The bigger the game, the smaller the Sox

That’s three times in three years that the White Sox have faced the team they were battling for the AL Central in the second half and three times they got pantsed.

In 2009, the Sox lost five of six to the Twins from Aug. 31 on. Last year, the Twins took four of six in less than two weeks. This year the Tigers wiped out the Sox in Detroit to pretty much end the discussion and then gave them a 14-4 kiss Monday night and a 5-nothing hug on Tuesday in a place the Sox used to defend proudly.

For all this yammering about the way the general manager and manager get along, you could argue the Sox need some players with fight.

And some pride.

And some professional preparation.

It would be less embarrassing for the Sox to have forfeited this series. Especially with Justin Verlander going Tuesday. I mean, quitting would’ve looked better than 18 innings of bad and dead.

This is so last season, too. This is the final kick in the butt after that 8-1 choke in Detroit followed by the game that screamed for a mercy rule. All Sox games these days seem to scream for a mercy rule, but more importantly, I didn’t realize the Sox surgically removed pride and ability when it came to whatever rival is going to finish ahead of the Sox.

Last season, the Sox battled the Twins into August and had a chance to make a statement.

And we’re still waiting for the ball Jim Thome hit off Matt Thornton to come down.

The Twins pantsed the Sox in two series in August. It was showdown time, and the Sox fell down, went boom.

This season, you saw that monumental choke of an 8-1 lead in Detroit. Remember, it was preceded by a big beating and then was followed by an inept and heartless nationally televised 18-2 vivisection. That ended the discussion of the Sox’s competitiveness.

But it wasn’t the best example of this Sox season. No, the first two losses to Detroit this week do a better job: AL Central rival, playing at home, not ready, not good, not even close.

Oh yeah, and that big payroll can’t hit. Just like April, when the Sox lost the season.

So, to recap, the Sox weren’t ready to start the season, weren’t good enough to win at home and weren’t competitive enough to win in the division.

Nicely done. Such pride. Quality work. Don’t stop now, boys.

Sox manager Ozzie recently commented that part of his worth is being the face of the franchise. I wouldn’t brag about that. The franchise isn’t drawing what it needs and didn’t win games at home or against divisional opponents. What’s more, as noted, when it comes to the biggest series of the year, Guillen’s teams have choked the last three years. Not only wouldn’t I brag about being the face of the franchise, I wouldn’t admit to being even part of a bunch that will always be irrelevant enough to rank behind the Bears, Cubs and Bulls in the city’s food chain unless it pulls a 2005.

Truth is, it doesn’t matter which management wonk stays or goes. What matters is who hits and pitches. It doesn’t matter if the manager is as insecure as he is loud. What matters is on the field.

When you think about it, Kenny Williams was never going to be fired, if only because Chairman Reinsdorf is too smart to put a new guy in a horrible situation. It’s unworkable. The Sox corpses are unmovable. Any new GM, even if it meant promoting Rick Hahn, would also require purchasing a Haz-mat suit.

So, it always seemed to me that Reinsdorf wouldn’t pay for a new general manager who would be held hostage by Williams’ financial disasters of Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Jake Peavy. It always made financial sense to force Williams to shovel his way out of this port-a-potty.

And there’s no reason to fire Guillen. He’ll fire himself. He has another year left on his deal, but he has threatened not to honor it unless the Sox give him an extension. Excuse me, but what exactly is your bargaining power when your team isn’t ready to start a season, stinks at home and chokes the big series on a regular basis?

I can only guess that the Sox have seen how profitable the business model of utter embarrassment has worked for the Cubs and decided to try it themselves.

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