Happy Monday, White Sox fans. It's about to heat up in Chicago, and if you're looking to stay cool, you can hitch your wagon to the ice-cold White Sox, who couldn't keep the momentum of yesterday's win.
Tonight's series opener at home against the Mariners became sour so abruptly that I felt like I was being punished. Have you ever reached for the remote to change the channel and save your poor soul from witnessing the White Sox carnage but then remember you're doing game coverage, as your laptop is open in front of you, so you watch every second of the game, against your better judgment? Me neither.
Our innocent hearts initially delighted at the sight of Touki Toussaint on the mound, who, before tonight, had 26 strikeouts over a four-game span. Although Touki has one of the least punchable faces on the team right now, the pain he felt in that first inning was palpable, and his face didn't become punchable but pitiable. I can't remember the last time I saw a first inning so disastrous, and our starting pitcher isn't the only one at fault.
After walking the first two batters of the game, Touki gave up a base hit, followed by a wild pitch that led to the Mariner's first run. It was 2-0 before Toussaint got the first out, and it only got worse from there.
"Ugh, this is such a long game!"
That groaning voice was mine, and I realized I was shouting into the ether and only in the middle of the first inning. That sums up what it's like to be a White Sox fan this season.
That disastrous inning saw ten Mariners batters, five runs, four walks, two White Sox errors, and over 40 pitches from Toussaint. To the shock of many, Touki remained in the game and pulled it together, regaining control and even having a couple of quick, buttoned-up innings.
The White Sox answered with one run from a swift Elvis Andrus double, followed by an RBI double off the bat of Eloy Jiménez, who's back in the lineup after a short paternity leave. All was steady and still competitive until Touki fell apart again in the fifth inning, giving up back-to-back home runs in the fifth before being pulled.
One of those dingers was hit by resident donger Cal Raleigh, who would hit another off Brent Honeywell, Jr. in the eighth, with a ridiculous six RBIs in the game. There's no doubt the Mariners came in smoking hot, and against a team still in playoff contention, the White Sox had their work cut out for them. The Mariners are still the hottest team in baseball, with the win tonight their seventh in a row.
Luis Robert Jr. makes it look so easy! pic.twitter.com/7cqQoxQo9o— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 22, 2023
Aside from an outstanding catch at the wall by Luis Robert, Jr., which all but knocked his earring out after he hit the padding, and some late-inning heroics by Oscar Colás, the White Sox offense was dead. The game ended with barely a contest, and the Mariners swept the floor with the White Sox, 14-2.
This inordinate out-scoring has been a story all season. The White Sox run differential after tonight sits at a disturbing -120. Don't hold your breath for a team with one of the easiest remaining schedules to get better because the White Sox have a rough couple of weeks ahead. They're not off again until next Thursday, after the three-game series in Baltimore. Ten of their next 13 games are at home, and two of those games this week, Wednesday during the peak of the heat against the Mariners and Thursday for the series opener against the A's, will be played in an intense heat wave. It would be easy to say that the A's series will be a lay-up, but it won't. The White Sox were obliterated by the Rockies and did too much too late for the last game of the series. We like to believe that statistically worse teams are already in the bag, but that's not true with this White Sox team.
The truth is bleak. The White Sox are on pace for 97 losses this season, but no one will be surprised if they make it to 100. That's almost unbelievable when thinking of the highs of a couple of seasons ago, which now feel like ages in the past. The iconic Field of Dreams game may as well be a decade ago because neither the White Sox nor the Yankees look like the same team. Both teams have a 26-40 record (before today) since June 1st, and neither were shot down in a blaze of glory. Each team will finish with losing records this season, but there's one thing the Yankees have that the White Sox are in danger of losing.
If you've read the news today, you've undoubtedly seen Crain's Chicago Business report about Jerry Reinsdorf considering selling or moving the White Sox. This isn't a rumor rag, this is a business publication, and although Reinsdorf has threatened a move in the past and hasn't followed through, there may be some possibility of that coming true this time.
Regarding Reinsdorf selling the team, we could wish for no greater thing as White Sox fans. One alleged interested party, the Ishbia brothers, have their company headquartered in Chicago, one of them just broke ground on a new North Shore mega mansion, and they're part majority owner of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury. Their interest in building their successful empire would spell success for the White Sox, especially considering that all the moves Reinsdorf has made have been solely selfish and predicated upon how many millions the city will give him to fund the team he gives zero shits about.
As for moving the team, it's the worst move, and I don't need to list the reasons. A business-minded person needs only to look at the numbers. The only move the White Sox should ever make would be to see the dream of Armour Field come to fruition. That's how you grow the fanbase without alienating them. That's how you build up your community.
With the lease being up in six years and Reinsdorf's clear indifference to winning, anything can happen at this point, but his words should be taken with a grain of salt. As White Sox fans, we can only take it one day at a time. There's no need to fret because we're South Siders. We come from the city of broad shoulders because of all these burdens we bear upon them. The White Sox belong to the South Side, and it to them, and I refuse to give up being a White Sox fan unless they move the team. So I'll take the -120 run differential, the projected 100 losses, and the shitty management as long as I don't have to root for the Cubs. Nothing's worse than the Cubs.
Except for that one time we were almost the Florida White Sox.
Who was the White Sox MVP?
This poll is closed
Eloy Jiménez : 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, .040 WPA
Elvis Andrus: 2-for-5, .024 WPA
The fans for having to endure this torture
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Luis Robert Jr.: 0-for-3, -.043 WPA
Touki Toussaint: 4 IP, 7 H, 7 R, -.367 WPA
Jerry Reinsdorf for owning this team