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By Andrew Reilly
You could almost swear the Sox don't really want to take the division. You know in your heart they do, but you have to wonder sometimes if maybe Sox players see the likely Death At The Hands Of The Yankees outcome of a theoretical ALDS as not being worth the so-called effort required to get there. How else to explain the reluctance to win easy games, or the general folding under the pressure of playing the absolute nobodies who come to town these days?
There is still some encouragement to be found in the competition, some solace in the fact that while the Sox haven't gained any ground for a month, they haven't lost any either. But that line of thinking is dangerous: what we're rooting for is not for the Sox to win, just for them not to lose. Our collective devotion risks spiraling into a weird, Hawk Harrelsonian abyss of counterlogic and anti-cheering, and any season predicated on the idea of "as long as they can be less bad" is surely doomed.
So now, with just over a month left, the Sox find themselves in the awkward position of being able to see the top of the mountain while finding their feet trapped inside blocks of ice. They could win the Central, even though they can't win a series to save their lives. They could destroy the Tigers if only the Tigers were any good, but the kittens' similarly-deployed lameness means the Sox don't stand a chance: all the Good Guys have to do is play better baseball (and win more games) than a bad team, and that's probably asking too much at this point.
Week in Review: Split. Taking two from the Royals does a team no good when followed by dropping a pair to the Orioles to go 3-3 for the week. Again.
Week in Preview: Doable. Four at Boston and three at New York normally screams "gazelles in the lion's den," but it has come to light the Sox skipped the "winning and losing in logical fashion" drills in Spring Training.
The Q Factor: Following Carlos Quentin's off days Wednesday and Thursday, Time itself was quoted as saying, "Mr. Quentin informs me he no longer requires my services." Quentin could not be reached for comment, as he had astrally projected himself into an alternate-universe sandlot home run derby with Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Mel Ott, Del Ennis and former standout Baltimore Canaries outfielder Lip Pike, who in 1873 led the National Association with four home runs. Mere minutes passed on Earth, although the true elapsed time of the contest was just over 39 years. Quentin placed third and returned to the lineup Friday.
That's Ozzie!: "Every game in the American League is tough." - Guillen attempts to give some perspective to the Sox' inability to defeather the comically bad Orioles.
The Guillen Meter: His longball-dependent team making its first trip to the unapologetically homer-friendly Yankee Stadium, the Guillen Meter reads 9 for "Again with the %@(* home run derby!"
Underclassmen Update: Low average, high power, decent speed, positional flexibility: It's as though someone took the good aspects of Josh Fields, Ryan Sweeney and Jerry Owens and turned them into a supersub named Jayson Nix without the embarrassment of two bad trades involving Nick Swisher.
Alumni News You Can Use: Former White Sox Hall of Famer Brian Anderson was optioned Friday to the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox.
Hawkeroo's Can-O-Corn Watch: Gordon Beckham's pure numbers are stellar, but his situational line also gives young Bacon Spice the team lead in ball four base hits. The White Sox Report would also like to wish a happy belated birthday to Hawk Hero Carl Yastrzemski, who turned 70 over the weekend.
Endorsement No-Brainer: This week's impossibly difficult road trip for Clint Mansell's soundtrack to The Fountain: Death is the road to awe.
Cubs Snub: The White Sox Report wishes to extend a neighborly welcome to new Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, whose roster depth, easily movable contracts and effortlessly expandable ballpark will surely reap huge returns on the field and in the bank, and a new da-- I'm sorry, I can't type that with a straight face. Had this happened four or five years ago, Sox fans would be running to the hills to escape the inexplicable citywide euphoria for the Cubs dynasty about to be born; instead, we're all just sitting back and waiting for the popcorn to come out of the microwave. I look forward to visiting your brand new, half empty megastadium in Schaumburg for the 2014 Crosscounty Classic.
Fantasy Fix: Quarterbacks, sacked.
The White Sox Report: Read 'em all.
The Cub Factor: Know your enemy.
Andrew Reilly is the managing editor of The 35th Street Review and a contributor to many fine publications.
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