The MLB Dream Bracket got underway late last week, with the action fast and furious. The absolutely stacked field has been whittled down from 64 to 32, and there will be only 16 teams left standing by Wednesday afternoon.
The White Sox, who were represented by their 1983 and 2005 editions, were able to split, with the 1983 Winning Ugly Sox able to move on, while the woefully underappreciated 2005 side will continue to hold that mantle, as they were knocked on in the first round.
Let’s take a look at each of the White Sox first-round series, and do a quick preview of the `83 Sox second-round matchup.
1942 Kansas City Monarchs 4, 2005 Chicago White Sox 3
In one of the best first-round matchups of Dream Bracket 2, the 2005 Sox fell in a tightly-contested Game 7.
In Game 1, the Pale Hose were able to get to Satchel Paige — not something many can say — scoring five runs in six innings off Satch, thanks in part to a pair of long balls from Joe Crede. But El Duque, being used in a swing role, gave up more runs (5) than he got outs (4) and took the L.
The White Sox pitching held the Monarchs in check for Games 2 and 3, with the latter of the two ending on a Tadahito Iguchi walk-off jack in the 11th inning.
Game 4 saw the Monarchs even up the series on the strength of the long ball, but another sub-par performance from Paige in Game 5 put the White Sox one win away from the second round.
The Monarchs took an early lead in Game 6 and rode an excellent game from Hall-of-Famer Hilton Smith to force a Game 7, where Jon Garland and Booker McDaniel would face off.
Aaron Rowand got the White Sox on the board first in the top of the second, and Paul Konerko made the lead 2-0 in the third, but a three-run bottom half of the third proved pivotal for the Monarchs, who rode McDaniel seven strong to finish off the series with a 4-2 win.
Crede was the top performer in the series for the Chisox, hitting .269 with four homers and six RBI.
1983 Chicago White Sox 4, 1965 Minnesota Twins 0
Get out the brooms, folks, as the Winning Ugly White Sox won mighty sexy in the first round of Dream Bracket 2.
The smackdown started early, with a 14-3 Game 1 win over their division rivals. Rookie of the Year Ron Kittle, kicked off what would be a great series, with a 3-for-4 effort with three runs and three RBI, thanks in part to a seventh-inning bomb. On the mound, LaMarr Hoyt tossed 7 ⅓ innings before handing things over to Jerry Koosman to take things home.
Things were a bit closer the rest of the way, with a 5-3 Game 2 win followed by a 8-4 win in Game 3 (a one-run game until the eighth) and a 4-2 comeback win in Game 4 to finish off the series. The bullpen was particularly strong, not allowing a single run over 13 ⅓ innings in the four games. Harold Baines joined Kittle as the two Chisox to leave the yard twice, with both hitters also topping the .300 mark for the series.
The 1983 iteration of the Sox now face off with the 1970 Baltimore Orioles in the second round. Speaking of which ...
1983 Chicago White Sox vs. 1970 Baltimore Orioles
There are no such things as easy matchups in Dream Bracket 2, but this will be a particularly challenging series for the Pale Hose, as the 1970 edition of the Orioles is thought by many to be one of the five or so greatest teams of all time.
The team went to six games with the 1995 Seattle Mariners in the first round, with Frank Robinson and Boog Powell leading the offense, while Mike Cuellar starred on the mound.
This is a roster that also boasts Jim Palmer and Dave McNally in the rotation, with Brooks Robinson and Mark Belanger making it borderline impossible to get a ball through the left side of the infield.
It should be an incredibly fun series to watch, with results due up on MLB.com at 3:00 p.m. central on Tuesday.