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White Sox beat Anaheim for AL pennant; first since 1959

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:15 am
by RebLem
Telander: Sox, city finally in after 46 years
October 17, 2005
BY RICK TELANDER, [CHICAGO] SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- "Ozzie and Harriet'' was a popular cornball TV series the last time the White Sox went to the World Series.



Now, 46 years later, we have the Ozzie and A.J. show as the White Sox head off through a film of champagne and high-fives to the 2005 World Series.

That's what a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels meant Sunday night.

Change at last.

What a wait it has been!

Way back in 1959, air-raid sirens and the Cold War could scare citizens into their Chicago basements. Now it may be avian flu and global warming that get our attention.

But baseball hasn't evolved much at all, and the South Side team that was part of the two-league curse in our city now has a chance to realign the stars.

OK, overstatement.

The Sox can bring us some much-needed baseball joy. Heck, they already have done that.

And they did it on a night when it actually rained -- ever so gently -- in Southern California.

"In 1983 [when the Sox won their division], Eddie Einhorn and I were closer to the players' ages,'' jubilant 69-year-old chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said afterward. "Now we have players whose grandfathers are our age.''

There in the seventh inning, our two favorite Sox postseason characters, manager Ozzie Guillen and catcher A.J. Pierzynski, were on the field at the same time. Pierzynski again was in a critical play at first base -- this time he evaded the tag from reliever Kelvim Escobar -- even though he briefly was called out by first-base umpire Randy Marsh.

Out flew Guillen from the dugout, red as an Angels hat, arguing that Escobar never had tagged Pierzynski with the ball, only with his empty glove.

This was true. "I knew 100 percent, for sure,'' Guillen said. "In Game 2, it was close. This play, anybody could see.''

The call was reversed.

A.J. was safe.

Joe Crede then knocked in Aaron Rowand from second, and the Sox had a 4-3 lead that ultimately would become the 6-3 win.

And they had so much more.

"It finally puts us above the Cubs,'' bench coach Harold Baines said.

Touche!

A little Chicago in California



Earlier, the Angels' insane Rally Monkey was doing his verticals on the big screen in right-center field, and the little fellow looked like he'd had just about enough of the Angels' impotence.

It was the fifth, the Sox were leading 2-1 and Anaheim's Adam Kennedy led off with a single.

More monkey motion.

Then the L.A. area showed it has a touch of Chicago in it.

The next batter, Chone Figgins, hit a one-hop liner to the wall near the right-field line, and a clueless fan reached over the wall and snagged the ball instead of letting it bounce off the green padding and stay in play.

Add glasses and subtract 50 pounds and -- voila! -- you have your Orange County edition of Steve Bartman.

The difference is this interfering slug didn't cause the Angels to instantly fold, a la the 2003 playoff Cubs.

No, the dominant Sox team caused that.

Figgins' hit was ruled a ground-rule double, and the Angels got two runs out of the inning, taking a 3-2 lead.

Pitching absolutely amazing



Thoughts of a Game 6 in a League Championship Series and a communicable flop for the Sox came to all Chicago baseball fans at this moment.

The Sox were cruising to the World Series -- gasp! -- and if they lost this game, they would have only a 3-2 lead, with the final two at home and Mark Prior and Kerry Wood ready to surrender.

Just kidding about the pitchers, folks.

Indeed, pitching is the reason the Sox have gotten where they are. Almost five complete games in five ALCS contests? You've gotta be kidding.

Jose Contreras, the ace of the staff the last half of the season, started the game, and pitching coach Don Cooper had high hopes for the split-finger guy with a 96 mph fastball.

"Best case?'' Coop said pregame. "Hold them early, us getting a lead. Another complete game for a starter. If we get the lead, maybe the Angels will slide lower mentally. Maybe they'll think they don't want to make that long trip to Chicago.''

Yep, the Angels can cancel all travel plans now.

"I'll tell you a story about Contreras,'' Cooper said. "There was this old pitcher, Lindy McDaniel for the Yankees, and he actually had surgery to remove skin from between his two fingers so he could throw a splitter better.

"We told [Contreras] this story, and two weeks later, I'll be darned if he didn't try to get [trainer] Herm Schneider to set up surgery for him.''

The big guy was talked out of it.

Contreras won this game with his own fingers, his own skin, his own grit.

Another complete game for another Sox pitcher.

And darned near the most complete Chicago season in memory.

http://www.suntimes.com/output/sox/cst-spt-rick17.html

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 1:01 pm
by Corlyss_D
Congrats to the Sox and their patient fans!

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:11 pm
by Ralph
And the best newspaper coverage, of course, is the sports pages of The New York Times.

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:14 pm
by jbuck919
Ralph wrote:And the best newspaper coverage, of course, is the sports pages of The New York Times.
Which Ralph, like me, has routinely offered to someone else every single day of his life without reading a single word.

(At least they have enough sense not to have comics.)

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:16 pm
by Ralph
jbuck919 wrote:
Ralph wrote:And the best newspaper coverage, of course, is the sports pages of The New York Times.
Which Ralph, like me, has routinely offered to someone else every single day of his life without reading a single word.

(At least they have enough sense not to have comics.)
*****

Right. The rare times when I've read the sports page was when they discussed a major scandal and/or legal issues.

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:29 pm
by Corlyss_D
jbuck919 wrote:At least they have enough sense not to have comics.
They don't need them. The entire paper is a joke.