The Chicago White Sox are scuffling along this season with a 19-23 record, but are still only 5.5 games out of first in the AL Central, so Sox fans are holding out hope for a turnaround.
They probably should not hold their breath.
The Sox may actually be the worst team in baseball. Although the Sox pitching staff is middle of the pack, their offense is last place in the American League in runs scored and third worst in the Majors ahead of only the Giants and Padres, both of whom play in extreme pitchers parks. Perhaps most fatal of all, the Sox are dead last in all of baseball in defensive efficiency, at a woeful 0.672.
Put it all together, and the White Sox have a pythagorean expected record of 16-26, tied with the Washington Nationals for the worst in all of baseball.
But out of the two teams, the Nats are far more likely to improve as the season goes along. For one thing, the Nats have been hammered by an almost inconceivably bad bullpen, which is bound to improve, even by putting replacement level minor leaguers in there. The Nats also have an extremely potent offensive attack and lots of young players who still have upside. And the Nats are less tied down to big contracts or even trying to compete this year, so they have the luxury of sorts of throwing lots of crap against the wall and seeing what sticks.
The White Sox, on the other hand, are almost a mirror image of the Nationals, burdened down with lots of big contracts and aging veterans on the downside, yet still thought of as a contender.
I’ve been calling for Kenny Williams to blow up the White Sox and rebuild since the end of the 2006 season. But his insistence that the Sox were contenders when in fact they were gradually getting farther and farther away from contention has finally led to the end of the road.
Here, now, with the White Sox arguably the worst team in baseball.