Are 2010 White Sox a lot like ’83 AL West Champion Sox?

white sox

With the Chicago White Sox recent hot start catapulting them into first place, we’ve heard a local sports media outlet or two compare this year’s bunch to the 1983 division title White Sox.

And while it may be a little premature to draw parallels between the two squads, there is one striking similarity.

The ‘83 Sox finished 60-25 down the stretch, while starting a very pedestrian 39-38. This team has gone a transcendent 25-5 since beginning the year an ugly 24-33. In order to match the ‘83 team, they’ll have to go 50-25 in the second half.

Current Sox hitting coach Greg Walker played his first full season on that ‘83 team. I recently had an exclusive with “Walk,” and we discussed that unforgettable Sox season.

By Paul M. Banks

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Remembering the 1983 White Sox with Greg Walker

greg walker 83 white sox

With the Chicago White Sox recent hot start catapulting them into first place, we’ve started hearing local sports media outlet or two comparing this year’s scrappy bunch to the 1983 division title White Sox. (come back tomorrow for more on this). And while it may be a little premature to draw parallels between the two squads, there is one striking similarity.

The ’83 Sox finished 60-25 down the stretch, while starting a very pedestrian 39-38. This team has gone a transcendent 25-5 since beginning the year an ugly 24-33. In order to match the ’83 team, they’ll have to go 50-25 in the second half. But before we figure out we’re actually going, we need to recall where we’ve really been.

Current Sox hitting coach Greg Walker played his first full season on that ’83 team. Coincidentally, he was born in 1959, the last time the Sox had won anything prior to that fateful summer. I recently had an exclusive with “Walk,” and we discussed that unforgettable Sox season.

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

Cubs-White Sox Exchange: Apathy Reigns!

2003cubssoxlogo2

By Paul M. Banks and David Kay

(PMB)What a difference a year makes! Last season around this time, both Chicago teams were in first place and the Crosstown Classic actually came remotely close to living up to the absurd hype that accompanies it each year. It was so important that we actually ran two exchanges for each series, and broke comment records on all of them. (Those records were subsequently broken by my piece following Soxman around at the Cell for the home series on the opening weekend of Batman: The Dark Knight. (That scheduling was intentional- not coincidental by the way)

Back to ’09 where apathetic is the word. Both teams redefine mediocrity and bad situational hitting. I’d almost still rather bask in the glow of “TSB weekend in MLB.” There are four main teams covered regularly here (Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, and Minnesota Twins) although we are starting to branch out into the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers now. And interleague weekend brought the four together. How rare and how cool was that? This midweek series however, no buzz at all.

(DK) To be completely honest, I didn’t even realize the Cubs and Sox were playing each other this week until you e-mailed me about this exchange. With the Blackhawks run to the Western Conference Finals, Bulls exciting series against the Celtics, and Bears acquisition of a real quarterback, this spring baseball season has taken an unusual back seat in the Chi. With good reason though. Neither the Cubs nor Sox have shown any sign of consistency or being a real contender in their respective divisions.

(PMB) The Cubs just fired hitting coach Gerald Perry and replaced him with Von Joshua. I think Sox hitting coach Greg Walker is possibly next. When you play in a hitters park like that and your team’s offensive numbers look ajlike Allan from “The Hangover” with his shirt off, you got to be on the hot seat.

(DK) The Cubs needed to shake things up somehow and it’s too early to give Sweet Lou the boot, so it certainly wasn’t unexpected when Perry was replaced by former Sox hitting coach, Von Joshua, who has a good history with some of the younger bats on the Cubs’ roster having coached them at I-City.

I think Walker is fairly safe. If there was ever a time to can him it was at the beginning of the month when the Pale Hoes scored three runs over a four game period, being shut-out three of those games. The veterans are hitting the ball well for the south-siders, it’s the young talent that needs to step their game up.

(PMB) Being a pitcher in softball, I like watching a good 3-2 MLB game as much as the next man, but this series’ inevitable low scores will be more about bad hitting than good pitching. Well, maybe the scores might be higher than we anticipated given how the Sox defense is to fielding what Heather Graham’s character in “The Hangover” is to chastity. That’s right two references this week to the funniest movie that I’ve seen in years.

(DK) I guess it’s safe to say that it was date night this weekend for you, huh? Heather Graham isn’t wearing roller skates in this one is she?

Maybe they should agree to adopt your underhand softball pitching style to add some firepower to this series. Both teams are in the bottom third in the majors in runs, hits, batting average, and RBI. Having CQ and A-Ram on the DL has been costly as has a major lack of clutch hitting. helmsgrahamhangover050809


(PMB) Of course Rollergirl took her clothes off in this film. Your predictions on this series? What’s the worst this series could be on the Unwatchability index? Using a 1-10 system, with 1 being seeing someone’s knee dislocate (very hard to watch), 5= Comcast Sports Net’s “Monsters in the Morning” (I’d rather be knocked unconscious) and 10 representing a Smashmouth concert. (worse torture than waterboarding)

Shall we get back to our NBA Draft work?

(DK) I’ll go against the grain on this one and predict an ‘8’ for this series. And I mean an 8 on a normal 1-10 scale, not the scale of horrific pain that you just described. The Cubs and Sox were each victorious thanks to game-winning runs in the ninth inning on Sunday and should have some momentum going into this series, which always has a different feel to it compared to any other series. I also have a feeling we could see some A.J. Pierzynski/Michael Barrett-type fireworks. Cubs take two of three.

Time to study some tape of B.J. Mullens’ footwork in the low post…

(PMB) You’re right. I’ll probably watch (and probably enjoy) all 3 games of the series. But I’d still rather be studying up on Darren Collison and Jeff Teague.

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