The Chicago White Sox have beaten the Los Angeles Angels of Aneheim in five games to win the 2005 American League Championship Series and now move on to the World Series. I have three points:
1. In September, I thought the White Sox were dead. They were ramping up for the biggest regular-season collapse in baseball history. The Cleveland Indians cut the lead to 1½ games. I expected the Indians to pass the White Sox and win the division. In stead, the White Sox swept the Indians in the final three games of the season, then swept the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox in three games in the ALDS, and now have taken the final four games of the ALCS to win in five.
2. The Yankees did not lose to the eventual winner — or win the World Series — for the first time since 1998. Every year since then the Yankees have either won the WS, lost the WS, or lost to eventual Champion Angels (2002), or lost to eventual Champion Red Sox (2004). This year the Yankees lost to the Angels again, but the White Sox have eliminated the Angels.
3. It’s a conspiracy to sell Cubs merchandise. I said this last year. By winning the 2004 World Series, the Red Sox shed their “loveable loser” status. That left the Chicago Cubs as the biggest loser in baseball. This year, the White Sox are poised to not only shed the stigma of perennial failure, they are poised to separate themselves from their crosstown rival Cubs.