We all know what really happened but this is what almost happened:

Opening Day ” Burleigh wins 1-0 but beer venders complain that the game lasted less than two hours. Burleigh is not allowed to pitch any more home games.

May 16″Sports radio fans complain that Juan Uribe swings like a 4 year-old and worse, doesn’t look like a shortstop. Uribe responds angrily, “You’ll never see me diving into the stands for these fans!”

June 2″Tired of the fact his players can’t understand what he’s saying; Guillen decides to lead by example. He activates himself and replaces Uribe at short. Ninety- year-old Al Lopez steps in to manage the team from his Florida home.

June 20″Through an interpreter Tadahito Iguchi says the Sox don’t hold a candle to the Kyoto Carp.

June 25″Sports radio fans get their wish when light-hitting third baseman Joe Crede is traded for Ken Griffey, Jr. Griffey retires rather than joining another struggling team.

July 1″Distraught by their poor first half pitching, Jose Contreras and Orlando Hernandez climb into a dinghy in Burnham Harbor and start paddling back to Cuba.

July 10″With Podsednik 0-29 in stolen bases, First Base Coach Tim Raines activates himself and dramatically switches places with Podsednik on first base. Raines steals second on the next pitch.

July 20″Starting staff goes down with Garland (sneeze) and Garcia (shaving accident) lost for season. Most crippling injury is Marte’s mental breakdown, which causes him to toss the first underhand lobs in major league history.

August 1″Paul Konerko, booed because all 30 of his home runs are solo shots, complains, “Tough Polish guys like me are never going to get respect from these elitist South Siders.”

August 10″With Sox 15 games out, Reinsdorf sells team to Donald Trump in exchange for a free condo in Trump Tower. “I’m just a kid from Brooklyn who always wanted to live on the 61st Floor,” Reinsdorf explains.

August 11″Commissioner Bud Selig recommends that small market teams like the Sox, who have no chance to reach the World Series, should fold their franchise and become a farm team for a better-established ball club. He mentions the Brewers could sure use some of the Sox players.

August 11″to September 30 ” Angered by Selig’s remarks, the Sox go on a tear. With their offense relying completely on dropped third strikes, the Sox surge to a game and half behind Cleveland. Guillen also gives credit for the comeback to his new rotation of Wilbur Wood, Richard Dotson and Jack McDowell.

October 21″Sox face Astros in World Series. TV sets click off across America. Umpires announce that they will make sure the Sox don’t throw the Series again by giving them every call.

October 26″Pierzynski clinches championship by stealing home when everyone else thought the inning was over. Even though his name is never mentioned all season, Jermaine Dye is named World Series MVP. Standing on top deck of busses, the entire Sox team barely avoids decapitation by the Lake Street L during victory parade. Oh wait, that did happen. Go Sox!

John Rice

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.