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On the White Sox, the AL Central, and "deserving" a playoff spot

The end is drawing near. Where will the White Sox be standing when the curtain draws closed?

Stephen Dunn - Getty Images

Oh, hello there. It's been a while since I've occupied this space. An honest, and unintentional, one month hiatus. My longest since becoming part of the staff. Lackluster baseball combining with my muse leaving (and my actual muse leaving) don't make for a good combo. The White Sox aren't the only thing scuttling right now, but unlike our offense I'm starting to show signs of life again. And I've decided to use that to get something off my chest.

Have the Sox played well lately? No. Nothing even close to it. But neither have the Tigers. The White Sox are the heavier corpse rolling ever so slightly faster down the hill. But for whatever reason, there is some sort of lunatic fringe assembling that have decided that the White Sox don't deserve to make the playoffs. This is to be expected from the national media types. But our own fanbase?

Now would be the time where I should/would find a way to sneak in a link to the end scene from Unforgiven or the homage to it from the Wire. But we've all gone to that well far too many times. It's like buying flowers to apologize a week after buying flowers to cheer someone up. Somewhere along the line it loses its effectiveness. But I'm rambling.

Why exactly do the Tigers deserve to win the division more than the White Sox? Because they have a higher payroll? Because they have both an MVP candidate and a Cy Young one as well? Because they were supposed to win the division? I'm sorry, but that's just crap.

The AL Central is a weak division yet again this year. It was last summer and will be again next summer. That's just the way it is. It's weird and it's shitty but for whatever reason that just seems to be how this goes. The AL East stays strong, the AL West fluctuates, and the AL Central does its best impression of the flyover country that surrounds it.

I just don't understand why White Sox fans necessarily view this so negatively. Who cares if the team sneaks into the playoffs with fewer than 90 wins? Are 88 wins really that much more palatable than 85 or 86 if they both lead to a division crown?

This time last year the team fell apart. In unrelated incidents, I started unraveling as well. Go back to the archives and read what I wrote last summer in August and September. The 2012 version of the team isn't dead. The manager, while learning on the job and making stupid mistakes, isn't checked out and buying bright pastel-colored shirts for his next town. There is an honest chance that the White Sox will make the playoffs for the first time since 2008. We're about a month away from being without baseball for half a year again.

Try to remember how excited you were about the season starting, even though we weren't supposed to compete. I woke up to watch that boring A's vs. Mariners tilt in Japan. I celebrated by making Chicago-style hot dogs for breakfast when the ladyfriend woke up in the middle of the game. I'll be sitting by myself on that same futon when the season ends.

It's baseball. It's supposed to be fun. Cheer up. You'll be missing it again soon enough.

It's good to be back. I missed the words flowing out of my hands. Thank you all.