Experiencing 2005: Gulp

Laura Jansen

I started an essay after the 2005 season that I never finished. All of those writings have never seen the light of day, but here we are, 15 years later, so maybe it’s a good time to drag them out. They represent my thoughts and feelings at the time, with very little present-day editing. Fellow Sox fans, I must admit to not writing much lately because the current team is actually fun to watch (notwithstanding the recent Cincy series), so who needs reminiscing?

August 8-10

First time seeing the Yankees this season, how is that possible? Aaron Rowand has several spectacular plays in center field during the series, which the Sox take 3-2. I am watching post-game interviews, and Alex Rodriguez says, "Yeah, their center fielder ... um, he was really good."

"His name is Aaron Rowand, jackass," I retort at my television.

August 13

Scott Podsednik is put on the IL. Uh-oh.

August 20

Gah. Sox have lost eight in a row, and haven't won since Scottie went down.

August 27

OK, they're won four in a row. Ship stabilized. Still nine games up, and that was the worst stretch of the season. Things are good. Right?

mid-September

Hey, Brandon McCarthy's had a couple of nice outings. Right when we needed it, kid, thanks.

Another bad stretch, losing six out of seven, and Cleveland can't lose. Only up five games. Every game, I feel like I'm going to barf.

September 19

Seriously, why can't Cleveland lose? Sox just lost the first game of a three game set with Cleveland and are only up 2 ½ games. I'm in agony.

I get asked out on a date for the 21st, the U2 concert at United Center. "Um, I'm supposed to go to the White Sox game with my parents on the 21st. But I'm scheduled to go to the game with them on the 23rd, too ..."

"Can't you skip the first game? It's U2."

I don't attempt to explain my codependent Sox/parents relationship, and agree to go to the concert.

September 20

If the Sox lose this one, they're only 2 ½ games up. I am in the car when the game goes into extras. On a 1-0 count, Joe Crede launches a home run. On my radio, I hear Ed Farmer chuckle as John Rooney says, "You can step off the ledge, Sox fans." [Notes from the future: I believe this game is also the origin of Hawk's, "Joe!! Crede!!!!" call. It was a big home run.]

September 21

I got to the U2 concert. My parents go to the White Sox game, another loss, this one 8-0, back to only 2 ½ games up. I get home to a voice mail from my dad that is not family-friendly and will not be repeated here.

September 23

Mom, Dad, and I are tailgating before the game against the Twins. We are giving it our best shot to be upbeat — brats, Leinenkugels, a few games of bags — but we're tense. The Sox lost again last night, and Cleveland still can't f***ing lose, so the division lead down to only 1 ½ games. Lose tonight, and well, this dream season is on the verge of Scary Stories Old Sox Fans Tell Their Grandkids territory.

JD comes to bad in the first inning after Scottie and Paulie get on base. "Come on, Jermaine, make me love you!" I shout from our seats in right field. Three-run home run.

José Contreras is very good, and takes a 3-1 lead into the ninth. But the first batter gets on, and we sweat out a ground out, then another. The crowd is on its feet for the entire ninth inning. José gets Jacques Jones to strike out on three pitches to end it.

"They did it!" Mom is almost teary. "They did it!"

Dad wins the attendance contest again, off by only 313.

Cleveland wins, too, so the lead stays at 1 ½.

Panic has become my daily state of being.

THANKS FOR READING SOUTH SIDE HIT PEN
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Comments (2)
No. 1-1
Mark Liptak
Mark Liptak

They at least succeeded in their quest. The only reason the stretch was difficult was because Cleveland played out of their minds. Better comparison in my opinion would be 2003 and 2012 where the Sox had three games leads with 17 or so games left and completely tanked. This season would be worse because they had a three game lead with 10 to go...of course nothing could compare to the final week of 1967.