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"To Cicotte, who had known Burns over the years, his performance was baffling. He had never sensed that the drawling Texan was capable of anything like this. Burns could make a dozen mistakes, find himself in a manure pile of troubles, yet now he came up clean. Cicotte need slip only once, and they'd be cutting him in pieces."
Eddie Cicotte feels very underrepresented in his team. Having been shortchanged on a deal for a bonus this season by manager Comiskey, he is looking for trouble. Cicotte suspects that his performance is being judged differently than players like Burns because he's already been playing so well and Comiskey doesn't want to pay him more.
"To Replogle, the players were victims. The owners poured out a stream of pious, pompous verbiage about how pure they were. The gamblers said nothing, kept themselves hidden, protected themselves -- and when they said anything, it was strictly for cash, with immunity, no less. But the ballplayers didn't even know enough to call a lawyer. They only knew how to play baseball."
Asinof describes the disparity in the treatment of the various parties under investigation after the 1919 World Series. He points a finger at the team owners and management who, after treating their players poorly, were quick to disown them for misconduct. Of guilty parties, Asinof focuses on the simplicity of the ball players' offense. They got greedy. Unfortunately they climbed into a scheme with high-rollers whom they were not prepared to compete with. Thus the players took the fall for both the gamblers, and the team management.
"The excitement of the Series was prevalent throughout the country. The games would be telegraphed to every major city in America. Halls were hired to which Western Union would relay the action, play by play. Fans would experience the curious sensation of cheering a third strike or base hit in a smoke-filled room a thousand miles from the scene. Over 100,000 miles of wire were to be used for this purpose, servicing 10,000 scoreboards in 250 cities, from Winnipeg, Canada, to Havana, Cuba.
This was the climax of baseball, 1919, the first sporting classic to be played since the end of the World War in Europe."
In this excerpt, Asinof attempts to characterize the magnitude of the event of the 1919 World Series. Not only was it the championship of the country's favorite pastime, but this one in particular was anticipated. The entire nation was watching the White Sox. And every pain was taken to ensure it was the event of the year.
"To the Cincinnati fans, there was a throbbing nervous excitement and a secret foreboding. For all their enthusiasm, few could realistically anticipate a World's Championship. Deep down inside, they foresaw the adversary walking all over them. Not even Miracle Men could be expected to stop the all-powerful colossus from the West."
As Asinof describes, there existed an unspoken assumption that the White Sox would win this year. Their season was just unbeatable so far. Although the event was highly anticipated, few expected a head-to-head challenge.
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