Thoughts about Game 1
Sunday,October 23, 2005, 11:33 am
Ron Vesely, our terrific team
photographer, snapped this shot of the first pitch from last night.
Seeing it this morning sent chills down my spine again. How much fun is
this? It’s better than I ever could have dreamed.
The great Luis Aparicio presented
Ozzie Guillen with an honorary “Luis Aparicio Award” for Ozzie
contributions to the game of baseball in Venezuela. What does this
tradition mean to Ozzie? Last week, he and I were talking about Chico
Carrasquel, who passed away this season, and how much this would have meant to
him. “I can’t even talk about Chico,” Ozzie told me. “I
get a lump in my throat every time.” Viva Chico. Your No. 17 is on the wall next
to our dugout and we know you are with us still.
There is no one I would rather have
on the mound than Mark Buehrle. Let’s hope for another performance
like his in the ALCS when many in the press box compared him to Minnesota’s Jack
Morris in 1991.
How great a baseball fan is Steve
Perry? Let me tell you. As most of you know, we have been trying to
find Steve since clinching the ALCS in Anaheim.
It seems several guys, Joe Crede, Aaron Rowand and A.J. Pierzynski among them,
have taken Perry’s “Don’t Stop Believin”” as the
team’s theme song. After we clinched, AJ grabbed me and said, “Do
whatever you can to get Steve Perry here for the World Series.”
Well, Steve found out about our
search and called me the other day. A huge baseball fan, he follows the
SF Giants (and now the White Sox), Perry was touched by our team’s
reaction to his song.
He and a friend hopped on an
airplane yesterday and flew in for the game. We snuck him into a room
behind our clubhouse and surprised Joe, Aaron and AJ. They loved meeting
Steve and everyone posed for photos.
Often, World Series crowds are known
to be much more quiet and less partisan than a normal regular-season crowd
because so many of MLB’s tickets go to out-of-town sponsors and
guests. That certainly wasn’t the case last night. You guys
were great, so loud, so enthusiastic. The team couldn’t ask for
more. How cool were the flashbulbs? How great was it that the crowd
stuck around so long? Bask in this, because you guys deserve this.
Bring it again tonight.
The team leaves tonight for Houston and is set to
arrive at about 2:30 am. We work out at Minute Maid Field on Monday at 1
No, we’re not
superstitious. While in Anaheim,
Herm Schneider (head trainer), Jerry Reinsdorf,
Phyllis Merhige (of MLB) and I happened to get together for breakfast one
day. We won (obviously), so we all met again for breakfast the next day,
and the next … we will need to find a place in Houston.
Since my face has been on television
so much lately (for good and for bad), it seems more and more people are
recognizing me at the ballpark. A few have stopped me and told me how
much they enjoy reading this blog. I can’t tell you how much I
appreciate it and how good it makes me feel. This has been a magical
season, and if this gives you even a little more enjoyment and insight into the
team, that makes me feel great.
Two weeks ago, I received a report
on how many people visit and read this blog. The numbers shocked me (in a
good way). I sent them along to a couple of people within the office (one
with the initials JMR), along with a smart aleck remark about how if I was only
smarter, I might have negotiated separate compensation for becoming a blogger.
Then I could retire along with Jerry and Ozzie if we do just happen to win this
thing … (joking …)