The 2012 Chicago White Sox have been in this position before. They have reeled after stretches of bad baseball. They have been caught by a streaking Detroit Tigers team. They have dealt with ineffective starting pitching and silent bats that threatened to derail a surprising season.
This past week is but the latest example. The Sox have lost six out of their last seven games going into Wednesday’s matchup with the Cleveland Indians, and they have fallen into a tie with the Tigers for first in the AL Central.
But the White Sox have been here before and have found the resilience—both as individuals and as a team—to come out the other side on top of the division.
“Knock ‘em down. Kick ‘em in the gut. Leave them a bloody mess. They’ll get back up. Your 2012 Chicago White Sox.”
Chuck Garfien of CSN Chicago tweeted that almost a month ago, and it could not be a more fitting description of this team.
Now more than ever, the White Sox need to be resilient. If they are not, then the season is over already.
According to the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales, Adam Dunn suggested that the Sox need to “take a step back” and not put so much pressure on themselves. He is absolutely right.
The White Sox have to have short memories and play the kind of baseball that has allowed them to stay in first place for the majority of the season.
Do they Sox have the fortitude to see this through?
Forget that they were not supposed to be in the race at all—let alone this long—when the season began.
Forget that their pitching staff has been cobbled together from converted relievers, a pitcher coming off of experimental surgery, in-season acquisitions and minor leaguers.
Forget that the White Sox have a rookie manager with no previous experience.
Forget the Tigers are even there.
Forget it all.
Forget it and just play baseball.
It may seem that the inevitable is upon them and that the Tigers are set to take the lead in the Central once and for all. But if history is bound to repeat itself, then the White Sox are going to be just fine.