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In YOUR Face!

(July 13)

Short Take:  Buehrle is the BEST!

Let's hope the Houston Astros and others were taking notes on how to reveal the Lovable Losers for what they truly are.  Don Baylor has successfully distracted his first-place team from the task at hand, whining for the second consecutive day about slights and injustices perceived in the play of the Chicago White Sox.  The Lovable Losers were clubbed Friday afternoon at Wrigley and all their manager could think to do is whine and make threats.

Isn't your job to focus the team on winning, Don?  Figures the manager of the Cubs would have difficulty with this concept.  Cubs lose to our Sox 7-2.

It was suppose to be a youthful pitcher's duel, but only one young ace showed up.  Mark Buehrle was nothing short of brilliant through eight innings at Wrigley Field.  He pitched ahead of hitters, in and out of the plate, and whenever in trouble, knew precisely what to do to pitch his way out.  He ended two early-game rallies with double-play grounders.

Meanwhile Kerry Wood, the heart throb of every pre-pubescent girl in the six-county region, was getting throttled by the Sox.  No thanks to Ray Durham (who typically swung at Wood's very first pitch for a groundout), the tone was set early when #2 hitter Jose Valentin took six pitches for a walk.  He would go on and collect three on the day, setting the table for heroics further down the line up.  Unbelievably, the Sox walked ten times in this game, finally showing the patience that made them winners last season.  

Jeff Liefer and Chris Singleton each collected rbi singles to spot Buehrle a 2-0 lead in the fourth.  A Magglio Ordonez sacrifice brought home Ray Durham in the fifth, 3-0 Sox.

The Great One tightened things up in the sixth inning when his mortar shot landed in the vegetable plants behind the centerfield wall, 3-2 Sox.  Naturally Sam-ME did his hot dog routine around the bases and the obligatory kisses and chest thumps while mugging for the WGN cameras inside the Flubs dugout.  It's all so routine, it's easy to forget just how bush it truly is.

Unless of course you love the guy, like Chimp Caray and sidekick du jour, Randy Hundley.

So it was the most delicious moment of the entire year when Jose Valentin stepped up to lead off the seventh inning and drilled one into the left field seats, pumping his fist around first base, giving his family a two-fingered kiss crossing homeplate, and doing a fine impersonation of  The Great One inside the dugout to the horror of piss-pants Cubs fans and their official cheerleader, Harry Caray's grandkid.  Valentin cements his position as the heart and soul of this team and Sox Fans' allegiance.

Paul Konerko was up three batters later and sent a screamer clear over everything for another three Sox runs, both baserunners reaching on Kerry Wood walks.  Oh, that was sweet too.

For Sox Fans the perfect topper came in the eighth watching Sosa stumble over his own two feet on a shot to right field by Carlos Lee, breaking the wrong way, crossing feet, then breaking the other way and missing the ball by two feet.  This clown is a shadow of the fielder Sox Fans remember from eleven summers ago at Old Comiskey Park.  He was weak link on a championship-caliber team back then.  Now he's just weak.

So Baylor threatens Valentin with retaliation in his post-game comments and a sullen Sam-Me makes an unconvincing remark that it's all part of the game, and Lord only knows what is going through the head of wierdest curmudgeon in the entire Flubbie clubhouse, Julian Tavarez, Saturday afternoon's starting pitcher.

That's a game nobody should miss!  And it's on Fox, too.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Mark Buehrle

A masterful eight inning performance, allowing two runs, scattering nine hits, striking out eight and walking nobody.  Kerry Wood was completely overmatched.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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