During this last week of summer, I am on vacation with my family in Southern Jersey, about an hour and a half outside of Philly. As I expected, in my three days here so far, I have seen my share of red (and even some old-school maroon). However, I’ve been seeing a few other colors too. In what has been the extent of my scientific activity this summer, I’ve kept track of the number of people of seen wearing MLB gear. The results, three days into my seven-day vacation, are as follows:
1 Red Sox
1 White Sox (Okay, okay, it’s me. Gotta represent!)
I’ll be keeping this tally all week. I don’t doubt that I’ll see at least 100 Phillies fans by week’s end. If I was keeping track of football teams, I’m sure I would be able to confirm that I’ll see 100 Eagles fans as well.
So, I can tell you all about the doings of Halladay and
Rollins and all the rest, but I’m a bit fuzzy about my boys. I do know that last night, a dazzling and still rare display of offense was put on for show. 10-0 against the often-potent Rangers? I can live with that. I also know that Carlos Quentin has joined A.J. Pierzynski and Philip Humber among the ranks of the injured. Though Q isn’t expected to hit the DL, this is really a bad time for the injury bug to bite the Sox. With the Tigers sweep of the Indians, it looks like we might actually be able to move into second.
And it’s definitely not over.
Despite the enthusiasm of my last post, I still haven’t really been giving the White Sox much thought lately. That sweep at the hands of the Yankees two weeks ago left a sour taste in my mouth, and I officially proclaimed it over. I stopped keeping track of wins and losses and games behind. I would see online that they won, but not bother to check the standings. I thought no winning streak could erase the fact that it was done. Over. See ya next April.
Then, I heard on SportsCenter that A.J. Pierzynski was headed to the DL with a broken wrist. (For the first time in his career, by the way. I find it amazing that a catcher who is used as much as A.J. has never visited the DL before.) “Big blow for the surging Sox,” one of the anchors said. “They’re only 3.5 games behind Detroit.”
Excuse me, WHAT?!
Yes, it’s true. 3.5 games behind first-place Detroit, half a game behind second-place Cleveland, 8-2 in their last ten, and–my holy grail all season–one game over .500. Just when I had given up, just when I started to sink into the label of “bad fan”, my boys have given me yet another reason to believe. This hope may soon be dashed, as so many have this season, but now I know that I’m sticking this out till the end. After all, there’s still 41 to go. Let’s play ball.
(But, seriously, A.J.? Now is not the time to go on the DL for the first time in your career. Best wishes for a speedy speedy SPEEDY recovery.)
This weekend, the White Sox happily won the their third series out west, actually scoring runs for once in the process. I took this all in from Phillies country, aka Southern Jersey. Honestly, I have never seen so many people wearing a team’s gear, aside from a stadium. Everywhere I looked, there was a Phillies hat, Phillies shirt, Phillies jacket. I think Roy Halladay is the second coming down there.
But while this blog was down, I did not want to write about the Sox’ victory spree or the overabundance of red that I was seeing. No, I wanted to write about this guy.
Yes, this is a White Sox blog. Yes, the White Sox are my favorite team, and always will be. But the Jorge Posada saga really struck a nerve with me this weekend. Whenever I see news about him now on ESPN, I stop and look. Growing up on Long Island, I knew all about the Core Four and their magnificence. And for whatever reason, Jorge caught with me more than any other Yankee. In 2005, Newsday had a centerfold poster of Posada that stayed tacked onto my wall until 2007. I bought a Posada shirt in 2006, three sizes too big, and still wear it in sophomore gym class. On my list of favorite players, squished between the likes of Mark Buerhle, Paul Konerko, and A.J. Pierzynski, is Jorge. And now he’s getting old? And worse, he’s getting old in one of the ugliest ways possible?
I was expressing this all to my friend via text on Saturday night, while watching the Yanks game on FOX and hearing Ken Rosenthal reveal the story. He, unlike almost every other friend I have, loves baseball, and is a fan of his hometown Reds and the Red Sox. “Why are you so upset about this?” I explained to him that the slow demise of Jorge represented the demise of the Yankees I grew up with, when I was living in a town practically draped in pinstripes. “But you don’t even like the Yankees,” he said.
Let’s say you have an aunt. Let’s call her Mary. Aunt Mary is your father’s sister, and you have known her since birth. Your father is very fond of his sister, and always encourages you to spend time with her and get to know her better and better. You find Aunt Mary to be perfectly nice, but she’s a bit boring. She is very traditional, hardly ever breaks from her routine, and considers a wild day to be a day at the petting zoo. She isn’t very funny, doesn’t enjoy reading the Sunday comics, and wears grays and whites. You love Aunt Mary because she is a part of your family, but not for many reasons beyond that.
Then let’s say that a vivacious woman named Bess marries into the family. Aunt Bess is the stark opposite of Mary. She is outgoing, wears bright colors and flowing fabrics, and loves to laugh and crack jokes. You take to her immediately, because you want to hear her funny stories and eat the gum she slips you on the way home, even though your parents forbid gum in the house. Then, just when you don’t think you could love Bess anymore, she takes you to Disney World for the week. The excitement she gave you in that week tops anything Aunt Mary ever did. Bess is just so much fun, that she has to be your favorite aunt. You will always love Aunt Mary, because she is family, but Bess will always be the favorite.
I guess by now you can figure out that the White Sox are Aunt Bess and the Yankees are Aunt Mary. While the White Sox will always be my true loves, the Yankees are woven into the fabric of my family, of my childhood. So do I like the Yankees? Yes. No. Maybe. That’s not the point. Watching Jorge get old is like seeing Aunt Mary’s eyesight fail. You don’t love her much beyond the familial sense, but you would hate to see her suffer.
Finally, the long and torturous offseason is about to come to an end. We’re in the home stretch now: 19 days until White Sox pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch. In honor of this milestone, here are the top 19 reasons I can’t wait for spring training:
19) I live in Connecticut, where there is nearly 5 feet of snow on the ground and it is cold and gray outside. I would like hear news from a place where it is warm and sunny and, best of all, there is not a spot of snow on the ground.
18) I’m curious to see if Gordon Beckham plans on bringing back this stylin’ hairdo:
17) It’s officially time for the White Sox and Don Cooper to come face-to-face and either work it out or part their separate ways. It’s clear Don Cooper wishes he was with the Yankees right now, and it’s also clear that the front office is being petty towards him by communicating with him only via text-message. Both sides need to meet, and that will happen in Arizona.
16) Hoping Mark Buehrle will roll up the ball park in his killing-the-ozone-one-mile-at-a-time truck.
15) Is this the year Jordan Danks shows us something special and earns a roster spot? Always hoping to see the younger Danks roaming the Cell’s outfield…maybe my wish will come true this year.
14) I get to see Chris Sale throw again, and be reminded why he is our future ace.
13) Our big free-agent signing, Adam Dunn, is at long last unveiled, ready to show us that we finally have a stable, powerful, and productive DH.
12) The post-Bobby Jenks era in the bullpen will commence, and the race for the closer spot will begin. Will favorite Matt Thornton emerge with the role? Maybe hot-shot Chris Sale? Or even a dark horse, like Jesse Crain? The competition should be great to watch.
11) It’s always fun to see what color AJ Pierzynski’s hair currently is.
10) Can Jake Peavy return to form after his unprecedented shoulder surgery? That question will finally be answered for curious fans like myself.
9) I’m waiting waiting waiting for Mark Teahen to be removed from the hot corner, and will relish the moment when prospect Brett Morel earns the spot.
8) This year will be the year when Carlos Quentin revisits the MVP-caliber self he was in ’08. I just know it. The road back starts NOW.
7) Finally, I can start watching ESPN again. I don’t mind football, but I want some baseball news sprinkled in there. Otherwise, I start doing homework and actually become productive. And that simply cannot do.
6) I can also begin wearing my ChiSox apparel once again in places other than gym class. I don’t like wearing my Mark Buehrle shirt if I know there’s no game it will bring him luck in.
5) Spring training always coincides with the beginning of second semester. I’m halfway through the school year. Baseball reminds me that I’m almost there, that summer will come soon enough.
4) With the dawn of each new season comes hope. Hope that the ChiSox will not disappoint me this time. We will go 162-0 and win the World Series and watch those Twinkies cry themselves to sleep at night in last place. At least, that’s what I can hope for.
3) As teams take shape, I can make predictions for the season…and maybe this year, one will actually be right.
2) We all know that spring training will not end without a word from Oney Guillen and his Twitter feed. He’s not done yet. There’s always someone to bash.
1) And of course, where there’s Oney’s mouth, there’s the man who gave him that voice in the first place.
Actually, eleven months to be exact. This blog seemed like a good idea when I started it, but then…well, life got in the way. I’m a high school student after all, and between homework, friends and rehearsals, all I wanted to do in my free time was watch the ChiSox, not write about them. But I’m back, and better than ever (even if there are only two entries to improve upon).
So what’s news? We have a bullpen, but not quite a closer. We have a pitching coach, but he’s not very happy. We have a third basemen, but he’s not very competent. We don’t have Andruw Jones anymore…thank God for small favors, right? Most importantly, we have Paulie back, we have A.J. back, and we have Ozzie back. A huge part of me smiles when I think of that. Those guys (and Buehrle, of course) remind me of my first baseball season, when my dad took me to a Yankees game, but forgot to tell me to root for the home team. Well, I guess it worked out. That year was 2005, and that year, my new team won the World Series. Gone are Scotty Pods and Aaron Rowand and all of the other guys that I remember seeing on my TV screen, but Paulie’s still here. And of course, so is that crazy, funny manager who I thought was hysterical when I watched his postgame interviews as a ten-year-old.
Well, that’s been a lot of reminiscing for one blog post, hasn’t it? Forgive me, but there’s not much going on in Soxland right now, is there? I’ll be back though…and this time, I’m here to stay.