Knuckle Knews: Jackie Robinson Playing Right Field For Hypothetical White Sox

After going to “New Comiskey”/”The Cell” a couple weeks ago, I got struck by a bunch of parodic news articles I could write. Now that real life has settled down a bit (after some exciting transitions!) I thought I’d write some of these up. Not sure they’ll become a regular feature, but I think it’s time to try a little new direction on the blog, for now.

Jackie Robinson Playing Right Field For Hypothetical White Sox

THE ETERNAL COMISKEY PARK, ELSEWHERE–As has occurred countless times before and will occur countless times again, Jackie Robinson, famed civil rights pioneer, is busy playing right field for the Hypothetical White Sox. Robinson, ageless, has once again been pressed upon to make the third out of the first inning in the “How To Keep Score” box within the White Sox’ scorecard.

“Would I like to see Jackie go up there and get a hit one of these times?” said the Hypothetical Sox’ manager. “Sure I would. Just like I’d love to give him a chance to platoon a little with Nellie [Fox] at second base. But such things can never be, for lo, here is the scorecard, and behold, such example games must always play out the same way.”

“There are no rainouts in the Eternal Comiskey Park,” he added.

Robinson has struggled since joining the Hypothetical White Sox, and yet he is still penciled into the fifth spot in the batting order despite an 0-for-eternity slump. “I think he’s doing a great job, personally,” said cleanup hitter (and well-known first baseman) Minnie Minoso. “Ever since his number was retired and he joined the ranks of the historic Hypothetical White Sox, he’s been proud to contribute his talent for us.”

The manager expressed his hopes that Robinson appreciated the nuances of the Hypothetical American League. “I love having a DH on my team, so I don’t need our pitchers to bat,” he said. “Not that we’ll ever get to the bottom of the order, because Robinson is always ending the first inning. But the DH provides an opportunity for, you know, maybe some of these hard-slugging guys who can’t quite cut it defensively to stay in the game. Isn’t that right, Luis [Aparicio]?”

At press time, Robinson was unavailable for comment, because he needed to check in with his retired-numbers comrades for 29 other clubs.

Advertisements

ChiSox Win

Words count; or pairs of words at an instant, or words that you link with a dash until nobody can know just how many sit in a row.

With insults or put-downs, words push along in a train. Today you can say “Bob is an (a).” Tomorrow, “a” is out, it’s too hurtful. But to talk about a guy such as Bob, you call him a “(b)”. Until, with a not okay, taunting kids say, “oh, Bob is a b” with a wink. And so adults stop using “b” in a non-insulting way. Bob is, from now on, a c. And so on.

But for us with faith in a jinx, no such supplanting occurs. No, our substitutions occur through broad words. And now, in short spurts of words, information skips along quickly, without slowing down to watch grammar. On any random day, I could go “sox struggling to hit, chisox anyway, bosox with lots of runs but yanks catching up. that’s your junior circuit. also cubs won which was good. all-star ballot box is a thing right now and wait what. it’s april.” That’s stuff, that small a thing; it’s too long to fit as a twitting thought, anyway. It’s off of a cuff, on a fly, I wouldn’t stop to put in many dots or commas or capitals.

But now watch this, a bit of focusing: “sox Struggling to hit.” Just through typing, my nod is in my words, saying “look at this.” As data go flying, this is a saying with a saying: “watch this, now.” Possibly, if I do not do much talking to start with, anything I say is a sign.

Or not. But still, I pass my words along.

(Stick around for a follow-up post that talks about what I’m doing with this forthcoming string of posts.)

ChiSox 8, Indians 2

Jottings from my visit:

My map-your-trip URL was a bit too functional, as I took a bus to try and catch a distinct bus…which I just didn’t catch. So I had a long wait in an unfamiliar part of town amid lots and lots of fog. Kind of awkward, and I didn’t show up for a half-inning plus (I saw Chicago’s first run). But it was okay, for as you sit on your bus, Chicago’s coach talks to you! “Join us at our stadium, root for us,” and so on. Cool stuff.

It’s hard to buy a card for scoring at a booth. You must visit a shop to pick it up. But, folks working at this stadium do know what such a card is (I cannot say as much for Ohio’s AL stadium, alas.)

An all-star lipogrammatic Sox squad of historic digits was part of this, to show how to put down plays, with Fox, Appling, Aparicio, Minoso, and…um, Robinson (#42…just go with it) up to bat.

It was shocking that display boards had information, not just about “this day in Sox history,” but also much to do with Indians history! And a quiz on it, to boot! (Solution was Sandy Alomar, Jr., now coaching first for today’s visitors.) This is unusual.

Also on display, virtual guys racing. Nothing odd about that, but usually such racing has your own squad’s stadium as its finish. This, though, wound up at Chicago’s Blackhawks’ stadium. Which I didn’t mind, for I got to hum along to Blackhawks goal music. A glorious thing.

Carlos hit a two-run shot, sparking light displays on a big board. I don’t know what would prompt a long word out on Comcast’s stand to light up…scoring a run through small ball?

It was hard to root, root, root for this squad without laughing. Following that song, Bon Jovi’s song about Gina and Tommy was playing (which I know mostly from Twins ballparks).

A gorilla got on Kiss Cam, blowing romantic signs to all of us.

An odd statistical phrasing was on display…nobody says that a guy brought in to pitch “owns” 14 Ks in 6.1 innings against a particular squad. Until now.

Adam Dunn holds his bat up in a funny way prior to hitting. Possibly you know all about that, but I’m not that good at catching on to all visual things so it was unusual on my part.

An odd film had spooky clips and dumb plays to go along with all that fog. So much fog.

Also, you probably saw, this blog now has an MLB look. I don’t know if I can bring back my old logo, but I might stick with this anyway now that such an MLB look is up for grabs.

Liriano’s No-No

Oh what a game
Francisco Liriano
Whose no-no had no-nos
Walks are rarely good ideas
And yet he
And the Twins defended
For a sweet win that would please
(Even without total ease.)

The fates have smiled
On lucky Liriano–
A no-no! There were no
Such great moments on the mound
This season
Left the White Sox wasted
The Twins were unwelcome, both teams had been struggling
But then on Chicago’s home ground
He got them to fly out, he got them to ground out
There wasn’t a hit to be found.
Speaking as a Chicagoan, I’m
Still very thrilled this was Francisco’s time!

He stopped the Sox from producing knocks, Francisco Liriano
Threw the year’s first no-no
Though you could find a fault
With some pitches, Sox cleaved the air
They were not worth their salt
Gardenhire didn’t pull him or call a halt.
Twins fans felt great in their frigid state, all hail to Liriano
Who has thrown a no-no.
How many innings? Nine.
He mowed them down, he shut them off
His pitching’s mighty fine.
All of the Sox had to go
Back down the line
He put on a marvelous show
Tonight was his night to shine.

Oh sad the bat
That faces Liriano
Whose no-no will, though no
One would say that it counts for more
In standings
Still stand out forever
With the many games before.
(Even beyond the box score.)

Let’s hear it for
Francisco Liriano
Whose no-no (I know no
One’s going to disagree)
Was awesome.
What a happy moment
Down at the Cell all their hitting skill weakened
The White Sox did not stand a chance.
From infield to outfield, Minnesotan goodness
Was fighting the home team’s advance.
He pitched with speed, he pitched with force
Setting them down, a matter of course.

Once in a while the fates will smile
On guys like Liriano.
Guys like Liriano
Suddenly hit the press
And fans cheer out with all the pride and joy that they possess.
None of the White Sox could hit–they were a mess.
When Liriano had it–he’d just impress.

What a scene, what a joy
What a lovely sight
When the Twins are the big sensation.
Even if it’s nothing much
Only this one night
It’s still a cause for celebration.
For now I just wanna see
A tremendous game, don’t you?
It’s a Central clash; neither great but both
In full view.

There’s no roof, they just played under open air.
Twenty thousand? It could be better.
But it must have ruled for those who made it there.
As days go, this one was red-letter.
It’s not just the best there is
Who put on this kind of show
Lightning can strike for the best and the worst
And now Liriano…

…Now at the Cell,
They put the “miss” into “Comiskey,” didn’t really prove their worth
Though you can’t tell
From just one game, tonight at least they stood back and let him excel
Clear as a bell, they fell
Francisco pitched so well!

Hitless Wonder

To wish for more wishes, upon a cake,
Seems reasonable, hardly a mistake.
To wish for no more wishes, then, might seem
Ridiculous–but it’s not a pipe dream.

To see the world as parts and not a whole
Is a decent goal. Raindrops, not a cloud,
Mean that many more things can be allowed.
Without reactions to what someone thinks
There’s nothing called “jinx”. Just sit back, spectate
And let the game present you something great.
Announcers mention fragments of the past.
You hope it’ll last, whatever they say.
The rarest feats were ruled out right away;
Less to worry about. The symmetry
Means no one can see what might be in store.
Extra innings, perhaps? How many more?
Every run matters. Bunt if you have to.
Nobody should boo a game that excites
Like this. The present is the present. Nights
Like this should be remembered, win or lose.
Good news and bad news blur with our first hit
But it’s only good when more follow it.
In the end, we wind up with a slim lead
But that’s all we need. Without room to mess
Up, the risk of mediocrity’s less.
Onward. A convenient label is fine
For “zero, through nine”. Stock cliches, like, well,
Cake wishes, or descriptions you can’t tell
About in progress are better than just
An all-in-one “must” with “shoulds” all built in.
But all that they can try for is a win.
(Not “all”, of course. The memories remain,
Thrilling and yet plain.) The win’s not secure.
When you’re not in control, you can’t be sure.
Of what’s ahead. Two outs, and there is one
Cliche still undone. Though still nervous and
Half-hunched-over, a win’s a win, Now, stand.

Twins 6, White Sox 4

En route to the Metrodome, we discuss whether our hometown hero is the best hitter right now. My friend thinks so, I don’t, but I don’t counter with some other guy. I just don’t know enough to judge yet.

The Twins’ fifth hitter doubles, scoring two. Nobody out. Goodbye, no-hitter. The White Sox pitcher needs forty pitches to get out of the first; the Twins pitcher needed seven.

In the top of the second, everything stops. Some Twins employee jogs into the outfield, picking up the first big, multicolored shore sphere which people were bouncing out beyond left field. This sort of thing is not permitted in the Metrodome. Once it is duly removed, the competition goes on. The White Sox score runs one by one, until in the middle of the fifth it is 4-3.

Some guy successfully proposes on the screen. The Twins go down one-two-three. To the sixth. Konerko singles, Pierzynski doubles, Getz connects, driving it deep to right. Cuddyer runs over, coming up with it. People cheer quite loudly, considering the visitors just tied it up.

But there’s lots of noise when Joe comes up in the bottom of the seventh. Before the pitch, the hit, the winning run, we cheer like we know how it will go. Once it does occur, my friend grins. I smile too.

With two outs in the top of the ninth, we get up once more. We keep shouting.

Somebody runs out into the outfield to pick up the second bouncy sphere to wind up there. It is the third or fourth, or higher, I’ve seen in just one night.

Then Wise grounds out to first.

Due to high winds, we’re told to use the revolving doors upon exiting. The Metrodome does not “push” me out like it so often does. It’s just this goofy feeling, nothing serious, but I hope I feel it in the future.

If…

If you can keep your faith when all around you
Have long lost theirs and are laughing at you;
If you can trust that something will astound you
In every win, and in every loss too:
If you’re not tired by other teams’ defeating
You, or by the incessant rumor mill,
Or, when many cheat, don’t give way to cheating,
But play your best, with all your strength and will;

If you can dream, and slowly strive for glory,
If you can think (although you do not need
To be Billy Beane)–if you know your story
Is longer than one day, and avoid greed:
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And are not too ashamed to celebrate
The one, but do not sulk when some are faster
Or stronger–if you are content to wait;

If you are not content with long-gone winnings
But keep on striving with every last pitch,
Through batters and through half-innings and innings,
Until the pendulum of time will switch,
If you can urge your body and your spirit
To succeed when you’re twenty runs behind,
And, contemplating loss, don’t really fear it,
But strive to overcome it, flesh and mind;

If you can play for crowds or empty bleachers
Play Cardinals and Royals, yet remain
True to yourself, your most important features,
Neither too arrogant or far too plain:
And, always dreaming, never stoop to pity
Yourself in losing, when all’s said and done,
You will have earned the passion of a city.
And that will be enough to know you’ve won.