After 108 years the jinx was finally broken when the Cubs finally won the World Series, but now it’s looking like it was just a fluke. The stars aligned, luck was finally on their side, but in the end, they weren’t really that good a baseball team. At least that could be the interpretation based on the way they’re playing right now.
My favorite team, the White Sox are not very good this year, but they’re not supposed to be. They traded away two of their five best players and are ready to trade away more as they rebuild a team that has been mediocre, at best, for most of the last ten years. The White Sox are supposed to be one of the worst teams in baseball this year. However, right now they are far and away much better than the Cubs. Sure, the Cubs are four games better than the Sox, but the stats (see below) say the Sox are better, maybe it’s the competition. While the outlook is bleak for the Cubs, it would be even worse if they were in the American League.
They’re fortunate they’re in the Central Division where they’re in 2nd place two or three games behind Milwaukee. If they were in the National League’s West Division they’d be in 4th place, 9.5 games out of first. If they were in the American League West they’d also be in 4th, but they’d be 12 1/2 back.
Cubs fans are saying, “Not to worry, the season is still young, these guys will turn it around in time for the playoffs.”
Meanwhile, White Sox fans are saying, “We knew they weren’t that good… just lucky.”
Many things went the White Sox way when the won the World Series ten years ago in 2005. Just about everyone on the team had an above average year. They combined power with speed, 4th in the league in home runs, and 3rd in stolen bases. They managed to get hits, steal bases and hit home runs when they needed them.
The hitting was good, but the pitching was great. As a team the Sox pitching staff led the league in ERA at .361, complete games – 9, Saves – 54, and innings pitched – 1475.2. John Garland led the staff with 18 wins, followed by Mark Buehrle’s 16, Jose Contreras’ 15. and Freddy Garcia’s 14. Dustin Hermanson led the team with 34 saves, but it was the 6 saves and late season heroics of Bobby Jenks that will most be remembered by Sox fans.
While everything fell into place for the White Sox that year, it fell into place as it never had before and never would again for Jose Contreras. He won more games, struck out more batters and had the second lowest ERA in any year of his 11 year major league career. Not only that but he capped off that year with three wins in the post season, including a victory in the first game of the World Series.
Maybe his year wasn’t the most important reason the Sox won 99 games that year, but it was an example of how everything fell into place for the Sox that year (as it must for any team that wins the World Series.
Nevertheless, it was with a mixture of surprise, admiration, and joy that I read this story about Jose Contreras. He is still pitching. It’s been a couple years since he last pitched in the major leagues, but he’s 43 years old, has two grand-kids and is pitching for the Tijuana Toros. He’s still able to throw 93 mph fastballs and had a 10 – 3 record in Mexico last year. You can read the rest of the story here: Former White Sox star Jose Conteras pitching as a grandpa | Chicago.
This is one of those ‘feel good’ stories for White Sox fans. According to Sports Illustrated Fanside, the Las Vegas odds-makers give the Sox 16-1 odds to win the World Series. Those are the same odds they give “the Tigers, Mariners, and the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants.” In other words the odds rank the Sox among the teams with the seventh best chance to take the Championship.
You might be thinking, “16-1 odds don’t sound all that good!” Actually, those are the same odds the Sox got at the beginning of the season in 2005, the last time they won the World Series.
As far as winning the Division and AL pennant the Vegas bookies think the Sox have a about the same chance to win the Division as the Tigers and much better than the Royals, Indians and Twins and a slightly better chance to take the AL pennant than the Tigers (7-1 vs 15-2). However, the Sox (tied with the Seattle) are the third pick to take the AL behind the Red Sox and Angels at 11-2 odds.
Read the full story here: The White Sox odds to win the World Series are ….
Baseball, betting, Las Vegas odds makers, odds, White Sox
Since I’m from Chicago, I should be a Cubs fan too, which I am, but not very much. I really would like to see them win the World Series, but not if they happen to be playing the White Sox. But I’d like to see them win, just because I’m tired of the Cubs being “Loveable Losers.”
I am also tired of Cubs fans being delusional. I would like, just once, for them to think, “This is the year, the Cubs are going all the way,” and for them to be right. After that, they can start counting to 100+ again.
The final reason I’d like to see the Cubs win the World Series is because they will no longer be the underdog. For most of the last 100 years they have been the underdog because #1, the are usually a terrible team and, #2, it’s been so long since the Cubs won the World Series that Cubs fans think it’s called the World are you Serious.
It’s not easy being a Chicago White Sox fan out here in the land of the Dodgers and Angels. I miss the fireworks, especially when the Sox smash a baseball over the outfield wall. I’ve gone to see them play here in L.A., but it just isn’t the same.
- First of all if I cheer when the Sox scored a run or pull off a great play, everyone around me looks at me the same way the kids I played baseball with years ago did when I struck out with the bases loaded. It didn’t take me long to learn to hold my exuberance in till the ride home.
- Second, there’s nobody outside or even inside the park selling Sox souvenirs. And even though there was a ‘Dodger Day’ at work, that was hardly enough reason to buy any kind of Dodger hats or even bobble-head dolls.
- Third, the food tastes funny. I had a Dodger-dog at the first Dodger’s – Sox game I went to here and I thought they were playing some kind of joke on the gringo and the pizza… don’t get me started. The stuff they serve here is edible, but it’s nowhere near is good as the food at U. S. Cellular Field.
- Fourth, even if the beer is the same brand, it tastes different. Maybe it gets too much sunshine. Maybe it has something to do with the latitude. Maybe it’s the ocean. The water here always tastes like it’s been hanging around the ocean.
Still, a Sox game is a Sox game no matter where it’s played, and when I’m watching them I’ll still want plenty of hits and homers. I’ll still want to see the starting pitcher collect enough outs to go deep into the game and I’ll expect the bullpen to hold the lead and save the game. Those things didn’t happen as often as I’d have liked last year, but this is a new one… and this year, I’m expecting plenty of fireworks.
Baseball season, my second favorite season is about to begin. Of course we have to get through college basketball’s March Madness, the NBA and NHL finals before baseball becomes THE sport, the one being talked about more than most others. Nonetheless, for me there are two sports that I follow year round: Football and Baseball.
That being said, it’s just about time to step up to the plate and to remember not to swing at a 3 – 0 pitch.