But to prove to you that given proper prompting, I will sell out, and sell out hard; here's a top ten list!
Top Ten Signs Your Baseball Team Is Going Nowhere, and I Mean Nowhere, This Season:
10. You just watched Mark Teahen (in your team's uniform) react to an easy double play ball at 3rd base like it was enemy mortar fire.
9. The Boston Red Sox' plan to rejuvenate their offense revolves around you trading them your best player for seemingly no reason...and every baseball expert agrees that it will probably happen
8. Your manager wonders aloud "Am I lying to myself?" during post-game press conferences
7. You catch your team's players celebrating sarcastically
6. You see Cubs fans on the street, and resist the urge to taunt them because you know things will just end with your feelings hurt
5. Orioles fans buy you drinks, pat you on the back, look at you knowingly
4. When your team calls up a guy from Triple-A, you not only know his name but have been anticipating his arrival for months
3. In the time it would take you to come up with an answer to the question of "Who's your favorite player on the team?", you can identify your least-favorite player, list 8 things you hate about him, and wistfully recall a time you got close enough to him that you swear he heard you telling him to 'suck it'
2. A list meant to be a catch-all of signs that any baseball team is headed nowhere is littered with references to your own team
1. Your team routinely loses winnable games to the Kansas City Royals
What defines a winnable game? How about a game where you're leading in the 6th inning? How about a game where you're tied in the 7th? How about a game where you force the opposing starter to throw 100 pitches in 6 innings? Or a game where your starter goes perfect through the first four innings? Or a game where the opposing team has one extra base hit? Or a game where you get three innings against the worst bullpen in the league? Maybe a game against a team that fired its manager the day before? Or perhaps simply any game versus the last place team in the division?
As you probably already put together, tonight's loss by the White Sox fulfilled all these conditions. Yet not only did the Sox manage to lose this game, but did so rather emphatically. As emphatically as a team can lose a game that turned on a seemingly never-ending parade of soft singles.
Mark Buerhle pitched well enough to win tonight, and the 7th inning was definitely an instance of absurdly, and almost darkly amusing, bad luck. No one can watch this game and think that Buehrle got shelled or that he didn't have it tonight if for no other reason than that he was pretty much fine until the 7th inning. When Buerhle is hittable, it's apparent early on; teams don't take all day to start hitting his 88mph fastball. But the problem with the Sox is that once the score jumped to 5-1, the game might have well as ended. They made Gil Meche's slight return to form tonight look like it was thrown by Zack Greinke, even though Meche still labored with his control and threw 100 pitches in six innings, The White Sox this year are not good enough to overcome struggles in any aspect of the game. Their offense is not nearly good enough to overcome a backbreaking error or poor starting pitching, their pitching is not quite good enough to overcome weak offensive efforts, and no aspect of this team is strong enough to ever carry the Sox or overwhelm an opponent for a stretch of time.
As a result, the Sox season should continue to be a mixture of efforts like Tuesday where the Sox played excellent in every way, efforts like Wednesday and Friday where the Sox played well in certain aspects (in these cases pitching was called upon to compensate for limited offense) but struggled to make up for poor play in others, and efforts like the game a couple of Sundays ago against the Yankees where the Sox played terrible and got scorched off the face of the earth.
With the exception of the blown save game against Toronto (Thanks again for that Bobby, would you like to write off your girdle as part of the team equipment budget now?), the Sox have won games they should have won. I mean that in the sense of the White Sox winning games where they've outplayed their opponents, not games where they played poor opponents they should've beaten...heh, that would be a loooooong article. But until the Sox start winning games they're competitive in, games they could win, they'll remain a team that hovers around a .400 record, one that tries desperately to keep its winning percentage higher than Joe Mauer's batting average.
On the upside, the Sox play the Royals again on Saturday.