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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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Greatest White Sox Team of All Time simulation tournament-Round 1

Posted 06-04-2009 at 04:53 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 06-04-2009 at 08:04 PM by TommyJohn

I have been wanting to get back to my sim tourney, but haven't, I guess because I don't want to get bogged down in minutia. It is one thing to have these "games" it is quite another to actually sit down, analyze them, study them, and offer commentary. So for this first round (which I played in April) I'll merely post the results.

Round 1: 1983 (99-63) vs. 1993 (94-68)

The 1983 "Winning Ugly" White Sox, one of the most fondly remembered teams in franchise history, kicked off the tourney by taking on the not-as-remembered "Good Guys In Black." With the exception of one game, the Winning Ugly White Sox won pretty, beating the 1993 "Good Guys" 3 games to 1.

1983 Sox 4, 1993 Sox 1
1993 Sox 8, 1983 Sox 7
1983 Sox 8, 1993 Sox 4
1983 Sox 3, 1993 Sox 1

Frank Thomas, upon being eliminated, immediately suited up to play in the next series.

2000 (95-67) vs. 2005 (99-63)

Two of the most beloved White Sox teams ever duked it out in the most evenly-matched, hotly-contested series in the first round. Frank Thomas had to play for the 2000s, as he logged in more time with them, while Paul Konerko played for the 2005s. Of course, their postseason runs could not be more dissimliar-the 2000 White Sox were the victims of a first round wipeout at the hands of the Seattle Mariners while the 2005 White Sox went all the way to become the first White Sox team in 88 years to win the World Series. That feat, of course, won them the undying love and gratitude of White Sox fans.

The two teams did have a few things in common: The 2000 team spent almost every day in first place while the 2005 team did spend every day in first; the two had five players in common; and both were subsequently dismissed as "flukes" by the experts in the Chicago media-obstensibly for failing to follow-up on their success, but really for having the utter gall to win something (including the whole thing) while their Cubbies continued to wander in the 100 year wilderness.

The 2000 Sox struck first, their slam-bang offense blasting 2005 Sox pitching for 10 runs, while Mike Sirotka tossed a shutout. The 2005ers returned the favor the next day, with Freddie Garcia slapping the 2000s with his own shutout, a 9-0 win over Jim Parque.

The 2000 Sox took the series lead by winning Game 3 9-3 and were poised to take it all in Game 4. The 2005s got it back though, winning a nail-biter 6-5 to set up a loser goes home Game 5.

The 2000s seemed to be cruising when they jumped out to a 6-2 lead, but the 2005s stunned them with a six-run rally to take an 8-6 lead. They increased it to 9-6 going into the final inning. With one out, the 2000s staged a rally: Carlos Lee homered and two hits and a walk scored another run to close the gap to 9-8. Harold Baines stepped up with runners on first and third, but his shallow flyball wasn't deep enough to bring the tying run home, and Ray Durham struck out swinging to end the series and advance the 2005 World Champions.

1901 (83-53) vs. 1959 (94-68)

This promised to be an interesting match on paper: the first team in Sox history, one of the great teams of the dead ball era, squaring off againast a team whose style brought back memories of the dead ball era.

It turned out to be not much of a contest-the 1959 team accomplished the only sweep of the first round, brushing aside the 1901 team. In attendance for this series was Charles A. Comiskey, the founder and first owner of the team. He was disappointed at the outcome, but mindful that two of his teams, 1906 and 1917, were still in it and one would obviously advance.

The finals were 4-3, 7-3 and 8-1.

1906 (93-58) vs. 1917 (100-54)

This also promised great drama-two World Champions hooking up-the "Hitless Wonders" of yore versus Buck, Shoeless Joe and Co.

The 1917 team dominated the hitless ones in the first two games, winning 6-1 and 7-4. The 1906ers got them into the South Side Grounds and, once in their element, got one back. Ed Walsh led the way, giving up one run on three hits in 8 innings of work. Frank Smith finished it up for him.

Game 4 was another fun, exciting affair that went into extra innings tied 3-3. In the top of the 10th, the 17s made it 4-3 with 2 on when Buck Weaver doubled home Joe Jackson and Chick Gandil, who was mysteriously slow in heading for the plate. He beat the throw only because catcher Sullivan bobbled it. Gandil walked away looking almost mad that he had scored.

That hit was a decisive blow, however. Joe Benz set the Hitless Wonders down 1-2-3 in the 10th to advance the 1917 World Champs. As the 1917s raced in to congratulate each other, Gandil was seen whispering something to shortstop Risberg. Methinks there may be foulness afoot for the next round, perhaps.

So the first round is history, and the semifinals, both best-of-seven affairs, will be coming up. Here are the match-ups:

1917 World Champions vs. 1959 "Go-Go" Sox

1983 "Winning Ugly" Sox vs. 2005 World Champions

The players and owners on both sides are eagerly anticipating these series, all four eager to prove themselves as the greatest of them all. Bill Veeck and Charlie Comiskey II will represent the 1959 team, Charles A. Comiskey the 1917ers. Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn will be present to see their two greatest ever teams square off in their quest for Pale Hose Diamond Supremacy. The major media of those eras will be represented by Sy Sanborn, Ring Lardner, Hugh Fullerton, Jerome Holtzman, Edgar Munzel, Wendell Smith, Ray Sons, and many others. The major media of 2005 are still not convinced that the White Sox won anything that year, and thus might not be there. Well, Richard Roeper and John Kass are definite commitments. The others are eagerly awaiting the Cubs tournament. Special guest reporters will include James T. Farrell, Studs Terkel and Nelson Algren.

Each game will be played a day at a time, with home field advantage going to the team with the better record. In the case of 1983 vs. 2005, both of whom went 99-63, their postseason marks served as a tiebreaker: The 2005 record of 11-1 easily beats the 1983 mark of 1-3. So Games 1,2, 6 and 7 will be at U.S. Cellular Field (U Sold-your-Soul Field to the 2005 media) and Games 3,4 and 5 will take place at Comiskey Park, which is being built back up to its 1983 state for the occasion.

The other series will have all of its games at Comiskey Park-the 1917 Champs will be the home team for Games 1, 2, 6 and 7; the 1959ers will wear home pinstripes for Games 3, 4, and 5. In the games in which the 1917 club is at home, the park will be its 1917 self (with no upper deck in the outfield) and for 1959 home games the 1959 version of the park will be in use.
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