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Lip Man 1
10-14-2004, 12:14 PM
A few days ago someone posted (was it Brian?) that only five teams had NOT won a post season series of any kind since the Sox last title in 1917.

The five teams listed were, the White Sox, Colorado, Tampa Bay, Texas and Montreal/ nee Washington.

You can make that the 'futile four.'

Montreal won the first round of the expanded split season playoffs during the strike year of 1981. They beat Philadelphia to advance to play the Dodgers for the NLCS.

Lip

Brian26
10-14-2004, 12:37 PM
Lip-

Maybe you could shed some light on this question I've had for a long time. There was some controversy surrounding some comments Tony LaRussa made around 1981 regarding the playoff system and the fact that the Sox might end up "not trying very hard" in games down the stretch to benefit themselves. I remember first reading this in Lindberg's "Who's on Third" book.

If I recall, the playoff format for '81 was the winner of the first half of the season met the winner of the second half. At some time during or after the strike, there was talk about doing the winner of the first half vs. the team with the best overall record for the season. (Which ended up hurting the Reds, I think, who had the best overall record in baseball but didn't even make the playoffs since they finished 2nd twice). Anyway, it ended up being winner of first half vs. winner of second half.

Does anyone recall what LaRussa was thinking when he made the comments? How would it have helped the Sox?

I think Oakland ended up winning the 1st half, and the Sox were in 2nd.

Lip Man 1
10-14-2004, 07:40 PM
Brian:

LaRussa first made the comments and then Whitey Herzog of the Cards followed suit which immediately caused MLB to change the format.

As originally formatted the winners of the first half and the second half would make the postseason. HOWEVER if the winner of BOTH halves was the same team, then the second place team from the second half would get the other playoff spot.

When Tony said the Sox might 'throw' a series to the A's late that season he was figuring that if the A's won both halves, then if the Sox finished second they'd get the spot (as opposed to say Oakland winning the first half and K.C. the second half which would squeeze the Sox out.) He would be gambling that the Sox would have a big enough lead for the second spot so that they could afford to try to guarantee Oakland winning both halves.

The odds against all those things working out exactly as Tony and Whitey thought were pretty small, however, they weren't zero which was why MLB went nuts when the comments came out.

Lip

Brian26
10-14-2004, 09:35 PM
Brian:

LaRussa first made the comments and then Whitey Herzog of the Cards followed suit which immediately caused MLB to change the format.

As originally formatted the winners of the first half and the second half would make the postseason. HOWEVER if the winner of BOTH halves was the same team, then the second place team from the second half would get the other playoff spot.

When Tony said the Sox might 'throw' a series to the A's late that season he was figuring that if the A's won both halves, then if the Sox finished second they'd get the spot (as opposed to say Oakland winning the first half and K.C. the second half which would squeeze the Sox out.) He would be gambling that the Sox would have a big enough lead for the second spot so that they could afford to try to guarantee Oakland winning both halves.

The odds against all those things working out exactly as Tony and Whitey thought were pretty small, however, they weren't zero which was why MLB went nuts when the comments came out. Lip
Cool, you remember the scenario that I'm talking about.

I think there's one small tweak to make this make perfect sense. If the winner of both halves was the same team, I bet the second place team from the FIRST half would get the playoff spot (not the 2nd half). I think this makes the most sense. The Sox finished in 2nd in the first half, and the 2nd half race was between the A's and KC. So, if KC won the 2nd half, the Sox would have been out of luck. If the A's won the 2nd half, the Sox would have faced them in the playoffs...thus the comments from LaRussa that the Sox might throw some games to the A's in the 2nd half.

As it turned out, KC still won the 2nd half, so it was a moot point.

Thanks for your help in figuring this out Lip! That's been bugging me for years.

cwsox
10-14-2004, 10:54 PM
Montreal/ nee Washington.

pissant point but grammar police on prowl:

nee means born or original

the correct phrase would be Washington nee Montreal.

Wsoxmike59
10-15-2004, 06:32 AM
The Tribune has been devoting the back page of its' Sports section each day this week to Chicago champions of yesteryear. The Thursday edition was the Sox' turn to be featured.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-041013tribclassic,1,6227500,print.story?coll=cs-whitesox-headlines

You have to be a registered member at the Trib's website to read the articles. (It's free to register)

wilburaga
10-15-2004, 10:11 AM
So now it's 87 years to the day since the Sox last won a postseason series.

That's a mere 31,777 days. Why are we Sox fans so impatient?



W

TornLabrum
10-15-2004, 05:24 PM
So now it's 87 years to the day since the Sox last won a postseason series.

That's a mere 31,777 days. Why are we Sox fans so impatient?



W
More importantly, why are there so many pessimists on this web site?

Lip Man 1
10-15-2004, 05:28 PM
Hal:

Tremendous! Game,set and match to Mr. Vickery!

Lip