The Sox, as our cold sweats and waking nightmares have reminded us, square off this weekend against the hilariously bad Oakland Athletics in their hilariously bad ballpark in their not-so-hilariously tough city.
But why, the casual observer might ask, would a recently-upgraded contender such as the White Sox have any reason to fear the lowly last-place A’s? A’s fans don’t bring shanks and chain mail to games like their football-loving brethren, and the team itself hasn’t really resembled a legitimate ballclub since 2006. To look at their 2009 club is to look at a team that doesn’t stand a chance against anyone, one whose best starting pitcher hasn’t made enough starts to be taken seriously and whose best hitter is currently employed elsewhere and destroying the National League Central. They are strong against exactly three of the 18 teams they have faced. The Orioles; the Royals; the White Sox. This weekend cannot end well. Or can it?
No, probably not.
Scenario I: The A’s sweep the series.
While not likely, history suggests it’s also not impossible. Anybody remember this past June’s four-game South Side disaster? Or, for that matter, everything that’s happened in the past eight years? Even if the A’s weren’t such a hopelessly lost in such a terribly confused we still can’t laugh this one off, and joyless return flights to Oakland are the first step towards a six-week death spiral.
Scenario II: The A’s take two of three.
This is easily the worst possible outcome, if only for the simple reason that while both teams would be proven weak enough to lose to each other, only the Sox would be weak enough to lose twice. To the A’s. Did I mention the A’s are lousy? They’re lousy.
Scenario III: The Sox take two of three.
Only slightly less lame than giving up two. It’s true that a win is a win, but it’s also true that good teams feast on bad ones. Winning two games against Oakland would be nice, but you’re supposed to win two games against Oakland. Hollow victories are not the foundation upon which to build a dynasty.
Scenario IV: The Sox sweep the Athletics.
Of course they will. Did you ever doubt them? Don’t doubt them! Cast your apprehensions aside and make way for the Team of Destiny.
Team of Destiny!