White Sox win AL Central
Thanks in large part to a grand slam by rookie Alexei Ramirez (his fourth of the year!!?), the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers yesterday afternoon, 8-2. That set up tonight's tiebreaker with the Twins, a classic pitcher's duel. This time the hero was veteran Jim Thome, whose seventh-inning monster home run onto the terrace beyond center field ended up being the only run scored in the game. That ball must have gone at least 440 feet, according to my estimates.
After all the grouchy comments from their manager, Ozzie Guillen, I was surprised that the White Sox had enough motivation to win. The Twins have had more post-season experience than the White Sox in recent years, but this time it didn't matter.
So, there is still a chance for an all-Los Angeles World Series or an all-Chicago World Series, but I think the latter is more likely. The Angels have totally dominated this season, and have ample post-season experience, so I think they'll beat the Red Sox in the first round. Tampa Bay will probably make it to the American League Championship series, but I don't think they will win the AL pennant. In the National League, I'm hopelessly biased in favor of the Cubs, and I would say they have about a one-third probability of winning the World Series. I don't want to hear about any stupid jinxes this year!
Here's an ironic historical twist: I wonder how many people remember that the White Sox almost relocated to Tampa Bay in 1990, after the domed stadium now known as Tropicana Field was built to lure them there. But instead, Chicagoans rallied to keep the White Sox in the Windy City and hastily built the "New Comiskey Park" that was later revamped (thank goodness!) and renamed...
U.S. Cellular Field !
Seeing those games on TV reminded me that I really needed to update the U.S. Cellular Field diagrams, which had multiple inaccuracies. Done! As usual, there are now additional details and a more accurate profile. As for changes, the new roof that was added in 2004 was bigger than I estimated before, and the lower deck and the open terrace area beyond the bleachers are both larger than I had thought. The rebuilt version of the stadium is a huge improvement over the original 1991 version, but I still think a few more changes might help, so I may add a suggested alternative at some point in the future...