The Houston Astros, I am sure, will go through some soul-searching and some will heap criticism on them for this or that -- or try to blame the stupid roof of Enron Field, er, Minute-Maid Park being open for their losses. Poppycock. If you want to be traditional, blame the freshman jinx -- this was their first World Series in franchise history. Though they hadn't been there in ages, the White Sox have a history, including some infamous history, with the Series.
Quite The Battle Royale
Lest we look at a clean sweep of the Astros as showing the total dominance of one team over the other, I must point out that these were long, hard-fought battles. The Astros did not roll over and play dead for the White Sox. Witness the nearly never-say-die 14-inning marathon of Tuesday night. And the fact that it was just one lone run on the scoreboard for either team which was the margin of victory in Game 4.
I'm sure some loyal White Sox fans -- i.e. those who have actually supported the team for more than the last twelve weeks or less -- wish that the Sox could've won the Series title at home. But given their winning streak and the current rules, whereby the home field advantage was assigned by the winner of the All-Star Game, the only way that the White Sox could've won at home would have required at least two losses. And when the Series returned to Chicago, they might've had only a slim 3-2 game lead. Now I am all if favor of "extra-value baseball" -- extra inning games and it all hinging on the last game in a best-of-whatever series -- but I think the White Sox made their mark with these wins in a memorable way.
Large crowds flooded the streets around Bill Veeck Field, and one reporter this morning talked of rowdy fans and Chicago police giving each other high-fives in celebration. This is a far contrast to Michigan, where in Detroit, Ann Arbor and East Lansing, there is a tendency to tear up the damned place whether they win or lose The Big Game. I hope the reports continue to favor the "nice".
The Cubs Factor
Every press report about the Sox victory, or the Sox series for that matter, seemed to have some mention of the Chicago Cubs. Since Chicago is a two baseball team town, some of this is natural. But the Cubs have been the favored team of Northsiders and The Media for a long time. Sounds to me, a long-time Cubs fan myself, that the Cub fans weren't grousing at the Southsider's success. But last year The Media was just dying for a showdown of the Cubs and the Red Sox in the World Series of the Damned -- and they didn't get it.
The Cub fans, of course, have a way of dealing with this: "Wait Til Next Year!"
The Big Hurt
I was so glad to see Frank Thomas in the dugout for the Sox. Whether he comes back or not, the man has been to me the symbol of all the hard work the White Sox have managed for a long time, and it was good to see him so happy for his teammates.