6.03.2007

Another Day, Another Bullpen Implosion

I haven't had a chance to watch--or even listen to--any White Sox games over the past week or so, thank God. It's much better for my health to just glance at the bottom line ticker or check a boxscore and shake my head, quickly moving on with my life.

Now that they're two games under .500 at 25-27, I thought I'd take a quick look around the standings and point out the teams who, sadly, have a better record than the Sox at this point. I'm ignoring teams like Boston and Anaheim because they're legitimately better than the South Siders. But did you know that the following AL teams are currently "better" than the 2005 World Champs?

Seattle. Sure, they were my idiotic sleeper pick to win the West, but at 27-25 I think the Mariners have surprised everyone, myself included. We're talking about a team that, for the first month of the season, thought it made sense to trot out Jeff Weaver--by any objective statistical measure, surely the worst pitcher in baseball--every fifth day. Now Weaver apparently thinks he's too good to do a minor league rehab stint. Wow. Sure, Jim Thome, Ryan Howard, and Roger Freaking Clemens aren't too good for the minors, but Jeff Weaver is. If the Mariners end up with a better record than the ChiSox, Kenny Williams should have to do some serious soul-searching. And all that "the AL Central is the toughest division in baseball" BS isn't a valid excuse.

Baltimore and Toronto. Both teams, at 27-29, are only better than the ChiSox by one one-thousandth of a percentage point, but I rationalize their inclusion with the assumption that after the ChiSox play four more games, they'll probably be no better than 27-29. I guess Toronto is roughly comparable to the White Sox (and maybe even better--hence, a bigger disappointment thus far), but Baltimore? Really? Baltimore isn't even trying. Peter Angelos just wants money, not a contender. Suck.

Oakland. They have no offensive firepower (Jack Cust was their savior for 2 weeks!) and yet they're killing the Sox in team average and runs scored, just like every team in baseball. They've lost a bunch of key players to the DL--Rich Harden, Huston Street, Mike Piazza, and Milton Bradley--compared to the White Sox's losses of the incredibly replaceable Erstad, Ozuna, and Podsednik. And they're at least at .500. Damn it.

OK, that's enough frustration for one night. Time to go watch some Red Sox-Yankees. Quite the treat that they're on ESPN tonight... I'd never see those two teams otherwise--and facing each other to boot! Wowee!