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The first iteration of Sox Machine officially retired on Jan. 19, 2011. Good thing I used a Sox-cap-wearing Han Solo encased in carbonite to signify the shift.
To give a sense of the time passed since Sox Machine last existed:
*The White Sox were coming off an 88-74 season, only undermined by the White Sox’ self-defeating decision to go with a two-headed designated hitter of Mark Kotsay and Andruw Jones instead of signing Jim Thome for a pittance. Thome landed with the Twins and helped them win the AL Central.
*Due to the dearth DH production, White Sox fans were excited about Adam Dunn.
*The White Sox were on the verge of picking up Ozzie Guillen’s option for 2012 after Oney Guillen had aired dirty laundry about Bobby Jenks, much to the displeasure of White Sox players like Matt Thornton.
*The Sox had just signed Will Ohman for two years and $4 million, good for the 32nd-most lucrative free agent contract ever offered by the club.
*Gordon Beckham battled a sophomore slump, but a strong second half (that was cut short by an HBP) offered reasons to believe he was back on track.
*Nate Jones, Eduardo Escobar and the immortal Anthony Carter were just added to the 40-man roster.
*Dayan Viciedo was still listed as a third baseman, and a promising one at that.
*Brent Morel was on the verge of kicking him to the outfield, though.
*U.S. Cellular had just released nationwide 3G data roaming for its customers and reupped its lease on its Chicago headquarters.
*Mobile browsers made up a single-digit percentage of a website’s traffic.
*Jason Benetti’s schedule consisted of Syracuse Chiefs games, High Point University men’s basketball, Notre Dame radio studio work and upstate New York high school football games. He hadn’t yet graduated from law school.
*The only member of the 2010 pitching staff still an active member of the White Sox? Greg Infante.