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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Kansas City Blues

Media Side Shows!

by
Guy Bacci

With the exception of a few belt-high Takatsu hangers, it’s been a nice start to the ’05 season. Series wins over two division rivals and impressive pitching performances from all five starters have Sox fans giddy as the first week comes to a close.

Not only did the Sox get the chance to open the year at home, they didn’t have to suffer through a Billy Koch blown save, and instead were treated to a 1-0 victory. It was a beautiful day at The Cell, which only proves MLB should allow Chicago teams to open at home more often. Honestly, how much different can the weather be on April 2nd compared to April 11th? Every major league team should be given the chance to open at home every other year. The kids who had the chance to watch Mark Buehrle dazzle on Opening Day will never forget that experience.

Of course, not all is swell in Soxland. Jerry Reinsdorf raised a few eyebrows with his perplexing interview on WMVP. “I hope you enjoyed it because I won't be on with you guys again,” Reinsdorf said to hosts Marc Silverman and Carmen DeFalco. “You conducted this interview under false pretenses, and you won't get another bite at the apple.” Reinsdorf seemed to become irritated when the hosts questioned him on the contract statuses of coaches Scott Skiles and Ozzie Guillen, but he didn’t seem to have any other issues with the interview. Oddly, Reinsdorf praised the interviewers when they asked what lies agent Scott Boras had told in the past. “That’s a great question,” JR said.

Certainly, if Reinsdorf had been assured the chat would be about Opening Day, he had a right to get testy. But the station claims there was no such agreement. JR may have assumed he was engaging in a conversation about Opening Day, but it would seem foolish for such a savvy businessman to assume anything. Either way, Reinsdorf simply confirmed he’s horrid at public relations. If the interview wasn’t going as planned, he should have cut it off instantly. Otherwise, suck it up and get through it with grace. Instead, he comes out looking like a baby.

Obviously, that gave Jay Mariotti an opportunity to continue his smear campaign. On the heels of a thrilling 9th-inning comeback, Mariotti decided to rip the Sox for focusing on small ball—an odd slant for a story the day after the Sox jumped to 2-0. Inevitably, Hawk Harrelson followed with a slam of Mariotti during the next game. Jay had the last laugh on that day, as Shingo Takatsu blew a three-run lead.

Thankfully, the games have overshadowed the childishness off the field. The Sox already earned their first win from the 5th starter, equaling about 25-percent of the win total from that spot last year. The lineup has been productive, getting timely hits and moving men into scoring position. There’s a nice balance of speed and power, with Podsednik and Rowand running often, and Konerko and Everett blasting away.

But there’s a long way to go. Don’t forget the 2002 club, which started 16-10, only to suffer a seven-game losing streak in late May. In 2003, the Sox rolled into September in first place, only to crash and burn. And even last year, Ozzie Ball was off to a great start, 8-4 after the first 12 games. Who can forget Joe Crede’s walk-off homer off Ugueth Urbina in late July? The Sox were ten games over .500 and in first place, only to suffer a miserable August.

Sox fans seem to feel this year is different. The early-season spin is that the Southsiders have pitching depth and consistent hitters.

Maybe.

As the Twins have already realized, with Carlos Silva headed for knee surgery, nothing is guaranteed. The Sox elderly staff isn’t a sure bet to stay healthy. And Shingo has to put his struggles against the Indians behind him.

But it’s certainly nice to see the Sox getting off to a solid start, especially with all the unknowns coming into this season. After all, beating up on two division rivals in the first two series is a heck of a lot nicer than the alternative.


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.

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