As fans of the Chicago White Sox, we’re all growing weary of the usual rhetoric. “I like what we have”…”if a few guys can turn it around, we’ll kick some butts”…”No need to panic”…”it’s a long season, there’s still plenty of time”…”If we play to our potential, we’ll be fine”…
ALL of which is true, BUT…you get tired of reading it, and hearing it, then noticing that it is now mid-July and we’re still 4 games under .500 looking up at 2 teams in the standings, with another a game behind us. I take no consolation in the fact that “at least we’re not Kansas City, or the Cubs”…still true as that may be, it doesn’t dull the pain of being mediocre and having that awful feeling of disappointment wash over you as you patiently wait for the effort switch to flip on. I’m not counting on that magical winning streaks of 2010, I’d settle for good, consistent baseball, and let the chips fall where they may in this Central Division race. But, that’s been the all-too-familiar problem with this club…literally plagued by inconsistency. Plenty of talent, just not enough to put it all together for an extended period of time.
I’ve always been in the “it’s the players on the field that decide the games” camp, and I likely always will be of that mindset. It just makes too much sense that the production, and execution MUST come from those who are ultra-talented competitors that at the end of the day, MUST find a way to get the “W” on the field. The margin for error is so slim ( a successful pitch here, a fair/foul ball there, a fortunate hop that goes your way and not against you), and these are the things that make up success vs. also-rans. I’ll probably never flat-out blame the Manager solely (whoever it is, whichever the team), as it just seems so ignorant to do so. He CAN put you as a player (as a team) in a position to succeed or fail, but he cannot be blamed for the actual execution (or failure to execute), the actual production (numbers, or lack thereof)…it’s just not physically possible. True enough, at the end of the day, it’s about the record. Having enough wins to qualify for postseason is all that matters when judging a Manager, as well it should. But to suggest that someone else could make a different result with the exact same roster is ludicrous to even suggest. I for one, cannot possibly understand how anyone could predict something that cannot be proven, so why bother to speculate in such a realm?
Long story short (too late again, I know), it all comes down to that age-old practice of: Putting up, or shutting up. We need more wins than we got in the first half, and we need them by whatever means necessary. They don’t need to be pretty, they don’t need to be sexy…they just need to be counted, and when all is said and done after 162 games THIS season, we need one more than the other guys attempting to get to the same goal…the top of the Division. I still maintain this team has all it needs to achieve that goal, but in that lockeroom, in that dugout, and (most importantly) on that field is where they need to figure out a way to put it all together. Winning baseball, easier said than done. Figure that out and you won’t have to talk at all, the play will be doing all of the talking that is necessary, and you’d be surprised how many fans will show up to witness and how quickly the painful memories of failed seasons past (and present) will be erased. I’m looking forward to seeing it, I just hope that I see it this season.