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The Bleacher Bums: October 27, 2005 Archive

Do and Dye

Posted at 7:49 AM on October 27, 2005 by Bob Collins (5 Comments)

So the White Sox have won a World Series. Terrific. Let the car burning begin!

I didn't watch the game, except for a few innings, but watching Sportscenter this morning got me wondering whether there's an unusual number of 1-0 games in World Series final games compared to the typical baseball schedule. Offhand, I can think of three: 1995 Game 6, 1991 Game 7 and last night.

One of the columns I meant to write in the postseason was about Jermaine Dye. As an opposition fan, there really are only two players in the ChiSox lineup that give me the creeps when they come to bat. You know, that impending sense of doom. Konerko and Dye.

Dye is the anti-Podsednik. He's a player that actually deserves a large measure of the credit for the White Sox success, but doesn't get it -- at least not in relation to the extent of his contribution.

Those numbers this year are decent. A .333 OBP isn't the best in the world, but I'll take a .512 slugging pctg, to make up for it anytime, thank you very much.

The only part of the evening that spoiled the ChiSox victory, of course, is that self-proclaimed genius Bobby Valentine won a championship on the same day. The Chiba Lotte Marines are the champs. All hail the Marines! And prepare for a winter of Bobby Valentine making noise about his true destiny in Major League Baseball.

And that brings us to Larry Bowa, who most recently infected us as an analyst during the World Series on ESPN. Bowa, apparently, is about to be named third base coach for the New York Yankees, a move so incredibly transparent that one wonders how Joe Torre, a man of tremendous dignity, can stand it.

Bowa would be manager-in-waiting. A daily reminder from the Boss to Torre. By midseason, should the Yankees not be putting the division away (They will. That division stinks), the Boss will make the move and the Greatest Show on Earth will reopen in the Bronx. Bowa and Steinbrenner? It hasan't been that good since Billy Martin.

With the World Series over, presumably this is the end of this year's Baseball Bums. I've enjoyed it very much, but have decided not to return as one of the writers next year. So, we'll be looking for a new Bum. Is it you?

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Where have you gone Kirby Puckett?

Posted at 8:36 AM on October 27, 2005 by David Zingler (12 Comments)

It was fourteen years ago this week that Kirby Puckett inspired Jack Buck to exclaim, "We'll see you tomorrow night" with his 11th inning, walk off homerun in Game 6 of the World Series. Sadly, it was also three years ago last month that the once untouchable local icon was arrested for allegedly groping a woman at a posh suburban dining establishment. Of course, the Twins took home the title in '91 and Kirby was later acquitted of criminal charges, but not all endings are happy.

Retirement hasn't been kind to Kirby. After his career ended in 1996 due an eye condition that currently severely affects his vision, the Twins basically exploited him for a series of promotions in hopes of generating interest in their morbid franchise (not that Kirby was complaining, he was paid handsomely). Back then the bowling ball shaped former slugger was everywhere, whether it was his daily visits to the Dome for work, radio and television endorsements or his annual charity billiard tournament.

Soon after his 2001 Hall of Fame induction however, the bottom fell out. In addition to his before-mentioned legal troubles, Puckett had a former mistress spill her guts on sports talk radio and fell victim to a Sports Illustrated smear job. That doesn't play well in the land of Minnesota Nice. As a result, he's now less visible than Mark Dayton.

I sincerely hope the ancient "time heals all wounds" adage applies to Kirby. Despite his warts, he is the undisputed face of the only two Minnesota-based world championship teams since the Lakers called Minneapolis home. He brought immense joy to this state at one time, so maybe we should think about sending a little his way. I'm sure he could use it.

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