- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 27, 2005

HOUSTON.

Say it is so, Joe.

The Chicago White Sox have won a World Series.

And as far as we know, no players threw any games, although Angels manager Mike Scioscia might argue he saw the ghost of Arnold Rothstein hanging around the umpire’s locker room during the American League Championship Series.

The White Sox didn’t just beat the Houston Astros. They embarrassed them, and if you don’t believe me, ask Astros manager Phil Garner, who called his team’s 7-5 loss in the historic 14-inning Game3 “embarrassing.”

The White Sox swept the Astros — the same way the Boston Red Sox did to the St. Louis Cardinals last year — clinching the World Series 1-0 last night in Minute Maid Park.

The White Sox won their first World Series since 1917. The Red Sox won their first World Series last year since 1918.

“This team is a lot like the Red Sox last year,” said Chicago first baseman Paul Konerko, whose postseason batting heroics, along with his 40 regular season home runs, should put a lot of free agent money in his pocket. “We have blocked out what has happened to the organization in the past because if you start thinking about the failures or what other teams haven’t done, you might try a little harder and put pressure on yourself.”

Red Sox. White Sox. Any team that wants to win next year might want to consider changing their name to the Argyle Sox or something like that.

What is perhaps more remarkable about the White Sox finally winning the World Series is that the franchise has been around since the dawn of time yet hasn’t done enough even to warrant any sort of curse.

They have barely gotten a sniff at the World Series since throwing it in 1919. They didn’t get to the series again until the Go Go Sox in 1959 and never made it back until this year.

The Red Sox had been there four times since 1918, so they had a track record of tragedy to support the curse.

If the White Sox had a curse, it was one of indifference. They never mattered enough to garner that type of emotion.

That changed with the man who feels everything and lets everyone know it: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. The former White Sox shortstop — now center stage as their manager — is passionate, outspoken, boorish and hilarious and has given this franchise an identity.

If you are not a diehard White Sox fan, you either like this team or hate it because of Guillen.

“My rules, when you deal with me every day, sometimes I throw a player under the bus once in a while,” he said, describing his style during this World Series. “Every time they see me they go, ‘Vroom, under the bus.’ But there’s one thing about me. I will tell my players the truth, and they know that.”

The truth: The Chicago White Sox are the 2005 World Series champions.

If there is a curse on this franchise, it will have to start tomorrow because the White Sox finally have something to lose, something people will sit up and take notice of.

“Chicago fans should be real proud,” Guillen said.

If there is to be a curse, it is this — winning this World Series has reformed the image of owner Jerry Reinsdorf. He has gone from the Darth Vader-like figure who helped kill the 1994 World Series because of a hard-line labor stance that resulted in the strike to a tough, lovable Brooklyn-born owner of a blue-collar team.

“I did this for Jerry, then the fans,” Guillen said. “I think the players did it for the fans, then for Jerry.”

Somebody should be cursed for that.

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