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Outside Sox Park: Lifeless, Clueless

I haven't made it through many Sox games over the last couple weeks. I put on the iPod or just look out the window to let the anger fade. These guys give the impression that they've lost before they even start. The worst part is that all this ineptitude was completely unexpected (at least by this dumb fan.)

Before the 2010 season started, few gave that squad much chance of contending. They limped along for the first few months, then put together a hell of a hot streak before fading back to second place. It was a shame that they couldn't hang on and the late (and unnecessary) addition of an over-the-hill Manny Ramirez left a sour taste, but overall they exceeded expectations. Coming into this season, I don't know any Sox fan who didn't count on a lot more than what we've gotten so far.

All we can do is celebrate the bench players. Phil Humber has been fantastic. He one-hit the Yanks for seven innings in one of the very few games that the team showed anything resembling a pulse, then threw well enough to win against the Orioles only to see Matt Thornton come in and seal the loss.

Brent Lillibridge saved a sure defeat with a couple circus catches. He's also hit a couple home runs. That odd wide-eyed, jug-eared mug of his makes me smile. I don't know that the guy will ever be an everyday player but he sure has the desire, which is more than can be said of some of the more handsomely-compensated members of the Sox. One thing I took away from the split of the four-game set with the even more absurdly overpaid Yankees is that you really can't buy a winner. The team with the highest payroll in the league is depending on castoffs in the twilight of their careers to get by. If the Sox weren't on life-support themselves they would've swept that series without breaking a sweat.

The opinions of the cab-riding public isn't kind to the Sox either. A DePaul girl, hearing the Sox game on my radio, asked, "So how do you feel about your team being in last place?"

You can imagine my answer, but when she added, "The Cell sucks to drink at, that's why I'll always be a Cubs fan," I felt better about my team (even if that team never wins another game.)

An ancient pair leaving a gala at the Swissotel stated their dissatisfaction with many aspects of their evening: the food had been inedible, the organizers of the event should've been shot, and the Sox needed to fire their idiot manager.

When I countered that Ozzie couldn't hit, pitch, or catch for his charges, the old lady insisted, "He doesn't know what he's doing. But that's just my opinion."

I don't know how much longer this farce will continue, but something's gotta change. After Sunday's 6-4 loss to the Orioles, Ozzie said something about them at least being in the game, making it interesting in the late innings. At this point, I'd probably settle for competitive losses. May has to be kinder to them than April was.

lillibridge.jpgBrent Lillibridge by Dmitry Samarov (Enlarge)

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Dmitry Samarov brings you Outside Sox Park every Tuesday. You can also find his work at Hack and at dmitrysamarov.com. He welcomes your comments.


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