As a rallying cry, “World Series or bust” is compelling. As a way of life, it’s a path to feeling empty all the time.
Manager Tony La Russa is pretty disappointed after losses, but if he viewed 33 of his 36 managerial seasons purely as failures, it might be difficult to push back the frustration to get out of bed in the morning.
“Bittersweet,” La Russa said in summing up his feelings on the 2021 White Sox season. “We accomplished the first goal, but we are disappointed to get one win and not two more.”
“At the end we faced a pretty good team with a lot of talent and they just were better than us,” said José Abreu through team interpreter Billy Russo. “But I don’t think there is any room to say this was a bad season. I think it was a very good season. I’m just glad and happy with all the effort and all the work everybody put in to have the kind of season we had.”
These days, many players show up at spring training complexes by late January to start a journey that drifts into mid-October if they’re lucky. Boiling down all that work and performance to the end result of a five-, or ideally, a seven-game series ignores a nigh year-long effort to establish a high level of play, and to consistently perform and entertain on a nightly basis. And in the long run, it feeds into the approach of teams conserving resources and neglecting to put their best efforts on the field for years, until they feel their best shot is at hand. That was acutely felt this year, as the triumph of the White Sox’s first division championship in 13 years was muted by all of their AL Central competition selling at the trade deadline. It feeds into a discussion of
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