View Full Version : Avoiding the fate of 2000

10-03-2005, 12:24 AM
I am as excited about the prospects of postseason success as anybody else here. But I will never get the memory of the 2000 flop out of my head, and I'm sure I am not alone. So let's look at what went wrong in 2000, and why it shouldn't happen this time.

Let's look at the pitching in 2000. The team had no good, healthy pitching staff by the time the playoffs rolled around. Jim Parque struggled early in Game One but settled down, Mike Sirotka struggled all the way through Game Two, and James Baldwin gave a wonderful performance in Game Three. The biggest problem was the bullpen. Keith Foulke posted an 11.47 ERA. Howry blew Game One. And Wunsch didn't help himself in Game Three. During the regular season, the pitching staff was ranked fourth in the AL behind Oakland, Seattle and Boston. But it was clearly struggling down the stretch, with injuries to Sirotka and Baldwin, and an inconsistent Parque.

As for the hitters, they choked. Almost all of them. Carlos Lee was 1 for 11. Ordonez was 2 for 11. Frank Thomas was 0 for 9. Chris Singleton was 1 for 9. Ray Durham was 2 for 10. Paul Konerko was 0 for 9. The only ones who didn't stink at the plate were Herbert Perry (4 for 9) and Jose Valentin (3 for 10). And Charles Johnson was 3 for 9. Only won player went deep - Ray Durham. Seattle had a good pitching staff, but our hitters made them look even better. In the regular season, the White Sox were the top scoring offense in the AL with 6.04 runs/game.

So will that happen this time too? I don't think so for a couple reasons. First, they have more experience in the post-season. Charles Johnson was the only 2000 player with post-season experience. None of the pitchers had any post-season experience at all. This year, Contreras, El Duque, Garcia and Hermanson bring a ton of playoff experience to the table. They won't be intimidated by it at all. The hitters have a little less experience. Konerko was there in 2000. AJ, Dye and Everett have a bunch of experience elsewhere. Overall, though, the team has a better mix of veteran leadership and an experienced group of players accustomed to playoff pressure.

Second, the pitching staff on this team is much better than 2000. There is simply no comparison between Sirotka, Parque and Baldwin v. Contreras (2nd half), Buehrle, Garcia and Garland. Our starting staff resembles the 1993 or 1983 teams much more than the 2000 team. We have a lot of depth in the bullpen, though I worry a bit about how it will do against Boston.

Third, this team can score lots of different ways. If we face a dominant pitcher like Colon, or a guy having an amazing game (Wells could do it), we have the players that can scratch out a few runs. Our offense is not as powerful as the 2000 team, but it is more multidimensional.

Fourth, momentum has swung in our favor again. I really think the Cleveland series righted the ship in the Sox clubhouse. The guys really think they can beat anybody. The 2000 team yawned down the stretch, losing six of the last eight after clinching in Minnesota. I don't think the team ever prepared itself mentally for a Seattle team that played hard right the last day. Until the last week I would have said the same thing about this year's team. But they really turned it on down the stretch, and Ozzie has them ready to go.

I think everybody here worries that the 2005 White Sox will mimic the 2000 White Sox in the playoffs. I just don't think this team will falter the same way because it has better pitching, more experience and is playing well lately.

10-03-2005, 12:28 AM
Charles Johnson was the only 2000 player with post-season experience.

Don't forget about Frank in '93.

mike squires
10-03-2005, 12:32 AM
I can see our pitching continuing to be lights out. I have great concerns with our situational hitting and being able to execute a bunt, getting a sac fly when we need one and stealing a base...I hope one of the games we'll bust out and score 8 runs. I'm looking for all the games to be damn close and for my blood pressure to be up most of the series.

10-03-2005, 12:35 AM

"Don't forget that I'm gone."

The Wimperoo
10-03-2005, 12:42 AM
The offense will have to show up. I have faith in the starters and bullpen to hold the BoSox in check for the most part 2-4 runs. The offense has to be able to score off of the BoSox POS pitching staff.

10-03-2005, 12:44 AM
Sorry, I forgot about Frank in 1993. Buehrle also pitched an inning in 2000.

10-03-2005, 12:50 AM
From my seat near the leftfield corner, I have two memories that summarize the frustration of the series. Of course there were the pop-outs and even more pop-outs, but an inning-ending forceout at second where Jose Valentin looked so safe and lay there long after the call and a clutch single where Herbert Perry could only advance from second to third defined what I felt. It was like that team didn't bring enough into October to win anything.

This White Sox team is clearly a different team. And facing down Cleveland the last couple of weeks had to do this team some good.

10-03-2005, 12:52 AM
What worries me on Boston is two guys--David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. Simply because we don't have any game-breaking, dominant hitters as those two. Sure, Paulie was 40-100, but not 45-140 or something like that.

Our starters are much better than Boston, and our bullpen better, but the difference, in my humble opinion, will be whether or not we can shut those two down. Because for the White Sox to beat the Red, it can not be a shootout, it'll have to be a low-scoring series.

OEO Magglio
10-03-2005, 01:12 AM
This team is so much better then the 2000 squad it is not even funny. We got a great chance to do tons of damage this postseason, we just need our guys to play to their capabilities, if they do...they won't be beat.

10-03-2005, 02:38 AM
2000 was so miserable. The playoffs seemed like they were over before they started. The single regret I feel is for Jose Valentin. He deserved some post-season glory. After all, only Cal Ripken hit 25 HRs for 5 straight seasons as a SS. That is what Manos did for us and I hate that he didn't at least get to an ALCS.

Anyway, this is SO different than 2000. Or 93. Or 83. There are gonna be blown leads, back and forth games, walkoffs. This is gonna be a gut-wrenching month! Which is gonna make it (as my daughter would say) all the more funner!!

So ya better get yer headphones out and get 'em cranked up, cause they're really gonna help you on this one...

10-03-2005, 03:17 AM
The key problem with 2000 was an injured starting staff, we can see this even with the season after that, sirotka had his torn labrum(shouldergate) and baldwin had shoulder surgery. Parque also had surgery too, which led to questions, how capable was our staff in noticing\preventing injuries. The bats being silent too did also hurt us most of all. It was also a team that had no pressure on itself the second half and coasted miserably into the playoffs playing .500 ball. This team has more heart and was the proverbial animal in the corner, they had to fight out

10-03-2005, 08:31 AM
[QUOTE=TDog]and a clutch single where Herbert Perry could only advance from second to third defined what I felt. It was like that team didn't bring enough into October to win anything.[QUOTE]

And it was an INJURED Herbert Perry who needed to be pinch run for that didn't score on that hit. Manual left him in, and then brought in an extremely inexperienced Chad Bradford with two on and two outs and the Sox up 4-3 in the 7th and he promptly gave up a hit to Mike Cameron that tied the game and would have given the M's the lead if Magglio hadn't thrown out the go-ahead run at the plate.