If last night is any indication of what Jon Garland can do on 13 days’ rest, imagine how devestating he’d be if he took the whole summer off?
Speaking of those who’ve had some downtime, it is also tempting to imagine how much better the already impressive White Sox would be if a healthy Frank Thomas was in the middle of the batting order. The thought has probably occured to the Big Hurt a few dozen times, as he’s already lobbying for a new deal at a time when no one wants to talk about it.
Though you’d think a convincing White Sox performance would deny the Chicago Sun-Times’ Jay Mariotti another chance to needle the club, even a crucial road win isn’t enough for Tony Curtis’ evil twin to resist taking a Ligue.
Another Sox victory only aggravated the home fans, who didn’t feel like forgetting the Third-Strike Mechanic That Wasn’t. As the right-field umpire on this night, though you might say he was straight out of left field, Eddings was torched by boos when he trotted to his position. Every time a ball was hit foul down the line, the nearby fans screamed — “You [bleep]! You [bleep]!” — and waved their annoying ThunderStix. One of the beach balls came close to nailing him, which, I suppose, beats William Ligue charging out of the stands with his son to tackle the first-base umpire. Nonetheless, Eddings was quickly flanked by security people after every half-inning.
When the struggling Vlad Guerrero struck out swinging to end a two-run sixth, fans started chanting, “Run! Run! Run!” to their slugger. Garland stopped temporarily, wonndering what the fuss was about, then realized this was hometown sarcasm at work.
Pierzynski somehow caught guff for his heads-up hustle from Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke, who wrote: “Would any of this have happened if Pierzynski wasn’t one of the game’s biggest irritants? A guy who probably ran to first base not just to win a game, but because it involved the added bonus of ticking somebody off?” I’m not sure how a guy trying to make a clever play to win a postseason game catches hell.
I read somewhere that Tadahito Iguchi’s relatively cheap deal was in some way related to US clubs’ reluctance to cough up serious cash in the wake of Kaz Matsui’s struggles with the Mets. Not that such a thing makes any more sense than the entire nation of Japan questioning our physical fitness based on the sole example of Bob Horner, but Iguchi had the sort of Game 3 in the field, at the plate and on the basepaths that Jeff Wilpon and his lovely wife must’ve envisioned Matsui having on a regular basis.
I dunno about you, but I’m blown away that Doug Eddings managed to serve as RF umpire last night and still make it to the JJB Stadium to referee this morning’s Wigan/Newcastle match. Josh Paul and Alan Shearer will be comparing notes, just as soon as the latter finds someone to read out loud to him.