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Lip Man 1
07-28-2003, 01:05 AM
A pennant race, first time since September 2000. I LOVE IT!

Now we'll know one way or another over the next 16 games versus Kansas City, Seattle, Oakland, and Anaheim.

The Sox can NOT get swept this week in K.C. and they can NOT get swept in Seattle where they have been brutal the past two plus seasons!

Rick Morrissey of the Tribune has a column that just came out asking the same questions as many of us here at WSI. A sample (it's a looonnnggg column!):

We've been hearing for months now that it's only a matter of time before the Royals go away. This is based on the time-worn theory that, OK, every dog has its day, but the yapping Royals—are you kidding me?

Yeah, that time-worn theory.

That the collapse hasn't happened 103 games into the season would seem to suggest that if the White Sox are serious about the American League Central race, they will need to take care of the Royals this week in Kansas City.

A minimum of two victories in the three-game series

The Sox are the more talented team, but you could say that about most teams the Royals have faced this season.

This is the chance for the underachievers to finally achieve.

The Sox's nine victories in their past 10 games have been nice, but the current success has come against B-list teams and mostly at home. Think about that: The Royals, comfortable in their own skin, have no more reason to be worried about the Sox than they would about any other team these days.

Well, the Royals are good, for starters. They beat the Sox three times to open the season, spawning an identity crisis in the Sox that lasted months.

This is pretty simple. The Royals seem to understand that the Central games matter more. By beating the Tigers 5-1 Sunday, their record against division opponents is 32-11. No team has a better division winning percentage. The Sox are 27-24 in Central games.

Starting Tuesday, that gap doesn't matter so much if the Sox can take what they learned in batting-practice games against Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto and Tampa Bay and apply it against the only team that matters right now.

There are any number of reasons for the Sox to believe they eventually will take over first place.

But that's all paper stuff, and the Sox are the kings of looking good on paper.

Are the Royals for real?

I have a more relevant question for you: Are the Sox for real?

This is a maddening team, up one moment and down the next, like a needle on a lie-detector test. True or false: You believe in this team. If you do, you're a trusting soul. Some of us need more evidence.

To know what you're going to get from the Sox from series to series would be a miracle. To watch them take two of three from Kansas City would be enough for now.

This is where it starts. Against a serious team. A for-real team. What else matters?

The next series matters. In Seattle. Against a really for-real team."

doublem23
07-28-2003, 01:15 AM
Baa. The Royals suck.

Brian26
07-28-2003, 01:16 AM
I was just thinking about what Lip mentioned at the beginning of his post. This is the first real pennant race the Sox are in since 2000....and one could argue that wasn't really a race since the Sox had control, for the most part, since the June Cleveland/NY road trip. So before 2000, when was the last real race? The Sox were the wild card leaders until mid-Sept in 1996, but none of our fan base knew it that year. The '94 season ended early. Was 1993 a pennant race? The Sox had control that year in August. How about 1990 v. Oakland before Lee Stevens? Before 1990, you might have to go back awhile. 1985 was close until that heartbreaker in Baltimore when Mike Stanton melted down. '83 wasn't a race. '82 was a race, but the Sox were chasing 2 teams instead of one (Cal and KC). 1977 was definitely a race. That year we lost to KC. Maybe this year will be different.

VeeckAsInWreck
07-28-2003, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by Brian26
1977 was definitely a race. That year we lost to KC. Maybe this year will be different.

It's payback time. South Side Hitmen Style!
:lsox

TommyJohn
07-28-2003, 07:04 AM
Originally posted by Brian26
1985 was close until that heartbreaker in Baltimore when Mike Stanton melted down.

Ah, yes. The Mike Stanton Meltdown. That game remains seared
in my memory. Two, out no one on, Sox up 6-3, bottom of the
ninth, Bob James two strikes away from nailing down the victory.
Then his knee locks up. Tony "The Holy, Revered Genius" goes to
the bullpen and pulls out Stanton, whose 6.42 ERA got him booed
out of Seattle. Three batters, including Cal Ripken and Eddie
Murray, rip basehits. Murray's scores a run and makes it 6-4.
Fred Lynn steps up and hits what appears to be a soft flyball to
left field. Mark Ryal drifts back, appears to have a play, then
watches as the ball hits the yellow left-center marker and falls
behind the wall. Gone. 7-6. Game over. Oriole fans go wild. Hawk
and Big D sit in stunned silence, along with myself.


[i]1977 was definitely a race. That year we lost to KC. Maybe this year will be different. [/B]

As I recall, that was the year that KC players were roy-
ally offended by the Sox' practice of tipping the hat after
a home run. So they mocked the practice in Kansas City
as the Royals swept the Sox. It was OK, though, because
New York crushed them in the playoffs with a game 5 come
from behind victory in the 9th to send the thin-skinned Roy-
als home with their tails between their arrogant legs. Thank
you Billy and Reggie.

Procol Harum
07-28-2003, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by TommyJohn
As I recall, that was the year that KC players were roy-
ally offended by the Sox' practice of tipping the hat after
a home run. So they mocked the practice in Kansas City
as the Royals swept the Sox. It was OK, though, because
New York crushed them in the playoffs with a game 5 come
from behind victory in the 9th to send the thin-skinned Roy-
als home with their tails between their arrogant legs. Thank
you Billy and Reggie.

I think it was the practice of coming out of the dugout for an encore wave of the cap that really irritated them. The Royals and Rangers were also miffed because Sox fans had latched onto "Na-na-na-na-hey-hey-hey-goodbye" that season--and singing it lustily, much more so than the often-half-hearted versions one hears at the Cell these days. I'll never forget as the Sox went into a season-reversing tailspin in KC and then Texas--in the latter stadium the organist played "Na-Na-hey-hey" in minor key a'la a funeral dirge as the Sox were getting hammered. Painful it was, indeed, to watch a glorious season go down the tubes.