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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

October as a Sox Fan

Contrary to rumor, I have not attempted to slash my wrists or joined a monastery after the collapse of the Sox and the rise of the Big Blue Machine on the North Side.† The explanation for my recent two-week vacation is much simpler.† In my real-life job I have been assigned an overload class, and the extra work, accompanied a couple of weeks ago by a nasty cold, has limited my time at the computer.

The time away from writing has given me a chance to think through a couple of ideas that Iíd like to discuss this week.†

--------†

When we last met, I was calling for the immediate ouster of Gen. Disarray (aka Jerry Manuel).† I would be remiss if I didnít comment on his firing on September 29.† †

The generalís ouster should be the first step in a process that places a competent major league manager on the field.† As far as this observer is concerned, weíve seen enough of the Gene Lamonts, Terry Bevingtons, and Gen. Disarrays of the baseball universe.† It is time to put someone in charge who actually has experience managing a major league ball club.

This leaves out some popular favorites such as Carlton Fisk or Ozzie Guillen.† Much as I loved both of these guys as players, neither of them is ready to manage a contender.† The other popular favorite is Bobby Valentine who is a veteran manager who actually took his club to the World SeriesÖand lost.† The thing most of us forget is that he was a manager for fifteen seasons and won exactly one pennant, and that was with a Wild Card team.†

Right now, Iím not exactly sure who should manage the Sox in 2004, but I do know who shouldnít.† Rookies and Valentine need not apply.†

--------†

Was anyone really surprised at the media frenzy surrounding the Cute and Cuddlies trip to the playoffs?† Was anyone surprised at the treatment Sox fans received from the media, when they were considered at all?†

It seems that the only way in which the mainstream media can think of the Sox and their fans is in relation to the Cubs.† Itís sad to say, but I think we bring a lot of that on ourselves.†

There is too much vocalization nowadays about how we just canít wait for the imminent collapse of the Cubs.† Maybe thatís best kept among ourselves and not blabbed to the media who simply perceive us as being sore losers.†

I for one have no problem with the Cubs success.† Iíve simply chosen to ignore their very existence.† Iíve been too busy to watch much of the playoffs.† Watching the Yankees and Red Sox is about exciting to me as watching a womenís tennis match that doesnít feature Ana Kournikova.† And Cubs games just donít interest me.†

So it has been easy for me to ignore the Cubs in the playoffs.† Iíve gone to bed every night during the post season, except for one or two games, not knowing or caring whether the Cubs won or lost.† I can find out the next morning, and thatís exactly what I do.†

Sox fans need to worry about what their own management is doing about signing a new manager, keeping Bartolo Colon in the fold, and other personnel issues.† They donít need to live with each Cubs loss and die with each Cubs victory.† Let the Cubs fans take care of themselves.† They are self-indulgent enough to bask in their new place in the sun, and soon the world will become just as sick of them as we have.†

--------†

About the stupidest segment relating to the Cubs that Iíve heard this post season was Mike Murphyís question, ďHas Dusty Baker become the new Mike Ditka with Chicago fans?Ē† The question is absurd on the face of it.† Apparently Sox fansí opinions of Baker donít matter, or weíre no longer considered to be Chicago sports fans.†

Naturally Cubs fans were gushing with the thought, even though the Cubs hadnít won anything but the Division Series up to that point.† †

Just one more reason not to listen to sportsblab radio.


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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