It’s a breezy, overcast Sunday afternoon, and I feel my eyes getting heavy. Through the dissipating fog of the onset of a daydream, I see former White Sox second baseman Julio Cruz lay down a perfect sacrifice bunt, and I realize it’s 1983. There’s shortstop Scott Fletcher, moving a runner over from second base to third base with a groundout to second, leaving the on deck hitter to drive in the tying run with one out. I see Rudy Law stealing second, then two pitches later stealing third, not waiting and hoping for a power hitter to drive him in from first. And, look at that, it’s Harold Baines. He just hit a home run and is simply running around the bases. He didn’t stare at it. He didn’t flip his bat. He didn’t stare at the pitcher. He just rounded the bases and went back to the dugout.
My dog licks my face, and I temporarily awaken, but the nap feels too good, so my eyes quickly close again. In the distance I see two dozen White Sox players congratulate Mark Buehrle for a complete game-9 innings and 27 outs-and I realize it’s 2005. In the ethereal, ephemeral way of a dream, I witness Freddy Garcia getting the same congratulations for the same accomplishment a game later; a complete game, finishing what he started. There’s Paul Konerko, playing through pain, refusing a day off. And I’ll be damned, it’s Tadahito Iguchi, spraying the ball to the right side between the first and second baseman in a perfect hit and run that gets Scott Podsednik from first to third. Joe Crede just put the ball in play instead of striking out, scoring a runner from third on a sacrifice fly. Oh man, it’s A.J. Pierzynski! He just shortened up in a 1-2 count to slap a seeing eye base hit to left center field, scoring two to put the Sox ahead 4-3.
My dog licks my face again, and this time I can’t fall back asleep. The Sox are on, and they’re in a tight game. Yoan Moncada swings for the fences with two strikes when the Sox desperately need contact. Jose Abreu neglects to run to first base on a dropped third strike. Some *Everyone Look At Me Guy from the Yankees hits a home run, flips his bat, stands at the plate for a few moments to watch it so everybody can see how cool he is, and takes three minutes to run around the bases. James Shields, the veteran in the rotation, doesn’t throw at the Yankee his next time up, to let him know staring at home runs is a punk move. The Sox are down seven runs now, and Tim Anderson hits a home run. He does the same thing *Everyone Look At Me Guy does, bat flip-stare-slow trot. Did I mention the Sox are down 7 runs?
I am eager to go back to sleep. I want to see Aaron Rowand run as hard as he can to first base after hitting a ground ball to the shortstop.
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