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Comparing the 2005 Champions to the 2011 Chicago White Sox

In almost all instances, preseason baseball predictions need to be taken with a grain of salt.

This is especially true in examining, and trying to figure out who is going to be playing in the Fall Classic when it’s all said and done. Case in point–the Giants were on very few lists to win the trophy last March.

The same was the case before the 2005 MLB season when the 19 ESPN “experts” made their picks on who would be on top at the end. 16 of them chose the Twins, 1 Tigers, 1 for the Indians, and one (Rob Neyer) went with the “South Siders”.

Unknown to the baseball world, the White Sox would be one of a select few teams that would go ‘coast-to-coast’ through the season, never relinquishing 1st place.

Emotional ties to that team will forever be linked between fans and those players, but the years go on, and the thirst to return to the World Series grows for the White Sox.

Some in the White Sox organization have said this is the best team on paper that the Sox have had since winning it all. Paul Konerko, A.J Pierzynski and Mark Buehrle are the only players from that team left, and hopefully can bring the vibes back to the Sox as they go “ALL IN”.

When comparing the teams, both have deep starting pitching, and bullpens that some might question yet could be the key in the end.

The infield this season is more consistent than in 2005 with the likes of Joe Crede, Juan Uribe, and Tad Iguchi who would all have career years; or close to it.

The outfield might be close, but this year’s team seemingly has more talent. But, the impact that Scott Podsednik, Aaron Rowand, and Jermaine Dye had was paramount to the run they went on.

Alex Rios will need to play a full season of good baseball. Juan Pierre is going to give the Sox what a solid leadoff hitter much in Podsednik’s likeness, and Quentin would have to get close to the form he showed back in 2008.

And, at the end of the day they have the same guy in Ozzie Guillen as manager who surely wants to end this mini-drought that the White Sox have fallen upon.

Most analysts may side with taking the White Sox to do big things this season because of the Tigers issues with Miguel Cabrera; the Twins issues with Justin Morneau, and simply the Indians and Royals issues.

The three catalysts to try to capture the “magic” of ’05 in my summation are:

  • Stay healthy (that means you Carlos Quentin, Jake Peavy, etc.
  • All In” means “All In” (make a deal at the deadline if needed to get over the hump; players like “El Caballo” Carlos Lee among others could be on the market)
  • Gain a swagger against the Twins.

If the White Sox are to make a run they certainly have the talent. It should be a fun ride.

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Closing Time: Who Should Be the Chicago White Sox Closer?




Wind the clocks back five years


 The White Sox team that went coast-to-coast in first place were truly a complete team that had it all. In June of that season Bobby Jenks stepped up to become the man that Ozzie Guillen went to in the 9th after injuries hampered Dustin Hermanson. Ozzie did have some other options at the time with Cliff Politte and Damaso Marte as options.

However, Jenks with his 98 MPH fastball proved that he had what it took to get the done. Five months after becoming the closer for the Sox, Jenks was the man on the mound when the White Sox captured the World Championship in Houston.

Now in 2010 the White Sox are trying to simply win their division, and overcome the ever-present Minnesota Twins. For most of the season the team’s strength was a bullpen that any manager would feel confident turning to in the latter innings. But, as of late the team has run into issue in this department, as the most glaring concern is the closer role.

Looking at the team’s poised to make the postseason it becomes apparent that closer is a linking commonality that these teams share.

New York Yankees- Mariano Rivera

Tampa Bay Rays- Rafael Soriano

Minnesota Twins- Matt Capps

Texas Rangers- Neftali Perez

Atlanta Braves- Billy Wagner

Philadelphia Phillies- Brad Lidge

Cincinnati Reds- Francisco Cordero

St. Louis Cardinals- Ryan Franklin

San Diego Padres- Heath Bell

 Chicago White Sox-  ?


By no means does is closer situation the only area that holds the White Sox season in the balance, but it defintely is one of the more important ones as we approach September.










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Derby Winners: Ranking the Home Run Derby Champions

The Home Run Derby is a yearly event that captivates the nation like few others. People are naturally attracted to the long ball, and seeing the sluggers duke it out to see who is the game’s biggest bopper is a great thrill.

The first incarnation was a television show in the 1960’s that showed the best hitters of the day competing for cash prizes by seeing who could hit the most big flies. Hank Aaron was the most successful, winning six straight competitions, and Mickey Mantle also won a few.

Since the most known and current competition started in Minneapolis in 1985, it has grown in popularity to the point where it is close or more important than the actual All-Star Game.

The true explosion in the event’s popularity occurred when it began airing in 1993 on ESPN. Since then, it has been a who’s who of sluggers that have won the event.

The cloud of the steroid era looms large over the competition because of the list of winners that have been implicated in scandals over the years.

Regardless, these players have left us in awe, admiration, shock, and amazement.

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Need Lance-Alot: Lance Berkman Is What the White Sox Need

The All-Star break is suddenly approaching, which for many signifies the upcoming trade deadline on July 31.

With the recent trade of perennial Cy Young candidate Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers, many teams will open the floodgates after determining if they are going to make the push for October glory, or pack it in for 2010.

One team that will not be giving up is the Chicago White Sox, who with a resurgence that almost no one predicted over the last 40 days, have put themselves near the top of the American League Central.

The White Sox’ glaring weakness for the entirety of the season has been the lack of a left-handed power hitter.

Many suggest that with the season-ending injury to Jake Peavy that they should go after players such as Arizona’s Dan Haren or Astros’ Roy Oswalt. I think neither of the two is necessary.

Oswalt is a fine pitcher, but I think that someone will step up to be the fifth starter for the club. Pitchers like Dan Hudson or Matt Zaleski should and will be given the opportunity to step up and help the team.

Making a trade for a starter will not help in the pennant chase because both Haren and Oswalt would be transitioning from the National League, and that usually does not fare well for starting pitchers.


Need for Lance Berkman

The need for a left-handed bat is paramount in continuing the successes the Sox have had recently.

Adding a switch hitter like Lance Berkman would give protection to Paul Konerko in the lineup, which would make him even more dangerous, as well as give him rest as a DH.

It would also allow the team to not have to rely on Mark Kotsay, whose .229 batting average is not what the team needs when they get into the dog days of September.

Berkman would flourish in the launching pad of U.S. Cellular Field, much like he has in his home ballpark for the Astros with his opposite-field power.

“The Big Puma,” as he is known in Houston, would no doubt raise his .259 batting average in Chicago, as he would have something to play for in hopes of winning his first ring.


Berkman is the best option

Other players who have been mentioned to go to the White Sox include Adrian Gonzalez and Adam Dunn.

Gonzalez is a fabulous player who would be a perfect fit for the White Sox for years to come. The problem with him is that he is not going to be traded.

The Padres are a legit contender to win the NL West this season, and he is the staple to their successes thus far, besides their underrated pitching.

Adam “The Big Donkey” Dunn is hitting better at this point in time than at any previous point in his career. It will take a lot to pry him away from the Nationals, and the White Sox have very little in the form of top prospects to send to Washington.

Other players such as Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, and Mark Reynolds, who have been on the rumor mill, are not going to the South Side; nor should they, since they are not what Ozzie Guillen’s team needs.

Lance Berkman may not be a “spring chicken” at 34 years old, but he is a player that could give the White Sox, joined by Konerko; a solid match in “punch” with Detroit, who have Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera; and Minnesota with Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer.

In questioning if Lance would leave his home state of Texas and waive his no-trade clause he stated in May, “If we’re 20-70 and they say, ‘Hey, we’ve got a trade for a bunch of hot prospects and you’re going to go compete for a world championship,’ I would definitely consider it.”

Well Lance, your team is 35-52. White Sox GM Kenny Williams should definitely put Berkman in the position to “consider it” as soon as he can.


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