2006 Chicago White Sox Preview Custom Jerseys A New Era In Sports Equipment What To Look For In A Chess Set Getting The Right Sleeping Bag For You Dart Your Way To An Exciting Evening

2005 Overview:

After waiting 88 years for a World Series title, the Chicago White Sox and 2nd year Manager Ozzie Guillen entered the 2005 season on a mission. After an impressive rookie managerial season the Venezuela born Guillen led his troops to a division leading 99-63 record. The White Sox simply dominated the postseason losing only 1 game out of a total of 13 played – first by sweeping the defending champion Boston Red Sox and then by rolling past the Angels 4 games to 1.

Chicago went home from the Fall Classic against NL Champion Astros with a clean 4-game sweep grabbing their first World Series title since 1917. The White Sox fielded one of the stronger offensive lineups in 2005 with 1st baseman Paul Konerko (.283 40 100) and outfielder Jermaine Dye (.274 31 86) leading the charge. Outfielder Carl Everett (.251 23 87), 3rd baseman Joe Crede (.252 22 62) and newly acquired catcher A.J. Pierzynski (.257 18 56) also helped level out the rest of the 2005 lineup.

It’s often said that ‘pitching wins championships’ and in 2005 Chicago assembled one of the best starting rotations in baseball. Newly acquired Jose Contreras (15-7 3.61) and Freddy Garcia (14-8 3.87) sparkled in their new White Sox uniforms, while Jon Garland (18-10 3.50) and Mark Buehrle (16-8 3.12) rounded out the dominating starting staff. Newly acquired Reliever Dustin Hermanson (2-4 2.04) performed nicely in the bullpen saving 24 of 29 chances and doubling his output from the previous year with the San Francisco Giants.

Off Season Moves:

The White Sox did very little in the off season to change their team chemistry. Their biggest moves included re-signing first baseman Paul Konerko to a five-year, $60 million deal (he turned down $65 million from the Orioles) and trading for slugger Jim Thome (7 HRS in 59 games in 2005), who is scheduled to start the 2006 campaign as Chicago’s DH. The White Sox also strengthened an already strong rotation with a trade for Javier Vazquez (11-15 4.42) – they also acquired a versatile utility man in Rob Mackowiak (.292 9 58) from the Pirates.

Guillen and company seem to have a solid blueprint for success and it’s hard to find many flaws in their off season strategy. The only real weak point appears to be centerfield since at least for now it looks as if Brian Anderson (.176 in 34 AB in 2005) will take over for Aaron Rowand (.270 13 69) who was traded to Philly in the deal for Thome. Expect Thome (.274 42 105 in a full season in 2004) to blossom as a DH, saving himself from the wear and tear of playing 1st base everyday. He’s a player perfectly suited for the DH role and the White Sox were wise to trade for him. Thome should provide some nice offense alongside Konerko, Pierzynski, Dye and Crede. Chicago’s pitching in 2006 should be stronger (if that’s even possible!) with Javier Vazquez joining the rotation. Vazquez could prove to be another interesting addition to an already powerful staff. Much like the acquisitions of Contreras and Garcia in 2004, the White Sox are hoping Vazquez will fit in nicely and produce better numbers then last season.

Football Jerseys have undergone a complete change in its image, appearance and usage patterns. In the yesteryear sports jersey was just a part of the official sports equipment, nothing more nothing less. The jerseys meant for football players had long sleeves, were plain and their material was heavier than today’s National football league jersey. Their simplicity and plainness has been a reason for many comments. Reason for their plainness was that jersey was the team gear with no frills or designing. According to legendary football coach Darryl Royal, they were “working clothes”.

The growing popularity of National Football League (NFL) and advent of custom jerseys in the football teams has transformed the team gear. Team gear including the jersey has become trendier. Jersey has transcended its “working clothes” impression. Custom jerseys for today’s NFL football players have shorter sleeves, vibrant colors and attractive patterns. The football teams now pay considerable attention towards design and appearance of their team gear.

Beginning in 2010, the visiting team jersey shall meet the some criteria.The yoke of the jersey (from the neckline to the seam at mid-chest inclusive of theshoulders) and the body of the jersey (the area below the yoke) shall be white and shall contain only the listed allowable adornments and accessory patterns: stripes, a maximum of 1 inch in width, may be placed on the sleeves; a border, a maximum of 1 inch in width may be placed around the collar and cuffs; a sideseam (insert from the underarms to the top of the pants), a maximum of 4 inches in width may be utilized.

Also beginning in 2010, the home team jersey shall meet the following criteria: the yoke of the jersey and the body of the jersey may not include white except as:the jersey number, a decorative stripe, a border on the collar or cuff, a sideseasm.

Wearing replica jerseys for NFL football matches to support their team has not been a new phenomenon for the football fans. However, now the jersey has taken a step ahead and you will find many people wearing NFL authentic jerseys even out of the football arenas. Wearing national football league team-jersey of their favorite football team or player has become a personal style statement of the younger generation. This transformation is the reason for increasing demand of sports equipment in general and jersey in particular.

Moreover, the extreme popularity of football as sport in America has further popularized the jersey. There are too many avenues for football fans; some of them are NFL Football, College Football, NCAA Football and very popular Monday Night Football. These events have added to the growing demand for football jerseys and team gear. Many people have a passion for collecting authentic football jerseys (game worn) and replica jerseys of NFL stars.

There are almost as many different types and styles of chess sets as there are chess players. It may be hard to decide upon a particular set, but it’s relatively easy to narrow your choices down to a particular category. Here’s a look at the major categories that are available everywhere:

Theme Chess Sets

These types of chess sets depict characters, movies and events. There are theme chess sets for most major sports teams with pieces and pawns that resemble positions like quarterback and cheerleaders.

There are entire categories of cartoon character chess sets that are perfect for attracting younger people to the game. You can even get Civil War or WW II sets as well as Roman Gladiator and even old West models.

You’ll pay anywhere from $20 to over $2,000 for theme sets depending upon the theme and the materials used to make the set. Some sets are made with silver, gold and precious stones. Choose platinum if you have plenty of money.

Travel Chess Sets

If you’re on the go then folding travel chess sets are for you. They’re usually magnetic to protect against bumps and jolts. The pieces and pawns can be stored inside the board when folded. You can get a nice one for somewhere around $20, or a very basic one for $10 or less. You may even find miniature ones in the dollar stores!

Wood Chess Sets

Wood is a great material for chess sets. The pieces, pawns and board can be made from less expensive oak, pine or walnut, or you can choose exotic woods like teak, ebony, or cocobolo.

Wood sets are impressive to look at and the pieces feel solid. Because of the weight, they don’t make good choices if you’re looking for a portable set, but they are wonderful additions to your home or office. Wood sets run between $50 and $5,000. Let your budget be your guide!

Glass Chess Sets

Glass is the generic term used to describe chess sets which are made from crystal or bone china. Although these types of sets generally come in the theme or collector’s categories, you can fine regular pieces and pawns as well.

Crystal pieces have a good hefty feel to them, but china pieces will usually feel a bit light unless they have weighted bases. Although beautiful to look at, the pieces will break if dropped and fingerprints can become a problem on some models. They’re dust collectors too. Many people keep a glass set for “looks” and another type for actual play. Glass sets average in the $300 to $2,000 range, but you can pay a lot more if you want to.

No matter what material you choose, there is a chess set that’s right for your taste and budget. Instead of buying a set, consider buying the board, pieces and pawns separately. That way, instead of ending up with a chess set that’s another “me too”, you can design one that’s uniquely yours!

Going camping? Need to buy a sleeping bag? Here are a few tips to help you select the best one to fit your needs.

Shape / Design

One of the first factors to consider is the shape and design of the sleeping bag. A standard sleeping bag is a simple rectangle, usually with a zipper running up one side. The second primary design is the mummy bag, which is designed to fit the shape of the body. This allows it to more efficiently retain body heat. There are also variations of the two major design shapes, designed for various purposes.

Fill / Insulation

Sleeping bags are usually filled with down, or some synthetic material. Down filled sleeping bags are generally warmer, and more expensive. Synthetic sleeping bags are generally less expensive than down filled bags, and perform much better in wet conditions. The do not readily absorb water, and still ofer some insulation even when they do.

Wool and cotton are also sometimes used for insulation. Wool performs well, but is heavy. Cotton is heavy and performs very poorly in wet conditions. Both wool and cotton are best suited for stationary, protected camping, such as in a rustic cabin, where their drawbacks to not matter.

Temperature ratings

Most sleeping bags are given a uniform rating to help you determine what temperature weather they are suitable for. For European sleeping bags, they are rated using the EN 13537 standard. This standard uses four separate ratings:

Upper limit – the highest temperature an average man can sleep at without excessive sweating

Comfort – the most comfortable temperature for the average woman.

Lower limit – the lowest temperature at which the average man can sleep 8 hours (curled up) without waking.

Extreme – the minimum temperature that the average woman can remain in the bag for six hours without risk of death (frostbite may still occur).

If a sleeping bag only gives a minimum temperature, it is probably the Lower limit rating.

Be it at the bars, pubs, clubs or your own living room, darts are an excellent way of spending time with friends and family. Spending time at home will never be boring as long as you have a dartboard hanging in your room.

The history of the game of darts goes back a long time. Legend has it that soldiers during the Middle Ages used to throw spears at barrel bases or cut-up tree trunks to get over their boredom. This gradually gave shape to what we now know as dart games. The system of scoring, followed across the world, came into being during the early 18th century.

Dart games have become popular over the years as it is inexpensive to play, can be played indoors during bad weather, no dress codes are required, and can be played by anyone – male or female, young or old.

The basic requirements are a dartboard and darts. With the advancement of technology dartboards have also evolved through the times. The most common dartboard is the bristle board – either cork or sisal. Cork dartboards deteriorate quickly with continued used, as the darts leave holes in the boards and the cork crumbles. The fibrous nature of sisal, however, is able to overcome this drawback and has therefore gained popularity. Sisal does not crumble even after constant use. Electronic dartboards are also available, and are equipped with sensors allowing for automated scoring.

There are various types of darts. The main parts of a dart are the tip, barrel, shaft and flight. Tips are either steel or soft. Soft tips are preferred on electronic dartboards and cork dartboards and are also recommended for new players. Steel tips are for the more experienced dart players. Shafts also come in various types. Synthetic flights are the most common nowadays and can be combined with the shafts. The use of feathers as flights has decreased considerably nowadays.

Many dart accessories are available nowadays. Instead of simply hanging the dartboard on walls, dart cabinets can be used to add style and elegance to your dart game. Many players also attach add-a-grams to get the required weights on the darts. The perfect weight improves accuracy in shooting. Dart mats are useful for new players, as the bounce-off from the boards may cause considerable damage to the floor. It is also important to have a rulebook as there are many methods of keeping scores and the game can be played under different rules. Scoreboard is also a must if you are not using electronic dartboards.

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