Short Take: What, no wall weeds?
There is an old saying that goes "you get what you pay
for." In the case of Jerry Manuel's line up for Thursday's
game against the Cubs, the phrase should be "you get what you PLAY
for." A punchless line up decimated by injuries and dull thinking
inevitably loses this game, 5-1 to the Baby Bears.
How did we ever score one?
Jerry Manuel pulled out the motivational stunts, conducting pre-game
practice at Comiskey Park, then boarding a bus for the 8-mile trip north to
the ivy-covered doll house. No word on whether any Sox player suffered a
nosebleed. Just like it was Whitney Young versus Lane Tech, the Sox
arrived less than an hour before game time. The ballpark, in fact,
features high school-sized dimensions.
For Manuel, the creativity ended there. The hamstring injury to
"heart and soul" Jose Valentin forced Manuel to play Royce
Clayton and slot him #8 in the line up. So how does Manuel
compensate for the loss of power? He benches Jose Canseco and
leaves Jeff Liefer, and Mark Johnson, two left-handed bats, out
of the line up, too. The bottom-half of the Sox line up looked like
Death Valley. The game was practically over before it started.
The Sox fought valiantly. Special mention goes to starter Kip
Wells who pitched through numerous jams, and Chris Singleton for
coming in spikes-high at third base--payback for Eric Young spiking Royce
Clayton while being out by four feet attempting to steal second
base. Eric needs to be "loose" in the batter's box Friday.
It was Singleton too, that doubled home the lone Sox run of the game, tying
it at 1-1. The Cubs had broken on top in the third inning on a Sammy
Sosa sacrifice to right field, and yes, he did his homerun hop. Pretty
Scoring opportunities for the Sox went by the boards in third, fourth, and
seventh innings. Lead-off man Ray Durham reached base once and
struck out twice. Carlos Lee, Magglio Ordonez, and Paul
Konerko, the #3-#5 hitters, were a combined 0 for 11 with 5
strikeouts. Way to work the count, guys! They left the bases
loaded in the sixth and got nothing but the one run Singleton provided.
Jon Garland got the call from the bullpen for the eighth inning and
promptly got in trouble, walking the lead-off man on five pitches. One
out later, Bob Howry came in, allowed another sacrifice and loaded the
bases with an intentional walk.
Here's a bit of comfort to draw from that 368-foot grand slam, Sox
Fans. First, there isn't another ballpark in America pretending to be
"major league" that Ricky Gutierrez's pop-fly is anything but a
routine out. Carlos Lee was literally camped under it when in
nestled above his head in the left field basket. A play reminiscent of
the infamous "wall weeds" ground-rule double in 1998 that cost the
Sox a victory, the "Bozo Buckets" grand slam will also live on as
proof positive that stuff happens.
A bit more comfort, too. Li'l Ricky did his little homerun dance the
moment he stepped out of the batter's box. He was trying to get under a
pitch and knew he had accomplished it. Of course hitting a cheap dinger
has been the M.O. of every Cubs mediocrity holding a bat since 1938 when the
dinky power alleys were created in this monstrosity. Mighty Ricky nearly
swallowed his heart when he saw how close that ball came from being an
out. Those upper cut swings lead to careless and sloppy at-bats later in
the season. Everyone tries to be the hero within the urine stench of
Needless to say that dose of reality was lost on the dolts in the stands
cheering for a curtain call and the morons in the dugout who joined the
celebration. No way these pseudo-celebrities win a championship.
This crap always catches up with the Flubbies.
It will all come back to haunt the dim-witted Chicago Cubs and their genius
fans. It just wasn't to be this day.
Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner
innings, a two-hit shutout, striking out five against three
walks. He also got one of the anemic Sox line up's six
hits. Pretty pathetic.
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