Who knew passing out the lineup card in the beginning of a game could be so interesting. Chicago White Sox bench coach Mark Parent was ejected during the ritualistic exchange of the lineup cards between the two teams and the four umpires on Sunday. Apparently, Parent had a problem with some of the calls from the previous two games. Umpire crew chief Jerry Layne didn’t want to hear any of it, and ejected Parent before the game even began. Goes to show that even in a game as repetitive as baseball, you can always see something new.
But Parent’s ejection was just the icing on the cake for a very entertaining White Sox-Rangers series. There was drama with A.J. Pierzynski’s return to U.S. Cellular Field since leaving for the Rangers in free agency. Pierzynski, a cult hero with White Sox fans received a standing ovation from the U.S. Cellular Field crowd in his final at bat of the day in Sunday’s contest. A fitting salute to one of the heroes of the 2005 World Series team.
Pierzynski memorably scored a run against the Cubs after slamming into Cubs catcher Michael Barrett and then slapping home plate with defiance. Barrett took exception and punched Pierzynski in the face, sparking a brawl in one of the more memorable Cubs-Sox series to date.
Chris Sale had a rare putrid outing on Friday and took his frustrations out on a water cooler in the Sox dugout. Sale saw his ERA creep above three for the first time in quite a while by the games conclusion after surrendering eight runs in a Rangers blowout victory.
Saturday featured the Civil Rights Game, where MLB celebrates the heritage of their groundbreaking African-American athletes and those who fought for equality in the Civil Rights movement in America. The game did not disappoint. Rangers starter Yu Darvish and Sox starter Hector Santiago pitched a stalemate surrendering two runs apiece. In the bottom of the ninth, the Sox won on a walk-off single from Josh Phegley that drove in Avisail Garcia.
It was a great weekend for White Sox baseball and the series contained many highlights for a White Sox season full of early low-lights. Can the Sox keep the good times rolling?