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.
Oh, Jake Peavy. You miss 37 games to start the season, make five starts, and then land back on the DL with a groin injury. Let’s not forget you missed a large portion of last season too, with a major shoulder injury. Oh, yeah, and when you came to us at the ’09 trade deadline, you could only pitch in the last three starts of the season since you were rehabbing an ankle injury.
You know what, Jake? You just earned yourself an early Christmas present (or belated birthday present. Sorry I missed that.) See what Jimmy Kimmel is wearing in this picture?
Yep, I got you one of those. Should ship in a week or so. Until then, thank Philip Humber and his two point eight seven ERA. If he wasn’t pitching so well in “your” rotation spot, I would look something like this woman. Then again, after reading that you were injured for the thousandth time in your White Sox career, I’m pretty sure I wore a similar expression.
Good evening, folks, and welcome to tonight’s edition of ChiSox Nightly. We have a very entertaining show planned for you tonight, but first, let’s start with a little trivia question, shall we?
Who is very nervous about Jake Peavy’s season debut tonight?
a) Jake Peavy
b) Catherine, the esteemed author of the fine blog The Wizard of Ozzie
c) That random fan in the stands with mustard on his shirt
If you selected choice “b”, then you are correct! Thank you for playing, and please, stay tuned for more exciting news!
Yep, so tonight is the big night. Peavy steps on the mound for the first time in 10 months, facing the Angels. (Note: Peavy’s injury came against the Angels. Coincidence much?) As exciting as it is to have the guy who is supposedly our “ace” back on the squad, I must admit that I am more nervous than anything else. Peavy hasn’t exactly been a master of control since arriving in Chicago, and coming off of major surgery, I’m afraid of the same old same old. We don’t need our star failing miserably in his debut. That would just rub more salt in the wound. And anyways, I’m liking this Philip Humber kid and his 2.97 ERA. Can’t he stick around for just a little while longer?
For my English class, I have to give a persuasive speech about any topic I want. My teacher suggested that we choose a topic that we are passionate about, and of course, the two things that popped into my head were art and baseball. Not really sure what I could say about art (besides persuading everyone to like it), I turned to baseball. And so, inspired by recent columns by Bill Madden of the New York Daily News and Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated, I chose to talk about why the Oakland A’s should be dissolved. Believe it or not, I found many valid reasons, and I am looking forward to crafting this speech. When it is done, I will post it on here. I’m looking forward to reading other people’s thoughts and opinions on my idea.
Okay, so I would rather have a great White Sox team instead of a great White Sox team store, but I just got a White Sox Wire bulletin about the new team store the Sox are building at the Cell, and it looks very nice. I love team stores, simply because every piece of useless team memorabilia you can think of–1987 team baseball cards! stuffed lambs with the team logo! garden gnomes!–is stocked floor-to-ceiling, all in one wonderfully tacky marketing scheme. What’s going to make the Sox store so great is that all of that useless team memorabilia will be stocked floor-to-ceiling on not one, but two floors! Think of all the wacky souvenirs they can fit in two floors and 13,000 square feet! Light-up keychains? Talking alarm clocks? Bobbleheads of the bullpen catcher? The cheesy possibilities are endless.
Tomorrow, the White Sox will take on the Mariners in Seattle. Felix Hernandez will battle Philip Humber on the mound, which leaves me in a bit of a dilemma. King Felix is the ace of my fantasy team, and I am currently in need of some strikeouts and a low ERA to win this week’s matchup. But of course, the White Sox are in need of a win period. I guess I’ll just have to hope that Felix goes eight strong without giving up a run, but the M’s closer blows it in the ninth. Except that the M’s closer, Brandon League, is also on my fantasy team. Hmmmm….
Ah, NY traffic. Getting to the Stadium yesterday for the Yanks-ChiSox game wasn’t a picnic, with lots of rush-hour traffic on the Deegan. Getting home wasn’t exactly fun either, since the Yankees traffic directors force you to spend an extended amount of time in a not-so-nice part of the Bronx before finally hitting the highway back home.
But I don’t care. The ChiSox got a win! And, more excitingly, the bullpen did not cough it up!
Humber was fantastic, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning. I was hoping that he would maintain the no-no into the ninth, so that Ozzie could not take him out and we would not have to go to *gasp* the bullpen. (I have absolutely ZERO faith in our bullpen at this point, and I know that’s bad. I can’t wish for an October run and bash the oh-so-crucial bullpen at the same time.) But Humber gave up a hit to A-Rod in the seventh, so to start the eighth, out trotted Chris Sale. He did not blow it, to my relief.
Then came Sergio Santos…
Granderson-A-Rod-Teixiera, a 2-0 ChiSox lead, and a crazy Stadium crowd in the bottom of the ninth. My heart was pounding as it was, and then Granderson hit a leadoff single. I buried my head in my sweatshirt, and looked up just in time to see Granderson steal second. The crowd went nuts, and since they were so loud that no one could hear me, I yelled “NOOOOOO!!!!” I could see it now…a two-run shot by A-Rod…out trots Thornton…a solo walk-off shot by Teixeira…my imagination went nuts. But no! Three more quick outs! A win! A win! A win!
Then we got to sit for 45 minutes in traffic immeshed in the dark Bronx streets not completely sure where we were going. But once we got onto a well-lit highway, I forgot about that. Because…
WHITE SOX WON!!
Tonight’s first pitch is in less than 5 minutes. Let’s do it again, boys.
Tonight, the Sox played the Rays on MLB Network, which means I finally got to watch them live for the first time all season. Unfortunately, my cable was acting up and I missed the first three innings. By the time my TV stopped cubing and freezing, we were up 5-0, en route to a 9-2 final score, which snaps our seven-game losing streak.
It was a lot of fun to watch this game, where everything seemed to click. It was clean, tight baseball. No sloppy fielding, no leaving the bases loaded, just a fun game to watch. Floyd did plunk a couple of guys and threw a wild pitch, but hey, as long as it didn’t lead to a barrage of runs by the Rays, I was happy. Plus, Juan Pierre picked me up another stolen base for my fantasy team, which is nice since I’m getting creamed in all other offensive categories. Apparently, all of the other position players I selected have decided to take the month of April off, with the exception of Ryan Braun. I sadly had to bid adieu to the only other two guys on my roster who are awake, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher, to obtain Neftali Feliz. (Thank you, Matt Thornton, for letting me down in the relief-pitching area and forcing me to make that trade. Yet another reason I am annoyed with you.)
Anyways, I’m hoping the ChiSox give me an encore of tonight on Monday, when I get to see them live and in the flesh at Yankee Stadium. The pitching matchup does not look pretty though: Philip Humber (he of the 4.42 ERA) against A.J. Burnett (he of the 4.37 ERA). Sigh. Maybe they’ll defy all logic and get me home by 11 so I can actually be conscious for my Spanish test 1st period. Then again, 1st period starts at 7:25 a.m., so that’s unlikely, game or no game.