View Full Version : Virtual 2003 ALDS: White Sox vs. Yankees

09-05-2003, 05:37 PM
In what has been referred to as a matchup between "night and day," the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees are set to begin their best-of-five series Tuesday evening, in the Bronx. The use of "night and day" is fitting, because these two organizations could not be more different.

The New York Yankees are Major League Baseball's favorite son. They are the standard by which all teams are judged, and their name is synonymous with winning. It is the dream of nearly every young man to one-day wear Yankee pinstripes, and take his place alongside Ruth, Gehrig, Dimaggio, Mantle, and countless others. The Chicago White Sox are a different story.

When Jerry Reinsdorf purchased the White Sox over two decades ago, he boldly declared that his team would become a "first class organization." More than twenty two years later, fans are still waiting for this organization, and their patience is wearing thin. However, the Pale Hose, coming off an amazing second-half run, may finally have a team that Chicago's South Side can be proud of.

The Sox finished with a record of 88-74, capturing the American League Central Division Championship the final week of the season. Though the Twins and Royals proved to be a challenge, the Sox established a solid lead in their division, one that they would not relinquish.

The Yankees finished with the best record in the American League, ending up with a 94-68 mark, enough to hold off the surging Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

For more information, take a look at the key matchups for this series.

09-05-2003, 05:47 PM
Sorry if I'm interrupting or anything, but if the Yankees finished with the best record with baseball, wouldn't they play the wild card team with the Sox playing the AL West winner (unless you have the Red Sox taking the Wild Card).

09-05-2003, 05:53 PM
Pitcher: Esteban Loaiza et al. vs. Roger Clemens et al.

Pitching was expected to be a question mark for the White Sox when the 2003 season began. As it turned out, the starting staff was one of the big reasons for the Sox second-half turnaround. Lead by Cy Young cadidate Esteban Loiza (21 wins), the Sox feature one of most well-rounded starting rotations in the American League.

The Yankees feature one the best starting staffs that money can buy. Roger Clemens, a future Hall-of-Famer, leads this experienced group. Though the Yankees were forced to mark several changes to their staff during the course of the season, Joe Torre believes it is deep enough to get them where they want to be.

Both teams had problems at the bottom ends of their respective staffs, but with this being a five-game series at most, it is unlikley that more than three or four of the starters on each team will see much time.

Advantage: Even

Catcher: Miguel Olivo vs. Jorge Posada

In Miguel Olivo, the White Sox believe they have the second coming of Ivan Rodriguez. Like his counterpart, Olivio has a strong arm, good speed, and the potential to be a perennial All Star. If there is one weakness in Olivo's game right now, it is his offense. Olvio made the jump from Double-A to the Majors in 2002, but his bat has not caught up with him.

Jorge Posada, on the other hand, ranks as one of the best catchers in baseball. Offense will not be a problem for him, as the Peurto Rico native topped thirty home runs for the first time in his career. An All-Star regular, Posada has long been an important piece in the Yankees championship puzzel.

Advantage: Yankees

09-05-2003, 06:06 PM
First Base: Paul Konerko vs. Jason Giambi

The 2003 season was a tale of two halves for Paul Konerko. For the first three months of the season, an expedition was undertaken to find Konerko's swing. For much of this time, the expedition was a disaster. The Sox first baseman struggled mightily in the first half, forcing manager Jerry Manuel to bench him in favor of Brian Daubach.

Once the second half began, Konerko rediscovered his swing, even going so far as to win the AL Player of the Week honors in September. In spite of his slow start, Konerko finished with twenty home runs for the fifth straight year, allowing officials in the Sox front-office to stop questioning themselves over offering him a large contract.

As far as Jason Giambi is concerned, the Yankees have never questioned signing him to a long-term deal following the 2001 season. After dealing with an eye-infection early in the season, Giambi bounced back to finish with numbers (42 HR, .550 SLG %) on par with his career marks.

Having appeared in a deoderant commercial earlier in the season, Giambi has given pitchers more than enough reasons to sweat when he steps into the batter's box.

Advantage: Yankees