For the second time in my life, I attended a post-season Major League Baseball game. This afternoon, the Chicago White Sox hosted the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox in game 1 of their Division Championship series, and I was right there at U.S. Cellular Field in section 531. The White Sox scored 5 runs in the first inning and cruised to a preposterous 14-2 victory. This White Sox team has a reputation for winning with “small ball,” but that label didn’t apply today, as they crashed out 5 home runs, including one by Scott Podsednik, who hit exactly zero home runs during the regular season.
I was accompanied by my friends Doug and Francesca, who are a married couple with their own rooting conflicts – Doug's family is mostly from Montreal, and when he was growing up, there were no Montreal Expos or Toronto Blue Jays, and the closest major league team was in Boston, so even though Doug is a longtime resident of Chicago, he is still at his core a dyed-in-the-woolen-red-sox fan. Francesca was therefore in a rather ambivalent position, as she has rooted for the White Sox for many years but feels a clear impulse to be supportive of her husband’s team. Her way of handling it was actually quite simple – she cheered whenever either team scored, although the way the game went, she ultimately felt compelled to quiet down a little as the White Sox continued to pile it on. Still, we all felt mighty privileged to be there, and with pretty good seats at that – we were in the upper reserved section directly behind home plate, with a commanding view of the entire field.
So who knows what tomorrow may bring for the Sox & Sox; that Red Sox lineup is entirely capable of putting up 14 runs of their own. Will they? That’s a question to be answered on another day. Tonight, I’m just going to feel good about witnessing one hell of a baseball exhibition.