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Ugly but victorious

(August 23)

Short take:  two-fingered kissies from Jose

How screwed up has this Sox season been?  Our championship aspirations have been wrecked on a sea of "what ifs" that just seem to get deeper and deeper.  The Sox win this game 7-6, take the series over Kansas City 3 games to 1 and leave Sox Fans asking more questions about what might have been--but wasn't.

Jose Valentin is the 2000 team's sparkplug that turned down more money for himself, his wife, and his infant daughter so he could re-sign to play for our Sox in 2001.  He's rewarded by the Sox with getting moved to the outfield after boneheaded GM Ken Williams trades for shortstop bust Royce Clayton, an egotistical maneuver to save face after getting humiliated in last December's A-Rod sweepstakes.  

Jerry Manuel has been juggling his line up all season, but for the first time since early-June slotted secondbasemen Ray Durham to leadoff and shortstop Jose Valentin in the #2 hole in back-to-back games.  The table-setters from the 2000 championship team are finally working together in the field and at the plate--and SURPRISE!--each of them delivers victories in consecutive games.

You know something Jerry Manuel, this game isn't that complicated, is it?

It was Valentin's leadoff homer in the third inning that started the Sox to a 3-run third inning.  It was Valentin's leadoff homer in the seventh inning that put the Sox on top to stay in the seventh.  His heroics were necessary because pitching slug Rocky Biddle got rocked again coming in from the 'pen to lose the lead in the sixth.

It was Valentin who nearly broke the game open in the eighth inning taking yet another poke to right field, this final shot falling on the warning track for a thrilling if inconsequential out.

Best of all, Valentin played to the cameras, rounding the bases like a professional, but sheepishly doing a pair of two-fingered kisses and chest thumps for the dugout camera, reluctantly acquiescing to the calls of this teammates.  Apparently we Sox Fans aren't the only ones repulsed by the antics shown during the  Cubune's daytime baseball soap opera.

God Bless Jose Valentin!

Gary Glover deserved the win but got skunked by Biddle's crappy performance.  A nifty 3-6-3 double-play got him out of a jam in the fourth inning.  Other than that the defense was atrocious though a generous scorekeeper only charged two errors to the Sox.  

Tony Graffanino and Chris Singleton each collected three hits.  Ray Durham reached base twice including a walk in five plate appearances.  Paul Konerko had a dinger.  Jeff Liefer didn't reach base all night and screwed up in right field too.

Sox Fans don't care if our team wins ugly, just so long as they win.  The 2001 team hasn't done enough it.

Hey Sox Fans!  

Be sure to check out WSI's retrospective on the 2000 championship season!  Now complete through July, it's the Sox coverage nobody but White Sox Interactive provided of the glorious Sox championship quest.  Check it out by clicking here!

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Jose Valentin

Two solo dingers, his fly ball in the eighth looked to leave the yard, too.  Awesome kissies and chest thumps, too!

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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