Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Turn your eyes: Twins-Sox, the saga continues

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5H8RzNwQ.jpgBALTIMORE - This is not the time for a history lesson.
Actually, it's probably the worst time possible.
That's why Paul Konerko liked the fact that the White Sox clubhouse is made up of 24 other players that for the most part are completely naïve to the last decade of Sox-Twins.
They don't know what happened in 2002-04, and how the Twins spent three straight seasons breaking the hearts of a Sox team that felt like they were better on paper. They weren't around to watch Torii Hunter go out of his way to take out catcher Jamie Burke at home plate, shifting the momentum of that '04 pennant chase completely to the Twin Cities.
The fact that Minnesota has won the Central five of the last eight years? Just a meaningless statistic for most of the roster.
"You go into the season wanting to win the division, but you know there's going to be resistance from somewhere, whether it's Minnesota, Detroit or Cleveland,'' Konerko explained on Monday. "It's never easy. Even in 2005, we had such a huge lead and faced a ton of resistance at the end and barely won. So even in a year like that when the whole year was smooth, it got tough at the end.
"Obviously, I've been here awhile, so Minnesota has been that team a lot. But for a majority of the people in here, I don't think it's a big factor because they haven't been here for most of that. I don't think what happened seven years ago, eight years ago, plays into it because this team has changed so much.''
And Konerko isn't about to let them in on it.
As far as the team captain was concerned, it's up to this group to write the next chapter on their own.
"Hopefully it's just good baseball and will get settled on the field,'' he said of the three-game series with the Twins, which starts Tuesday. "There will be an answer, and hopefully it takes awhile. There's still a lot to be determined out there.''
Then there's right-handed veteran Freddy Garcia, who lives for center stage games like this one. You earn the nickname "Big Game'' for a reason, so of course Garcia was glad he gets the first crack at Minnesota.
"Yeah, I like that,'' Garcia said. "Those games are a lot of fun, pitch in games like that, two teams are close. You got to go out and perform, man, perform good.''
One of four remaining players from the 2005 World Series run by the Sox, Garcia was well-versed in what the Twins bring to the table year after year.
"I don't know how they play good, but they do,'' Garcia said. "They play that small [ball]. You never see them lose three or four games in a row, especially late.
"Last 10 years, that's how they been. I don't worry about them because you got to go out there and do your job, but hopefully it's different this year, hopefully they f--- up.''
This three-game series at The Cell will be three of nine more matchups the two teams have this season, with each squad coming in with their problems. Minnesota's starting staff has had some issues, and Justin Morneau's been on the 15-day DL with a concussion since July 16, while the Sox bats have suddenly cooled down. Advantage?
"You can bend it either way,'' Sox reliever J.J. Putz said. "I don't think there's one team that anyone can say, 'That's the team.' I mean we both are playing very well. Yeah, they're without Morneau, but we lost [Jake] Peavy, who was pitching as good as anybody in baseball at the time. Fortunately, we've found Edwin [Jackson] and he's sliding in there right now.
"Offensively, we've picked it up but I think there are some guys that still feel they have their best baseball ahead of them. It's going to be a dogfight. I mean this is going to be fun. For me, this is the first time I've been involved in anything like this, coming down the stretch neck and neck like this. It's something we're all looking forward to.''
Which in the Sox' case, that's better than looking back.

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4 Comments

That Balto series was vintage April-May White Sox...that team better go away quickly or 2 weeks from now we are in a lot of trouble..

There are 5 players remaining from the 2005 World Series team:
Mark, Bobby, AJ, Freddie, and Uncle Paulie.

Instead of watching Sox/Twins tonight, I think I will watch some old Bugs Bunny cartoons and root for Elmer Fudd, since it has a greater chance of turning out the way I want it to

The Sox are not going anywhere unless they can beat the Twins. It won't matter if they take the majority of the series form every other team they play during the remainder of the season if they don't beat the Twins.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on August 9, 2010 6:49 PM.

Williams talks winning, roster, and eight weeks to glory or failure was the previous entry in this blog.

Upset with Freddy Garcia? Freddy Garcia doesn't care! is the next entry in this blog.

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