Far be it for me to argue that beating the Cubs isn't important,
especially because I
argued that it was just as important as any game that isn't
celebrated with garbage bags, ski goggles, Miller Lite, and Cook's
champagne just a while back. And it still is; taking at least 4 of 6 from the Affluent
Part of the City, Super-Yuppified Media Darlings will keep Sox fans warm
all the way through September when the temperature inexplicably drops
50 degrees in a week. But because of the whole 11 wins in a row thing,
the team can be forgiven for starting to think about goals more grand
than simply restoring the pride of their entire fan base and winning a
trinket that will presumably be pawned to pay out Jake Peavy's salary.
The Cubs have helped this rationale by stealing the thunder of the Sox
victories by completely imploding at some points, looking completely
demoralized in other stretches, and generally appearing to be on the
brink of trading everyone on the roster over 30, making Tyler Colvin
player-manager, and hiring Ozzie Guillen to be Carlos Zambrano's
therapist (it'd be like that HBO show with Gabriel Byrne, except in
Venezuelan Spanish and all the furniture is broken by the end of every
episode). For the second-straight season, the Cubs have managed to
perfectly time out their unraveling to coincide with the Crosstown Cup.
Some people just gotta have all the attention.
Each game for the Sox seems to bring on a new starter, and a new day
where you'd expect this utterly amazing stretch of pitching to end, or
at least level off to some degree. But the hot streak of 16 quality
starts in the last 17 games is now entering its fourth cycle through the
rotation with two pitchers seeming to be rolling as well as ever (Peavy
and the Gloyd), one unyielding in his consistency (Danks), and two maintaining a high level of success utilizing 'geezer magic' (Buehrle and
Garcia). The Sox remain a competitive team so long as this dynamic
remains in place, especially when you factor in that Minnesota is
operating with only two good starting pitchers right now (Pavano and Liriano), and Detroit
has about the same number (Verlander and Bonderman - Galarraga has 7
starts and 2 of them were quality. Some of the tragedy of him losing
his perfect game is that he will NEVER do it again). With these
pitching struggles for Minnesota and Detroit, the White Sox have a good
chance to repeat '08; and by that I mean win a division with under-90
victories and only then by the absolute skin of their teeth.
Which doesn't seem like great value for $103 million, but the Cubs have
shown that it could be a lot worse.
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