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The Turncoat Sun May 02 2010

An Open Letter to the Chicago White Sox

the_turncoat.jpgDear Chicago White Sox,

Hey guys, how's it going? I'm fine, thank you. I hope your trip home went well, given that most of your time away from Chicago looked to be pretty aggravating. How was the weather in Texas? Did you have fun in New York (when you weren't getting trampled by the current World Series champs, I mean)? I heard Alex Rios had a kid while you were on the road. Good for him. At least one of you guys is scoring, am I right? I'm kidding; I'm kidding. But actually, that brings me to the point of this letter.

Now I know we haven't known each other very long. I mean, I've known you guys my whole life, but up until now I haven't really cared about your success. Well, that's not true either. I cared a lot in 2005, but not the way you would have wanted me to. I pretty much did everything short of sacrificing a child to Old Testament God to stop you guys from winning that World Series. It's not that I disliked you at the time; I think you're all real swell. It's just that I am lifelong friends with some pretty relentless Sox fans, and I didn't want them to have the bragging rights to end all bragging rights. I was a Cubs fan until recently, and these same friends dressed up as the Florida Marlins for Halloween in 2003. So you can see why your success made me a little uneasy back then.

Anyway, I changed my ways and got with the program. I decided baseball would be more fun if I cheered for you guys instead. For the most part it has been. While my former team of choice has been playing snoozers like the Milwaukee Brewers and the Washington Why Do They Exists?, you guys have been playing the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins. I've learned the American League just offers more interesting teams. Plus, I really like the concept of the designated hitter more than I thought I would. It's nice not having to worry about the pitcher killing a rally. Juan Pierre loves doing that so much, it would seem cruel to give the privilege to someone who should be resting his arm for a few outs. Also I am heading to my first game at U.S. Cellular as a Sox fan this evening. I am pretty excited. It's half price night, a concept totally unheard of on the Northside. All and all, this summer is off to a pretty sweet start. I like you guys. This was the right choice.

However, I was wondering if you could do me one small favor. Again, I know I'm probably not in a position to ask you for anything since we haven't been friends for very long and we still have that whole begging-the-universe-to-make-you-fail-back-in-'05 thing to get through. Plus when it comes down to it, sports teams probably shouldn't do me any favors since I have proven to be heartlessly disloyal. But if you can find it in your hearts to look past all that, can you offer me just one tiny piece of good will? Can you start winning some games?

It's not just that I want you to win because fans enjoy it when their team isn't getting crushed under severe run deficits. I am obviously very happy for you when you succeed. Saturday's back and forth with New York ended in victory for you guys and that was a hell of a lot of fun to watch. It was also very exciting when you managed to win three games in a row and sweep the Seattle Mariners. They were off to a good start this season and you guys looked like real champs when you beat them. It's just, for this summer at least, I have a little more at stake than most fans. So could you please start doing stuff like that more often? You know, not losing so often and by so much?

When it comes down to it, I just don't want our first summer together to be worse than any season I spent rooting for the Chicago Cubs. I know it's still very early in a very long baseball season. I know that means a lot can still happen and I may yet grow to love Juan Pierre and Carlos Quentin. Every team has their slumps. But my friends, it's only May 3 and you're already six games out of first. Obviously that isn't the end of the world, you still have 137 games left to close the gap and maybe even take a nice lead -- this isn't the NFL. It's just that I find it concerning that you kicked off the new month by getting clobbered all over Yankee Stadium and finishing your road trip two for six. With road trips like that, it's easy to see that six game deficit stretch to 12 by the All Star Game. I mean, you guys got swept by Cleveland this year. Cleveland! They're only supposed to be good fictionally!

A big problem I am having with this is I don't really get why you guys suck so bad right now. As I already conceded, I get it: slumps happen. However, you guys are currently jam packed with talent. Alex Rios and Andruw Jones have been performing better than a lot of people expected. Everyone is just counting down the at bats until Gordon Beckham finally lives up to the hype and blossoms into a superstar. Paulie Konerko can't go more than a couple days without belting another homer. OK, I know pitching has obviously been a problem and your leadoff man for the majority of April hates getting on base and loves slapping into double plays, but you guys have only won one series in 2010. One!

I don't know what to tell you to make you better. Alexei Ramirez looked good at lead off the other day, maybe stick with him. Maybe you could make up with Jermaine Dye? I don't know; you guys are the professionals. Hopefully you'll figure it out. I just know that I would really appreciate it if you could start winning a few more games each week - if it isn't too much trouble. Please? For me?

Your Friend on the North Side,


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jayview / May 3, 2010 4:31 PM

rick -- i hate everything that you stand for and love every word that you write. i was at the 05 and the 59 series, so i have bled and tasted blood. i you you will, too, as a chicago white sox fan.


Daniel Strauss / May 3, 2010 9:54 PM

I'm puzzled too. The pitching will get better though (starting anyway). I'm starting to think that Beckham is going stay as bad as he is now. Same with Ramirez, he's not going to stop swinging at everything.

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