Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Closer: Turns Out, The White Sox Are Good

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Money Can Buy Me Love. The White Sox improved their team to the tune of nearly $100 million over the offseason, and so far it seems to be money well spent. Juan Uribe hit two home runs and Jose Contreras (3-0) won his 11th straight regular-season decision as the Pale Hose stopped the Twins 7-3 on Sunday, Chicago's 12th win in its past 13 games. Contreras' streak is the longest by a White Sox pitcher since Wilson Alvarez won 15 straight in 1993 and '94 (thanks to South Side Sox for that stat!).

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2. Umpires Go By The Book. OK, we're pretty sure we've got this straight. Five ejections in the Colorado-San Francisco game on Sunday, including four hit batters, no brawls and no Barry Bonds home runs. It's the game that should have been exciting but wasn't. All the tumult seems to stem from the long-running feud between Colorado's Jose Mesa and the Giants' Omar Vizquel, who criticized Mesa in his 2002 autobiography for blowing the save in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series against Florida when both played for Cleveland. In addition to rubbing up baseballs before games, umpires must now read books so they'll know whom to toss.

3. Oh, Baltimore, Man It's Hard, Just To Live. Randy Johnson and the New York Yankees had been struggling. But then he hit Baltimore. Johnson dominated on Sunday and Jason Giambi and his Upper Torso of Unusually Large Size hit two homers in New York's 7-1 win, the Yankees' 11th victory in its past 14 games against Baltimore, dating to last season.

4. Reds Harang Brewers. Aaron Harang, thrown in at the last minute when scheduled starter Eric Milton hurt his knee, threw a five-hit shutout to give the Reds an 11-0 victory over the Brewers. The Reds benefitted from 12 walks, nine issued by Milwaukee starter Doug Davis, which tied a franchise record.

5. Mets Have That Sinking Feeling. Keith Hernandez's comments in the broadcast booth nonwithstanding (we'll get to that later), the biggest blunder the Mets made on Sunday came when starter Victor Zambrano tried to fool Brian Giles twice in a row with sinkers. First one: Fly out to center. Second one: Oops! It's still sailing. Grand slam. Padres win 7-4. Please drive safely, folks.