White Sox – who “sucked up” at home – needs cooking

Perhaps what was missing in White Sox 2022 is a team-wide running ritual. Think: the Padres “Swagg” chain, the Red Sox laundry cart or the “Barrio” jacket for Blue Jays. Watching Rimmel Tapia in a Jays jacket sway along the dugout on Monday after returning to Guaranteed Rate Field—his teammates were dizzying admirers of him—it was impossible not to appreciate the bragging.

Just spitting here, but maybe a Sox player who puts one in the seats could spill a bucket of Giardinaira over his head? Would Chili Sport Be Better? There is always bath joss or mustard to consider.

The point is, Sox need something – especially when it comes to protecting their home ground. Last year’s team was 53-28 on the south side, the best home record in the MLS. The Sox started the current home with a 13-17 home run, and the third worst home run in the AL. Want to point out an area that needs major improvement? You might as well start here.

“The bottom line is we love playing at home, and we hope these first-half stats are very different from here to the end,” said coach Tony La Rosa.

The Sox responded to Tapia’s long ball with three of them and won the opening game against Jays 8-7, but it didn’t have to be close. Lance Lane looked good on the hill, Tim Anderson came off the hit list hitting as always, Andrew Vaughn kept swinging like an all-star and the Sox built an 8-2 lead. Blowing it all up and losing would be disastrous, the biggest punch in a season full of them – again, especially at home – for a favorite band who gets dizzy and disappears every time you smell the .500.

The Sox won their first two domestic series of the season, against the Mariners and Rays, and that was the entire roster before Jays called out. The dropping of the royal family’s ugly series in April was a sign of things to come. The Yankees played the Sox with a loss of three of four and a 32-15 lead. They were mercilessly clubbed by the Red Sox, conceding 16 times. They lost a rubber match to the Dodgers after La Russa’s really embarrassing deliberate walk to Max Muncy. They lost twice to Rangers in extra rounds, taking a 5-0 lead in the first of those matches as “Fire Tony!” Cheers came from the crowd.

“Let’s be honest,” Liam Hendricks said, “I think we’re all surprised that it’s only a few games under 0.500 with how much we suck here at home.”

This is well laid out.

“A lot of times when you try to explain something, it seems like an excuse,” La Russa said. “But in those 30 games we played here, winning was harder than it was in some of the road trip matches. So the effort was there, but we failed.”

There is still plenty of time for the Sox, of course, just as they had with La Russa’s last team in the World Championships, the 2011 Cardinals. They were basically a .500 home team in September and didn’t really warm up – on home or away – until the three weeks The last of the regular season before winning everything. What does that have to do with the Sox? Probably nothing, but it’s thought to stick with in case it helps you get through the night.

Recently, the 2021 World Championship-winning Braves showed that local records don’t necessarily mean much. Of a modest total of 88 wins in the regular season, only 42 came in Atlanta. The Braves’ win percentage of 0.525 at home ranked 10th in the National League and 19th in the major leagues. What does that have to do with the Sox? Maybe nothing, but there you are.

Maybe someone should start opening a batch of Giardinara.

It’s just a different year, so of course the numbers will be different,” Anderson said. “They will not always be the same. They will not always be better.”

But, frankly, they couldn’t be much worse. Especially in the wake of last season – did we mention the domestic record 53-28? – It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

“I know that experts have to choose who will. [what]La Rosa said. “They don’t know. There are a lot of dynamics.

“All I know is, if you are good enough and stay strong in your heart and in your courage and in your mind, you can compete. That is what we believe in.”

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