This article was originally written by Morris Daily Herald Staff Writer, Mark Johnson.

So much for that 9-2 stretch earlier this month being the beginning of a playoff push for the White Sox.

After following that stretch by losing 3 straight to the Indians, bouncing back to win 2 of 3 over Texas and now losing both parts of a 2-gamer at Los Angeles, the Sox are back to 6 1/2 behind Detroit in the AL Central standings. The Tigers have given themselves a decent cushion over both the Sox and the second-place Indians by winning 5 of 6 heading into the game they're current playing at Tampa Bay.

A 6.5-game deficit is still doable with over a month left to go. Heck, the Tigers' attempts to pull away in the AL Central have paled in comparison to what's happened in the NL Central, where Milwaukee is now ahead by 10 games in what had been a close race with the Cardinals.

But the White Sox aren't exactly inspiring a lot of reasons for optimism right now. OK, they're not supposed to win the Jered Weaver vs. Zach Stewart pitching match-up they faced last night. But facing a sweep in a late-August series with playoff implications, you at least have to show up. By the end of the second inning, the Sox were down 3-0. They got a pair of runners on base in the third for Paul Konerko, but he grounded out. The game may as well have ended there, but it dragged on for another 6 innings as die-hard Sox fans that I don't envy stayed up and suffered.

Those of us who are waiting for the Sox to either get back in the race or get out of it completely probably can't be satisfied yet. The fat lady is warming up her vocal chords, but she ain't singing just yet. But I'm thinking it's very likely that by the Bears' Sept. 11 season opener, all of Chicago — not just those of us who root for the team on the north side — will be emotionally done with baseball and ready to focus on football.


This article has been reposted with the permission of the Morris Daily Herald. You can find the original article here.