The chatter around the White Sox is remarkably destructive. To a certain extent, it is normal for any team to end up near the top of the league and instead stick to a quarter of a season at .500. The White Sox have been able to perform at the same time as low-performing and over-expected performances, falling short of what the team has to offer on their record paper and comfortably surpassing their -42 run difference. A perfect, provocative moderation.
Baseball rarely promises a stream of events – on the contrary, in fact, batsmen see how many times they come to the base – but a good baseball team, or player, trusts you anyway. You know, the vibe-based part of performance appraisal. Tim Anderson, for example, has so much descriptive skill that the world revises him over and over again to make him the main character. On a game-to-game basis, this is one of the many things the White Sox have failed to show consistently this season: the promise that something could happen to them.
The last game of their home series against Boston on Thursday night made that much clearer. Dallas Keuchel, who has yet to do anything great in 2022, dropped three runs in the first innings and then three more in the second to pull off a tidy 7.88 in his Iraq season. It could have been easier to close the game if it had been a blowout, but then Andrew Vaughan hit three runs, a base-clearing double and no one in the third. Up to the fifth floor, the White Sox were far ahead 7-5, thanks to Vaughan’s two-run homer, who could be a good baseball player. One moment, just one moment, the team was within striking distance.
It didn’t last! The Red Sox created a 14-5 lead that could not offset a four-straight walk from the White Sox so the game went off the rails in the eighth. Infielder Josh Harrison came to pitch at the top nine and threw a slider, changeup and curveball, according to Statcast. The Red Sox won 16-7 as the game stalled to death to cross the four-hour mark.
That, of course, take over a game. I’ve seen most of it with my older sister, a basketball fan who doesn’t care about baseball at all, who is working on a puzzle. This is what he had to say.
At the beginning: “Oh, [the commentators] Sounds very comfortable. ”
At various points in the game: “I like how they talk about the weather,” and, “They’re having a terrible time talking about the weather,” and so on.
Jason Bennett after using the phrase “where did it come from”: “Where did it come from ‘! Great phrase.”
After the nationwide jingle (singing): “Nationwide is by your side.” Moments later: “Nationwide is stuck in my head.”
The one-hour bonus element of the Phyllis game that we’ve seen before: “Bryce Harper sounds like a name I’ve heard before.”
What is the takeaway here? Good question! I often lean towards Dumar-Izam, but I firmly believe in the moderation of extreme negativity so that it brings joy (see: Pat Beverly), not suffering. In an optimistic-inspiring context, “Bryce Harper sounds like a name I’ve heard before”: Enjoy! The White Sox are bad; Stop the commissioning party. At the same time, capture the near-return moments happening at this stage of the season where even the most insane games can still be happily filtered through passive chat and soothing hobbies. The White Sox should be really good, and I don’t call it a defeatist. Rather, I think when they get Lance Lynn, or Lewis Robert, or Alloy Jimenez back, or when Dylan Cage’s ERA is expected to be consistent with his xERA and FIP, or when the offender remembers how to walk. Going to bat someone and believing that they will get a hit is a big picture.
In other words, White Sox commentator Steve Stone has a two-week-old tweet about the condition of the White Sox Dumar-Ness:
“Then there must be some / others.” Poetry. Survive in words. Be careful – don’t bite your own head on the way out.