Sox Drawer: The Lost 2005 World Series Tape

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Sox Drawer: The Lost 2005 World Series Tape

Friday, April 2, 2010
5:05 PM

By Chuck GarfienCSNChicago.com

In the madness that was the White Sox World Series championship run of 2005, we captured hours and hours of remarkable moments that followed one of the greatest stories in the history of Chicago sports.

Most of this video made it on the air. A bunch did not. And some you are about to see for the very first time.

Due to the sheer volume of footage that came pouring into our newsroom during the playoffs, especially on the night the White Sox clinched the title in Houston, some amazing stuff was, to use a movie analogy, left on the cutting room floor.

Doing a live World Series clinching post-game show, especially for a team that hadnt won a title in 88 years, and for a network (Comcast SportsNet) that was barely one year old, we were all flying by the seat of our pants.

Every win by the White Sox, and every post-game broadcast for our brand new channel (we were doing 2-to-3 hour shows after every game) was a groundbreaking achievement.

Anyone today who says they knew exactly what they were doing at the time would be lying. Most of that experience five years later is a total blur.

But after finding this long forgotten tape, a good chunk of the best memories have come flooding back.

This little discovery happened accidentally. Over the winter, I was rummaging through a closet at home when I came across a tape with a label that read quite succinctly Chuck and Mike 2005 White Sox Win it.

Mike is Comcast SportsNet photographer Mike Cappozzo. He and I worked together the night the Sox beat the Astros in Game 4, and our job was to cover the victory celebration inside the Sox clubhouse.

At this point I should probably thank my boss at the time, Michelle Murray for giving me this terrible assignment. Yeah right. It was the best. Thanks Michelle.

When the Sox beat the Astros to win the Series, and the doors to the clubhouse opened to the media, it was like walking into a hurricane of mass hysteria. Everyones endorphins popped through their skulls and ricocheted off each other in a wild display of post-game pinball.

And there we were. Mike and I. He with a camera and me with a microphone, which for some odd reason was not wireless, so we had to do our work connected to each other by a long, orange extension chord that got twisted and tangled around arms, hands, feet, notebooks, champagne bottles, and Cliff Polittes neck.

At least I think that happened. Some of this is still a little foggy.

But thankfully, much of it is now back in the memory bank because of this lost tape.

Youll see Kenny Williams parading the World Series trophy into the clubhouse amidst a sea of White Sox players, and we happened to be right there to interview him the moment he fled to safety.

Theres Mark Buehrle pouring a can of beer over the head of Jerry Reinsdorf, who when I asked him if he was concerned that hed never win a World Series said, Absolutely. I was having lunch with a friend during spring training and I said, Im going to be 70 years old next year, Ive been doing this for 24 years, I wonder if it will ever happen.

It did. Although I barely remember this interview even happening. It was that crazy.

Theres Steve Perry, the lead singer of Journey, who became the teams unofficial mascot because of Dont Stop Believin. And there we are interviewing Steve in the middle of the clubhouse while Journeys Greatest Hits was blasting out of the speakers.

Talk about surreal.

I asked him what was the greater feeling, singing on a stage in front of 80-thousand screaming fans or being aboard this crazy White Sox World Series ride?

Its the same! he shouted over his own voice that was in the middle of singing Faithfully. I mistakenly referred to it as Open Arms, which for this classic rock aficionado remains one of the worst goofs of my broadcasting career.

Theres about 45 minutes of footage on the tape. Weve cut it down to around 8 minutes of the best (although theres still a TON we cut out. We may have to do a sequel). It instantly brings you back to that 2005 championship that has been rapidly traveling farther and farther away.

What made that team so memorable, so unique, and so successful? The reasons can be found here.

Can the 2010 White Sox copy it? Thats certainly the hope.

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

Former White Sox slugger Jim Thome taking his talents to MLB Network

Former White Sox slugger Jim Thome taking his talents to MLB Network

White Sox fans who miss Jim Thome will get to see the ex-slugger’s mug a whole lot more soon.

Thome won’t be rejoining the White Sox lineup, but he is adding television analyst to his job description, supplementing his gig in the White Sox front office with regular appearances on MLB Network.

“I’m excited,” Thome told reporters Wednesday at Guaranteed Rate Field. “The opportunity came up of maybe doing it, and then the first thing I thought of was my job with the White Sox. But it all worked out.

“I love baseball. I think being around baseball and talking hitting and maybe sharing some of the stuff that I learned over a 22-year-career, maybe to help kids, coaches, just in general maybe share a little input. Learn a lot of stuff from a lot of great people: Hall of Famers that are on the show, players that I played with, players that I competed with. And to me the biggest thing, when you leave the game, you miss that teammate camaraderie atmosphere that I think this gives you.”

Thome doesn’t know what his schedule will be or which of the network’s many shows he’ll be appearing on. He won’t be a full-time analyst, but he will be sharing his expertise on the art of hitting alongside his fellow players like Sean Casey, Al Leiter, Billy Ripken, Dan Plesac and plenty of others.

Per MLB Network, Thome’s first appearance will be May 1.

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Thome, who works with the White Sox as a special assistant to general manager Rick Hahn, is most looking forward to doing a little teaching on the show that he hopes gets through to some younger players.

“I’ve got a lot of drills I did when I played. So if I can teach that to the game, but also maybe to our youth side of the sport and also the college side,” he said. “Maybe you say something that helps a player and he goes out and does well. And that’s what it’s all about.”

This move to TV isn’t necessarily something that Thome ever expected, though it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to fans and observers who remember his personality from his playing days.

“I didn’t (ever think about doing this). I have to say, I never thought about, ‘Would I ever be an analyst? Would I ever get on the media side?’” Thome said. “I always say in baseball you never say never. If an opportunity comes up that fits your family schedule and then your work schedule — my work schedule is this job with the White Sox. That’s really important to me because I’ve been here now almost five years. To me that’s important.

“So to have them all mix and translate and feed off one or the other, being around here maybe will help me on the other side as well. That was the most important thing for me.”

Of course, White Sox fans might be curious about another part of Thome’s future career: Will he ever return to the dugout?

After Ozzie Guillen and Robin Ventura served as the team’s managers for a combined 13 seasons, speculation over whether some other former White Sox could ever sit in the manager’s chair has been fairly common, and Thome has been part of those “what if” conversations along with guys like A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko.

“Again I answer that kind of the same thing with this, you never say never. If an opportunity comes up and you feel it’s a great opportunity, you know, think about it, getting a manager’s job would be a tremendous opportunity,” Thome said. “So I would definitely have to think about that, yes.”

As White Sox bats heat up, Todd Frazier feeling like himself after bumpy start to 2017

As White Sox bats heat up, Todd Frazier feeling like himself after bumpy start to 2017

Three games do not a comeback make, but Todd Frazier is feeling like his normal self again.

Frazier’s been battling a host of health-related issues since the start of 2017, including injuries to his finger and oblique that hampered him in the spring and most recently a bout with the flu that cost him six of eight games and saw him lose 10 pounds.

But the last three games have been more like it for Frazier, as the White Sox third baseman has gone 4-for-12 with five RBIs, four runs scored, three doubles and a pair of walks. In Tuesday’s win over the visiting Kansas City Royals, Frazier had a pair of doubles, matching his total from his previous 12 games.

“It was weird to start off with the finger on something weird that happened last year and that turned into a cast. And then the oblique. It has been a crazy ride,” Frazier said after Tuesday’s game. “That’s why this game you’ve got to work your butt off in the offseason and be ready now, and I feel like I’m getting back to where I need to be.

“I feel fine. I’m good. I’m trying to lift as much as I can. Maybe a little soreness from lifting trying to gain some muscle and some weight back. Trying to eat as much as I can too as well.”

The time off would be enough to knock someone off their game, but Frazier — who posted career lows with a .225 batting average and .302 on-base percentage last season — was still looking to heat up after struggling to produce through the season’s first few weeks. In his first 10 games, the veteran third baseman slashed just .091/.189/.212 with just three hits and one RBI.

So Frazier has been studying up. The entire White Sox lineup has feasted in the first two games of the current series against the Royals, combining for 22 runs on 29 hits. But Frazier credited his personal success to some of the work he’s been doing.

“Just doing my homework,” he said Wednesday. “I’m just trying to go back and understand what I did in the other years  that made me hit the ball better. Talk to the coaches. At the end of the day, it’s mental, that’s all it is. You’ve been hitting for all these years now, just got to understand to focus.

“We see these pitchers a lot. People always told me, ‘You’ve got the upper hand, you see these guys all the time.’ So let’s start figuring out what they’re throwing.”

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Tuesday night, Frazier served as the White Sox designated hitter, the second time he’s been in the lineup but not in the field this season, matching the number of times he played DH in 2016, his first year with an American League team.

While it presented a change of pace, Frazier had a positive review of something he hasn’t done very often.

“I liked it. Every once and a while I think you need a day like that,” he said. “I think we’ve got a lot of guys that can do it. It was good to get Matt (Davidson) in there at third base, get his body going a little bit out in the field a little bit more. It’s like, ‘You got a day off, you’re DH’ing.’ Not really. You’ve got to keep the body moving, keep staying loose. It worked out well for everybody.

“I did a little heavy lifting in the legs the day before, and Rick (Renteria) didn’t even know about that. I was a little sore, and I was like, ‘Good, I got a little DH spot today,’ which was great for me, and now I can focus on defense, as well.”

In baseball, fortunes can change on a daily basis, so who knows if this will be the start of a surge for Frazier or just a brief spike in a long season. But if the White Sox can get Frazier and the rest of the lineup to keep hitting like they have the past few games, it could mean big things.

“Everybody focused and prepared,” Frazier explained when asked about the big run totals in the last few games. “I think the little things, guys getting here earlier, guys wanting to get out there and take extra work, and the focus and determination that we’ve got going right now is pretty nice. Nobody’s trying to do too much.

“You see our plate approach, you see guys hustling out balls. You watch guys like Avi Garcia, he’s got two big infield singles for him. At the end of the year, you look back at some things like that, a guy hits a one-hopper to second base and beats out a ball. That takes your average from .250 to .260 if you get three or four of those. Examples: Leury Garcia beating out a ground ball, getting a play overturned because of hustle. We don’t lack that this year, and I think that’s something big that we’re working on.

“Win, lose or draw, we’re going to give 100 percent. We know we’ve got Rick Renteria coming in here telling us ‘Nobody’s feeling sorry for you. So pick yourself up. We’re professionals. We’re White Sox.’ I think that’s what we’re going by right now.”