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(July 23)

Game MVP:  Umpire Ted Barrett

Before Sox Fans rant too much about the outcome of this game, can we all agree any type of timely hitting by our Pale Hose would have made the point of poor ball and strike calls moot?  Nothing is worse than deserving to lose and knowing the other team was getting some help, too.  A miserable 2-0 defeat to the dolts along the Cuyahoga.  

One mistake.  Just a tiny mistake.  One big, fat, all-the-difference-in-the-world mistake served to Juan Gonzalez in the second inning on a 3-2 pitch crushed onto the concourse in left field.  That was the game.  Mark Buehrle fought all night and was nothing but the loser for the effort.

Don't fault Carlos Lee.  Our #3 hitter had three hits while the rest of our team collected one.  Magglio Ordonez was 0 for 3, Jose Canseco was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and Paul Konerko was 1 for 3, failing to reach base until the ninth.  His silly throwing error in the eighth led to an unearned run, too.  Was that where the game was lost?

Wasted scoring opportunities:  Canseco's strikeout looking to end the sixth inning, Royce Clayton strikeout looking to end the seventh with the tying run on second base, and of course the fateful ninth inning for Jose Valentin and Jeff Liefer.

Which brings us to homeplate umpire Ted Barrett.  In a well-called game the umpires fade into the woodwork.  You don't even know they are there.  Instead, Barrett made himself the center of events in the fateful ninth.  The called third strike on Valentin was clearly outside the plate.  He was rightfully upset given the game situation and the importance of the at-bat.  

He threw his equipment; kick him out.  The rules specify this.  He also argued balls and strikes; kick him out.  The rules specify this.  Instead Ted Barrett chose to mete out his own rough justice--rulebook be damned!

In Ted Barrett's world, revenge is sweeter.  So instead of applying the rulebook, he took the bat right out of Jeff Liefer's hands.  He pays the price for Barrett's trick.  Three called strikes each more ridiculous than the one before it brought a quick finish to this game.

Cleveland hardly needed the help.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Mark Buehrle

Pitched 6.1 innings of 4-hit ball, striking out five against two walks, made one mistake pitch and became the loser because of it.  That's snake-bitten.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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