Before the playoffs started, I had watched maybe three entire games during the baseball season. You can call it bandwagon-jumping, I call it escape from boredom. Baseball is a tough sport to watch, especially when cool new inventions like TiVo and instant messaging have cut my attention span to about one second. I watched every one of the White Sox playoff games, although I didn’t see every minute of the opening round since I was on a cruise and there were many other events to take my attention.
I found the playoffs to be very exciting. In 11 wins the Sox only ‘blew out’ their opponent twice. In the World Series they failed to have a lead of more than two runs at any time. Every game versus the Astros was constantly tense. It was also, from a national perspective, constantly boring.
I wonder why that is. Both teams had incredible pitching, although they failed to show it until the final game of the season. The only ‘name’ player was Roger Clemens and he pitched two lousy innings. For some reason the White Sox’s “We threw the World Series” curse wasn’t as sexy as the Red Sox’s “Our cheap owner sold the best player in baseball history” one. The Astros’ franchise was in their first World Series. The NFL equivalent of this would the Kansas City Chiefs (no Super Bowl since 1970) versus the Arizona Cardinals (last NFL championship before television). It would be huge because the Super Bowl transcends matchup. It’s a cultural event. The World Series isn’t quite there because there are multiple games and only insomniacs can watch every minute of every game. I TiVo’d the end of Game 3, thinking I’d watch it in the morning. What I recorded ended in the bottom of the ninth inning. I had to go online to see how the game turned out.
I’ve been a fan of the team since 1983, so it’s not like I’ve suffered for my entire life. I took it for granted that the White Sox would always underachieve and some other lucky sucker would watch his team run through the playoffs. That’s all over now. I don’t care what the haters said, my team won the World Series, and not only that, they did it with the best record (11-1) of the wild-card era. It doesn’t matter how they won or if the team compares with champions of the past. The White Sox now have a trophy to display that isn’t really dusty. Actually their 1906 and 1917 World Series champions probably didn’t get a trophy.
I have one more thing to say. I ordered the ‘locker room’ t-shirt and hat two days after the final game of the series. It’s going to take four to six weeks for the hat to arrive. Tell me that happened when the Red Sox won last year. Go ahead.