What a total joy ride this month has been for fans of the Chicago White Sox. I only wish someone had warned me to buckle up! Or did I need to strap it down, in this case? Maybe a simple bracing for impact. Or a prescription.
I kid, of course. The Sox are bad, but I am not even flirting with a ledge yet. I’m not one of those losers in the gamethreads, lamenting over every single R left ISP. I am a loser in the gamethread, I’m just not lamenting about our predictably bad team being bad. That’s like walking into a slaughterhouse tour, and yelling at the guide cuz you wore white shoes.
As we all know, the 2018 baseball season commenced in the cursed month of March; on the 29th, which was the earliest Opening Day in major league baseball history. Not cool, for the sun-loving stallions on the South Side. Not cool, in a most non-literal sense.
Much of America was still shoveling snow through mid-April, despite the crocuses and swallows returning to Capistrano. <insert obligatory global warming-denying quip here>. I can’t personally recall ever having an entire weekend of baseball postponed due to snow, but now that I’ve lived through it, I consider it to be the very definition of a tragedy.
Blaming March for the White Sox woes is obviously silly. Especially since the Sox went undefeated in March — those two games were a rowdy good romp! There was a time in space that the 2018 White Sox were the only AL team without a loss! I have a screen shot to prove it.
In fact, the first month of White Sox baseball (26 games played, with three pushed into the less-snowy future), was book-ended by flashes of competence in Kansas City. Seven Sox games have been played at Kauffman, accounting for five of eight total Sox wins to date. If only they could take that show on the road! Or back home, even.
Everything in between KC stints was difficult to watch. Three wins were spread across the other six complete series played, and the Sox were clean swept in half of those series (Detroit, Oakland, and Houston).
Perhaps the greatest of lowlights came in the form of the Chicago home opener vs Detroit, on April 5. The Sox blew a 7-4 lead in the ninth inning (most of it after two outs) and went on to lose in the 10th, which I’m sure the attending fans appreciated, having spent several hours sitting in 35 degrees and snow. Whatever glimmer of completely unwarranted hope I still had lying around from a week earlier (see: March), went straight out the window with that game. Reality’s a helluva drug.
As most of you know, I write this from the West Coast. Not the sunny part where pretty people live out their dreams, but the dreary place that takes pride in suicide. So while the Midwest was being blanketed in April snow, our pollen count was rising by the minute, atmospheric pressure increasing throughout the month, until I found myself in a full-blown post-nasal nightmare just in time for the Mariners series.
Interesting and fitting that my suffering climaxed the final week of April, right after the Astros had their way, and my symptoms began to improve when the Sox landed back in Kansas City. I hardly relate the two things.
All misery aside, there is certainly something to be said for having low expectations. The way I see it, we are experiencing a rare stress-free brand of baseball right now. Sure, it’s nice to see Yoan Moncada warming up and catch glimpses of what could and may well someday be. But overall I feel relatively impervious to baseball-related letdowns this year, and I view that as a little bonus. I’m embracing this nonchalance for all it’s worth, before we’re set up with real hope (rife with real disappointment) in the near future.
So hey, let’s play May!
Some quick hits to summarize the White Sox performance, in April 2018:
- Somewhere on the scale between fun-bad and pathetic
- Moderately maddening
- Inconsistently charming
- Averse to winning at home
- In bullpen, we do not trust
- Avi gonna Avi
- Somehow not last place in the AL Central
- Matt Davidson, new part-time owner of Kauffman Stadium
- Reynaldo Lopez, winless ace of staff. Will he be our new Quintana?
Full image of calendar: