Is it too late to go back and trade everyone after that Atlanta series?
I’m joking, I’m joking.
Let’s start with the good news: Coming into today, 12 MLB teams trailed their division leader by a greater deficit than the White Sox!
The bad news: None of those 12 teams trailed a division leader just two games better than .500.
But if the Twins are the the absolute model of mediocrity, what does that make the 2023 Chicago White Sox?
Alright, alright, no more negativity, let’s get back to some good news.
It only took one pitch in this game to launch the White Sox into a rare, early lead! Made even rarer by the fact it came off the bat of an Andrew Benintendi homer!!!
Some bad news, though, three balls in play on four Lance Lynn pitches instantly erased that early lead.
Sloppy defense by Elvis Andrus cost the White Sox at least two outs, as both runners ultimately scored on Twins home runs, the second of which broke a Byron Buxton 0-for-26 streak.
Death, taxes and Buxton …— SoxNerd (@SoxNerd) July 22, 2023
Welp, I’m all out of good news.
The first inning in Minnesota was endemic of the 2023 White Sox season: Sloppy defense, walks, homers, and crooked numbers. The Sox came into this last-ditch effort of a series 26th in the league in homers given up (135), 29th in walks allowed (385), and 29th on defense according to FanGraphs.
The Sox have been outhomered by their opponents, 139-109. I know 30 homers doesn’t sound like a lot on paper, but remember the walks and the bad defense I was just mentioning?
There is nothing about the current construction of the roster that gives hope that this Sox team should be winning more games than they lose. And that is not something you should be saying about a team in it’s “contention window.”
I find myself growing more desperate by the game for something about this mess of an organization to latch onto.
Luis Robert Jr.’s season has certainly been revelatory, but when we are left staring down the barrel of another rebuild, it really starts to feel hollow. Will Luis even be here the next time the White Sox field a truly competitive roster? (What would the Astros’ best offer for Luis look like? Just for curiosity’s sake.)
Another Buxton homer, followed eight pitches later by a Ryan Jeffers bullpen blast, and it’s 7-1, Twins, after four innings.
I can’t believe the White Sox are doing this and on the day of Andrew Benintendi’s second homer.— Chrystal (@chrystal_ok) July 22, 2023
Tim Anderson ticked up his rock-bottom trade value with an RBI single, and I am disconcerted over what it is we are even supposed to be rooting for when watching this team.
At this point, any positive outcome for at least half this squad has more to do with how many, or the quality of, the lottery ticket we may or may not get back in a trade.
Are we seriously left with nothing to root for except Rick Hahn and his laundry basket, sitting smiling at the poker table, sliding his paltry and uneven stack of chips to the middle?
Eloy Jiménez catapulted a long single off the left-field wall, Yasmani Grandal’s knee feels well enough to deposit a ball into the right-center bleachers. Somewhere a GM wonders if he should up his bet another high-A player, or not.
That’s my catcher well until he’s traded next week pic.twitter.com/j7ObIe8Sj5— White Sox UK (@WhiteSox_UK) July 22, 2023
It’s one thing for a team to be bad, or hurt, or hurt and bad. But, this?
Jake Burger with the Golden Sombrero. His trade value has taken a beating since Atlanta.
The 2023 White Sox are the kind of team that surpasses the bounds of bad, and forcing you as a fan to no longer view the team in terms of players and personality, but as a set of assets to be used, or discarded; personally, I hate it.
Baseball joy is built around personality and competition, falling in love with the players who play for your favorite team.
This iteration of the White Sox baseball club has very little remaining of anything I would refer to as “joy.”
And as if on cue, Zach Remillard, an infielder playing the outfield, muffed an easy catch that should have ended the eighth.
Another walk follows.
Both runs come around to score.
It’s 9-4, Twins.
Rinse and repeat.
I just really don’t know what to root for anymore, and I certainly can’t tell you what you should be rooting for.
I do know the White Sox move to a season-worst 10 games behind first-place Minnesota with tonight’s loss, and back to 17 games worse than .500.
Baseball should be fun. Rooting to be blessed by the trade package gods isn’t fun. In fact, there is nothing less fun than rooting for your GM more than the team on the field. But here we are.
Let’s just hope Rick doesn’t lose his shirt.
Just wonder who he’s flipping off… pic.twitter.com/uvIEnE37Es— Section 108 (@fromthe108) July 22, 2023