A funny thing happened to the White Sox on their assumed way to the MLB playoffs and World Series...
The Sox forgot that they have to play the regular season. And win many of them.
Right now, the team is confused and dispirited.
Sox broadcasters are biting their tongues and protecting their pay checks by hyping the team like the Master of Ceremonies did aboard the Titanic.
Sox ticket salespeople are projecting how much revenue will be lost if the team continues its spiral into oblivion. And people don't show.
And Sox Nation? We are going through the famous Five Stages of Sox Grief.
First, Denial. We didn’t want to believe this was happening. Not this year. Not again. No, not during ‘Our’ Year.
Then, as the reality of this train-wreck of a season began to take hold in our thoughts, came Anger.
Oh no. Not again. We’ve getting steamed now. We’ve been put through mental and emotional torture for the last 17 years and we’re getting damn mad about it.
Next, we Bargain. Maybe the season can be salvaged. Maybe these guys will figure out how to play baseball again. Maybe The Closer will stop his drama-queen act on the mound and stop issuing gopher balls in closer-situations. Maybe the two-thirds of the Sox lineup that is each batting .175 will get some lucky hits and score some runs. You know, that trip around the bases that’s supposed to happen several times each game. It’s been so long... maybe they've forgotten which way to run the bases already. Maybe Sox players can learn to play at least three games in a row without hurting themselves and sitting for the next three months. You know, like the guys who used to play this game a generation and more ago. Pitchers who would go 12 innings and not complain. Hitters who would smash the ball and get on the train and do that again in the next town.
Then the next stop for Sox Nation? Depression. The weight of the disappointment begins to take its toll. We wonder why good things seem so hard for this franchise to achieve. We begin to fear that the next Chicago team to make the playoffs will be the one on the wrong side of Madison Street.
And finally.. Acceptance.
Well, it’s ‘just’ baseball. There are bigger things in Life. Yes there are, even though it doesn’t feel like that right now.
Life... and baseball... is a series of choices. A series of actions and lack of actions. A dedication to a cause, or lack of one. A game that’s won or lost on the field and not in some abstract realm of fog. Real guys pitching and getting guys out. Real guys hitting the ball instead of waving at it three times and sitting down again.
I’ve said it before... and I’ll say it again. There are two things that are great about this team and franchise.
One... that they play ball on the Great South Side of Chicago.
And Two... Sox fans. The best, most disappointed, most misunderstood, most ignored, and most disrespected fan base in all of baseball.
Life goes on. And one thing will always remain true.
One single Sox victory is worth more than all the other victories of all the other teams combined.
Now, if we could only get Sox players to begin to think like that...