With the White Sox sporting a 5-11 start (their worst since 1997), a .215 team batting average, a lineup designed by way of Santeria, a winless Cy Young starter with a .400 OBA, and a catcher openly wondering in April about his next assignment, you might guess clubhouse pessimism would reign on the South Side. Add in a .217 lead-off hitter, a manager obsessed with Twitter, and the grim news that traded-away Scott Podsednik is busy savaging the pitching staffs of the American League, and you’d be doing more than mere guesswork.
So when youthful 2B Gordon Beckham appeared on WSCR’s Mully and Hanley show this morning, it was with some surprise that Chicago heard a more hopeful perspective.
“Baseball,” offered Beckham, “comes in spurts.”
Indeed it does, young Gordon. So reminded, thoughts reel with the hydraulic possibilities. After all, weather remains terrible at home, and like many Southern-built models, Jake Peavy is not optimized for 39-degree outings. Even the ’97 team was competitive with an 81-80 finish. The bullpen is frighteningly good, and Freddy Garcia’s slippery spot may well provide the means to deservingly bust Matt Thornton into the rotation. On offense, the front office could heat up more than the temperature – hitting coach Greg Walker may finally fulfill his true function: to be pointlessly fired as a scapegoat. Cowed by guilt at the charade, Sox bats might catch fire in memory of their hapless coach. Anything could happen.
What Beckham is saying is that things can change. Whether he’s channeling Richard Hell, The Runaways or Peter North, we would do well to remember this as we fertilize our own lawns this spring.