White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Sunday that the approaching trade deadline is like the elephant in the room.
Actually it's more like a gift horse for Sox players.
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And management. And fans.
Jake Peavy's name is in the most rumors and he's crazy if he doesn't want to get out from under this pile of mess. It sure looks like he's ready to film "Escape from Comiskey."
As the valuable trade piece dressed at his locker after the Sox' 4-2, 12-inning, sleepwalk loss to the Royals, six of his bags were packed for the trip to Cleveland.
Or preferably to Atlanta or Boston or any other potential next destination with a next uniform awaiting that will fit him better than a Sox uniform fits anybody these days.
"Got my locker cleaned out," Peavy cracked.
This latest loss encapsulated what the Sox have come to: Beautiful afternoon, ugly outcome.
The Royals swept the Sox over the weekend. This wasn't the Tigers or the Rays or the Red Sox visiting the South Side and embarrassing the home team. It was the flipping Royals.
The game was so excruciating, it almost made a baseball fan want to be up the road apiece at the soccer game in Soldier Field. Not quite but almost. Instead, fans stayed at the Sox' game and -- yikes! -- did the wave.
So this is what should be happening on this team:
•Every player should want out.
•The front office should want every player gone.
•Sox fans should want a fresh start with new faces in all the old places.
These Sox deserve the worst insult that can be given any baseball team: Their season looks as futile as so many Cubs seasons have looked the past century.
If a player doesn't want to leave this team now for a pennant race, he doesn't want to win. If he doesn't want to win, the Sox shouldn't want him anyway. There's no reading between those lines or the white lines. This whole situation stinks.
You look around the clubhouse, see Paul Konerko and think, "Poor Paulie." There's hard-luck pitcher Chris Sale and you think, "Sorry, Sale." There's Alex Rios and you think, "Adios, Rios."
Things have gotten so bad that a few days after Rios was pulled for dogging it down to first base on a double-play ball, he was announced as the Sox' recipient of the "Heart and Hustle Award" given by the Major League Players Alumni Association.
Rookie general manager Rick Hahn is dealing -- we hope that's the right word -- with his maiden trading deadline. He has until Wednesday at 3 p.m. to prove he's up to the task of manufacturing some productive moves.
What would make Hahn a success? Peavy, gone. Rios, gone. Alexei Ramirez, gone. Adam Dunn, gone. Anyone else, gone.
Yes, even Sale, gone for the right price. The others could be traded just to be traded. But if the Sox could get a deluxe package of young players for their prize left-hander, the exchange should be made.
Pretty decent pitching aside, the Sox give no indication they will be much better in 2014 except for the feeling that they can't be any worse.
Ventura said of possible trades happening. "We'll find out. A lot of times there are a lot of rumors and it winds up that nothing happens."
Bite your tongue, sir.
The Sox are begging to be blown up. They have to start over. The players have to want out and management has to want them out and fans have to want a whole new beginning.
The elephant in the room is a gift horse for all.