In the 2011 film Moneyball, Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, asked Peter Brand, the assistant general manager, played by Jonah Hill, a rhetorical question while watching a clip of a player hitting a home run for the first time in his life.

"How can you not be romantic about baseball?" Beane asked Brand.

For White Sox fans Tuesday night after Eloy Jimenez blasted a go-ahead two-run bomb to left center at Wrigley Field in his first appearance there, that's a question I was asking myself after the Sox beat the crosstown rival Cubs 3-1 to open their four-game series against each other with the latter two coming on the south side of town next month.

"Of course he did," I said out loud in an empty house after Jimenez not only gave the Sox the lead in the ninth inning, but broke his bat and still rocked a pitch off Pedro Strop to send Sox fans into a frenzy at Wrigley and watching at home like myself.

"Of course."

That was followed by a laugh, a cheerful yell and plenty of humorous tweets to follow because Jimenez stuck it to his old team and the one team the Sox have been compared to in their own rebuild for a plethora of reasons.

Sometimes in sports, there's moments like Jimenez's dinger that come along that your intuition tells you could probably happen. It happens as a sports fan.

To be honest, Jimenez hitting a home run wasn't a huge surprise for Sox fans like myself because that's why he was such a coveted prospect before and after the blockbuster Jose Quintana trade between the teams two summers ago, but it was the timing of the big fly itself.

Nobody out in a 1-1 game with a runner on first in the top of the ninth in his first game at Wrigley. The stars aligned for Jimenez to be the hero and that's exactly what he was, running the bases like the big, awesome kid he is, full of excitement and shock because when asked about the game-winning homer, Jimenez wasn't even sure the ball left the yard at first.

The long ball was a moment that'll live in the crosstown rivalry's history for a long time and it's a moment that Sox fans could very well be circling back to if the next couple years go according to plan for the young South Siders.

No rebuilding phase is perfect and so far, it's been a struggle for the Sox with massive injuries to Carlos Rodon, Michael Kopech and Jake Burger, who was slated to be the next third baseman for the Sox down the line, tearing his Achilles not once, but twice. Add in not signing Manny Machado or Bryce Harper this past offseason and questions about the rebuild itself were flying in from every direction.

However, Tuesday provided Sox fans with something they've been longing for and that's progress compared to amidst the rebuild from their big names and no names might be bigger than Jimenez in the grand scheme of things. He's arguably the most gifted bat that's graced the lineup since the youthful days of Frank Thomas.

It's just one game of 162. There's still a long way to go this season and in the rebuilding project that is the Chicago White Sox. They're not going to be a playoff team this season and that's fine. Nobody's really expecting them to be, even with them hovering around the .500 mark in the latter part of June as a member of one of baseball's worst divisions.

The beautiful thing with rebuilding is that there's no rush, especially with Rodon and Kopech done for at least this season and likely the start of the next season for Rodon specifically. Despite the hiccups along the way, they're 11 games better now (before Wednesday's game at 35-36) at this point in the season than they were last year.

It's coming along and when you're getting moments like Tuesday, patience and trust in the process is something Sox fans can give.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.