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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sox Machine: Grace period doesn’t apply to 2005 White Sox

When you live solely by stressing the quality and effort on the field, and then Williams makes a clearly wrong move that undermines his chances for years (like the second Nick Swisher trade, and potentially the Dan Hudson trade), I don’t think any kind of grace period should cover that. A title makes it easier to shrug off subsequent iffy decisions (like the Jose Contreras extension), but too much money is involved to stand idly by as the guy in charge shoots his product in the foot.

But on the other hand, when Juan Uribe fired the ball to Paul Konerko for the final out five years ago to the day, it definitely changed something about how my brain functions as a baseball fan.

There aren’t many advantages to rooting for a historically insignificant franchise. It’s harder to get national recognition, it’s harder to find good historical reference material, and it’s harder to find the more interesting merchandise.

But being able to savor victories is one of the benefits. From what I can tell in the office, I enjoyed an 88-win season without a playoff appearance more than Yankees fans enjoyed reaching the ALCS, and I honestly don’t think I would want the roles reversed.

Thanks to Herb L.

Repoz Posted: October 28, 2010 at 11:03 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, white sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Hombre Brotani Posted: October 28, 2010 at 01:30 PM (#3677947)
They gone.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 28, 2010 at 01:38 PM (#3677951)
From what I can tell in the office, I enjoyed an 88-win season without a playoff appearance more than Yankees fans enjoyed reaching the ALCS, and I honestly don’t think I would want the roles reversed.

I think there's a confusion here between enjoying the season and being satisfied with the outcome.

I, and most Yankee fans I'd suspect, enjoyed the season a whole lot, up until the ALCS. We're just unsatisfied with the outcome.
   3. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: October 28, 2010 at 01:48 PM (#3677954)
I, and most Yankee fans I'd suspect, enjoyed the season a whole lot, up until the ALCS. We're just unsatisfied with the outcome.

Nah, the Yankees got farther than they deserved to go.
   4. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: October 28, 2010 at 03:40 PM (#3678088)
I'm satisfied with the 2010 season. The last month of the regular season and the last week of the postseason were a drag, but it was fun overall.
   5. Vance W Posted: October 28, 2010 at 04:35 PM (#3678133)
There is definitely something to be said for being a fan of a "historically insignificant franchise." When some achievement finally does come your way it is infinitely sweet. Being a Ranger fan in 2010, I finally understand what the big deal was with the Amazin' Mets of 1969. Frankly, the AL pennant is so far beyond what I expected in my heart of hearts that a World Series victory would just be icing on the cake.

I don't mean to be negative about Yankee fans. Y'all have a perfect right to like who you like, especially if you have NY or family connections. But it would lessen my experience if "my" team were so perennial successful. It's like they wouldn't "need" my support.
   6. Magnum RA Posted: October 28, 2010 at 05:09 PM (#3678170)
I'm a 33 year old Oriole fan. I have foggy memories of the 1983 series. Save for three years, they've been absolutely horrid my whole baseball understanding life. 1989 was absolutely the greatest season ever. It wasn't like the O's went out and spent 100 million getting Raffy, Alomar, Bordick, Bonilla, and whoever else. That was a team that started off 0-21 the year before (and almost filled Memorial Stadium after 17 consecutive losses), went largely unchanged and just played their asses off for a year. Man, that was awesome.
   7. Matthew E Posted: October 28, 2010 at 05:17 PM (#3678174)
Since when are the White Sox historically insignificant?
   8. aberg Posted: October 28, 2010 at 05:18 PM (#3678175)
I don't remember this sentiment when the White Sox fans were talking about how they were going to overrun the Twins because they had an easier schedule and Morneau was out with 2 weeks to go.
   9. TerpNats Posted: October 28, 2010 at 05:20 PM (#3678176)
Since when are the White Sox historically insignificant?
Since Ken Burns effectively said so. (See 2005 vs. 2004.) Even if the Bosox and Chisox title-winning seasons had been flipped in order and the White Sox had ended their "curse" first, one doubts the non-Chicago media would have made much of a fuss about it.
   10. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: October 28, 2010 at 05:23 PM (#3678182)
I don't remember this sentiment when the White Sox fans were talking about how they were going to overrun the Twins because they had an easier schedule and Morneau was out with 2 weeks to go.

I think you're mistaking "White Sox fans" with "Hawk Harrelson". Please do not paint us with that brush.

Most realistic White Sox fans were expecting somewhere around 80 wins, with 85 as the optimistic projection. The hope was that the Twins would play down to that level. 88 wins was a very nice outcome, given preseason expectations.

Fun fact - the White Sox went 5-13 against the Twins, so their crappy play in head-to-head games cost them eight games in the standings. The Twins won the division by six games.
   11. Styles P. Deadball Posted: October 28, 2010 at 05:40 PM (#3678199)
I, and most Yankee fans I'd suspect, enjoyed the season a whole lot, up until the ALCS. We're just unsatisfied with the outcome.


Admit it, you're miserable all the time, except for fifteen minutes after a WS championship. The rest of us need it to be that way.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: October 28, 2010 at 05:41 PM (#3678200)
Since when are the White Sox historically insignificant?


I like the other Sox. I live among White Sox fans. My father-in-law is a big White Sox fan. Having said that, for the most part, theirs is a pretty insigificant history compared to most franchises of that age. They're a pretty firm No. 2 in their city. They went 80-plus years without doing a whole lot of anything - one pennant, very few of baseball's best players being associated with the team and no inner circle greats. While I'd agree that their title in 2005 deserved more attention that it received, it's not like the game's themselves weren't broadcast. It simply didn't capture people's attention.
   13. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: October 28, 2010 at 05:50 PM (#3678210)
There are no exceptions.... That’s just the way it is. You win the Super Bowl, you go on cruise control for five years. Everything else is gravy.


Then why is this Saints season making me so %$#@%$#@ crazy?
   14. Matthew E Posted: October 28, 2010 at 05:52 PM (#3678215)
Well, I think the White Sox are significant. And Ken Burns can eat applesauce.
   15. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: October 28, 2010 at 05:52 PM (#3678217)
I don't remember this sentiment when the White Sox fans were talking about how they were going to overrun the Twins because they had an easier schedule and Morneau was out with 2 weeks to go.

I think you're mistaking "White Sox fans" with "Hawk Harrelson". Please do not paint us with that brush.

Yup, that was Hawk's line. Which he said, many, many, many times. I don't think most people bought it.

Since when are the White Sox historically insignificant?

I'd say their national resume before Frank Thomas was: Black Sox, Go-Go Sox, Disco Demolition, short pants. That's not much to be proud of for a 110-year-old team.

Almost all the White Sox history books out there are written by two guys, which is why I'm trying my hand at it.
   16. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: October 28, 2010 at 05:54 PM (#3678219)
Almost all the White Sox history books out there are written by two guys

I know of Rich Lindberg. Who is the other one?
   17. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: October 28, 2010 at 06:02 PM (#3678226)
I know of Rich Lindberg. Who is the other one?

Bob Vanderberg.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: October 28, 2010 at 06:36 PM (#3678260)
#15 sums it up. You could also point out that, until Harold Baines, the White Sox HR record was held by Bill Melton ... with 154. I see they've never had anybody hit 400 or steal 80 bases or win 30 games (after 1908) or win 300 games or K 300 guys in a season or 3,000 guys in a career. Their inner-circle guy was Eddie Collins who spent half his career elsewhere (as did Fisk and Baines) and had few true greats pass through (Seaver and Allen are the only ones that spring to mind). They've only won 100 games once (1917).

Oh yeah, in addition to the Black Sox and Disco Demolition and short pants, you've got the Dick Allen fiasco. And while I love me some Bill Veeck, he's not the guy you want running your team if you want to be taken "seriously."

They've never had a Mr. Cub or a Cal Ripken or a Jackie Robinson -- a recognized iconic figure. They've had some players who could have been that -- Appling, Minoso, Thomas spring to mind -- but, for whatever reason, those guys never caught the level of media attention and adulation that's required to become Mr. Sox.

They've never been a glamour team, they've never been a dominant team, they've never even achieved the status of "heartbreaking team" (Red Sox, Brooklyn Dodgers) or "lovable losers" (Cubs), they've never been a trendy team. Those are mostly all good things but they will get you overlooked by history.

Or just look at movies and TV -- has there ever been a movie or series set in Chicago where one of the characters was a die-hard Sox fan? The Cubs and Wrigely Field show up all the time in that stuff. They have simply never captured the national attention.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: October 28, 2010 at 06:38 PM (#3678262)
I know of Rich Lindberg. Who is the other one?
Bob Vanderberg.

I hope your name ends in "berg" or you've got not shot. :-)
   20. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: October 28, 2010 at 07:46 PM (#3678358)
As much as I'd like to be a "demand excellence" fan, I am (for now) rather content with the White Sox. Bill Simmons has the "5 year grace period" theory after a 'chip, so according to that the Sox are back on the clock starting next year. That said, the Twins have clearly raised the ante in the Central -- new park, solid club, increased revenue and spending -- and the Sox are going to be hard pressed to get many more miles out of their aging clunker. KW has sold most of the farm (at discount mostly) to outfit it with parts (new and old) but at some point they've just gotta junk the thing and start from scratch.

Sorry for that tortured metaphor.
   21. Matthew E Posted: October 28, 2010 at 08:12 PM (#3678379)
has there ever been a movie or series set in Chicago where one of the characters was a die-hard Sox fan?


The dad in A Christmas Story (aka In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash) was a Sox fan. At least in the book he was; I can't remember if they used it in the movie.
   22. BDC Posted: October 28, 2010 at 08:22 PM (#3678390)
Oddly enough, there are more good novels written about the White Sox than any other major-league club. Many of these are Black Sox novels (Hoopla, Blue Ruin, Shoeless Joe, Shadow Ball), but You Know Me Al predates 1919 and is arguably the first serious adult baseball fiction, and there are also interesting ones like Chin Music and The Man Who Once Played Catch With Nellie Fox. James T. Farrell was a Sox fan (My Baseball Diary is worth reading), and Stuart Dybek is a Sox fan. By contrast there are really no good Cubs novels. I don't know why this should be; I agree that all signs point to the cultural dominance of the Cubs in Chicago.

Runners-up in the literary pennant race are the (NY) Giants, (Brooklyn) Dodgers, and the Red Sox.
   23. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: October 28, 2010 at 08:36 PM (#3678402)
I hope your name ends in "berg" or you've got not shot. :-)

####.

I think it's also worth noting that the Sox haven't had one uniform as long as they've had this black and white, Old English logo. Outside of maybe the '50s, they've never had one consistent, defining, iconic look since the Black Sox days -- except for the jokes (the shorts, the lapels).
   24. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: October 28, 2010 at 08:43 PM (#3678409)
I'd say their national resume before Frank Thomas was: Black Sox, Go-Go Sox, Disco Demolition, short pants. That's not much to be proud of for a 110-year-old team.

You forgot the scoreboard. Regardless it's Black Sox and Bill Veeck at the end of the day.
   25. Eddo Posted: October 28, 2010 at 09:00 PM (#3678429)
Oddly enough, there are more good novels written about the White Sox than any other major-league club... Shoeless Joe...

Ugh, I hated Shoeless Joe. And there quite a bit about the Cubs in there, too, if I recall (the whole "Oldest Living Chicago Cub" storyline).

------

I think it's also worth noting that the Sox haven't had one uniform as long as they've had this black and white, Old English logo. Outside of maybe the '50s, they've never had one consistent, defining, iconic look since the Black Sox days -- except for the jokes (the shorts, the lapels).

This is an underrated factor in significance, I feel. And I really hope the Sox keep the current look, it's quite nice.
   26. karlmagnus Posted: October 28, 2010 at 10:48 PM (#3678508)
What about the Hitless Wonders? Just as iconic as the Go-Go Sox, and they actually won? White Sox very distinguished history; it's just all a LOOONG time ago.
   27. Rough Carrigan Posted: October 29, 2010 at 01:54 AM (#3678784)
Bob Vanderberg


I think I bumped into him at Swerzki's Sport Coats.
   28. TerpNats Posted: October 29, 2010 at 02:21 AM (#3678868)
The dad in A Christmas Story (aka In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash) was a Sox fan. At least in the book he was; I can't remember if they used it in the movie.
The author, Jean Shepherd, was a renowned Chisox fan. Here's his most famous quote about the team:

"If I was ever ordered to storm a pillbox, going to sheer, sudden and utterly certain death, and told to pick my platoon, I would pick six White Sox fans. I would pick Sox fans because they have known death every day of their lives -- and it holds no terror for them anymore..."
   29. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: October 29, 2010 at 02:43 AM (#3678944)
Kinda similar to what Bill Veeck wrote in Veeck as in Wreck:

"To the White Sox rooter there is nothing casual or relaxing about baseball. Wake him up in the middle of the night, ask him who he is and he will say, "I am a carpenter and a White Sox fan." He may or may not have inherited his trade from his father, but the chances are very good that he inherited his rooting interest in the White Sox. This kind of family solidarity can only come out of adversity and trial by fire. The White Sox had long ago tested the loyalty of their rooters; the weak and faint of heart had fallen by the wayside and only the strong, the dedicated and the masochistic remained.

"If there is any justice in the world, to be a White Sox fan freed a man from any other form of penance."
   30. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 29, 2010 at 07:04 AM (#3679120)
Eight Men Out is gets my vote for best baseball movie.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: October 29, 2010 at 07:06 AM (#3679121)
Oddly enough, there are more good novels written about the White Sox than any other major-league club.

I was going to point this out. Well, not sure about good, but they do seem to pop up in fiction much more often. There's a wonderful Minnie Minoso bit in, I think, Last Catholic in America (or Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up) and they were owned by the Kremlin.

EDIT: and I know the old Seminary restaurant (Lincoln, Clark, Fullerton) is in the Illuminati Trilogy but can't remember if the Cubs or Sox make an appearance.
   32. Greg K Posted: October 29, 2010 at 09:46 AM (#3679140)
EDIT: and I know the old Seminary restaurant (Lincoln, Clark, Fullerton) is in the Illuminati Trilogy but can't remember if the Cubs or Sox make an appearance.

Whoa, this brings back memories. I remember in high school I loved the Illuminati trilogy. When I was 14 I think I asked for the Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy and Prometheus Rising for Christmas.

And I did a book report in grade 9 about the numerology of George Washington and Adam Weishaupt's names...man, I must have been an annoying kid.

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