A look at what the Chicago papers are saying about the upcoming matchup between the ChiSox and the BoSox.
Chicago Sun Times
— In Sunday’s Sun Times, Lacy J. Banks spoke with old friend Carl Everett (The mouth of the South Side). As always with Carl, his thoughts are awfully entertaining and interesting: “God is trying to speak to man through the hurricanes and other disasters throughout the world. They show we’ve still got a lot of work to do.
Everett also said comedian Chris Rock would make a better baseball commissioner than Bud Selig.
”[Rock is] gonna tell it like it is,” Everett said.
There are plenty more gems where that came from.
— Greg Couch (Sox relying heavily on Bobby burly) has a look at the big White Sox closer Bobby Jenks who has had his ups and downs both on and off the field: “Jenks is a rookie who started the year in Double-A. The Sox picked him up after the Los Angeles Angels dumped him. He had a rocky past, based on off-field stuff, and was labeled as a guy with a million-dollar arm and a 10-cent head.”
— Forget the old chant of 1918, the White Sox haven’t won the Series since 1917 and have only been to the postseason four times since 1919 (Postseason Sox).
— Doug Padilla (Sox add nice finishing touch) covers the Pale Hose final regular season game and has quotes from a confident team: “The atmosphere, morale and attitude are where we want it,” leadoff man Scott Podsednik said. ”We feel like we’re working on all cylinders. We had some great pitching the past week. Our starters have done a phenomenal job. The bullpen has come in and done a premier job. We’ve even manufactured a few runs to win some ballgames.”
He also has a look at the pitcher of the month in the American League (Contreras is pitcher of the month), Jose Contreras, who has struggled against Boston throughout his career: “I know I haven’t had success against Boston in the past, but my last two starts have shown I’ve pitched better against them,” Contreras said. ”Hopefully, it’s a change from what I’ve shown in the past. The last half has been amazing to me, compared to the last two years I’ve had pitching on this level.”
Padilla looks at the batting order (Dye to hit third, Everett fifth in opener vs. Red Sox), which will have Jermaine Dye moving up to the third spot while Carl Everett drops to fifth. “The way (Jermaine) Dye swinging the bat lately, he’s swinging it pretty good,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. ”He’s had real good at-bats and that’s the reason we did it. Right now Carl is swinging better, but it’s not better than Dye. I don’t want to keep switching people to third from one day to another. That’s why I’m going to stay with him as long as I can.”
He also looks at the battle for the final spot on the 11-man ChiSox pitching staff (El Duque, McCarthy or Vizcaino?).
— Jay Mariotti (If disrespect brings out best…dis is for you, Sox) reminds his readers that Chicago is not in the same league as Boston, both on and off the field: “Let me also remind the South Siders that Red Sox Nation is viewing this series as a mere appetizer for another epic scrum with the Evil Empire. And that other than food poisoning, a dual abduction or a fastball on the noggin, there’s probably no chance of getting David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez out on a regular basis. And that more A-listers than ever are showing up at Fenway Park — Ben and Jennifer, Robert Redford, Renee Zellweger, Stephen King, Spike Lee, Yo Yo Ma — while the Sox might be lucky to attract Dennis DeYoung, an embattled mayor, the failing Mike Royko wannabe at the Tribune and the woman who played Roseanne’s sister on the TV show.”
— Chris De Luca (Playoffs bring Clement, Wells back to Chicago) looks at David Wells and Matt Clement returning to Chicago, with Wells commenting on ChiSox starter Mark Buehrle, who he faces on Wednesday: ”He’s got his game, I have mine. He works quick, so these guys have to be ready. You have to be ready to go up there and swing because he throws strikes, he changes his speeds. He’s a tough competitor, and he’s tough to beat. These guys don’t fear anybody. I think pitchers fear this lineup, just like they do with the Yankees. We’re similar pitchers but different mentalities, obviously. It’s going to be a fun game to watch.”
On Sunday, De Luca also had a good look at the key players for the ChiSox as they head into the playoffs (Sox’ pluses, minuses no secret).
— Greg Couch (Home-field advantage has its limits for Sox) looks at the White Sox going 17-22 at home since July 8: “And there have been all sorts of theories as to why. Crowds that were too small to motivate, crowds that were too big and pressuring, important games, the Sox’ late-season tumble.”
— Gary Wisby (Rally ’round the flag, Chicago) has Mayor Daley leading a downtown rally for the AL Central champs today.
— Rick Morrissey (Breathe deep, Sox fans, while there’s time) thinks the ChiSox have a shot against Boston: “Yes, the closer situation is shaky. Yes, the hitting continues to be suspect. But as I said in July, the onus won’t be on the Sox hitters in the playoffs. It will be on pitching and defense, and thus batters should be loose and free-swinging.
“Oh, and the Red Sox’s pitching is a disaster right now, from the starting rotation to the closer.”
— Phil Rogers (Ortiz, Ramirez bring might to Boston’s fight) is concerned about the track record of Boston’s big sluggers against Chicago: “If the last two seasons are any indication, the White Sox can expect one homer every eight at-bats from Ortiz and Ramirez, who have 13 in a combined 101 at-bats against the Sox in 2004-05. That’s basically one per game from Ortiz or Ramirez, pick your poison.”
— Dave van Dyck (Red, White in view) looks at the story lines in the upcoming battle of Sox: The Cell vs. Fenway, the starters, the bullpens, and the fact that manager Ozzie Guillen is the only exciting thing to talk about on the White Sox side.
He also has Guillen taking the underdog approach (South Siders KO Indians, get champs): “I like that when people don’t expect us to do anything,” he said. “Almost all year long we were in first place, and it didn’t feel like it. But we haven’t done anything yet. We haven’t earned [the right] to be in the spotlight like everybody else.”
— Mark Gonzales (3 make their pitch, but no clear winner) looks at three White Sox pitchers, rookie Brandon McCarthy, Luis Vizcaino and Orlando Hernandez, fighting for two available spots on the postseason roster.
— John Bebow (It’s U.S. Insular Field) has an in-depth look at the neighborhood surrounding the White Sox stadium: “When the crowds cheer the fireworks after Sox home runs, the blasts shake awake the elderly people living on fixed incomes in an apartment tower just beyond center field. As executives down beers in luxury suites, the scent of reefer wafts through the public housing courtyards nearby.”