10/21/05 2:00 PM ET
Press Row: Stage set for Game 1
By Ben Couch / MLB.com
Gregor sums up the expectations for the series in a second article for the Daily Herald:"... The White Sox are the overwhelming favorites to snap their 88-year run of postseason futility. "But when they stare across the field and size up Houston, the White Sox just might feel like they're looking into a mirror. "'This is going to be a good one,' said Sox general manager Kenny Williams. 'I think these are going to be some of the closest games in recent World Series history.' " Fan-atics The fervor of these two long-denied franchises is impressive. Several newpapers reported that $45 standing-room-only tickets in Houston were being resold for upward of $700. And Matthew Tresaugue of the Houston Chronicle reported an interesting mayoral decision in Houston: "Mayor Bill White urged Houstonians to participate in a 'no sox' weekend in support of the hometown team. "'My mother may not approve,' he said, before several members of his senior staff lifted their slacks to show off bare ankles. 'But let's show everybody that we're behind these Houston Astros.' " Meanwhile, Jon Yates of the Chicago Tribune wrote about the ticket shortage that has left many White Sox fans miffed: "[Brooks Boyer, the Sox vice president of marketing] said that just after the remaining tickets went on sale to the public at noon Tuesday, about 130,000 people were queued online hoping to purchase seats. Most of them, too, were shut out. "'What I'm concerned about is you never want any upset fans,' Boyer said. 'I wish we played in a 120,000-seat stadium where everybody could get in. The reality is we play in a 40,000-seat stadium and you try to please as many people as you can.' " Other Highlights Jeff Vorva of the Daily Southtown, on the recent celebrity of White Sox backup infielder Geoff Blum, who played for the Astros in 2002 and 2003: "When the Astros locked up the National League Championship Series on Wednesday night to set up a matchup with the Sox in the Fall Classic, Blum knew he'd be in demand. "'I spent the night studying and cramming for this,' Blum said. "He was joking, but he's going to be serious about giving advice about his former team and the strategy of playing at Houston's Minute Maid Park, where the left-field wall is an inviting 315 feet away from home plate [down the line], though the wall is 19 feet high. "'The first thing you see is that you can probably put the entire stadium on our infield,' Blum said. 'It's weird. It's like playing 'arena baseball' in there. It seems like the wall is on your back when you play third base but center field seems like it's a mile and a half away. There are interesting dimensions, but it's still a ballpark. If you pitch your game instead of pitching to the ballpark you can have success.' " Kathleen O'Brien of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, on crossed allegiances: "Many Astros fans might not realize that first-year general manager Tim Purpura grew up a die-hard Chicago White Sox fan. It figures the first time the White Sox have made the World Series since he was an infant is the first time Purpura can't root for them. "'I grew up in Chicago,' Purpura said. 'I was a White Sox fan in 1969, and this is the year when the Cubs were going to go to the World Series. I was the only kid in the neighborhood that liked the White Sox.'" Kristie Rieken of the Associated Press, on Astros pitching coach Jim Hickey: "On this team, the role for Hickey, who grew up on the Southwest Side near Midway Airport and graduated from Kennedy High School, is mostly one of motivation and understanding. "'I'm just a sounding board,' said Hickey, who never pitched in the majors. 'Really, we don't need pitching coaches, we need pitching psychologists.' " Chicago Tribune Sports Media columnist Ed Sherman, after discussing how Fox is enamored of the ebullient Guillen, points out that Guillen's managerial style could have financial repercussions for the network, which is broadcasting the games: "The network, though, would like him to change one part of his managerial approach: By having his starters pitch four straight complete games in the ALCS, Guillen didn't go to his bullpen. That prevented Fox from going to commercials during a pitching change. "At $375,000 for a 30-second spot, Fox will lose considerable revenue if Guillen sticks to the same routine in the World Series. "'He doesn't understand we run the cash register when he goes to the mound,' Fox Sports President Ed Goren joked."
Ben Couch is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.