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StatManDu
12-12-2006, 11:59 AM
Twenty-six years ago today, general manager Roland Hemond pulled off another one of those quietly effective deals when snared switch-hitting second baseman Tony Bernazard from the Montreal Expos for erratic left-handed pitcher Rich “Tex” Wortham.

Bernazard was a rock for the Sox, especially in 1982 when he hit .256 with 11 homers and 56 RBIs. Any chance the Sox had at winning the West that year ended when Bernazard suffered a season-ending leg injury Sept. 12 in Oakland.

After playing 59 games in 1983, Bernazard was dealt to Seattle in a June 15 deadline deal in which the Sox got fellow second baseman Julio Cruz, who played an instrumental role in the team’s surge to the A.L. West title.

It must have been crushing for Bernazard to watch his old team celebrate the division title on Sept. 17, 1983 when the Sox clinched with a 4-3 win over Seattle before 45,646 at Comiskey Park.

About eight years later, Bernazard was on the other side of another historic White Sox moment though he probably enjoyed this one a little more than he did in 1983. Bernazard went 1-for-2 off the bench in the Tigers’ 16-0 win over the White Sox in the first game at “new” Comiskey Park April 18, 1991.

Bernazard also presented the ball that Frank Thomas hit for the first All-Star home run in White Sox history to the “Big Hurt” in 1995. The home run traveled into the second deck and landed in the Players’ Association suite where Alex Fehr, the nine-year old nephew of union chief Donald Fehr caught the ball. White Sox Manager of Scoreboard Operations Jeff Szynal, who also serves as the team’s Hall of Fame curator, left his seat in the left field stands to retrieve the ball. Szynal and Bernazard, who was in the MLPA suite, took the ball to the American League clubhouse and gave it to Thomas.

As for Wortham, he had one game left in his arm and it came in 1983 for Oakland.

veeter
12-12-2006, 12:29 PM
Cool info. I really liked Bernazard.

StatManDu
12-12-2006, 12:31 PM
Thanks. It turns out that hit in the final game at New Comiskey for the Tigers was the last of Bernazard's career.

I will make that edit.

Britt Burns
12-12-2006, 01:54 PM
I loved Tony B., and was soooo upset when he was traded to seattle. Of course Juice was exactly what the Sox needed that year, and became the spark plug that helped get them to the playoffs. Thanks Tony! A big part of the 'New-look' Sox of the early '80's (Fisk, Kemp, Bull, etc.)

C-Dawg
12-12-2006, 02:31 PM
And to complete the love fest, I always loved Tex Wortham! He had that great leg kick, which I tried to mimic by trying to throw left-handed. Good thing no one around my neighborhood had a speed gun; it was probably about 15 MPH.

ondafarm
12-12-2006, 02:39 PM
Everybody knew Reisndorf was going to dump Tony B. He'd asked for arbitration and won it and was serving as the team's union rep. IIRC.

tebman
12-12-2006, 02:49 PM
And to complete the love fest, I always loved Tex Wortham! He had that great leg kick, which I tried to mimic by trying to throw left-handed. Good thing no one around my neighborhood had a speed gun; it was probably about 15 MPH.
Rich Wortham was briefly a neighbor of mine. He and Kevin Bell and Mike Proly lived in townhouses in Bolingbrook in 1980 where we lived at the time. I never got to meet them -- they weren't home much. :tongue:

D. TODD
12-12-2006, 03:02 PM
I loved Tony B., and was soooo upset when he was traded to seattle. Of course Juice was exactly what the Sox needed that year, and became the spark plug that helped get them to the playoffs. Thanks Tony! A big part of the 'New-look' Sox of the early '80's (Fisk, Kemp, Bull, etc.) I loved Juice coming over. :D:

wilburaga
12-12-2006, 03:29 PM
And to complete the love fest, I always loved Tex Wortham! He had that great leg kick, which I tried to mimic by trying to throw left-handed. Good thing no one around my neighborhood had a speed gun; it was probably about 15 MPH.

I loved that 1979 team with top four starters all being southpaws - Kravec, Wortham, Baumgarten and Trout. And then Sports Illustrated had to do a feature on our young lefties and put the old whammeroo on them. Bah!

W

jackbrohamer
12-12-2006, 03:35 PM
IIRC, the Sox then locked Cruz in after the 1983 season for a then-insane amount of money, and he didn't have much of an impact after that

ondafarm
12-12-2006, 05:07 PM
I loved Juice coming over. :D:

I thought it was a terrible deal. Trade a steady, sure-handed secondbasemen who was a dandy #2 hitter for a guy who gave you half a season of glitz and then fumbled through the playoffs and never did anything again except collect paychecks.

slavko
12-12-2006, 05:08 PM
Everybody knew Reisndorf was going to dump Tony B. He'd asked for arbitration and won it and was serving as the team's union rep. IIRC.

IIRC, LaRussa called him the heart and soul of the team just before he was dumped. He joined a long list of union rep's who didn't last long.

IIRC, the Sox then locked Cruz in after the 1983 season for a then-insane amount of money, and he didn't have much of an impact after that

Wasn't the payout over a 20-year deferred period that didn't end until 2003?

wilburaga
12-12-2006, 05:34 PM
I thought it was a terrible deal. Trade a steady, sure-handed secondbasemen who was a dandy #2 hitter for a guy who gave you half a season of glitz and then fumbled through the playoffs and never did anything again except collect paychecks.

I have to stick up for Juice here. The 1983 Sox record with Tony B. was 28-32, with Cruz it was 71-31. Cruz had a decent playoff with 4 hits, a .333 batting average, .467 OBP with a pair of steals and no errors. IIRC, wasn't it his hit that precipitated Dybber's gaffe?

Post 1983, I agree that Cruz was useless. Again, if memory serves, foot injuries really robbed him of his mojo and his compensation far outweighed his contributions.

W

D. TODD
12-12-2006, 05:47 PM
Juice Cruz was a catalyst for that team. He was a boost of energy for the squad. He was subpar after that though. If I recall correctly a little cocaine problem may have played a role in Julio's struggles. Nothing against Tony B., but I was happy when they made the deal, and still like the move. Now Dybzinski, and his playing time well that's another story!

soxfanatlanta
12-12-2006, 06:02 PM
StatManDu, every time I read your thread titles, I think that the player died. After picking myself up off the floor, I read a nice post. Like most others, I think the Cruz trade was a bad deal at the time; who knows what the team would have done if TB stayed. Ahh, such is life.

SBSoxFan
12-12-2006, 07:19 PM
I loved Juice coming over. :D:

He'll also be the last player to ever have that nickname ... at least in a positive sense! :D:

Brian26
12-12-2006, 10:27 PM
Wasn't the payout over a 20-year deferred period that didn't end until 2003?

Pretty sure that's just a local sports urban-myth, but it was a pretty long contract.

ondafarm
12-12-2006, 11:27 PM
Juice Cruz was a catalyst for that team. He was a boost of energy for the squad. He was subpar after that though. If I recall correctly a little cocaine problem may have played a role in Julio's struggles. Nothing against Tony B., but I was happy when they made the deal, and still like the move. Now Dybzinski, and his playing time well that's another story!

See, the catalyst part I just don't understand.

Year Player G Run OBP SLG AVG R/G
1983 JCruz 99 47 .311 .311 .251 (with Sox) .47
1983 TBern 59 30 .306 .373 .262 (with Sox) .51
2006 Pods 139 86 .330 .353 .261 .62
2005 Pods 129 80 .351 .349 .290 .62

Cruz was not a very good lead-off man (considerably worse than Pods even in his poor 2006 campaign) and considerably weaker than Bernazzard in the same campaign. While the Sox did turn things around at the time of the trade, I don't know why anyone thinks JCruz was responsible.

DSpivack
12-13-2006, 02:31 AM
I loved that 1979 team with top four starters all being southpaws - Kravec, Wortham, Baumgarten and Trout. And then Sports Illustrated had to do a feature on our young lefties and put the old whammeroo on them. Bah!

W

Ross Baumgarten is one of my best friends uncles.

SBSoxFan
12-13-2006, 10:42 AM
See, the catalyst part I just don't understand.

Year Player G Run OBP SLG AVG R/G
1983 JCruz 99 47 .311 .311 .251 (with Sox) .47
1983 TBern 59 30 .306 .373 .262 (with Sox) .51
2006 Pods 139 86 .330 .353 .261 .62
2005 Pods 129 80 .351 .349 .290 .62

Cruz was not a very good lead-off man (considerably worse than Pods even in his poor 2006 campaign) and considerably weaker than Bernazzard in the same campaign. While the Sox did turn things around at the time of the trade, I don't know why anyone thinks JCruz was responsible.


Maybe it was just coincidence, but he seemed to bring an energy to the team that they lacked in the first half. That, and the fact that Hoyt, Dotson, and Bannister went about 40-6, helped turn that year around.

D. TODD
12-13-2006, 10:54 AM
Maybe it was just coincidence, but he seemed to bring an energy to the team that they lacked in the first half. That, and the fact that Hoyt, Dotson, and Bannister went about 40-6, helped turn that year around.
I agree the team seemed to have more energy with Cruz in the lineup. Also, Pudge was moved to 2nd in the batting order, which was unorthodox to say the least, but worked out very well. In the long run Cruz fizzled, but I think he played a huge role in their division title and their pennant run and for that reason I liked the trade.

SBSoxFan
12-13-2006, 11:16 AM
I agree the team seemed to have more energy with Cruz in the lineup. Also, Pudge was moved to 2nd in the batting order, which was unorthodox to say the least, but worked out very well. In the long run Cruz fizzled, but I think he played a huge role in their division title and their pennant run and for that reason I liked the trade.


That's right; I forgot about Pudge batting second. And Rudy Law leading off. "Pickin' 'em up and layin' 'em down" as Hawk used to say.

soxinem1
12-13-2006, 11:40 AM
I liked Tony B as a hitter, but honestly, he was an Iron Glove recipient. His range was very so-so, and it was not easy for him to turn DP's his last year here. He seemed to turn a corner in 1982, but his defense was always a little lacking.

He was really pretty fast at one time too, but he rarely displayed it with the White Sox. When he went to SEA he started to run a bit more, but his baserunning was always a bit disappointing, IMO. I remember he was real good in CLE for a few years after leaving here.

It was no suprise the 1983 went from the bottom to the near top in defense once he was traded, because Jerry Dybzinski took Scott Fletcher's place for awhile and really steadied the SS position. Then when Scooter was paired with Cruz, they really played a tight INF.

McCuddy
12-13-2006, 05:57 PM
Cruz was not a very good lead-off man (considerably worse than Pods even in his poor 2006 campaign)

Cruz was typically the #9 hitter in that lineup.

R Law CF
Fisk C
Baines RF
Luzinski DH
Kittle LF
Paciorek 1B
V Law 3B
Fletcher/Dybzinski SS
Cruz 2b

Now, granted, he ended up leading off quite a few innings, which is a typical LaRussa situation (having a stronger 9 spot than 8 spot).

3rd_Gen_Sox_Fan
12-15-2006, 11:49 AM
I loved Julio Cruz. When I was in about 2nd grade ('84ish), for the Cub Scout annual Pine Car derby I painted my car in sox colors, with Cruz's number. Also painted on the car was it's name "The Julio Cruz-er". I still have it in a box somewhere.