CHICAGO – There was no better sign that could have illustrated the ire that fans of the White Sox feel in 2022 that the ones that started popping up around the ballpark on Saturday night.
“Sell The Team” signs were in view of the cameras late in the White Sox 10-5 loss to the Diamondbacks on Saturday that was part of another lost weekend for the club this season. The same sign was spotted in the outfielder by a number of fans on social media during the game as well.
Arizona only heated up fan’s frustration on Sunday when they pulled off a 3-2 win, giving the team that entered the weekend 11 games under .500 a sweep of the team many expected to run away with the American League Central division title.
Now the club is stuck in a bad spot with just 34 games to go – trailing the Guardians by five games in the division and six in the AL Wild Card race, with two teams ahead of them for that last spot.
They are 2-8 in their last ten games with their playoff odds, according to ESPN, dropping to just 12.9 percent. Inconsistency in all facets of their game along with a plethora of injuries have turned a year in the competitive “window” into what looks like a lost season.
Baseball, however, is unusual, and furious finishes to save a campaign have been staged before in the final weeks. That’s why many are careful to completely dismiss the season despite the struggles, especially in a mediocre division.
But if this team is going to find a way to turn it around, they’ll have to do something a White Sox team has never done: End the month of August out of the playoff picture and rally back to make it.
When the team has made the playoffs in the past, they’ve always had the lead in the American League or their division on August 31st.
1906 – Up 3 Games
1917 – Up 3 1/2 Games
1919 – Up 6 Games
1959 – Up 5 1/2 Games
1983 – Up 10 1/2 Games
1993 – Up 5 1/2 Games
2000 – Up 7 Games
2005 – Up 7 Games
2008 – Up 1/2 Game
2020 – Up 1 (60-Game Season)
2021 – Up 10 Games
In many of those seasons, the White Sox were able to win the American League or division with room to spare. In 2005, the team had their lead cut to 1 1/2 games late but were able to hold on and eventually won the World Series.
The 2008 campaign was a back-and-forth battle with the Twins that was decided with a one-game playoff at Guaranteed Rate Field. In the now famous “Blackout Game” at the venue on September 30th of that year, the White Sox beat Minnesota 1-0.
Of these seasons, the White Sox made the Wild Card in only one season – 2020 – when the campaign was significantly shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic. That year the team had as much as a three-game lead in late September but were passed by Minnesota and Cleveland in the final days of the season.
The White Sox would end up the seventh seed where they would lose to the Athletics in the Wild Card Series in Oakland.
Again, never say never, but it’s safe to say the White Sox will have to make history or their 2022 season will be history in a very much unexpected way.