Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Death Of The White Sox--Up Close And Personal

My uncle got tickets to last night's Tigers-White Sox game from a co-worker, and he gave them to me and a friend of ours who also works with him and who used to be a teammate of ours in a bowling league. For those who aren't aware, the Sox led in the race for a wild card playoff spot (best record in the American League among all teams who aren't leading a division) for most of the season, but have lost that lead to the Twins. Now the Sox sit about 5 games out of the wild card spot with 12 games left in the season, so when I listen to sports talk radio on my headphones during work, it's 20 minutes of Bears love for every 3 hours of Sox hate. It made perfect sense that free tickets popped up for last night's game because the Sox were swept 3 straight games over the weekend in Oakland, then came back Monday night to get a foot put up their ass by the first-place Tigers, who were still only 6 games ahead of the Sox, so technically the Sox could beat them and still be in the race to win the whole division...but instead, they got killed. So sports talk yesterday was full of death knell sound effects and gagging sounds. Yeah, sure, NOW Sox tickets are available to whomever wants them. No one else has called me all year saying that they have tickets.

Oh, did I mention that the game-time temp yesterday was going to be about 50 degrees?

I expected a sparse, negative crowd of vitriolic, disappointed guys mixed with a few asshole Tigers fans, but I was pleasantly surprised. The fans were die-hards, very enthusiastic and supportive, 38,850 still rooting for the only major-league team in Chicago, even though most of us realistically know that it's just not our year. But my favorite player, A.J. Pierzynski, made us feel like miracles are possible for one night, hitting a grand slam in the 4th inning that proved to be the only hit the Sox needed to win behind Freddy Garcia's one-hit pitching performance. (Freddy's looked high all season long, keeping with the marijuana theme that has followed him since reports came out that he toked with regularity during this past off-season, so he's the one pitcher who can throw two straight 1-hitters. I know, bad joke.) For one more night, the Sox Pride was out and in full force, and I was glad to be proven wrong in my assumption that the wake would be last night for the upcoming funeral. They aren't quite dead yet.

All we need is Pierzynski grand slams every night for the rest of the season. That's realistic, no?

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