The road to Uber-Punkdom
As anyone who reads this blog regularly can attest, I don't care for the Yankees. Multiply the amount I hate them by a factor of ten, and you're close to the amount that I hate the Chicago White Sox.
Why, you ask, do I hate a team that is an afterthought in their own city? Its simple, really. The Pale Hosers are in the same division as the Twins, meaning the teams play 19 times during each 162 game season. That's just a shade under 10% of the entire schedule (8.5% for you math dorks). When you play that many times against a team that year in and year out you battle for the division title, a certain hatred develops. Its bound to.
Plus, there's this: the Sox make it so easy to hate when they supply a continual string of anti-Twins quotes to the media. Hell, pitcher Mark Buehrle has supplied even stuff on his own to make Clubber Lang blush. My favorite was in 2003 when, after the Twins passed the Sox in the second-to-last week of the season en route to a come-from-behind division title, Buehrle told the media it was a shame the best team from the division missed the playoffs. To top it off, he said he would enjoy watching the Twins lose in the first round, because he was so unimpressed with them he was sure they would. Never mind that they did. Buehrle instantly went from punk to uber-punk, forever. And as you know, it is possible to receive redemption from the Max Univers Court of Punk Behavior. But once you move into uber-punkdom, there is no return.
Jim Thome would be in this category for hitting seemingly 9000 homeruns against the Twins. Raul Ibanez recently moved into this category in August after getting game winning hits five times in two weeks against the Twins. There is no escape from uber-punkdom.
My by count, the Sox have more players in uber-punkdom than any other team, including the Yankees. Yeah, I know, it seems weird, but its true. Derek Jeter? Uber-punk. Alex Rodriguez? Just a punk. The dude never gets a big hit, ever, so its awful tough to irrevocably stain him with uber-punkdom. No, the White Sox have five.
Manager Ozzie Guillen
In Dye's case, his uber-punk status goes back to when he played for the Omaha Royals and he refused to sign a homerun ball that he hit and I subsequently caught. So its personal in his case.
Tuesday night, Game 157 of the season takes place, and it pits the White Sox against the Twins, with the division title on the line. All summer long, the teams have traded positions, with neither team gaining a bigger lead than 2.5 games. Its been an incredibly tight race, and for all intents and purposes, it comes down to these three games.
As the Twins young team has faded a bit during September, the Sox lead has grown to 2.5 games entering the series. A Twins sweep and they take over first place with the perpetually sucking Royals coming to town for the final series of the year. Certainly, they need to sweep the series.
But say they don't. Say they take two out of three; they would trail by a game and a half with three to play. Ouch, right? BUT, the White Sox have to play the red-hot Cleveland Indians in Cleveland this weekend, and the Twins host the horrible Royals. I'll take those odds.