VIVA JOSE CONTRERAS!!!

Hot & Sticky was the night as I boarded the L, heading South to the Cell. Cubano Jose Contreras would be on the hill as the White Sox looked to sweep the KC Royals. This was perfect weather for Contreras, who knows hot with humidity, growing up on Cuba. It was also perfect weather for rashes, which is what I liken the White Sox offense to, it’s like a bad rash that keeps on spreading. With Joe Crede out with a bruised wrist, Pablo Ozuna was at the hot corner, he had two hits, but was robbed of a third by the official scorer. Bob Rosenberg must’ve thought Gil Meche had a howitzer for an arm, if he thought Gil would’ve gotten Pablo at first, if he hadn’t bobbled the ball.

Everybody was getting into the act last night. There was a pretty even distribution up and down the lineup, with the exception of Paul Konerko & Carlos Quentin, who were hitless and didn’t contribute to the scoring. Paulie is currently below the Mendoza Line at .199. But who was that blur streaking to third on a Jim Thome basehit? It was Konerk, nailed there, but close, and he actually beat the throw, but pulled his lead foot back rather than jamming it and was tagged out. Still it was aggressive baseball and moments later Thome’s beautiful hook slide delivered himself safely to third on Jermaine Dye’s double to left. All that action happened in the 4th inning, an inning which saw four Sox runs put on the board.

After the night before’s 15 inning game, the bullpens were strapped for both sides. The starters would have to go long, which didn’t look good, especially if you were watching KC’s overpriced starter toil against Chicago. Meche would give way to Joel Peralta in the 6th after throwing 115 pitches, trailing 5-1. Thome would nail Peralta for a 7th inning solo shot, that proved to be the icing on the cake.

Matt Thornton & newly dubbed short man Nick Masset worked the 8th & 9th, in relief of Contreras. Jose didn’t have his A-game, but it was good enough for a White Sox Winner! Masset surrendered a meaningless 9th inning homer to Mark Teahen to make the final 6-2.

Alexei Ramirez was once again brilliant in the field, mostly using his glove on this night to thwart potential Royal basehits. Ramirez has shown range to both his left & his right and is as quick as a cat. There is no doubt he will win a Gold Glove. I don’t know if he’ll win one this year, but looking over his competition in the AL, it’s very possible.

There was a nice breeze cooling us off behind the plate last night, Steve, Dick, & Bea were there, along with 600 dogs. It was Dog Day out at the ballyard, 600 dogs brought their owners to the game. They got to parade around the field prior to the contest, got to sit in a specially designated dog area, were given plenty of doggie treats, and lots of water to keep from overheating. Alot of the dogs had on Sox stuff, one even sported sunglasses.

Had a nice time catching up with my friend who sells me veggie hot dogs down the rightfield line. Other vendors selling me stuff were Hot Chocolate Jackie (Italian Ice), Bill (beer), Tracy at Caramel Corn Mike’s (he’s gonna be mayor someday) stand (Gatorade), also got a pretty smile from Tammy at the meat hot dog stand. Even said hi to cameraman Dave Cialla & the people at the Elotes stand (corn for all you gringos out there).

Steve gave me a freebie for the start of the four game homestand opening Friday night against the Minnesota Twins. The hard charging Twins are coming to town. No time for basking in the glory of a Royals sweep, these guys may be rebuilding, but they’re still pretty tough, and they mean business. Ron Gardenhire will have his guys ready to play ball. Hopefully the Sox will rise up to the challenge.

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