October 26, 2005
Geoff Blum:
You say "unlikely hero!" I say "Who else is going to win the game for you when you're into the 40th player of the game?" Eats free in Chicago for life.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

The longest World Series game in history did more than just virtually clinch the title for the White Sox.

It clinched the end of the longest legacy of scandal in sports.

As the endless minutes ticked by -- and the Sox finally closed out the game (and Houston's chances) -- it finally exorcised the ghosts of the Black Sox Scandal, lingering over the team and the sport for 85 years.

The White Sox will win the championship. It may come tonight in a sweep, behind Freddy Garcia. 73 percent of ESPN fans think that'll happen.

But it WILL happen. (Remember the "Idiots Rule": 4-game rallies down 0-3 in the playoffs come once a lifetime. Sorry, Astros fans.)

And suddenly, the franchise previously known best for throwing a World Series will instantly become best-known for WINNING a World Series.

Names like Jackson, Cicotte, Weaver, McMullin and Gandil and the others have been displaced by Guillen, Podsednik, Buehrle, Crede and Blum.

Participating in the "Longest. Game. Ever." is momentous. But it's not the MOST historic part of a White Sox championship, which is this:

They're going to sweep out the last remaining legacy of the Black Sox scandal that taints the team, the city and the sport.

Wow, put that way ...

Who needs a ring?

Roof Controversy?
MLB demands it be open: Well, at least Astros fans have a built-in excuse for losing. "It was the roof! It was MLB's fault! It's a conspiracy!"

Unfortunately, by Lane's game-tying double in the 8th, it was difficult to argue that the roof, open or shut, made much of a difference.

And what Houston fan wants to admit they weren't loud enough for their home team? Still, you'd think MLB would give 'em a break and close it tonight.

Coach K: To be named OLY hoops coach today? No surprise.
Rams in-house feuding: Martz, Shaw unclear over 2006 role
BJ Ryan: O's closer will test free-agency. Hmm...ya think?
Kevin Garnett: Watch that ankle injury. OK for now, but...
Fisher DeBerry: Air Force FB coach under fire for comments
Chamillionaire and Paul Wall: So much for Astros rap songs
Swoopes Comes Out
Brave words from the WNBA MVP: "It's not something that I want to throw in people's faces. I'm just at a point in my life where I'm tired of having to pretend to be somebody I'm not." (via ESPN the Mag)

What I hope is that her courageous move (has a bigger star ever come out?) empowers not just athletes, but encourages fans to be more tolerant of openly gay athletes.

What I fear is that ignorant WNBA non-fans will use this as the biggest excuse yet to try to marginalize the WNBA as a "league for lesbians."

Theo Epstein Watch
Rejects $1.2 mil/year offer, perhaps noticing that Brian Cashman has a new 3-year deal with the Yankees worth $5 million.

My SABR skills are rusty, but it would seem to me that Theo is worth at least as much as Cashman; the kid was only the architect of Boston's first title in 86 years.

With five days until he's a free agent, perhaps Theo is waiting to see what the open market might bring. But what more can he do in Boston? It only goes downhill from 2004.

MLB GMs are the most undervalued position in sports: I've argued for months that Theo's worth $4-5 mil a year; it looks like another team could swoop in and have him for a paltry $2 mil.

NBA GMs Heart Spurs
Wait: Is the new NBA season really less than a week away? Who else can't get their head around that at least until the World Series is over?

Nevertheless, those who concentrate on the NBA full-time -- the GMs -- say that the Spurs are the heavy favorite to win the title ... again. (Maybe then people will stop complaining that I called them a dynasty LAST June.)

I agree with the GMs: It's the Spurs, then everyone else in a distant pack. (Don't even try to say the Heat; that team is a Finals sweep waiting to happen.)

Wellington Mara, 89
Remembering the Giants owner: Driving force behind arguably the most important strategic decision in the league's history:

TV revenue sharing, which allowed small-market teams to compete financially. Condolences to his family, friends and Giants fans.

Season-opening winless streak extends to 9 games. Wasn't this the team that was supposed to have won the lottery this summer? Yeah, the "stinko lottery."
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie: Live!
Second Guessing
World Series
Likely Series scenarios
Chicago in 4
Astros are broken by now
Chicago in 5
Astros win tonight (pride)
Chicago in 6
Sox save it for home fans
Chicago in 7
"Sox in 4" pick looks bad
Houston in 7
Best World Series Ever?

More Theo-watching: And what if his top assistant Josh Byrnes leaves for the D-Backs? I know they're looking: That's the guy Arizona should hire.

I read in the NYT that the guy nominated to be new Fed Chair is a huge Red Sox fan. Maybe he'll hire Theo to assist him running the U.S. economy!

Roethlisberger impersonator doesn't see any jail time, only gets $300 fine. Well, for that little punishment, expect to see more like him.

The most astute thing Joe Morgan has said all season lamented the lack of any African-Americans on the Astros and what that indicates about MLB.

NBA No. 2 Russ Granik stepping down: But who will read the names of the second-round picks from the podium at the NBA draft?

Reggie Bush admits he's thought about the Heisman. He shouldn't be ashamed: If he doesn't win, it's the biggest robbery in Trophy history.

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