Thursday, September 21, 2006

Oh What's the Point...


The Last Stand isn't turning out to be a very rousing one (although this junk might actually be better than a certain X-Men movie which was in fact
The Last Stand).

Ozzie's only words after tonight's 9-0 loss to the Mariners was "embarassing". And then some. The Sox even wasted a chance to revive their playoff hopes from flatline to asystole by failing to take advantage of both Detroit & Minnesota losses.

The only bright spot in this 1-3 opening half of the homestand was Freddy Garcia's follow-up masterpiece in the 7-0 win over the Tigers on Tuesday. Otherwise, it's just been confirmation of what the 2006 White Sox Eulogy should be: Good, But Not Good Enough.

Tonight's Chicago Tribune asks the question: What reason stands out as to why the Sox will miss the playoffs? Choice A was the obvious - the Twins & Tigers were both better. Some times that's how baseball is. You can have a team capable of 92 wins - my final prediction for the Sox - and be stuck at home, even in the Wild Card era. That would be good enough for the playoffs in the NL this year, and most AL years, but not in 2006. Oh well.

To get back to the point, while Choice A seems pretty obvious, the poll is quite strange because Choice C is directly responsible for the fact known as Choice A. It shocked me to learn this statement made in Choice C, but after about 2 seconds reflection it sounded about right. The 2006 White Sox have won 21 fewer games against opponents with sub-.500 records. 21 fewer than 2005. And somehow they will only lose about 6 to 7 games off of their total won-loss record. It's the definition of underachieving, of not taking care of business. If that number at this point in the season were 13, the Sox would be preparing to clinch the AL Central.

And can I just ask: for the love of God, what happened to Neal Cotts? It was like I turned around one day and his 4-0, 1.94 ERA was gone, replaced by an ERA close to five and a pathetic string of appearances with at least one run allowed. The most alarming numbers for him: 10 HR allowed in 53 innings for '06, compared to 1 in 60 all of last season. Also just 43 strikeouts vs. 58 a year ago. That's what it took to ignore 23 more hits allowed (61 vs. 38) as his most damaging statistic.

We'll keep bantering about this wheeze to the finish line later. For now I'm just going to savor the last few games of the season, then pop in the Complete 2005 Playoff Run on DVD during October.

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