ALDS Game 1: Sox at Rays
Posted Oct 2, 2008 at 06:06 PM
The Bleacherite laments another lost opportunity for Junior, the Ump cries foul on Mohawks, and The Cubs Hater and the Fatalist find they have something in common: defeat. Here, our analyses of ALDS Game 1
| THE BLEACHERITE |
I followed today’s game on satellite radio, but I could have saved myself the trouble. To learn that the Sox had joined the Cubs in failure, all I really had to do was monitor the body language of my Sox-supporting colleagues. Their aimless pacing, ashen faces, frustrated mutterings, and haunting moans of agony told me all I needed to know. I never knew what gnashing of teeth looked like—until now. But there’s no freude in my schaden, because I want to see ex-Red Ken Griffey Jr. play in his first World Series. I won’t stop believin’ just yet.
| THE CUBS HATER |
Wore my Sox hat to work, enduring grumbles from a mourning Cubbie Nation— including The Fatalist, who, in his sad little Cubs cocoon, asked if I was "rubbing it in." Hey, we didn't beat you guys last night. (It was the wind, remember?) But now I'm getting laughed at, thanks to Javier Vazquez, who's got three different pitches—fastball, curveball, and changeup—none of them particularly good. Nice guy, Javy, even in defeat. He could have served up six homers to this Longoria kid, and it wouldn't have bothered good old Javy. Then again, I'd be nice, too, if I made a million bucks every time I won a ballgame. Get me Buehrle. Now.
| THE DELUSIONIST |
I'm not a Delusionist about the Sox. Go Cubs Go!
| THE ELITIST |
Javy Vasquez: Another Yankees reject. What do you expect?
| THE FATALIST |
Was that a Major League Baseball game? Why didn’t the pitchers bat? Oh, and is Evan Longoria married to Eva Longoria? (And are they the parents of Evangeline and Everett Longoria?) I kept wondering.
| THE GIRL |
One good thing about being stuck in a cubicle today: I didn't have to watch those Frank TV commercials on TBS. Mike & Mike said this morning that they love Caliendo and think he's a genius—I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to respect anything they say ever again. Anyway, about the Sox. I kept up with the game by listening to The Time Traveler yell and grunt down the hall. I think I also saw The Cubs Hater sobbing uncontrollably into his hands. Well, guys, I see your Javy Vasquez and raise you a Ryan Dempster. And maybe a Carlos Zambrano. Gah. I feel like puking again.
| THE UMP |
Glurg. As someone who likes both Black and Blue, it's been a tough 24 for The Ump. Chained to the desk today, he only caught fleeting glances of the game. Between the Day-Glo blue Mohawks and Pierzynski's platinum pouf, he can say with clear-eyed confidence that it wasn't a good hair day for either team. As for the game itself, while not outclassed, the Pale Hose are—unlike the Red Sox and Dodgers—probably not going to pull an upset beyond the stomach sort . . . The Ump abides.
| THE TIME TRAVELER |
Things I learned during the agonizing wait for my computer to update the Sox game: the name "Javier," meaning "splendid," is a variant of "Xavier," which of course recalls Saint Francis Xavier, the Jesuit missionary to Japan. Which is where I can only hope Nonespléndido Vazquez is pitching next season, or even next week. Just no more starts for the White Sox. Please. (I'd give the ball to Richard despite that shaky eighth inning.) And this just in: the Sox watering hole Jimbo's has lost the latest round in its eviction battle. So exactly where am I supposed to drown my sorrows?
What is your assessment of the game? Post a comment below.
About This Blog
Two Chicago teams. Eight baseball fanatics. Dozens of neuroses among them. As long as the Sox and/or Cubs are still playing, Chicago’s editors and contributors, a group with more baggage than the United Terminal at O'Hare, will reveal their prejudices and vent their frustrations after each game. Here's the roster of pundits.
Growing up in Cincinnati in the Big Red Machine era, Shane Tritsch thought it was wonderful—but hardly unusual—to see his team win the World Series. Then he moved to Chicago, became a Cubs fan, and learned otherwise. Now he hedges his emotional risk by rooting for the Cubs and his boyhood team, and by embracing the worldview of those beer-moistened party people in the Bud Light Bleachers. If the Cubs win, he's thrilled; if they lose, well, he's pretty damn happy anyway—as long as the weather is nice and the postgame line at Bernie's isn't too long.
The Cubs Hater
Jeff Ruby grew up on the Sox, but lives on the North Side, bravely, in the heart of Cubbie territory. He spits on the Cubs pennant down his block every time he walks past. No one in the neighborhood likes him—not even his Sox-hating wife.
James Ylisela Jr. celebrates every spring by confidently predicting that the Cubs will win it all. In the final game against Florida in the 2003 playoffs, Jim assured his friends that everything was going to work out fine. Several of those people are still not speaking to him. Jim says that's OK, too, because the 2008 Cubs will sweep through the playoffs and World Series without losing a single game.
A Yankee fan throughout childhood, native New Yorker Jonathan Eig has been conditioned to expect success—even when rooting for the Cubs. How does he explain the Cubs’ dismal results these past dozen years in which he has been a season-ticket holder at Wrigley Field? A mere hiccup. Triumph is right around the corner.
Richard Babcock, a genetically programmed Cubs fan, has never studied physics, but his Unified Failure Theory—which posits that the nanosecond he thinks the Cubs will win, they will fail—has been verified by history, if not science. As a result, he assumes the worst.
Esther Kang would choose to watch a Cubs game with a beer in hand over just about any other activity in Chicago—summer, fall, winter, or spring. What makes her different from the guys is a constant, irrational pendulum of emotions: She swings wildly between pangs of maternal compassion for the helpless (Steve Bartman)—and wishes of violent mishaps upon tangential scapegoats (Kyle Farnsworth circa 2003). She also covers her eyes and hides during crucial moments of a game. Pathetic.
A reformed Orioles fan who moved to Chicago a dozen years ago, Bryan Smith has skulked the fringes of Chicago baseball fandom, a man without a country. Puzzled by the deep hatred shared by Cubs and Sox lovers, he committed the ultimate sin: He grew to like both teams. Now, he walks alone, consoled only by his clear-eyed objectivity while watching either play, a silent arbiter on blown calls and not-really raw deals. Silent . . . until now.
The Time Traveler
For longtime White Sox fan Geoff Johnson, nothing would be more perfect than another World Series at the Cell. Except maybe Carlton Fisk would be back behind the plate, and Billy Pierce on the mound. Or better yet, Big Ed Walsh, with Shoeless Joe Jackson patrolling the outfield. Shoeless. And maybe Bill Veeck would again be the team owner, and the games would be played at old Comiskey Park, and after the Sox won the World Series, eliminating the Cubs in a dramatic game seven, everyone would head across the street for a celebratory round at McCuddy’s.