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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

 2000 CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON

Extra Inning Thriller!

(August 5, 2000)

Hello again, Sox fans.  For a brief moment Saturday evening the sky almost seemed to be buckling under its own weight, threatening to fall on top of fretting Sox fans as they began contemplating losing a second close game to the Oakland Athletics.  The sky and our Sox are both safe for another day.  Extra inning heroics by Jose Valentin and Frank Thomas bring home another White Sox winner, 4-3 in ten innings.

First the little matter of "luck" and the spin the media will doubtlessly put on this one, the Sox benefiting from others misfortune.  Jason Isringhausen most definitely did balk the tying run in the ninth inning.  Let's not forget he walked Carlos Lee on four straight pitches to leadoff the inning, and his team's pathetic excuse for a catcher, Ramon Hernandez airmailed one into centerfield when pinchrunner Chris Singleton stole second base.  If the Sox got help scoring that run, Jason Isringhausen definitely had help from his nervous Oakland teammates.

And let's not forget the Athletics benefited from yet another bogus call by the homeplate umpire and for what seems like the billionth time this season, nearly cost the Sox a victory.  It was Ramon Hernandez (again) who sold a bill of goods waving his hands in apparent pain, selling the whole job like only a .229 hitter can.  The ball hit the base of his bat or at best caught a piece of his hand as it gripped the bat.  Unlike last night's game when Chris Singleton was hit in the foot, this umpire didn't consult with the rest of his crew.  Gee, I guess umpire calls are final so long as Art Howe isn't popping out of the dugout to cry on behalf of his softball team.  Hernandez was awarded first base, pushing another runner to third base and setting up a sacrifice fly that gave Oakland a 3-2 lead.  How's that for luck?

But ah, the tenth inning.  Ray Durham started things by striking out.  Can we finally all agree Ray Durham is far too streaky to ever be a true leadoff man?  He reached base once all night.  Never mind that for now, because Jose Valentin was next up and beat out an infield single.  Frank Thomas was next.  Unlike Durham, Big Frank appeared to pull out of his (relative) hitting funk, going 3 for 5 including a first inning dinger.  He had two rbi's, but none bigger than the second one.  His drive into left-center hit the base of the wall.  A clean pick up and throw to the relay man set the stage for a close play at homeplate.  Jose Valentin was flying the whole way from first base with Wallace Johnson waving him home from the third base coach's box.  A strong peg from the shortstop probably gets Valentin, but it wasn't an accurate throw, slightly up the first base line.  Roster-filler Ramon Hernandez grabbed it and reached across his body to apply the tag but a split-second too late to catch Valentin who wisely slid to the far side of the plate.  It's was a beautifully executed play made all the more enjoyable as "Minor-League Ramon" stomped his little feet and spiked his little catcher's mask while Art Howe raced his wrinkled butt out to dispute the call, just steps from Valentin's Sox teammates who mobbed him at homeplate.

Nice victory.  Rubber game Sunday afternoon.  Kids get photographs before the game and run the bases after the game.

 

Back to 2000 Champions!

 



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