By Daniel I. Dorfman-
CHICAGO (WSCR) A buddy of mine uses “dreams” as his catchphrase. Of course the opposite of “dreams” is nightmares. Some can be really disturbing.
I feel bad for Jerry Reinsdorf for the nasty one he had on April 10.
On that night, the White Sox were 6-3 and had looked pretty good over the first week of the season. True, he had witnessed a shaky bullpen, but that seemed likely to calm down. Meanwhile, Reinsdorf’s Bulls had gone on the road to beat Orlando a few days after they had clinched the top spot in the Eastern Conference and were poised for the most successful playoff run since the dynasty of the 1990s.
So it was really unfortunate this scenario entered Reinsdorf’s mind when he went to bed that night:
He would see the Sox bullpen problems only get worse as more games were blown. Matt Thornton, the designated closer, has proven ineffective after being switched from his setup role. But just a couple of days into May, the club is winning so few games, that having a quality closer is as pointless as having state–of–the–art snow removal equipment in Hawaii.
Compounding the pitching mess would be a terrible team defense.
Reinsdorf’s nightmare would then start to include Adam Dunn who was signed to a huge contract as a way to bolster the offense. Granted he had an appendectomy a few days ago, but this nightmare was so awful it had Dunn hitting .157 with three homers in 24 games. Dunn’s problems would be emblematic of an entire team counted on to hit, but on May 4, they would be hitting a collective .236.
As this dream continues to unravel, Reinsdorf sees the Sox stumble out to an 11-20 mark after a 4-16 stretch. The record would be the worst in the majors, and his team would be 10.5 games back. But not behind the Minnesota Twins – the team that has given the Sox fits for all these years. The team in the driver’s seat is actually the Cleveland Indians. The Twins are really bad as well, but the Sox can’t take advantage.
Speaking of the Twins, Reinsdorf’s nightmare gets worse because on May 3rd, he sees Francisco Liriano, who was 1-4 with an 9.13 ERA, become the first opposing pitcher to throw a no–hitter against the Sox in almost 20 years. Granted that is far fetched considering Liriano had never even pitched a complete game before, much less a no-hitter.
Finally the Sox portion of the bad dream would include a miserable stretch of April weather, driving down attendance, a trend that is not likely to change if the team continues its losing ways. So Reinsdorf’s decision to spike up the payroll to $126 million looks really silly.
But the nightmare wouldn’t end there. Instead it would then focus on the Bulls.
They would win their first–round series against a mediocre Indiana team, but struggle mightily to do so. Three of the four victories were hardly positive indications of better things to come. Then they would lose Game 1 of the second round to Atlanta after an awful performance at home.
His star player, Derrick Rose, would win the MVP deservedly, but he would have injury problems and all of a sudden people would be questioning his aggressiveness. Tom Thibodeau – the terrific selection as coach– would also get earned praise for being NBA Coach of the Year, but the team would look unfocused in the playoffs, especially at the start of the games. Oh and by the way, his star free agent signing, Carlos Boozer would play so badly that he would be getting booed by the United Center fans. Meanwhile, the Miami Heat would look like the team everyone feared last summer when they signed LeBron James and Chris Bosh to go along with Dwyane Wade.
So even if the Bulls do pull out the series versus Atlanta, it seems they could easily get their heads handed to them in the next round.
At that point, Reinsdorf would wake up and realize that all of that didn’t happen. It was just too ludicrous.
Good thing that was just a nightmare, right?
Do you agree with Daniel? Post your comments below.
Daniel I. Dorfman is a local freelance writer who has written and reported for the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Boston Globe among many other nationally prominent broadcast, online and print media organizations. He is also a researcher for 670 The Score. You can follow him on Twitter @DanDorfman To read more of Daniel’s blogs click here.