October 18, 2021

October’s End

October 14, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Orange October

The Chicago White Sox played in the postseason for the second straight season this year, something they have never achieved before in 120 years of baseball.

The Sox won the “Field of Dreams” game on national TV in August, giving baseball fans everywhere (OK, except maybe New York) and generations of movie fans a thrilling night in what had to be one of baseball’s best regular-season games of 2021, if not ever.

The White Sox have young, great, affordable players in Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada, Gavin Sheets, Lucas Giolito, Carlos Rodon, and others.

The Sox played in front of full crowds all season long.

The Sox put on a thrilling 12-6 comeback win on Sunday night at Guaranteed Rate Field in their first home playoff contest since 2008. All of us there won’t soon let it go.

And…we’re running out of nice things to say. But that doesn’t make our list any less accurate, realistic, and pertinent.

But now the bad stuff.

The Sox lost to the Houston Astros 10-1 Tuesday afternoon at The Rate. They dropped their American League Division Series to the Astros (you know, that franchise that cheated its way to a World Series title a few years ago and now just keeps on winning) three games to one, ending a White Sox season that was a ton of fun but always felt uncomfortably anticipatory.

When were the Sox going to put it all together? When were they going to win 12 of 15? When were they going to show they were just as good, if not better than other contending teams and not just beating up on bottom feeders?

When?

Never.

The Sox were a .500 baseball team in the second half of the season. That’s a lot of games.

And then in the playoffs, the White Sox did not just get beaten by the Astros, they got wiped off the map.

The White Sox were outscored 31-18. Their starting pitchers got walloped. They couldn’t string together hits. They hit singles. They didn’t run the bases well. They didn’t make errors but certainly weren’t great defensively.

The Sox got outplayed by the Houston Astros in virtually every phase of the game.

This was a beat down and there is little to make any honest observer opine that the White Sox are anything but what we feared they were all summer long: a decent team that triumphed in a bad division.

If the White Sox played in the American League East or American League West (or the National League) they would have been a .500 team and would not have even sniffed the playoffs.

They need to learn to play better baseball.

We paint a bleak picture.

So let us, like someone fleeing through the snow, walk back slowly and cover our tracks. Let’s go back to the beginning and be thankful for a historic season and let’s be encouraged that the Sox have young talent, a smart General Manager, plenty of spending money, and a solid future.

But they really need to play better baseball.

There are few things more agreeable than October on Chicago’s South Side. The cool air. The vestige of summers of hope commingled with decades of disappointment.

The future. The absolutely relentless future. –TK












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