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nvc1019
05-14-2008, 08:38 PM
Hello everyone lifelong SOX fan here and first time post. I was watching the '81 White Sox-Red Sox opener today from ESPN Classic. The White Sox had a good balanced team. LeFlore leading off Fisk,Luzinski,Lemon,Bernazard...etc. The thing that struck me was fundamental baseball! It's something this team lacks!! That '81 team was fun to watch great memories. Thanks everybody and keep the faith...nvc1019

whitesox901
05-14-2008, 08:41 PM
hmm 1981, not quite born yet to remeber, but well balanced is always nice!

TDog
05-14-2008, 11:50 PM
Hello everyone lifelong SOX fan here and first time post. I was watching the '81 White Sox-Red Sox opener today from ESPN Classic. The White Sox had a good balanced team. LeFlore leading off Fisk,Luzinski,Lemon,Bernazard...etc. The thing that struck me was fundamental baseball! It's something this team lacks!! That '81 team was fun to watch great memories. Thanks everybody and keep the faith...nvc1019

In 1981, it was believed that the fundamentals was something the 1981 White Sox lacked. You obviously caught them on a good day.

WhiteSox5187
05-14-2008, 11:52 PM
They had a good team in '81. Had the strike not occured when it did, I think we would have made the playoffs.

TDog
05-15-2008, 02:35 AM
They had a good team in '81. Had the strike not occured when it did, I think we would have made the playoffs.

They would have had to win the division. There were just two divisions in each league and no wild card in 1981. They did look good at times, though. It's hard to say how things would have worked out if the strike had not gutted the season. When the strike interrupted the season, they were in third place in a tight three-team race. After the strike, they played .434 baseball. There was an awful August game in Boston where LaMarr Hoyt came in to pitch in the fifth inning, faced eight hitters and gave up four home runs.

LITTLE NELL
05-15-2008, 04:48 AM
The 81 team was the groundwork for the 83 division champs that was probably the best team in baseball that year and one of the best White Sox teams ever. If you want excitement and great baseball try to find some taped games from the 2nd half of 83.

WhiteSox5187
05-15-2008, 05:13 AM
They would have had to win the division. There were just two divisions in each league and no wild card in 1981. They did look good at times, though. It's hard to say how things would have worked out if the strike had not gutted the season. When the strike interrupted the season, they were in third place in a tight three-team race. After the strike, they played .434 baseball. There was an awful August game in Boston where LaMarr Hoyt came in to pitch in the fifth inning, faced eight hitters and gave up four home runs.
I know that there were only two divisions back then and '81 was before my time, but both my dad and Carlton Fisk swear that had the strike not occured they would have kept the momentum and eventually wound up taking first...or even if the strike occured a week later or so.

TomBradley72
05-15-2008, 06:20 AM
I know that there were only two divisions back then and '81 was before my time, but both my dad and Carlton Fisk swear that had the strike not occured they would have kept the momentum and eventually wound up taking first...or even if the strike occured a week later or so.

They were on a huge roll right before the strike...all cylinders were clicking. Big win vs. the Yankees in front of big crowd at Comiskey Park on the last night before the strike starter (I was there).

They looked VERY good. For some reason, after the strike during the "2nd Half" they were horrible.

Bucky F. Dent
05-15-2008, 07:28 AM
The 81 team was the groundwork for the 83 division champs that was probably the best team in baseball that year and one of the best White Sox teams ever. If you want excitement and great baseball try to find some taped games from the 2nd half of 83.

The Julio "Juice" Cruz Era.

Probably one of the most under appreciated players in the history of the Sox.

nvc1019
05-15-2008, 07:39 AM
yes,maybe I caught them on a good day for the fundamentals. although I give Reinsdorf and Einhorn for trying to put together a good team in a hurry. still they were a team I didn't turn the tv off on,like now...hang tough!

mwc44
05-15-2008, 07:49 AM
Since no one else has said it...:welcome:



:gosox:

TomBradley72
05-15-2008, 09:06 AM
The Julio "Juice" Cruz Era.

Probably one of the most under appreciated players in the history of the Sox.

He was great in 1983. Sucked after that and we were hamstrung with his 6 year contract.

soxfan13
05-15-2008, 09:26 AM
They would have had to win the division. There were just two divisions in each league and no wild card in 1981. They did look good at times, though. It's hard to say how things would have worked out if the strike had not gutted the season. When the strike interrupted the season, they were in third place in a tight three-team race. After the strike, they played .434 baseball. There was an awful August game in Boston where LaMarr Hoyt came in to pitch in the fifth inning, faced eight hitters and gave up four home runs.

Must have been a really bad day because I remember him being pretty good that year. I was still a young pup at the time though

TDog
05-15-2008, 09:53 AM
I know that there were only two divisions back then and '81 was before my time, but both my dad and Carlton Fisk swear that had the strike not occured they would have kept the momentum and eventually wound up taking first...or even if the strike occured a week later or so.

Like the 1994 White Sox, who were only a game ahead of the surging Indians when the season was cut short, like Brian Anderson on the bench and like Aaron Rowand in some far off city in a strangely colored uniform, it's always easier to win or make the catch when they can't be on the field to do it.

In 1981, Harold Baines was emerging as a hitter and a defensive force from right, throwing out runners trying to advance on singles from first to third. Carlton Fisk was providing veteran leadership. It was a good team, the likes of which Sox fans hadn't seen in a while. And it's true that A's, led by Ricky Henderson, were coming back to earth after a great start. The Rangers had almost caught them.

Fans lament that the 1981 Sox were only 2.5 games behind in third place and would have won the division if not for the strike while many won't forgive the ownership for letting the 1994 strike happen and canceling a trip to the World Series when the Sox were 1 game ahead of the surging Indians.

Lip Man 1
05-15-2008, 10:14 AM
T-Dog:

But in 1994 you had the wild card and two chances to qualify for the post season.

The White Sox had terrific pitching that season, a total collapse in the final six weeks was unlikely.

The odds were extremely good, EXTREMELY good the Sox were headed to the post season.

Lip

TDog
05-15-2008, 11:14 AM
T-Dog:

But in 1994 you had the wild card and two chances to qualify for the post season.

The White Sox had terrific pitching that season, a total collapse in the final six weeks was unlikely.

The odds were extremely good, EXTREMELY good the Sox were headed to the post season.


Lip


The collapse wouldn't need to have been total. In mid-August the postseason still wasn't a sure thing for the Sox. When the season ended, the Sox, Yankees and Indians had 49 games left on the schedule. The Yankees had the best record with 43 losses, the Sox had 46 losses and the Indians had 47 losses. The first place team in the West was 10 games under .500, so the Indians and Orioles were the top wild card threats at that point. The Orioles had 50 games to play and 49 losses. The Royals had 51 losses and 47 games left on the schedule.

It wouldn't have taken a total collapse by the Sox for the Royals to surge from four back to catch them in six weeks, although I wouldn't have expected that. The division titles were a long way from being decided, and the only thing sure about what would have been the first American League wild card race was that it wasn't coming out of the West.

I'm not saying I didn't like the Sox chances. They won the division in 1993. They were in a dogfight with the surging Indians. If the Indians had caught them, they could have been in a dogfight with the Orioles -- or Yankees if the Orioles caught fire -- for the wild card spot. The postseason was not a sure thing.

The Sox were getting an awesome year from Frank Thomas, but that Indians team was nasty with Jim Thome, Albert Bell and Manny Ramirez. Bell was hitting .357 and slugging over .700. Kenny Lofton was hitting .349 from the leadoff spot. And if the Sox had won the division or wild card, they would have had to emerge victorious in two rounds of playoffs to get to the World Series, probably going through the Yankees or the Indians.

In 1981, the Sox were pretty much in the same position as the Indians were in 1994, but for absence of a wild card. I just think it's odd that people lament both 1981 and 1994 in remotely the same terms.

It's like saying Aaron Rowand (or Brian Anderson) would have caught something. It's nice to imagine he would have, I guess. But, unfortunately, we'll never know.

Hitmenof77
05-15-2008, 11:18 AM
They would have had to win the division. There were just two divisions in each league and no wild card in 1981. They did look good at times, though. It's hard to say how things would have worked out if the strike had not gutted the season. When the strike interrupted the season, they were in third place in a tight three-team race. After the strike, they played .434 baseball. There was an awful August game in Boston where LaMarr Hoyt came in to pitch in the fifth inning, faced eight hitters and gave up four home runs.

But due to the strike, they declared first and second half winners. Thus you had LA vs Houston and Montreal vs Philly in the NL and Oakland vs KC and NY vs Brewers.

So the Sox could have made the playoffs by winning the division, in either half.

TDog
05-15-2008, 11:40 AM
But due to the strike, they declared first and second half winners. Thus you had LA vs Houston and Montreal vs Philly in the NL and Oakland vs KC and NY vs Brewers.

So the Sox could have made the playoffs by winning the division, in either half.

The hypothetical presumed that the strike didn't happen. The tiered playoffs grew out of the strike. When the strike did happen, the White Sox finished third in the first half and a miserable sixth in the second half. No American League team had more second-half losses than the White Sox.

Really, nobody knows what would have happened without that two-month break in the season. Fortunately, fans only had to wait two years for their "first championship of any kind since 1959."

Gammons Peter
05-15-2008, 12:04 PM
I think the Reds got shafted that year because they had the best overall record in their division but did not make the playoff since they finished second in each half?

TDog
05-15-2008, 12:47 PM
I think the Reds got shafted that year because they had the best overall record in their division but did not make the playoff since they finished second in each half?

The Reds had the overall best record in major league baseball in 1981, but finished a half a game (one win down, even on the lost side) to the Dodgers in the first half and two losses (1.5 games) down to the Astros in the second half. The Reds also were in first place by a half game when the season ended in 1994. The Expos, who made their only postseason appearance in 1981 also were in first place in 1994 when the season ended.

The Reds, Expos and White Sox all had great years cut short by the big strikes. Funny how that worked out.

After the 1972 strike postponed the opening of the season, the Sox had a great year with Dick Allen and Carlos May and Wilbur Wood doing incredible things, but they fell out of first in August and finished with baseball's third best record and no playoffs. The Reds went to the World Series, of course, but the Expos were still a lowly bilingual expansion team.

NADA SURF
05-15-2008, 01:28 PM
He was great in 1983. Sucked after that and we were hamstrung with his 6 year contract.Well said, again. I don't know what happened to that guy but he certainly went south...
1981 was my last full year in Chicago and it was a turning point for the Sox and its fans...
The Reinsdorf/Einhorn era was just underway and I was still sad to see Bill Veeck go, as I think many Sox fans were. R/E ripped Veeck, let Harry go and insulted Sox fans for their behavior at the ballpark and promised a more 'family-oriented' ballpark, something I knew would not happen there. I became less of a Sox fan (which was probably a good thing)...
However, on the good side, they actually went out and spent money. I remember the shock of them getting Carlton Fisk after Boston made a mistake on the contract tender, or something...
They added Ron LeFlore, a great lead-off man (would be nice to have someone like that now!) and Greg Luzinski and all of a sudden they had a solid team...
The '81 team was an exciting team, but nothing like the '77 team. IMO, there was something missing once Veeck left and it took me years to warm to Reinsdorf.