And you won't be able to blame them for the mental lapse. Because the nearly 6-hour-long Game 3 was so stultifyingly dull that viewers' brains began playing tricks on them in time for Game 4. Was Barbara Bush really sitting behind home plate, wearing a rainbow wig, and holding a "John 3:16" sign? Was George the Elder really talking into his cell phone, waving at the camera, and yelling "You suck!" at A.J. Pierzynski? Was Nolan Ryan really the paunchy guy they kept showing sitting in the stands above first base?
The games were so dull, the announcers on Fox had their brains surgically disconnected. How else could you explain clubhouse reporter Jeannie Zelasko's use of the English language while she interviewed World Series MVP Jermaine Dye:
Zelasko: "And isn't it prolific? The White Sox's slogan at the beginning of the
year was 'Win, or die trying.' And here I am talking to Jermaine Dye."
Yeah, it's pretty prolific, all right.
Color commentator Tim McCarver again demonstrated that the circuit from his brain to his mouth bypasses the editing gland, (Jeannie Zelasko, take note) prophesizing that players wouldn't bunt two seconds before they squared around to bunt, and claiming the home run Astros (soon-to-be-ex) closer Brad Lidge gave up in the NLCS was the furthest thing from his mind, two seconds before he gave up another game-losing home run.
For his part, even series MVP Jermaine Dye seemed to appreciate just how exciting a moment the White Sox sweep generated. After being given the MVP trophy and keys to a new car, he thanked Chevrolet before getting around to recognizing his teammates.
And before you accuse me of being a smug Red Sox fan who will consider everything since 2004 anticlimactic, consider two things:
- I am a smug Red Sox fan.
- But even I'll concede last year's World Series had relatively few truly memorable moments, except for seeing Doug Mientkewicz catching the final out, then seeing all the Red Sox jumping up and down, then seeing everyone in Red Sox Nation start to cry their eyes out.
But the White Sox 2005 win didn't benefit from a ridiculously dramatic playoff series against the Yankees immediately beforehand. ("And, of course, we won the ALCS. Who did we beat again? The Twins? The Orioles? Oh, the hell with it.") And the White Sox, despite the fact they had waited longer then the Red Sox for their World Series title, didn't have 86 years of mind-numbingly asinine ways of losing. For most of that time, they just stank. (Which, now that I think of it, must have been something of a liberating experience. Why wait until the last inning of the season to blow it, when you can be mathematically eliminated in May?) On the other hand, the Baseball Gods definitely owed one to the White Sox, after making them wear shorts for one game back in 1976, and for making them forfeit Game 2 of the doubleheader on Disco Demolition Night in 1979.
Regardless, congratulations are due to the White Sox, and their exciting four-game sweep of whoever it was.