August 5, 2014

Bellwether's Guide to the American League Central: Chicago

Man, man, man. These Royals just keep on winning and losing, huh? (mostly winning! but also losing!) but we’re still not mathematically eliminated (at least not yet, I think?) Maybe they are, who cares. The most important thing is that we all continue to freak the shit out of every at bat of every game.

And, whelp, I wouldn’t be doing my duty properly if I didn’t prepare you to do so by continuing my series of explainers on our Boys in Blue’s division rivals that probably should have been done in April or May at the latest but it’s August so who cares shut yer butt and read. Up next: Chicago!

What’s a Chicago?

What do you think of when you think of Chicago? Lake Shore Drive The Loop & The Picasso in Daley Plaza? Hot dogs & deep dish pizza & fine dining establishments? The Super Fans & Bill Murray & Second City comedy vets? The Field Museum & Shedd Aquarium & the Adler Planetarium? Michael Jordan & Bobby Hull & Ernie Banks & Walter Payton? Yeah, all of that.

You know what you don’t think of? A bunch of piss drunk Polacks urinating in public, yelling at women to show them their tits. A bunch of piss drunk Micks pounding a 40, beating the shit out of an immigrant. A bunch of piss drunk Krauts belting out Motley Crue, rolling down the street in an ‘87 IROC. You know why you don’t think of these people? Because the city of Chicago doesn’t want you to know that these people exist. These people are White Sox Fans.

Full disclosure: I lived in Chicago until I was 11 years old, and while I grew up firmly implanted in the far northern suburbs, one side of my family is South Side to the bone. TO. THE. BONE. And they are the greatest people in the world. They are all incredibly loving, caring, salt-of-the-earth blue-collar people and I love the shit out of them, and I would never lump them anywhere near the people I described above.

But it’s hard not to overgeneralize when “Gamboa’d” is now a verb in our parlance meaning “to be beaten on the field by the most stereotypical of all White Sox fans.” Plus, the point of these little columns is to piss on your rivals, so all due respect to all of my aunts and uncles and cousins, I love you, but man, it’s easy to rip on White Sox fans sometimes.

Still, there’s something charming (is charming the word?) thinking about living in 1972, drinking warm Miller High Life in some wood-paneled smoke-filled basement bar on the South Side, playing pool at 1PM on a Saturday, listening to Dick Allen take one deep at Old Comiskey on a AM transistor radio hanging over the beer tap. Say what you want about fathers and sons and sunshine and box seats and bringing your glove to catch a foul ball, that first scene above is just as indicative to the American experience. That scene, to me, is White Sox Baseball.

Also, the Gamboa thing.

So, they’re called the White Sox, right?


So, they’re kinda like the Red Sox?

Kinda. Where the Red Sox had an 86-year World Series title drought, the White Sox had an 88 year drought. I guess, that’s about where the comparisons end.

Where the Red Sox had a number of near-misses over the decades, the White Sox were absolutely Royals-esque in their ineptitude. clocking in with a stretch of 40 years without a postseason appearance.

Where the Red Sox are hot chicks in pink hats, the White Sox are Denise Swerski with a mouth full of dip spit and polish sausage.

Where the Red Sox have hours and hours of national coverage devoted to their franchise, the Chicago Tribune devoted more column inches on Hall of Fame weekend on Greg Maddux -- who played about a ¼ of his career for the Cubs -- than Frank Thomas, the greatest to ever wear a White Sox jersey.

So, how are they at baseballin’?

This year? Not so good! Actually, they’re better than last year, but that only counts as good if you’re the Royals. While they’ve definitely suffered thru many many seasons of futility in the past, they have had their moments over the past 25 years, riding the bat of the aforementioned Thomas to playoff appearances in ‘93 and 2000, and riding the bat of Scott Podsednik all the way to the title in 2005.

But this year? Yeah they suck. Which means they’ll surely rip our still-beating hearts out of our chest when they take all of the last seven they have against us this year.


Jim Thome
Jim Thome is 112 years old and still plays for the White Sox, and also every other team in the major leagues.

Paul Konerko
Paul Konerko is 112 years old and still plays for the White Sox. He is literally 112 years old.

Jose Abreu
Rookie. Also from Cuba which means he’s a dirty Commie. Look at those eyes. He’s going to kill your entire family with his dirty Commie hands.

Homeless Ron Burgundy
82 home runs on the season with 2,042 strikeouts.

Chris Sale
Remember, the Royals picked Christian Colon in 2010 because he was the most “major league ready” prospect in the 1st round. They passed on Chris Sale, who has 70 more major league starts than Colon, and is a pitcher.

Loves to fly, apparently.

A Speedbag

Go White Sox! You're the Best!

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