Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Final Chapter



They're here. The White Sox. Here. The White Sox are here. I almost don't want to mention it, but it's true.

The World Series is here and the White Sox are in it. That just sounds strange, though the strangeness of it is far surpassed by the sheer joy of it all. Universes are colliding. It's good to see.

The World fuckin' Series!

Shhhh.

No need to wake the baseball gods nor tempt karma. No need to waltz out of the shadows. No need to act like we haven't been here before. Nope, nothing to see here. Move along. No need to mention that the Sox have won 12 of 13 or have pitched four consecutive complete games.

No need to mention Ozzie Guillen doing the Game Four post-game interview in a Fire jersey. Now that's pure class. Chitown, represent!



No need to mention Joe Crede's glove at third base nor his clutch hitting, nor the fact that this mofo is a straight-up rock star. No joke. Cool as ice.

No need to mention A.J. Pierzynski. The ball bounced and Josh Paul was running to the dugout and had his back to Doug Eddings when Eddings made his mysterious non-call, which meant Paul didn't see anything regardless of what "anything" was. Safe. Out. Paul didn't see anything. He blew it. So get over it and shut up. Yeah, I'm talking to you, Jeannie Zelasko and Joe Buck.

No need to mention Tadahito Iguchi quietly doing his thing. He's been a rock since Day One.

No need to mention Iguchi's translator, Ryan McGuire. This cat is always hanging around in the dugout during entire games and showing up booze-drenched in team celebration photos. I'm jealous. Talk about a dream job. And my high school didn't even offer Japanese. I feel so cheated.

No need to mention Shingo Takatsu, who began the year on the team but is probably back in Japan right now, and who was a whole bunch of fun while he lasted here. The wacky sidearm and the gong. The guy is missed.

No need to mention the Gold Glove Aaron Rowand should win, and if he doesn't, the award is a crock. A crock, I say! A CROCK!

No need to mention Man Soo Lee, who is not only an undoubtedly great bullpen catcher with a huge smile, but also a Korean baseball legend. Look it up. Le-gen-da-ry.

No need to mention crazy Carl Everett smoking that drenched AL pennant-winning cigar like it was the last, and best, cigar on earth. Dude knows how to smoke a cigar. Fuck the dinosuars.

No need to mention Scott Podsednik, who never sees a base he doesn't think he can steal, and damn it all if he isn't going to try.

No need to mention Podsednik's girlfriend, Lisa Dergan, but I know you'll appreciate it if I do.

No need to mention Jermaine Dye, who we all knew is the real Comeback Player of the Year. Getting clean from steroids doesn't count.

No need to mention Frank Thomas, who deserves a ring as much as anyone. You know it has to be killing Big Frank to be watching. Get the man a ring.

No need to mention the Four Horsemen or the Fantastic Four or the Fab Four or whatever you want to call them (and someone smarter than me should think of a classic nickname based on the number four, you know, because there's four of them): Jose Contreras, Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland and Freddy Garcia. These guys are the heart, pure and simple.

No need to mention the masterful job of making the entire pitching staff click that Don Cooper has done. No need to mention the pranks usually going on behind him during the FOX in-game interviews.

No need to mention The Kid, Brandon McCarthy, who was awesome down the stretch when the Sox most needed solid starting pitching. Now he waits in the wings, his time not yet here, though the future looks good. But no need to mention that, either.

No need to mention Joey Cora, whose arm at third base is perpetually in windmill motion.

No need to mention Tim Raines mentoring Podsednik on the art of stealing bases.

No need to mention that Harold Baines may not have said a word in the dugout all season.

No need to mention Contreras' wife and kids enjoying the good life after leaving Cuba on a boat.

No need to mention doing it for Cuba.

No need to mention El Duque just lurking in the pen, waiting.

No need to mention Neil Cotts. Remember when he was christened as an unknown kid in Yankee Stadium with a spot start a few years ago? That was rough, but guess what. He's all growns up and he's all growns up.

No need to mention Cliff Politte, who will definitely be played by Tim Blake Nelson in the movie. (Think Delmar in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?")

No need to mention Dustin Hermanson's goatee, easily the most meticulously groomed goatee in baseball. Easily.

No need to mention the solid work Luis Vizcaino has done deep in the bullpen, nor his big ears.

No need to mention Timo Perez. Hey, the little guy was DHing for a stretch this year. You have to love that.

No need to mention Pablo Ozuna, who arrived out of nowhere, plays all over, and always does a solid job, all the while having one of the coolest last names you'll ever hear. Ozuna. That just rolls off the toungue nicely, and would make a great one-word Brazilian soccer name.

No need to mention that Willie Harris has dilligently done his job in the organization for several years now. He never seems to take his random trips to Triple A all that well, but always comes back ready to play and without complaint.

No need to mention Chris Widger, always solid when behind the plate, even though few guys can carry the sunglasses look like Widger can. That's nothing to sniff at. Wraparounds, to boot.

No need to mention Geoff Blum. Who said this guy wasn't a nice midseason pick-up?

No need to mention Damaso Marte, who has pissed me off to no end this season but can make everything all good by pitching well in the Series if needed. I can be forgiving. I don't hold grudges. Sometimes.

No need to mention the Cell, which will be a madhouse. And you know it will.

No need to mention the job Kenny Williams has done. He has done and said all the right things this year. Maybe he can join the club of GMs whom books are written about. Maybe. Maybe Williams doesn't care about that.

No need to mention Juan Uribe, a splendid shortstop with a deceptively dangerous bat, and his own language.

No need to mention Bad Bobby Jenks. This kid is pure excitement on the mound. He's got the goods. You da man, Bobby.

And no need to mention Paulie. Fuckin' Paulie. What else can you say?

No need to mention any of it.

At this point, there isn't much to do but sit back and see how the story ends.

And sometimes you get what you want you want.

Sometimes you get what you need.

Sometimes you get fireworks.

If you're lucky, and good.

And say please.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I Want Fireworks Tonight...

...and I don't care how that happens. Small ball. Big balls. Blondes in overalls. Just make it happen.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Keep On Keepin' On



It's a little after six pm right now. Tuesday. October 11, 2005.

First, I just want to apologize for not posting much lately. I've been severely under the weather for the last week or so and haven't had much energy. I know my three readers must be disappointed.

Now that I'm done being a whiny bitch..

In a little less than an hour from now, the White Sox will take the field to face the Angels before a raucous crowd at the Cell in Game One of the ALCS. ESPN heavyweights - Dan Patrick and Peter Gammons - are spending much of SportsCenter reporting from the stadium. I had no idea national media-types knew the White Sox existed. Not that I'm complaining. Just saying I have never seen anything like this surrounding the Sox before in my lifetime. Unfortunately, local dipshit Jay Mariotti is with them.

And for the record, Mariotti was on Around the Horn yesterday and J.A. Adande and the host (what's his name) mentioned how Mariotti suggested in his column with about a week to go in the regular season that the 'Wheeze Sox' (as the dim-witted dicksack took to calling them) would not win another game. I specifically remember Mariotti writing this. Yet on national TV, Mariotti denied having written it. Adande and what's-him-name said, "Yes, you did." Mariotti shook his head and denied it again.

Mariotti was lying on national TV. He did write it. I would look it up but I'm lazy.

Wait.

You know what? Fuck it. I'm not that lazy.

This is an exact Mariotti quote from September 28...

Is it possible the Wheeze Sox won't win another game this year?


Here's another...

For now, they'd better think about winning one ballgame. I'm not sure they can.

So not only is Mariotti a dull, mediocre-writing blowhard who is often proven way wrong, but worse, he is a straight-up liar. He looked directly into the cameras of ESPN, and into the eyes of a nation, and lied.

But fuck Mariotti.

There are 48 minutes to game time and I'm not letting that frumpy twit make me lose focus of the fact that the Sox are heading places they have never headed before. This is fun. It's all new. It's like the first time I hit a strip club. My eyes are wide-open and the possibilties seem endless.

Bartolo Colon, the Angels Cy Young candidate, is out for the series and I just want to let the baseball gods know right now that in no way, shape, or form did I hope or pray for injuries to Sox opponents. Honest. I know better than to mess with karma like that.

I would also like to tell the baseball gods thank you. Colon's injury can't hurt.

Then again, the Angels are too good to fall apart over Colon's injury. It means little to nothing. If the Sox are going to win, they will need to do what they did all year - play with heart, smarts, and a chip on their shoulder.

I feel good.

I'm not nervous at all.

The air feels good.

Jose Contreras is on the mound and it's hard to argue with a dude doing it for Cuba.

The bats have just been waiting for this stage to explode. Yeah, that's what they've been doing.

I like the vibes.

Forty-two minutes till game time now. I'm so nervous I might go puke. And if I see Mariotti talking about the Sox from the Cell on ESPN again after he mercilessly bashed them all year, I most definitely will puke.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Dumb and Dumber




That's it. I was holding out hope that Lovie Smith is a competent head coach. Or I was probably just in denial. Either way, after today's Bears loss to the Browns, I can no longer do so. He is not a good football coach. I have just witnessed the Lovie Smith face one too many times. I don't know exactly how many times I have seen it now, but it is one too many. I really don't know what this assclown does. Seriously. I want to know. What the fuck does Lovie Smith do? He doesn't call the offense. He doesn't run the defense. All he does is stand on the sidelines like there is a crap in his drawers and he's hoping nobody notices until he can get out of there and change. The guy rarely even talks to anybody. Refs. Players. Assistants. Nobody. He just stands there with a confused look that screams incompetence. Worthless? Pretty much.

It's not even a case of not having much fire. It's a case of simply wondering if Lovie is even awake.

YO, LOVIE, YOU WITH US, BUDDY? YOU AWAKE? WAKE UP, BUDDY! YOU WANT SOME SMELLING SALTS? LOVIE! LOVIE! LOVIE! YOU THERE?

And GM Jerry Angelo is even worse. This assclown has assembled a collection of numbskulls and dolts who make stupid mistake after mistake. And then Stinky, er, Lovie says nothing to them and lets them get away with it again and again and again.

Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo are in positions way over their heads. Their respective levels of ability, quite simply, do not even come close to the levels they currently find themselves. They're both incompetent. They are to running an NFL team what Mike Brown was to running FEMA. Hopelessly in over their thick heads.

Two incompetent men running things. Two guys who should be hiding in the shadows somewhere doing a bit part. Not front and center. They are not smart men, at least in football terms. They do not know what they're doing.

And this is the Bears.

If Lovie and Angelo are back next year, the Bears have serious problems. Yet again. They need to be cast aside as soon as possible. Preferably bright and early Monday morning.

Let's look at the Bears first and second rounders today:
Cedric Benson (first round) - fumble, six yards on five carries.
Mark Bradley (second round) - fumble that gave the Browns the ball in the red zone and led to a field goal, fuck all else.

Wat to go, Jerry. Bravo. Way to go out and use the draft to stock the roster with guys who can make a difference in close games. Or even not make horrid mistakes that kill the team. You brainless dipshit.

Let me just say something and don't think I'm hust blowing smoke, either. I could do a better job of playing GM that Angelo. I'm not kidding. Hell, I guaran-damn-tee it. Of course, a lot of people could. Angelo is bad at his job.

Angelo was hired by a goddam company that conducts job interviews. This is hysterical. And sad. The spineless, clueless McCaskeys don't even have enough smarts and cajones to sit down in a room with prospective candidates and decide upon a man who they feel can get the job done. No, they casually hire an outside company and then turn their backs to the process because, really, they don't give a crap. They can't be bothered.

And what does such lacksadaisical incompetence get you? Jerry Angelo.

And in turn, one dipshit (Angelo) hires another dipshit (Lovie). It's an evil circle of stupidity and incompetence.

And we get to watch.

Lovie Smith pretty much sucks.

Jerry Angelo undeniably sucks hardcore.

End of story.

I take that back. The worst part is that this sad story of failure will only continue as long as the McCaskey's own the team. We're talking Bill Bidwellesque levels of incompetence, greed, and losing.

No lie.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Who Should We Invade Next?

An Australian news team took to the streets and asked Americans who they thought we should invade next in the war on terror? The results are hilarious. Make sure to watch twice and check out the "news" scrolling across the bottom.

In a similar vein, this is funny, as well.

Don't Stop Now

ALDS Game One
White Sox 14
Red Sox 2




OK, White Sox fans, take a deep breath. For one day at least, the Pale Hose didn't leave the bitter taste of playoff disappointment in your mouths as they usually do.

And I know all you fans, no matter how excited you were heading in, no matter how optimistic, were also fearful of the worst. After all, it had been 46 years since the South Side experienced a playoff win at 35th and Shields. In between then and now were plenty of disappointments - well, randomly scattered disappointments - the sort of disappointments that make one always fearful of the worst. You're lying if you say you never had a doubt. Or you're delusional. Or drunk.

Well, for one day at least, none of that mattered and it was all good. No worries.

Yes, yesterday's 14-2 White Sox dismantling of the Red Sox was one big party.

But it's over.

It was important to get a win - any win - out of the way. After all, this is a franchise that hadn't won a home playoff game since 1959. A sweep at the hand of the Mariners in the Sox' last playoff appearance in 2000 was still fresh in the minds of fans. Not to mention the overriding opinion that the Red Sox are the favorites in this series and another duel featuring them and the Yankees in the ALCS is inevitable.

In other words, the last thing the White Sox needed to do was come out and disappoint in front of a home crowd and confirm everyone's worst fears and suspicions. Thus, it was pins and needles on the South Side.

Disaster averted. Jose Contreras remained the hottest pitcher in baseball and five home runs temporarily hid the fact that the White Sox have been offensively challenged all year.

In the end, there was more fun had at the Cell since...well, yesterday may have been the most fun on the South Side since the new stadium was built.

Yesterday's win reminded me of Illinois' rout of Cincinnati in the second round of the 2004 NCAA tournament. In that game, the Illini came out and shot about as hot as a team possibly can. They were absolutely on fire. Unstoppable. They were unbeatable on that day. The game was a rout only minutes in. Thing was, with a game with Duke looming in the next round, I found myself wishing some of the good vibes could be bottled up and saved. Were the Illini using up all their good vibes? The Illini was so scorching hot from the field that I couldn't help fearing they were burning up all the fun and goodness in a blowout.

Yesterday was like that.

You almost wanted the Sox to chill and save some of those late-game runs for a another day when they were more needed. After all, a 5-2 win would have done just as nicely as 14-2.

Oh, well. It was a blast and I won't complain. The more runs the better. Always, always.

It really couldn't have gone any more perfect. When Scott Podsednik hit his first home run of the season, you knew the baseball gods were smiling upon the South Side for one day at least.

Thing is, it's only one game. All the fun of yesterday won't mean squat when the teams hit the field again tonight. The Red Sox have more than proven their perseverence and their ability to bounce back in the past. David Wells carries a gaudy 10-3 postseason record to the mound. And Mark Buehrle has been bombed by Boston in the past, not to mention most everyone he faced in the second half of this season.

In other words, all those pins and needles poking at White Sox fans yesterday, all those worries, all that apprehension, it should be back. All of it. And rightfully so. Yesterday is gone. Today is today and today is everything.

I don't mean to be a worry wart, but a loss tonight takes away all the good vibes and all the momentum. Not to mention the homefield advantage.

You can bet that tonight probably won't be another blowout. No, it will probably be a nailbiter. It may come down to a fluke, a bloop single, a sacrifice bunt, or an unexpected hero.

The pins and needles should be quite painful. Again.

All that matters is that the White Sox win and keep the good vibes going.

And another a blowout would be best for the mental health of White Sox fans everywhere. Not to mention the cash registers of bars all over the South Side.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Gone



Well, it finally happened. Eddy Curry, the hometown kid once full of so much youth and promise, is gone. Unable to come to an agreement with the Bulls concerning his delicate heart, Curry has been packaged and sent to to be the latest cog in Isiah Thomas' fantastic disaster with the Knicks.

In other words, if you didn't already consider Curry a bust, you can rest assured he is on the fast track to being a colossal disappointment at this point. Everything Isiah touches whithers and dies and turns to dirt.

To this I say, good riddance.

Look, don't get me wrong, I like Curry. I always have. He's a native South Sider and has always seemed like a good guy no matter how out of shape he showed up or how little defense and rebounding he seemed interested in doing. I always rooted for him.

That said, he can take his general lack of desire, drive, and heart somewhere else as far as I'm concerned. The longer one talks about potential the less likely it is that that so-called potential will pan out, and people have been talking about Curry's potential since his days at Thornwood High. And for all that talk, all Curry has produced is one semi-decent season last year in which he was rarely seen in fourth quarters.

So how much of a loss will he be? Well, in the immediate future he may be missed as I'm not overly excited about the arrivals of Tim Thomas, Jermaine Jackson, and Michael Sweetney.

However, we need to look at the big picture here. What did the Bulls really get? They got a few serviceable parts to fill in immediately, a first round pick, and a massive amount of cap space to play with next year. After this season, the Bulls may have more cap space than any team in the league. They'll be a major free agent player.

Personally, I'd rather have that money to burn on a free agent stud next year than to break the bank now for a player (Curry) who has heart problems both figuratively and literally.

That said, I would have liked to have seen Curry come back this year and play for the Bulls. It seemed like it could have been a win-win situation for both sides. The Bulls could have paid a minimal amount on a one-year deal, thus avoiding breaking the bank for a player shrouded in all sorts of questions. And Curry could have had one more year to prove that he is both healthy as well as continuing to mature and showing the discipline he never showed before this past season. Everyone could have been happy, no?

I'm extremely saddened that this didn't happen. It seemed like a no-brainer and, like I said, a win-win for both sides.

I mean, someone was always gong to pay Curry and allow him to play no matter what sort of worries remained concerning his heart. So why couldn't it have been the Bulls?

Oh, well. In the end, I don't think it will be much of a loss. Curry, I fear, will never be more than a mediocre scorer who offers few other tangibles. Despite his size and his potential, anyone waiting for him to turn into a gamebreaker will be waiting a long, long time. I don't think it's ever going to happen.

Curry is a journeyman at best.

So let the Knicks have him. The Bulls can take the players, the first round pick, and the cap space and move on.

It's sad that it ended this way for a hometown kid. But it is what it is.

Besides, the most important thing here is the health of Curry. No matter how good or bad he winds up as a player, let's just hope he remains healthy and safe.

It's just too bad Curry is headed to the Knicks. Isiah has the brainpower of a bag of rocks and guys with horrible attitudes like Stephon Marbury and Jamal Crawford will be bad influences on Curry, who showed signs of finally maturing last year.

I don't see many good things on the horizon for Curry as a player.

But again, his health is the most important thing.