Can’t you feel it? The thrill of reaching 100 losses in just about upon us!
With a 58-95 record after losing two out of three to the woeful Nationals, the White Sox need only lose five more games to make the magic number. With nine games left, against the Red Sox, Diamondbacks and Padres, the chances are absolutely terrific!
Not only that, but they can’t get beyond 98 losses this weekend in Boston, so they should reach that most famous of baseball depths at home, where fans can join the celebration, maybe even have that parade Rick Hahn liked to talk about.
Ah, 100, 100, 100! What a magical number it is. It’s the very core of the decimal system, of course, but its importance swells beyond that, beyond even being the basis of the metric system, adopted by every country in the world except the major powers of Liberia, Myanmar and the USA (although we should point out that even the luddite U.S. no longer relies on measurements based on the length of forearms or the weight of seeds and stones, at least not directly).
How much easier it is to see a failed season if a team loses 100 games, what with the extra column to the left! Neither 98 nor 99 stick out, but 100 does, which is why it’s easy to see that the White Sox haven’t lost 100 games since, uh, well, five years ago, while the Yankees, Dodgers and Cardinals haven’t managed to hit three figures in losses in more than a century. Fie on them! We may not achieve much else, but we’ve got them slaughtered in 100-loss seasons!
It’s a number noted in many sports, from the 100-yard (now meter) dash to the countdown to 100 in college basketball slaughters or the fame of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game that a couple million people claim to have seen even though it was in a tiny arena in Hershey, Pa., or the 100-yard football field and the running back having a 100-yard game or a cricket batsman hitting a century (speaking of hitting a century, that’s the age milestone that gets a presidential birthday card, too!).
Think of 100 in the arts! Sure, the most famous instance is the noted musical masterpiece “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall,” but there’s everything from “100 Years of Solitude,” which propelled Gabriel Garcia Márquez to the Nobel Prize, to the Billboard Hot 100 to the Top 100 Films of the 20th Century to Peter, Paul and Mary’s “500 Miles” with its refrain of seemingly endless “100 miles” lines.
Those don’t refer to 97 years of solitude or 94 miles or the Billboard Hot 87. No, sirree ... 100 it is.
And then there’s Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s famed line “Into the valley of death road the 600,” granted a multiple, but it’s not “rode the 578” or even “670” despite the fact it really was 670 British cavalrymen who made a suicide charge against 25,000 Russian troops in the Crimean War of 1854, that war a precursor to current events, but who knew?
Which brings us to history. These days, the media insist on evaluating a president or governor’s first 100 days, but there was the Hundred Years’ War between England and France, so-called despite actually lasting from 1337 to 1453 and leaving 100 in the dust. Napoleon had his famed Hundred Days in power his last go at it, which was really 110 days, and there was the 100 Days Offensive that the Allies called their final push of WW I, even though it only ran 95 days.
No such fudging of 95 up to 100 for our White Sox, though. They’re going to do us proud and make it all the way to 100 honestly. They could get a good start of the big achievement against Chris Sale and the Red Sox this Friday night. And should they somehow stall out at 99 despite the Diamondbacks being in the heat of a wild card race, regular rotation would have them close out the season against Blake Snell, whom the Padres are likely to let pitch because he’s in a Cy Young battle.
One hundred losses! It’s doable! It’s probable! Don’t leave us in the lurch without a cause for celebration, White Sox! We know you can do it!