At this time last week, I was excited about the prospects of what a great week this could have been. I had Scout Seats for Saturday's game against the Angels, the Sox were going to Tampa to beat up on a Rays team that looked like absolute garbage a week earlier, and then we were going to the Motor City to begin our yearly beat down of the Tigers. The Scout Seats are great. I highly recommend them to anyone that can find a decent deal on tickets. The pre-game buffet is awesome (as is the open bar) and the seats are great (both the location and the actual seats- big, padded, spread out). Just don't go when it rains, as apparently there is now a time limit on concessions after rain delays. Throughout the entire park they stopped serving beer, food etc. sometime during the 3rd inning of the Saturday game. It was always my belief that the concessions continued until the 7th whether there was just a 2 hour rain delay or not. I guess cutting the vendors hourly salary is the way that we arrived at the "All In" concept this year. Gotta pay Adam Dunn somehow, I suppose. Back to the game, it was horrid. Gavin Floyd was brutal and the Sox couldn't hit some dude named Tyler Chatwood. I should have left after my third helping of lamb, turkey and roasted veggies.
Sunday was no better as Dan Haren made the boys look sick during a 4-2 loss as the Angels completed the sweep. Haren is having an outstanding start to the season, so I could forgive the offense for that display. It was the end of the home stand and a beginning of a long road trip. But they were going to Tampa, who were playing without Johnny Damon, Evan Longoria and Manny Ramirez. I figured 3/4 from the Rays was probable.
The Rays welcomed us by scoring 3 in the first off of Edwin Jackson, who looked so dominant on opening day, but hasn't been anything close to that since. That was all that was needed as David Price shut us out, giving us our 5th loss in a row. The next evening it was James Shields who received the now daily hat tip as the Rays won 2-1. The next evening, Wade Davis got in on the act as the Sox dropped another game 4-1. You could see the tracks of my tears after that one as the Sox lost their 7th straight. I debated taking one of my dogs xanax pills after that loss, as the Sox hit the ball hard and still only came up with one run. Finally we would end that terrible streak as the Sox offense arrived home from their week long vacation with 9 runs. I didn't even change the channel to American Idol like I did the evening before. All was right in the world.
Then Justin Verlander was on the mound. Three solo homers weren't enough as Mark Buehrle got beat up by the Tigers. I have to admit, this was the first game I missed that wasn't because I was at work. I went out with the wife and her friends for dinner. I agreed to do this sometime during the Tampa series because the offense was giving me an ulcer and the weather reports had it raining all evening, so I figured I could score some points and maybe not miss a game. I didn't miss much.
So here we sit at 8-12 through our first 20 games. I know its early and they are bound to run into a losing streak sometime throughout the season, but I am really depressed about this start. I thought we'd have a really good April, and would run into the eventual losing streak sometime in August. We are now 4 games below .500, 5.5 out of first, and now 2 behind the Tigers. Even the Twins, with all of their struggles and injuries are only a half game behind us.
I'm not a hockey fan, so the Blackhawks playoffs don't concern me at all. I used to be a Bulls fan in the mid 90s, but I have given up the sport. I stopped watching after Jordan hit the final shot of his Bulls career, and haven't been able to get back into it, even with this incredibly good Bulls season. I don't have any distractions. I sit here and wait for the Sox to start playing the way most of us thought they would and it hasn't happened yet. No, its not too late. But thats what we said last year.
* OK Carlos Quentin. You've earned a bye week. Even if you go 0-20 with 19 strikeouts I will refuse to mention it in my next column. After calling him out last week, Quentin was pretty much the only guy who wasn't sleeping in Tampa and hit two bombs tonight in Detroit. Keep it up.
* Gordon Beckham, wake up. This guy is starting to wear on me. I thought so highly of him after his rookie season that I probably put unrealistic Pedroian expectations on him. It is time that he starts hitting though. .213/.259/.347 is not a line you should be putting up. In one fantasy league I replaced him in the starting lineup for my guy Juan Uribe, who jazz-handed the Cubs on Friday afternoon!
* Alex Rios needs to be kicked in the ass too. I was a big Rios fan when he was in Toronto, and last year I thought he was very good. This year he is making my stomach churn, not only on offense, but defense as well. Every game I scratch my head and think "what in the hell is Rios doing out there"? Snap out of it numb nuts.
* Adam Dunn stated at Soxfest that he doesn't pick up a bat during the offseason. I figured "thats weird but whatever works". After watching him put up a .163/.293/.357 line thus far- I say next December go to the cages.
* As Jim pointed out yesterday, Mark Teahen has continued to be a pleasant surprise. I gave him a shout out last week, and it continued this week with not only decent offense, but a few nice plays on D as well. Keep it up.
* The innings have caught up to A.J. Pierzynski. He looks brutal behind the plate. Every time someone is stealing a base, he loses the ball during the exchange. He just looks old and slow behind the plate. That contract is going to sting next year.
* I have been OK with Philip Humber so far this year. He has kept the team in the game. You can't expect anymore from a guy that was picked up off of the scrap heap this offseason. He's looked passable.
* The bullpen looked pretty good this past week, of course they didn't have any opportunities to nail down a close game, so call me skeptical.
* I watch a lot of baseball. I have found a new favorite that has no Sox ties. Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata is a player. He's fast and has pretty good power. He also has some unfortunate marital issues. He joins teammate Andrew McCutchen and Nick Markakis in my All Non-White Sox outfield.
* Hopefully next week things will be back to sunshine and rainbows. Lets go get 2 in Detroit and 3 in New York.