Sunday, December 25, 2005

THE RESILIENCE OF CHANGED NHL RULES

There ain’t any surprise that Brian Anderson may be patrolling center field for the White Sox in 2006. These days though he is in a perfect holiday mood, on the contrary he is perpetually full of holiday cheer, whether it's December or August, but his always upbeat but still laid-back attitude won’t work out everywhere. As he takes over for Aaron Rowand in center field for the White Sox during the 2006 campaign, the young outfielder would be just as comfortable throwing no-look passes to Kobe Bryant out in Los Angeles as he will be gathering in fly balls in the Windy City. Many of you won’t know that baseball isn't his favorite sport. His favorite sport is basketball. And while he knows he's living out a dream right now, it just wasn't the original dream he had as a youngster in Southern California. As he watched the Magic Johnson-led Lakers teams of the late Eighties and early Nineties dominate professional basketball, he wove some different fancies for himself. He always wanted to be a better shooter. It was only as a sophomore in high school he realized that his ability with the lumber would be his ticket rather than his ability to play on the hardwood. During his sophomore year he watched Ian and his whole life going gung ho about baseball. So Anderson discarded his basketball dream, only occasionally shooting around these days as he is preparing for his chance to be the starting center fielder for the defending World Champs on Opening Day. His opportunity came about when the Sox dealt Aaron Rowand to Philadelphia in the Jim Thome deal. Anderson hit .295 in 118 games at Triple-A Charlotte, smacking 16 homers and driving in 57. He got the call to come to Chicago in August when Scott Podsednik got hurt and proceeded to hit .176 with two homers and three RBIs in a 13-game audition. He is playing with No. 44, though he wanted 32, that was Magic Johnson's digits after all, but Dustin Hermanson is the owner of that number.

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