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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Kansas City Blues

Media's Diss Sox?

by
Guy Bacci

In case you only read newspapers or watch ESPN, allow me to inform you that the White Sox are off to the best start in franchise history.

That’s right—over 100 years of baseball on the Southside, and no team has ever started as well as this 2005 club. As a matter of fact, it’s the first time in Sox history that they’ve had the lead in each of their first 18 games.

Erase Joe Crede’s tipped ball in Minnesota, Carl Everett’s Little League effort in Cleveland, and Shingo Takatsu’s early-season meltdown at The Cell, and the 2005 Chicago White Sox may damn well have started 17-1.

Except it’s a little hard to notice. Especially when Baseball Tonight virtually ignores the Pale Hose night after night. On Tuesday, April 18, when the Sox finished a two-game sweep of the Twins, the game wasn’t even highlighted on the show. The only clip came late in the broadcast when they included Paul Konerko’s solo homer in the “Day’s Best” recap segment. Maybe ESPN was hoping the sweep of the Twins didn’t really happen, considering three of their top “analysts” picked Minnesota to win the World Series.

To be fair, the Sox aren’t the only team getting dissed on ESPN. Frank Robinson recently complained that his hot Nationals weren’t getting enough airtime on the broadcast. Funny how he never had that complaint while in Montreal. You’d think Robinson would just be happy to play home games in front of more than two dozen fans.

There are local culprits, too. Head on over to ChicagoSports.com, the Tribune’s website, and the headline for Saturday’s historic victory reads: Straining for 6th straight; Contreras' hamstring injury mars Sox's record 14-4 start.

How thoughtful of them to be so concerned about Contreras. Does this mean we can expect a Contreras Watch? I’m sure that’ll go right under the Frank Thomas Watch.

Honestly, would it hurt to have a positive headline for such a momentous win? Silly me, I forget about the everlasting vendettas. Reinsdorf is evil. Williams is a moron. Guillen is a foul-mouthed lunatic.

Oh, and don’t forget Greg Couch’s take from last Sunday—an article printed the day after the Sox won their eighth game in 11 tries! Small ball is a PR spin manufactured by the cheap upper management who refused to pay the wonderful Carlos Lee and Magglio Ordonez. The irony is, the media has perpetuated the small-ball hype as much as anybody. Williams even made an effort to deflect the talk in Spring Training, pointing out that the Sox have a handful of players who might hit more than 20 homers. Guillen got so tired of the small ball talk, he tried to change it to smart ball, and then he got ripped for that.

So it’s no wonder Ozzie was a little testy when Ordonez opened his annoying yap and criticized his former manager. “We never clicked, even when we played together,” Ordonez said. “I don't consider him my friend. I have nothing to say. I don't want to see him or talk to him. He's my enemy. If he comes to me and wants to apologize, I wouldn't accept it.”

Obviously, there’s a behind-the-scenes history we don’t know about, because Guillen exploded: “Why do I have to apologize to him? Who the [bleep] is Magglio Ordonez? Why ever talk about me? He doesn't do [bleep] for me. He's a [bleep], that's what he is. He's another Venezuelan [bleep]. [Bleep] him.”

Expectedly, many pretentious media types blasted Ozzie for being immature, and those same media members likely wouldn’t be surprised to know the trashy, childish Sox faithful are cheering wildly behind Ozzie. Sox fans are idiots; journalists are educated.

What those brilliant journalists seem to forget is that the Sox fans are the ones who have the pulse of the team. The fans know when something isn’t right, because they can see it translating into garbage on the field. More importantly, the management and coaching staff know when something isn’t right.

So maybe, just maybe, Kenny Williams knew what the hell he was doing this off-season. Notice how Sox fans jumped on Williams when he had a lousy off-season in 2004, but praised him at SoxFest this past winter. The majority knew Williams was taking a gamble worth taking, because the old Sox just didn’t fit.

Carlos Lee? One homer and a .235 average after 17 games. I’m still trying to figure out how Lee suddenly reached All-Star status after the Sox traded him. Ordonez? Please. He’s out for several months with a mysterious hernia. I never knew someone could get a hernia in the knee.

Meanwhile, Scott Podsednik is wrecking havoc on the bases while batting .327. In the Bill James era of nonsense, a speedster is considered worthless. Ironic considering Podzilla has single-handedly earned a couple of victories already.

Yet despite the early-season fun, Sox fans are too weathered to enjoy it. They know frustration all too well, and it’s going to take more than one historic month to convince them this club is for real.

But in the meantime, they won’t mind flipping as much [bleep] to as many journalists as possible.

Assuming there are any journalists left who still believe the White Sox exist.


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.

More features from Guy Bacci here!

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