The joking headline to a Sun-Times update about Avisail Garcia being scheduled to miss more games with a toothache asked “Are the Sox brushing?” It’s a joke, but also the type of question that comes up when a pattern without an obvious alternate explanation comes up. The teeth problems are probably a blip, or maybe everyone should just take it easy on the dip for a little while.
The White Sox missing the playoffs for what is now officially five-straight seasons as of this weekend is not as easily shrugged off. As much as the expertise of the team’s front office and their exclusive awareness of the financial realities of their industry must be deferred to, their public insistence on avoiding rebuilding because they believe they can compete immediately combined with their continued failure to reap any rewards of competing immediately, calls into question how in touch they are with the reality of the strength of their organization.
They certainly haven’t been getting what they hoped for given the money they have spent. I don’t advocate fans being concerned for owners getting their money’s worth, but at a certain point continued displays of inefficiency sap confidence.
The collection of teams here are the only teams that have also missed the playoffs five-years running. We’re giving the Pirates the benefit of the doubt and being cynical about the Indians, but the only rivals the Sox have for throwing money into lost causes are the Mets and Cubs. One wonders what those two organizations are up to now.
The White Sox need to go at least 6-14 or better over their last 20 games to avoid their first 100-loss season in 43 years, and their fourth 100-loss season ever. That seems like a modest goal, since it requires a whopping .300 winning percentage, but only four of these remaining games will take place against losing teams, trainees like Erik Johnson and Andre Rienzo will be working out their kinks and this team has put together a 4-16 stretch before.
THE REIGN OF GILL PIE
Since Marcus Semien does not seem to be playing with any purpose beyond keeping him active before his trip to Arizona, it’s time to get back to appreciating how useful Conor Gillaspie is displaying himself to be against right-handed pitching. After clocking a home run Saturday and two more hits on Sunday (and he was a great play by Ryan Flaherty from having three), Gillaspie is now .267/.329/.422 against righties over 337 plate appearances. Only a White Sox blog would be doing backflips over someone hitting league-average in a platoon situation, this is one area where the Sox don’t need a miracle transformation.
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