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Swept again.

(May 20)

Short Take:  Did Manuel expect different?

At the conclusion of this 6-2 defeat, the Sox swept for their sixth loss in a row, announcer Ken Harrelson asked his sidekick Darrin Jackson, "What else can happen?"  Darrin's reply was, "Not much."

Actually, a lot more can happen.  In fact you can bank on a lot more happening because the 2001 Chicago White Sox aren't even close to bottoming out on this season.  It's a virtual certainty the White Sox will continue to lose as long as the manager and the front office keep their heads in the sand hoping to ignore the problems only they can fix.  It's only fair--they are the ones who created the problem.

What is even more worrisome than the continued inaction is the sudden search for scapegoats.  Hitting coach Von Joshua paid with his job for suggesting the hitters all want to be on ESPN rather than simply getting base hits.  Is he the reason the Sox are losing?

Oh sure, it was Joshua who decided a minor league outfielder should learn how to hit major league pitching in the big leagues.  It was Joshua, too, that made the trade last winter for a weak-hitting defensive shortstop, forcing "the heart and soul of the team" (Jerry Manuel's words; not ours) to play out of position--if at all!  It was Von Joshua who brought back an aging Sox legend and announced to the world he could stay on the team no matter how much embarrassment he does to himself and the ball club.  And of course it was Von Joshua who has penciled into the line up the above-mentioned stiffs over an over and over again.  

Forty-one games into the season, and it's Von Joshua who still wants to see if he can get Julio Ramirez, Royce Clayton, and Harold Baines into a hitting groove.  I guess now that Jerry Manuel, Kenny Williams, and Jerry Reinsdorf have found a culprit other than themselves for all the losing, we Sox Fans can begin making our plans for the Sox World Series party.  You know, the World Series the Sox have been absent from for 41 seasons.

This game was a carbon-copy of the previous four ones the Sox lost.  It's as if the whole team gave up on the season last Tuesday in Seattle after Josh Paul clutched third base twice (after the tag outs were already applied) and brilliantly declared, "I would do it again!"  

The Sox squandered big scoring opportunities early.  They managed just five hits all day.  Royce Clayton and Harold Baines were today's sub-.150 hitters to get a start from Jerry Manuel.  Six Sox batters never got a hit.  Bob Howry, Kelly Wunsch, and Keith Foulke managed to blow the game, but what real difference does it make?  The Sox hadn't scored since the third inning and could have played another nine innings before the anemic attack finally pushed another run across the plate.

Don't worry, Sox Fans.  It's all Von Joshua's fault.  Let the Post-season Express continue on to oblivion!

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Mark Buerhle

7.2 innings of two-run, three-hit baseball, striking out five, and walking nobody.  For all that Mark Buerhle gets no decision.  Congratulations. 

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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