At The Ballyard ... with Steve Weissman

Thursday, October 27, 2005

This Series One to Dye For

The 101st World Series is now history, and, yes, the Chicago White Sox did indeed capture the crown for the first time since 1917. But while those in the Windy City – well, half of them, anyway – rejoice in the result, baseball aficionados everywhere are deriving tremendous satisfaction from the fact that the game they love – not the juiced up, homer-crazed aberration of the past 15 years – proved out in the end, and the whole world was there to see it.

There was pitching.
There was defense.
There was bunting.
There was base-stealing.

And in the end, the outcome turned on who got the timely hits, and who didn’t.

The White Sox did, and it was entirely appropriate that Jermaine Dye was named MVP, for he certainly hit when it counted. Dye went 7-for-16 (.438) for the Series, and had hits in four of his last five times up. He homered off Roger Clemens in the first inning of the first game. He singled in a run in the fifth inning of the Game 3 marathon, and opened the 14th and final inning of that contest with another single. And last night he hit a ground ball up the middle to plate Willie Harris with the game’s only, and championship-winning, run.

The Astros did not. They went 0 for their last 20 with runners in scoring position, and considering they were outscored in the Series by a total of only six runs, one could easily and justifiably point to this fact as the reason they were swept and did not do the sweeping. Even White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf acknowledged that the Series was just that close. “This could have ended the other way,” he was quoted as saying. “One swing of the bat, and we lose. The whole series was like that.”

Instead, it is the South Side of Chicago and not South Texas that is celebrating this morning. But there is neither shame nor blame to be assigned, as both teams played as God and Chadwick intended, and all of Baseball Nation is rejoicing in the return of their game.

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