Before I address the showdown this weekend in the Twin Cities, I’m going to let my friend, former Indiana U. classmate and long-time Chicago Trib sportswriter Alan (Arch) Sutton, talk about yesterday’s 10-8 slugfest against the Tribe. He was one of the Sox faithful in attendance.
“Too bad Clayton Richard wasn’t on his game. Too many walks and giving up a grand slam to Kelly Shoppach? Our beloved just couldn’t come back from the 9-2 deficit. And to make matters worse, ex-Cub Kerry Wood finished the game for the Indians.
“Still I got the impression that the Sox–much like in the recent past–are never out of a game. Beckham, for the first time in a while, didn’t come through. And Paulie didn’t have a great day. But Getz (4-for-4), AJ and Scotty Pods were solid enough. Don’t be fooled by Alexei’s 0-for-5…he hit the ball on the button a few times. It was just one of those days.
“In the whole scheme of things, I’d take winning the rest of our 3-game series 2-1. I believe that’s what the Sox did well in 2005.”
And now a word from Ozzie, who also looked at the loss in a positive way (courtesy of Scott Merkin’s story on MLB.com): “It was interesting what kind of character, what kind of people we have in the clubhouse…We battled back, we fought. Maybe a couple of weeks ago, the game was over before the second inning. They should feel proud the way they played today. Everybody in that room should feel good about themselves.”
Let’s think positive
Let’s be honest, we’re all nervous about this weekend, playing in one of our personal house of horrors (Oakland being the other one). But we’re due in Minny and I’m hopeful. The game is about pitching and with Danks, Floyd and Buehrle plus the added youth and speed and the fact we’re playing well right now, two out of three isn’t out of the question. That would be terrific leading into the All-Star game. We just have to remember that the M & M boys aren’t the only Twin troublemakers. There are a host of others who have given us problems (yeah, you, Punto) and that guy Crede will have extra incentive.
Kudos to the Sox
It hasn’t gotten the credit it deserves, but the White Sox involvement in the Double Duty Classic is one of the truly terrific initiatives in the game. It’s a celebration of the history of the Negro Leagues and promotes and helps educate the next generation of inner-city baseball players. This is the second annual and it is an important step to encourage minority athletes to play baseball.
Today, at U.S. Cellular Field, players from across the country will participate in the All-Star showcase along with the White Sox Amateur City Elite travel team. The players will dress in uniforms honoring the Negro Leagues’ East-West All-Star Game. There is also an invitation-only forum that will “discuss topical issues directed at inner-city teens playing in the game.”
* Bartolo’s back. The hefty one gave up a run, two hits, two walks and struck out one in five innings as he was credited with the win in Charlotte’s 7-1 victory over Norfolk last night.
* With a 2-for-3 performance last evening, Tyler Flowers improved his average to .301 in Birmingham’s 7-3 win over Mississippi.