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!
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.