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 quote in the headline came in an e-mail last night from good friend and loyal reader StuWade after Phil Humber‘s virtuoso performance at Yankee Stadium.
Humber’s 2-0, seven inning shutout, in which he no-hit the feared Bronx Bombers for 6 1/3 innings and ultimately gave up only a single to Alex Rodriguez, was undoubtedly “a thing of beauty.”
For all the happiness it provided to beleaguered Sox fans, it was more a sense of relief. We finally won and we actually scored, though it took a grand total of 23 innings to accomplish the latter. And, believe it or not, we recorded a save (Sergio Santos).
Let’s face it, after losing 10 of 11 and getting whitewashed for two games plus, the prospect of coming to Yankee Stadium for a four-game series didn’t exactly inspire confidence. But the fact Humber and friends were able to win last night takes a little pressure off the club to tackle the remaining three games in the series.
Not that there are any guarantees, and the offense is still a far cry from where we want it to be, but winning Game 1 is always a good thing.
As A.J. Pierzynski said after the game, “It’s a start.”
A not-so-happy recap:Sox lose 10th in 11 games with today’s 3-0 whitewash at the hands of the Tigers…The loss completed a three-game Detroit sweep where the South Siders failed to score in the final 20 innings.
Can it get worse? Try a four-game series against the Yankees starting tomorrow night in The Bronx.
It was a 4-6 homestand filled with blown saves, errors and lack of clutch hitting against the Rays, A’s and Angels. As the White Sox head to Tampa Bay, Detroit and New York for 11 games in 11 days we can only hope that the quality of play will improve.
The euphoria we felt after the Sox pummeled the Indians in the first two games of the season has been replaced with frustration and bewilderment. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. By the way, how’s the Tribe doing these days?
Perhaps the worst part of all of this is that the club brass, after loading up with payroll in the offseason, was counting on a quick start so the fans would start believing and proceed to fill the sets at the Cell. You have to wonder if the Sox faithful will continue to believe if the South Siders continue to reel.
I know, I know, it’s a long season. We’re only a game under .500 and gave a better effort today against a tough customer in Dan Haren. But it’s not only the won-lost record and the four-game losing streak that bothers me, it’s the way we’re playing. Sure, things could turn around in a heartbeat and these early season woes will just be a bad memory. But when? And we all know that the next three series will be anything but easy.
Take a close look, because you probably will never again see a Yankee logo in this blog–at least in a positive light. But if you’re a reader of Art of the Pale Hose you know that all the members of the 2005 World Champions have lifetime immunity with my White Sox posse and me.
So, despite never having rooted for the Bronx Bombers–even for a single game–I owe it to Big Game Freddy to give him his due. This afternoon in The Bronx he threw six shutout innings, allowing just two hits, as he was the winning pitcher in the Yanks’ victory over the defending A.L. champion Rangers. It was his first win for the Yanks and the 134th of his outstanding 13-year major league career against just 87 losses.
With the days dwindling down before pitchers and catchers report on February 17, the White Sox made some news and heard some news yesterday.
First, sources say that the Sox have reached an agreement with shortstop Alexei Ramirez on a four-year, $32.5 million extension with an option for a fifth year. This is certainly a positive move as Alexei came into his own last season as he led A.L. shortstops in batting average, slugging percentage, home runs and total bases. Ramirez also won the Silver Slugger Award, the first Sox shortstop to do so.
The other news item making the rounds was the fact Freddy Garcia has signed a minor league contract with the Yankees. There was some thought that he may return to the Sox after his respectable 12-6 season a year ago. But it seems the uncertainty of a starting role and the reality that the Sox budget has pretty much dried up, convinced Garcia to sign elsewhere.
The back end of the Yankee rotation is in flux, but it’s no certainty that Freddy will make the club. He will be competing with former White Sox hurler Bartolo Colon, Sergio Mitre, IvanNova and others for one, maybe two spots, depending on whether Andy Pettitte decides to return.
Former White Sox slugging outfielder Gus Zernial, who once held the club’s single-season home run record with his 29 in 1950, died last week of congestive heart failure at the age of 87.
For you younger fans unfamiliar with the name, the man affectionately called “Ozark Ike” broke in with the White Sox in 1949, played with the Pale Hose the following year and part of 1951 before he was traded to the Philadelphia A’s in a three-team trade which brought MinnieMinoso to Chicago from Cleveland. In all, he clouted 237 homers in 11 major league seasons with the Sox, A’s (both in Philly and Kansas City) and Tigers. He was an All-Star in 1953 as a member of the A’s.
Zernial also has a unique distinction that goes beyond baseball. He was the man who introduced Joe DiMaggio to Marilyn Monroe. It has been reported that DiMaggio saw that Zernial posed with Monroe for 20th Century Fox publicity photos (Gus is the catcher in the above illustration) and wondered how Zernial made it happen. Joe then got in touch with Marilyn via the former Sox outfielder–and the rest is history.
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