Chicago Baseball Oblivious to Real World

Lou Piniella nabs jay walking warning; White Sox brass delusional

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Lou Piniella's jay walking is just the latest bit of unreality in Chicago baseball.

    A week ago, Kenny Williams was busted for jay walking in Seattle. On the way to Safeco Field for the Sox's series against the Mariners, Williams made the grievous (in Seattle, apparently) mistake of "walking away from the crosswalk." Despite his exhortations about the way we do it in Chicago, he was promptly ticketed.

    It's weird enough when one member of Chicago's baseball community gets hit with a jay walking citation. (Who gets jay walking tickets, anyway?) It's doubly strange when it happens a second time, as it did to Lou Piniella in San Diego.

    Piniella was crossing a street in the city's famous Gaslamp District when a police officer turned on his siren and rolled next to the grizzled coach. Piniella was on his cell phone at the time, when he noticed a siren. He looked up, only to find the siren was for him.

    Piniella was luckier than Williams: he only received a warning, and not a full-fledged ticket. Perhaps telling police officers that people don't use the crosswalks in Chicago isn't the best way to get out of a ticket? Who knew?

    In any case, we're beginning to worry about the sanity of our local baseball personalities. The jay walking tickets are one thing, but Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen's belief that the White Sox are "underachievers" is entirely another. Williams was the first to complain about the Sox not living up; Ozzie joined the fray soon thereafter.

    But here's the thing: the Sox aren't underachieving. They're playing about how you would expect the Sox to play. This is a team still largely reliant on aging veterans leftover from the team's 2005 World Series. Williams and Guillen seem to expect them to be every bit as good as their former, younger selves, but that's not how it works. Players get old and lose ability. This is baseball.

    In many ways, the Sox should probably thank their lucky stars their division is as bad as it is. The math doesn't see the Sox as much better than they currently are. Excuse us for saying so, but perhaps it's time for a reality check.

    Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.