At The Ballyard ... with Steve Weissman

Monday, October 17, 2005

White Sox Enjoy Black Magic

In the early 1980s, in the wake of an ownership change that ultimately resulted in a World Series title, the New York Mets draped a banner across Shea Stadium announcing “The Magic if Back!” Well, events this past week in Chicago and Anaheim suggest the magic still exists, only this time it has surfaced in the nation’s center and not at its Eastern edge.

In a turn of events no less stunning than the Red Sox last year reversing their 86-year “curse,” the White Sox today seem poised to break an 88-year championship drought of their own, and it does appear they are getting some kind of otherworldly help. How else do you explain the fact that A.J. Pierzynski was safe twice on plays that easily could have been called the other way?

Sure, the club can pitch (four straight complete game victories against the Angels), and field (perfect positioning absorbing hot shot after hot shot against Boston), and hit (viz. ALCS MVP Paul Konerko and “Mr. Timely” Joe Crede), and run (“Go – Go – Go!”). But is all that really enough to assure a Series win?

It’s clear to this observer that there’s more to winning championships than just raw talent – otherwise, there would have been celebrations in Baltimore in 1969, in Oakland in 1988, and, yes, in St. Louis in 2004. Call it “chemistry” or just black magic, it’s alive and well on Chicago’s South Side, and it’ll be fun to see if it can conjure up four more Sox wins before it moves on.

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