Originally Posted by voodoochile
They started the dive too late. You can't be .500 in late May if you want to achieve that kind of notoriety. They needed to commit to full out tank mode in early April if they wanted to win less than 50 games...
The 1970 White Sox were two games under .500 in mid-May. Going into a scheduled May 17 Sunday doubleheader and riding a four-game winning streak, there was a Don Gutteridge quote in the Tribune about sweeping "and then we'll be .500."
This White Sox team doesn't compare in futility to the 1970 team. Bill Melton was moved to right field in July because he was making so many errors at third base, including a dropped pop up that left him with a broken nose. In the other corner, Carlos May is one of my favorite players of all time, but the year after his mortar injury didn't help his defense. Once after fielding a ball down the third-base line, he missed the cut-off man with a throw in the stands behind third base.
Lack of defense, despite having Herrmann, Aparicio, Knoop and Berry to play up the middle, was a huge problem. The team gave up 100 unearned runs and gave up enough earned runs to have the worst ERA in the American League. It wasn't even close. They were about one-third of a run worse than the next worse team, the Brewers, who the year before had been the expansion Pilots.
The only pitcher to start at least 12 games with an ERA less than a run above the league average was Tommy John. The only other pitcher other than John with more than 200 innings was Gerry Janeski, who finished second in starts on the team. He was a rookie who pitched 205 of his 280 big-league innings that year. A few players barely hung on in the majors after being traded from the 1970 White Sox. I think there were 10 players on that team who never played in the majors after 1970.
The 1970 White Sox were in the bottom half of the league in runs scored and gave up more runs than anyone else by a wide margin.
The 1970 team makes the current team look like a contender.