Man, what a road trip! No not the White Sox rather abysmal showing in Minneapolis, Baltimore and Toronto. I went to San Francisco on a business at the same time as the trip. I could have kept up better with the White Sox due to the wonders of the internet, but seriously? I was in San Francisco!* I had so many other things to do and see, not to mention work, that getting more than the scores and the boxes seemed like a chore at the least, a burden to be a little over dramatic. So, seeing how I'm woefully behind on my series wrap up, and on vacation for real, a little temporary change to the format. Regular service will resume after the all-star break.
*A little more on San Francisco coming up! Went to AT & T Park. Yes, it is as awesome as you've heard.
The trip got started off quite poorly with the first four game sweep in Minnesota since 1994. The White Sox kept the games close, even battling back from two bad pitching performances from Andre Rienzo, who is now officially demoted and John Danks, who was, sad to say, due for a bad start. Call it the curse of the Stuff; after praising him in the last blog, Danks gave up six earned in five innings. In some of the bits I did see, some thing that is troubling, the defense is reverting to 2013, and that is not good.
Some folks around the media here in Chicago, just a few short weeks ago were talking about the White Sox, maybe, just maybe being contenders. Now, nine games back almost to the all-star break, I hope all of this talk of making a trade for a push toward a wild card spot is finished. I do think this team is better than last year, but I don't think making a trade from the farm system, that is finally showing signs of life, is worth it this year, probably not next year either. To paraphrase Theo Epstein, I don't want a cookie. I also hope that after last year people won't be pointing out how bad the 1983 team was until they turned it around. There is a reason that doesn't happen that often, like in thirty years or so.
The trip into Baltimore didn't go much better either. losing two of three, including a Chris Sale start. No, I'm not upset that Sale didn't get the win. Pitching wins have, I think, turned a corner when even Steve Stone talks about how little meaning they have. Losing a game that Sale starts feels like a double loss. When he goes out to pitch, the feeling is that the White Sox have a legitimate chance to win the game. Pretty much their best chance in the week to guarantee a win. When it does' work out, it feels wrong. It was probably that game that made the decision to remove Ronald Belisario from the closer's role an easy one, though I don't know who will be stepping up in the long term. The White Sox did manage to get out of town with a win and Abreu hit two more home runs so there's that.
The final four games in Toronto didn't have a lot of hope going in and a 7-0 loss to start the series didn't make things any better. Toronto has been a Canadian shop of horrors for the White Sox in recent years, so the expectation of getting out with a win for an absolutely abysmal road trip of 2-9 seemed a real possibility. Instead, the White Sox strung 3 together and had a less woeful trip at 4-7. What I find most jarring anymore is the artificial turf in Toronto. What was once the standard of my youth all over baseball, has become a novelty. I'm glad, to be honest. Even field turf is an improvement, but natural grass is the way baseball is served best.
My trip to San Francisco was much better than the White Sox trip, to say the least and we pretty much arrived home at the same time. I'm back on the road, however. As I type I'm staring at the Pacific Ocean in all of it's powerful glory. The White Sox don't hold a candle to that.
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