Friday, November 1, 2013

Somebody needs to tell Boston to stifle. Not a record that they won at Fenway

Excuse me for wanting to wretch at all the nonsense-talk being spewed Wednesday night about how the Boston Red Sox, the long-suffering Red Sox, had finally broken an endless streak of futility.

The last Chicago ball club to win the World Series at home -- the hitless wonders
95 years it had been since the Red Sox won a World Series at their home Fenway Park. So long that no Red Sox fan could say they had actually seen such an event live (and if they did, they’ve probably forgotten it by now).

TO THAT THOUGHT, I want to give a great big raspberry. Or maybe I’ll call it a Bronx Cheer, because I’m sure the reference to the borough that houses the New York Yankees will bother them a bit more!

A large part of why I think Wednesday’s victory is nothing special is because of the fact that, combined with the Red Sox’ World Series victories in 2004 and 2007, they have three World Series titles in the past 10 years.

That’s a big streak of success for any ball club. Futility does not count – even if the final Red Sox wins in those series came in St. Louis and Denver, respectively. This is the World Series where Red Sox infielder Will Middlebrooks made potentially a career-defining defensive gaffe whose memory will be washed away by the Red Sox ultimate victory.

But let’s also note that if you really do want to think of a 95-year time period without a World Series final victory at home as some sort of significant statistic, it’s not even the record.

THAT WOULD HAVE to go to Chicago. Both of our ball clubs.

A historic scrap of paper for Chicago
The only Chicago World Series title that came at home literally goes back to 1906 – when the White Sox beat the Cubs in six games, and the final 8-3 victory on Oct. 14 was at the old South Side grounds at Pershing and Wentworth avenues.

The 1917 and 2005 World Series titles for the White Sox were won on the road (New York and Houston, respectively), while the only two World Series wins for the Cubs (1907 and 1908) were both won on the road in Detroit.

The Cubs have never won a World Series while playing at Wrigley Field, while they haven’t even played in one there since 1945.

SO AS FOR Boston feeling the need Wednesday to feel sorry for themselves? A batch of nonsense.

PIERZYNSKI: Speaking plainly
I’d like to think that when the year occurs (it might not be any time soon), we’re not going to hear Chicago fans engaging in the same silliness. For one thing, White Sox fans would shudder in disgust that such a long streak occurred, while Cubs fans would down their sorrows with another Old Style beer (which they will now have to buy at places other than the ballpark itself).

Of course, this also means I’m not buying into the rhetoric spewed Wednesday that the celebration engaged in by Boston fans was somehow on a historic scale never before seen amongst sports fans.

I think one-time Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski (who was part of the Fox Sports broadcast team that did the World Series aftermath) put it best when he pointed out that after the White Sox win in ‘05, “When (the White Sox) got home (the next day), they were still partying in Chicago.”

SO WHAT DO we get to look forward to now that the “Ball Game Today” signs have to be taken down – for at least the 150 days between now and when the U.S. major league teams start having their Opening Days for 2014?

Some may shift their attention to the winter leagues of Latin America which began play last month. Although I suspect most people here won't bother. Baseball will go on the backburner until March.

Except to dream about what’s possible, particularly since the White Sox have the potential for Cuban slugger Jose Abreu to combine with Dominican Avisail Garcia for a heavy-slugging middle-of-the-batting order that could make them competitive for seasons to come.

While Cubs fans will speculate about how much of a difference their yet-to-be-appointed new manager will make in a team that likes to lose close to 100 games per season.

NEITHER ONE OF these factors may make a difference. Both ball clubs may stink again next season.

Time to take down the sign for another season
Although the fact that the very same Red Sox who are now World Series winners were a last place team last year probably has some White Sox fans fantasizing that ’14 will be their year to win big – and perhaps end their own streak of not having an on-field celebration in their home ballpark.

We can always dream.


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