Baseball's other historically pathetic team.

The stadium scene.
Aug. 17 2005 1:15 PM

Pale Imitations

The White Sox, baseball's other historically pathetic team.

(Continued from Page 1)

Our only real living legend is bench coach Harold Baines—perhaps baseball's greatest designated hitter. And then there's Ozzie Guillen, legendary shortstop, brilliant manager, and the least romantic figure in contemporary baseball. His thoughts on the Black Sox curse: "If I see one of my players [talking] that [expletive] I'll be [ticked], because that's just an excuse. ...We lose because we've had a [expletive] team for a long time." (Guillen's thoughts on the Cubs' supposed curse? "'Billy Goat is a bunch of [expletive].")

This year's less-[expletive]-than usual team isn't exactly filled with future legends, either. Longtime hero Frank Thomas is probably out for the season with a foot injury. Fans have been demanding the Sox give up on only-now-an-ace pitcher Jon Garland for years. And most of the biggest contributors to "Ozzieball"—Scott Podsednik, Tadahito Iguchi, Jermaine Dye, Dustin Hermanson—are new hires.

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So as much as sportswriters labor to load this team with historical significance and greater meaning—and it's already begun—the White Sox will soldier on in the most humdrum, forgettable ways. If this year's team loses, it won't be held back by the Black Sox Curse but rather the Curse of Not Enough Offensive Production. That will be fine—it's been pretty comfortable here in the shadow of every other loser in baseball. And if they win, there won't be some mammoth catharsis as we slough off our losing reputation. Which is fine, too: Unlike Red Sox or Cubs fans, we won't have to re-evaluate our relationship with our longtime losers. Our Sox can just go on winning. Or losing. Whatever.

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