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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

We want a Dynasty!
by Hal Vickery

It’s finally over! Spring training is finished. Equipment and uniforms have been shipped to U.S. Cellular Field. The new green seats are ready. The field is ready. The concession stands are ready.

The only problem is: what are we to make of the Sox’ spring record of 10-22-1? What are we to make of the starting rotation, none of whom had a ERA this spring under 5.00? Is it the thin Arizona air? Is it players and pitchers working on certain aspects of their game? Or are the Sox in trouble?

Mark Buerhle alleviated some concern with his outing Friday, by far his best performance this spring. Of course when such a performance lowers your ERA to 6.95, there is still cause for concern.

If Kenny Williams is going to take heat for anything this spring, it will be for the contract extension given to Javier Vazquez, who finished the spring with an ERA of 8.80, especially coming as it did on the heels of the trading of 2005 pitching hero Freddy Garcia. How many Sox fans thought, “They traded the wrong guy,” when they heard the news?

Still, it’s only spring training. In two weeks, no matter whether the Sox are 12-0, 0-12, or anywhere in between, nobody will remember the team’s spring training record. Those games are for getting in work to prepare for the games that count, and so far none of them has counted for anything.

As I write this one day before opening day, everybody’s record is 0-0. No one knows what will happen between now and September 30. There are 162 games left to play. Yup, that zero down and 162 to go. Anything can happen and probably will. That’s the joy and frustration of baseball. The greatest joy is the game itself. The greatest frustration is that only one team finishes as World Series Champions.

Sox fans have been frustrated more than most fans since 1917. Eighty-eight years between championships will do that to you. But now that we’ve won something, we want more. So for the first time in my lifetime…no, make that for the first time in at least two or three generations…a 90-win season was frustrating to Sox fans.

We want it all. We want a dynasty.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One person who reflects perfectly what Sox fans think is Carl Skanberg, writer of the internet comic strip Palehose 7. Many of you are probably familiar with Skanberg’s Palehose Six, a fanciful chronicle of the 2006 season with Captain Hand and his pirate crew.

The story ended with the Palehose sinking after being burned by the Liger, under Captain Jimoe Leylullen. As the ship sank Captain Hand found himself sinking in the ocean when the air bubbles suddenly became stars and he found himself as captain of the spaceship Palehose 7.

If you read the prologue to Palehose 7, you may see yourself as one of those citizens of Palehose Planet who thought they would never ask for pie again, until the pie consumed them, and all they could do was ask for more.

Since the prologue the Palehose 7 has been undergoing preparations, and from those, you can see that Skanberg is also concerned about the starting rotation, or make that the engine starters. He seems especially concerned about the starter of engine number five whose sole reason for having the job is that is a monkey and works for (unsalted) peanuts.

I won’t give out any more information. I do highly recommend that you read the strip, if only to learn about the magic weapons Captain Hand distributed last week to key crew members. In fact, if you want to look back at the 2006 season and have a few laughs, I recommend that you read the entire saga of the Palehose Six and then proceed to Palehose 7.

You can read Palehose Six at http://palehosesix.blogspot.com/ and Palehose 7 at http://palehose7.blogspot.com/. Remember, these are blog sites, so you need to read from the bottom up.

Enjoy.

______________________________________________________________________

Editor's Note: Hal Vickery has been a White Sox fan since 1955 when he was five years old. For much of that time he also had a secondary rooting interest in the Cubs, which he has shown the good sense to abandon. When not cheering for or writing about the Sox, Hal teachers chemistry and physics at North Boone High School, in Poplar Grove, IL. Hal commutes there daily from Joliet, where he lives with his wife Lee, and their dog, Buster T. Beagle. Hal's opinions are not necessarily those of North Boone High School, his wife, or Buster T. Beagle. You can write Hal at hvickery@svs.com.

More features from Hal Vickery here!

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