I sent this tweet out after the second game of the White Sox nightmarish doubleheader a couple weekends ago against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals hadn't played in 17 days due to a team-wide COVID-19 outbreak, but it was the White Sox who looked like they hadn't played, or quite frankly even thought about baseball, for more than two weeks.
I was beyond frustrated, as this looked far less like a team entering a long contention window and more like one that was still years away.
To quote Taylor Swift and Bon Iver's new song "exile":
"I think I've seen this film before, and I didn't like the ending"
The next line of that song goes, "You're not my homeland anymore. So what am I defending now?"
I don't think T-Swift's new song is about the 2020 White Sox or my specific ongoing frustration rooting for this organization, but she certainly captured the way I was feeling on that Saturday evening after the Sox lost both ends of a doubleheader.
I've seen White Sox teams come into seasons with relatively high expectations only to sputter out and lead to many more years of mediocrity. Rick Hahn felt that same frustration back in 2016, just before officially entering the rebuild that created this 2020 team that stands before our eyes.
“We’re mired in mediocrity. That’s not the goal, that’s not acceptable, that’s not what we’re trying to accomplish for the long-term.”
That's not another Taylor Swift line, but the words of Hahn as he shared his own frustration about the team's inability to progress into a contender year-in and year-out.
I know I felt the same way back in 2016, but Hahn is the general manager of the White Sox, and I'm just a dude who averages two pizza Lunchables a week and composes dumb tweets about the White Sox, so he actually got to do something about his frustration by rebuilding the team.
While we're on the subject of Lunchables Pizza, I just want to go on the record and say; give me Lunchables over Domino's every damn day.
Anyway, Hahn did do something about it, and built a team that on paper looked really damn compelling coming into the 2020 season.
After a little less than a third of the regular season had been played, and the Sox sat at 10-11, and I got nervous that this would just be another one of those empty promises of a contending team. I don't really care about a World Series-contending team at this point; the Sox have been so below average-to-terrible for so long, being a fringe wild-card candidate would have satisfied my hunger. (Not as satisfying as a Lunchables Pizza, though ... please sponsor me, Lunchables, I'll do whatever you want, just keep my fridge stocked, thanks!)
The next day, the Sox took down the Cardinals to salvage the series. That win was spun into a seven-game win streak that included beating the crap out of the Tigers and topping it off with a statement-making series win against the Cubs, and was only snapped by a terrific pitching performance by Yu Darvish in the series finale.
Now the White Sox are 17-12, one of the top offenses in baseball, and have a mouthwatering schedule in the coming weeks. The only thing that makes my mouth water more than the White Sox upcoming schedule is Lunchables Pizza, and that's really saying something. (I mean, c'mon Lunchables, what else do you need to see? I will represent your good name better than anyone, and I've moved off of my initial ask of keeping my fridge stocked with pizza. How about 10 pizzas a week?!")
In one week I went from doubting the rebuild to believing in it once again. You might say to yourself, "Wow, Sam is dumb and doesn't know what he's talking about, and he's just being an emotional fan."
You could not be more correct. I am dumb, and I don't know what I'm talking about and I am an emotional fan. With all of that out of the way, I'm here to say I couldn't be more happy to be wrong, and I know I'll be wrong again and again and again.
You can be a person who doesn't have sports opinions and never be wrong, and that's just fine. That sounds a bit boring, but to each their own.
However, you can alternatively be someone who confidently shares your sports opinions and is wrong all the time, and most importantly OWNS UP to those wrong opinions. In my case, being wrong means the White Sox appear to be a contending team, which I'll gladly take the "L" for.
I hate to be "that guy that tells you this is just sports so you should have fun with them," but this is just sports so you should have fun with them. There are PLENTY of other areas where bad opinions carry far worse implications and consequences, but sports MOSTLY shouldn't be one of them.
So go out there, scream your terrible sports opinions from the mountaintop, be wrong as hell, accept when you're wrong, and shout a few more. Have some fun with this 2020 White Sox team, who in my *new* estimation should be pretty fun to watch for the rest of the year.
Hopefully that opinion is not wrong.