A year after the Boston Red Sox ended their long championship drought, the Chicago White Sox, their cousins in futility followed suit and won the World Serious for the first time since WWI. The White Sox defeated the Astros last night 1-0 to complete a four-game sweep of Houston. Chicago became the first team since the 1999 Yankees to go 11-1 in the postseason.
It was fitting that the Red Sox had to beat their arch rivals last year to get to the Serious (and the way in which they toppled the Yanks likely helped sooth a few old sores too!), but superstitions aside I don’t think anyone could have been truly shocked that Boston won it all last year. They had an excellent team were one of the favorites all season. It is also fitting that the White Sox, whose legacy apart from the infamous Black Sox scandal is that they are a losing team without a legacy (or curse if you’d like) won it all this year. They were a solid team and they played very well this year but I doubt that many fans would have predicted that this was their year at the begining of the season. (Not surprisingly, this Serious didn’t draw in viwers like the 2004 Serious did–the White Sox ain’t the Red Sox and the Astros aren’t the Cardinals.) Eric Neel and David Schoenfield debated the relative merits of the Serious over at ESPN. I like Neel’s take:
I see this Series as worthy of some credit because the White Sox just got off an 88-year schneid, trumping their whining North Side brothers and providing a welcome antidote to all the Red Sox logorrhea we’ve been subject to these last 11 months, and doing it with a bunch of pretty likable and unlikely heroes. I further give this series, regardless of the level of play, some credit because it’s got heartache at it’s heart. What’s happened to the Astros here — the return to form of their offense after a brief period of productivity, the injury to Clemens, the struggles of Brad Lidge, their one “sure bet,” the repeated closeup shots of those terrible Chuck Norris beards — added up to another chapter in the star-crossed history of the franchise. The week began so promisingly, and it’s ending so familiarly. It’s sad. And there’s a kind of pathetic greatness in that. This club that’s waited 40-plus years for a shot is shooting nothing but blanks. I know that’s not entertaining, but it is strangely gripping, I think.
Plus, this series has that catch Uribe made in the bottom of the ninth, and that’s a bit of greatness right there.
Finally, it is also somehow fitting that the Cubs should be the last team standing here as well. (Now the Indians and Giants have replaced Boston and Chicago in the two and three slots, but 1948 and 1954 feel a lot different from 1908.) I have a feeling they’ll hold onto that dubious distinction for a little while longer but who knows? What if they go for the trifecta next year? Wouldn’t that be something?
Anyhow, congrats to the White Sox and their fans.
Meanwhile, on the home front, it appears that Brian Cashman and the Yankees have settled on a three-year deal worth just less than $6 million that will keep Cashman in New York. There has been no official announcement yet but that is because Bud Selig didn’t want anything to distract from the Serious. I figure Cashman and the Yanks will make a statement later today or tomorrow. Good news. I’m glad to have Cashman back.