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Home » July 2006 Game CommentsJuly 2006 » Socked


Game 84: July 7, 2006
Red Sox (52-32), 7
White Sox (56-30), 2
W: Jon Lester (4-0)
H: Manny Delcarmen (6)
H: Mike Timlin (16)
L: Mark Buehrle (9-6)

The Chicago mass transit system is as organized and well-planned as the rest of the city. Unlike the T in Boston, all of the trains of the L are of the same design and the naming of stops follows logic. Each stop is clearly demarcated and there is no confusing “inbound” and “outbound” nomenclature. Although initially confusing, the system is easily comprehendable and welcoming to visitors.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for the White Sox fans I was sitting near during last night’s game.

To be sure, this is the first time I have been visited another major league park while I was a fan of the opposing team. And the South Side fans are justifiably proud of their status as world champions. But one would think there would a certain level of decorum and class as champions. When attending Red Sox games in 2005, in general I thought fans of my team reveled in their team’s success rather than excoriate the accomplishments of players of other teams.

In contrast, White Sox fans have expressed their success by infusing the air with bravado defined almost entirely by the fact they aren’t pathetic like Cubs fans rather than enjoying their triumph on their own terms. With last night’s loss, I heard more White Sox clamoring about how Red Sox fans were like Cubs fans, but Cub fans were worse because they cheer on perpetual losers.

What’s truly pathetic is to allow such an inferiority complex to tarnish their perceptions. I’d wager that they would rather see the Cubs lose for the next 100 years rather than see their own team win the World Series again.

As I stated, my only reference point is Fenway Park and our fans. I would truly cringe if I witnessed the following incidents on behalf of my team:

  • With Jim Thome at bat, the inebriated White Sox fans sitting next to me opined that he’s glad the White Sox are all-American, unlike the Red Sox. The Red Sox, he said, have these players from all these other countries. Apparently, he doesn’t realize Juan Uribe, Alex Cintron, Pablo Ozuna, Jose Contreras, Tadahito Iguchi, Javier Vazquez, and their tolerant leader Ozzie Guillen are not from the United States or that non-whites can be Americans.
  • Another guy heckled Manny Ramirez about his “injury,” which is perhaps warranted. But he also kept imploring Ramirez to get a haircut. Have you seen your players A.J. Pierzynski, Joe Crede, or Freddy Garcia lately? He was the same guy who suggested that David Ortiz get drilled and that the designated hitter used steroids.
  • Without the adornments of a big league logo, the promotions the team holds would render US Cellularmiskey Fieldpark a minor league stadium. Thanks to the legacy of Bill Veeck, the atmosphere is a addled mixture of dugout roof dance offs, 80s music interludes, Scooter-inspired Jumbotron animations, on-field fan feats, and badly looped music.
  • Mark Buehrle was roundly booed when he left the mound. I have been to subpar outings by Matt Clement and have heard booing, but even when he was lit up there was at least smatterings of polite applause for the starter.
  • The “Boston sucks” and “Let’s go Yankees and/or Blue Jays” chants almost inspired me begin a cheer for the Tigers, Indians, or, best of all, Cubs. But as one who is a guest in another’s park as well as a person who values her life, I did not do so.
  • Despite extensive real estate to display announcements for the upcoming Mullet Night and the Pink Hat Giveaway, no screen displayed OBP or slugging. Also, there was no board showing pitch type and in-game ERA, let alone batting average against for the current pair facing off.
  • With the score 5-2 at the bottom of the eighth, fans began to depart. The crowd that remained behind were staying for the postgame fireworks display. Since no White Sox players hit homers, they weren’t treated to such a spectacle during the game.

Jon Lester, whose name the hecklers didn’t even bother to learn and was referred to as “that rookie” throughout the game, pitched six innings and allowed only two earned runs. Both runs were nearly carbon copies of each other with Jermaine Dye sacrificing to plate Alex Cintron. Each scoring situation came with the bases loaded and as a result of Jim Thome being able to muscle opposite field grounders past the shift.

The lack of timely hitting with men on base subdued the White Sox supporters, as did the home runs by Ortiz, Mike Lowell, and Coco Crisp. Ortiz’s first inning home run gave the Red Sox the early lead that the home team could only tie, and Lowell’s and Crisp’s ninth inning circuit clouts sealed the victory.

I’ll be posting pictures from my Wrigley Park tour and the game a little later. It’s time for me to enjoy lunch at the Taste of Chicago.

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