View Full Version : Counterfactual fun - Sox history in Armour Field

Frater Perdurabo
06-08-2005, 05:14 PM
Re-reading articles about the proposed Armor Field got be excited about some "what ifs." What if the Sox agreed with architect Philip Bess' plan to replace Old Comiskey with Armour Field (http://whitesoxinteractive.com/FixComiskey/Bess/Conversation1.htm)? Let's say the state legislature approved this plan instead of the New Comiskey that has been renovated and renamed U.S. Cellular Field.

Bess's proposal called for short foul lines and an expansive centerfield. This wasn't fake quirkiness that many of the newest ballparks incorporate. It was born through the need to fit the site. "This is precisely how the old ballparks were designed, fitting the structure to the site."

1. With short foul poles (280 feet according to the schematic above), pull hitters would have an advantage.

2. Prevailing blow from the west and/or southwest. Because Armor Field faces north, left-handed power hitters would have a further advantage because the wind would blow out to right. This would hurt right-handed power hitters because winds would blow in from the 3B side and the LF corner.

3. With the deep center field "corners" (422 feet) and power alleys (390 feet), hitters who take advantage of the "whole field" (like Frank Thomas and Aaron Rowand) would hit far fewer homers but probably hit lots more doubles and triples. This especially would benefit line-drive hitters, but perhaps hurt fly ball hitters.

4. The Sox would need a CF who could cover vast expanses of ground.

Even a GM like Ron Schueler would have to develop and sign players that would exploit a home field as quirky as Armour Field would be. So, here are my "predictions" about what might have happened "on the field." So just assume deeppink thoughout, but in regular type for easy reading.

1991: In the inaugural season of Armour Field, the White Sox sell out every game as fans flock to the "retro" park. It soon becomes the place to be, especially since the Sox jump out to a 13-4 April record. They win the first ever game in their new stadium over the Detroit Tigers, 18-16, behind the left-handed power of DH Dan Pasqua (3 homers, 9 RBI) and 3B Robin Ventura (2 homers, 4 RBI). By the end of the season, in which they finish 91-71, four games back of the Twins, Pasqua has hit 52 HR and Ventura finishes with 39. 1B Frank Thomas leads the team with a .318 BA, but only 18 HR.

1992: Seeing the need for more power from right field, GM Ron Schueler trades OF Sammy Sosa and P Ken Patterson to the LA Dodgers for OF Darryl Strawberry. His addition gives the Sox a fearsome lineup on paper. However, on July 22, Strawberry is arrested for buying cocaine two blocks from Wrigley Field. The stunned first place Sox go into a funk and lose 18 of their next 19 games to finish 86-76 and in third place. Pasqua leads the Sox with 55 HR, and Thomas leads the team with a .323 AVG.

1993: Desperate for a solution to their hole in right field, Schueler signs aging OF Kirk Gibson, who surprises with 41 HR batting fifth behind Pasqua. The Sox win the division and then defeat the Blue Jays in six games in the ALCS. Although Michael Jordan announces his retirement during the Game 1 win over the Blue Jays, within two weeks Chicago fans barely take notice as the Sox give Chicago its first World Series appearance since 1959 and first championship since 1917 by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games! 1B Frank Thomas, taking advantage of his line drive power to all fields, wins the AL batting title with a .368 AVG. He also hits 76 doubles, shattering Earl Webb's 1931 single-season doubles record of 67. DH Pasqua again leads the Sox with 51 HR.

Any other ideas for "revisionist history?"


06-08-2005, 11:10 PM
I didn't know Dan Pasqua had that in him.

06-09-2005, 09:44 AM
Craig Grebeck would have a minimum 40 HR as well.

Hey, taking deep pink into account, it was pretty fun to read...

Frater Perdurabo
06-09-2005, 10:52 AM
Craig Grebeck would have a minimum 40 HR as well.

Hey, taking deep pink into account, it was pretty fun to read...

Hey, here's some more then....

1994: Prior to the start of the season, Pasqua is arrested for accepting a package of marijuana at his swank Armour Park townhouse. As a stop-gap measure, the Sox are forced to sign Julio Franco to DH, who proves to be a pleasant surprise. Although the Sox had to shuffle their lineup, Franco fits right in batting third behind Thomas and in front of Ventura. But it's all for nought as the season ends prematurely in a players' strike. His fellow owners blamed Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who was making money hand over fist at the new stadium and surrounding real estate boom, for over-inflating player salaries. At the time of the strike, Thomas led the AL in hitting with a sterling .390 AVG and 59 doubles. Ventura, forced to bat cleanup with Pasqua awaiting trial, led the team with 39 homers at the break. Franco batted .329 with 37 doubles when the season ended. Sox fans were upset with Reinsdorf as well, because the Sox looked to be on their way to returning to the World Series.

1995: Before the season begins, Sox ace Jack McDowell is traded to the Yankees for minor leaguer Keith Heberling and OF Lyle Mouton. The Sox suffer a disappointing start after Franco's contract is not renewed and they bring back Darryl Strawberry to DH, who lasts for 31 games before again getting arrested for crack cocaine. Manager Jeff Torborg abruptly is fired after a slow start and replaced with 3B coach Terry Bevington.

06-09-2005, 12:41 PM
As good a power hitter as Frank was/ is, I think he would have taken greater advantage of the short foul lines and found a way to hit more than 18 HRs a year.

Frater Perdurabo
06-09-2005, 05:12 PM
As good a power hitter as Frank was/ is, I think he would have taken greater advantage of the short foul lines and found a way to hit more than 18 HRs a year.

That was just his first season in Armour, onda.... :redneck I'm sure he would have figured it out too....


06-09-2005, 09:28 PM
I like the idea behind the Bess plan, but 265' foul poles weren't going to be approved in 1989 for the new stadium design.