From the Cubicle

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When was the last time you were watching a baseball game and a Cirque du Soleil act broke out?

In case you missed it, during the eighth inning of last night's 2-1 Sox's win, as Joe Crede was fielding Derek Jeter's sacrifice bunt, something came tumbling out of the Yankee Stadium upper deck.

It was a fan--caught in the net behind home plate like some stunned tuna.

As people in the crowd pointed and snapped pictures, Sox TV analyst Darrin Jackson provided the quote of the night: "That is one of the more amazing things that I've ever witnessed."

I'm sure I had the same reaction as everyone else watching on TV. I picked up the phone.

"You watching the White Sox game?" I asked my friend on the other end. "Check out Net Boy."

"Yeah, what the ...? What a [freakin'] moron."

Man, and I thought Cubs fans were lemmings. Yankees fans are literally hurling themselves out of the upper deck for a closer look at Derek Jeter's dimples.

Frankly I'm surprised we haven't seen anything like that at Wrigley Field, possibly because the net doesn't extend over the top of the crowd.

That was a once in a lifetime event. It may have topped any other acts of stupidity we've seen in our baseball watching lives: the Ligue clan, Bartman, Jeffrey Maier, the guy sitting near the Wrigley Field visitor's bullpen who thought it a good idea to swipe the batting helmet off Chad Kreuter's head. We'll never see anything like that again. But we can only hope. Sadly there is no footage of the act.

Also it should be noted, as the police hauled their big catch out the net, a sign next to them read "Be alert...foul balls." Perhaps Stadium staffers should append that with, "and jumping jackasses."

Baseball soon as Freddy Garcia takes the mound for the Sox, Aaron Small for the Yankees. Please remain in your seats.

The lineups.

First inning

Scott Podsednik, as he usually does, leads off for the White Sox. He's 3-for-7 in the series and made a pretty sweet catch in left field last night. In fact, he made a sweet one the night before, too. Podsednik works the count to 2-2 before swinging at a high fast ball for strike three. Pablo Ozuna hits the first pitch to Tony Womack in right for a quick second out. Carl Everett, back in the lineup after tweaking his groin, draws a two-out walk. Looks like Small wanted no part of Everett, so he'll have to face Paul Konkero, who hit a giant homer last night all the way to the monuments, pingging, perhaps, off the mug of Yogi Berra. Good thing Yogi's got that insurance. Konerko gets plunked in the hip. Aaron Rowand sends one deep but Hideki Matsui catches up to it on the warning track.

Jeter grounds one to Juan Uribe at short who bounces the throw past Konerko for an error. Maybe a hit, depends on how big of a homer the Yankee Stadium scorekeeper is. Robinson Cano moves Jeter over to third with a grounder to second. Jeter's ball was ruled a hit and an error, which prompted this exchange between Hawk and DJ:

DJ: "I don't know how that can be a single."

Hawk: "It's not."

Gary Sheffield lines a single to left, scoring Jeter with the game's first run. A-Rod flies out to Rowand in center. Matsui pops up to left and Podsednik squeezes it.

Yankees 1, White Sox 0

Second inning

Jermaine Dye chops one slowly up the middle, Jeter has to hesitate because Cano bluffed like he was going to make the play in front of him and Dye beats the throw. Geoff Blum lofts one to Matsui in left for the first out. Catcher Chris Widger pops out to his counterpart John Flaherty. Uribe strikes out and Dye's leadoff hit goes for naught.

Jason Giambi grounds one to Konerko, who steps on the bag himself. Bernie Williams grounds out, as well. Flaherty singles through the hole, but Womack flies out to Rowand, another guy who's made a number of great catches lately. This one is of the easy variety.

Third inning

Podsednik strikes out again, this time looking at a curve. Ozuna lays a bunt down the third-base line. A-Rod charges, bare-hands, throws, but Ozuna beats it out. Everett sends one deep the other way to left, but I'm not sure what happend because for the second time today the camera man has focused on the center fielder on a ball hit to left. But I'll assume it bounces off the wall for a run-scoring double. Tie game. Konerko grounds one right to short and for some odd reason Everett takes off for third. He gets caught in a rundown and is out. At least, as DJ points out, he didn't dance around and aggravate his groin. Rowand strikes out to end it, but the Sox get that run back.

White Sox 1, Yankees 1

So this Ken Griffey Jr. rumor is still alive? Couldn't some other team block that? Anyway, I don't know because it probably would mean goodbye to Rowand. Jeter draws a leadoff walk. With Cano up Jeter takes off for second and is gunned down by Widger. Cano flies out to Rowand, who reads it perfectly and makes an easy catch on the partial run. Sheffield rips it to center and again Rowand reads it perfectly, gets a great jump and makes another running catch. The guy is good. Can't get much by him.

Fourth inning

I find it hard to believe the Sox could get Griffey and hang on to Rowand. If the Reds are going to give him up, they're going to want a major-league center fielder in return, especially with those two potted plants they have at the corners in Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns. Dye singles. Blum walks. Widger lays down a nice bunt and both runners advance. I don't care who the Reds have in their system. Griffey comes here, Rowand goes. Uribe becomes Small's fifth strike out victim by chasing a pitch out of the zone. Podsednik looks at another called third strike. A promising start to the inning ends badly. Podsednik has stuck out three straight times.

A-Rod singles to center. Matsui rips a single to right. A-Rod thought about taking third but realized Dye's still got a hose. Giambi squibs one to first but it's as good as a bunt. Konerko steps on the bag but the runners advance. Garcia gets Williams chasing a 3-2 breaking ball down and in for strike three. Big pitch. Williams, by the way, is an accomplished guitarist. Didn't help him there. Flaherty pops out to Konerko and Garcia does a solid job getting out of that pickle.

Fifth inning

Dutch in Roselle, Sports 101? None of those guys you mentioned can barely play a corner outfield spot and you think they can play center? Adam Dunn in center? Laughable. I'm not sure what game you're watching, but it's not baseball. Nice try. Next. Ozuna and Everett go down in order to start the fifth, bringing up Konerko with the bases empty. Konerko flies out to end top half.

Womack grounds one sharply down the line and Konerko makes a nice pick, flips to a hustling Garcia to just gets Womack. Jeter fans much to the dismay of starlets everywhere. Cano grounds out to second and Garcia cruises with a 1-2-3 inning.

For those of you just joining us: Sox 1, Yankees 1

Sixth inning

Rowand pops out to Giambi in foul ground. Dye flies out to Williams. Blum works the count full and then grounds out to Jeter. That's eight in a row set down by Small. We've got ourselves a pitching duel, my friends.

Meanwhile, here's the New York magazine story Sheffield got all worked up about, calling the writer a liar before backing down when the writer said he had everything Sheffield said on tape. Garcia fans the often-disgruntled but always well-paid Sheffield. Garcia does the same to the insanely-paid A-Rod. Ho-hum: Rowand makes another nice running catch, going to his left to spear a ball hit by Matsui.

Seventh inning

As a message board mob member, nine, correctly pointed out that was nine in a row set down by Small. I was just repeating what Hawk said. But no excuse. Here's Widger, trying not to be No. 10. Alas, he bloops one to center that Williams catches after a long run. Uribe strikes out. Podsednik breaks his bat fouling off a pitch. He fetches a new one. "Pick me out a winner, Bobby." Podsednik pops out. We pause for a tape recording of Kate Smith singing "God Bless America."

Giambi rips one off the 314 sign on the right-field wall and has to settle for a single. Williams sends it deep to center and Rowand coasts under it. Jorge Posada hits for Flaherty, who can't hit at all. Garcia strikes out Posada with a change-up. Giambi takes off and Womack hits it right at Konerko, who has been solid in the field, as well, picks it and steps on first.

Eighth inning

Tom Gordon comes on in relief of Small and he'll face Ozuna to start the eighth. Ozuna draws a leadoff walk. But that quickly is erased as Everett hits into a 4-6-3 double play. Konerko fists one to Matsui in left and the Sox are retired without much noise.

Garcia stays in the game and why not? He's pitching with élan. Jeter grounds out to short. Neal Cotts and Bobby Jenks are up in the pen as Cano flies out to right. Sheffield grounds to Uribe, who bobbles a bit and then throws high to Konkero. Sheffield is called out; he argues. Replays show the play was close and possibly a bad call but we move on to the ninth. There is no replay in baseball, no red hankies for Joe Torre to throw on the field and we're all thankful for that. Another big inning by Garcia.

Ninth inning

Enter Mariano Rivera. Rowand grabs a bat and grounds out to short. Dye does the same. Blum strikes out and the bathroom beckons.

Cotts deals to A-Rod to start the bottom of the ninth and gets him to bounce out to short. Matsui singles to right. Cotts fans Giambi, who walks to the dugout to apologize some more. Williams comes up and a pitch gets by Widger. Matsui takes second. Williams flies out to Dye and we go to extras.

10th inning

Extra innings aren't in my From the Cubicle contract, but it's not like I have anything else to do. Rivera stays on to pitch the 10th and strikes out Widger. Uribe splits Williams and Womack in right-center and digs into third with a one-out triple. Squeeze? Uribe comes, Podsednik squares but the bunt is foul. Good job of just getting the bat on the ball by Podsednik. Podsednik grounds it to second, Uribe breaks to the plate, Cano throws home and Uribe gets his foot in there before the tag. Bruce Froemming, the fat tub of goo, gets the call correct. Great slide by Uribe. The Sox take the lead. With Ozuna up Podsednik is thrown out by Posada trying to steal second. Ozuna strikes out. But Uribe's triple and slide were huge. On the triple, Williams kind of dogged it maybe thinking Uribe would stop at second, but he never slowed, thinking triple all the way. And then the slide, Uribe knocked Posada's foot off the plate.

White Sox 2, Yankees 1

Cotts remains in the game and he'll face the aforementioned Posada, who flies out to Podsednik. "Baba O'Reilly" rings out, which means Tino Martinez is coming up to hit for Womack. Tino walks, someone pinch runs and Ozzie pulls Cotts. Dustin Hermanson comes on to face Jeter, but we go to commercial first. Hermanson fans Jeter and Jeter is upset with himself. He'll probably dump his girlfriend for that. Cano send it deep to center but--who else?--Rowand makes a running catch at the track to end it.

Final: White Sox 2, Yankees 1

So the Sox win two thrilling games after dropping the opener to take the series from the hated Yankees. They move on to Boston next, where they'll spend tomorrow's off day contemplating a way to get the offense going over a cup of chowder. The pitching, on the other hand, has been top notch, to a man.

Thanks everyone for reading, posting, writing in, worrying, fretting. You can now unfasten your seatbelts.

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