White Sox

Sox Drawer: The Lost 2005 World Series Tape

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Sox Drawer: The Lost 2005 World Series Tape

Friday, April 2, 2010
5:05 PM

By Chuck GarfienCSNChicago.com

In the madness that was the White Sox World Series championship run of 2005, we captured hours and hours of remarkable moments that followed one of the greatest stories in the history of Chicago sports.

Most of this video made it on the air. A bunch did not. And some you are about to see for the very first time.

Due to the sheer volume of footage that came pouring into our newsroom during the playoffs, especially on the night the White Sox clinched the title in Houston, some amazing stuff was, to use a movie analogy, left on the cutting room floor.

Doing a live World Series clinching post-game show, especially for a team that hadnt won a title in 88 years, and for a network (Comcast SportsNet) that was barely one year old, we were all flying by the seat of our pants.

Every win by the White Sox, and every post-game broadcast for our brand new channel (we were doing 2-to-3 hour shows after every game) was a groundbreaking achievement.

Anyone today who says they knew exactly what they were doing at the time would be lying. Most of that experience five years later is a total blur.

But after finding this long forgotten tape, a good chunk of the best memories have come flooding back.

This little discovery happened accidentally. Over the winter, I was rummaging through a closet at home when I came across a tape with a label that read quite succinctly Chuck and Mike 2005 White Sox Win it.

Mike is Comcast SportsNet photographer Mike Cappozzo. He and I worked together the night the Sox beat the Astros in Game 4, and our job was to cover the victory celebration inside the Sox clubhouse.

At this point I should probably thank my boss at the time, Michelle Murray for giving me this terrible assignment. Yeah right. It was the best. Thanks Michelle.

When the Sox beat the Astros to win the Series, and the doors to the clubhouse opened to the media, it was like walking into a hurricane of mass hysteria. Everyones endorphins popped through their skulls and ricocheted off each other in a wild display of post-game pinball.

And there we were. Mike and I. He with a camera and me with a microphone, which for some odd reason was not wireless, so we had to do our work connected to each other by a long, orange extension chord that got twisted and tangled around arms, hands, feet, notebooks, champagne bottles, and Cliff Polittes neck.

At least I think that happened. Some of this is still a little foggy.

But thankfully, much of it is now back in the memory bank because of this lost tape.

Youll see Kenny Williams parading the World Series trophy into the clubhouse amidst a sea of White Sox players, and we happened to be right there to interview him the moment he fled to safety.

Theres Mark Buehrle pouring a can of beer over the head of Jerry Reinsdorf, who when I asked him if he was concerned that hed never win a World Series said, Absolutely. I was having lunch with a friend during spring training and I said, Im going to be 70 years old next year, Ive been doing this for 24 years, I wonder if it will ever happen.

It did. Although I barely remember this interview even happening. It was that crazy.

Theres Steve Perry, the lead singer of Journey, who became the teams unofficial mascot because of Dont Stop Believin. And there we are interviewing Steve in the middle of the clubhouse while Journeys Greatest Hits was blasting out of the speakers.

Talk about surreal.

I asked him what was the greater feeling, singing on a stage in front of 80-thousand screaming fans or being aboard this crazy White Sox World Series ride?

Its the same! he shouted over his own voice that was in the middle of singing Faithfully. I mistakenly referred to it as Open Arms, which for this classic rock aficionado remains one of the worst goofs of my broadcasting career.

Theres about 45 minutes of footage on the tape. Weve cut it down to around 8 minutes of the best (although theres still a TON we cut out. We may have to do a sequel). It instantly brings you back to that 2005 championship that has been rapidly traveling farther and farther away.

What made that team so memorable, so unique, and so successful? The reasons can be found here.

Can the 2010 White Sox copy it? Thats certainly the hope.

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

Despite midseason slump, Jose Abreu is moving toward a fifth straight season of 25 homers and 100 RBIs

Despite midseason slump, Jose Abreu is moving toward a fifth straight season of 25 homers and 100 RBIs

When Jose Abreu went to the All-Star Game — voted in as the starting first baseman for the American League squad — he was of course deserving as an incredibly consistent performer through his first four seasons in the big leagues and his role as the face of the White Sox.

But the numbers weren't looking so good in mid July. An extended slump had Abreu looking very un-Abreu-like, perhaps heading toward his worst statistical season since arriving in the majors from Cuba ahead of his 2014 Rookie of the Year campaign.

At the close of the first half, he was slashing .253/.311/.441 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs, a far cry from the .301/.359/.524 slash line he put up through his first four seasons, when he also joined Albert Pujols and Joe DiMaggio as the only players ever to start their careers with a quartet of 25-homer, 100-RBI campaigns.

But Abreu, who's been a very good second-half hitter during his career, is on a hot streak that's powering his way back to his version of normal. And it's looking like he could again reach the numbers we're so used to seeing from him by season's end.

After a one-homer, three-hit, three-RBI day in Wednesday afternoon's win over the Detroit Tigers, Abreu is up to .268/.327/.484 on the campaign with 21 homers and 73 RBIs. That puts him nine homers and 27 RBIs away from the mark he's hit in each of his first four seasons with 42 games left in the season. It's not at all unreasonable to suggest he'll be able to do that, as he's hit eight homers and driven in 21 runs in his last 22 games.

He'd have to be some kind of dialed-in for the remainder of 2018 to bump the averages back to where they've been in recent seasons. But here's the kind of hot streak he's on now: Since the start of the second half, Abreu is slashing .323/.385/.646. And that's not too crazy when you realize how good he's been in the second half in his career. Coming into Wednesday's game, his career second-half stat line looked like this: a .314/.381/.540 slash line with 61 homers and 199 RBIs in 303 games.

For the White Sox, the confidence was always there that Abreu was going to snap out of the extended slump that saw him slash .180/.230/.308 from May 27 to the end of the first half, and he's done exactly that. Now, he's hot enough that he's inspiring confidence he could return to some of his regular numbers by season's end. It's that kind of consistency, coupled with his off-the-field value, that makes the team think so highly of him and could keep him around long enough for the rebuilding process to yield a perennial contender on the South Side.

A lot can change, but who are the favorites to make up the White Sox rotation of the future?

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USA TODAY

A lot can change, but who are the favorites to make up the White Sox rotation of the future?

The White Sox seem to be a couple years away from shifting from rebuilding mode to contention mode. There's plenty of development that still needs to occur at both the major league and minor league levels before the roster of the future comes fully into focus.

But with some excellent performances happening right now, is the White Sox rotation of the future falling into place? At least a little?

Look at this:

— Carlos Rodon, last seven starts: 1.60 ERA, 42 strikeouts
— Michael Kopech, last six starts: 1.89 ERA, 50 strikeouts
— Dylan Cease, last seven starts: 1.08 ERA, 57 strikeouts
— Dane Dunning, last five starts (back in June): 2.08 ERA, 38 strikeouts

Kind of looks like four-fifths of a starting rotation, doesn't it?

As has often been discussed, the White Sox have a good deal of starting pitching depth, and there are plenty of possibilities to fill that starting staff down the line. Heretofore unmentioned are pitching prospects Alec Hansen, Jordan Stephens, Jimmy Lambert and Bernardo Flores, all ranked among the organization's top 25 prospects, as well as current big leaguers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, who have each had their flashes of brilliance this season on the major league stage.

But the four guys listed above have been very, very good this season, especially recently, making it easy to envision them making up 80 percent of the starting rotation the next time the White Sox are competing for a championship.

Let's start with Rodon, who extended his streak of great starts to seven in Wednesday afternoon's win over the Detroit Tigers. He went eight innings for the second outing in a row, and he's now pitched into the eighth inning in five of his last six starts. He's got a 1.60 ERA in his last seven starts, with 42 strikeouts in that span. Wednesday, he bounced back from a rocky three-run third inning and finished with just three runs allowed on five hits and a walk, adding six strikeouts. Quite simply, he's been ace-like and done well to answer the health-related questions he brought into the season, when shoulder surgery prevented him from debuting until June for the second straight campaign.

Then there are the two guys putting up monster numbers in the minor leagues: Kopech and Cease.

The 22-year-old Kopech has moved past some midseason struggles and has been downright electric of late at Triple-A Charlotte. In his last six starts, Kopech has a 1.89 ERA with 50 strikeouts and a jaw-droppingly low four walks in 38 innings. It's quite the turnaround for a guy who was having difficulty keeping the walk numbers low earlier this season. But he's come out the other side pitching as well as he has since joining the White Sox organization prior to last season, which is saying a lot considering he struck out 172 hitters in 2017. He's just 11 strikeouts away from matching that total this year. He could make his major league debut before the 2018 season is over.

And then there's Cease, also 22, who wasn't even the most talked-about player in his own trade, coming over from the Cubs along with Eloy Jimenez in last summer's crosstown swap. Cease has been a tremendous surprise for the White Sox this season, not because they didn't think he'd be great but because he's been the organization's best pitcher. And he's continued that trend in his seven most recent starts at Double-A Birmingham, too, with a razor-thin 1.08 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 41.2 innings. He deservedly represented the White Sox at the Futures Game during All-Star week in Washington, D.C., last month and appears to be well on his way to earning the team's minor league pitcher of the year honors.

And for a fourth, how about a guy who hasn't pitched in a month and a half? Dunning has an elbow injury that's kept him out since late June, but prior to that, he was putting up terrific numbers at Double-A Birmingham. In his last five starts before hitting the DL, he had a 2.08 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 30.1 innings. And he might be making some progress, if a recent tweet is any indication.

Now, as mentioned, there's a lot that can and will happen before the starting staff is set on the next White Sox team that will contend for a championship. But this kind of positive production from these four guys stokes the idea of a potentially dominant rotation of the future.

At the very least, this quartet seems to be making life easy for the legion of 2020 lineup projectors out there.