Tuesday, August 05, 2003

A quickie sports note:

I didn't like White Sox manager Jerry Manuel much before the season started; I like him and his style a lot less after last night's debacle in Chicago.

If the Sox want to win this division, this series is absolutely crucial. But Manuel's low-key, laid-back style has fostered an air of apparent lethargy and indifference in the clubhouse, and his season-long mishandling of his pitching staff was painfully in evidence last night, when he burned four pitchers in one inning, and had his bench coach (Manuel was ejected in the sixth inning with very little protestation, I might add) Joe Nossek leave closer Tom Gordon in for two innings, getting him lit up in the process.

Kansas City Royals manager Tony Pena out-managed, out-motivated and out-hustled him in every conceivable way. The Royals dugout was fired up and ready to play, and they executed flawlessly. I was even more impressed with Pena after outfielder Michael Tucker fouled a pitch off his knee and laid on the ground, writhing in pain...with Pena there, holding his hand as the team trainers examined him. No wonder the Royals have overacheived this season...this is the kind of leader players want to win for. He was animated and up the whole game, clapping his hands and talking to his players, with a lot of help from crazy man pitcher Jose Lima.

I'm a Sox fan, and I want them to win this division and maybe even get in a World Series before I die...but after last night's game I've developed a ton of respect and admiration for the scrappy Royals and their manager, and have nothing but scorn for the knuckleheads calling the shots for the Sox.

And that's your sports for today...now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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