Wednesday, August 14, 2013

White Sox-Tigers: Miscellaneous Thoughts and Why We Watch

Fouad Egbaria

I'll be heading down to the park today for the first time since April (a win that propelled the White Sox to an early 2-0 record). Now, in mid-August, the Sox sit at 46-72, 7.5 games behind the fourth place Twins and 23 behind the division-leading Tigers. 

The White Sox were last a .500 team on May 26, at 24-24, after a 5-3 win against the similarly hapless Marlins. 

The games mean nothing now, and the few remaining useful parts of this old car have been sold off for money and younger parts. Jake Peavy, Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and Alex Rios all play for other teams, now. Additionally, it appears that we are likely watching Paul Konerko's penultimate month as a White Sox, a guy who has been around for so long that a White Sox squad without him is a strange concept. It seems unlikely, but Konerko has been placed on waivers, so we might not even get the month of September to say goodbye. 

Even so, I still find myself tuning in almost every night, or when I'm able to. The sweep of the Yankees last week, complete with the absurdity of a Mariano Rivera blown save, and the first two victories in this current series against Detroit, have served as a reminder that when stakes are non-existent, there's nothing left to do but have fun and, as they said in 2012, "appreciate the game."

I wouldn't be able to find myself saying this about any other sport--college football and basketball, the Bears, Blackhawks and Bulls--but this is allowed to still be fun. And it is. Of course, it hasn't always been that way in 2013; after all, the Sox are 26 games below .500. 

With that said, the aesthetics of sports--not the cold hard facts of winning and losing, but aesthetics--is composed of two elemental parts: people and moments. Many of the people are now gone, wearing the colors of other teams, but there have been moments (especially since the Sox lead the league in extra inning games with 20). 

So, I'll head to the 500 level this afternoon to watch Rick Porcello and John Danks take the mound. The Sox might lose, harmlessly spreading three or four hits over nine innings. But maybe, just maybe, there'll be some moments. In a time like this, with a playoff appearance long since rendered an extreme unlikelihood, that desire to be there when they happen, whether at the park or watching on TV, is more than enough reason to watch, to care. 

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