The White Sox opened their season at home against the Cleveland Indians. That’s all well and good, but this is the first time in fourteen years that the White Sox opened at home. Are you serious?
I didn’t even realize until I got home that I had TiVo’d the White Sox/Indians game. It’s hard to watch a sporting event after the fact when you know how it ended. This game ended well.
Let’s talk about attendance first. The White Sox sold out their home opener. From the looks of the crowd at game number two, the team didn’t tell people that it was an afternoon start. There was nobody at the game.
The announcers are Darin Jackson and Hawk Harrleson. Harrleson is known for his trademark sayings like “He gawn” for a strikeout and “can of corn” for an easy play in the outfield. DJ, on the other hand, is bland, and from this broadcast, wrong a lot.
I fast forwarded to the ninth inning, because that was all I needed to see. Ron Belliard, the Indians’ ninth-place hitter, gets on with a single. DJ immediately says that Belliard is not a base-stealer. He eventually steals second. The White Sox put Damaso Marte in, and the announcers have nothing but praise for him. Travis Hafner hits a double off Marte, scoring Belliard. The score is now 3-0. The White Sox have scored one run in 16 innings of ball so far. Marte finishes the inning and it’s the bottom of the ninth.
The cameraman shows pictures of people with babies when play resumes. I guess it was single-mom day at the park. Side note: there is a sports radio station in Atlanta that has single-mom night at Braves games. Bob Wickman comes in. Many years ago he was a White Sox prospect. He’s now the Indians closer. Wickman missed last year with an arm injury. As he’s warming up DJ mentions that Wickman doesn’t give up home runs. Duly noted.
Carl Everett leads off the inning. The first pitch looks outside but it’s called a strike. Everett calls the ump a dinosaur. What I notice about Everett’s leg kick is when he does it his right knee ends up in the center of the strike zone. How does anyone pitch inside anymore? The second pitch is ripped into right field for a single.
Paul Konerko, aka Kong comes up. He takes one inside (ah hah). The second pitch is over the plate and Konerko cranks it over the left-field fence. People have to run about five rows back into unoccupied seats to get the ball. It’s 3-2. Hawk’s trademark “You can put it on the board! Yes!” Call is quite welcome.
Bob Wickman is a jelly doughnut kind of pitcher. That must be what he was sweating at the moment. Jermaine Dye comes up and swings so hard at the first pitch that he might have dislocated his elbow. Strike one. Catcher Victor Martinez called the sinker that doesn’t sink next, and Dye deposits that into the left-field bleachers. Yes, it was dress up like an empty seat day. There is no action in the Indians’ bullpen.
Aaron Rowand is up next. He takes the first pitch. Ball one. For the fourth consecutive time, the second pitch is a solid offering. He hits it over center fielder Coco Crisp’s head for a double. Wickman’s throwing batting practice. Still there’s no action in the bullpen.
The Indians walk A.J. Pierzynski. Bobby Howry is warming up in the pen.
Willie Harris, our backup second baseman, comes in and it’s obvious that he’s going to bunt. With men on first and second and no outs, it’s a solid move. Harris bunts the first pitch. Howry leans down to field it, fumbles the ball, and it’s bases loaded, no outs, with the score 3-3.
At this point my TiVo recording runs out. TiVo likes to record time slots, which sometimes makes sporting events hard to gauge. When I TiVo Monday Night Football I always add an extra 30 minutes just in case. I didn’t do this yesterday. What I do know is Juan Uribe was up next. He hits the first pitch deep into right field. It was caught and Rowand jogged in for the Sox victory. That’s four runs in a third of an inning (ERA of 108 for Wickman). At least I know that the Sox can hit off a guy with a big fork in his back.