Tonight was huge for the White Sox. I was in the gym working out as I watched the Rays stick it to the Twins and Nick Blackburn, knocking the ball all over the yard and eventually taking the Twins down as payback for last night’s late rally by the Twins. When I arrived home, I watched the Sox do a similar number on the Royals and Bannister, with Alexei Ramirez’ record-tying third grand slam for a rookie. If Alexei is not heavily in the conversation for rookie of the year, I’m not sure who is. This guy has been incredible for the Sox, and for as much as the Sox were carried by Carlos Quentin earlier in the season when nobody else was hitting, Ramirez has also made amazing contributions to this squad in ’08.
Things are looking a lot better for the Sox after tonight. They still need to finish what they began though. I’m looking for a series sweep of the Royals so they can charge into Minnesota and be within striking distance. They are within a magic number of 7 to put the division title away, but this is far from over. The Twins’ backs are against the wall. This was a big loss for them tonight. They were thoroughly schooled by the Rays who to me are the favorite to represent the American League in the World Series – after years of last place futility. It is truly an amazing story.
The White Sox story is pretty amazing too when you consider where they were picked to place by all the ‘experts’ at the beginning of the year. After one of the worst seasons in Sox history in ’07, they have bounced back with a vengence. They need to tighten up the defense, and I was glad to see more urgency and intensity from the club, per Ozzie’s command. I actually believe now the Sox just might win this division and make it to October. I was glad to see Linebrink and Dotel getting some good work in tonight. I’m hoping they can just turn it on and blast their way into October. This is the time for sprinting to the finish line. All hands on deck. Take no prisoners. It’s do or die. I loved what I saw tonight. But they need to finish. All the great champions, like the ’05 Sox – they finish.