By John Ruberry

“Baseball is a lot like life. It’s a day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.”
Longtime Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell.

For the 2018 Chicago White Sox, so far there have been a lot of downs. The South Siders, at 12-30, have the worst record in baseball. If their current pace continues, the Sox will lose 117 games and end up just a few games ahead of the most hapless teams since MLB expanded its schedule to 162 games, the 2003 Detroit Tigers and the 1962 New York Mets.

Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox, has been anything but sweet for them. Their record is a pitiful 5-16 there so far this season.. On a cold afternoon in April, just 974 fans were in attendance as the host dropped a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was at home when the team’s sole 2017 all star, right fielder Avisail Garcia, suffered a hamstring industry which placed him on the disabled list. Just two nights ago left fielder Nicky Delmonico was put on the DL after his right hand was broken after getting hit by a pitch. And it was on the South Side last month when reliever Danny Farquhar collapsed in the dugout when he suffered a severe brain aneurysm, which knocked him out for the season.

On the upside, the team slogan for 2018 is “Ricky’s Boys Don’t Quit,” a reference to manager Ricky Renteria, a patient man–that’s the type of skipper the Sox need–Ricky Renteria. While plagued by some bad baserunning miscues, the White Sox aren’t infected by laziness. It’s just that they don’t have very many good players. First baseman and designated hitter Jose Abreu is the only South Sider batting over 300. MSN Sports listed the best player so far this season for each team, for the Sox they chose right hand starter Reynaldo López, who coincidentally starts at home this afternoon against the Texas Rangers. His ERA is a 3.50, but his record is 0-3 with 46 innings under his belt, which led its writer Greg Papke to opine that it “shows how abject the team is that he has failed to win a game despite those solid numbers.”

Team statistics betray the awful truth. The White Sox rank next to last in Major League Baseball in ERA and runs scored and they’re at the bottom in WHIP, that is, walks plus hits per inning pitched.

“Ricky’s boys don’t quit, as the Sox marketing plan insists,” the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan remarked last week, “but neither do they score nor pitch.” The White Sox were expected to perform poorly this year, but not this badly. Last season they lost 95 games, but they ended last September one game over .500.

Back to the good news:: The White Sox are only nine games out of first place, but they play in MLB’s worst division, the American League Central, which the Cleveland Indians, at 22-22, leads. And the Sox are only a half-game behind the team ahead of them in the Central standings, the Kansas City Royals, who obviously are also enduring a horrible 2018.

But help is on the way. Last summer the White Sox traded their ace, Chris Sale, to the Boston Red Sox for several prospects, including Yoan Mocada, who is their starting second baseman this season, and hard throwing starter Michael Kopech, who is currently pitching in AAA and is expected to join the Sox later this season. Also last summer the White Sox traded another starter, Jose Quintana, to the Chicago Cubs for two of that organization’s top prospects, Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Crease.

Earlier this decade the Houston Astros, who the White Sox swept in the 2005 World Series, went through a similar rebuilding process. Now they are the reigning World Series champions. In 2011 the Astros lost 106 games, in 2012 they dropped 107 games, and the following season 111 games.

Then the upswing began.

UPDATE 7:20pm EDT: My post must have been good luck for the White Sox. The heretofore hard luck López pitched eight shutout innings this afternoon against the Rangers while giving up only two hits. His record is now I-3.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Most Members of sports media are liberal and it’s interesting to see the parallels between their conventional wisdom on the NBA playoffs regarding the Boston Celtics and the Conventional wisdom concerning Trump.

When Gordon Hayward went down in game one of the season Conventional Wisdom on sports radio said that the Celtics chances to make the NBA finals were practically gone, that was until Kyrie Irving led the team to an incredible run.

When Kyrie Irving went down with injury conventional wisdom on sports radio said that while the Celtics would make the playoffs because of their start they were doomed.

When the Celtics faced the Bucks conventional wisdom on sports said that Milwaukee would win because they had stars and the Celtics did not but it’s OK because it’s because their guys are hurt anyways.

When the Celtics beat the Bucks and found themselves faced with Philly conventional wisdom on sports radio said that Philly would beat them but the Celtics should be proud to have gotten this far and any wins here are gravey

When the Celtics demolished Philly conventional wisdom on the radio said that the Celtics didn’t have a chance against the Cleveland team and LeBron James who swept Toronto but they should celebrate getting that far

When the Celtics won game one vs the Cavs conventional wisdom on the radio said that LeBron would have a monster game two to make up for it and the Celtics, while game still were unlikely to beat Cleveland.

When the Celtics won game 2 (despite LeBron’s monster game) suddenly the conventional wisdom on the radio was that Cleveland was finished that LeBron didn’t have the horses and it was only a matter of time.

Yesterday Cleveland beat the Celtics convincingly on their own home court 116-86 leading the Celtics the entire game. I’ve not listened to the radio yet but I predict that when I do the conventional wisdom will suddenly once again turn on a dime.

The lesson of all of this? “Conventional Wisdom” is only reality if the people said wisdom is speaking about allow it to be so.

Because neither Cleveland nor the Celtics have allowed themselves to be led by conventional wisdom of sports reporters they will be masters of their own destiny in these game.

This is a lesson that President Trump has learned in regard to the political press and pundits. Would that the rest of the GOP would figure the same thing out.