AT LEAST THE FIREWORKS WERE GOOD

Monday was a rainout in Chicago, was waiting till 5:30 to head down there, but the game was called at five. Tuesday would feature a full day of baseball at the Cell, a DAY/NITE doubleheader, I’m not a fan. What do you do if you wanna go to both games? They throw you out of the ballpark/parking lot and then you can come back one hour later. If you come on the L, there really isn’t enough time to grab a bite and make it back in time for the 2nd game. What I decided to do was eat ballpark food during the first game, hang out outside Gate 4 for about an hour, and return inside.

The first game featured A.J. Burnett vs Javier Vazquez, normally I mention our pitcher first, but I was a little torn. You see Burnett is on my APBA Baseball team, the Chicago Champions, of the Illowa APBA League. If A.J. ends up with 20 wins on the season he’ll receive a higher grade, which will make him much more effective, he came into the game with a 16-10 record and four starts left. However I am a White Sox fan and was rooting for the Pale Hose to win, although I wouldn’t be heartbroken if Burnett got the win. A.J. came out smoking, throwing a no-hitter into the bottom of the 6th, when Orlando Cabrera broke it up with a line single to left, just about the same time I was munching down some Elotes (corn, smothered in butter, mayonnaise, lime, salt, cheese, & chillies, who says corn has to be healthy?). Although the Sox managed to score an unearned run in the bottom of the 6th to cut Toronto’s lead to 2-1, the game was never really in doubt. The Blue Jays had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the 6th (why does Javier always seem to give it up in the 6th?). The Good Guys went down to a lackluster defeat 3-1.

A woman, protected by the screen, who was sitting about ten rows in front of where I stand, was struck on the back of the head by a high popup off the bat of Juan Uribe. She was sitting next to A.J. Pierzynski’s wife & two kids. Although she was conscious, they took her out on a stretcher.

Went outside the ballpark over to Gate 5, where Tade gave me his ticket for the nitecap, he’s working midnights, and running on two hours of sleep wasn’t going to get him through the 2nd game, I gave him some beer money for the ticket, thanks Tade!

Also exchanged a couple of coupons for four tickets for Friday’s game against the Tigers. It’s Halfway to St. Patty’s Day & is a sellout, got obstructed view seats for Chuck & his family. It seems so strange to me, there were plenty of seats available for Saturday & Sunday’s games against the first place Angels, & yet this game is sold out, just because green White Sox caps are the give away. It also happens to be the day we picked for our tailgate party. We’re going to gather outside Gate 4’s parking lot about 4:00, I’m in charge of the pop & beer, Tade’s bringing the hot dogs, Debbie’s bringing fruit, and Dick & Bea are bringing pretty much everything else. It ought to be alot of fun.

Was sitting outside the ballpark, hanging with Phil, and a guy I met on the L. That guy was still made at Tony Cuccinello for sending Sherm Lollar home in the 59 World Series, instead of 2nd & 3rd with nobody out, down by a run, Lollar was out by 30 feet, and the tying run was on 3rd with one out, still didn’t score. Later in the night I continued this discussion with Steve while watching the 2nd ballgame. Steve blamed Al Lopez for not pinch running for Sherm, as both Johnny Romano & Earl Battey were on the team. When I asked Steve, why Billy Pierce didn’t start any game in that Series, he stated, Lopez didn’t like Pierce. He said, he also didn’t like Nellie Fox. It was Steve’s belief that Bob Shaw would’ve understood starting game #3 in Los Angeles. Baseball’s a great game, here we are almost fifty years later discussing a World Series that occurred when I was three.

The first batter in the 2nd game Marco Scutaro lined the 3rd Clayton Richard pitch of the game over the leftfield fence for a leadoff homer. When Jermaine Dye doubled home Orlando Cabrera & Dewayne Wise in the 3rd inning it was the first & only time the Sox would lead all day. Although Jesse Litsch was in & out of trouble all day, and his pitch count was high, it was the Jays who exploded for 4 runs in the 5th. Scott Rolen followed a leadoff walk to Kevin Mench with a two run blast to left. D.J. Carrasco was called upon to replace Richard, then Jose Bautista successfully bunted, something the White Sox couldn’t do throughout the first game, John McDonald & Scutaro to 2nd & 3rd with one out. Alex Rios singled home McDonald, but was tagged out on a sloppy rundown, when the throw home was cutoff. The worst break of the season might’ve occurred during that sloppy rundown play, something popped in Paul Konerko’s knee. Although Paulie grounded into a bases loaded doubleplay in this game, he’s the guy who just started hitting & was being counted on to pick it up for the injured Carlos Quentin. If Konerko’s out, the Sox are done, unless Ken Griffey, Jr. can step it up, something he hasn’t shown to date. Vernon Wells doubled home the 4th run of the inning with a booming double. Toronto added single runs in the 7th, 8th, & 9th innings to make the final 8-2.

So the Sox dropped both games, the Twins won, only one game out now, but at least the fireworks were good. Honestly it’s hard to be upset after watching such a beautiful display.

Once again the White Sox looked lifeless. I heard a stat, they’ve only won eight games all season, in which they did not hit a home run, something that does not bode well for the postseaon. Who’d have thought that Griffey would not be able to help us win? So far he has hit only one homer since coming over from Cincinnati. I though his season long lackluster performance could be blamed on the fact the Reds were playing so poorly. Now I think Junior just doesn’t have anything left in the tank. That said, it’s time to seriously question, what to do now? Maybe our scouts should have better assessed Griffey, his bat’s SLOW. But now we’ve got him. My call would be to play more speed, with Jerry Owens, Dewayne Wise, & Brian Anderson getting more playing time. Especially if Konerko’s out, one of them needs to be in centerfield everyday. We lost in 2006 because Rob Mackowiak played over 50 games in center, don’t repeat the same mistake. Anderson was immature then, but is still one of the best defensive centerfielders in the game, he seems to break for the ball even before it’s hit.

Also Alexei Ramirez needs a day off. I truly thought Ramirez would be rested in the 2nd game in favor of Chris Getz. I love Alexei, but the skinny Cuban is running on fumes, and needs a break.

It’s not going to get any easier as Chicago gets to face Roy Halladay on Wednesday, at least Mark Buehrle will toe the bump for the White Sox. I’m going to miss Thursday’s game in favor of Ray’s Surprise (Shhh) 50th Birthday Party. Friday is our Tailgate Party before Friday’s game against Detroit. Then Saturday BIG Mike & I fly to Carolina to watch the Bears take on the Panthers. Watched the opener with DonS at his brother Kevin’s place on Sunday after the Sox/Angels game. It was a great night, out on the patio, with ten friends singing the Bears Fight Song everytime the Bears scored a TD, Debbie doing a little dance, lotsa beer, good food, a surprisingly easy win over the Colts in Indy, what a funn night, BIG thanks to Kevin & Dawn!

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