The Best and Worst Things About the White Sox Sweep
With the ouster of the Astros — who went out with T.S. Eliot’s whimper rather than a bang — we can drop the curtain on this year. So it wasn’t exactly an epic battle. Say this about the World Series: no one was seriously injured, unless you count Roger Clemens, and who does?
Time to turn the page. To help with this endeavor, I’ve compiled a list of the five best and worst things about the World Series being over.
No more national exposure for that infernal buzzing whenever one of the “Killer B’s” comes to the plate. This means the end of the most annoying noise in sports (non-Tim McCarver division). I can’t believe more hasn’t been made of this. Whose idea was it to use what sounds like the soundtrack to a terrible 80s B horror movie as a point of inspiration? Is this the reason they were stingless? Give me a zillion Day-Os before I ever hear that again.
The hot stove fires itself up. Mariner fans have had a jump on more fortunate affinity groups, the ones preoccupied with their playoff-bound squads, but now the whole musical chairs process begins in earnest. Who should end up where? Who will? For those of us fascinated by roster construction, it’s a wonderful time of the year.
Televisions at my friendly neighborhood watering hole and gym are now safe. There was prior risk that I, or a like-minded Bellinghamster, might throw something heavy at Scooter, or react with similar rage to those brutal anti-steroid PSAs. Technology is exempted from this wrath, for the time being, thanks to the end of the World Series.
For those of us whose teams played like sick nuns in 2005, now is also when the kernel of hope cracks open. The calendar changes, and hopefully, fortunes do, too.
The inevitable “and they clinched with Freddy Garcia as the winning pitcher!” woe-is-me-isms from Seattle columnists and sports radio callers. We love our retrospectives, especially when they involve the saddest words of tongue and pen. Please, please, please, let’s just let this one go.
Behold the vaunting of the small ball, the clutch hitter and the stolen base. In the time it took me to drive to work this morning, my radio told me that the White Sox won because they always bunt runners over, never fail to get the timely hit, and play aggressively on the basepaths. Now, every baseball team is going to want to build a club in this mistaken image. (Wait, poor strategy is a gift when employed by one’s rivals — maybe that should be under “best things.”)
Piling on the Cub fans just got turned up to eleven. Thrilled as we have to be for the Pale Hose faithful, a dozen knives are about to be repeatedly stuck between the North Side’s collective ribs. Everyone in America knows it’s been nearly 100 years. Soon, deaf mutes in the Andes will know, too.
Unfortunate and unfair labels affixed to exceptional players. Mercifully, rumblings about Brad Lidge have been muted by other factors. But the first time he blows a save next year, expect to hear the names Albert Pujols, Scott Podsednik and Jermaine Dye. Remember when Mariano Rivera blew two saves against Boston in April, and he was supposed to be done? Everybody fails. April’s a great time to do it; October’s not.
Finally, the worst thing about the World Series coming to a close: the end of the 2005 baseball season. ‘Nuff said, true believer.