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Sorry, Andrew Benintendi, but the White Sox' season is actually a lot uglier than it looks

You wake up in the morning, still groggy from sleep, not yet in possession of all your faculties or senses, certainly not anything resembling a sense of humor.

But then a light. You read the Sun-Times, and there it is. A gift. A laugh-riot. Hilarity in the a.m.

‘‘It might look a lot uglier than it actually is,’’ White Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi said Tuesday.

This “it’’ that Benintendi speaks of is the Sox’ season, a brutal, hideous thing to even the most generous of beholders. There is nothing uglier than this. What you see is what you get, which is why some Sox fans are asking where they can donate their eyeballs. Now. Immediately.

Benintendi’s team had just lost another game, making them 21-60 at the midpoint of the season. That means they’re on pace to tie the 1962 Mets’ modern-era record of 120 losses. That team was an expansion team. The Sox, who have been in operation since 1901, have no such excuse. They’re an excretion team.

Benintendi telling us that it looks worse than it really is reminds me of the car safety warning, “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.’’ The Sox changed lanes, mangled the car next to them and ruined a family’s summer vacation.

Now, we all understand what Benintendi is doing. He’s in the middle of this mess, and he’s looking for reason to hope. He’s trying to lift up his teammates. So the instinct might be to want to cut him some slack. But his full quote was no less delusional.

‘‘It’s been tough,’’ he said. ‘‘It might look a lot uglier than it actually is. We’ve played a lot of one-run ballgames. We’ve put together one, two good weeks. But we’ve got 81 games left. Just keep trucking, keep working on things, keep getting better.’’

Heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Dodgers, the Sox were 6-15 in one-run games, which means they were 15-45 in games not decided by one run. They’ve lost 21 games by five runs or more. Whatever angle you want to approach this from, it’s bad. Trust me, no one is going to remember the 2024 White Sox as the bad-luck team that couldn’t win the close ones. The ’62 Mets went 19-39 in one-run games. I’ve never heard that mentioned when their record comes up. I’ve only heard laughter.

When Benintendi said there were 81 games left, he meant it as a good thing, but for Sox fans it probably sounded like a threat or a prison sentence or eternal dental surgery. The Sox aren’t getting better, as he said they are. They’re remarkably consistent in their frightfulness. He’s right about one thing, though: The Sox have had a week or two in which they weren’t awful. That was in May, when they won four straight games yet still finished the month 9-19, a .321 “winning’’ percentage.

All signs point toward the Sox blowing up the roster and starting over, which they seem to do over and over again. That likely means they’ll deal some of their best players before the July 30 trade deadline. And that means there’s an excellent chance that things are going to get worse, record-wise.

So, hello, 1962 Mets.

‘‘Yeah, I don’t want to be in that company,’’ Sox reliever John Brebbia said. ‘‘That stinks.’’

Brebbia talked about the team being able to control only what it can control, which is a cliche and comfort food for athletes. But this season has been out of control since Day 1, thanks to the litany of injuries to the usual suspects and thanks to a roster that is major league in name only.

It might look a lot uglier than it actually is? Sorry, no. This season would win one of those ugliest dog contests. Hairless. Bulging eyes. Tongue sticking out. And something that looks like a contagious skin disease.

Before Wednesday’s game, their .219 batting was the worst in Major League Baseball. Their 4.74 earned-run average was second worst. That doesn’t sound like a team that has been done in by one-run games. That sounds like a team that has more problems than it can handle.

Benintendi’s quote is a reflection of a franchise that doesn’t get it. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, head ever in the sand, doesn’t get it. He’s responsible for this. He’s the one who hired general manager Chris Getz, who doesn’t get it. He’s the one who hired manager Pedro Grifol, who doesn’t get it. Promises were made before the season about things getting better. And now?

It’s actually a lot uglier than it looks.


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