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fledgedrallycap
08-15-2003, 10:28 AM
I was listening in to Boers and Berstien this morning, and while I usually don't take anything they say beyond entertainment value, they did have an interesting discussion point:

"If the White Sox don't catch the Royals and win this division, are they the biggest disappointment/Bust in Sox History?"

My initial thought was No, because look at our History :gulp: However, look at roster we throw on the field on a daily basis. The White Sox have close to dozen all-stars, past & present (Alomar, Thomas, Maggs, Konerko, Everett, Alomar Jr., Buerle, Loiza, Colon, Koch, Gordon) plus all-star caliber players like Lee, Marte and Wunch.

I don't want to get into the issue of players underperforming, but instead see if you agree with history issue - if they don't win this 2003 Divisional Title - Where does it rank in terms of disappointment.

voodoochile
08-15-2003, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by fledgedrallycap
I was listening in to Boers and Berstien this morning, and while I usually don't take anything they say beyond entertainment value, they did have an interesting discussion point:

"If the White Sox don't catch the Royals and win this division, are they the biggest disappointment/Bust in Sox History?"

My initial thought was No, because look at our History :gulp: However, look at roster we throw on the field on a daily basis. The White Sox have close to dozen all-stars, past & present (Alomar, Thomas, Maggs, Konerko, Everett, Alomar Jr., Buerle, Loiza, Colon, Koch, Gordon) plus all-star caliber players like Lee, Marte and Wunch.

I don't want to get into the issue of players underperforming, but instead see if you agree with history issue - if they don't win this 2003 Divisional Title - Where does it rank in terms of disappointment.

For me this season had the highest expectations of any team since 1994. With the acquisition of Everett and Alomar, I expected this team to be able to compete for a pennant.

The only thing that will temper my disappointment if they don't make the playoffs is that they have been playing such crappy ball this season that I may be over them and on to the Bears before it all comes to an end. I hope not though. Still plenty of time and all that...

Paulwny
08-15-2003, 10:41 AM
After winning the div by 20 gms in 83 I felt that 84 would be a cake walk with us going to the WS, instead 84 turned into a total disaster.

MarqSox
08-15-2003, 10:42 AM
Failure to win the division would be on par with but no more disappointing, IMO, than 1997, 2001 or 2002.

Hangar18
08-15-2003, 10:46 AM
Steve Sax. Cory Snyder. Jaime Navarro

ScottyTheSoxFan
08-15-2003, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by Hangar18
Steve Sax. Cory Snyder. Jaime Navarro

:hitless

duke of dorwood
08-15-2003, 10:50 AM
I will never be disappointed because I dont expect to win with Manual in the dugout no matter who we get

soxtalker
08-15-2003, 10:58 AM
This will be a disappointment, but I can think of a couple of bigger ones.

One that has already been mentioned was 1984. In addition to winning the division by 20 games in 1983, if I recall correctly, we had a fabulous spring in '84. Then all the wheels came off ...

Another disappointment that probably hurt more was 1967. The timescale is much shorter. The pennant (no divisions in those days) was ours for the taking. We had about 5 games to go, and we were playing the last-place KC A's in a doubleheader. Lost both. Everything fell apart. And the Red Sox ended up winning it.

If we lose, this season is disappointing, but I've always thought of us as a flawed team.

LuvSox
08-15-2003, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by duke of dorwood
I will never be disappointed because I dont expect to win with Manual in the dugout no matter who we get

The only dissapointment should be with management. They should've fired that dolt long ago.

fledgedrallycap
08-15-2003, 11:21 AM
I would have to say the '94 season for reasons we all know.

However, for on the field related disappointments - probably the 2001 season. It was just painfull to watch due to the injuries and the way the team played in 2000.

Hangar18
08-15-2003, 11:22 AM
Chris Sabo. Had to be one of the biggest Busts....

Jerko
08-15-2003, 11:42 AM
Kevin Bell I think his name was and he tried to play 3rd if memory serves.

Lip Man 1
08-15-2003, 12:01 PM
That's a great question. A lot of seasons come to mind 1965, 1968,1973,1984 and 1991 immediately come to mind.

I'd have to say 1968, 1973 and 1984 were the biggest to me.

I agree with Duke, it's hard to be disappointed when you know the Sox will find some way to underachieve thanks to Manager Gandhi.

As far as biggest individual player....Wow that's tough there's been so many....Scott Ruffcorn, Claudell Washington, Dave Nicholson, Cisco Carlos, Cory Snyder (although a lot of that was Walt Hriniak's fault) and Jason Bere (many thought he'd be the next Roger Clemens based of his many multi strikeout games before he ruined his arm.)

I'd think you'd need to narrow the category....biggest disappointing Sox prospect, free agent, player hurt by injury and so on.

Lip

JJAustin69
08-15-2003, 12:01 PM
I would have to say 1984. We were so dominant in '83 that it seemed like '84 would be just as successful. Like I said before, there was no talk of this being a Cubbie town in those days. Sox were the first to average over 2 million in attendance in consecutive years. Those years, of course, are '83 and '84. Unfortunately, the Sox fell apart and the Cubs won their division in '84. I point to this as the main reason that we have become second class citizens in a city where the silent majority of people are Sox fans.

Lip Man 1
08-15-2003, 12:31 PM
To help the discussion:

1968 Season (Final Record: 67-95 8th Place)

Of all the seasons where fans thought the Sox were finally going to the World Series, 1968 had to be the biggest disappointment. It was a stunning reversal of fortune where the Sox not only didnít come close to the post season, they had a losing record. That snapped a streak which started in 1951 and to this day is the 3rd longest in baseball history.

The Sox were consensus picks to win the pennant because they had the finest pitching staff in the league and appeared to make a series of off season deals which bolstered the hitting and improved the defense. The Sox as you might remember, blew the pennant in 1967, falling apart the final week against the dregs of the league, Kansas City and Washington. In the off season the Sox didnít stand pat, acquiring Luis Aparicio and Russ Snyder from Baltimore as well as getting former National League batting champ, Tommy Davis from the Mets. The Sox who already had such stud pitchers as Peters, Horlen, John, Bob Locker and Hoyt Wilhelm seemed even better. Rookie Cisco Carlos joined the rotation in September 1967 and was almost unhittable. He won four games that month including a brilliant shutout of the Tigers in the second game of a double header that saw Horlen throw a no hitter in the first game. Everything seemed right for a Sox championship parade.

Then the games began and by the second week, the season was finished. The Sox opened play by dropping ten games in a row, the longest streak of losing to start a season in team history. How bad was this year? What went wrong? Let us count the ways:

* Rioting due to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King caused fans to stay away from "unsafe" Comiskey Park in droves and torrents. Opening day drew only 7,756.

* Ten regular season games were played in Milwaukee. The public was told it was so that Milwaukee fans could keep seeing some baseball until they got an expansion club. Privately Allyn was testing the market to see how well the Sox would draw. If they drew well enough, there was the possibility he would move the team ninety miles North.

* Manager Eddie Stanky made the clubhouse off limits to the media especially during the ten game losing streak. He blamed the media for all the "negativity" surrounding the team.

* The team simply could not hit. Peters was actually slotted 6th in the batting order for one game ahead of Aparicio, Duane Josephson and Tim Cullen. Peters was pitching that day!

* Stanky ordered his coaches to change clothes in the Sox clubhouse along side the players. Many Sox players thought the coaches were spying for management. (Authorís Note: Sounds like the charges made by four White Sox players during this past off season doesnít it?)

* In an August game at Detroit, the Sox lost John when he was attacked on the mound by Dick McAuliffe. John was the only Sox pitcher having a good season and he was doing it only pitching on weekends while he was completing his National Guard duty during the week. McAuliffe was hit by a pitch, then bowled over John, damaging his shoulder in the fight.

* During the Democratic Convention supporters of candidate George Wallace were hurling racial comments toward Davis and other black players while attending a game. Eugene McCarthy supporters commented back about the Wallace supporters attitudes and a fight almost broke out in the left field stands. Police and security had to step in.

* In a secret June meeting in Indianapolis, Sox management decided to fire Stanky and replace him with Al Lopez. A week later Stanky got canned without the Sox even holding a press conference. But summing up this season perfectly was the fact that a week after Lopez came back to take over he was hit with appendicitis!

1973 Season (Final Record: 77-85 5th Place)

The 1973 season was interesting because the Sox had two reasons for failure this time around. One simply could not be helped, the other was the product of something that has infected the organization since it was founded, the concern over the bottom line as opposed to winning championships.

Dick Allen had won the MVP the previous season, Wilbur Wood was pitcher of the year, Chuck Tanner... manager of the year, Roland Hemond, executive of the year. The Sox were feeling good about their chances in 1973. Fans figured that the Sox had played the World Champion Aís almost even and that was without home run champion Bill Melton who was lost for the year in June with a back injury. With the addition of power hitting center fielder Ken Henderson, the Sox lineup was formidable. Twenty game winners Wood and Stan Bahnsen anchored the pitching staff which was a bit thin but the hitting was expected to make up for it (sound familiar?)

The Sox blew out of the gate claiming first place in late April and holding it through late June. Wood had already won 13 games by Memorial Day! Allen was off to another good start and things looked like they were finally coming together.

Unfortunately the Sox then were blown apart by injuries. They used the disabled list 38 times before the season ended. The injuries were small and nagging like Carlos Mayís hamstring, Meltonís groin and Pat Kellyís back. The injuries were major like Allenís broken leg, and Hendersonís torn up knee. Things got so bad that Brian Downing injured his knee on the first play in the first inning of his first major league game at Detroit!

No the Sox couldnít do anything about injuries but the second problem was all their own fault.

With then vice president Stu Holcomb taking a "hard line" approach to salaries, the Sox had more holdouts, unsigned players and dissatisfied players then anybody in the league.

Holcomb was originally supposed to run owner John Allynís pro soccer team. When that folded the Sox refused to "eat" his contract and instead made him the VP of the baseball club. Mike Andrews said in his interview with WSI that Holcomb wasnít qualified for the job and was the reason for the dissension. The end result was that the Sox simply released players like Andrews, Ed Spezio, Jay Johnstone and Rick Reichardt because they couldnít agree on contracts. When the injuries hit, the Sox had nobody to replace them unless you count guys like John Jeter, Cy Acosta, "Buddy" Bradford and Chuck Brinkman as "major league caliber."

Adding insult to injury was the fact that Holcomb resigned under pressure when Tanner and Hemond got so fed up with his antics that they went to Allyn with their protests. That was in late July and by then the season was over.

1984 Season (Final Record: 74-88 5th Place)

Coming off a 99 win Western Division Championship youíd be hard pressed to find anybody who didnít think the Sox were a lock for the playoffs and the prohibitive favorite to win the World Series. The Sox had it all. Great pitching in guys like LaMarr Hoyt, Rich Dotson, Britt Burns, and Floyd Bannister. The had power in Greg Luzinski, Harold Baines, Carlton Fisk and Ron Kittle. Speed was offered by Julio Cruz and Rudy Law. They had an outstanding manager in Tony LaRussa. How could this team not win?

Kittle himself may have touched on the answer when he told us in his interview that he thought the Sox were overconfident that season.

Indeed for most of the first half of the season the Sox looked off, lethargic, slow. They turned it on right before the All Star break, winning seven straight, pushing their record to 44-40 and into first place. Everyone thought, OK here we go...and the Sox did go....right down the toilet. Coming out of the break the Sox dropped 13 of 17 to some of the tough teams in the Eastern Division. Even though they were only out 3 Ĺ games towards the end of July, it was clear the heart had gone out of the club. In more brutal terms, they quit.

Kittle also mentioned some of the trades that were made which changed that elusive clubhouse chemistry. He, and no less then Jerry Reinsdorf both talked about the loss of Jerry Koosman, who was traded for veteran relief pitcher and former NBA player Ron Reed. Reinsdorf said it was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made. Sox announcer Joe McConnell talked about Koosman in the 1983 TV special "Next Year Is Here," saying Koosman was like a "second pitching coach."

It was a small change but it had big results and helped contribute to one of the most disappointing seasons in team history.

WinningUgly!
08-15-2003, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by Hangar18
Chris Sabo. Had to be one of the biggest Busts....

I wouldn't consider Sabo a bust. To be a bust there also needs to be high expectations. Sabo came to the Sox as a washed up piece of crap, just looking to stick around the big leagues.

thepaulbowski
08-15-2003, 12:39 PM
Originally posted by Hangar18
Steve Sax. Cory Snyder. Jaime Navarro

I believe the "biggest" disappointment would be David Wells.

:D:

Brian26
08-15-2003, 12:40 PM
I wouldn't rank 1991 as a disappointing year though. The team was still very young and in the process of finding itself. That month of July, capped by Ventura's grandslam against Gossage on 7/31, was a great ride. I think the Sox moved to within a game or two of Minnesota on Aug. 1. It was an exciting year, especially playing in the new park, but I don't think expectations were that high on making the playoffs. I think everyone understood it was still a really young team, and the 1990 season was just something magical that couldn't be duplicated anyway. It would take a maturing of the pitching staff and some needed veterans (i.e. Raines, Bell, Bo) to finally get over the hump and make the playoffs.

Dick Allen
08-15-2003, 01:11 PM
Don't forget that in 1984, the Sox also added Tom Seaver to the pitching staff.

OEO Magglio
08-15-2003, 01:20 PM
To me this would definitely be the biggest dissapointment if the sox don't make the playoffs this year, but I also can't comment on the 1984 season or the 1991 season, but saying that I've learned to not get my hopes up with JM as the manager, but with the talent of this team, they should definitely be in the playoffs.

Hangar18
08-15-2003, 01:31 PM
Good anecdotes Lip. ahhh yes, I rmember 1984 quite well.
what a bust that year was. What about 1995 ?

fledgedrallycap
08-15-2003, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by Hangar18
Good anecdotes Lip. ahhh yes, I rmember 1984 quite well.
what a bust that year was. What about 1995 ?

I forgot about '95, they brought back basically the entire roster from '93 & '94 which were both W.S. contending teams - and to belly-flop with a 68-76 record - good call Hangar.

fledgedrallycap
08-15-2003, 01:52 PM
What the hell happened in '95 - I honestly don't recall that year - I pulled up the individual stats and they were not too bad.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHW/1995.shtml

Hangar18
08-15-2003, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by fledgedrallycap
I forgot about '95, they brought back basically the entire roster from '93 & '94 which were both W.S. contending teams - and to belly-flop with a 68-76 record - good call Hangar.

Following the strike of 1994, new rules were put in place involving this pseudo "salary cap", so the sox got RID of a Bunch of Players that were responsible for putting them "over the top" in the first place. Gone was Jack McDowell among them, Julio Franco, gone. they were replaced by a bunch of minor leaguers and washed up veteran Stop Gap type players. Of course, when you remove 4 or 5 key players from your contending team and replace them with inexperienced AND washed-up players, one could easily see that team being very bad. They came out of the gate HORRRIBLY, including that fateful trip to Cleveland where they were SWEPT and got their Butts Kicked Royally (no pun intended). That started the sox on their "lets-barely-compete-do-little-to-get-better-players-mode". 95 was a Wasted season. 1996 came and the sox actually made a pickup of getting better in the offseason. The sox were in contention for the Wild Card, but fell off badly down the stretch, (failing to acquire the extra Pitcher they now badly needed). 1997 came, and the Sox were playing OK......and actually getting themselves 3 gms within 1st place Cleveland when Mgmt, faced with upcoming arbitration/free agent players, decided to Pull The Plug and Start All Over. So basically, 1990 til 97 were a waste, derailing ALL THE MOMENTUM they'd built with that group of players. So yeah, 1995 was a Very Big Disappointment

Procol Harum
08-15-2003, 02:13 PM
I've got to go with the '84 season as probably the single most disappointing Sox season I've endured. We began that season with incredible expectations following '83, and, as Lip points out, even had our hope stoked in the middle of the season as they began to catch fire and moved into first place. Then after things went south just after the break, the Sox went completely down the tubes and were out of the race by early August. And all this with, as Dick Allen suggested, Tom Seaver added to our pitching staff--an addition which had prompted well-known figures in the Sox front office to start gloating about having the "greatest pitching staff in history" or somesuch similar nonsense. As Sox fans, we should've known the writing was on the wall at that point.

From my perspective as a long-time Sox gaffer: Another disappointing season was '65 (following up on winning 98 games and losing out to the Yanks by a game in '64, we were poised to take it all as the Yanks finally sank down to 6th place). We were slayin' 'em in May--10 game winning streak as I recall. Unfortunately, the Minnesota Twins catapulted from 6th place to win well over 100 games that year while the Sox played a little over .500 from June on. We were out of the race by mid-August, even though we ended up finishing in 2nd--9 games out, I believe.

I'd argue that '68, while a shock to the system--at that young age I had not known anything but winning baseball as a Sox fan--was, personally, not as disappointing as many other doomed Sox campaigns. Our hitting was so anemic in '67 that it was pretty clear to me--even as a kid--that it would take a miracle to win the pennant. That miracle had, indeed, already arrived in the last week of September '67; unfortunately, we choked on the golden egg. Given that, I held little hope that the Sox could overcome the offensive woes which they had essentially done nothing in the offseason to remedy. Thus, the collapse of the great '60s Sox teams in '68 invoked more sadness in me than the disappointment and rage which falling short of expectations usually produces.

Brian26
08-15-2003, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by Procol Harum
And all this with, as Dick Allen suggested, Tom Seaver added to our pitching staff--an addition which had prompted well-known figures in the Sox front office to start gloating about having the "greatest pitching staff in history" or somesuch similar nonsense. As Sox fans, we should've known the writing was on the wall at that point.

Jerry and Eddie were touting the 1984 starters as "the greatest starting five in baseball history".

Mammoo
08-15-2003, 04:15 PM
Trading Al Weis and Tommie Agee for the over the hill Tommy Davis!!! :(:

http://www.idatasports.com/imgs/idbph148.jpg

Nick@Nite
08-15-2003, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by thepaulbowski
I believe the "biggest" disappointment would be David Wells.

:D:

:hurt
"Damn right!"

Lip Man 1
08-15-2003, 06:41 PM
Since you guys brought these years up:

1965 Season (Final Record: 95-67 2nd Place)

At first glace you have to ask, how does a team that wins 95 games in a season be considered a "disappointment." Thatís a legitimate question. The only reason the 65 White Sox are in here is because the 1964 White Sox finished one game behind the Yankees and closed the season winning nine straight. The 65 team finished seven games behind the Twins and had their old friend Mr. Injury make another appearance. The three year stretch from 1963 through 1965 may have been the best in franchise history. The White Sox won a total of 287 games, they averaged 96 wins per season yet couldnít reach the World Series.

The off season saw the Sox reacquire Johnny Romano as well as pick up two rookies who would become sensational with the club in the near future. Tommy Agee and Tommy John were acquired as part of a three team trade with Cleveland and Kansas City. Those moves made the Sox the favorites among a number of the media. Sox owner Art Allyn predicted in spring training the Sox would win the pennant. In the early part of the season, it looked like the media was right. The Sox got off to a blazing start winning 22 of their first 30 games and built up a 4 Ĺ game lead by mid May. It was at this point when injuries hit two of the top pitchers in the league.

Gary Peters won 19 games in 1963... 20 games in 1964. However as he explained in his interview with WSI, early in 1965 he suffered a groin injury that hampered him all season. It changed his motion and resulted in a loss of effectiveness as well as a losing mark for the year. Juan Pizarro also a top shelf winner in 1963 and 1964 came down with a bad arm, basically missing most of the season. The loss of the top two left handers on one team in baseball was bad enough but the strain of so many close games over the years finally took its toll on Manager Al Lopez.

Lopez was hospitalized with a stomach ailment in June. That illness convinced him it was time to leave and he would wind up resigning in November. In the short term, his illness and the uncertainty of it broke the continuity of the team.

Throw in the "frozen baseball" controversy started by the Tigers in August and you had a season that while very successful in the win column, had all the tendencies of being on a roller coaster at Riverview. It also came up short from the championship standpoint.

1991 Season (Final Record: 87-75 2nd Place)

With the Sox coming off an unexpected 94 win campaign in 1990, with a flock of young stars who actually produced the year before in Frank Thomas, Robin Ventura, Jack McDowell, Sammy Sosa, Alex Fernandez, and Greg Hibbard and with the opening of the "new" Comiskey Park, many fans and some media members thought the Sox were ready to take the next step.

The Sox opened with a six game road winning streak through Baltimore, Detroit and New York before losing. A capacity crowd at the new park saw the Sox get blown apart by the Tigers 16-0 but they still went 11-7 in April. It was clear though that the Sox still needed something because they had a bad May ending 6 Ĺ games off the lead and in 6th place. June started another upcurve culminating with one of the most exciting Julyís in team history. The Sox went 19-8... can anybody forget Venturaís dramatic two out, 9th inning grand slam to beat the Rangers on July 31st? They had won seven straight and had closed to three games off the lead at the trading deadline when Sox management......did nothing.

Apparently General Manager Ron Schueler felt this team was good enough to make the predictions come true, or perhaps the GM simply couldnít bear losing such "canít miss" prospects as Joe Hall, Rod Bolton, Steve Wapnick or Johnny Ruffin. Either way the Sox looked like it wasnít going to be a factor. They capped off another seven game winning streak with rookie Wilson Alvarez tossing a no hitter at Baltimore on August 11th. The Sox were now one game out, twenty games over .500 when it happened.

They lost a late lead and fell in extra innings to the Orioles on August 12th starting a three game losing streak. After a win they dropped another three in a row. After beating the Yankees on August 18th the bottom and the season fell out. They lost nine in a row, scoring a total of twenty runs with nine coming in one game. They were shut out three times.

In a three week stretch the Sox went 2-15. They fell from a game out to nine games out and the season was over. They would go on to have a fine season but Sox fans were left to wonder what might have happened had Schueler decided to make a deal or two.

1995 Season (Final Record: 68-76 3rd Place)

In 1993 and 1994 the White Sox were one of the best teams in baseball...then came the labor impasse which shortened the 94 season without a post season. At the time of the walkout the Sox had the 2nd best record in the American League and the 3rd best mark in baseball (behind Montreal and the Yankees.) With the abbreviated free agent signing period and the shortened spring training very few people knew what to expect. The safe play was to pick the Sox again to be very good and thatís what many fans and media did.

Two factors combined though to make the Sox one of the biggest flops in baseball. The first had to be placed squarely on the players themselves. Many Sox players after the season ended stated that they didnít really train hard over the previous off season. They admitted they thought that the 1995 season would never be played or if it was, wouldnít start until May or June. That attitude showed on the field and in the increased waist sizes in the uniform pants. Sox pitchers were hammered in spring training. They opened the season giving up 49 runs in the first five games. The tone of the season was already set after the first weekís action.

The other reason was directly managementís fault. Owner Jerry Reinsdorf was going to get his pound of flesh... first from the players who dared strike and then two years later at the other owners for settling the dispute without breaking the union or getting a salary cap.

Reinsdorf ordered GM Ron Schueler to trade star pitcher Jack McDowell in a cost cutting move. Sox management said they had to recoup their losses from the strike. McDowell was ready to become a free agent after the season and the Sox had zero chance of resigning him. The three previous years Jack took the Sox to arbitration when they couldnít agree on a contract. McDowell won only once but his independence infuriated ownership. The guy who won more games then anybody in baseball from 1990 through 1994 was traded to the Yankees for three no name players, the best of whom was the entirely forgettable Lyle Mouton. Sox management also refused to give DH Julio Franco a two year deal and he signed to play in Japan. Franco had 98 RBIís at the time of the strike and combined with Frank Thomas and Robin Ventura to form a devastating middle of the order.

To replace those players the Sox brought in such "stars" as out of shape John Kruk, Chris Sabo, Jim Abbott, Rob Dibble and Dave Righetti. None of those guys made any type of impact.

By late April the Sox were 9-16 and already eight games out of first. Sox fans were happy the season was shortened to only 145 games.

jabrch
08-15-2003, 07:45 PM
Can someone summarize Lip's Thesis in one paragraph or less please? j/k...

84 for me. After watching how good we were in 83 only to lose to the damn Orioles, I really thought we were gonna come back with a vengance in 1984.

Ouch

Originally posted by Lip Man 1
To help the discussion:

1968 Season (Final Record: 67-95 8th Place)

Of all the seasons where fans thought the Sox were finally going to the World Series, 1968 had to be the biggest disappointment. It was a stunning reversal of fortune where the Sox not only didnít come close to the post season, they had a losing record. That snapped a streak which started in 1951 and to this day is the 3rd longest in baseball history.

The Sox were consensus picks to win the pennant because they had the finest pitching staff in the league and appeared to make a series of off season deals which bolstered the hitting and improved the defense. The Sox as you might remember, blew the pennant in 1967, falling apart the final week against the dregs of the league, Kansas City and Washington. In the off season the Sox didnít stand pat, acquiring Luis Aparicio and Russ Snyder from Baltimore as well as getting former National League batting champ, Tommy Davis from the Mets. The Sox who already had such stud pitchers as Peters, Horlen, John, Bob Locker and Hoyt Wilhelm seemed even better. Rookie Cisco Carlos joined the rotation in September 1967 and was almost unhittable. He won four games that month including a brilliant shutout of the Tigers in the second game of a double header that saw Horlen throw a no hitter in the first game. Everything seemed right for a Sox championship parade.

Then the games began and by the second week, the season was finished. The Sox opened play by dropping ten games in a row, the longest streak of losing to start a season in team history. How bad was this year? What went wrong? Let us count the ways:

* Rioting due to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King caused fans to stay away from "unsafe" Comiskey Park in droves and torrents. Opening day drew only 7,756.

* Ten regular season games were played in Milwaukee. The public was told it was so that Milwaukee fans could keep seeing some baseball until they got an expansion club. Privately Allyn was testing the market to see how well the Sox would draw. If they drew well enough, there was the possibility he would move the team ninety miles North.

* Manager Eddie Stanky made the clubhouse off limits to the media especially during the ten game losing streak. He blamed the media for all the "negativity" surrounding the team.

* The team simply could not hit. Peters was actually slotted 6th in the batting order for one game ahead of Aparicio, Duane Josephson and Tim Cullen. Peters was pitching that day!

* Stanky ordered his coaches to change clothes in the Sox clubhouse along side the players. Many Sox players thought the coaches were spying for management. (Authorís Note: Sounds like the charges made by four White Sox players during this past off season doesnít it?)

* In an August game at Detroit, the Sox lost John when he was attacked on the mound by Dick McAuliffe. John was the only Sox pitcher having a good season and he was doing it only pitching on weekends while he was completing his National Guard duty during the week. McAuliffe was hit by a pitch, then bowled over John, damaging his shoulder in the fight.

* During the Democratic Convention supporters of candidate George Wallace were hurling racial comments toward Davis and other black players while attending a game. Eugene McCarthy supporters commented back about the Wallace supporters attitudes and a fight almost broke out in the left field stands. Police and security had to step in.

* In a secret June meeting in Indianapolis, Sox management decided to fire Stanky and replace him with Al Lopez. A week later Stanky got canned without the Sox even holding a press conference. But summing up this season perfectly was the fact that a week after Lopez came back to take over he was hit with appendicitis!

1973 Season (Final Record: 77-85 5th Place)

The 1973 season was interesting because the Sox had two reasons for failure this time around. One simply could not be helped, the other was the product of something that has infected the organization since it was founded, the concern over the bottom line as opposed to winning championships.

Dick Allen had won the MVP the previous season, Wilbur Wood was pitcher of the year, Chuck Tanner... manager of the year, Roland Hemond, executive of the year. The Sox were feeling good about their chances in 1973. Fans figured that the Sox had played the World Champion Aís almost even and that was without home run champion Bill Melton who was lost for the year in June with a back injury. With the addition of power hitting center fielder Ken Henderson, the Sox lineup was formidable. Twenty game winners Wood and Stan Bahnsen anchored the pitching staff which was a bit thin but the hitting was expected to make up for it (sound familiar?)

The Sox blew out of the gate claiming first place in late April and holding it through late June. Wood had already won 13 games by Memorial Day! Allen was off to another good start and things looked like they were finally coming together.

Unfortunately the Sox then were blown apart by injuries. They used the disabled list 38 times before the season ended. The injuries were small and nagging like Carlos Mayís hamstring, Meltonís groin and Pat Kellyís back. The injuries were major like Allenís broken leg, and Hendersonís torn up knee. Things got so bad that Brian Downing injured his knee on the first play in the first inning of his first major league game at Detroit!

No the Sox couldnít do anything about injuries but the second problem was all their own fault.

With then vice president Stu Holcomb taking a "hard line" approach to salaries, the Sox had more holdouts, unsigned players and dissatisfied players then anybody in the league.

Holcomb was originally supposed to run owner John Allynís pro soccer team. When that folded the Sox refused to "eat" his contract and instead made him the VP of the baseball club. Mike Andrews said in his interview with WSI that Holcomb wasnít qualified for the job and was the reason for the dissension. The end result was that the Sox simply released players like Andrews, Ed Spezio, Jay Johnstone and Rick Reichardt because they couldnít agree on contracts. When the injuries hit, the Sox had nobody to replace them unless you count guys like John Jeter, Cy Acosta, "Buddy" Bradford and Chuck Brinkman as "major league caliber."

Adding insult to injury was the fact that Holcomb resigned under pressure when Tanner and Hemond got so fed up with his antics that they went to Allyn with their protests. That was in late July and by then the season was over.

1984 Season (Final Record: 74-88 5th Place)

Coming off a 99 win Western Division Championship youíd be hard pressed to find anybody who didnít think the Sox were a lock for the playoffs and the prohibitive favorite to win the World Series. The Sox had it all. Great pitching in guys like LaMarr Hoyt, Rich Dotson, Britt Burns, and Floyd Bannister. The had power in Greg Luzinski, Harold Baines, Carlton Fisk and Ron Kittle. Speed was offered by Julio Cruz and Rudy Law. They had an outstanding manager in Tony LaRussa. How could this team not win?

Kittle himself may have touched on the answer when he told us in his interview that he thought the Sox were overconfident that season.

Indeed for most of the first half of the season the Sox looked off, lethargic, slow. They turned it on right before the All Star break, winning seven straight, pushing their record to 44-40 and into first place. Everyone thought, OK here we go...and the Sox did go....right down the toilet. Coming out of the break the Sox dropped 13 of 17 to some of the tough teams in the Eastern Division. Even though they were only out 3 Ĺ games towards the end of July, it was clear the heart had gone out of the club. In more brutal terms, they quit.

Kittle also mentioned some of the trades that were made which changed that elusive clubhouse chemistry. He, and no less then Jerry Reinsdorf both talked about the loss of Jerry Koosman, who was traded for veteran relief pitcher and former NBA player Ron Reed. Reinsdorf said it was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made. Sox announcer Joe McConnell talked about Koosman in the 1983 TV special "Next Year Is Here," saying Koosman was like a "second pitching coach."

It was a small change but it had big results and helped contribute to one of the most disappointing seasons in team history.

PaleHoseGeorge
08-15-2003, 07:47 PM
You know what is funny about this thread? We Sox Fans have so many choices for biggest bust in Sox history. The possibilities seem nearly limitless. When you win two world championships in 103 years (the last one 86 years ago), is it even possible to pick the biggest bust? None of us have lived that long.

I imagine Yankees fans have similar trouble trying to choose the greatest glory in Yankee history.

What a pathetic outfit we root for... :angry:

RKMeibalane
08-15-2003, 08:09 PM
The biggest bust in White Sox history is...

:reinsy

Think about it. Nobody has let this team down more than he has.

inta
08-15-2003, 08:17 PM
i don't know if i'd say it's the biggest bust in sox history.
but definitely the most underachieving team in sox history.
someone earlier said we have 12 past and present all-stars on our team.... i mean c'mon, on top of youth talent that isn't living up to the hype...

i still have hope for them, but if they dont win the central they are the biggest group of underachievers... and there's only one reason for so many players underachieving at once.... management.

gosox41
08-15-2003, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by fledgedrallycap
I was listening in to Boers and Berstien this morning, and while I usually don't take anything they say beyond entertainment value, they did have an interesting discussion point:

"If the White Sox don't catch the Royals and win this division, are they the biggest disappointment/Bust in Sox History?"

My initial thought was No, because look at our History :gulp: However, look at roster we throw on the field on a daily basis. The White Sox have close to dozen all-stars, past & present (Alomar, Thomas, Maggs, Konerko, Everett, Alomar Jr., Buerle, Loiza, Colon, Koch, Gordon) plus all-star caliber players like Lee, Marte and Wunch.

I don't want to get into the issue of players underperforming, but instead see if you agree with history issue - if they don't win this 2003 Divisional Title - Where does it rank in terms of disappointment.

Thos team should have run away with the division this year. The team greatly underacheived in the first half, and I think most people would agree with that. So to me this whole season has been a bust. Next bigest disappointment in recent memory (not counting playoff losses) is 2002. Then I'd go with 1984 and 2001.

Bob

Shoeless Joe
08-15-2003, 10:15 PM
The last 86 years have been a real disappointment.

Dan H
08-16-2003, 06:38 AM
If the Sox can't win the division this year, it will complete another ten year cycle with only one division title. There is no way any Sox fan should be happy with that performance. In that 10 years, we will have the stirke and the White Flag Trades as the big memories. 2003 without winning a weak divison will not just be a bust of a year. It will signify the a bust of a decade. Anybody for rebuilding?

gosox41
08-16-2003, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by Dan H
If the Sox can't win the division this year, it will complete another ten year cycle with only one division title. There is no way any Sox fan should be happy with that performance. In that 10 years, we will have the stirke and the White Flag Trades as the big memories. 2003 without winning a weak divison will not just be a bust of a year. It will signify the a bust of a decade. Anybody for rebuilding?

It's only been 3 years since out last division title.

If the Sox can bring back the same team (with a couple of changes, some minor some major) and fire JM then there is no reason the Sox cna't win this division next year. A semi-competent manager is all this team needs.

This division is so weak it's disgusting. It frustrates me to no end that the Sox can't take charge of it.

Bob

soxtalker
08-16-2003, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by gosox41
It's only been 3 years since out last division title.

If the Sox can bring back the same team (with a couple of changes, some minor some major) and fire JM then there is no reason the Sox cna't win this division next year. A semi-competent manager is all this team needs.

This division is so weak it's disgusting. It frustrates me to no end that the Sox can't take charge of it.

Bob

I'm not sure about that.

I expect KC to be better with the young talent having a year to mature. Cleveland may surprise us, as they have been retooling. While I haven't been watching them closely, I do notice that they seem to be playing well at times.

On our side, few of our players are new to the majors, so I doubt that the extra year will be a positive. Yes, a new manager would probably help, but there's no guarantee that will happen with the salary they'd have to eat. And we won't resign everyone. I'm betting Colon and Everett will be gone, maybe R. Alomar, and possibly Valentine, unless he/they want him back at much reduced salary.

And much of what they do may depend on the next couple of weeks. If fans perceive that we're out of it by Labor Day, it'll be mighty easy to get a seat in September -- particularly if the Cubs stay in contention.

PaleHoseGeorge
08-16-2003, 09:49 AM
If the Sox ballplayers play up to the level of performance they're capable of (or at least the level the Sox front office says their capable of playing), then the '04 Sox win the division in a rout. In fact, the '03 Sox OUGHT TO BE winning the division is similar fashion. Of course they're not, just like the '02 and '01 teams played far beneath their potential, too.

Either we Sox Fans are being sold a bill of goods about the quality of our talent, or the Sox front office simply can't get the performance from the talent they possess.

For my money, the big clue to where the truth lies is Frank Thomas. Is there anybody left on earth who doesn't think Jerry Manuel's managerial style is holding back the key to our offensive punch--simply by being too bull-headed to play Frank at 1B?

That's the smoking gun. Manuel convicts himself.

:jerry
"I can't imagine any situation short of an emergency for playing Frank at first base."

twang-------------------------------------> thump.