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When the White Sox head to Cleveland this week, let us not dwell on the things they cannot do.
Forget the trade bait and its rapidly diminishing value.
Forget about the monumental, recently broken two-game win streak - longest of the season!
Forget about the horrifyingly bad offense, effectively posting the worst collective line in the American League despite a deceivingly well-rounded lineup, fourth in home runs and somehow second in stolen bases.
Forget about that much-vaunted rotation whose collective ERA is well past the five-run mark and stands as the only staff in the American League without a complete game to its credit.
Forget the bullpen going 8-for-13 in save opportunities, five relievers joining forces to equal the output of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.
Instead, simply remember this: the Indians cannot continue to dominate the White Sox as they have thus far, and the Rays are not going to play .727 ball forever. But more importantly, remember that the Sox, all 18 wins and 25 losses of them, are 1.5 games ahead of last place. A game-and-a-half between being just another loser and being the absolute rock-bottom of a terrible, terrible division punctuated by a vicious, three-way battle of sub-.500 teams.
But if they don't win this week - and let's be serious, there's a very good chance they won't - it means the Chicago White Sox, even if only for a moment, were the worst club this awful year could produce. Some people root for their team to win; we, here, now, have been reduced to simply hoping they don't lose too often or, barring that, too badly. But hope can only carry a fan so far.
Week in Review: Bruised. After sweeping a one-game series against Detroit, the Sox dropped both to the Angels and took two of three from the Marlins, although the 13-0 shellacking the Fish handed the Good Guys on Sunday will probably leave a mark.
Week in Preview: Daunting. Three against Cleveland, who are terrible yet against whom the Sox are 1-5, and four against the seemingly unstoppable Tampa Bay Rays.
Hawkeroo's Can-O-Corn Watch: "Well, Joe Maddon, there's a guy who can beat you and you won't even know it. He might be over there signaling a guy to take a pitch, and the next thing you know, you look up and the Rays are in first place. And if our Sox can catch some of that, and I truly believe they will, then this is a first-place ballclub, no doubt. And that's all it is, it's taking those wins and turning them into taking winning pitches, because if you've got a guy throwing 95, 96, 97 miles an hour, you give him all the curveballs in the world, they're no good if the batter's just gonna take them. That's what makes these Rays so good, and that's why Kenny Williams built this team the way he did: to take winning pitches."
Gordon Beckham Hall of Fame Update: Gordon Beckham stolen bases, 2010: 3. Manny Ramirez stolen bases, 2010: 0, thus proving Beckham's superiority to the Dodgers slugger mathematically impossible to calculate.
Alumni News You Can Use: Former White Sox trade bait pitchers Clayton Richard, John Ely, and Gio Gonzalez combined for 21 innings pitched, three earned runs, and three wins Saturday.
The "H" in "DH" Stands For: Hardly. The Florida Marlins, who have no designated hitter, went 5-for-10 mostly using Jorge Cantu in the DH spot over the weekend while the Sox, who also have no designated hitter, got a 5-for-11 performance from the two-headed hydra of Mark Kotsay and Paul Konerko.
The Q Factor: Along the banks of the Cuyahoga River, Carlos Quentin examines the water rushing past him, seeking inspiration from its ebb and flow: Reflect nothing, but burn forever.
The Guillen Meter: With the Phillies reportedly interested in his closer and setup man, the Guillen Meter reads 3 for "You can have them both if you send back a cheesesteak cart."
Endorsement No-Brainer: Sunday's pitching performance for the March 19, 2005 issue of New Scientist: 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense.
Cubs Snub: The Cubs' website currently boasts a new slogan: "It's a Way of life," with the "W" taking the form of the victory flag so rarely flown over Wrigley Field. Also a way of life: third place and a losing record.
The White Sox Report: Read 'em all.
The Cub Factor: It's funny because it's true.
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