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By Andrew Reilly
We've come to that time of the season, the time that separates the Die Hards from the Johnny Come Four Years Ago And Probably Left By Nows: the time for pathetic, self-directed spite.
Lest anyone discredit the Sox' inexplicable wins this past week or think getting rid of Jim Thome and Jose Contreras was the answer, think again. Thome, in his old, slow, one-dimensional manner, was too representative of the past ten years of White Sox baseball to ever be expendable, and Contreras' struggles were really nothing new. But the exit of those two is not what went on to (and will again) fuel the Sox' dismantling of hated teams. No, the Sox' best hope is to forget about the season and think about how to ruin a superior, more glamorous team's day. Double-substitutions against the Twins? Yes. Laughing at the destroyed arm of Jason Varitek? Absolutely. Ruining the Cubs in their home urinal? Oh, baby!
The answer, I suspect, is something entirely different: where this season actually ends up will be closer to the entirely non-memorable 2002, 2001, or 1998 teams, each only remembered for . . . well, for nothing at all. These Sox aren't immortally bad, nor are they cruelly close to being historically good. So, you know, whatever, you know? At least the Cubs suck, too.
Week in Review: Domination. A 5-2 week against three hated teams is almost enough to make a man forget about the 20 weeks that came before it.
Week in Preview: Western. Two at home against Oakland followed by three at Los Angeles spells an indifferent week of being outpitched by the A's and outrun by the Angels.
The Q Factor: In the top of the ninth inning of Wednesday's game against the Twins, Carlos Quentin moved from first to third on an Alexei Ramirez single, although a bad throw by Denard Span left enough room for Quentin to score. Twins third baseman Brendan Harris asked Quentin why he didn't break for home, to which Quentin replied "Worry not, friend. My role is not one of shaming my competitors, but one of advancing our knowledge and love of merely being on the diamond. While the game is still alive, I am still alive, and when it is time to score I promise you I will." And you know what? Two pitches later he did.
That's Ozzie!: "I don't like Carlos as DH because he'll drive everybody crazy [on the bench]. Carlos is the type of guy when he doesn't get a hit, he thinks a lot when he's sitting here. I'd rather when he doesn't get a hit, he goes out there and performs [on defense].''--Guillen on the aborted QDH 3000 project.
The Guillen Meter: The season crawling to an end, the Guillen Meter reads "3" for "snail-esque."
Underclassmen Update: Gordon "Brooks-Rod" Beckham should be back Wednesday once he's worked out the stiffness in his back. Beckham reportedly went a combined 3-for-7 Sunday and Monday against Boston despite not playing at all.
Alumni News You Can Use: Discarded White Sox pitcher Jose Contreras surrendered but one run in his debut for the Rockies against the Diamondbacks. In other scrapheap news, discarded White Sox relievers David Aardsma and Mike MacDougal have an astonishing 34 and 14 saves, respectively.
Hawkeroo's Can-O-Corn Watch: That Mike Scioscia, I tell ya, he might just be the smartest manager I've ever seen in situations like this. I remember once, Alvin Dark told me about the game of non-gaming. Alvin pulled me aside once, we were playing in Texas that day, and ol' Alvin said, "What you want to do in baseball is just like what you want to do in football or golf or any other sport, it's that you want to make sure the other guy doesn't get the chance to make you let him un-lose the game." And that right there, Mike Scioscia understands that better than maybe anybody except our own Ozzie Guillen right there. And that's why baseball is such a beautiful game.
Endorsement No-Brainer: Mark Kotsay for Terminator 2: Judgment Day: He'll be back.
Cubs Snub: The gap between the Cubs and Cardinals (11.5 games) is the largest of any first- and second-place teams in any division.
The White Sox Report: Read 'em all.
The Cub Factor: Know your enemy.
Andrew Reilly is the managing editor of The 35th Street Review and a contributor to many fine publications.
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