Congratulations to the greatest manager of my time... Tony LaRussa on winning another Championship. (Photo by Charlie Riedle-Pool/Getty Images)
As a White Sox fan, the 2011 season was a travesty. As a baseball fan though, I forgot about them pretty quickly. From the last day of the regular season when the Cardinals and Rays completed unbelievable comebacks and sent the Braves and Red Sox home early until Allen Craig camped underneath the David Murphy fly ball giving the Cardinals the World Championship, baseball showed that it is truly the greatest game in the world.
This World Series had a little bit of everything. We had one of the greatest World Series games ever played, by one of the greatest players who ever played, Albert Pujols. There was an unbelievable comeback victory, as the Cardinals were down to their last strike a couple of times only to end up tying, and eventually winning, game 6. We had a great pitching performance from Derek Holland in game 4 and a gutsy one from Chris Carpenter in game 7. We had controversy, as Tony LaRussa and company found a way to mess up game 5 Bevington style. We had an unlikely hometown hero in David Freese, who drove home a remarkable 21 runs during the playoffs and was named MVP of both the NLCS and the World Series. We had major disappointment. The Rangers were a strike away from bringing home the first ever World Series title in the history of Texas. Texas teams have lost 3 of the last 6 World Series. Even Joe Buck impressed me with his call of Freese's game winning homer in game 6, recreating the call of his father Jack Buck from 1991.
Besides 2005 for obvious reasons, I can't remember an October that I enjoyed as much as I did this one. All great things come to an end though. We won't be able to enjoy a long home run or a fastball on the black until Spring Training 2012.
Fortunately, we have my second favorite sporting season coming up- the baseball offseason. I know some people find it annoying, but I absolutely love checking all of the rumor mills to see where the big name free agent is landing or who is going to pull off the next blockbuster trade.
There will be plenty of news to keep things busy around here. The free agency period officially begins at 12:01 AM. Free agents can sign with new teams at 12:01 AM on Thursday. You can find the list of free agents and track their progress here. Awards week starts on November 14th with the Rookie of the Year awards and ends on November 22 with the NL MVP. The Winter Meetings take place in Dallas December 5-8. In early January we get the Hall of Fame voting. In late January we get Sox Fest.
It might be a little quiet on the South Side during the offseason, but who knows. Maybe there will be a few major moves made and maybe the Sox will be the team ending up hoisting the trophy in 2012. After all, we are now tied for first place.
Happy Hot Stove.