Thursday, October 27, 2005

2005 World Series

Chicago White Sox defeat Houston Astros 4-0

Game 1: CWS 5-3
W-Contreras L-Rodriguez S-Jenks

Game 2: CWS 7-6
W-Cotts L-Lidge

Game 3: CWS 7-5 (14 innings)
W-Marte L-Astacio

Game 4: CWS 1-0
W-Garcia L-Lidge S-Jenks

Most Valuable Player - Jermaine Dye, RF Chicago White Sox

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Just One More Win, For All of Them

One more victory will set aside all the years of stress and agony. One more successful night will make all of the loyal fans of the ‘South Side’ bunch forget about how long it’s been and how many opportunities they’ve squandered. Just one more win…and the Chicago White Sox will be World Series Champions for the first time since 1917.

I’m rooting for the ChiSox – and there are so many reasons I want them to be the 2005 World Series Champions…

I want them to win it for Kid Gleason, who was cheated out of managing a World Champion in 1919. And for Ray Schalk, the catcher and team leader of that 1919 team. And for Dicky Kerr who pitched his heart out while some of his teammates threw that series.

I want them to win the series for the ‘Black Sox’. Eddie Cicotte, Chick Gandil, Fred McMullin, Swede Risberg, Lefty Williams, Happy Felsch, Buck Weaver and Shoeless Joe Jackson. These eight men took a terrible decision that they made to their graves – I want the 2005 Sox to win it for all of them.

I want the ChiSox to win it for Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball who banned the ‘Black Sox’ for life for their involvement in the 1919 World Series scandal. He came away looking like a jerk – but it was the only thing he could do.

I want them to win it for their former shrewd owner Charles Comiskey. And for past and present owners Bill Veeck and Jerry Reinsdorf.

I want them to win it for Hall of Famers, Luke Appling, Al Lopez, Red Faber, Ted Lyons, Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, Early Wynn and Carlton ‘Pudge’ Fisk…who played their guts out for Chicago, but none of whom had their chance to celebrate a World Championship with the White Sox.

I want them to win this one for former players like Minnie Minoso, the Cuban born All-Star who had two at bats in 1980 at the age of 57. And for Sherm Lollar, the All-Star backstop for the ’59 Sox. And one of my personal favorites - Harold Baines, who started, came back and then finished his career on the ‘South Side’. And also for the late Ivan Calderon. I want them to win this one for guys like ‘Black Jack’ McDowell and Robin Ventura. And for former Manager Jerry Manuel who won 500 games as their manager.

I want them to win this for the great Frank Thomas. The guy who for so long was The Chicago White Sox. The ’93 & ’94 American League MVP is watching his teammates win this thing because of a broken bone in his foot. I want Frank to feel the joy of this World Series Championship.

As a huge baseball fan, this World Series is just as touching as last years was. There are so many people, alive and dead, who gave all they could to bring home a championship for the fans of the White Sox…and this title will hopefully be for all of them too.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Great Scott!

The heroics of last nights Game 2 of the World Series seemed to be spilling all over the place. First, down 4-2 to the Astros, Paul Konerko hit a grand slam to put the ChiSox ahead 6-4. Then, with two outs in the top of the 9th inning the Astros had runners on second and third. Phil Garner decided to bring in veteran Jose Vizcaino to pinch hit against the Sox big closer, Bobby Jenks. Vizcaino made Garner look like a genius, slapping the first pitch to left field for a two-run, opposite-field single as Chris Burke just beat Scott Podsednik's throw to score the tying run. 6-6.

Two of the White Sox four All-Stars in 2005 had already done as much as they could to give the ChiSox a 2-0 series lead starting pitcher Mark Buerhle had pitched well and Konerko had provided them a lead with his prolific slam. Jon Garland will pitch in Houston so you knew that All-Star wasn't going to be a hero last night. But the fourth All-Star Scott Podsednik, maybe he could?

With one out in the bottom of the 9th inning against Brad Lidge, one of the best closers in baseball, the speedy left fielder was perhaps the most unlikely hero when it came to the long-ball. He didn't have any home runs in 507 regular season at-bats with the Sox. His first homerun in a White Sox uniform came in the ALDS against the Red Sox.

I figured it would be a great time for Pods to drive a ball into the gap and try to leg out a triple. Nope - Scott had a different idea. With a hitters count of 2-1 and knowing Lidge was going to groove a fastball strike, Podsednik waited for his fastball. And as fast as Lidge's 95+mph fastball came in, it got out. Deep to Right-Centerfield for a game-winning solo homerun. Podsednik sprinted around the bases like he was trying to steal all of his 59 regular season bases at once. For a moment he pumped his fist, and he even shared a big smile, but it was without question Scott Podsednik's biggest moment in baseball. Sure he led the team in batting average, runs and stolen bases, but Pods isn't a homerun hitter - Zero all year. It was a classic finish to an incredible game.

All we heard about last year was the "Curse of the Bambino" and the year "1918". Well maybe in 2005 the Chicago White Sox you haven't won a World Series since 1917 will finally get the "Black Sox Scandal" off of their plates.

Just two games more and the fans of Chicago can celebrate...