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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Panic Mode
by Hal Vickery

More odds and ends, bits and pieces…

• It was good to see Javier Vazquez return to form Saturday. Sox pitching coach Don Cooper worked with Vazquez on his delivery and made several significant changes. The result was an eight-inning gem. Vazquez threw four innings of no-hit ball before giving up a home run to Troy Glaus, his only mistake. He only gave up one other hit and two walks while striking out thirteen.

Don Cooper has gotten a well-deserved reputation of being able to turn around pitchers who were thought at best to be major projects. Here’s hoping that this is the start of a huge turnaround for Vazquez. This could be as important a makeover as the one Cooper performed on Jose Contreras last summer.

• Not all Sox fans have come out of panic mode yet, and probably won’t until the Detroit Tigers prove that they are human and can actually put together a losing streak. That being said, it is comforting to see both the offense and pitching coming around as August begins.

On the other hand, there are some Sox fans who seem to be looking for a scapegoat, just in case the Sox don’t make the playoffs. A brief perusal of phone calls to Chris Rongey’s post-game show on WSCR Saturday indicated that the new bum du jour is Scott Podsednik.

Podsednik earned that honor in what could only be described as a boneheaded play. After walking to lead off the game, Podsednik reached second on a wild pitch, and stole third with Tadahito Iguchi ahead in the count. The Sox had three chances to score.

Or so they thought. Iguchi grounded to third and for some inexplicable reason, Podsednik decided to dash for the plate. He realized his mistake about thirty feet shy of his destination when he saw the catcher holding the ball and begging him to come over and play. Needless to say, it was over rather quickly.

Oh, it was a bad play, and it has come not all that long after some defensive lapses on Podsednik’s part. However, there is nothing anyone can do right now except hope that Posednik pulls his head out of whatever orifice it’s stuck in. They need him as a leadoff man. There is no way he can be replaced.

I mean, do you really want Pablo Ozuna out there in left field every day? Do you want Rob Mackowiak leading off?

• Want to have fun and make a charitable donation besides? Then you might want to make plans to come to the Windy City Sox Fans luncheon this Friday, August 11. These luncheons give fans a chance to meet and even have a little chat with Sox players and coaches in a pleasant setting with no one bugging you to keep the line moving.

Friday’s scheduled guest will be former Sox star and current bench coach Tim Raines and possibly another player to be announced. (Check the WCSF luncheon thread in the Sox Clubhouse message board here at WSI.)

The program includes an autograph session, buffet lunch, and a question and answer session emceed by WSCR’s Chris Rongey. In addition there will be a live auction for two scout seat tickets for the August 29 game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, donated by Chicago radio legend Steve Dahl of WCKG radio.

Admission is $35.00 for Windy City Sox Fans members, $45.00 for non-members, and $25.00 for kids age ten and under. If you join the club at the door, you will be admitted at the member rate.

The luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Old Eagle banquet hall of the Polo Café, 3322 S. Morgan, in the Bridgeport neighborhood about a mile west of U.S. Cellular Field. For more information and reservations, phone (708) 424-8520.

Windy City Sox Fans is a 501(c)(3) corporation, so a portion of your admission is tax deductible. Proceeds go to Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities, and are earmarked for Children’s Memorial Hospital.

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

More features from Hal Vickery here!

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