The Chicago White Sox head into Memorial Day with a .615 winning percentage, good for first place in the AL Central. Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs just saw a six-game winning streak snapped, carry a .558 winning percentage and sit in second place in the division.
Injuries have decimated both teams, with the South Siders losing key guys like Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez and the Cubs looking at a list of injured guys that numbers nearly a dozen. Given how the season has played out to this point, both teams are on solid ground moving forward – but it’s been the Cubs, not the Sox, getting love for their play this month.
First-year White Sox closer Liam Hendriks is not about it.
May has been kind to both teams, with the Sox going 18-9 and the Cubs at 18-8. The month of June could prove to be very different for David Ross’ club, as Chicago faces one strong competitor after another, starting with the San Diego Padres this week at Wrigley Field.
But nobody has been talking about what Tony La Russa’s team has done. Instead, May has been about the 76-year-old clinging to baseball’s outdated, unwritten rules – criticizing his own player for hitting a mammoth homer in a blowout contest against a position player – and the White Sox renaming a food section at Guaranteed Rate field after their new manager, replacing the name of a former stadium worker.
Chicago Cubs have avoided unnecessary drama, while White Sox drown in it
If Hendriks is looking for someone to blame for the lack of positive national recognition, he needn’t go very far. La Russa has been nothing but a liability to the team and when your manager is causing headlines in all the wrong ways, it’s hard for anyone to pay much attention to what you’re doing on the field, as a team.
It’s not like it’s been a one-off thing, either. First it was La Russa’s DUI that ownership conveniently attempted to sweep under the rug. Then it was his not knowing rules of the modern game. This whole venture has been one head-scratcher to the next – and it’s taken away from what the players have done through the season’s first two months.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs continue to grind, hoping to overcome an ever-growing list of injuries to key players. But there’s no drama. There’s no public clubhouse strife, even with three of the most popular players in franchise history set to hit free agency at year’s end.
So if Liam Hendriks has a problem with the difference in attention the Cubs and White Sox are receiving this year, he should go talk to his skipper, who’s proven to be a sideshow from day one.