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Finally, it's over.

(October 7)  

Short take:  Too little, too late.  No surprise.

The Sox lost.  They lied down and lost.  They lied down, lost, and shrugged their shoulders, too.  When does the plane leave?  The final was 8-5.  Their season record is completed at 83-79, only good enough for third place.  Does anybody really care?

Sox Fans, the six-month long headache is finally over.  The 2001 team has officially gone home.  Did some of them check out weeks ago?

Jose Valentin spotted the whole lot of them a 1-0 lead with a first inning dinger. That's the last bit of offense the Sox would muster for the next seven innings.  Kip Wells was fighting to keep a spot in the starting rotation for next spring but likely failed his test.  Jerry Manuel left him out there plenty long enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt Kipper hasn't improved enough  to be considered a likely starting pitcher of the future.  He went 4.2 innings giving up six runs (four earned), six hits, and four base on balls.  Three errors, two by Valentin and one by Josh Paul, sure didn't help.

When will Wells learn not to nibble?  His best season was 1999 back when he was everyone's pitcher of the future.  He had a spot in the rotation practically sewn up before '00 camp even started.  Now he'll contend for a bullpen slot and hope he gets another chance to shine in the rotation later in '02.  It's not like he hasn't been given ample opportunities to prove himself.

Twins starter Brad Radke made the Sox look silly.  After Valentin's homer, the Sox managed just one hit the next seven innings.  Finally in the ninth Paul Konerko got things started with a homerun. Naturally there was nobody on base.  Hasn't that been the way all season long, Sox Fans?  We must lead the league in solo dingers.  

Carlos Lee followed with a double and grumpy old Tom Kelly popped out of the dugout to pull Radke from the game.  He was two outs from a complete game victory.  

Kelly nearly regretted that decision.  The Sox scored three more times keyed by a Josh Paul double that scored Royce Clayton from first base.  John Rooney was just starting to get giddy in the Sox radio booth, already looking ahead to Jose Valentin's at-bat as the tying run.  Whoops!  Durham capped a perfect 0 for 4 performance flying out to end the game.  Why he was swinging with power when he wasn't the tying run is beyond any explanation.  What goes on inside Ray Durham's head is anybody's guess.

Too little, too late, and not a clutch hit to be found.  Maybe it's best games like this aren't televised.  It would only server to erode the fan base further, and we all know who gets blamed for that.

You and me.


Final Installment:  1967

1967 marks the end of an era in Sox history.  It was the last of the Go-Go teams.  In WSI's final installment,  the near-glory and dark ages that followed are examined.  Written by Dan Helpingstine, author of "Through Hope and Despair", here's the first chapter to his new book.

1967 -- Part Three:  End of an Era  

Another WSI Exclusive! 

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Paul Konerko

1 for 3, a homerun, took one for the team from Radke, and was flawless in the field, too.  Was the ninth inning rally he started enough to bring the Sox back?  Nope.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

  2001 Sox Schedule | Sox Clubhouse message board

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