "My goodness, that is how you play baseball."

Addendum:  All the sycophantic sportswriters.  All the obsequious talking heads on television and the radio.  Whining millionaires like Justin Verlander, Adam Wainwright, Kris Bryant, and J.D. Martinez.  You've all got your wish.  Machado got paid.  Bryce Harper got paid.  Now, thank God, they can both feed their families.

Dallas Kuechel said free agency isn't 'necessarily fair', and I feel awful for him.  He could end up only making 40 to 45 million dollars on a two year deal.  Tragic.

Remember, there are thousands of moms and dads in the United States that would love to take their kids to a Major League Baseball game, and they can't because they can't afford it.  Don't let the folks in the paragraph above influence you.  Their arguments aren't grounded in sanity or reality or decency.

Lastly, how are the Phillies going to dig this deal in 2028?  My God, Phillies fans, please stay true to your reputation when Harper is batting .206 and sitting out 50% of his games due to breakdown and injury.  Be merciless.

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