Monday, April 04, 2005

We Begin Anew

Opening Day. A million words, well, probably a billion by now, have been written about the sacred nature of Opening Day. I will not add to that chorus, other than to say "Ditto." Like the Chairman (see note on jitters), I'm never really happy until the Sox get their first win of the season. The last two years, Opening (2003 and 2004) has been gut-wrenching. It's no fun at all seeing Mark Buehrle pitch well enough only to lose.

And, well, Buehrle pitched well enough that he couldn't lose today. I found myself thinking at times in the first four innings that we might see a reprise of Bob Feller's opening day no-hitter against the White Sox way back in 1874 (yeah, I know, but I was too lazy to google that one). Alas, it was not to be. The scariest thing was watching it on about a 90 minute delay on TiVo. Since I watch games on between fast forward 1 and fast forward 2, I was only 30 minutes behind when the game ended. I was a little surprised to see the "Live TV Message" box (which is DirecTV's way of telling you the game is over and they've cut the Extra Innings feed) flashing so soon. Given the zero-zero score, I thought for sure the Sox had lost the game - especially so when I saw that the Sox were going into the top of the 9th with a 1-0 lead and DirecTV said I still had 20 minutes left. I figured Shingo's magic was gone and the Sox dumped another opening day game. Much to my delight, Buehrle pitched 8 innings of shut out ball, the Racist Cartoons' heralded rookie shortstop choked at a key time, and Shingo went 1-2-3 in the ninth - with help from Ross Gload - to seal away a 1-0 victory. Pitching and defense, indeed.

Here's a reminder. The last Sox 1-0 victory was on May 13, 2003 against the Baltimore Orioles...pitched by Esteban Loaiza (Washington Nationals) and featuring 2 hits by D'Angelo Jimenez (Cincinnati Reds), and Frank Thomas (DL). Miguel Olivo (Mariners) drove in the only run, scored by Magglio Ordonez (Tigers). Tom Gordon (Yankees) and Billy Koch (out of baseball and angry) closed out the game for the Sox. Think there has been any turnover since 2003?

In other good news, only one of the ESPN "experts" - Rob Neyer - picked the White Sox to win the division. That means the Sox do not have many expectations to live up to this season (all White Sox fans know that Neyer is just trying to make up for his idiotic off-season post). And those Minnesota Twhiners can stop complaining about a lack of respect. The jinx of high expectations... I live for this!

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