Tagged: A.L. Central

All We Want is Life Beyond the Metrodome

I’ve been busy and not written for several months, and for that I do apologize.  Alternate lyrics for this song popped into my head this afternoon and I decided I had to write an entire alternate version of it.

Sung to the tune of “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)”
Written by T. Britten and G. Lyle and originally performed by Tina Turner
Alternate lyrics written by D. Segler

All of the years here
All of those games here
So much back luck, mistakes, and pain

Today’s the last game
Just twenty-seven outs
Until we leave this house of shame

And I wondered if we were gonna change our luck here
Living under the dread till nothing else remained

We don’t need another series
We don’t want to see the baggies
All we want is life beyond the Metrodome

Can’t wait till next year
Grass on a new field
Outdoors with no more Astroturf

Don’t care if there’s snow
Don’t care if there’s rain
Can’t be much worse than our time here

And I wondered if we were gonna change our luck here
Living under the dread till nothing else remained

White Sox fans all say

We don’t need another series
We don’t want to see the baggies
All we want is life beyond the Metrodome

No more will we have to come here
No more worry for us
No more frustration for us here
Good riddence bad luck
Finally we are leaving

We don’t need another series
We don’t want to see the baggies
All we want is life beyond the Metrodome

White Sox fans all say

We don’t need another series
We don’t want to see the baggies
All we want is life beyond the Metrodome

Baseball is a Weird Game

I’m a Sox fan.  This is a known fact.  I don’t generally root for the Cubs nor do I hate them.  Yet June 12-14, I was rooting for the Cubs because they were playing the piranhas also known as the Minnesota Twins.  

As strange as that sounds, the Cubs fans were likely rooting for the White Sox over that same time period because the Sox were playing the Milwaukee Brewers.

June 17 and 18, I was rooting as hard as I could against the Cubs because they were playing the Sox.  The Sox took the first game 4-1, and the Sox lost the second game to the Cubs 6-5 due to a five run rally by the Cubs over the course of the eighth and ninth innings.  I’m sure the Cubs fans were rooting as hard as they could against the Sox, too.

Now I’m going to have to root for the Cubs again because they’re playing their next three games against the Cleveland Indians.  The Cubs fans will likely be rooting for the Sox because the Sox will be playing their next three games against the Cincinnati Reds.

It’s sort of like, “I don’t like you because you’re my enemy.  However, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, so that would mean you’re my friend – but that can’t be right, because you’re my enemy.”

Oh, my head.  Anyone got any ibuprofen?

Sox fans saying “Go Cubs,” Cubs fans saying “Go Sox,” and it’s not the playoffs where one team is done and the other is still alive.  (Hey, I can and have rooted for the Cubs if they’re in the playoffs and the Sox are playing golf in Arizona.)

This lady told you this was a weird game.

Thanks, Danks, for Your Performance (and for Restoring My Faith)

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve not been writing.  Quite frankly, it was just too stressful to watch the Sox.  In all honesty, the past week was too much like 2007 and I just couldn’t stand it.  If I had continued to watch, I would have bitten my fingernails off down to my knuckles.  Truth be told, I’d started to lose hope that this team could come back and take the division.

I completely ignored Sunday’s game, because I had watched the previous games and the Sox had lost.  So I left Sunday’s game alone, and the Sox won.  I had Monday’s game on while working around the house.  The Sox won, so I decided to risk watching tonight.  Again, I was working around the house, so I wasn’t paying complete attention to the game. 

It didn’t matter. The Sox managed to win three games in a row, against three different teams, to make the playoffs.  That’s the first time that’s happened in Major League history. 

I can’t say enough about Danks.  If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that Danks is one of my favorites.  He pitches his backside off, and Tuesday he pitched his backside off on short rest with the division championship on the line.  I am in awe.  Literally.  I tip my hat to you, Danks. 

I also tip my hat to Buehrle for Sunday’s game and Floyd for Monday’s game.  Without the two of you, the Sox wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play Tuesday’s game.

Tuesday’s game was a team win.  The headliners:  Danks pitched eight shutout innings and gave up just two hits.  Thome hit a monster solo home run – the only run of the game. Griffey’s outfield assist, and Pierzynski managing to hang onto the throw to keep the Twins scoreless. The little things that meant a lot:  The three double plays turned by the infield, and Anderson’s highlight reel catch to end the game. 

I think the Sox organization may have started a new tradition by asking the fans for a “blackout” in the stands.  I think that’s one tradition that should stick around a while, at least for the duration of the 2008 playoffs. 

This lady had begun to lose hope, but she’s a believer again.  Tuesday night, the Sox finally looked like the team we had seen them be for the vast majority of the season.  They looked like a first place team – like a championship team.  

Keystone Kops

Someone needs to call the Keystone Kops to tell them that we found their missing personnel in the Sox bullpen.  Think it’s an overreaction?  Read on, or watch the archived game broadcast.

Friday night was a golden opportunity for the Sox. Kansas City beat the Twins 8-1, so the Sox could have regained first place with a win over the Indians.

Would have, could have, should have: The Sox didn’t.

Ozzie’s post game interview session revealed his own frustrations with the Sox.  He said the team should be embarrassed because he was embarrassed.  Ozzie mentioned how there were 40,000 Sox fans in the stadium rooting for the team, and the team let them down.  He said the team couldn’t have played worse if they had tried to, and described the team’s play as “stupid.”

What made the biggest impression on me was when Ozzie mentioned that getting angry wasn’t working and that he was going to just start laughing. He was getting tired of trying to motivate the team, and if he didn’t just start laughing he was worried his health was going to suffer. 

In all honesty, it reminded me greatly of the struggles that I’ve had trying to get my fourteen year old to do his homework, and Ozzie’s dealing with grown men.  

Finally, Ozzie said the Sox had to look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves how good they were, himself included.

What happened to cause this kind of a post-game response?  In a word: bullpen.  There were hit batters, four pitch walks, a balk, two wild pitches, and a run walked in.  This wasn’t baseball.  It was a farce.  Picture the Bad News Bears after they’d gone through puberty.  That was Friday night’s game.   

For your convenience, I have italicized all the major mistakes made by Sox pitchers on the evening so they will be easier to find.  I consider major mistakes to be four or five pitch walks, balks, wild pitches, hitting batters, and walking in runs.  

Danks – who has pitched his backside off for the Sox all season – started Friday and was pitching decently until the fifth, when he started off with two base hits and a four-pitch walk to load the bases.  Then he gave up a single to Shin-Soo Choo which drove in two runs. 

Carrasco came on with men at first and second and still nobody out, and walked the first batter he faced, Peralta, on four straight pitches to load the bases.  The next batter, Garko, hit a grand slam. Carrasco took the third batter he faced, Shoppach, to a 1-2 count before hitting Shoppach with a curveball. 

With Shoppach at first, MacDougal came in to face Gutierrez.  MacDougal took Gutierrez to a 2-1 count before hitting him with a fastball.  By some miracle, MacDougal managed to get the next three batters out. 

Grand total for the fifth inning:  Sox pitchers gave up six runs before recording the first out, four hits, two walks, and hit two batters.

Starting the sixth inning, MacDougal was still pitching.  He walked Francisco on four straight pitches to start the inning.  The next batter, Shin-Soo Choo, hit a groundball to short which forced Francisco at second.  So Choo was on first with Peralta batting. After throwing ball one to Peralta, MacDougal committed a balk to advance Choo to second.  Ultimately, on a 3-1 count, Peralta ultimately hit a pop up to Cabrera for out number two. 

MacDougal wasn’t finished yet though. He still had a few more mistakes to make before he left the game. The next batter, Garko, saw three straight balls before seeing a strike.  Garko walked on just five pitches.  Shoppach was next, and MacDougal’s 2-2 pitch to Shoppach was a wild pitch, which advanced the runners to second and third.  The final pitch MacDougal threw was high and inside.  If Shoppach hadn’t moved, it likely would have hit him the shoulder.  Of course, that was ball four, so Shoppach walked.

So now the bases were loaded with two outs.  Wassermann came in to face Gutierrez, whom he promptly walked on four straight pitches to walk in a run.  Mercifully, Wassermann somehow managed to strike out the next batter, Barfield, to end the nightmare that was the sixth inning.

The strangest thing about the sixth inning: Cleveland only scored one run.  Despite all that bad pitching, the Indians were only capable of pushing one run across the plate.  Don’t let anyone tell you miracles don’t happen, because you witnessed one right there.

The seventh inning saw Horacio Ramirez come in for Wassermann.  Ramirez gave up a single to Asdrubal Cabrera, caused Sizemore to fly out, then gave up another single to Francisco.  So there were men on first and third with one out.  Ramirez’ 1-0 pitch to Choo was wild, and it allowed Cabrera to score from third.

Still think I’m overreacting in comparing the Sox bullpen to the Keystone Kops? The Keystone Kops could have pitched better.  Seriously.  We should see if they’re available.  They certainly couldn’t have done a worse job.

I don’t like to single anyone out. I know MacDougal is a person who can feel just as much as anybody else.  I don’t like to talk badly about anybody.  That’s why I’ve avoided saying this.  However, I can be silent no longer.  In all honesty, I lost all patience with MacDougal last season.  He was good right after he came over from Kansas City and has absolutely stunk ever since.  The Sox are too good a team for MacDougal.  I wanted them to send him down to Triple-A last season, and was a happy camper when they finally did.  I was hoping he wouldn’t be with the team this season, but I’m not the one who makes such decisions. 

If you think I’m jumping on a bandwagon here, check out my archives from May and June 2007, entitled “Cubs Baseball” and “Hallelujah!” respectively. At that time I said I wanted MacDougal sent down and was happy when they finally did send him to Charlotte.

Give the Sox offense some credit, though: they didn’t give up.  After all that craziness, they still kept battling to try to win the game.  However, when the bullpen puts the team in that position, it’s going to take a monumental effort to overcome it. 

Ozzie wasn’t the only one who was embarrassed by Friday’s game.  Let me tell you something, and I say this in all seriousness: If the Sox bullpen is going to play that badly, the Sox don’t deserve to make the playoffs.  Think about it: if the White Sox embarrass themselves on a national stage, it’s going to make the team, the division, the city of Chicago and the White Sox fans look bad.

This lady really doesn’t want to see the White Sox embarrass us all on national television, but she might not have a choice: Saturday’s game will be on WGN. Vazquez will pitch on three days rest against Jackson.  Please, White Sox, either play like contenders or at least die quietly to put us out of our misery.

They Did Not Do and They Are Nearly Dead

Notice: I said nearly dead, not officially deceased.  The White Sox’ playoff chances have not ceased to be just quite yet.

I’ll agree with you wholeheartedly if you call me crazy for saying this, but I don’t believe the Sox have no chance to make the playoffs until they are mathematically eliminated.  Are they demoralized? Sure.  Discouraged?  Probably. Eliminated with three (possibly four) games to go? No way.

I didn’t watch Thursday night’s game, so I’ll have to give you a more in-depth account later.  Why not? I watched Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Sox lost.  So Thursday when the Sox had gone down 1-2-3 through the first three innings, I decided to turn it off.  I checked back in to find the Sox up 5-1 in the fourth, and then turned it off again confident that when I saw the final score later the Sox would have won.  No such luck.

Overall, do you know what I saw in this three game series?  I saw a blown call wind up costing the Sox a game.  I saw the Twins hit balls in just the right spot to fall in for hits.  I saw the Sox have pretty rotten luck in general.  However, none of that matters.  What matters is that I did not see the Sox offense until the third game of the series.   

Honestly, I feel bad for Jenks.  Thursday was just his fourth blown save of the season and his first loss of the season.  He has been as solid as a rock throughout his time with the Sox.  He’s been an anchor for the bullpen, but he’s not Superman.  He’s human.  He’s going to falter every now and again.

The White Sox are not out of the playoff hunt yet.  If either the Twins or the Sox lead the division by half a game after Sunday, the Sox will have to make up that rained out game against the Tigers on Monday at the Cell.  With three games to go, a half game deficit is not insurmountable.  The Sox will come home to play three games against the Indians, starting Friday.  The Twins will stay home and face the Royals for three games, starting Friday. 

This lady believes the Kansas City Royals just gained a whole lot of fans on the South Side of Chicago, herself included.