White Sox

Tim Anderson wants South Side to 'stay prepared' for return of White Sox baseball

Tim Anderson wants South Side to 'stay prepared' for return of White Sox baseball

Baseball will be back at some point.

And when it returns, Tim Anderson wants the South Side to be ready.

“Stay prepared,” the White Sox shortstop said during a Friday conference call. “When the time comes we’re going to need the same energy. And I know they’re going to be hungry to cheer us on. We’re going to be hungry to play. We need both energies to match when we step between the lines.

“I know they’re excited, we’re excited too. It’s going to be great when we do start back up, the fans are going to be really excited and the energy is going to be crazy. I can’t wait to see what happens.”

Fans across the country are waiting for their favorite teams to return to action as Major League Baseball joins the rest of the world in pausing in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. White Sox fans are perhaps a bit more impatient than others as they continue to wait for the start of the most anticipated season of South Side baseball in years. This was supposed to be the White Sox emergence from years of losing, a vault from rebuilding mode into contending mode.

Instead, the moment requires even more patience from a fan base that’s already been waiting more than a decade to see their team return to the postseason.

The players are sitting through the same wait. As excited as fans are to see the White Sox turn a corner and play winning baseball, the team is just as excited, if not more. Manager Rick Renteria was talking playoff expectations as early as the end of the 89-loss 2019 campaign. Positive momentum and big expectations were the talk of spring training.

And now Anderson and his teammates, just like South Side fans, have to wait to do what they were so excited to begin.

Not that this delay to the start of the 2020 season has changed those expectations one bit.

“I think we stay positive,” Anderson said. “I think it's just more time to prepare, more time to think about it. And when it's time to get back rolling, that way we're ahead of people already and we know exactly what we need to do.

“It's going to happen regardless. Whatever's going to happen is going to happen anyway.”

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White Sox 2005 Rewind: Controversies or not, dominant pitching won the ALCS

White Sox 2005 Rewind: Controversies or not, dominant pitching won the ALCS

“Realistically, I don't know if they could be pitching much better than they have.”

By the end of Game 4 of the ALCS, Joe Buck had a different way to summarize things.

“The dominance continues.”

Realistic or not, the White Sox starting rotation was just plain unhittable in the penultimate series of the 2005 season.

First it was Jose Contreras, setting the tone in a losing effort in Game 1 and coming two outs away from a complete game. Mark Buehrle followed with what he called — to that point, before the no-hitter and the perfect game — one of the best games of his career. Game 3 saw Jon Garland take the baton and stifle the Los Angeles Angels. And then it was Freddy Garcia, dealing as the White Sox cruised to a Game 4 win.

And so while the Fox broadcast spent an awful lot of time on supposed controversies, missed calls by the umpires and breaks for the White Sox, let’s face it: Those Angels weren’t hitting that pitching staff.

After the way Game 2 wrapped up, with A.J. Pierzynski swinging, missing and running to first base in a baffling display that for some reason worked, controversy was a storyline. And boy, did it get milked in Game 4.

Now, this isn’t to say that there weren’t missed calls or that the White Sox didn’t experience a couple breaks in this contest. There were. And they did.

After the Angels chopped the White Sox lead to 3-1 on an RBI hit in the second inning, they still had two men on with only one out. But instead of a rally, Steve Finley hit into an inning-ending double play. His bat, replay clearly showed, hit Pierzynski’s glove on the swing, meaning by rule he should have gone to first on catcher’s interference and loaded the bases. Instead, he turned around to argue while running out the ground ball, hence the double play.

He should have learned from Pierzynski and just busted it down to first base, leaving the details to be sorted out later. No call came, and Finley was out, the Angels’ rally stopped.

The White Sox lead back to three runs in the fifth inning, Scott Podsednik — who had a remarkable game, on base four times with two stolen bases and two runs scored — was seemingly picked off at first base. But the call was safe, and he scored later in the inning to extend a tight three-run game to a four-run game.

But did it really matter? Would any of it made a difference?

Garcia was on point, just like his three rotation-mates before him. He allowed just two runs on only six hits, walking one. He did that 2005 White Sox thing where he pitched fast, pitched to his defense and pitched the Angels into a whole bunch of outs.

You can point to the breaks all you want, attempt to stir up controversy. But the White Sox pitchers were so good that nothing was stopping them as they marched to a pennant.

The only thing that could, as we saw in Game 1 of the series, was an equally strong pitching performance on the other side. That’s exactly what Paul Byrd turned in against Contreras in that first game, and a White Sox lineup that slugged against the Red Sox in the ALDS was stymied. A sick Jarrod Washburn did his best in Game 2, with some help from a terrific crop of relievers, only for Pierzynski to flip the series on its head. In Games 3 and 4 in Anaheim, the Angels couldn’t match Garland and Garcia. An awakened group of White Sox bats hung a crooked number on John Lackey in Game 3 and had the same rude greeting for Ervin Santana — a future member of the South Side rotation, however briefly — in Game 4.

The old sports cliche goes that defense wins championships. In baseball, pitching wins championships. It did in 2005. And no amount of supposed controversy was going to change that.

Keep reliving the White Sox march to the 2005 World Series with #SoxRewind, which features Game 5 of the ALCS, airing at 7 p.m. Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago.

 

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: MLB season teetering on the brink

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USA Today

SportsTalk Live Podcast: MLB season teetering on the brink

Chuck Garfien, Charlie Roumeliotis and Mark Carman join Kap on a Friday edition of SportsTalk Live. 

The stalemate continues between MLB owners and players. Will the two sides come to their sense? How close are we to the drop dead date to get a season started on time?

The NHL has a plan. The Blackhawks are a part of it. Do they have enough championship experience to go on a deep playoff run?

Later, Ken Rosenthal joins Kap to talk about the differences between baseball’s owners and players as they discuss how to start the season.

Meanwhile, the NBA is targeting a late July return. Would the Bulls be better off if they were not a part of the league’s restart plans? 

0:00 - The MLB season is teetering on the brink. When will it be too late to start a season? And are the owners and players risking the death of the league if they can’t come to an agreement?
6:30 - The NHL has a restart plan and the Blackhawks will be a part of it. So can they go on a run?
9:00 - Ken Rosenthal join Kap to talk about the stalemate between the MLB owners and players. 
19:00 - The NBA is looking to restart its season. Would the Bulls be better off not taking part?

Listen here or below.

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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