The White Sox return home to Chicago after flirting with the longest winless road trip in franchise history. They lost the first nine games of a 10-game jaunt through Boston, New York and Baltimore before taking the finale of a four-game set against the Orioles on Sunday.
Mistakes -- ugly, embarrassing, and some downright inexplicable -- tied the losses together, and Robin Ventura told the media that they might happen over the last month:
"You're going to have some (mistakes) toward the end here with having young guys," Ventura said. "Trying to make plays, that's part of them coming up. They have to learn, and sometimes that's going to happen. You have to be able to teach as you go along.
"There is a certain amount (of patience) that has to be there for the younger guys, maybe not so much for the guys who have been here."
It wasn't just younger players committing brain farts -- everybody got involved, in every facet of the game. I started itemizing them for bookkeeping, figuring I'd GIF some for educational purposes. But the mistakes were too costly and too varied, from missing cutoff men to bad reads on the basepaths to a loss of control, and they had major problems with throws to second.
So rather than weigh your page load times with GIFs, I assembled them into a montage. Then I decided it needed music. Then I had the idea that, if Ventura and his staff are looking to shame his players without calling them out, they could sneak in a different pregame video while opening the homestand tonight against Detroit.
(Note: This doesn't include every single misplay. For instance, there's a Paul Konerko fielding error that's unaccounted for, as it was a tough play for him and didn't fit with the aesthetic theme. But even with an omission or two for timing, the amount is still staggering.)
1. Communication breakdown between Alejandro De Aza, Gordon Beckham and Avisail Garcia. No error.
2. Bases-loaded walk by Hector Santiago on five pitches.
3. Paul Konerko gets caught in between third and home on a grounder to the left side, tagged out on a no-throw rundown.
4. De Aza misses the cutoff man, allowing a runner to advance from first to second.
5. De Aza misses the cutoff man, allowing a runner to advance from first to second.
6. Conor Gillaspie loses the ball on a diving catch attempt in his attempt to get the runner at third, then fires wildly to first in his attempt to get the runner there. Error.
7. De Aza overruns a single when rushing a pickup for a throw home, allowing the runner to take second. Error.
8. Gillaspie is unable to come up with a diving stab down the third-base line, then can't come up with his first or second attempts to pick it up. Not an error of any sort, because he wouldn't have had a play, but the helplessness foreshadowed doom.
9. Josh Phegley drops a pop-up. Error.
10. Adam Dunn fires wide on his attempt to get a runner at second. Error.
11. Beckham can't come up with a difficult backhanded play up the middle, but gives up an extra base when he slips during his attempt to retrieve it, kicking it farther away from the infield. Error.
12. Gillaspie bobbles a routine chopper that would have ended the inning. Error.
13. Two bad throws allow the Yankees to swipe home on a double steal. No error.
14. Alexei Ramirez is doubled off third base on a soft liner to a drawn-in infield, ending a scoring threat.
15. Erik Johnson fields Ichiro Suzuki's jamshot back to the mound, but his soft throw short-hops Jeff Keppinger at first and allows Suzuki to reach. Error.
No miscues of note.
16. Beckham loses the ball while applying a tag on a stolen base attempt. Error.
17. Phegley's throw on a stolen-base attempt ends up in center field. Error on Phegley, but not a great effort by Beckham since he had no chance to apply a tag on time.
18. Phegley's ill-advised pickoff throw to second is well wide of the bag, allowing the runner to take third. Error.
19. Leury Garcia can't corral a spinner. Error.
20. Gillaspie leaps to snag a high bouncer, but his throw sails wide and bounces into the crowd for an error.