Alfonso Soriano led off last night's game with a home run off big, bad Bartolo Colon. It was 'lil Sori's 13th lead off dinger of the year, a new record. He followed that with another solo shot in his next at bat. But Colon and the Chicago bullpen was able to work out of several jams, and the Sox eventually defeated the Bombers in extra innings, 6-3. Magglio Ordonez smacked a 3-run shot off Jeff Weaver to put the Yankees celebration on hold.
The Sox were streaking a few weeks ago, while the Yanks struggled. Now, Chicago must settle for moral victories and sour grapes. Wha' happened? Jack Curry posed the same question in The Times:
What made one first-place team fly and the other fizzle?
"Money, money and money," Frank Thomas, the White Sox designated hitter, said. "The bottom line is there's a lot of pride in that organization. They will win at all costs. That's what pro sports is all about. Steinbrenner wants a winning team year in and year out. He's got the ability to go out and get those players."
...While the gluttony enables the Yankees to absorb huge mistakes, the money does not automatically make them winners. The endless payroll gives the Yankees more flexibility if they stumble, but then they still have to get up and produce.
"If we were able to spend $150 million or $130 million, we'd win every year, too," Thomas said.
..."Money doesn't guarantee you'll have big performances down the stretch when it counts," [Derek] Jeter said. "You can have all the money in the world and it doesn't matter if you don't have people who are going to play well. That's an easy out. Money, money, money. Go ask him why Minnesota is where they are."
Take Two tonight. Jose Contreras will start, and it looks like Mike Mussina will be getting a Game 1 start in the playoffs.