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The White Sox Report

By Andrew Reilly

Pre-season football is underway, and not a moment too soon. Not that I'm an especially avid Bears fan, but every second of airtime, every inch of newsprint and every pixel of internet real estate that once set its crosshairs on White Sox baseball can now be focused on more pressing concerns like what some other team in some other sport might achieve. To anyone still invested in the 2009 White Sox, this is a good thing: if they tank the season, no one will notice; if they pull off the "miracle" rally to the playoffs, we can all celebrate their grindiness and general ability to never give up or whichever cliche folks latch on to this time around.

Because by now, 118 games into the season, what possible reason could anyone have to think there's something great just waiting to happen? Has even one act of greatness gone unpunished? One fit of brilliance not matched by some stretch of total slop? One minute they're stomping on the class of the league, the next they're coughing up series' to the likes of the Mariners.

They can't win, even though they usually do just that, amassing a body of work beyond good and bad, not even just being non-spectacular but actually falling into a pattern of being absolutely nothing at all.

They're in it, but they can't do anything about it; they're not out of it, but they might as well be.

Meanwhile on the South Side of Chicago, Freddy Garcia will start Tuesday, Jose Contreras can't find the form he had earlier in the year and the Sox are going to need a lot of offensive firepower from Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye. It's as though 2006 never ended, 2007 never happened and 2008 never laid the blueprint for the sputtering non-baseball that followed. If the Sox fail to repeat as division champions, history says the Bears are due to take the NFC. Believe.

Or, alternately, don't. Whatever.

Week in Review: Surrender a series, take a series. As it was, so it shall be.

Week in Preview: A six-game homestand against the Royals and Orioles, two teams whose collective mediocrity hint at a rough week for the Team of Destiny.

The Q Factor: His numbers down since his triumphant return, the world waits in fear and awe for Carlos Quentin to lay waste to the rest of the American League, the corpses of his rivals stacked into a pile pointing towards the sun. When asked Thursday about his low batting average, Quentin fixed his gaze on the horizon and responded "All shall be revealed when all must be revealed. Now is the time for reflection, not for action; measure my work not by numbers but by the trail of dead left in its wake."

That's Ozzie!: "Jose did not pitch a good game." - the Sox skipper reflects on the latest in a string of Contreras-led disasters.

The Guillen Meter: Following yet another unproductive week, the Guillen Meter reads 5.1 for "just a touch over .500."

Underclassmen Update: We have seen the future of White Sox pitching and it is Freddy Garcia. But after that, and after Jake Peavy, it might be Daniel Hudson, last seen in Charlotte taking names to the tune of 240 strikeouts in 204 innings.

Alumni News You Can Use: Former White Sox outfielder/point of contention Brian Anderson was called up by the Boston Red Sox Saturday, playing eight strong innings of one-hit, scoreless ball in his BoSox debut.

Hawkeroo's Can-O-Corn Watch: If Royals pitcher Zack Greinke stands on the mound while Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis sets up at bat, does a Hawk make a sound?

Endorsement No-Brainer: D.J. Carrasco for Swiffer: drop that mop!

Cubs Snub: Regarding beer-tossing, fittingly-attired suburbanite Johnny Macchione, Cubs chairman Crane Kenney offered some reassurance, saying "If you think about how many years we've gone with no issues of any kind, including situations where we had our fans in some way animated about our own players, where they weren't favorable towards them - so this is an isolated instance."

For those keeping score at home, the "number of years" to which Kenney refers equals two. Other isolated incidents at Wrigley include the 2006 garbage riot, 19 Los Angeles Dodgers fighting Cubs fans in the stands and the great-grandaddy of them all, bond trader and bullfighter extraordinaire Mr. John Murray. Best fans in baseball, folks. Best fans in baseball.

Fantasy Fix: Neckbeard versus Mike MacDougal.

The White Sox Report: Read 'em all.

The Cub Factor: Know your enemy.

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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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