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Sometimes, things really aren't fair
By Mike Imrem | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 8/18/2010 12:00 AM

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Nobody said sports are supposed to be fair to sports fans.

Take Tuesday.

In the afternoon word arrived that quarterback Todd Collins decided not to sign with the Bears and that quarterback Brett Favre arrived at Vikings camp.

Remember, that's a backup rejecting the Bears and a Hall of Famer embracing the Vikings. Chicago had one coming after that, don't you think?

The equalizer certainly would come in the form of the White Sox beating the Twins in the evening's opener of the teams' potentially pivotal three-game series in Target Field.

Well, the sports gods didn't agree.

First of all, the first-place Twins won this one 7-6 to expand their lead in the American League Central over the second-place Sox to 4 games.

Second, the winning run in the 10th inning came on former Sox designated hitter Jim Thome's 2-run homer.

Third, the Sox were just starting to feel good about themselves after tying the score in the ninth inning on Alexei Ramirez's home run.

Fourth, the loss came two innings after Twins baserunner Delmon Young applied a hard, nasty, perhaps dirty, facial to Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski on a play at the plate.

The roughhousing added a little more spice to the series, as if playing for the division lead in August weren't enough.

No, it isn't enough. It shouldn't be enough, anyway. There should be some bitterness to go along with the high stakes.

You know, like there was last week when the Reds and the Cardinals were playing for first place in the NL Central, mumble turned to grumble and grumble turned to rumble.

The Sox didn't have time to retaliate at the moment for the shot Young took at Pierzynski, the former Twin whom Minnesota fans love to hate.

Instead the Sox had to worry about the outcome of the game, which they needed to win to draw closer to the Twins in the division race.

Now 2 more losses to complete the series would leave the Sox 6 games behind the Twins and unlikely to catch their balance or Minnesota during the stretch run.

So this game was huge, and there Thome was to snatch it away from the Sox.

Newspaper stories in both Chicago and the Twin Cities on Tuesday morning proclaimed the Sox losers in deciding not to re-sign Thome to continue as their designated hitter for a fifth straight season.

Still, early in this game Sox DH Mark Kotsay hit a 2-run homer to at least ease some of the pain of the decision.

Ah, but in the end Thome did what he did best, and did it lefty hitter against lefty pitcher, and did it off crack Sox reliever Matt Thornton.

Thome also helped the Twins beat the Sox two games to one in their series last week at Chicago.

Add it all up and this was the worst nightmare for the Sox, manager Ozzie Guillen (who wanted a rotating DH system) and general manager Kenny Williams for letting him have his way.

So the Twin Cities beat Chicago all the way around Tuesday, starting with Favre flying into Minnesota and ending with Thome's homer flying out of Target Field.

My goodness, those people up just don't seem to understand that we're the sports capital of the Midwest.