ALDS Game 3: Rays at Sox
Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 07:38 PM
The Time Traveler thanks Danks and Jenks, The Bleacherite visits a ghostly Wrigleyville, The Elitist dismisses the win, and The Fatalist goes shopping for bathroom fixtures with his wife. Here, our analyses of ALDS Game 3
| THE BLEACHERITE |
Today I found the perfect way to watch a Chicago pro team play postseason baseball—by going to a pub in a ghostly, postapocalyptic Wrigleyville and watching NFL football. What I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, was that the Sox combined solid starting and relief pitching with (here's the key) clutch hitting, and they lived to play another day. I hope the Cubs were taking notes.
| THE CUBS HATER |
Dye, Thome, Konerko, and Griffey have hit a total of 1,755 homers in their careers. Has any team ever had four guys in a row with more? This is obviously not a club built on guile and cunning, but rather broad chests and big bats—so you've got to love it when they somehow win their biggest game in three years with nary a long ball, instead relying on sacrifice flies, stolen bases, and Other Things They Haven't Done All Year. This bodes well. It's only a matter of time before the Sox let the lions out of the cage. Please, let it be tomorrow.
| THE DELUSIONIST |
I have no delusions about the Sox, but I'm glad they won a game. It's a great way to kill time until the Cubs can get started on their next year's team of destiny. They have funny rules in the American League, don't they?
| THE ELITIST |
The Sox are not a great team, but in the past week, they have displayed more guts than the Cubs showed all year. It's only one game, and I don't see them turning this thing around, but today's win was a nice one—a sweet gift for fans. But don't expect much more.
| THE FATALIST |
Jeez, sorry, I missed the Sox game. Had a terrific opportunity to go shopping for bathroom fixtures with my wife at Home Depot, and you know how time can get away from you there! Catch the Sox next time!
| THE GIRL |
I fell asleep at the start of the game and had a dream about the Cubs playing baseball with—get this—a Tic-Tac. It's infuriating that the feckless Cubs have now found a way to disturb me in my sleep. Anyway, I came to in the top of the sixth just in time to watch Danks fan a couple more Rays, and then have Dotel and Jenks close it out nicely. After the Northsiders were swept last night, I told The Cubs Hater that I was pulling for the Sox today—another sweep would be humiliating for this great city. Now that they got this win and avoided the ultimate embarrassment, I'm ready for it all to be over.
| THE UMP |
It's stating the obvious, but I think it needs to be said: For all the hype about the Cubs this year, for all the talk of mystique and magic, best records, curses and karma, the grinding, modest, sometimes seemingly hopeless White Sox . . . had the better season. Who'd have thunk? Good on 'em.
| THE TIME TRAVELER |
Let's see if I've got this right: Friday night, the Sox get two runs on twelve hits; this afternoon they get five runs on seven hits. If they can only keep getting fewer hits, they've got this series wrapped up. For today's victory, I give thanks to DeWayne and Danks and Mr. Jenks. The future lies in the hands of Gavin Floyd, who's slated to pitch for the Sox tomorrow. Tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow—though if, like me, you Google that Shakespeare chestnut, you will find it reads more like a North Side lament than a battle cry from 35th & Shields.
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.