Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The 2006 Sox / The Legacy

Let's face it - our Legacy has not exactly been one of great championships and dynasties of dominating teams like our bastard buddies from the boroughs, but rather one of - coming up a buck short, always the bridesmaid, woulda-coulda-shoulda....

This season was no different in that regard as we had it on paper, had it going early, then fizzled into something us older guys have seen way too many painful times before. Underacheivement, fading down the stretch, second-city blues. Mercy !!!!

I'll spare the all too fresh details as they are well covered elsewhere... but rather I'll try to put this into the overall long term perspective and see what this current unit does to our Legacy.

I'm only covering from the Go-Go Sox of the late 50's on up as I wasn't around for anything earlier though I did caddie once for Ray Schalk who was a Hall of Fame catcher for the Sox from like 1912 to 1928. He was as we used to say a "screw loop" a terrible tipper- so forget him and that skin flint Charles Comisky and the rest of the first half century. ( though Shoeless gets a "stud" mention )

The first thing I noticed about this last year, 2006, is that this was the first time since mid 60's that we had back to back 90+ win seasons in a row. We did it 3 times in the Go-Go era,'63,'64,'65 - but never won anything then as the Yanks were always a little better and the bugger Twinks somehow won 102 games in '65. We had "Go" but littler else to Show !

So, it's been 40 years since we did what we just did with the 90+ victories - so I'm taking that as some good vibe that our current identity-"Win or Die Trying" is not done winning yet and too soon to be termed as dieing. Time will tell but I think this era will be our best before it's all over. The South Side Hitmen were a powerful group of sluggers who gave us a memorable season in '77, but they extinguished quickly with 4 miserable years after that one. They were mostly "rented" players for that one year anyways and it didn't work out the way it was intended. Hit turned to shit all too soon !

Fast forward to the Winnin' Ugly boys and their en fuego season of 1983 where we looked to have it all going to Glory. Sweet swinging Baines, The Commander-Fisk, power boys Kitty and the Bull, and a starting staff that went 42-5 in the second half got me so jacked and delirious that when we got eliminated in the 1st round by Baltimore(due in large measure to Jerry F-ing Dybzinski's baserunning blunder) I was shattered...mortified....dumbstruck. I've never taken any loss before or since with that type of paralyzing impact. I had to go on a loooooonnngg waaaaallllkkkkkk after the final loss to settle myself down. I questioned Sports, Life, The Physical and the Beyond (This, of course, all got purged along with many other torturous seasons, with the WS in 2005 and that's why many "OLD PEOPLE" were crying last Oct with total relief ). That 1983 unit never recovered and soon dispersed in many directions including Lamar Hoyt's ultimate brush with the law / deja vu Uribe ??

The next big era - Good Guys wear Black saw us close out old Comiskey and welcome the new park with talents like Ozzie, Fisk and, the best of the Sox since Shoeless - the Big Hurt. 1990, '93 and '00 were all good years and the strike shortened '94 was on it's way to being one of our best ever...ah, the luck wasn't there yet though as we came up with nothing but jack-squat to show for the whole decade. Individually Fisk is in the Hall, Franks on his way and Oz has lead us to our current era - the Win or Die...squad.

So where does that leave us....where are we going....where do we fit in....

I'd say we're in pretty good shape - with the guts of a solid team due back for another run with our GM and Manager both another year older and wiser in the ways. This team needs a tweak or three - not an overhaul of the type the Cubbies and Pinella will have to endure. We've got tradeable youth and Kenny will be relentless till he tastes the champagne and smokes the stogie again. We're fortunate to have the foundation here to see a nice little run for a few more years and this era of the Sox legacy will be one that you'll be telling your grandkids about 30 - 40 years from now.

Nobody liked the way this year finished but stick around for the thrilling conclusion to this Era - I don't think you'll be disappointed !!


Blogger Jeeves said...

Great stuff Dickie!

It was nice being able to see this season in the context of the Sox' history, especially considering how the only reincarnation of the team I had seen was the Good Guys Wear Black era.

10/19/2006 4:23 PM  
Blogger DickdaStick said...

thanks...I tried to keep it short as I could get into volumes on each decade...

Your Bruins are up in South Bend this weekend for (an ass-kic...)uh,... for a visit..huh?

10/20/2006 12:50 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Just say it, Dickie, ass kic-- umm, last second victory. Like there Bears, there's no shame in a W!

Great job on the post too!

10/22/2006 7:51 AM  

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