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.
All right, so I know that it’s a bit pathetic to be ecstatic when your team reaches .500, and I know that this is not the first time this season that the White Sox have reached that mark (and then promptly slipped below it). But this .500 feels special for a number of reasons:
~The Sox are now only three games behind Detroit in the Central race.
~We have beaten the aforementioned Tigers 4 of the last 6 times we’ve played them.
~We have gone 8-4 since the All-Star Break.
~In those 8 wins, we have scored 36 runs, which averages to 4-5 runs a game. (I am aware that there are some teams who have been surpassing this mark on a nightly basis for the entire season. Unfortunately that team has not been the White Sox.)
I’m happy. I’m content. I’m sad that I’m leaving on Sunday and won’t get to see any of the games against the Yankees. But right now that doesn’t matter. Back at .500 and it feels so gooooood… See? I’m making up bad song lyrics, I’m so thrilled!
There’s another reason to be happy on the South Side. The Phillies, thought to be seeking our boy Carlos Quentin, have acquired Astros’ big-hitting outfielder Hunter Pence. Hopefully, that eliminates their need for Q, which means that he can stay with us and help us STAY ABOVE .500!!!
Can you tell I’m excited this morning?
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.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from you. Last I’ve heard is that you want to come back. I’ve also heard that you finally realize what you are: a 37-year-old with poor range in the outfield. Such self-actualization is always wonderful news to hear. I’m glad you no longer find $3 million insulting, like you did last year. I’m glad you declared that money is no longer an issue (though I wonder how true that is).
So I’ve heard there are some teams calling you up. Not the White Sox, of course, but you must not take that personally. See, we have Adam Dunn to be our DH, and he’s much younger than you, not to mention he has a full head of hair (I’ve never cared much for your shaved-head look). And he has such a lovely disposition, see?
I see that you’ve chatted with the Rays, Rockies, and Phillies, though two of those teams don’t make any sense. As you and I both know, you and the outfield aren’t exactly a match made in heaven anymore. And as you also know, the National League does not employ designated hitters. I see that you are open to the idea of playing first base, but the Phillies have this guy at first base. I don’t know if you’ve heard of him. They pay him lots of money.
Whoops, wrong one. This one also gets paid lots of money.
Anyways, I don’t think the Phillies would want to get rid of the second Ryan Howard for you, and the Rockies have Todd Helton at first, who is pretty much you with a goatee. But the Rays…yes, you should definitely sign with the Rays. See, I live in Yankees territory, and I get to see any Yankee game I want on the YES Network. The Yankees and Rays play each other quite frequently, and I would love to see you on TV, being a former White Sock and all. Plus, the Rays don’t exactly have their designated hitter or first baseman roles cemented. You would be a lovely fit.
So, whaddya think? I haven’t heard much lately from you, and I’m eager to see you in a uniform again, even if it’s not the Black and White. Hope to see you bashing homers real soon,