White Sox: They are What I Thought They Were.

White Sox: They are What I Thought They Were.

Well that sucked. The White Sox hit the road for six games against two of the better teams in the National League and come back with a 2-4 record to show for their efforts. Forget that they had good opportunities to win three of those four losses, this was not what the Sox needed. It can’t all be blamed on poor pitching or poor offense. What happened was that one part of the game fell off when the other was clicking. Alex Rios hits two home runs in a loss because Gavin Floyd can’t make his pitches. Jose Quintana bolsters his case to stay in the starting rotation by pitching a great game, only to see the usually dependable Addison Reed give up the lead in the ninth. A woefully inconsistent trip that brings to bear the truth about this White Sox team: they are what you are seeing.
This team is not going to run away with the division. They are about a .500 team, with a little help and luck they could win the division. What defines a .500 team in my mind is that they are mediocre, capable of playing great some days, disastrously on others. This road trip bears that out. The statistical aberration is the nine game winning streak, not the up and down play that we’ve seen in the last twleve games where the Sox have dropped four consecutive series. My guess is that they will have another hot streak, hopefully not too late into the season so they will be able to stay in the mix with the Indians and Tigers. The other good news is that the Indians are just about the same type of team as the White Sox at this point and the Tigers are not as good as advertised, but they might be. What is killing the Tigers is their pitching. After Verlander, the drop off this year has been precipitous. Scherczer has been inconsistent and Fister has been hurt most of the year. If those two get it together and it looks like they might, then the Tigers could start to pull away. However, the big, bad Tigers that were going to romp through the American League Central aren’t quite as big nor bad at this point. For the White Sox fan this might be good news, it means it’s going to be a bit of a bumpy ride. If you’re the type of fan who only enjoys the wins and wants a division lead of five or more games at all times, I advise you to look away now.
Of course the White Sox have the Cubs coming to the South Side which was the opponent that helped start the last good run. Of course the Astros were supposed to be the elixir of winner as well and that didn’t work out so well. Speaking of the Cubs as I listen to sports radio I have been reminded repeatedly that seats are still available for the three game series against the Cubs. I would offer you my seats, but I already sold them. I haven’t attended a Cubs/Sox game in years and have no plans to do so any time soon. After working three years at Wrigley the charm of the place has long been lost and making the trip to US Cellular for a lousy opponent like the Cubs isn’t high on my to do list. The games also tend to bring out the worst fans on both sides. At the games I’ve gone to in the past, there is a lot of posturing and inane bragging that results in a fair amount of fights and other stupid behavior. I can’t speak for everyone but seeing how these games are no longer selling out on either side of town, I’m not alone in the feeling that these games just aren’t that great.
What will be especially annoying this time around is that the games will still have pretty good crowds leading to the pundits to say that the only reason the crowds showed up was because of the Cubs that the White Sox fans just aren’t showing up. There is something to this but I don’t want to get into why people don’t go to Sox games. What I do wish to point out though is that if the Sox average 25,000 fans a game they will have a season attendance of 2 million. I might be alone in thinking this, but that is a pretty good number for the Sox. I just don’t think they will ever be a 3 million a year team unless they can build a solid, always winning, always contending team. There really isn’t much history to provide evidence that they will do that. As it stands now, they are averaging 21,000 but if the team stays in contention then it should rise and they have an outside shot at 2 million. After that it’s all gravy, really. Even so, I’m sure there are many who think the White Sox must draw equal to the Cubs in order to be considered a success. I think that is folly. It’s like saying I need to run a marathon at the same pace as Ryan Hall in order for it to be a success. That will never, ever happen. The Sox need to become more consistent in all facets, and measure their success accordingly, not by their neighbors.

Filed under: Chicago, Cubs, White Sox

Tags: Baseball, Chicago, Cubs, White Sox

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