White Sox faring poorly in history
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org August 3, 2013 11:26PM
How bad is baD?
Worst teams in White Sox history:
1932 49-102 .325
1948 51-101 .336
1970 56-106 .346
1934 53-99 .349
1931 56-97 .366
2013 40-68 .370*
1929 59-93 .388
1950 60-94 .390
1976 64-97 .398
1921 62-92 .403
1949 63-91 .409
1968 67-95 .414
1969 68-94 .420
1989 69-92 .429
1924 66-87 .431
*54 games left
Updated: September 5, 2013 7:07AM
DETROIT — The White Sox had the last laugh after a major-league scout warned before the 2012 season that they might lose 100 games. They finished 85-77.
Turns out the scout’s prophecy was only a year off. And if you consider this year’s roster wasn’t much different before general manager Rick Hahn began dismantling it last month, maybe the scout was on to something.
The only thing the 2013 Sox (40-68) are on to is a backpedaling chase to catch the worst teams in a franchise history that dates to 1901. Their lowly win percentage, which fell to .370 after a 3-0 loss Saturday night to the Detroit Tigers, the team’s season-high ninth in a row, would rank sixth among all-time-worst Sox teams. The record for losses, 106, belongs to the 1970 team; the record for worst win percentage belongs to the 1932 team that went 49-102 (.325) in the era before the 162-game schedule.
There is a silver lining. The Sox trail the Houston Astros (36-73) by five losses for the first pick in the 2014 draft, and early indications are it will be a good year to own a top-two pick, which Hahn would treasure when next June rolls around.
The consensus best college prospect is North Carolina State left-hander Carlos Rodon, he of the mid-to-upper-90s fastball and putaway slider. As a freshman in 2012, Rodon was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, given to college baseball’s best player. The top high school player is Clovis (Calif.) High School shortstop Jacob Gatewood, a 6-5, 190-pound phenom who put on quite a home-run exhibition on Home Run Derby night at the All-Star Game. Gatewood also throws 92 mph off the pitcher’s mound.
Also projected in the top five at this early stage: Vanderbilt right-hander Tyler Beede, Louisville right-hander Nick Burdi, California high school catcher Alex Jackson and Florida high school pitcher/shortstop Nicholas Gordon.
Since they were 24-24 on May 26, the Sox are playing worse than any team in baseball, and if that trend isn’t reversed in the last 54 games, they’ll make a run at picking first. Since May 26, they’re 16-44 for a .267 win percentage.
The players and coaching staff, of course, care nothing about a top pick.
“I’ve been on some bad teams,’’ said Adam Dunn, who played on five that lost 90 or more, including one that lost 100, “but . . . this really is unbelievable. I know we have guys who can hit; I know we have guys who can pitch. For us to be doing what we’re doing, there’s no excuse.’’
Dunn was quiet but visibly upset after the game.
“It’s the same story every night,’’ he said. “We try to improve, and we haven’t.
“Hopefully, pride kind of takes over. The thing that’s frustrating is we have guys in the cage doing early hitting every day, and we’re just not getting it done.’’
Saturday’s loss had a familiar ring. John Danks allowed three runs — on solo homers by Torii Hunter, Jhonny Peralta and Jose Iglesias — and got no support from a lineup facing All-Star Game starter Max Scherzer (16-1). During the nine-game skid, Sox starters own a collective ERA of 2.72. Their hitters have supplied more than two runs in two of those games.
Danks (2-9, 4.52 ERA) allowed six hits and one walk and struck out six.
Asked how to escape this downward spiral, manager Robin Ventura said, “Cross home plate.’’
“You’re never numb to it,’’ he said of the losing. “I don’t think that’s the word. You just get frustrated, and you wait for it to turn. When you struggle [and] your frustration sets in, you still have to be able to block it out and play.’’