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Good thing Sox are used to this madness
By Barry Rozner | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 8/27/2010 11:32 PM | Updated: 8/27/2010 11:35 PM

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There was an important baseball game played on the South Side on Friday night, all superfluous evidence to the contrary.

Beyond the Daily Ozzie, a circus in and of itself, there was the Manny Ramirez waiver claim, the Guillen vs. front office debate, Joe Girardi addressing his future, the World Series champs in town, and for some reason yet to be explained, trophies from all four majors sports being displayed on the field before the game.

If that wasn't distraction enough - and what White Sox event would be complete without complete distraction? - Scottie Pippen was parading around the suite level during the game with the Stanley Cup.

Yeah, take a minute with that one.

Pippen was holding it out the window as if he might drop it into the crowd, causing a major stir each time he dangled the bowl, inducing players on the field to pause and search the stands.

It should come as little surprise then that late in the Sox' 9-4 victory a wave broke out in a capacity-filled upper deck.

Take a minute with that one, too.

In the meantime, you should know that the Sox pounded Yanks starter A.J. Burnett (9-12) to the tune of 9 runs on 8 hits in 31/3 innings, while Freddy Garcia (11-5) gave up just an earned run on 5 hits in 7 innings.

The Sox gave Garcia breathing room, which allows him to be Garcia, and they took the bullpen out of it, which is a smart formula.

They led 9-2 after 4 innings, which took nearly two hours, and the rest of the night was left to more distraction, but then, what team is better prepared for it than the White Sox?

Both teams tried to take the game seriously as the Red Sox beat the Rays to pull within 41/2 games of the AL East powerhouse pair, and the White Sox are trying to stay close to the Twins.

But to be in the park Friday night was to think of just about anything except baseball.

Good thing the White Sox are used to it - and that the postgame fireworks, for a change, had nothing to do with the manager.

South Side Joe?

The Yankees are getting quite a kick out of the notion that Joe Girardi would leave New York for the Cubs, a team that wanted nothing to do with him four years ago and hasn't won since Moses was a child.

As one New York scribe put it, there's a better chance of him managing the White Sox next year than the Cubs.

That's an idea put to paper here a few times over the years, and should Ozzie Guillen walk away, Girardi would be a very relaxing option for GM Ken Williams.

In the meantime, Girardi was asked Friday why anyone would assume he'd leave the Yanks in favor of the Cubs.

"I don't know. I don't write the articles," Girardi said. "I manage a baseball team. I deal in reality. I don't deal in speculation.

"My faith has always been important to me and because of that I never worry about next year."

The real world

Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey, who was with Girardi in Florida and goes far back to their Cubs days together, says being a Yankee is something most people will never understand.

"When Joe says his focus is on winning, it's all there is to it," Harkey said. "Winning is all we ever think about. Nothing else. We don't think about next year ever.

"The Cubs were part of his life and they'll always be a part of his life, but that's along time ago. His focus is here. This is a different world."

The good day

One of the benefits of returning to Chicago is that Joe Girardi gets to see his dad, who is in the late stages of Alzheimer's.

"Every time I see him, I'm aware that it might be for the last time," Girardi said. "It was a good visit. He hadn't spoken in a long time and out of the blue yesterday he speaks.

"I think sometimes it's the noise of my kids. They bring it out of him."

Family ties

Mike Harkey has one son, Tony, playing baseball at Cal State Fullerton, and his youngest, Cory, is a 6-foot-5, 260-pound tight end expected to start as a junior for UCLA.

The good guys

Former University of Georgia baseball player Chance Veazey, paralyzed in a traffic accident last year, was at the ballpark Friday as a guest of Georgia natives Greg Walker and Gordon Beckham, who invited Veazey and took care of his trip to Chicago.

And finally ...

Ozzie Guillen on Manny Ramirez possibly joining the Sox: "At least we'll be talking about Manny, not Ozzie. That'll be great for me."

• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM.