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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Kansas City Blues

Angelic Night with the Sox!

by
Guy Bacci

Take one insane White Sox fan, one laptop computer, and one late-night Saturday ballgame against the Angels, and you get the following stream of the subconscious:

Top of the first

Youíd think after getting nine hours of live White Sox baseball earlier this week that I would go out and do something on a Saturday evening, like, maybe, catch a movie, visit friends, hit the bars, oróas they do out here in Seattleóspend all night in a Starbucks drinking lattes and lamenting the 2000 election.

Instead, my butt is on the couch. Iím soaking in as much of the World Champion White Sox as humanly possible, because who knows how long itíll be until we get to enjoy another season as defending champs. I gotta say, even though the boys came out here and did what they always freakiní do in Seattleólose the seriesóit was the most joyful experience Iíve ever had at a White Sox game. The Southsiders were everywhere. And since Safeco is a graveyard these days, it felt as if the Chicagoans had taken over the joint.

I was beaming with pride as I walked through the concourse, nodding and smiling to everyone wearing a black cap. I would have loved to stroll through the park with any of those national media morons who presumed the Sox Army was nonexistent. I could anticipate their response: ďJust a bunch of bandwagoners. Where were all these people before?Ē

Nobody gets it. Sox fans are not Cub fans, or Boston fans. They were always there; they just werenít obnoxious about it. The team has been round for over 100 years in one of the biggest cities in America. Do you really think they have no fans?

Bottom of the first

They just posted Joseís stats. Wow, a 1.55 ERA. I think he has become my favorite pitcher to watch. His nasty arm angels and biting pitches are simply beautiful.

Top of the second

Anderson makes a nice catch on Paulieís deep drive. Reminds me of last night, when Anderson failed to catch Iguchiís similar smash. Then Kennedy failed to knock down Podsednikís ground ball with the bases loaded. Later in the game, Dye made a fantastic catch to rob the Angels of a few runs. Pretty much sums up the difference between champions and wannabes.

AJ gets plunked and both sides get warned. I donít think Iíve ever seen both managers get on the umps for the same call. Ozzie and Scioscia should have tag-teamed right there. Scioscia could have held the umpire down while Ozzie got on the top rung of the dugout and came down with a flying elbow. Ozzieís got wrestling experience, right?

Bottom of the second

Iím getting the Angels broadcast, and they canít stop talking about the AJ strike-three in the ALCS. They just expressed pity for Kelvim Escobar, who gave up the winning run in that game. Paraphrasing: ďThe poor guy thought he had the third out.Ē Uh, okay, but then Escobar threw a fattie to Joe Crede on an 0-2 count. Funny how they failed to mention that.

Top of the third

The Angels have gone to a three-man broadcast team, and itís okay, but seems a little excessive. Rex Hudler is the main color guy, and heís an entertaining personality, so I donít know why they decided to add someone else. I remember how impressed I was when Ventura joined Hawk and DJ in the both. Anything to shut DJ up once in a while is a good idea. I can only be thankful I donít live in Chicago to hear the Farmer/Singleton show. As someone with broadcast experience, Iím sure it would make me ill. Just think of all the talented broadcasters who will be stuck in the minors for their entire careers. Life is not fair. I need another beer.

Top of the fourth

Iguchi smashes one to Figgins at third, and he canít come up with it. Crede would have made the play with his eyes closed. Like I said, champions vs. wannabes. We are the champions. Do I have to break out my Queen CD? (Okay, I donít really have a Queen CD.) Dye just singled home Iguchi. I smell one of those classic 1-0 victories.

Bottom of the fourth

The Angels broadcast team quoted Don Cooper as saying that Contrerasí career was just getting started. How scary is that?

Top of the fifth

Okay, Fox Sports West just did something very cool. They showed the exact degree of Joseís arm angle on each pitch last inning. His angle is much lower against righties, around 15 degrees, compared to 45 for lefties. Interesting.

Bottom of the fifth

Another pickle, this time on a busted hit-and-run. I saw the Sox execute two in Seattle (they even got Ichiro in one). Iím always so impressed with how well major league teams do that. Remember how chaotic that used to be in Little League? I used to love getting in a pickle, because I knew I was probably going to get out of it, and make the other team look stupid in the process. Okay, Iím drinking beer and reminiscing about Little League on a Saturday night. How pathetic am I?

Top of the sixth

Thome with a bomb. Guess that slump was short lived. Letís hope so. Anyone who has had Thome on a fantasy team knows that he is notoriously streaky. Heíll go nuts for a month, then slump for 20 games.

Bottom of the sixth

Angels score. Boo.

Seventh Inning

KFC run. Did you know those little 99-cent Snacker sandwiches have saved the sluggish KFC? I gotta admit, theyíre pretty tasty. That makes me think of White Castle. Damn, I wish we had one of those out here. You know, for those times when you feel like totally abusing your body in exchange for a few moments of taste-bud glory.

Bottom of the eighth

Jose still going. Memories of the ALCS. Ah, memories.

Top of the ninth

Thome swings for the fences every time. I love it. He is so fun to watch. I hate to say it, but I donít miss Frank. Heís not the same anymore. Iíll never forget how awesome Frank was is in his prime, and heís HOF material as far as Iím concerned, but Iíll take Thome all day long right now. And of course, as Iím typing, he Kís.

Bottom of the ninth

Jose goes for the complete game, and the broadcasters mention the ALCS yet again. If we win, it will once again be thanks to defense. If Figgins made that basic play on Iguchiís liner, this game is 1-1.

Ozzie pulls Jose and turns to Thornton. I heard Seattle tried to send Borchard down to the minors and lost him on waivers. How stupid is that? So essentially, they traded Thornton for nothing. Kenny just looks better every day.

Bobby nails it down, and the Sox win again. At the very least, theyíll split this West Coast swing. Who needs a social life when your baseball team is this good? After all, wouldnít a social life just get in the way?


Guy Bacci is from the north suburbs of Chicago, where he couldn't avoid growing up as a pampered and snotty Cubs fan. Luckily, he saw the light in 1985 and never looked back. He loved the hard-working, old-school tactics of Carlton Fisk, who would become his all-time favorite player. His most memorable moment was going to a Sox double-header with his grandfather, who insisted on staying all nine hours (including a long rain delay). Guy is a journalism grad from Northwestern, currently residing in Seattle, where he works as a computer programmer and freelance writer. He can be reached at guybacci@yahoo.com.

More features from Guy Bacci here!

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