I think the lesson is clear. Winning game one is for suckers.
There's probably more I should write about this game, this series, this season, but I just don't feel like doing it right now. Everything went wrong for this team at the wrong time. And it may sound petty, it may sound like I'm not giving the White Sox starters any credit, but this was not a major league offense that they were facing. This was the same offense we'd seen disappear for weeks at a time during the regular season. This offense was worse than when Vlad was on the DL, because at least then there wasn't another automatic out in the lineup back then (only semi-automatic). Four complete games is not the sign of a hot staff, it's the sign of major leaguers facing a high school team.
Were the umps to blame? They certainly didn't help. None of the losses were their fault, but in another universe, it would be nice to see how the series would have played out with something approaching competent officiating. I said before that if the Angels won or if the Sox put it away early, then we can't blame the umps. I still think that's true. If this team was truly shaken up by some bad calls, and as a result could not find a way to push through, then they didn't deserve to be in this position to begin with.
There's a lot of work that needs to be done in the off-season, and I'll probably address that in the next few days, but I will say that there's a lot of work that I think simply won't be done. Too many guys that need to be shown the door are still under contract. We can all talk about what we think they need to do, and what we hope they will do, but when it all comes down to it, Darin Erstad will be at first base next season. Steve Finely will be in center. Garret Anderson will be patrolling left. Juan Rivera will be on the bench. Bengie Molina will probably be behind the plate. I'll say right now that 2006 does not look good, and while 2007 looks better (assuming Stoneman doesn't get all trade-happy), I don't think we'll be back in the post-season before 2008, when Kendrick, Wood, Morales, McPherson, Mathis, and Kotchman will be in the lineup every day.