Words between the lines of age

My friend Kate asked me the other day what my favorite word is. That’s a tough question for a writer to answer. It’s like asking a painter to pick his favorite color. Or asking a mailman to pick his favorite stamp. Or asking a politician to pick his favorite empty promise.

So, unfortunately, I was unable to settle on just one. But in the top five, certainly, is the word “penultimate.”



1. next to the last: the penultimate scene of the play.
2. of or pertaining to a penult.



a penult.

This, then, is an exciting day, because I get to use one of my top five favorite words. We are here at the penultimate game of the 2008 season. And this, therefore, would be my penultimate pregame blog entry of 2008, which would include our penultimate lineups and penultimate batch of pregame excruciating minutia.

And you know what? Now that I just used the word four times in a single paragraph, I can’t help but like it less.

INDIANS (80-80): CF Grady Sizemore, 3B Jamey Carroll, RF Shin-Soo Choo, SS Jhonny Peralta, C Victor Martinez, 1B Ryan Garko, DH David Dellucci, LF Ben Francisco, 2B Asdrubal Cabrera. LHP Zach Jackson (1-3, 5.96).

WHITE SOX (86-73): SS Orlando Cabrera, CF Brian Anderson, RF Jermaine Dye, DH Jim Thome, 1B Paul Konerko, 2B Alexei Ramirez, C A.J. Pierzynski, LF Nick Swisher, 3B Juan Uribe. RHP Javier Vazquez (12-15, 4.46).


  • Cliff Lee is doubtful to make Sunday’s start. He was playing catch before the game, and the Indians were to make their decision afterward. But Lee is still bothered by his neck, so I’d say there’s little to no chance he gets the nod tomorrow. Bryan Bullington will start in his place. White Sox fans rejoice.
  • Some medical updates for you… An MRI confirmed that Andy Marte has a moderate left calf strain, according to head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff. He will be out of commission for two to four weeks. He’ll head to Goodyear, Ariz., to rehab and get ready for winter ball.
  • Anthony Reyes has been shut down for 10 days. He’ll be shut down a total of 30 days before beginning a return to throw program at home in Los Angeles. Assuming all goes well, he’ll begin his normal offseason throwing program in January.
  • Aaron Laffey finished up his rehab of his elbow soreness and is entering the offseason at 100 percent, Soloff said.
  • This marks two consecutive days off for Travis Hafner. What gives? Eric Wedge said it’s not a physical issue. He just didn’t like Pronk’s numbers against Vazquez (4-for-22, no homers, six RBIs). Hafner will be in the lineup for tomorrow’s finale.
  • Chen-Chang Lee, the right-hander from Taiwan who was recently signed to a Minor League deal, made his organizational debut in the Fall Instructional League on Friday. He gave up a run on two hits in 1 1/3 innings, striking out a pair.
  • I guess my question is: Does it even matter if the White Sox make the playoffs? I’m finding it really difficult to imagine this team going anywhere.


UPDATE (6:35 p.m. ET): Yep, it’s official. Bullington’s getting the ball tomorrow. So Lee finishes off at 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA. Somewhat kinda halfway decent.


Commence the running of the Bullington! Cliff should be allowed to throw out the first pitch of the game to culminate an awesome season.. and be ushered to the mount on a chariot made of solid gold.

Number 1 with a Bullington!

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Great photo of Ozzie!

Congratulations Cliff Lee!!!!! 2008 CY Young winner. What a season.

“Penultimate” is one of my favorite words, too…largely because it’s such a random thing to have a whole big word for. I also enjoy “antepenultimate” (third to last) and “preäntepenultimate” (take a wild guess) — the last not least because it has a diaresis (the umlaut thingy).

Can the White Sox make history? Has any team ever played four consecutive games on four different days against four different teams. The Sox could (Indians, Tigers, Twins, and Rays).

I agree. It doesn’t matter if the White Sox or the Twins make it. Sadly, the AL Central was a HUGE letdown this year. The fact that someone is going to win it with less than 90 wins is embarrassing for a division that for years has been known as one of the toughest in baseball. On a brighter note, if we can find a third baseman, another starter, and have some consistency from guys who gave it this year and last, next year looks good (Am I the first to use the slogan of Cleveland?)

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