Who is the White Sox player of the decade?

Over at The 35th Street Review, Andrew made a case for Jermaine Dye as the Player of the Decade.  Read the whole thing, but in a nutshell:

Five seasons. One-hundred sixty-four home runs. Four-hundred sixty-one runs batted in. Fifth- and fifteenth-place finishes in MVP voting. An All-Star. A Silver Slugger. Most Valuable Player of the 2005 World Series.

I understand where he’s coming from, but here’s one point against Dye — he played on only two White Sox playoff teams.
And he played with the only three guys who made the postseason as a member of the White Sox on three separate occasions — Frank Thomas, Mark Buehrle and Paul Konerko.
We can effectively rule out Thomas for this discussion, but it has to come down to Buehrle and Konerko, doesn’t it?
If I were to throw a dark horse into the conversation, I’d go with Scott Podsednik. For one, he was the driving force behind “Ozzieball,” which was for all intents and purposes a clever ruse.  The Podsednik Paradox only reinforced the idea that Podsednik (or his ilk) was a necessary component to a winning ballclub.  And no matter how hard Podsednik tried to drive the Sox away with his injuries, the Sox kept coming back due to a startling lack of outfield production.  Hell, he outplayed Dye in his final year, against all odds.
Ultimately, though, I keep coming back to Konerko, if only because Buehrle pitches once every five days, and it’s hard for him to rub off on the entire team.  When I look back at the aughts, I figure I’ll remember a bunch of streaky, slothly sluggers who managed to reach the playoffs three times in a single decade for the only time in franchise history, even if they rarely looked dominant while doing so.
Konerko seems to fit that billing better than anybody else.  What do you think? (Poll below the jump)

[polldaddy poll=”2248678″] *********************************
Arizona Fall League:

  • Surprise 8, Peoria 6
    • Jordan Danks went 1-for-3 with two walks, two strikeouts and three runs scored. He stole his fourth base.
    • Brent Morel singled three times for the second consecutive game.  He was caught stealing.
    • C.J. Retherford went 1-for-4 with an RBI.
    • Justin Cassel gave up six runs on two hits and four walks, while retiring only two batters.
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Andy Gonzalez, that’s silly.


I’ll vote for Betemit over Gonzalez any day. Or maybe Wilson Valdez.


I hate all the “starting pitchers only pitch every 5 days so they’re not as valuable” argument. Yes, they only play in 1 out of 5 games but they contribute WAY more during that game than a position player does. Possibly even more!
I mean, in 5 games, a position player is going to be involved in, what, 18 at bats? A decent starting pitcher will certainly be involved in that many at bats. Probably more.
I just think it’s much closer than everyone always has it.


I gave the edge to buerhle, the duke makes a great point about how a hitter vs pitcher arguement can easily be nullified because the 1 pitching day may outweigh the importance of the 5 hitting/defense days, and also a guy like buerhle is a HUGE factor on the bullpen, being an amazingly reliable quality innings eater starter…(that sounds funky but you get the point).


You nail it on the freak’n head.
I love Paulie, but the FACE of the Chicago White Sox has been Mark Buerhle for a decade because of his presence in between starts. The Sox have prided themselves on starting pitching in the years we went to the playoffs.
You can’t discount the No Hitter, perfect game and All Star appearances for Buerhle as well.


I have to go with Mark Buehrle. Normally a pitcher wouldn’t merit consideration because of the 1 in 5 day thing but Mark has been special. He’s had 8 good seasons since 2000 and only a couple of mediocre ones. If you look at his 10 year rankings versus other major league pitchers in wins, strikeouts and innings pitched he is right up there. Mark is Mr.Consistency over the decade and Mr. White Sox as well.


I also have to add for anyone who is inbetween on these guys, the edge needs to go to MB who has been hurt by pitching at US Cell half the time as oppose to PK greatly benefitting from hitting at US Cell half the time.


Jeff Liefer, McKay Christensen, Jamie Burke, Kelly Wunsch, Charlie Haeger, and Herbert Perry would all be viable options for White Sox player of the decade, but if you can only vote once, then I will vote for Mark Buehrle.


I agree with Duke. The other thing you can look at is the margin of error. If a hitter does good 30% of the time (or bats .300) they are considered great. A pitcher doesn’t have that margin of error. They have to be good 80% of the time (if they are a starter) or 90% of the time (if they are a reliever). Pitchers also carry more burden.
The other thing I’d like to reiterate is that all it takes is 1 good pitcher to shutdown 9 good hitters (See Cliff Lee in the ’09 playoffs).


I think the difference between a vote for Dye and a vote for Konerko comes down to looking at whose impact was more drastic (Dye) versus whose was most representative (Konerko).
That said, the playoff teams measurement raises an interesting hypothetical: the only reason Dye was on fewer playoff teams than Buehrle is because in 2006, Buehrle (among others) had the absolute worst year of his career while Dye had his absolute best. Four postseasons to three is not as big a gulf as three against two, and with Thomas out of the picture the Thomas/Konerko/Buehrle triumvirate would have been a non-factor.
AND, even if Buehrle had pitched well in 2006, the team doesn’t make the postseason without either Dye OR Konerko.
Well played, Mark. Well played. It’s like he knew this day would come.


I voted for Paulie. But if I had waited for a few moments, I could just as easily voted for Buehrle…..You could give it to both of them. I like the fact that Jim pointed out the White Sox made the playoffs three times in this decade. NOBODY remembers the 2000 team. Heck, it’s getting to the point that nobody talks about the ’93 team either. Andrew or Jim could write a good article on why the ’00 and ’93 teams are almost forgotten, while the ’83 team is worshiped (especially by 40-year old guys like me).


Initially, I wanted to vote for paulie, but what moved me to buerhle’s camp is the no hitter and the perfect game. I believe the no-no and the perfect game are greater accomplishments for a pitcher, and konerko hasn’t done anything that compares to that as a hitter. Not to dismiss paulie’s tremendous contribution over the years, but buerhle has done more as a pitcher than konerko as a hitter.
Posted via mobile. :p


I’d have to go with Buehrle as well… 30+ starts, over 200 innings every year & double digit wins is extremely rare in today’s game.
And this is all before the individual accomplishments like almost tying/breaking the consecutive starts record of 6 innings or more, facing the minimum 3 times, being the only pitcher in almost a century to win a game after giving up 7 runs, being on the mound for multiple triple plays, setting the record for consecutive batters retired, a Gold Glove for fielding and, on top of it all, being pretty goddamn hilarious. I think all this gives him the edge over PK or JD.


I dunno about you guys, but I LOVED the ’00 team. The 05 was amazing, legendary in its own right (wire-to-wire lead, WS win, etc), but 2000 was just a damned fun ballclub to watch. We MASHED the ball that year. Sure, it was only a playoff ballclub because some pitchers pitched far above their heads (Baldwin, Eldred), but man were the hitters potent. Frank had his last Frank-esque season (.300/100BB/160+OPS), every position player had someone hitting above their lifetime numbers, it was beautiful.
One of my memories of that season was marveling at the volume of times we’d bat around in an inning. We were WELL into double-digits that season I thought. 10+ run games felt regular. Fun, fun year.


Do you mean Jerry Manuel? Tony La Russa was managing that day, but it was the Cardinals


Wait… Nevermind… I couldn’t properly read the box score


Given the arguement most people are making about hitting vs. pitching, why not have a player and pitcher of the decade? If we did that, Konerko and Buehrle both get it.


I voted for Konerko anyways. Buerhle is a good pitcher and very popular, but when I think “White Sox style baseball”, he is not the first guy that leaps to mind. Paulie is. I think Konerko’s very very good (but not quite great)skill set (and weaknesses!) define the entire decade for this team.


I think the ’83 team is so well remembered because the Sox had gone 24 years without a taste of the postseason before that. For a lot of us, this was our first playoff exeperience, and you always remember the first one.


The ’77 team is also far better remembered than some of the playoff teams. It seems that whatever you saw when you were a kid, whether it be sports, movies, whatever, will always seem better than what you witness as an adult. That’s one major reason why the ’77 and ’83 teams are so popular.


Buehrle is definitely one of the best pitchers the White Sox have had – certainly during as successful a decade as this one. But I would go for what were the key parts that made 2005 happen – screw all the second places (saw enough in my salad days of the 60’s) and the playoff appearances (one and out, screw that too). 2005 was the one I was waiting for since I watched Hershberger take the field when I was about 5
and wondering what is this stuff called baseball. Like many,
I never figured they could win it all so I go for three keys
(IMO) to that season – Dye, Podsednik and Pierzinski.
And Jenks, now that I think of it. Wait, Konerko hit that
homer in Game 2. I guess I’m not much help on this poll.


I’ll just Never forget Mark in the second game of the ALCS, halfway out of the dugout to pitch the 10th before he was stopped by Ozzie while they figured out what the deal was with A.J. or the save he got in game 3


When I think of the Sox in the 00s, god help me, Sandy Alomar comes to mind. Damn you KW!