As amazing as the ceremony was Sunday night, I can’t say it was one of my best performances as a Sox fan–in fact it may have been my worst.
Starting in batting practice, I went out to usual spot in the front row along the fence of the White Sox bullpen. I had a ball hit directly to me, but I lost it in the sun (the first weather element to hurt me that night). It hit the chair right next to me, hit me in the stomach and I failed to squeeze it as it bounced back and forth from my stomach to my glove to my chest to my glove and then onto the ground where a more fortunate young kid grabbed it. I should have known right there that the night just wasn’t meant to be (for me).
The ceremony, however, was amazing. I thought it was hilarious how uninterested the fans were in the performance of Josh Kelly. I certainly didn’t care much either. Come on, we’ve been waiting 158 days to get back into that ballpark. When Kelly had to stop briefly because it was too loud after fans stood and cheered Mark Buerhle’s entrance onto the field was a pretty good moment.
The montage was great, but truely the best part was the F-18 Hornets flying over right at the instant where the National Anthem was over. They couldn’t have been more than 300 feet above the stadium.
So I got into my usual routine behind the plate, the game was going along well…
RAIN, RAIN, RAIN.
Now, I have sat through plenty of rain delays in my life, leaving is not an option. You stay until the game is over or until they call it off. I’ve never violated that rule.
Now in retrospect there are no good excuses. But there are excuses. There was a tornado warning, it was hailing a few blocks away, and I have been through far less intense weather events at that stadium that have caused cancellations. I was about 99% sure I would be back on Monday for a rescheduled contest (despite my classes taking place 150 miles away in Wisconsin). I was going to have to get home and study for my test Tuesday so that I would have no problems staying in Chicago Monday.
At 11:15pm, nearly 3 hours later, I was sitting at my house more disappointed in myself as a baseball fan than ever before.
At least we won the game.
5:30 wake up and bus ride back to Madison didn’t help.
I did enjoy seeing Frank Thomas homer in his first AB last night. Much more interesting than that boring National Championship game.
The good news is that the test went well, but the more important thing is that the White Sox were back on the field. Being in Madison I couldn’t watch the ring ceremony, but I watched the game on MLB.TV.
Anyone who was at the game, share your thoughts because it had to be pretty cool. I heard Rowand got the loudest ovation, which is nice to hear. I’m hoping to go to Wrigley the first time the Phillies are there, just to root on Rowand.
I wish I knew what was wrong with Garcia. Losing 5 mph on his fastball proved to be devastating. It might have been a good wake up call, however. I almost forgot what losing was like. We had won 17 of our last 18 games.
It’s sad to think that if the Twins win tonight we will be out of first place for the first time since 2004.
Start a new streak…
I think people need to stop worrying about who will be the odd man out in the rotation now that Contreras has been locked up for 3 more years. This won’t be an issue until the trade deadline at the earliest, and probably not until the offseason.
My gut feeling is that we should be worried about Buerhle leaving for St. Louis, but we will exercise the option on him for 2007 giving us plenty of time.
I also don’t think you will see Brandon McCarthy on any other team besides the White Sox for many years to come. The signing of Contreras gives the Sox time to see which pitcher in the rotation will falter. Maybe Vazquez doesn’t return to his Montreal Expos form. Maybe Garland doesn’t get better than his 18 wins last season. Maybe Garcia has a bad year, which we might have to worry about if doesn’t regain his velocity. Or maybe Contreras continues to age and last October proves to be his peak.
This rotation is not going to be flawless, but right now the organization has insurance. That’s all the Contreras dead means.
Let’s hope the Twins lose tonight and we can get back in the winning column tomorrow.