Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Today if Mike Hargrove replaces Ozzie Guillen as manager of the Chicago White Sox, don't be surprised.If John Hart drops in on batting practice, cell phone glued to ear, and says he's trying to swing a deal as GM of the ChiSox, don't be alarmed. If Dick Jacobs brings a bagful of cash to home plate, shakes hands with Jerry Reinsdorf, and buys the White Sox, act normal.
Chicago fans will. After all, they're used to this.
Last night, Jim Thome returned to Jacobs Field for the first time since leaving the Tribe as a free agent following the 2002 season. He was wearing a Chicago White Sox uniform, which makes him (a) the enemy, and (b) the latest in a long line of Indians from the Jacobs Field glory days to come back to Jacobs Field wearing a Chicago White Sox uniform and beat the Indians.
The White Sox have become sort of an old folks' home for ex-Indians in recent years. Since 2001, Sandy Alomar, Kenny Lofton, Bartolo Colon, and Roberto Alomar have come back to The Jake in White Sox gear. They followed the path blazed Albert Belle in 1997, who had a worse breakup with the Tribe than Nick Lachey did with Jessia Simpson.
And of course the White Sox win just about every time one of our bygone stars returns. The rundown, in order of how bad a beatdown they performed on the Indians:
1.) Albert Belle, 6/3/97 -- After signing a five-year, $55 million contract with the White Sox, fans threw money, both real and fake, onto the field upon Albert's return. Proving that God was on his side, Albert cracked a three-run homer, went 3-for-5, led the White Sox to a 9-5 victory, and flipped off the fans.
2.) Bartolo Colon, 4/8/03 -- The Montreal Expos flipped Colon to the White Sox after obtaining him from the Tribe midway through the 2002 season. Colon ruined the Tribe's home opener in 2003 by allowing just two runs in six innings of a 5-3 victory. He didn't earn the victory, but of course, neither did the Indians.
3.) Jim Thome, 5/1/06 -- He helped the White Sox to their eighth straight victory at Jacobs Field by going 1-for-5 with an RBI single and a walk. The single came when the Indians elected to use Scott Sauerbeck to pitch to Thome with two outs and only third base occupied in the ninth, which is a bit like trying to put a fire out by dumping gasoline on it. White Sox won, 8-6.
4.) Sandy Alomar, 4/2/01 -- A bad day for Alomar in his White Sox debut, as he went 0-for-3 with a passed ball. He did reach base via walk, but was then caught stealing. No matter, White Sox still won, 7-4, and Alomar saved his homer for the next day.
5.) Roberto Alomar, 7/12/03 -- He couldn't make it as a Met after the Indians traded him, so the Mets shipped him to Chicago's South Side. This Alomar returned to The Jake for a doubleheader, and went 1-for-7 with a pair of walks on the day as the squads split.
6.) Kenny Lofton, 4/22/02 -- After leaving the Tribe for the second time, Lofton joined up with the White Sox. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and was caught stealing in his return as the White Sox lost, 4-2. Yes, that is not a misprint, the White Sox actually lost one game in which a member of the Indians made his Jacobs Field return.
And who do we have that use to play for the White Sox? Ummmmmmmmmm, how about Jeff Liefer? He hit a home run last year! No? Well, there's Rick White. Wil Cordero? OK, Ellis Burks and Bobby Howry! Take THAT, White Sox!