Paint It Black: White Sox Staring Down the Barrel
Joseph Conrad titled a book, "Within The Tides" and narrates "Heart of Darkness" entirely within the frozen moment of sea change.
He saw something in nature's between-time. That moment when a tide is neither coming in nor going out. Non-time. Time literally standing still.
Much can happen.
So it was when the Chicago White Sox played the Minnesota Twins in the 163rd game of the year. Not Regular season and not quite Playoffs. A six month, 162 game, season comes down to one night, one game and a single run.
The Blackout was called for and indeed the stadium visibly intimidated like the Lake swelling at midnight. To borrow a line from Conrad, "the sea (of fans) and sky were welded together without a joint."
I was there. My loyal Sox brethren Paulie got us in. Two seats between home and the Twins dugout. An unbelievable vantage point to watch the events unfold.
They have a word for games like this...Timeless.
Moving on, there are three keys to playoff baseball:
1. Hot streak. The playoffs are such a small sample size that nothing else matters for a team besides getting hot. (After dramatically defeating the Indians, Tigers and Twins in three straight do-or-die games, The Sox are now the hottest team in baseball).
2. Rally Hats. The Fans need a little unifying something-extra to rally around so they too can get hot. (This year, it's the Blackout).
3. No Fear. I can't emphasize this enough for players and fans. There is nothing to fear but fear itself. Instead of looking for something to blame the loss on, keep looking for a way to get it done. (This requires constant maintenance. But it is the defining difference between the Sox and the Cubs).
I lost my 2005 World Champs hat sometime this Summer. Let the past go. Don't worry about the future.
Play for today. Now down 1-2 in the ALDS, that's all we got.
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