Somewhere during the Sox-Sox series, it hit me: Have the White Sox REALLY endured any pain since 1917? Not counting the Shoeless Joe thing, I don't think so. Have they been brought to the brink of victory generation after generation, only to have it snatched away at the moment of redemption? Naah. Not even close.
They had 1959 where they lost to the Dodgers, back when everybody lost to the Dodgers. They've made the post-season once each in the 80s, 90s and 00s, but they have disappeared silently, without a trace. No Buckners, no Bucky Dents, no billy goats, no Bartmans. Just silence. This has to be the most boring curse in all of sports.
Now compare them to the Astro's. In the past 25 years (we won't count the 60s or 70s), the Rastro's have been in the playoffs EIGHT times. That about 1 of every 3 years. They've been tantalizing close in the NLCS several times, most notably a horrifying luck-fest by the Mets in 86. In many of those years their pitching was by far the best in the NL, if not in all of MLB. Nolan Ryan, JR Richard, Mike Scott, etc. You could argue there's more of a curse going on here than with the White Sox, and certainly much more pain for the fans. You know what I'm saying. Seriously: how much does it hurt the ChW fans to finish 4th in the AL Central every year? You and I both know they're not paying attention by August 1st. They're just going to the ballpark for the beer.
Three years ago, I could have favorably compared the Angels to the White Sox as well. But no longer. The LAA of A act like what they are - a team of champions. And as I watch their games against the ChW, I realize there's no way I can root against them. You'll recall the Halos kept me company through a lonely O.C. stretch in the 80s, when I was the NKOTB, and I'll never forget them for that. And watching them this year, as recent champions with a chip on their shoulders, they remind me of what the Sox (the Red ones) SHOULD HAVE BEEN this year. Especially when you factor in Orlando Cabrera. Man, is he AWESOME to watch, or what? CLUTCH! I don't think I knew it until this week, but the Angels are my #2 team. Solidly. (And I didn't even know I was allowed to have a #2 team.)
Which brings me to the Cardinals, a team with a history of very little heartbreak and more WS titles than any team except the Yank-ems. And the Cards, truth be told, are probably going to win this thing anyway. Which won't break my heart either - as you know, I have a family connection to StL-KC. (OK, you got me. Long story short, I'm OK with any of the 4 teams winning it this year!) 8^)
Anyway, back to the ChW. Granted, I'll give you that the White Sox are the coolest team in Chicago. And it'll be great if they win. But I don't think it will be the moment of redemption for the city or the fans that people are expecting. No way. But if the Astro's win, i think you'll hear some hallelujah's. So give me the Astro's and Angels in the WS. And then ask me the same question again next week ...