White Sox Put the 'O' in 'Oil Company Sponsored Trophy' - Score 10 Runs in Win Over Cubs

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Good evening, (or morning, who knows when people read blogs?) and
welcome to the best day of the White Sox season.  The Sox have had a
better records at point this year than the current 27-33 mark they'll go
into Saturday with, and they've already equaled the season-high
three-game winning streak (that still sounds bad), and even with all of
their struggles offensively, the Sox had a greater scoring outburst just
this past Wednesday than they had Friday afternoon.  And as vital as it
is that at the heavily-emphasized 60-game mark that the White Sox are
still pushing toward the notion that they have more to reveal about
themselves, this is the best game and best win of the season because it
came against the Cubs, and that matters more than ever this season*.

*No,
it's not because of the stupid trophy
Mark Teahen's Twitter account, or I guess I should say, Mark Teahen's
dog's
Twitter account proclaimed after the White Sox win Friday
that the team was "1/6 of our way to bringing the Crosstown Cup to the
South Side where it belongs".  About as much credit can be given to Mark
(or his dog) for removing 'BP' from the name of the trophy as can be
taken away for his failing to realize that 4 wins would be perfectly
adequate to capture the season series.  What's most likely, is that
Teahen is resolutely setting the bar for the season at the high mark of a
6-0 record versus the Northsiders, which would be an epic coup for the
so-far under-performing Sox. 

The Chicago Cubs, are the
pervasive baseball team of the city.  They have more national notoriety,
they are far more locally popular, play in a substantially more
affluent and bustling (if also utterly intolerable) part of the city,
and have a more hallowed stadium.  They also have a bigger payroll, more
name notoriety for their players, and more coverage.  For almost 30
years the Cubs were owned by the dominant media conglomerate of the
city, giving them untold levels of media exposure on top of their
long-running partnership with WGN, the dominant AM station in the area. 
The Cubs even have a better story and more prominent identity than the
White Sox.  Some how, even by just losing, the Cubs have somehow managed
to be more relevant and remarkable than their South Side neighbors.

For
all these reasons, the Cubs will always be bigger than the White Sox. 
Their fan base, their social relevance, and their wealth can never be
competed with.  The only forum, the only medium by which the White Sox
can ever hope to be on the same playing field with the Chicago Cubs, is
on the playing field
.  The White Sox get six games a season to be
better than the Cubs in the only way they can; and if they are, it's the
only thing that matters.  A small amount solace is taken in seasons
where the Sox are particularly rolling such as in '05 and '06, but it
pales in comparison to the solace that can be taken in a bad season that
features a conquest of the Cubs.  In some ways, this series means more
because it will never mean as much to the North Siders.  For as much as
any Cubs fan hates the White Sox, they do so on their terms.  The Sox
are a supreme and unrelenting annoyance, but are not the poisonous,
overhanging cloud that the Cubs are to them.  For the Sox, as much as
there are greater goals such as the AL Central and further playoff
glory, mid-June matchups with the Cubs are when they officially announce
their presence to the world in good seasons, validate and redeem bad
seasons, or in loss, when everything goes straight to hell.

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One
might go so far as to think that Jake realized the gravity of the
occasion and rose to it Friday.

So in this most
important of moments stepped an odd collection of players; two aging
veterans of countless White Sox wars, the new best player on the team,
and so far this season, the biggest disappointment.  Paul Konerko scored
twice and knocked in two more, Alex Rios and A.J. Pierzynski both
homered and had 4-hit games, while Jake Peavy delivered 7 innings of
solid, but not spectacular ball.  It might have been disappointing to
watch the ace that multiple promising pitchers were dealt for clearly
lose his stuff after the 5th inning, and have to battle through his
final two frames.  But at the very least, Jake has always displayed grit
and competitiveness.  As much as he seemed to labor in the 6th and 7th,
he was superb in keeping the game tied until the 5th after the Soriano
home run.  His strikeout of Marlon Byrd to end the 3rd with two runners
on turned out to be one of the bigger moments of the game.

The
offense was as good as one could ask for on Friday.  They started things
off early with 4-straight two-out hits off Cubs starter Randy Wells. 
This marked the third-straight poor outing for Wells, and the White Sox
capitalized on his vulnerability in the 5th inning with big RBI doubles
from Pierzynski and Konerko.  Pierzynski has had some big moments in
Cubs games in the past few years to say the least, and it was would be
of great help if he and Alexei Ramirez (2 runs and an RBI) could return
to being viable parts of the batting order.  Unless of course A.J. is
traded in the next couple of days, then screw it.  The Sox desperately
need some compliments to the brilliance of Konerko and Rios, and today
they got it.  They've been the team that they were on Friday far too few
times to know if it could ever be done consistently, but if it
could....oh boy.  We might be in the position to regret some trades
we're about to make.

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