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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Kansas City Blues

Sox Psalms!
by Patrick Ferrini

I'm All In!

by
Patrick Ferrini

I'm All In.

Expect the worst, enjoy it when its not that bad. This is the unofficial credo of all true White Sox fans. It acts as a warm, heated blanket through our frigid 88-year old winter on the South Side. 88 years without winning the final game of the post-season. 88 years of "waiting until next year." 88 years of getting our hopes up every Spring and falling short every Fall. Not since the height of World War I have we seen a World Series victory and most of us don't expect to see another one until the end of World War III. Skepticism and jadedness - these are the characteristics that we are not taught, but is merely the inevitable end-result of a lifetime of being a White Sox fan.

I am no different. I am as jaded and skeptical of a White Sox fan as they come and I'm only 22. I know, and fear, and expect, that I will be thinking the same thing sixty years from now: "The 2065 Sox could be it! We can snap that 148-year old streak and finally win one!"

This being said... I'm all in. If we ever will have a year, this one is the one. The Chicago White Sox have a chance to win the World Series. There you go: I said it. I cringe myself as I write these words and wonder what a lifetime having experienced a World Series victory would be like.

But I am not going to fantasize about that until Dustin Hermanson (or Shingo Takatsu or Damaso Marte) throws the final pitch for the final out in the final game of the final series of the post-season, if we get there. I will expect them squander a late August lead in the standings, if we get there. I will expect them to blow it when they go up by three games in the ALCS, if we get there. I will expect them to lose the home openers in the World Series, if we get there. I love them, but I darn it, I donít trust them. They are, after all, the Chicago White Sox. They have my full devotion; cut me and I'll bleed black and white but, so help me God, I will not trust them. I'm a TRUE White Sox fan. I know better than to get my hopes up... normally.

So why am I throwing my caution into the wind this year? Why am I denying what every nerve in my body says is ridiculous? Why am I dreaming of a World Series? Because this is the team. You could not write a better story board for a championship season. Sure, the Red Sox overcame the Yankees. Yadda, yadda Ė they play each other 50 times a year and every year in the playoffs; it was bound to happen eventually. Even the Bambino can't top those astronomical probabilities.

Not us. We've played in four playoff series since we threw a World Series. Thatís four playoff series in 86 years in case it slipped your mind. But this year is different.

This team is built to be immortalized by White Sox fans. If ever a team stepped foot in a park on W. 35th Street that defined "White Sox baseball," this is the one.

One of the most popular figures in the last quarter century has taken the helm and is leading the team with the passion, fire, and defiance that defines us as White Sox faithful. Ozzie may as well be a bartender from Bridgeport in the leftfield bleachers. He says what he thinks and means everything he says. Sure his quotes are full of (bleeps). But thatís what we love about him; if you're a Southsider, you are fully-justified in bleeping. He's earned it. We've earned it. Tell me it doesn't bring a smile to your face when you hear him cursing out a reporter for asking a stupid (bleeping) question. I've cursed along at times; itís a fun game.

But with that defiance comes a spirit that would kill to win. It craves excellence and has fun doing it. It is that spirit that brings the smile to our faces and make Ozzie one of us.

He is flanked by a group who endeared themselves to Sox fans during their careers; Rock Raines, Joey Cora, Darrin Jackson, Ken Williams, Harold Baines, Greg Walker are all members of this organization who have returned to place their mark on this franchise in various capacities. How else can this storyline develop?

You have the speed, swagger, and recklessness in the top of the order that reminds you of those Go Go Sox. Every time Podsednik gets on base or Gooch lays down the bunt, it seems like all hell breaks loose.

The middle of the order is reminiscent of the Southside Hitmen; Konerko, Dye, Everett, and Thomas will end up slugging more homers than Gamble, Zisk, and Soderholm. They may not all be rent-a-players (well, they maybeÖ only Dye is guaranteed back next year) but the power and bravado is there for Sox fans to relate to.

Our pitching staff may even surpass the 1993 club; we may have to look back to 1963 or even 1959 to find a collection of pitching talent like Buehrle, Garland, Garcia, Contreras, and El Duque. More than one of these names will likely be immortalized in White Sox lore in the upcoming decade.

The entire team is Winning Ugly. No game is over until the last pitch and this team will scratch and claw for every W they can get, regardless of the standings or who is on the field. A game with the White Sox on the field is never over until its over; just like 22 years ago.

How fitting it would be for this club to end our suffering and allow us all to die in peace. It combines the greatest elements of all those teams that we have loved so dearly in the past. It is a White Sox team destined for greatness.

But you and I know better. This is that poker hand when you go all in knowing that you're probably going to walk away with nothing. Every part of your being knows that you shouldn't; it seems too good to be true but you just can't pass it up.

So thatís it. I'm going to hope for a World Series Ė expect that this year is THE year. I'm setting myself up for a huge disappointment, I'm sure we can all agree on that but if I'm ever going to go out on a limb, I will with this team.

Go Sox!


Pat Ferrini has been a White Sox fan since his father hung a Winning Ugly poster in his cradle has continued to follow every game possible since then. After his obsession with the White Sox, his passion is watching the Cubs lose and collapse and credits Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS as one of the greatest moments in modern history. He lives in Northwest Indiana and attends DePauw University.

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