So is it still too early to consider the baseball season over yet Chicago? Do you still have a glimmer of hope that two teams that have crawled to almost identical horse **** records through six weeks of the baseball season can turn things around and make the summer worth something in Chicago? This has been by far the worst six weeks of Chicago baseball in recent memory and there is no reason to believe that something/anything will change the losing mentality of both baseball teams in town.
Therefore without further debate, I officially declare the Chicago baseball season over!! Hate the idea? It’s more true than you can believe.
Of course today is only May 17, 2010 and some would say I am an absolute moron for stating the above, unless you live in the following cities:
The funny thing is about each of these four teams are that their record is only a couple of wins shy of the Cubs/White Sox totals or they’ve beaten the Cubs/White Sox in a series this season. Thank God the White Sox have not faced the Orioles yet!! That is how bad it’s gotten and this weekend was a perfect example.
Starting with the North Siders (147 million dollar payroll) who finally got their first win out of six games against the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates (35 million dollar payroll) on Sunday afternoon. Granted the Cubs had to battle back from an early 3-0 deficit to do it, but especially this season….a win is a win.
The Cubs are off to a stellar 16-22 record (5.5 games back of CIN) including winning only nine of 19 games at the friendly confines. The Cubs just wrapped up a month long stretch of games which many consider the easiest part of their schedule for the entire season finishing with a record of 12-17 against teams like the Brewers, Mets, Diamondbacks, Pirates, and Astros. In that stretch the Cubs have fallen an extra 3.5 games behind the division leader when they should have been beating up on teams that they should be beating.
However while struggling to find wins, the Cubs have been hitting the ball with a team batting average of .271 which is tied for fifth in MLB and second in the National League trailing only the Phillies who many consider the best offense in the National League. The Cubs starting pitching staff in also getting the job done with a team era of 4.17 (6th in NL) and second in the NL in strikeouts only trailing the Giants by one K.
So what is to make me believe that a team that is consistent on offense (6 starters batting over .300) with quality starting pitching so far this season that has struggled to win ball games will turn the close L’s into W’s? Especially with a manager who’s cliche answer for almost every question is one of the following:
“I don’t know”
“What are you going to do?”
Those lame answers for true problems lead me to believe that the Cubs have a lame duck leading the flock. Too much positives equating into negatives and a lost and tired leader of men leads me to believe without a doubt that indeed the Cubs chances of making the postseason are as dead as Billy Sianis‘ goat from 1945.
Then the carnival of Ozz on the south side is something that is ironically a made for TV movie. Maybe it’s a good thing that MLB Productions is taping the behind the scenes of the White Sox operations because I cannot wait to see the reasoning of some of the boneheaded moves that created this debacle on the south side. First off the White Sox for whatever reason talk a good game, but do not take the necessary steps to correct or steer the ship in a new direction.
At 15-22 (8 games back) and with a 108.3 million dollar payroll, the Chicago White Sox could be compared to the NY Mets as the two most disappointing teams in Major League Baseball. The worst team batting average in the American League (.230) and a team on-base percentage of .313 (24th in MLB), and this team was supposed to play a National League style of baseball in the American League??
It’s simply the formula of Kenny Williams allowing a manager to create a team of his desire and allowing him to run it. I’ve never in my life heard of a General Manager simply catering to the wishes of a manager EVER in my 29 years of being a baseball fan. Between the idea of a rotating designated hitter, signing an outfielder as your everyday third baseman, and refusing to build a team to fit the ballpark you play in……it’s been an absolute disaster on the south side with the Chicago White Sox.
What is extremely entertaining to me is Ozzie Guillen seems to get away with certain things that I believe other managers would not. For instance time and time again the “blame me, blame me” lines we hear from the Blizzard of Ozz and then when someone questions his team or “blames him”, the retort is that the “blamer” doesn’t understand the game and should go sell hot dogs instead. Another example is Ozzie Guillen diving into outside topics rather than what is going on with his team.
How about this quote when asked about the immigration issue in Arizona:
“Most (immigrants) are workaholics,” Guillen said. “This country can’t survive without (them). I’m sorry but a lot of people from this country are very lazy. We aren’t. A lot of people from this country want to be on the computer and sending e-mail to people. We do the hard work. We’re the ones who have to go out and work in the sun all day long.”
Could you imagine if a white manager said this exact same quote….it would be front page material, activists would demand things, and Bill O’Riley would defend the quotes. There would be outright panic, but why does Ozzie Guillen get a pass with quotes like that? I love 2005, but this is the sort of stuff that puts the White Sox and especially Ozzie Guillen in a negative light around the country.
Simply put, the White Sox are more concerned with other things outside the realm of the game that it has completely affected their play on the field. Between a reality show, radio appearances, twitter, and emphasis on quotes rather than scoring runs….there is no way to believe that the Chicago White Sox can simply flip a switch and win this division.
In a town that demands good baseball and demands effort more than most baseball cities in the country, the reality is beginning to sink in that indeed the hopes and dreams of 2010 are indeed faded away. I am not going to demand change because frankly I do not expect it to happen on either side of town.
This summer will simply drag into the fall where the city can reunite their passion for Chicago sports when the Bears return to BEARbonais. All the while Wrigley Field will continue to sell out, the BP Crosstown Cup will have a winner, and the south side will still have problems filling the seats for a mediocre .500 at best team.
It is indeed too late to say it is still too early.
Rock Mamola is the Associate Producer of The Mully And Hanley Morning Show and co-host of The Joe O And Rock Show on WSCR 670AM The Score
You can follow The Mully And Hanley Morning Show at twitter.com/mullyhanley
You can follow The Joe O And Rock Show at twitter.com/joeoandrockshow