It’s not that you have to go back all that far for a season by an MLB team that was as disappointing, confounding, and overall just as big of a waste of time as the 2022 Chicago White Sox. It was just last year that the San Diego Padres acquired every player that wasn’t nailed down, and then finished under .500 while the Dodgers and Giants sprinted away from them in the NL West and they missed the playoffs completely. So it’s not unprecedented.
Still, the Padres were trying to create something new, and still had to chase down the Dodgers. Meanwhile, the Sox were coming off an AL Central title last year, returned the exact same team with a couple of added relievers. And they shouldn’t have been facing anything in their own division. The Twins were trying to hail a comet by signing Carlos Correa to essentially a one-year deal, but were still too reliant on Byron Buxton being able to keep all the rubber bands that hold him together in place and a pitching staff that would have a couple of steps to climb to achieve “anonymous.” Cleveland was sporting a whole roster that is anonymous beyond Jose Ramirez.
And that’s still the case. The Guardians are only on pace for 88 wins, a total the Sox should have achieved in a fugue state. As whiskey-dick as the entire season has been, the Sox still had one last miracle left to try and save themselves this week. A three-game series at home against Cleveland they had to sweep to have any chance. And like they’ve spent the entire season doing, they sleepwalked onto a rake and now can look forward to putting their fans out of their misery in two weeks’ time. There isn’t anyone associated with the Sox, in any way, who won’t be delighted that this season is over: the players, the front office that’s been neutered by the owner, the fans who have been exhausted by it all. Rarely has a team needed to go away as much as this one does.
Oh sure, the math still says it’s possible. As you learned when you were about eight, math isn’t your friend. Math is here to make you feel like shit. Six games out, which is really seven because Cleveland has the tiebreaker, with 13 games to play. The Sox basically have to run the table from here. They won’t.
We’ve chronicled everything that’s gone wrong or been amiss with the White Sox throughout the summer. They didn’t play very hard, they were dumber than a post, on defense they treated the ball like flubber, and for some reason on offense they thought it was 1982 and they were going to single their way to victory instead of mashing the ball into plasma like they were designed to do. Oh, and they couldn’t stay healthy either, with various dumpy asses hitting the IL with some soft-tissue injury, regularly.
All of that will sully a Cy Young-worthy season from Dylan Cease, the only thing Sox fans had to look forward to on the roster besides the surprise netting of Johnny Cueto right as the season dawned.
And with one last gasp, one last chance to haul themselves out of the muck they let fill the house, the Sox face planted. On Tuesday, they couldn’t get to Aaron Civale, coming off the IL, until Cleveland’s defense let them back in. The Guardians outlasted them in 11 innings, when that bullpen that GM Rick Hahn decided to waste his spare cash on instead of the holes at second or in the outfield couldn’t endure. On Wednesday, the Sox got their dicks kicked in, coming nowhere close to threatening Tristan McKenzie while Lance Lynn was pummeled.
And now their fans can put them down. The whole campaign has been bad drunk sex, hoping for a conclusion that long ago became obvious wasn’t possible but would be brought on by some cosmic miracle, meanwhile what’s supposed to be fun becomes grinding work and pointless. Apt given the usual sobriety levels of their manager. Now everyone can go to bed for the winter and try again when clear-eyed.