8:46 AM CDT, September 3, 2013
For those of you scoring at home, that was eight runs, seven hits, two walks and two errors.
In just the fourth inning.
Leave it to the White Sox to out-disaster this season’s disaster.
The Sox waited through a long rain delay, then took to the big stage of Yankee Stadium and promptly showed Broadway exactly how they have authored the third-worst record in baseball, even though it’s a stretch to call the Sox’s 2013 exercise “baseball.’’
“We’re going to have to get better,’’ manager Robin Ventura said after that ridiculous eight-running inning and embarrassing 9-1 loss to New York on Monday. “You find somebody else in the offseason.’'
Better find a lot of them, Robin. Like, eight new fielders. Because the question as we mercifully count down the last month of a laughable season is this:
Do the Sox have a "best'' player?
I spent the last week considering that question, and I apologize for wasting time. But still, do the Sox have a "best'' player?
I’m talking position players, not pitchers. Almost all of the pitchers have been good or terrific. Dylan Axelrod, however, your plane is boarding. But otherwise, pitching has been the only good thing about this miserable team. I mean, just look:
Chris Sale is a poster child for the Wins Above Replacement stat. Jose Quintana isn’t far behind. John Danks, Andre Rienzo and Hector Santiago were giving hope before this walking tour of the AL East. Addison Reed just keeps finishing games because the rest of the bullpen gets him to the ninth.
But the position players? What. A. Joke.
Horrific baserunning. Embarrassing defense. Pathetic clutch hitting. Pathetic hitting, period.
The Sox have the second-worst on-base percentage and third-worst slugging percentage in the AL. Only Houston has a worse OPS in the league.
It’s not one player. It takes a team to stink like that. It also makes you wonder if the Sox in fact could say they have a “best’’ player?
The Sox have forfeited the catching position from the start of the season. Thanks, Tyler Flowers.
After becoming one of the most magnificent Sox players in history, Paul Konerko is writing a sad, painful ending.
Second baseman Gordon Beckham was good, then injured, and now plummeting. Doing it backward, son.
Shortstop Alexei Ramirez has mounted a wonderful campaign to get traded.
Conor Gillaspie has 11 home runs at third base, same as Dayan Viciedo, the left fielder, and I have to believe that’s one of the worst left-side power corner combos since Ian Stewart and Your Name Here.
Alejandro De Aza hits leadoff and has more home runs than both Gillaspie and Viciedo, so how bad is that? As bad as De Aza’s baserunning, that’s how bad.
That pretty much leaves Adam Dunn as the guy who’s having a season close to what you’d want, but here’s the thing: You don’t want Dunn to be a regular position player.
Have you seen him try to catch the ball? He wins the prize for best imitation of the windmill at the mini-golf course.
Have you seen him throw? During Monday’s meltdown inning, Dunn fielded a grounder and tried to get the lead runner at second, but instead he made sure nobody would steal left field on the Sox.
So, the answer is no. No, the Sox do not have a best player.
Hold on. I know what the remaining two Sox fans are going to say: Hey, what about Avisail Garcia?
Yes, the Sox do have Garcia, and yes, he has been the best player on the Sox recently, but he doesn’t count, and here’s why:
He hasn’t been here long enough to contract the career-killing Soxfluenza that grips the clubhouse.
Garcia, see, is still hitting and playing like he’s a Tiger. The fear is that it’s just a matter of time before someone tells him otherwise.
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