But What Can Winning Buy, Anyway?

So the Sox routed the Mariners – again – while fending off those pesky Twins who just don’t seem to lose at any opportune times. The combined score of the series? A merciless 33-8, showing the world just how powerful this South Side juggernaut can roll.


Going into this series, the Seattle Mariners had scored 516 runs while allowing 610 – both good for third-worst in the American League. Their second-best pitcher sports a 4.95 ERA and 1.471 WHIP. Simply put, the Sox didn’t beat anyone special this week; theoretically, playing the Mariners in the midst of a pennant race may have actually been detrimental in the long run.

And you’ll ask “Um, isn’t a win still a win?”

To which the answer is “mostly.” Yes, the Good Guys kept their lead in the Central when they needed to the most and yes, the bats came out in full force.

The problem is, the teams that matter are not the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics of the world. Now, we can’t doubt the collective will and restraint of the actual baseball players involved, because they most likely understand that not every team they face will roll over and play dead in the face of the Armour Park Softball All-Stars playing in their home park. They probably understand that not every team that comes to town is in the basement of arguably the worst division in baseball, and they probably don’t just assume they’re going to put up double digits tomorrow because they did today.

But you have to worry about those other guys. About overly optimistic fans. About sportswriters looking to wax poetic about a team that may have found all the answers to its problems. About cranky bloggers who don’t know a good, bad or ugly thing when they see it. If it’s true a win is a win, it must also hold true that beating up on a bad team is still just beating up on a bad team.

Homers and awful opposing pitching aside, it will be interesting to see how the hot bats do against another real team this weekend, as we all remember how the last few series against meaningful competition have gone. Unless, you know, the A’s and Mariners are suddenly meaningful, in which case you might as well start printing those World Series tickets.