Fired up about how the 2005 White Sox have been slighted the past two postseasons?
You’re not alone.
Longtime catcher and current Fox Sports broadcaster A.J. Pierzynski noticed earlier this week when ESPN overlooked the 2005 White Sox title run for a second straight year. In a since deleted tweet, ESPN noted on Tuesday that the Los Angeles Dodgers potentially could join the 1998 New York Yankees as the only clubs in the Wild Card Era to win the World Series with two or fewer postseason losses. The omission excludes the starting pitching-dominant 11-1 mark of the 2005 White Sox. Pierzynski — who is speaking in Joliet on Nov. 8 at the Brown & Gold dinner in support of the University of Saint Francis Fighting Saints — admits the most recent oversight of the 2005 team is bothersome.
“I saw it,” Pierzynski said. “I did. I think it’s a joke. I know it came from ESPN, and obviously I work for one of their rivals. Now that I’m in the media and get how it works — basically whoever did that is not doing their job. They didn’t do their job right and that’s it. ... I’m not saying they should be fired, but at least something. You can’t make mistakes like that.
“The White Sox in 2005 had one of the greatest playoff runs of all time and everyone just forgets that the White Sox were in the playoffs or even won the World Series. I get it. I understand the way it works in Chicago and around the country. The Cubs are more popular. But it’s just amazing the way people forget and so quickly.”
The astounding part to Pierzynski and a few other teammates who have spoken out this week is how dominant the White Sox were en route to their first championship in 88 years. The 2005 White Sox swept reigning champion Boston in three games in the American League Division Series. Their five-game victory in the AL Championship Series over the Angels featured complete-game wins from Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras. The same quartet produced 28 more sharp innings in the four-game sweep of the Houston Astros in the World Series.
The sharp contrast in how the White Sox utilized their starting pitchers compared to baseball’s current Bullpenning Era only makes the error more ironic to Pierzynski. The mistake also comes one year after both ESPN and CBS overlooked the team’s accomplishments prior to the Cubs’ storied title run.
Two consecutive years of overlooking the 2005 group’s accomplishment has led to numerous jokes on social media and also stirred up anger among the team’s fan base, an emotion Pierzynski understands.
“It’ll never happen again where you have four guys in the ALCS throw complete games and get wins,” Pierzynski said. “It’ll never happen because managers now can’t wait to get to the bullpen. Back then we had a great bullpen ... but we just wanted to ride our starters. Did we pay for it the next year and down the road? Probably a little bit. But at that moment, they were our best four pitchers and we rode them into the ground and they got it done for us.
“I know the 1998 Yankees are considered one of the greatest teams of all-time and one of the reasons is they went 11-1 in the playoffs. We matched them and everyone just discards us because I guess we didn’t have the sexy names or the big names. But we had a team that was really good.
“I get it from a media standpoint and I know I work for Fox. There are sexier teams, I get it. But it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”