White Sox hit bottom again, this time with clowns

Frustration evident after back-to-back sweeps, and some help is on the way

In April, the White Sox went 8-19.

In May, the White Sox went 8-18.

In June, the White Sox started 8-6, but have since lost their last seven games. This raises new and troubling questions, like:

  • Did the White Sox already blow through their monthly allowance of wins?
  • Will the White Sox close out June with a 16-game skid?
  • If the White Sox win another game or three in June, are they merely borrowing against future monthly win totals?

This theory would mean the Sox are fated for a 48-win season, which is basically what could be expected from a replacement-level team.

I don’t believe this is the case, but this is also what it’d look like if it were, with loss after loss after loss after loss after loss after loss after loss.

The first inning on Wednesday encapsulated their issues rather succinctly. You had Reynaldo Lopez walking Francisco Lindor on four pitches, Yoan Moncada committing an error on a rather routine play, then Jose Ramirez socking a three-run homer. The gap in talent settles it, but the White Sox’ own incompetence accelerates the inevitability.

Frustration had already set in before the game, and some of it boiled over the edge afterward. Rick Renteria said the White Sox “need to play cleaner baseball” before the game, leaving him little recourse for where to take the conversation afterward when Moncada spilled the honey on the Sox’ legs:

“He has to be able to catch that ball,” Renteria said. “That’s one of the things I would expect of him. If the people who care about our guys can’t express to them when there is something that can be done, how can you expect to survive when everybody else on the outside might be looking in and saying, ‘Geez, you have to make that play.’?”

Reynaldo Lopez took it to a new level, with a label that he might regret issuing due to vicious accuracy:

“It’s unacceptable for us to look the way we looked today,’’ Lopez said. “Nobody is happy about it. Honestly, we looked like clowns there, starting with me.’’

(Let’s take a second to appreciate the “clown” drop. It’s in a class of words that accomplishes a difficult task — replacing a harsher pejorative in order to make it suitable for all audiences without reducing the sting. Maybe it’s because there’s a universal agreement that clowndom is something to be avoided, but Bryce Harper’s shot at a reporter wouldn’t have reverberated nearly as much if he said “That’s a f—ing stupid question, Bro.” Please leave your favorite G-rated rebuke in the comments.)

The White Sox might be able to bring greater respectability to the proceedings this weekend against Oakland. Adam Engel had previously served as the standard-bearer for the depth chart’s shortcomings, but Trayce Thompson has usurped Engel for that title. Thompson’s strikeout in the eighth inning on Wednesday makes him 3-for-60 in day games this season. I was going to say it’s the most pitiful split since Adam Dunn’s performance against lefties in 2011, but Dunn’s 6-for-94 is actually aspirational.

The good news is that Avisail Garcia could bump Thompson from the roster in matter of hours. The White Sox said Garcia’s rehab stint would last seven to 10 days. After seven games over nine days, he’s hitting .360/.429/.840, so they can probably skip the last one.

Replacing Garcia with Thompson doesn’t guarantee success, because Garcia went walkless over his first 76 plate appearances, and the White Sox went 5-14 — there’s that eight-wins-a-month pace again — while he was healthy. But back then, the problem plaguing the White Sox was an inability to hit with runners in scoring position, whereas now the Sox are having difficulties even getting on base.

Even if Garcia doesn’t help the White Sox reverse their fortunes, he’ll at least give everybody watching the team not only something different, but somebody who is qualified to be there. Engel can pick up the colors and continue being the least productive White Sox getting regular playing time, and that’s probably a bar the White Sox should try to maintain from here on out, although if Charlie Tilson keeps reaching base, I wouldn’t mind seeing him trying on Engel’s spot in center.

Whether the Sox tweak large (Garcia) or small (Tilson), it won’t be enough to erase the accumulated frustration. The hope right now is to keep “repetitive failure” from being the story over the next few days, because nobody wants Renteria and/or the players to want to find another gear through the media. Looking at the forecast, though, maybe the weather will relieve the Sox of some of the burden.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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lil jimmy

Bringing in the two Garcia’s and shipping Trayce and Engel to AAA or where ever, will go along way towards cutting down the number of Bozos on this Bus.

mikeyb

Counting on Avi to reduce the Bozo-ness of the White Sox has never worked out well.

Trooper Galactus

“McFly, you bo-thzo!”

PauliePaulie

I grew up in the 80’s. So a less harsh rebuke would definitely contain the word “turd” or “rummy”.

gibby32

Nice job. It’s painful out here, and any positive change, however modest, will be welcome. I now fear that the team will begin to improve its “watchability” just as I’m leaving for a 10 day cruise in Europe in July. Why couldn’t that cruise have been in June?

VAChisox

Where you headed? My wife and I are going on a cruise on the Rhone River in France from July 1-10. I am considering it a welcome break from listening to this team. Perhaps the White Sox will save their 8 wins in July until after I return.

lil jimmy

The wines of the Rhone are my favorite. Whites, Reds, Roses, North or South.
Tonight I will open a 2015 Domaine La Florane ‘Fleur de Pampre’Visan Blanc and toast your trip!

VAChisox

I love Rhone wines as well and am hoping to come back with some.

lil jimmy

just drink them there. The prices are the same here and no lugging them around.

gibby32

Elbe River cruise, starting in Berlin and finishing in Prague, July 15-26. Have a great trip.

VAChisox

Enjoy, Gibby. We did the Danube in 2016, starting in Prague. We really enjoyed Prague; try to spend some time there if you can.

rhubarb

#subscooterhumblebrag

Anohito

What’s really amazing is that we are hitting so rock bottom here and there’s still somehow 2 teams below us. One of which that wasn’t even rebuilding anyways!

And I sure hope 8 isn’t the quota for this month. I actually have planned games I’m still going to and hope that I can finally break my losing streak and see a winnah

Greg Nix

At least this losing stretch has coincided with the World Cup and a very interesting NBA Draft.

sgp2204

I’m very interested in seeing how Gar/Pax can screw this draft up. The combination of those 2 is the equivalent of Kenny running the Sox. Bad news. 

Anohito

Literally just grab Porter Jr. How hard can it be?

sgp2204

I can all but assure you that’s not going to happen. 

Trooper Galactus

In an effort to get younger and more athletic, they’ll draft Greg Oden.

Anohito

You were certainly right. Sort of makes you appreciate the sox draft this year making the right move and getting Madrigal.

evenyoudorn

I have had it with these monkey-fighting guys on this monday-to-friday team!

Right Size Wrong Shape
Eagle Bones

Insert gif of Homer stating “clowns are funny”.

ParisSox

Or Kramer saying he’s afraid of clowns.  

GrinnellSteve

Isn’t that the opening line of the Iliad?

dansomeone

“To me, clowns aren’t funny. In fact, they’re kind of scary. I’ve wondered where this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus, and a clown killed my dad.” – Jack Handy

Anohito

Sox twitter getting me all aflutter. promos and now BP vids of the top promoted at their new destinations. woooh

Here’s to a great debut for all of them!

Trooper Galactus

Bless your hearts, White Sox.

itaita

So when Sideshow Mel came out with his “The’re already here” line is that when Eloy gets promoted?

WilburWoodWasTheMan