If you know me well enough, you know that I live and die with the Chicago White Sox. One of the most deliriously happy days of my life was when they won the World Series in 2005. This season the team surpassed pre-season expectations by playing pretty well, grabbing on to first place in an admittedly weak division early in the season and holding on through the entire season ... until this past week.
The Sox should have been able to put it away this past week. The only team that was seriously challenging them for the division title was the Minnesota Twins and they were a few games behind them. All the Sox had to do was win more than half of their remaining games, win at least a couple of the head-to-head games against the Twins this week, and the season would end with the Sox on top of their division and we'd be looking forward now to the post-season, and possibly meeting the Chicago Cubs in a once-in-a-hundred years World Series.
Well, it ain't gonna happen. The Sox have just lost their third consecutive game against the Twins, who have overtaken them for first place. With less than a week left in the season, the Sox would have to win their three games against the Cleveland Indians, then the lowly Kansas City Royals would have to win at least a couple games against the Twins, in order for the Sox to get back into first place, end the season there and go on to the playoffs.
I am furious at the anemic play of the Sox these past couple weeks. Tonight, for example, even when they were winning, pitcher Matt Thornton came on in relief with men on the bases and two outs. The batter grounded to the shortstop, who flipped the ball to the second baseman, who then made an all-out effort to get the ball to first base and complete the double-play. The ball bounced in to first, but it didn't matter, because there were already two outs! The guys on the field for the Sox didn't even know how many outs there were! (with the exception of Thornton, who tapped his cap on the way in to the dugout, as if to say, 'wake up, dumbasses!'
Even though the Sox had a 6-1 lead at one point in tonight's game, the lead never seemed secure,m based on how the Sox have played lately and also how enthusiastically the Twins and their fans were reacting. These folks wanted it more than the Sox, they played with more heart and intensity than the Sox and they deserved this win, just like they deserve to be in first place and the Sox do not.
Twins fans, I'm happy for you. Sox, I wash my hands of you (at least until next spring). Now, on to hockey season!