Now that White Sox rookie Gordon Beckham has opened up the 80s music floodgates by choosing “Your Love” by The Outfield as his walk-up song for each at-bat, I feel empowered to dedicate other cheesy 80s songs to White Sox players.Â
And today, on the morning after his third walk-off hit of the season, Scotty Pods gets his very own cheesy 80s song dedication from Midwest Sports Fans.
The song “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John, in honor of the fact that three weeks into the season Podsednik was not even playing. Now, however, with the White Sox in the heat of a pennant race, you could make a very solid argument that he has been our team MVP this season.
So hit play and read on…
[track title="I'm Still Standing" artist="Elton John" url="http://www.midwestsportsfans.com/wp-content/uploads/mp3/I'm-Still-Standing.mp3" alt="Scott Podsednik Is Still Standing"]
So why this song? It’s pretty simply really:
- It’s cheesy as hell.
- You’ll all turn the volume down real low on your computers so as not to be caught listening to it by anyone.
- You’ll still enjoy it, and start tapping your foot, even if you won’t admit it.
- And, most importantly, the lyrics to the chorus of this song become exceedingly more apt with each big play that Podsednik makes this season:
Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind
But seriously, all 80s cheese aside, the 2009 story of Scott Podsednik combines two of the quintessential reasons why we love sports: the comeback story and the triumph of the underdog. Cast aside last season after 162 underwhelming at-bats for Colorado, a year after being cast aside by the White Sox after 214 other underwhelming at-bats, Scott Podsednik was sitting on his couch when the 2009 season began.
(I should quickly interject here that such a situation is probably more palatable for Scotty Pods than it might be for others. His wife is, shall we say, easy on the eyes; so at least he had that going for him.)
With the White Sox in desperate need for someone to produce at simply better than a below-average level at the top of the order, Podsednik got the call from the organization for whom he helped deliver a World Series title in 2005. Almost immediately Scotty Pods began delivering, going 2-4 with a run in his first game on May 1, one that I attended at The Ballpark in Arlington against the Texas Rangers.
He would go on to have three multi-hit games in his first five games back, which was nothing more than an auspicious precursor to what has become one of the truly great comeback stories of the 2009 baseball season. For the season, Pods is hitting .303 with 50 runs, 16 SBs, a .357 OBP, and 33 RBI.
And not one of those 33 RBI, or many of his 234 career regular season RBI, was bigger than the one he got last night.
The White Sox were hosting the Angels last night, baseball’s hottest team since the All Star Break and perhaps the AL’s most solid squad top to bottom. Coming off of a successful weekend series against the Yankees (in which Podsednik had 6 hits, 6 runs, and 5 RBIs), and with a tough road trip on the horizon, it was imperative that the White Sox get off to a good start in the series last night.
Heading into the bottom of the 9th inning the score was knotted at 4 a piece. With two outs, #9 hitter Jayson Nix stepped up to the plate and it appeared we were headed for extra innings. But Nix doubled, extending the game for at least one more at-bat. That’s when our hero, Scott Podsednik, strode to the plate with a chance to either a) get the game to Gordon Beckham with a walk or infield single, or b) win it himself with a line drive into the gap.
Much to the joy of Hawk Harrelson and White Sox fans everywhere, Pods chose option B and the game was OVVUHHH!Â
The win left the Sox three games over .500 and just a single game behind Detroit, and it further cemented Scott Podsednik’s status as one the most clutch and valuable players on a 2009 White Sox team that is starting to make its fans believe that it could be capable of delivering some pretty exciting and successful baseball down the stretch and into October.
Ozzie Guillen, who is typically never accused of understatement, had perhaps the understatement of the year when commenting on Podsednik’s game-winning hit from last night. From Joe Cowley’s game wrap at the Sun-Times:
‘‘I don’t think this ballclub would be fighting right now without Pods,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. ”I doubt it. He’s been great for us.”
Yes he has, and Pods has shown no signs of slowing down.
Quick trivia question: in 2005, two White Sox players were in the top 15 in the voting for the AL MVP. Â Who were they?
Answer: Paul Konerko (6th), Scott Podsednik (12th).
If Scotty Pods keeps playing as well as he has been, and helps ignite the White Sox all the way to an AL Central crown, he may squeeze his way into the top 15 again.
The last few weeks in the White Sox universe have been dominated by Mark Buehrle’s perfect game, the return of Carlos Quentin, and Gordon Beckham’s emergence from prospect to consistent producer. But make no mistake about it: there is no more prominent reason for why the White Sox are a game back in the AL Central and riding a wave of momentum than their rejuvenated catalyst at the top of the order.
Scott Podsednik is still standing all right, and he’s doing so much more than that: hitting, running, and walk-offing himself to South Side stardom once again and the White Sox right back into the thick of playoff contention.
Scott Podsednik walk-off photo credits: screen grabs from MLB.com