Finally, it's over.
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
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.
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.
-- Part Three: End of an Era
Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner
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.
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