While ESPN has focused wall-to-wall coverage on the Yankees and Red Sox, you might have missed the most entertaining team in baseball. Oh and by the way, they just happen to be the defending World Champs. Sad isn't it? Outside of the Chicagoland area, the White Sox are generally an afterthought, with the national media far more concerned with what is happening with the East Coast 3 (above mentioned+the Mets.) I've generally tried to stay away from the East Coast bias card, but let me tell you what you've missed.
The White Sox possess a couple number 1 studs in Mark Buerhle and Jose Contreas, plus 3 solid number 2's in Garcia, Vasquez, and Garland. No team in baseball can match it. Add to this, a bullpen, which might not be as great as 2005, but still possesses a lot of depth. For those of you that shorted closer Bobby Jenks stock, it might be time to cut your losses, as he has given up a run in just 3 of his 14 appearances. (Analyst Full Disclosure: I stopped shorting him sometime in late April.)
New addition Jim Thome might have wrapped up comeback player of the year by the middle of May, as he has combined with Paul Konerko to provide a power duo in the class of Ramirez and Ortiz. Sitting right behind these two is the often forgotten power source, Jermaine Dye, who is worth the Moneyball that the A's didn't think he was. While I haven't broken down the defensive stats (Tango Tiger?), it's hard to imagine there is a better defensive infield in the game.
Being a championship quality team doesn't always make for an exciting style to watch. (see New England Patriots, San Antonio Spurs, and Detroit Pistons) Well, the media doesn't have that excuse with the White Sox, as they possess the most quotable, certifiable manager since Billy Martin in Ozzie Guillen. Then add A.J. Pierzynski, who just might be the best heel in sports since Roddy Piper and you have fireworks set to go off more than just when a homer is hit at 35th and Shields.
Just look at the last 3 games. You have a home plate collision followed by a sucker punch, a near melee over pointing up to the sky after a homer (both featuring America's greatest heel, A.J. Pierzynski) and then tonight with the White Sox coming back from a 4-0 deficit in the eighth to eventually win in the tenth. Just to add to the excitement, the winning run versus the A's was scored with 2 outs when a bunt was pushed up the first base line to score A.J. Heel. Oh and did I forget to mention that World Series Hero, Doug Eddings was behind home plate and threw out Guillen early in the game? Yeah, I'm not making this up. It's too bad Pierzynski didn't hug Eddings after scoring the winning run.
If your own favorite team is already letting you down, let me suggest you dig into your pockets and buy a MLB Season Pass because what the White Sox do on the field is truly something special to watch. The White Sox's balance of pitching, power hitting, fundamental baseball, and spectacular defense has no match in the game. Unless the bullpen starts to disingrate, it's hard to see how this year's White Sox aren't the favorites to win it all again. Hey, can someone give Kenny William's number to Michael Lewis, as I smell another hit best-seller.
It's been a good few months over here at the Toaster, with national attention being shown to Alex Belth for his great book on Curt Flood, Jon Weisman joining Alex writing for Sports Illustrated, and the always busy Will Carroll appearing in every media outlet you can think of. (Self-Promtion Alert!) I want to give a welcome to any new readers who were pointed here from the nationally syndicated Open Season column written weekly by the San Francisco Chronicle's Tom Fitzgerald. Tom has included stuff of mine in the past and over the weekend he used a blurb from my Northwestern women's volleyball team piece. It's right next to a Leno quote, so I'm expecting my Tonight Show invite soon.
In each issue of Sporting News they have a section called "Dream Week" which has made up quotes and stories for upcoming games. Chris Bahr is the author of the section and he does a great job. I'm wondering after the whole "Under the Spork" debacle if Ken Rosenthal gets angry calls from baseball front office people "asking how could he write such a thing?" I'd like to say I should let go of this past incident, but bitterness is often the fuel that drives me. Man do I need therapy.
This month's issue of GQ features some great photos of Christina Aguilera. As someone who never was a fan of the physical charms of Christina, being more of a Britney admirer, just let me say I've changed my mind. Here's is my favorite shotof Miss Aguilera. Between the marriage to Kevin Firstinline (to be an idiot), the lard that is destroying Britney's greatest ASS-et, plus not even being in the same league as Christina singing-wise, it's time to retire any notion there is any competition between the two.
File Under Important Issues of the Day: A lot of play is being given to sandwiches put on frescata bread. Wendy's is leading the way, so I thought I would try the new flavor of the month. Not impressed is the verdict. The sandwich ran me nearly $4.00 and I can tell you it's a much better deal to go to your favorite sub shop or Arby's (Market Fresh) if you want to spend the same money to fill your belly. According to some stories I pulled up on Google, the sandwiches seem to be selling briskly, but I suspect frescata will be a niche item following in the footsteps of sourdough.