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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

OUR 2002 White Sox!

A call to arms for the new Sox season.

Is there any sweeter time of the year than spring for a baseball fan?  Every rookie is can’t-miss; every veteran rejuvenated.  Each of the newly acquired players is a superman, while the truth is finally revealed about all those slugs we used to have in our clubhouse.  Everybody is in first-place and everyone has an equal chance for success. 

Best of all, if you play in the A.L. Central, you can get your hopes up pointing to the backwards progress of your nearest competitors.  Whoopee!

In the fairytale that some baseball fans live in, it’s springtime twelve months of the year.   The dream world of green ivy, beer gardens, and 368-foot “hot smash” homeruns naturally extends to the won-loss column, too.  It’s always next year for these chumps—that’s the way they like it.

Sox Fans are a breed apart.  We look upon our 2002 team and know precisely the score.    Steel-eyed realists, Sox Fans aren’t running from the truth about our record of futility.  Nobody else in the world may care that the Sox have been losing for 84 years, one year longer than Boston, and nearly as long as the Cubs to make the difference seem insignificant.  Red Sox fans wear futility like a badge of honor, while Cubs fans actually celebrate it.  They even labeled their club Lovable Losers!

To a Sox Fan, such indulgence is nonsense.  The game is played to win!  Our Sox may lose, and lose, and lose some more, but dammit, we will NEVER celebrate it.

Some years are better than others.  In 2000 we Sox Fans had a taste of championship glory.  For Sox Fans not yet sprouting gray hairs, those Seven Glorious Days in June were the closest we’ve come to experiencing true postseason euphoria.  Our team beat the crap out of the two best teams in the league in back to back to back to back series.  It sealed for us the division crown—never to be truly threatened the remaining three months of the season.

Ah, but this is the Sox.  Cold bats and bone-headed moves by management left Sox Fans contemplating a long, cold winter after a three-game sweep in the ALDS.  Sure, there is always next year, but…

Winning is what it’s all about.  Or is it?

Following the glorious 2000 season, ticket prices went up, parking fees raised, and yet, just twelve months later, our general manager is cutting payroll and crying poor.  Meanwhile, we’re the soldiers, filling the front line trenches, poised to climb over the top and charge forward to finally capture what our fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers failed to win—the elusive South Side baseball championship.  How terrible to now know not everybody shares our view.

“Kid, you’re going to do it with half-rations and a half-empty clip for your rifle, too.”  How else to interpret the true meaning behind Kenny Williams’ incessant whining about money all winter long?

No staff ace, unless you’re counting 23 year-old Mark Buehrle.  No big league catcher, unless you’re counting Sandy Alomar’s presence on the disabled list.  No bullpen, unless you’re counting the unknowns and surgically-repaired arms that comprise most of it.  That’s what the front office is giving us because, as they tell us, that’s all they can afford.

So, Sox Fans don’t shed tears when you’re trapped on the wire, the mortars raining down, and the crossfire of the machine gunners bullets closing in on you.  When you’re hopelessly trapped… your weapon is empty… and death apparently your only friend… please remember this final communiqué from the generals running the show:  “It’s all YOUR fault.”

It’s a hell of a way to build your fan base, isn’t it?

Screw them!  This is OUR team!!!  There is no comfort in their excuses.  There is only glory to be gained, crossing this battlefield, charging through those enemy lines, and hoisting that flag upon promised ground.  It’s YOUR Sox championship we live and die for.  Do it for your self and do it for each other.  By God, never give up.

Locked and loaded.  Over the top, boys!

George Bova is editor and founder of White Sox Interactive.


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