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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Save by Iguchi!
by Hal Vickery

Odds and ends, bits and pieces…

• Last week’s column is still more proof that if I want the Sox to improve, all I have to do is write a column to show all the bad things that have happened or could happen to them. As this is being written, all the Sox have done is go 5-1 since I wrote that column. The one saving grace is that I said I didn’t think that disaster was about to strike.

• If you want to have a good laugh, give Chris Rongey’s post-game show on WSCR (670 AM) a listen, especially after a Sox loss. Even a World Series championship hasn’t taken some of the callers off the ledge. The absolutely hilarious thing is that some of these guys call in after Sox wins, usually with some prescription calling for benching Juan Uribe or Brian Anderson and playing Alex Cintron or Rob Mackowiak every day.

These may or may not be the same people who called Dave Wills or Bryan Dolgin with the same lamebrained suggestions in past season, but their calls are invariably the same. The Sox are on the verge of disaster and this is the solution. They make last week’s “Fallen Arches” column look positively optimistic.

It’s kind of interesting to compare Rongey’s attitude thus far with those of Wills and Dolgin. By the last few years of Wills’ tenure as host, he had no patience with these guys and gave them a quick hook, letting the audience exactly what he thought of their calls. Dolgin showed a lot more patience with them that Wills ever did, but by the end, his patience had deteriorated almost to the level of Wills’. So far it appears that Rongey is trying to reason with the ledge jumpers. We’ll see how long that lasts.

We all know that he’ll make the transition to the short hook sometime. It’s just a matter of when.

• I had the extreme good fortune of being at Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays in which Tadahito Iguchi saved a save for Bobby Jenkins with what is probably the best defensive play I’ve ever witnessed by a second baseman.

In case you’ve been away from civilization since then, here’s what happened. Bengie Molina was at bat in the ninth inning with one out and a man on first. He bounced one over Jenks’ head. The hit was very similar to the bouncer that ended the 2005 World Series, except in this case instead of the shortstop making the play, it was the second baseman.

Iguchi appeared to lose his balance as he picked up the ball and went into a dive as he was making the transfer of the ball to his throwing hand. It appeared that he managed to keep his body aloft for a split second by pushing off the ground with his glove. In that brief instant he made the throw to first, finishing the motion just as he hit the ground.

The throw appeared to be going high at first, perhaps over Paul Konerko’s head and towards the dugout, but he didn’t put that much force into the throw, and it found it’s way into the glove that Konerko had extended over his head, just nipping Molina for the second out.

It was an amazing play. It was a play that reinforced my belief that Kenny Williams was brilliant for signing someone he had never seen in person. Iguchi is a complete player, and yesterday’s performance is further evidence of that.

• With Jim Thome’s start this season is there anyone left who thinks it was a bad move to give up Aaron Rowand for him? Thome has only hit six homers, scored in every game, drawn thirteen walks, and driven in ten runs through Saturday.

Even though Brian Anderson, who replaced Rowand, has been off to a bad start, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that he will come out of his current slump and be the player everyone has predicted. If there is any doubt, just remember Robin Ventura’s horrendous start his rookie year, going 0-41. Anderson will be fine.


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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