I'm not Amanda. Get over it.
The great, punctual one -- fan of Kansas basketball, men's tennis, James Blake, baker of cookies, owner of the neatest desk in the newsroom, a woman who thinks Joe Crede and Mark Mangino are equally hot, Sox fan, patriot, blood donor -- is off today.
She may or may not be at the game. I think maybe she went last night. After rooting openly for Memphis in the national title game, I'm no longer included on the daily itinerary report her personal assistant sends out each morning.
So you're stuck with me on this Wednesday afternoon tilt between your Chicago White Sox and someone else's Seattle Mariners.
You can leave your odes, missives, sweet nothings and marriage proposals to Amanda in the form on the bottom of the page. HR and security will be CC'd on all notes.
After stomping the Mariners again last night, the Sox remain a game up on the hated Twins, and have matched their win total for all of last season (7
52 victories). The Twins are playing right now against the Oakland A's.
Steve Rosenbloom predicts Gavin Floyd will pitch a no-hitter. That would be nice. I predict Mariners knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will not. Call me crazy.
I was up late last night watching Olympic Taekwondo and BMX and then up early to watch the men's basketball team play Australia, who could use Luc Longley.
Amanda passes along insincere greetings and a cold, distant pageant wave to the adoring Kaschube Nation. Please remain behind the barricades.
We'll have baseball soon while you consider that, shockingly, the remains of Bigfoot frozen in a block of ice were really just a rubber gorilla suit. Too bad Jim Belushi wasn't in it.
Here are today's lineups, even though they're incorrect. Jim Thome is a late scratch, I'm told.
This is the new lineup:
Cabrera ssPierzynski cQuentin lfGriffey dhKonerko 1bSwisher rfRamirez 2bWise cfUribe 3bFloyd p
It's a downright lovely day in Chicago and on the South Side at U.S. Celluar in particular, where this game is being played. Floyd finishes up his warm-up tosses and we'll be off. Ichiro digs in and takes a ball high. Floyd comes back with two strikes before Ichiro grounds a single up the middle. So much for Rosenbloom's prediction. I'm out of here. I love how DJ insists on pronoucing Ichiro's name like Ee-churro. Churro would be good right about now. I'll keep you posted on Thome's status. Jeremy Reed grounds a soft single through the hole on the right side. Ichiro stops at second. Raul Ibanez, or "Sox Killer" as Hawk calls him, kills the Mariners this time by bouncing into a 6-3 double play. Floyd strikes out Adrian Beltre to end the top half.
Orlando Cabrera bloops a single just over the shortstop's head. A.J. Pierzynski falls behind 0-2 before ripping a knukcleball to the left-field gap for a double. Cabrera stops at third. With the play right in front of him, Cabrera held up between first and second to see if the ball would drop. Dickey's knuckler to Carlos Quentin gets away from catcher Jeff Clement and Cabrera hustles home with the game's first run. Pierzynski takes third on the play. Quentin walks. First and third and still no one out for Junior. Junior bounces an RBI single past the diving second baseman Jose Lopez, scoring Pierzynski. Not a fan of the gimmicky knuckleball. And Dickey's ain't so great. It's as if the Mariners trotted out their clubhouse attendant to pitch today. Now Dickey's really mixing in a mediocre fastball, which can't and probably won't be good. Full count to Paul Konerko and he rips one foul. Konerko bounces a single through the hole on the left side to load 'em up for Nick Swisher. Bryan LaHair robs Swisher of a hit with a diving stop. DaHair flips to Dickey covering first to get the out but another run scores. Comrade Alexei Ramirez clears the bases with a three-run Cuban Missile to left and the Sox are just teeing off on Dickey. That's 6-0 with one out in the bottom of the first. Dewayne Wise flies out to left as Jake Woods gets up in the Mariners' pen for some really long relief. Juan Uribe pops out to shallow center to end the bludgeonfest.
Sox 6, Mariners 0
Since we all miss Amanda dearly (some more than the rest), we'll play a little game about the world's biggest Kansas rooter. True or false, Amanda's license plate reads KIRK 4LF? Stay tuned for the answer. In what has become a new tradition for WGN, they miss the first pitch, which was a strike from Floyd to Lopez. Twins are up 2-1 in the fifth. Floyd gets ahead of Lopez 0-2 and then lets him off the hook by walking him. Floyd fans Clement with some high heat. Wladimir Balentien flies out to center. DaHair bounces to Ramirez, who flips to Floyd, who steps on first for the third out. Answer: False. I believe it reads POLLARD.
Cabrera flies out to right. A better start for Dickey in the second. I'm surprised this guy's still in there. He's reached sacrificial lamb status as early as the second inning. Pierzynski pops out to Beltre in foul ground. Quentin draws another walk. Junior gets ahold a one and that's a two-run homer to the Mariner's bullpen in right, his first in a Sox uniform. Konerko grounds out to third, but have a few more runs, why don't ya?
Sox 8, Mariners 0
True or false: Amanda thinks Kansas coach Bill Self's "hair" is natural and that the only reason he wore this baseball cap in the Hawaiian surf was because "he burns easily." Floyd strikes out Yuniesky Betancourt to open up the third. Ichiro draws a walk. Junior may or may not have hurt himself on that swing. He nearly fell over in the box, but did trot around the bases. But DJ says he disappeared down the tunnel quickly once in the dugout. I'll keep you posted. Speaking of which, anytime WGN wants to update us on Thome, fine by me. Ichiro steals second with Reed up. Reed strikes out. Ibanez singles home Ichiro. Beltre bounces into a fielder's choice and ... Answer: True. Amanda also thinks everything Self does, including his hair, is on the up and up, so there you go.
Sox 8, Mariners 1
Jake Woods replaces the completely ineffective Dickey. Swisher bloops one down the left-field line. Balentien mssplays it, charges hard, dives and can't come up with it. Swisher happily takes the gift double. Ramirez hits a routine grounder to short and nearly beats it out. Wise rips it deep to center but Reed runs it down, making a nice running catch just before the warning track. Swisher stays put on second. Uribe bloops a single to right. Ichiro comes up throwing. Throws a one-hop strike to the plate but Swisher just beats it standing up. Cabrera flies out to center, but not before the Sox pick up one more.
Sox 9, Mariners 1
True or false, after that thrilling national title game, Amanda stayed up all night crafting her own Mario Chalmers FatHead that now hangs on the wall behind her desk? Lopez pops up the first pitch foul. Konerko drifts over to the Mariners' dugout, reaches over the railing and can't come up with the ball. DJ gets on him. It doesn't matter; Lopez flies out to Wise in center. Clement bounces out to second. Betancourt rips one past a diving Uribe. Some moron reaches out and grabs it, so it's a ground-rule double. And it's not like Betancourt was going to try for third anyway, so perhaps I was a bit harsh on said "moron." Wise robs DaHair of a hit and RBI with a nice charging, stumbling catch for the final out. Answer: False, it was on the wall behind Rahula's desk. FatHead threatened legal action and because of the pending litigation, I cannot comment further.
Pierzynski pokes a single up the middle. Quentin bounces one to the second-baseman Lopez, who steps on second himself and fires to first to complete the double play. Junior, who apparently is OK, draws a walk. Konerko nearly hits one out to left but it's foul. Woods catches his spikes on the mound, falls over and that's a balk; Junior to second. Konerko drives home Junior with a single to left. Konerko gets greedy and is thrown out plodding for second.
Sox 10, Mariners 1
True or false, Amanda shed a tear when the Bears let Bernard Berrian go. Brian Anderson replaces Wise in center. Wise hurt himself on that catch. Betancourt flies out to center. Ichiro beats out a grounder to second. With Reed up and down nine runs, Ichiro takes off for second. Reed flies out to center. Anderson fires to first to double up Ichiro and the ball gets by Konerko and Pierzynski backing up but bounces off the side wall right to Pierzynski. Ibanez rips a two-run homer to right. Floyd strikes out Beltre. Answer: False (as far as I know), but she was a fan: "He looks like Usher."
Sox 10, Mariners 3
Tug Hulett replaces Betancourt at short. Swisher strikes out. Ramirez flies out to center and I apologize for all the technical difficulties. I think we're back now. I hope we're back now. Anderson doubles to the left-field corner. Anderson nearly ran into DaHair while rounding first and the replay shows DaHair looked like he was standing there on purpose. Uribe drives it to left where Balentien dives but can't come up with it and Anderson scores from second to keep the Sox's at-least-a-run-an-inning streak alive. Cabrera draws a walk. Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre trots out to talk to Woods. Chris Getz runs for Cabrera. Two on. Whatever Stottlemyre said, well, it didn't work: Pierzynski hits the next pitch out to right for a three-run homer. Quentin grounds out.
Sox 14, Mariners 3
True or false, Amanda needs to take over the tech department here. Ramirez moves over to short. Getz stays in to play second. Lopez strikes out swining -- or swinging; take your pick. Clement strikes out looking. Balentein grounds out to Uribe to end a quick top half of the sixth. Answer: No comment.
Roy Corcoran is the Mariners' new pitcher. Miguel Cairo comees on to play third. Griffey draws a walk. Konerko bounces into a double play and now DJ is wishing he had a beer. We're with you, DJ. Swisher makes it 15 with a homer to left. Welcome to the party, Corcoran. The rest of the Sox have lost interest and Swisher is left to celebrate alone in the dugout. Ramirez grounds out to second.
Sox 15, Mariners 3
True or false: I'm having a hard time coming up with three more FTC Amanda trivia questions. Horacio Ramirez replaces Floyd, who went six innings, gave up three runs on six hits, walked two, struck out seven and threw 99 pitches. DaHair flies out to center. Tug Hulett, son of former Sox player Tim Hulett who saw fit to name his son Tug, takes a called third strike. Ichiro beats out a swinging bunt. Reed hits into a fielder's choice for the third out. Answer: False. I've got a ton of facts about this young sports producer; inside stuff you haven't read about in the magazines or blogs or on her reality show.
Final from Minny: Twins beat the A's 3-1. Miguel Batista is the new pitcher and strikes out Anderson. Uribe walks. Getz grounds out to DaHair; Uribe takes second on the play. Pierzynski strikes out and that ends the Sox's scoring streak.
Sox 15, Mariners 3
True or false, Amanda keeps a massive cache of plastic utensils in her desk that she stole from the cafeteria, from which I just lifted a knife that I used to cut this delicious peach. Adam Russell is the new Sox pitcher and he fans Ibanez. Cairo grounds out to second. Lopez flies out to right. Answer: True, but that stuff is free like the toilet paper, post-it notes and pens in the supply closet, right?
The nicely named J.J. Putz is the latest, greatest Mariners pitcher in this one. Quentin grounds out to third. Griffey gets ahead 3-0 but then strikes out. Konerko draws a two-out walk. Swisher checks his swing and bounces out to second. We move to the ninth with the Sox up 12 runs.
Sox 15, Mariners 3
And finally, true or false, Amanda recently won a much-deserved and long-overdue award for her exemplary work. Russell remains and will be responsible for holding this lead. I don't know. Clement flies out to Anderson in center. Balentien strikes out and it's up to DaHair. Russell messes up DaHair with some heat. He goes down on strikes and this one's over. Final answer: True! And that's why we'll all be working for her some day.
Final: Sox 15, Mariners 3
The Sox crush the Mariners, sweep them, humiliate them, but still can't shake those pesky Twins, who beat Oakland today, 3-1. Thanks for reading, everyone. Hello ... anyone? The Amanda Kaschube Nation is silent.