Emily Post published the seminal book of good manners, Etiquette, in 1922. In it, she laid out guidelines for courteous behavior for all occasions. Although society has changed, good manners haven’t. The Emily Post Institute offers contemporary etiquette tips for all occasions, such as weddings, business events, or just a casual party. I say all this because the Indians were the guests of the Chicago White Sox for ChiSox’s home opener on Friday. Opening Day is a big deal, full of pomp, circumstance, and optimism. A polite guest would have shown up, played nicely, and let the Wookie win. The Indians clearly did not review all of the tips for being a good guest.
Punctuality went out the window when the start of the game was delayed 15 minutes due to snow, rain, and whatever else a city on a lake can dish up. Another no-no is not to overindulge–as the Emily Post Institute says, “Attacking finger foods as if you haven’t eaten in a week will not only attract the wrong kind of attention, it will also leave less food for other guests.” By that standard, the Indians’ 7-1 win might be the equivalent of snarfing down half the sandwiches and blatantly double-dipping in the guacamole so many times that everyone else loses their appetite.
The Tribe wasted no time in spoiling this party, scoring three runs in the 1st. With Kipnis, Lindor, and Napoli loading the bases, Carlos Santana hit a dribbler that White Sox catcher Alex Avila picked up mid-way between the plate and the mound. For half a second, Avila looked like he was going to try and throw Jason Kipnis out at home. He decided against it and went for the out at first, which he should have done in the first place. The dithering cost the White Sox another run, as Avila’s throw went into right field, allowing Francisco Lindor to score. Yan Gomes hit a sacrifice fly to score Mike Napoli from third, and the Tribe was up 3-0.
The ill-behaved party guests picked up two more runs in the 2nd. With one out, Jose Ramirez doubled (and yes, he did lose his batting helmet rounding first). He then scored on a Rajai Davis triple. Jason Kipnis hit a sacrifice fly to bring Davis home, making the score 5-0.
A good host circulates among the guests, trying to start conversations and introduce newcomers. New White Sox Todd Frazier tried circulating a rally for Chicago in the 4th with a solo home run off Danny Salazar, but the White Sox simply weren’t up to the task. That was their only run of the day.
The Indians weren’t done making their host wish they’d never been invited. With two outs in the 5th, a string of singles by Francisco Lindor, Mike Napoli, and Carlos Santana and a double by Yan Gomes added two more runs.
Defensively the Indians also did their job. The infield turned two double plays and Yan Gomes picked Avisail Garcia off of first base in the 2nd inning. In addition, with a runner on and driving snow, Rajai Davis made a great diving catch to end the 5th inning and a possible rally.
Starter Danny Salazar went 5.1 innings in 39 degree weather, striking out nine and allowing only one run. Jeff Manship, Trevor Bauer, and Dan Otero combined to finish off the game. After his less-than-stellar outing in the home opener, it was particularly nice to see Bauer go two scoreless innings and notch 2 strikeouts. Final score: the hosts 1, the unruly party guests, 7.