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Funeral For A Friend

So.

They lost in spectacular fashion to a superior team, which we all kind of knew would happen so, you know, no big deal.

They then lost in equally spectacular fashion to a supposedly inferior team - one now closing in on second place, mind you - but no one cared so, again, no big deal.

But heading into the last road trip of the wretched season we all knew it would be (and don't let an inflated win total fool you, this will go down as one of the greats, at least where lost seasons go) we should probably look for what rays of sunshine we can.

Maybe Mark Buehrle will finally deliver his long overdue third no-hitter, or we'll get a surprise return from Jake Peavy in stealth middle relief (watch those programs for new call-up "Jakerino Peavicino"!), or Omar Vizquel will start launching missiles all the way to his milestone career 100th home run.

At the very least, we can go on and relax now. No need to worry about those big, bad jerks from Minnesota coming to town to beat the Good Guys at their own game. No more shaming at the hands of the Royals, Rangers, Orioles, Blue Jays, Yankees, Tigers, Indians, and whoever else knows how to follow up a breaking ball in the dirt to a Sox batter with a six-run inning because you know what? There's only shame when you have pride and these Sox, well, they've been pretty well past that point for some time. The only thing left to lose is a handful of baseball games, and that is such a beautiful feeling I almost want to cry.

Almost.

Really though, it's probably best to just brace ourselves for a whole lot of the same nothing we've seen all along. Expect offensive shortcomings. Shaky pitching. Questionable defense. Suspect managerial decisions. Unpromising prospects earning every decimal of those bottom-end rankings. You want to know something else? Having nothing means we suddenly at least have a whole lot of nothing to root for . . . which we all kind of knew we would by now so, well, you get the idea.

Week in Review: Fatal. Suffer a death blow at the hands of the Twins, then watch the Tigers throw dirt on the grave for yet another winless week.

Week in Preview: Almost. The Sox' final road trip of 2010 starts with three in Oakland and ends with three against the Los Angeles Anaheim Angels Of Anaheim And Several Beaches Including Redondo, Venice, Hermosa, And Newport, As Well As Certain Annexed Lots Within The City Limits Of Oxnard And Casa Conejo.

Hawkeroo's Can-O-Corn Watch: "Now, you look at what our Sox have done this year, what with losing the Jakemeister who was pitching for a Cy Young Award when he went down, Carlos just hitting out of this world, Paulie having the best season by any American League player in a long time, with these great players Kenny Williams has brought aboard, Mark Kotsay coming through with so many big hits, with the way the Twins have clawed their way to the top, you look at how we've been treated by some of the officiating crews - I won't say who, but we all know who - and through all that, now, you can say the Yankees have won more games, and you'd be right. And the Twins have, certainly, and the Rangers and maybe a couple other teams. But you look at a pure talent level, in terms of who is playing the most baseball, our Sox are the best team in the league this year, bar none. And that's something that's true every year, is that there are two kinds of teams, there are the teams that win baseball games, and there are the teams that are better at playing baseball, and our Sox have been better at both of those than any team that's come through this season, without a doubt, and that's going to help them in a big way when it's time for these playoffs."

Gordon Beckham Hall of Fame Update: Career OPS versus Oakland Athletics, Gordon Beckham: .745. Career OPS versus Oakland Athletics, Rickey Henderson: .724. Advantage: Beckham.

Alumni News You Can Use: Former White Sox pitching prospect Daniel Hudson threw another combined fourteen stellar innings against both a winner and a loser for someone else's team this past week. In perhaps an even crueler twist of ironic fate, Hudson's name was revealed as being bandied about in earlier talks for helping his former employer land a real monster of a bat. The White Sox Report throws up its hands in disgust.

The "H" in "DH" Stands For: "Home run," as Manny Ramirez has finally hit more for the Sox this year than Jake Peavy. Watch yourself, Lillibridge: Manny's eyeing you through a sniper scope.

The Q Factor: . . . , he thinks. . . . . Sometimes mere words do not suffice.

The Guillen Meter: The 2010 season effectively over yet the lineup still full of second-rate veteran bench players, the Guillen Meter reads 24 for "You want me to let the kids play? Play your own !@#$ing kids."

Endorsement No-Brainer: Eric Cartman for the post-elimination leg of White Sox baseball: "Screw you guys, I'm going home."

Cubs Snub: And now, The New York Times presents office decorating tips from the great Nancy Faust.

The White Sox Report: Read 'em all.

The Cub Factor: It's funny because it's true.

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The White Sox Report welcomes your comments.

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Andrew Reilly is the managing editor of The 35th Street Review and a contributor to many fine publications.

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