Saturday afternoon I received a text message from a friend of mine when referring to the Chicago White Sox’s 5-4 win over the Minnesota Twins that read, “It didn’t start great but the end result is all that matters.”
Following the club’s first win in five attempts to start off the 2015 campaign, I felt this was something to keep in mind. That game is a microcosm of any baseball season, its not how you start, its how you finish.
Already, the negativity I have seen surrounding the club seems absurdly misplaced. We sit here not more than a week past Easter, where at this point every team still has a chance at the postseason and I have seen social media posts calling for manager Robin Ventura’s job.
Baseball is a 162 game season and no 1-4 stretch in April will make or break it, that is not how the game is designed to work.
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Now technically it is possible this White Sox team will not be as good as advertised following an explosive offseason, but this is not the time to judge that. A new team with new faces and new personalities needs time to mesh together. (Spring training doesn’t count because the starters rarely play more than half a game together before minor league call-ups come into the game.)
Just remember, come May none of the April records will truly reflect how the postseason will shape up. On May 1st of 2014, the Texas Rangers were not only in second place in their division, but also the second Wild Card team (they finished with the worst record in the Junior Circuit, by three games).
Leading the American League East on May Day was the New York Yankees (who finished the regular season four games out of a wild card spot), and the Pittsburgh Pirates who made the postseason as a Wild Card team were 10-18 and tied with both the Chicago Cubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks for the largest divisional deficit in the National League, at 9.5 games back.
It is inevitable that every team in baseball will lose one-third of their games no matter how good they are. If you win 102 games, you’re going to lose 60. -Tommy Lasorda
The point I am making here is that there is no point in worrying about the slow start of the White Sox. When referencing his 1996 Los Angeles Dodgers, manager Tommy Lasorda said:
"“It is inevitable that every team in baseball will lose one-third of their games no matter how good they are. If you win 102 games, you’re going to lose 60. The losses we’re getting now are part of those 60.”"
I think that Chicago fans would be wise to listen to Mr. Lasorda before throwing Ventura aside and labeling the acquisitions of Jeff Samardzija, Melky Cabrera, Adam LaRoche, and David Robertson among others as busts that need to be blown up by the All-Star Game.
Apr 11, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher David Robertson (30) and Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers (21) celebrate their win against Minnesota Twins at U.S Cellular Field. The White Sox won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
This team still has enough talent to make a good run at this season, and those aforementioned players, which do not even mention the likes of Chris Sale, Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, or Alexei Ramirez are as formidable as any team would like to have. This team will be judged by its performance in the dog days of summer, not the games with springtime showers in the air.
A slow start through five games means nothing in baseball, that is why the teams play 157 more games to determine who has a chance to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy and celebrate with champagne, confetti, and closed off streets through town.