The Hard Luck Sox

Sunday night, just hours after the White Sox suffered their worst loss in a season full of them, my fellow Sox bloggers got into a Twitter discussion about the number of birth control pills that can be safely ingested by a dog.

It's been that kind of season.

So far, the White Sox have been the Frank Grimes of Major League Baseball. Frank Grimes (“Grimey” as his friends called him) was the hard luck employee of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. He came about everything the hard way. He lived between two bowling alleys. He eventually died while emulating the behavior of his nemesis Homer Simpson.

When the White Sox clear one bad luck hurdle, another one pops into place. The White Sox finally got the big hit this afternoon, a bases clearing double from Alejandro De Aza followed by a two-run homer from Alex Rios.

Addison Reed was one strike away from the 11th save of his career, when regression to the mean hit him in the worst way possible. Billy Butler's double drove in the two baserunners that Reed walked, and then the Royals ended the game in the bottom of the 10th.

The pitching has been the one bright spot of the White Sox season, which means the arms will probably fall apart as soon as the bats come to life.

I have been an “obsessive” White Sox fan since August of 2005, which means I can write term papers on the bad White Sox teams that followed. The 2013 White Sox are much worse than they are. Let's take the 2007 White Sox, which is the gold standard for bad Sox teams of recent vintage.

That team was zapped by injuries (Joe Crede, Scott Podsednik), lack of organizational depth, and a bullpen plan that fell apart by late May.

The current White Sox are zapped by injuries (Gordon Beckham, Dayan Viciedo, Gavin Floyd, John Danks), lack of organizational depth (Jordan Danks, Tyler Greene), and a free agent plan that has completely imploded (Adam Dunn, Jeff Keppinger).

The 2011 White Sox had three black holes and two ineffective pitchers, and they managed to win 79 games.

That means the Sox can “improve” to mediocrity.

I still believe the White Sox are playing below their career norms, and eventually they will rubberband back to their career numbers. But there is another possibility: this is the White Sox. This is the product.

For better or for worse, this is what we're going to see all summer long.

Paul Konerko is mired in a slump. Could this be the year that he's grabbed by the icy hand of age? Although Adam Dunn is showing signs of improvement, he's still a shadow of his former self. Alex Rios has been in a slump. And the problems go on and on.

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  • Stephen Strasburg vs. The Cubs was more of a Frank Grimes story. But all the radio people said afterwards was "he didn't give up any earned runs." So much for baseball stats.

    Which is similar to the Sox, who were leading the league in errors, including various second basemen not being able to get the ball to where Dunn could stretch for it, extending innings. Remember what I said about missing Beckham?

    At least on Sunday they did get the hit with RISP, another dreadful Sox statistic.

    With regard to "career norms," unless you are referring to Norm Peterson, the announcers are having fun saying that the 83 Sox started off this slow, too. However, I don't see this group turning it around to that extent.

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