Forgot baseball for a minute: In my 30-plus years of playing, watching and participating in sports. everything from Little League to rec basketball, flag football and anything else you can probably think of, I have never seen a team as absolutely putrid and pathetic as the 2023 Chicago White Sox.
Going from a near no-hitter to losing by 10 runs on Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Rays is just the latest and craziest example. I have never seen a team be so bad that it isn’t even comical, but dang near predictable at what the outcome will be.
Yes, the White Sox finally broke their 10-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon in dramatic fashion, with a 12-9 comeback victory, thanks to a seven-run, ninth inning rally. But it doesn’t drown out a very miserable month of April that has seen the White Sox finish 7-20 and have one of the worst starts in franchise history. They are entering May with an overall 8-21 record: For a team that was expected to at the very least be a contender for a fourth straight year in the dismal AL Central, they’re looking like anything but that, and not even winning one series, or back-to-back games.
The Sox were outscored 175-113 in the month of April by their opponents, losing by six or more runs in seven of those games, while giving up nine or more runs in six of those games. Anything that can go wrong for the Sox, seemed to go wrong, from basic fundamental mishaps to errors and just plain bad luck. Call it whatever you want, but the South Siders have played anything but up to par for most Little League teams, yet alone a Major League Baseball team.
One of the only bright spots over that time has been slugger,Jake Burger, with his team-leading seven home runs to go with 14 RBIs in 21 games. Ironically enough, Burger replaced the injured Yoán Moncada, who was off to one of his best starts off his career with a .308/.325/.564 slash line to go with two homers and five RBIs in nine games.
Yes, the White Sox did look slightly better in their win yesterday afternoon against the Rays and are expected to get team leader, Tim Anderson, back tomorrow from his rehab assignment for an important series against longtime division rivals, Minnesota, who currently lead them by nine games in the division. But if they expect to compete at all and look like a competent Major League Baseball team — let alone compete for a division title — they are going to need to look more like that fun and energetic bunch we’ve seen them be in 2020 and that we’ve also seen before the All-Star break in 2021.
Yes, home runs are good, and this team has plenty of players that can hit them. But the Sox are going to need to focus more on fundamentals like base running, stealing, moving runners over, situational hitting and good clean defense if they expect to still compete and not make themselves and their fans look like a laughingstock
I know things most likely wouldn’t change, even if the team continues to play as bad as it has, because we all know how Jerry Reinsdorf is as the owner of the team. But if the Sox do continue to play this way, Rick Hahn, Ken Williams and other top brass in the front office need to be fired.
Yes, the players are one of the reasons for how bad the team has started this season, but it can’t be all put on them, and accountability needs to start from the top of the team. Whether that will actually happen and this team actually turns things around, hopefully we’ll see this franchise find a way to compete for at least one, if not multiple championships again in our lifetimes.