Sunday, October 23, 2005

why i want the white sox to win the world series

This certainly isn't a World Series experts would have predicted back in March, but that's okay -- the White Sox and Astros are both a couple of good teams who earned their way to the Fall Classic, the Sox holding off the Indians' late charge and bouncing the Red Sox & Angels out in the playoffs, the Astros recovering from their awful 15-30 start to become the first team since the Miracle Braves of 1914 to reach the World Series after falling 15 games below .500. But they won't deserve the name "Miracle Astros" -- it's easier to recover from that bad start to reach the third best record in the NL and grab a wild card spot than it was for the Braves to recover and reach the very top of the eight-team league.

So we get a Series between two teams that have little tradition; assuming my favorite teams aren't present, I tend to root for teams that don't win much, so that's fine by me. In this matchup, I've got to pull for the White Sox.

That's partly because they have gone longer than the Astros without reaching the Series. And partly because I kind of like the symmetry -- the White Sox & Red Sox were baseball champs in 1917 and 1918; they can now reverse the order in 2004-2005. The "Black Sox"/Eight Men Out punishment angle is well past the statute of limitations now -- nobody associated with today's Sox was even alive in 1919 when Ed Cicotte, Buck Weaver, Shoeless Joe Jackson and the rest took money from gamblers to throw the Series to the Cincinnati Reds.

The fact that I detest Roger Clemens also plays into my rooting for the White Sox. Yeah, he's a good pitcher and all, but he's always struck me as a jerk and I don't like how he gave all of his brood names beginning with "K" (as in strikeout) in a nice piece of self-worship only rivaled by George Foreman's mono-monickerical use of the word "George" for his sons. Also, I thought we were down on steroid-popping ballplayers nowadays -- it ain't just hitters using the creams and clears, folks.

But the main reason I'm pulling for the Chicago White Sox is really because I like the idea of Cubs' fans spluttering and moaning at the idea of a championship for the Second City's second team, representing the second-class type of people in the less desirable parts of the city. The literary yuppie Wrigley-Field's-ivy-extolling baseball fans typified by George Will can sink even further into their sixty-years-and-counting funk if the Pale Hose bring home the World Series trophy to the Southside of Chicago.

Go-Go, White Sox!