Fans skip work, watch Sox lose

CHICAGO The Sox fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4.

"It's the Cubs game all over again. The Sox just didn't have it together. And it's kind of a shame that I thought was the momentum going in they would have it together. But oh, well," said Sox fan George Lowe.

"They started out really well, but things kind of got out of control, facing a young Devil Rays team who try to swing at every pitch. It's hard to get these guys out," said Chris Chacon, Sox fan.

At Jimbo's, a Bridgeport watering hole near U.S. Cellular Field, the regulars figured there isn't a better place to watch an away game.

"It's going to be hot like the Rockies were and the Cardinals were of years past and win the World Series," said Vince Brandys.

"I was born and raised in Bridgeport, two-and-a-half miles from the park, and my last name is North, so my allegiance will be with the Cubs," said one South Side Cubs fan. "There's a lot of Cubs fans, believe it or not, in Bridgeport."

For Tim O'Brien, an 18-year firefighter who just transferred to the Bridgeport firehouse, it's a dream come true.

"Nice relaxed atmosphere down here," he said. "We're just more realistic. We haven't been waiting 100 years. We did hoist the hardware just three years ago."

Both Chicago teams are having challenges this postseason. Still, those who love the sport say baseball is the winner in 2008.

"If you look at all the times that one team was in the playoffs, the other one (was) either last place or close to it, so this is really something different, and it's really a great thing for Chicago," said Dan Helpingstine, author.

The Sox worked out Wednesday at the Tropicana Dome in St. Petersburg.

The Rays have the best home record in the majors this season and won the season series with the White Sox. It's their first ever trip to the postseason.

But the South Siders came in on a roll, winning three straight do-or-die games to get into the playoffs.

Carlos Quentin still needs more time

The injured White Sox outfielder was not listed on the playoff roster posted in the Chicago clubhouse Wednesday, a day before Game 1 against Tampa Bay.

Quentin led the AL in home runs when he broke his right wrist on Sept. 1 after slamming it on his bat in frustration. He has not given up on playing again should the White Sox advance in the postseason, and was hitting off a tee.

"As long I keep taking swings, I think they keep an eye on that," Quentin said. "I'm trying to do what I can to get back."

The All-Star left fielder hit 36 home runs with 100 RBIs this season, batting .288 in 130 games.

The posted lineup for the White Sox in the opener: SS Orlando Cabrera, LF DeWayne Wise, RF Jermaine Dye, DH Jim Thome, 1B Paul Konerko, CF Ken Griffey Jr., 2B Alexei Ramirez, C A.J. Pierzynski and 3B Juan Uribe.

The other position players on the listed roster were outfielders Jerry Owens and Brian Anderson, outfielder-infielder Nick Swisher, infielder Josh Fields and catcher Toby Hall.

Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said Mark Buehrle will start Game 2, with John Danks set for Game 3 and Gavin Floyd in Game 4, if necessary.

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