Moral victories, and a thank you

A disappointing season for the White Sox ended in a fitting fashion, with their biggest flop grounding into a 4-6-3 double play for the year’s 4,373rd and 4,734th outs.
No, those numbers aren’t for Rios alone.
Two weeks ago, I couldn’t wait for the season to end.  Now, I’m getting that same familiar sad feeling as the White Sox slip into darkness.  Some things I liked seeing on the way out:
*Jake Peavy has these numbers next to the first mention of the White Sox on his stat sheet:  3 GS, 3-0, 1.35 ERA, 20 IP, 18 K, 0.835 WHIP.
*Gordon Beckham in his first season: .270/.347/.460, and finishing with 53 doubles between the minors and majors.
*Old warhorses Freddy Garcia and Scott Podsednik returning to the Sox out of desperation and delivering more than anybody expected, enhancing their legacies in the process.
*Dewayne Wise ending an up-and-down year (and White Sox career?) with a high note, throwing out a runner at home and legging out an important infield single.
*Alexei Ramirez turning into a reputable and reliable shortstop, something I did not see coming.
*Matt Thornton doing everything he can to erase the notion that he doesn’t have the testicular fortitude to close.  I’d still rather see him in a “huge-out(s)-needed” role than a paint-by-numbers closer position considering his handedness, but it’s nice to see illogical arguments defeated wherever they may exist.
*Daniel Hudson and Tyler Flowers making it to the big leagues earlier than expected and keeping their heads above water.
*Brent Lillibridge taking Ozzie Guillen’s advice to heart and making adjustments. Since returning to the team in August, both his strikeout and flyball rates are heading in the right direction.  He also had a helluva nice day against Justin Verlander, of all people.  That’s not saying I want to see Li’l Bridge anywhere near the 2010 team, but it’s always a good thing when players smarten up, regardless of who the player may be.
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It’s hard to find silver lining for Jermaine Dye, though.
Dye may have ended his White Sox career with a strikeout in the fifth inning, after which Guillen removed him from the game. He now enters the offseason with uncertainty for the first time since 2004-05:

“I don’t really have a feeling,” said Dye, who is eligible for free agency. “Right now I just want to go home and get away from baseball, like I always do. Take two weeks off and re-evaluate the situation and get into my program like I always do.”

I’m hoping Dye’s last quote as a member of the White Sox doesn’t involve “tipping a cap” to the other team, though.  Quick, Jermaine! Say something else!
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And for those of you already juggling your rosters:

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Finally, 2009 wasn’t a great year here either, what with the server change issues knocking me out for a month and leading to a site re-launch.
Despite it being a painful process, finally being on WordPress softens the blow. Hopefully most of you feel the same way, because there will be modifications and improvements made along the way. I’ll be balancing those with providing daily content for the site and writing the next book.
Thanks to everybody who stuck with Sox Machine through the transition, as well as the 2009 team’s nosedive. I know it ain’t much fun to talk about, try as I might to take the edge off. I appreciate the feedback and conversation, especially since 1) it’s almost always smart, 2) it’s almost always literate (except when Knox hits the booze), 3) you guys can take a joke (hi, Striker), and 4) I’ve never had to use the banhammer.
Somehow, we’ve been spared from the Jason from the Tribs (or Jasons from the Trib?) and Mary Kates (hey, a Facebook link) of the world for almost four years. I guess relative obscurity has its merits.
If you’re new to the site and wondering what’s in store for the offseason, I’ll still have new stuff just about every day. It’s usually wrapping up loose ends through October, formulating offseason plans through November, then discussing trade/arbitration activity as the winter meetings arrive, so I encourage you to stick around.
However, if you’re truly done with the White Sox until spring training, I hope to see you next year. Hopefully it’ll be a better one for all of us.

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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iowaoaks

and thank you Jim.
You do a fantastic job. You have one of the three or four sites I check every day. The site has just the right recipe of serious, sarcasm and stats. I am, on a regular basis, finding myself laughing out load while I read.
Again, thanks.

jasonc23

Yes, thank you, Jim. This is my most favorite Sox site, and I can’t wait for the book, even though the subject is less exciting than last year’s.

madopal

Thanks, Jim, for making this the White Sox French discussion salon to SSS’ bawdy Turkish bath. Keep up the good work.

willardmarshall

as a laid-off, retired and superannuated newspaperman, i can only wince at how poorly the daily press matches up against sox machine. what did we do without you, jim? i’m grateful daily for your brilliance.

knoxfire30

Good stuff Jim, I’m really happy I found this site!
I never want to see Wise, Castro, or Lillbridge again ( I dont buy into him ever being a guy capable of contributing to a 25 man roster but maybe I’m bitter).
Next year is going to be all about finding a new middle of the order, hoping Rios and Quentin get back to form and health, tightening up the defesne (experience will help the infield) and getting lucky with the bullpen. I still bring Jenks back unless I’m overwhelmed in a trade.
Kenny has his work cut out, but he and management certainly won’t be inactive, I know they are as excited as I am about the potential of our top 4 starters and the depth that Garcia or Hudson can provide to fill out the rotation. On starting pitching alone this team is a contender next year and I can’t wait til spring.
As for Dye, NOONE in my sox lifetime has outplayed his contract more consistently then Dye, a basic scrap heap pickup in 05, the constant professionalism and production from a guy willing to get it done in the clutch and on a daily basis was joyful to watch. It saddens me how poorly he finished his career with the sox, but his contributions should live on in legend far more then that of Arron Roward or my favorite Joe ahh he just missed it Crede! (You knew I had to get a knock in on crede right) GET DYES STATUE AND VIDEO MONTAGE READY!!!!

ctsox

While i may not post much (which is probably a good thing), I am a faithful reader. I must read your content every day. You make me realize how weak the reporting in the daily press really is. Thanks!!
If that was truly the last game for JD in a Sox uniform, I will always remember him as a class individual and a World Series MVP. Good luck, JD!

soxfan1

Jim, you do a fantastic job day in and day out. You have the best coverage of White Sox baseball that exists anywhere. One point of disagreement. I don’t think that Alexi is either reliable or reputable. Sure he can hit, .270 is not bad for an everyday SS, but his fielding is still suspect. I don’t know if it shows up in the stats but his play on popups over his head and his play around second base is dismal. He repeatedly goes after a short LF pop and then just gives up on it whether the LF is in the picture or not. Around second base he is a chicken. To avoid getting hit he will blow a routine double play or miss a tag time after time. He’ll be back at SS next year but I don’t like his play there. I count him as a weakness versus a strength!

ahicks1130

I agree with everything that’s been said before me. This site is amazing, I read every word. You do an incredible job covering the White Sox. Thanks for all of the work you put in and I look forward to reading in the future.

conor

Ah, good ol’ Mary Kate. When I first linked that window licker on this site I thought I had found Jason a bride.
I’ve been posting on here since sometime in 07, been lurking almost since the site went up. In all honesty, this is one of the most valuable baseball tools I have as a Sox fan. I check it every day.
I’m looking forward to 2010. I never thought we were really going to go anywhere in ’09 (though I figured we would at least finish at .500, sheesh), but we have several pieces of next year’s equation that I’m very exicted to track during the offseason/ST. I think Quentin has proved he can be a .280/40/120 guy if he can stay healthy. His health is of great concern, but we know now that 2008 wasn’t just a fluke in terms of talent. Considering the amount of time he played and the nature of his injuries, I think he racked up some good numbers this season. If Ramirez can bulk up his SLG stat with a few more homers and doubles, he will be gold. I like his new found plate discipline, but we missed those game-winning grand slams of his this year. I’m very excited to see how Beckham develops. Right now I have him pegged as a Jeff Kent type of hitter. I don’t think anything needs to be said about Peavy. Rios has talent like Antarctica has fresh water. I’d like to see some of it sometime, as I hear its quite nice.
Jim, how is the new Outsider coming along? Can’t wait to crack that thing.

cushinglee

I visit this site every day. This is a REAL White Sox fan web-site, as opposed to most of the others. The general theme on most “fan” web-sites seems to be how many people can go out of their way to insult players and other fans.
As for 2009, I told my friends at the beginning of the season that the White Sox would finish around .500, and the Cubs would vastly underachieve. I guess I was right.

K8T

I’m trying to think of the last time I read an actual newspaper article on the Sox instead of Sox Machine. Great site Jim, looking forward to the Outsider.

815sox

Thanks again for your hard work Jim! Hopefully we get to meet again next season.
-Stephen

jimbo

I agree with everyone here, this is the best site for sox news and discussion. Your insight is great and I agree with almost all of your opinions. I’m looking forward to the hot stove discussion and already miss white sox baseball!

soxexile

Unfortunately, my real life obligations make it difficult for me to post often. That, plus the fact that I have so little to say. Nonetheless, I read the site daily, and surely appreciate both the insights and the community. It’s particularly welcome for those of us who no longer live in Chicago, and find ourselves surrounded by the fans of rival teams.
Spring training starts in 5 months!

oralsoxpodcast

Another great year of coverage Jim. Thanks for the completeness and humor. You’re site is a quick cheat for me to find out what happened the night before rather than pour over the sites myself. Your opinions are always insightful and spot on. You definitely make my life easier, and make the podcast better! Thanks for linking to the podcast time and again, and I really look forward to all the off-season coverage.
Thanks again buddy, and I hope we can work you into the podcast next year once we figure out some technical stuff.

marshlands

best sox writing in the world
thanks for another great year jim, you know, aside from the whole white sox sucking thing
is it too soon to start talking about getting arnoldis chapman on the cuban express towards the cell?

adrockski

Thanks for another good year, Jim. I’m a casual diehard Sox fan (?!), and yours is the only Sox site I read daily. You’re witty, level-headed, and more literate than all the other internets combined.

john

Jim, a belated thank you and congratulatory message on another year well done. I discovered this site just before the ’08 season and it has become a daily staple in my website browsings.
Keep up the good work and I look forward to an off-season of silly Phil Rogers rumors.

stopdrop8

thanks jim. i found the site this year and read it every morning in lecture.. thanks for all the great insight!

blindman59

I have been reading Sox Machine now for two years and haven`t posted, mainly feeling a little intimidated by all of the stats you guys throw out there and not being able to add much to that form of discussion.Saying that, I have learned more about the game and the White Sox from all of you to get me through the season and hot stove. Speaking of hot stove, what is the status of Carl Crawford`s contract and are they still looking for a closer in Tampa? Thanks a lot and keep up the great work.

soxfan1

I was thinking along the same lines. The Rays do need a closer, but I don’t think they will trade Carl Crawford. The local publicity would be a disaster. How about trading Jenks for BJ Upton?? He would be a great addition to the Sox!!

LS_SoX_FN

Thanks a lot jim… will continue reading all through the off season and excited to see what you think might be in store for us, given our apparent depth in the rotation and infield and drastic lack in the OF and bullpen

striker

Thanks Jim for another great season of writing! I too visit this site religiously to read both Jim’s posts and readers comments. Thanks to the readers too for quality conversation!
I look forward to reading my first Outsider.
I also look forward to offseason conversations with Jim and my fellow Sox fans.

JJ

As always, keep up the good work, Jim.

eddystankysghost

Great work, Jim. This is the first place I visit on my daily ChiSox rounds.

chisoxt

Looking forward to a productive off-season and we hope a great 2010. Great job, Jim!