Since my column last week, I have been put on an emotional roller coaster as far as my favorite baseball team is concerned. The White Sox tend to affect my life way more than they probably should. When they are playing good, I am in a spectacular mood. When things are going poorly, I'm not very fun to be around. My wife thinks I'm a nut, which may be true, but I have a feeling that some of you have the same issues.
Back in 1969, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross came up with The Five Stages of Grief. The stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I have hit all 5 stages when it comes to the Sox in the last 7-10 days.
Denial — "I feel fine."; "This can't be happening, not to me."
Although I knew it wasn't all fine, I felt the Sox had a pretty good shot at winning this division when they departed for Detroit on September 2nd. "If only we could take 2/3 or sweep them in Detroit, the lead will be cut and the Sox will finally make their run". Of course, this is after the pathetic effort against the Twins on 8/31. The Sox would lose the first game to Justin Verlander, but it wasn't the end of the world for me as I felt if they won the series we still had a good chance to finally overtake Detroit.
Anger — "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; '"Who is to blame?"
Denial quickly turned into anger after the White Sox blew an 8-1 lead last Saturday. When Miguel Cabrera launched his walk off homer that essentially ended the White Sox pennant chase for 2011, it was easy to place blame. Kenny Williams, Ozzie Guillen, Gavin Floyd, Sergio Santos and I think I even placed some blame on Mitch Williams.
Bargaining — "I'll do anything for a few more years."; "I will give my life savings if..."
Sunday morning, I woke up and even though I was still angry I thought maybe if they can pull out one win, it wouldn't be so bad. We would have only been one game worse than we were coming into the series. If we could THEN go on the evasive hot streak we could get back in the race and maybe pull it out in a game 163. This was an irrational thought as I knew they were done, but I refused to accept it.
Mark Buehrle then went out and got absolutely clobbered (as did any other pitcher Ozzie called upon), and after an 18-2 shellacking, the Tigers sweep was complete and the Sox dropped to 8.5 out.
Depression — "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; What's the point?"; "I miss my loved one, why go on?"
After that Sunday beating, I moved on to the depression stage. I found it hard to watch the games that came after. Even when Zach Stewart was knocking down multiple Twin batters, it was still tough to watch. The Sox played a pretty good series in Minnesota and then took game one here vs. Cleveland, but instead I was watching wrestling, football and basically anything else to make me forget the White Sox. Of course I still checked into this site to see if I missed anything important, but not nearly as often as usual.
Acceptance — "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it."
My dad couldn't use his tickets for last nights game vs. the Indians but he offered to have my mom watch the kids if my wife and I wanted to go. I have to be honest, I didn't really care to go but figured it would be nice to get out with the wife without the kids as those opportunities are far and few between. As I sat there, I realized I still love these bums that broke my heart. The sun went down earlier, the weather was a little cooler, the hopes of the postseason were long gone, but you know what? It was still a baseball game. And even though we got our asses smacked again, it was a hell of a lot better than no baseball at all. Sometime around the New Year, I would give about anything to sit out at the Cell and watch a game no matter what the outcome is. That is what I did tonight, and even though the results sucked, it wasn't all that bad.