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.
The San Francisco Giants are not only the defending World Champions, they have baseball’s best record this spring as well.
They continued their winning ways today against the White Sox with a 5-3 triumph even though most of their regular players didn’t make the trip to Camelback Ranch. Despite the lack of top talent among position players, the Giants did have two-time Cy Young winner TimLincecum on the mound. In his five innings of work against the Sox, the “Freak” gave up just one run and three hits with seven strikeouts. The good news is that he’s in the National League and we don’t face the Giants this year in interleague play.
It’s true he wasn’t pitching to elite talent, but Mark Buehrle rebounded from his early struggles giving up a lone run in five innings…Brent Lillibridge‘s two-run homer in the seventh inning and Alex Rios‘s RBI triple in the second were the offensive highlights.
Once Buehrle left, the roof caved in….Jeff Gray gave up two runs and four hits in the sixth and Brian Bruney was touched up for two runs, two hits and a walk in the seventh.
St. Patrick’s Day finds the Sox playing a pair of split squad games against the Brewers in Maryvale and the Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Starting tomorrow, Art of the Pale Hose will be written a stone’s throw from Camelback Ranch as I’ll be making my annual trip to White Sox spring training camp. It’s hard for me to believe, but I’ve headed to my version of paradise for the better part of 40 years–from Sarasota to Tucson to Glendale.
I’ll be checking out both Sox split squad games tomorrow: vs. Texas at Surprise and vs. the Diamondbacks at Arizona’s new spring training facility: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale. Then, from Friday through Monday I’ll be in the house when the Sox will face the Cubs, Rangers, Dodgers and Padres, respectively–all at Camelback Ranch.
The Sox dropped a 4-2 decision to the World Champion Giants today with the runs coming on homers by Adam Dunn (his first of the spring) and Stefan Gartrell. The best news of all is that Jake Peavy was superb, pitching 3 2/3 innings of perfect baseball before giving up a home run to Aubrey Huff and a base on balls to Butch Posey. After the Posey walk, Tony Pena came on in relief. After the game Ozzie said the recovering Peavy has been pitching the best of all the Sox starters. A good sign to be sure.
calendar—it is Monte Irvin’s birthday. And this year he’s celebrating No. 92.
For those of you who might not be familiar with him, Monte is a
Baseball Hall of Famer, honored primarily for his outstanding Negro League
career. He was also a star for the New York baseball Giants in the 1950s
and was a key driving force in ’51 as the Giants dramatically overtook the Dodgers for the National League pennant. Last year, the club retired his No. 20 jersey.
He was a mentor to
the great Willie Mays, was a special assistant in the Baseball Commissioner’s
Office and arguably the greatest all-round high school athlete to come out of
New Jersey. Monte is also the finest person you’d ever want to know.
I have been Monte’s friend for 36 years (that’s the two of us pictured above). From the moment I began
working with him in the Commissioner’s Office in 1975, I felt honored to be in
his presence. He is smart, funny, principled, kind and generous. He’s the type
of person who makes you feel better about yourself just by being around him.
Congratulations to Juan Uribe and Aaron Rowand, both key members of the 2005 White Sox, for winning their second World Series rings last night as the San Francisco Giants gained MLB supremacy by defeating the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the Fall Classic.
All the frustrations that White Sox fans went through with Juan Uribe‘s approach to hitting were minimal compared to what he did defensively in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 2005 World Series–which helped give the Sox their first world title in 88 years.
Last night, almost five years later to the day, Uribe played hero again as his home run in Game 6 of the NLCS put the San Francisco Giants in the Fall Classic.
Hail to Juan-derful Juan, whose Series defense is forever recognized on the monument outside of U.S. Cellular Field.
Today’s TV sports broadcasts are filled with useless and annoying stats. It seems that anytime a researcher uncovers a stat, it’s deemed suitable to air.
Because the airwaves are filled with so much nonsense, it was maddening to see an interesting–and most would say legitimate–scenario ignored during Fox’s telecast of Game 3 of the National League Championship Series between the Giants and Phillies on Tuesday.
Late in the game, Jose Contreras took the mound for Philly and faced Giants’ Juan Uribe and Aaron Rowand back to back. To White Sox fans and others who closely follow baseball it was an obvious note worth mentioning–that all three players were teammates on the 2005 World Champion Pale Hose. But not a word from announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.
Was it a monumental discovery? Of course not. Was it an unforgiveable omission? Absolutely not. But I will bet that if those players had been part of world championship teams in, say, New York or Boston, it would have been mentioned with a possible visual of the three together in Sox uniforms.
Call me too sensitive, if you like, but this kind of thing happens often when it comes to my favorite team and I feel obligated to tell anybody that will stand still long enough to listen.
While the current players on the White Sox roster are at home relaxing with their families and spending time on the golf course, there are eight former members of the Pale Hose who are on the AL and NL League Championship Series rosters. Four of these players were part of the 2005 World Champions.
Yankees — Nick Swisher, Boone Logan
Rangers — None
Phillies — *Jose Contreras, *Ross Gload, Wilson Valdez