Put Your Sox On – September 16, 2022
What a long, strange trip it’s been. This year’s Chicago White Sox have had one of the worst, wildest, weirdest seasons in their 122 year history. Despite the sometimes ridiculous way that this year’s team has played, the Sox are still not eliminated. Currently sitting at 74-70 after today’s 8-2 victory at Cleveland, the Sox are just 3 games behind the division leading Cleveland Indians (Guardians). Despite all the frustration, this year’s Sox could still win it all, as predicted in this year’s MLB Preview.
But nobody in their right mind is predicting a Sox World Series championship. At least not this year. The future is still bright, or so it seems. However, what’s with this Sox team? Are they good? Or are they bad? Well, they’re both. That’s how inconsistent they have been, since Opening Day.
So what happened? Is it manager Tony LaRussa’s fault? Is it because of all the injuries? Were those caused by the shortened Spring Training due to the Lockout? Are these players soft? Is the management making them soft due to their constant babying of the players… “give him another day of rest because of his owwie”. (“Owwie” is former Chicago Bears coach John Fox’s term that I always enjoyed.)
Where’s the home runs? Lately they’ve been there. Yesterday the Sox crushed five homers in the big 8-2 win. But most of the season it seems as if the team has “warning track power”. This team ranks 10th in the American League with only 134 HR. On the other hand, the Sox rank 1st in the A.L. in batting average at .262. Again, an enigmatic ballclub.
In total, the disappointment stems from a combination of many things. Is the heart there? Is the talent there? Is the managing there? Is the experience there?
Moving forward, there are 18 games left in total. How can Chicago make up the three games on Cleveland? Here’s the schedule:
- 3 games @ Detroit (Giolito, Cueto, and Kopech)
- 3 vs Cleveland (probably Cease, Lynn, and Giolito?)
- 3 vs Detroit
- 3 @ Minnesota
- 3 @ San Diego
- 3 vs Minnesota
As you can see, that’s 9 games at home and 9 games on the road. Do the White Sox need to win all three games vs Cleveland next week? What record will it take? How about 12-6 to finish 86-76? That would require Cleveland to go 10-10 in their last 20 games to finish in a tie at 86-76. Who wins the tiebreakers? The first tiebreaker is head-to-head against each other. Currently the Indians lead the Sox in the season series 9-7. So once again, it looks like the Sox will need to beat Cleveland in all three remaining games to win that tiebreaker 10 games to 9.
I’m excited to see what happens. It might be really fun. On the other hand, it might go like the rest of 2022… it could be utterly disappointing and frustrating. In a weird way, I still believe in this team. Do you?