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Mayday!  Mayday!

(July 1)

Short Take:  Women & children first.

In a series most Sox Fans felt was necessary to win three of four games, the Pale Hose now must sweep the remaining three over Minnesota facing Brad Radke, Eric Milton, and Joe Mays.  The 2001 White Sox took a torpedo mid-ship beneath the waterline Monday evening at Comiskey.  Our championship hopes are sinking fast.  Minnesota wins 7-5.

If you thought it was pandemonium on the deck of the Titanic, you ain't seen nuthin' yet!

Death came calling early.  Starter Kip Wells walked the very first man he faced.  He battled to get two out but then got squeezed on a 1-1 pitch to the mighty Chad Allen.  He grooved the next pitch which Allen drove on a line straight to centerfield.  Chris Singleton ran back, turning this way, then that way, then this way again, finally sticking his glove straight ahead hoping the ball would miraculously drop into the webbing.  

At this moment of truth, the Sox centerfielder looked like an 8 year-old little leaguer playing in the Chicago Heights Park District.  Sox Fans half-expected him to jump and toss his glove in the air.  Allen landed on second base with two runs batted in.  The next batted ball bounced off Ray Durham's teeny tiny glove, doubtlessly the same model they gave away at the ballpark to 10,000 kids earlier this year.  3-0 Twins.  

The error wasn't the worst part of Ray's night.  Our #3 power-hitting wannabe was 0 for 4 with a strikeout at the plate.  He's too old to be sent back to Charlotte.  Would a brain transfusion help?

So it was with resignation that Sox Fans watched their team take their first cuts of the game in the bottom-half of the frame.  And of course who answered the call for Sox heroics but the same guy who has done it for over a year now--Jose Valentin.  His lead-off homerun sent the message back to the Twinkie dugout, "Don't count us out yet!"  Magglio Ordonez must have drawn a bit of inspiration from it too, slugging a solo dinger of his own cutting the Minnesota lead to one run.

Miracles!  The Sox came all the way back in the fourth when Jeff Liefer (getting the start in left field for injured Carlos Lee) hit a two-run dinger to give the Sox the lead 5-4.  We really do have a chance!!!

Did the Minnesota Twins wince at this show of fortitude?  Not a chance.  Corey Koskie slugged a 438 foot bomb that left a dent in the funky shed that serves as the Comiskey batter's eye.  Another jack in the sixth by mighty mite Jacque Jones made it 5-4 Twinkies, and the first bit of water began pouring into the hull of our Sox championship aspirations.

The beginning of the end came when Jerry Manuel brought in lefty Alan Embree to pitch the seventh inning.  "Mayday!  Mayday!"  Five batters and two runs later Manuel was pulling Kenny Williams' 11.25 ERA left-handed Wonder-Boy out of the game to a chorus of boos--10,000 walk-up sales in this crowd of 33,000 who came to sit Shiva with their dying Sox.

The warriors of the team never quit.  Valentin added an rbi-single in the seventh, but fate would only laugh at the Sox tonight.  Valentin himself was the victim of a called third strike in the ninth inning on a breaking pitch in the same location Kip Wells couldn't get called a strike all night long.  Typical.

Three games under .500, eleven games off the pace, and vital signs getting weaker.  Are Sox Fans prepared to endure three months worth of extended spring training games?

Hmm... those deck chairs look like they could use some rearranging.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Jose Valentin

3 for 5, including a lead off homerun in the first inning, jumpstarting the Sox already trailing 3-0.  Two rbi's, too.  Not bad for a guy never allowed to play his best position in the field.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

  2001 Sox Schedule | Sox Clubhouse message board

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