Art Berke, a lifelong White Sox fan, has worked at the highest levels of the sports industry with Major League Baseball, ABC Television and Sports Illustrated. He grew up in Northwest Indiana, in the shadow of old Comiskey Park, and proudly proclaims 2005 as the best year of his life. Art offers his glass half-full opinions and observations as he lives and dies with the Sox.
I want to get excited. I want to celebrate the win in our first game at Target Field. I want to think the Sox are finally playing up to expectations. But I’m going to contain myself and wait to see what happens in this afternoon’s matinee.
Last night’s 5-2 victory over the Twins was sweet. Big Game Freddy Garcia rose to the occasion as he usually does and the Sox actually had a two-out rally in the five-run fifth highlighted by Alexei Ramirez (above)and A.J. Pierzynski two-RBI doubles. And, alas, Bobby Jenks survived the ninth for his sixth save.
All eyes will be on John Danks, so far the staff ace, as he faces Carl Pavano this afternoon in an attempt to give the Sox a much-needed sweep of the short two-game series.
Despite the split in Toronto, there were encouraging signs that the Sox might start hitting and playing better baseball overall.
That certainly wasn’t the case last night as Tribe rookie Matt Talbot (pictured above) dominated the South Siders 6-2 . The Sox, the pick of many to win the AL Central, are now 4-7 and in last place four games behind the division-leading Twins.
“Like I keep saying,” a seemingly patient Ozzie told reporters after the game. “When you’re not swinging the bat good, you’re not pitching well, the more you think about it, the worse it gets.”
It’s not that Ozzie won’t be making adjustments. Today, he will move Mark Teahen and AJPierzynski up in the order and will put Andruw Jones in left against Cleveland’s JakeWestbrook. It’ll be Jake Peavy, trying to rebound, for the Pale Hose.
It was one of those “sit back, relax and enjoy” nights. As they say, a laugher. A total of 11 runs, 15 hits and a gem by one of your aces will do that.
In the 11-1 Sox victory in Toronto last night, John Danks gave up a mere two singles in seven innings. Carlos Quentin blasted a grand slam and drove in six runs. Andruw Jones added a homer and had three hits. Four players–Quentin, Juan Pierre, Gordon Beckham and AJ Pierzynski–had two hits apiece. My guy Donny Lucy pinch-hit a double.
The South Siders, with Freddy Garcia on the hill, can move to .500 tonight with a win. They also can win the four-game series after the 10 consecutive losses at the Rogers Centre.
Why Ozzie is talking about getting another job with two years to go on his contract is beyond me. But that’s our Ozzie. In a story by Mark Gonzales in today’s Chicago Tribune, the Sox skipper talked about his future if he ever severed ties with the White Sox.
“There are a lot of horse (bleep) managers out there that were given two and three shots to manage in the big leagues. I don’t see why not me…if I get fired I will tell (Jerry Reinsdorf) to fire Steve Stone, Farmio (Ed Farmer) or DJ (Darrin Jackson). I want that job.” Ozzie was of course referring to being in the broadcast booth.
Breaking News: Sox lose fourth consecutive game, second in a row to the Twins by one-run. This time a Jim Thome walk and a Jason Kubel homer in the seventh inning did us in,
Sox offensive highlight: Mark Teahen doubled in AJ Pierzynski, who also doubled, in the fifth inning for the lone Sox run.
Sox pitching highlights: Freddy Garcia was outstanding, giving up two runs and five hits in seven innings. Scott Linebrink rebounded from a poor outing last night to throw two scoreless innings, including shutting down the Twins with the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth.
Observations: If hitting is contagious, there is an epidemic on the South Side. Hard to win with the absence of any significant scoring…Also evident is that the hitters are pressing. Body language, specifically from Gordon Beckham and Paul Konerko, says it all…Mark Buehrle, the Opening Day winner, tries to stop the skid tomorrow against Nick Blackburn and the 5-1 Twins. Then on to Toronto, where it’s never a picnic for the Pale Hose.