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Astros White Sox Baseball

The Astros' Alex Bregman, right, scores on a single by Brian McCann as White Sox catcher Omar Narvaez looks to the field Friday during a Houston 10-0 win in Chicago.

We're an impatient people.

We don't like waiting for anyone, anything. We want it yesterday.

So imagine the frustration of White Sox fans once again stuck with a stinker of a team while being told the best of times is yet to come.

This likely will be their sixth straight losing season, with only four winners since 2005 when the Sox managed to win it all.

But the best is yet to come, remember?

"As an organization, we haven’t shied away from the fact we’re two years into a rebuild right now and there are going to be difficult stretches," general manager Rick Hahn told reporters before Friday night's 10-0 drubbing by Houston.

"There are going to be growing pains."

You want to believe the man. Change is inevitable in every sport unless you can freeze time.

The Cubs had a rebuild and look at them now. The Bears and Bulls are rebuilding while the dazed Blackhawks still wonder what the heck went wrong.

If I'm Rick Hahn, I worry about attendance, which has always been a concern on the South Side.

Yes, the weather has been wretched for baseball. Too cold, too snowy, too wet.

At the April 9 game against Tampa Bay, paid attendance was announced at 10,377 — but only 974 tickets were used. Guaranteed Rate Field actually had an echo. Even the pigeons stayed away.

The Sox were 4-12 with a 5.91 staff ERA and .230 team batting average -- .187 with runners in scoring position — entering Saturday's game with the Astros.

Can it get much worse? Of course.

Former White Sox slugger, 1983 American League rookie of the year and current team ambassador Ron Kittle hopes fans don't panic and jump ship. He sees a bright light on the horizon.

"I personally believe they've got some pretty good kids who can play the game and they're gonna get a lot better, but right now, they're not all peaking at the same time," said the Gary native.

"I'm not worried about the offensive part. They're struggling but I'm worried about the pitching staff, the bullpen, holding up. I really believe they'll play better baseball when the weather gets nicer."

Not to use it as an excuse, but players from warmer climates can have a real problem with the cold.

"Latin players .... nobody's used to the snow. They thrive in the hot weather," Kittle said. "I want 65 to 70-degree weather and sunshine every day, whether I'm playing baseball or not.

"It's tough for fans to sit in the shadows of the ballpark and freeze your fanny off."

You can't move freely around the diamond or be a spectator when you're dressed for the Iditarod.

"I wouldn't buy a ticket to sit at a ballgame in bad weather. I'd rather sit by the TV and get something to eat whenever I want to," Kittle said.

The Sox are 2-4 in one-run games, so they're not getting blown out each time they take the field.

They were 1-6 at home prior to Saturday, which has to change.

Being eight games under .500 barely four weeks into the season will drive fans away faster than inflated ticket prices.

"I think fans get irritated. That's the word. They want to see a winning team," Kittle said. "They've played some great baseball at times. They just have to be more consistent."

Polish off your crystal ball, please, and tell us how long we have wait for the Sox to turn this around and once again become relevant.

"I'm thinking near the end of this season, they'll be playing some pretty consistent baseball and by next season, might be a top contender in their division," Kittle said.

We've seen great promise from Yoan Moncada and Reynaldo Lopez, the plate discipline of Tim Anderson, the scary power of Matt Davidson, the resurgence of reliever Bruce Rondon and steady play of Jose Abreu.

Anxiously waiting in the wings are Eloy Jimenez and Michael Kopech.

Are fans willing to wait yet another year?

Their answer will come at the gate.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com.

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