After getting swept by the hapless Cubs, reports are beginning to surface that a fire sale is now being planned for the Chicago White Sox that’ll make the Reds yearly reach-around look like the Mulder-Haren trade, as yet another season ends in ignominious failure. While some bastions of support still exist (generally within the prison population of Illinois) it’s understood that when your club is only a game and a half up on the Kansas City Royals, it’s time to give up the ship. This is a welcome development for most baseball fans, because despite winning a World Series in 2005, the Southsiders haven’t exactly become America’s team.
Outside of Internet phenom Jim Thome and the ever entertaining Ozzie Guillen, there isn’t a lot to like with this brand of White Sox. Ever since Jose Contreras was reunited with his family and was placed in a lower-pressure environment, the guy lost a lot of his good story and drawing power. Any team that values Scott Podsednik can’t be taken seriously, and the media blow-ups the team’s General Manager has with past players leave a bad taste in viewers’ mouths, since the world will remember Frank Thomas long after Kenny Williams is dead. Injuries abound with the 2007 club, and while almost none of it could have been planned or corrected, these kinds of things don’t happen to the Dallas Cowboys of the world. Unless of course you’re Michael Irvin.
The fact is, outside of a banner World Series victory in recent memory, the White Sox are probably one of the most wretched franchises that’s ever graced the national pastime. Before an 88 year championship drought was extinguished, they were even more pathetic than the Red Sox, but with far worse press coverage. Really, outside of providing misery for their own followers and fodder for the fans of other teams, the most notable thing about the CHW’s were those uniforms with the shorts, which were also some of the historically bad variety. Just like Rutgers football really has no place in the pantheon of great college teams, the White Sox don’t probably belong in the list of great teams and perennial contenders along with the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, A’s, and Dodgers. Ere go, this team was doomed from the start—it was written in the stars.
Now, does this mean things can’t get better? In a macro sense, yes. But good trades of essentially the entire team could put the White Sox in prime position to repeat some semblance of their 2005 success, provided the Twins, Indians, Tigers, and Royals, all get progressively worse as the years go by, and that has a pretty good chance of happening, right?
It’s time to revel in glorious schadenfreude, and outside of watching (VaJay)Jay Mariotti poking White Sox fans with a stick through his gilded cage, the greatest thing about the early demise of the White Sox are the wailings of the insidious Ken “the Hawk” Harrelson. If you are a person who believes in “goodness” and “truth” then Harrelson is almost certainly the Joesph Goebbels of a Major League Baseball organization. Not only during his announcing is he out-and-out rooting for the Southsiders, he tells outright lies to keep the fans entertained. Seeing Iraqi Information Minister Harrelson do the play-by-play for one of the league’s worst teams will bring delight to the millions of viewers who can actually see WGN.
Congratulations to the 2007 Chicago White Sox. For about the first month of the season, you guys hung in there pretty well. Unforunately, this would not be the case throughout the rest of the baseball year. The new rallying cry of your team will now be “Let’s not be worse than the Royals.” It’s an accomplishable goal, I think. Probably more so than winning another World Series this century, anyway.