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Professional

Can the Sox parlay series win into something bigger?

It may not be quite the 2005 team, and the Yankees are bad, but weekend wins a reason for some optimism

Adam Engel and the White Sox won a pair of games at Yankees Stadium, but is that the kind of thing a rebuilding squad can use to vault them to bigger things?
Adam Engel and the White Sox won a pair of games at Yankees Stadium, but is that the kind of thing a rebuilding squad can use to vault them to bigger things?

Even if the surreal wintry spring weather suggested Chicago’s April calendar was nothing but a cosmic joke, there was in fact no time warp Sunday.

Yet there was Tiger Woods on TV winning his first Masters tournament in 14 years.

There, too, were the White Sox – for whom 2005 also was an excellent vintage – flexing some muscle in a 5-2 victory at Yankee Stadium as if they again were a team with which to be reckoned.

No one is saying this Sox team is on par with the ’05 World Series champs.

But this weekend, for the first time in a long while, the results on the field seemed to justify the optimism that puts the word “yet” at the end of that sentence.

As in: They’re clearly not on par yet.

But if someone who hasn’t won a golf major in more than a decade can triumph at Augusta National after all Woods has had to deal with, some of it self-inflicted, only a fool pretends to see the future.

What you could see Sunday was enough.

Had you worked the remote just so, you could
have toggled between 
Woods’ putt on the 18th hole for his fifth green jacket and Tim Anderson’s fourth-inning grand slam, which rallied the Sox from a 2-0 deficit.

The belt by Anderson, enabled the out-of-towners to take two of three in the Bronx, not a bad New York weekend for a bunch of naifs.

The Yankees have looked lousy this season – previously losing sets at home to the Orioles and Tigers – but winning a series is winning a series.

At least that’s what they’ll tell you on the North Side, where the Cubs are 5-9, just like the Sox, despite far more experience, far greater expectations and a much bigger payroll.

The White Sox had weather issues Friday night, playing the Yankees in a downpour that would have scuttled the S.S. Minnow.

It was a baptism of sorts for Eloy Jimenez, part of the quarry the Sox gained from sending pitcher Jose Quintana to the Cubs in 2017.

Jimenez, 22, hit the first two home runs of his major-league career in the rain-shortened 9-6 victory.

The Yankees series might have been a sweep had Yolmer Sanchez on Saturday timed his seventh-inning stretch better.

Sanchez’s error extended the Yankees’ time at the plate that inning, which led to three runs in what had been a scoreless game.

Then again, the Sox mustered only one hit in the 4-0 loss, so let’s not carried away.

At the very least, this is something they can build on – and there’s much building to be done, on the field and off.

While the White Sox aim to become contenders in the near future, a more pressing need is to make their franchise impossible to ignore.

Even when he doesn’t win, that’s something Tiger Woods has going for him. He’ll always draw a crowd.

When he does triumph, his presence becomes exponentially larger.

There are very few baseball teams like that, though Chicagoans probably can name at least one.

Most toil away like the pro golfers who show up at the tournaments each week, their profile rising and falling in sync with their most recent performances. They run hot or arctic cold, flying high or twisting in the breeze.

Make what you want of the highlights in New York, but it’s fair for the Sox faithful to find reason for hope.

If they can make it there, they can make it … well, you know the song.

Everyone knows it’s windy.

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