The White Sox went 9-1 against Seattle last season, so the good news on Thursday's off day, as the team was headed for a nine-game, three-city West Coast swing, was that the first stop is a three-game set against the Mariners that begins Friday.
The bad news has been almost everything else.
The Sox just went 1-5 on a six-game homestand, falling to their worst 32-game start since 1978, when they also went 11-21. They fell 10 games under .500 for the first time since the end of the 2007 season. They will also stroll into the Seattle series having to face ace Felix Hernandez, and do so with an anemic offense. The Sox will start the trip hitting .204 with 59 runs scored in their last 23 games. Even when they do get on base, they seldom do anything right, going 18-for-36 on stolen-base attempts.
Manager Ozzie Guillen summed the troubles up as only he can.
"Those guys got to go fight every day," Guillen said of his players. "Every day they have to fight. That's the thing. They are the pilots. We (the coaching staff) are sitting in the back of the airplane. We're gonna crash. Well, the plane's going to crash because you fall, but I'm gonna crash. I'll be the first one to die, but I'm not driving the thing."
What's even harder for Guillen is explaining what exactly has been going wrong. The fact is very little has gone right for a team that had huge expectations and $127 million payroll to back it up.
"You have 120 million reasons and you have 30 reasons about why we're not winning," Guillen said. "I wish I knew what I can do. You try to make things happen and you try to put the guys in the right place in the right time and hopefully they go out there and do something, but history continues. There's only so much you can do. You just come here every day and fight the best you can and hopefully you come out of this the best and the quickest you can."
After the Seattle series, the Sox will play at Anaheim and then at Oakland before returning home.
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