White Sox utilityman Brent Lillibridge grew up in Everett, Wash., as a Seattle Mariners fan. So it had to be a bittersweet thrill for him to hit a game-winning homer at Safeco Field against the M's in a 4-2 win for Chicago on Friday.
"You grow up watching games here, 20 games a year, every year as a fan of the Mariners, and I'm able to hit one here out of the park against your favorite team, it's something special," Lillibridge said of his two-run shot in fifth. "I won't forget it."
White Sox manager and our favorite baseball sage Ozzie Guillen had a more practical observation about Lillibridge's homer, his fifth in the last 15 games and 12th of the season.
"This kid can help himself to make a few dollars because people now know, or at least we know, he can do a lot of things," Guillen said, no doubt thrilling the White Sox brass. "He can play everything [in the] infield and he can play great outfield, he has unbelievable speed, great speed to run the bases. He put himself in a very nice position from now on."
You know how, when the opposing team's pitcher steps off the mound to make a throw to first or adjust his pants or reflect on the duality of being or whatever, everybody in the stadium starts screaming "balk!" and they never call it?
Well, Los Angles Dodgers fans had the pleasure of having their pleas answered, twice in one inning, in Friday's 6-1 win over Colorado. (Given L.A.'s season, it must be karma.)
The Rockies' Esmil Rogers was cruising along in the seventh at Chavez Ravine, pitching a four-hitter with a 1-0 lead. Then the wheels fell off: With one out and the bases loaded, third-base runner Aaron Miles feigned a steal of home, rattling Rogers and drawing a balk call to tie it up. After Justin Sellers' two-run single, Rogers was lifted for Matt Reynolds.
Reynolds then seemed to have Sellers picked off first as he made a break for second, but also was called for a balk by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt, who ejected Rockies skipper Jim Tracy in the brouhaha that followed. James Loney and Matt Kemp then hit consecutive homers, and that's your ball game.
And that, truly, is entertainment.
OK, it seems that the star on the seat we remembered as marking Willie Stargell's home run at the Vet actually commemorated a Greg Luzinski moon shot to left. Thanks to the readers who wrote in to correct our faulty history, and remind us that the Bull also once hit the Liberty Bell in dead center (wow).