The Rick Renteria Era Has Come To An End

In a somewhat shocking development, the White Sox announced this morning that they have parted ways with manager Rick Renteria.  The status of the rest of the coaching staff will be determined in conjunction with the new manager, though pitching coach Don Cooper is also expected to move on.  Renteria originally joined the White Sox following the 2015 season as bench coach and was named the team’s 40th manager, replacing Robin Ventura, following the 2016 season.

General Manager Rick Hahn said that the ideal candidate to replace Renteria will have recent post-season experience with a championship organization.  Interestingly enough, two such managers, A.J. Hinch and Alex Cora, will be coming off their year-long suspensions following the completion of the World Series.  Both are thought to be on the shortlist for the opening in Detroit, though I’d be surprised if Cora doesn’t end up back with the Red Sox.  One name not in the mix is former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who was told by owner Jerry Reinsdorf that he would not be considered.

In some ways, this move reminds me of one made by another Reinsdorf team back in the summer of 1989.  After reaching the Eastern Conference finals and losing to the Pistons, the Bulls fired coach Doug Collins, saying that while he had gotten the team from point A to point B, he wasn’t the right man to get them to point C.  If this move turns out half as well for the White Sox, everyone involved will be ecstatic.

 

The Opening Day That Wasn’t

Today should have been be my 20th straight Opening Day at Comiskey Park II/US Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field, and my 23rd overall for the White Sox.  The first one was in 1985, a blowout win against the Red Sox at Comiskey Park that introduced rookie shortstop Ozzie Guillen to Chicago.  Other highlights include the 2005 1-0 victory against the Indians, the raising of the championship banner on Sunday Night Baseball in 2006, and Mark Buehrle’s between-the-legs flip in 2010.

The most frequent opponent has been the Tigers, who are also the only team with a winning record on Opening Day in games I’ve attended.  The other AL Central foes have each appeared at least 3 times.

 

White Sox Home Opener Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Chicago White Sox 15 7 0.682
Detroit Tigers 4 2 0.667
Cleveland Indians 2 3 0.400
Minnesota Twins 1 2 0.333
Kansas City Royals 0 3 0.000
Boston Red Sox 0 1 0.000
Tampa Bay Rays 0 1 0.000
Texas Rangers 0 1 0.000
Baltimore Orioles 0 1 0.000
Seattle Mariners 0 1 0.000

#1 – Harold Baines

Name: Harold Baines

Rank: 1

Position: RF/DH

Years With White Sox: 1980-1989, 1996-1997, 2000-2001

Harold Baines was the first overall selection in the 1977 draft after White Sox owner Bill Veeck had seen him play little league years before.  He made his major league debut less than 3 years later, on Opening Day 1980, going 0-4 against the Orioles at old Comiskey Park.  He appeared in 141 games and finished the year hitting .255 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs.

Baines started to break out in 1981, where the long player’s strike led him to only appearing in 82 games.  He boosted his average to .286 and hit 10 home runs with 41 RBIs in only 280 at bats.

With labor problems behind them, a full slate of games was played in 1982, with Baines appearing in all but one of them.  Hitting .271, Baines smacked 25 home runs with 105 RBIs, while setting a career high with 10 stolen bases.  His numbers were good enough to garner 9 votes for AL MVP.

1983 was a banner year on the south side, as the White Sox captured their first ever division title.  Baines was a key contributor, hitting .280 with 20 home runs and 99 RBIs.  During the ALCS against the Orioles, Baines struggled, like most of his teammates, getting only 2 hits in the 4 game series.  At season’s end, he picked up 49 votes to finish 10th in MVP voting.

Baines continued to excel in 1984, though the rest of the team did not.  On May 8, he ended the longest game in major league history (8 hours and 6 minutes over 25 innings on successive evenings) with a walk-off home run against Chuck Porter of the Brewers.  He finished the year with a .304 average, a career high 29 home runs, and 94 RBIs, while leading the league in slugging at .541.  He once again garnered MVP consideration, finishing the vote tied for 13th place.

1985 was another strong season for Baines.  He earned his first All Star selection, singling off former teammate LaMarr Hoyt in his only at bat at the Metrodome.  He finished the year hitting .309 with 22 home runs and a career high 113 RBIs.  He earned 49 votes in placing 9th in MVP voting.

Baines saw his body start to betray him for the first time in 1986.  He appeared in his second straight All Star game, going hitless in his one at bat.  A late August knee injury caused him to miss time, and a late September collision with Neal Heaton in a loss to the Twins reinjured the knee, leading to arthroscopic surgery following the season.  He finished the season hitting .296, just missing his 3rd consecutive .300 season, with 21 home runs and 88 RBIs.

Baines returned for opening day in 1987, getting two hits and knocking in the winning runs on the hard artificial turf of Royals Stadium, but was unable to walk the following day.  A second arthroscopic surgery caused him to miss 23 games before he returned, moving from right field to designated hitter.  He still was named to his 3rd straight All Star team, going hitless in the 2-0 loss by the AL.  Come year end, he had hit .293 with 20 home runs and 93 RBIs.

1988 was a down year for Baines, though he managed to appear in 158 games.  His average dropped to .277, his lowest total since 1982, while hitting only 13 home runs, his lowest total since 1981.  He made only 9 appearances in the outfield while becoming accustomed to being a full time designated hitter.

Baines bounced back in 1989.  He was named the starting DH in the All Star game, going 1-3 with an RBI in the AL’s victory at Angel Stadium.  On July 29, he was traded to the Rangers, along with Fred Manrique, for Wilson Alvarez, Scott Fletcher, and Sammy Sosa.  “It’s an unpopular decision as far as the fans are concerned, but sometimes unpopular means exactly that-unpopular,” GM Larry Himes said at the time.  “It doesn`t mean that it isn`t a good decision.  This is a decision we made as far as direction of the Chicago White Sox for today and for our future.”  Baines was hitting .321 with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs at the time of the trade.  Less than a month later, as the Rangers visited Chicago for the first time on August 20, the White Sox retired Baines’ #3, a somewhat awkward attempt to placate the enraged fanbase.

Baines returned to the White Sox as a free agent in 1996.  Appearing in 143 games, Baines hit .311 with 22 home runs and 95 RBIs.  He returned in 1997 and was putting together another fine season, putting up a .305 average with 12 home runs and 52 RBIs in 93 games when, on July 29 again, he was traded to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Three years later, once again on July 29, the White Sox re-acquired Baines, along with Charles Johnson, from the Orioles for Miguel Felix, Juan Figueroa, Jason Lakman, and Brook Fordyce.  Appearing in 24 games down the stretch, Baines hit .213 with a single home run and 9 RBIs as the White Sox took the Central Division crown.  Baines went 1-4 in the ALDS as the White Sox were swept by the Mariners.

Baines returned to the White Sox in 2001 at the age of 42, getting extra playing time once Frank Thomas went down with an injury.  In 32 games, he hit .131, failing to homer and driving in only 6.

Baines returned to the White Sox dugout in 2004, when new manager Ozzie Guillen named him bench coach.  He would remain on staff until 2015, when he became an ambassador for the team.  On July 20, 2008, the White Sox unveiled a bronze statue of Baines at U.S. Cellular Field prior to their game against the Royals.  On December 9, 2018, Baines was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2019 via the Today’s Game Era ballot.

Baines’ numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

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#4 – Robin Ventura

Name: Robin Ventura

Rank: 4

Position: 3B

Years With White Sox: 1989-1998

Robin Ventura joined the White Sox organization as the 10th overall pick in the 1988 draft.  He made his major league debut the following September, going 1-4 with an RBI in a 11-1 victory over the Orioles at Memorial Stadium.  He appeared in 16 games down the stretch, hitting only .178 while driving in 7 runs in 45 at bats.

A good spring in 1990 led to Ventura breaking camp with the White Sox.  He struggled, both on the field and at the plate, suffering through a horrendous 0-for-41 slump while committing 25 errors over the course of the season.  However, he did lead AL rookies with 150 games played and his 123 hits were the most by a White Sox rookie since Ozzie Guillen in 1985.  He finished the year with a .249 average, 5 home runs, and 54 RBIs.  He placed 7th in Rookie of the Year voting and was named to the Topps All Star Rookie team.

Ventura and the White Sox moved in to the new Comiskey Park in 1991, hoping to improve on the previous year’s growth.  He improved his fielding enough to earn his first Gold Glove award and led the league in putouts.  At the plate, he set a White Sox team record for RBIs by a third baseman, finishing with an even 100.  He upped his average to .284 and hit 23 home runs.  His work was enough to garner enough MVP votes to finish in 20th place.

1992 was another good year for Ventura.  He earned his first All Star nod, going 2-2 in the AL’s victory at Jack Murphy Stadium.  He finished the year with a .282 average, 16 home runs, and 93 RBIs.  He also snagged his second consecutive Gold Glove award.

Ventura continued his successful ways in 1993.  He collected his 500th hit in May and, on August 4, he entered the public consciousness with an event that would come to define his entire career.  While batting against the Rangers, Ventura was hit by a pitch thrown by Nolan Ryan and charged the mound.  Ryan, 20 years Ventura’s senior, placed him in a headlock and punched him several times, starting a bench-clearing brawl that was voted the best baseball brawl of all time by SportCenter.  Ventura saw his average drop to .262, but his OPS set a new career high.  His 94 RBIs made him the first AL third baseman with three consecutive 90-RBI seasons since Graig Nettles in the mid 70s.  During the ALCS against the Blue Jays, Ventura hit .200, with just 1 home run and 5 RBIs across the six game series.  After the season, he was awarded his third consecutive Gold Glove award.

The strike in 1994 saw Ventura’s streak of 90 RBI seasons and Gold Gloves come to an end.  When baseball stopped in August, Ventura was hitting .282 with 18 home runs and 78 RBIs, while posting a new career high with an .832 OPS.

When play resumed in late April 1995, Ventura struggled out of the gate, committing ten errors in the first ten games.  As the White Sox started to tear down the team that had finished the previous two seasons on top of their division, trade rumors started to follow Ventura, though nothing came to fruition.  On September 4, he became the eighth player in history to hit two grand slams in one game, and the first since Frank Robinson in 1970.  He finished the year setting career highs with a .295 average, an .882 OPS, and 26 home runs while driving in 93 runs.

Ventura had the best year of his career to date in 1996.  He set White Sox team records in career home runs by a third baseman, with 142, and grand slams, with 9.  He set new career highs with 34 home runs, 105 RBIs, 2 triples, an OPS of .888, and a .974 fielding percentage at the hot corner.  He hit .287, while earning his fourth Gold Glove award.

1997 turned into a dismal year for Ventura and the White Sox.  During a spring training game at Ed Smith Stadium, Ventura caught his foot in the mud while sliding into home plate and suffered a broken and dislocated right ankle.  Expected to miss the entire season, he returned on July 24, collecting the game-winning hit that night, and homered in his first at-bat the next night.  With the White Sox only 3.5 games behind the Indians in the standings, a healthy Ventura might have put them over the top.  A week later, the team threw in the towel in what eventually became to be known as the White Flag Trade, sending Wilson Alvarez, Roberto Hernandez, and Danny Darwin to the Giants for prospects.  “We didn’t realize Aug. 1 was the end of the season,” said an upset Ventura.  He finished the year appearing in 54 games, hitting .262 with 6 home runs and 26 RBIs.

As Ventura entered the last year of his contract in 1998, the White Sox made little attempt to sign him to an extension, with owner Jerry Reinsdorf claiming his skills were “deteriorating” after his injury the year before.  With more trade rumors following him throughout the season, he finished the year with a .263 average, 21 home runs, and 91 RBIs while earning his fifth Gold Glove award.  Following the season, he became a free agent, ending his White Sox playing career.

On October 6, 2011, Ventura returned to the White Sox as their 39th manager.  He resigned following the 2016 season, finishing with a career record of 375-435 for a winning percentage of .463.

For his career, Ventura ranks 6th in White Sox history with 39.4 WAR, 8th with 28.8 OWAR, 8th with 12.9 DWAR, 6th with 171 home runs, 8th with 741 RBIs, and 5th with 668 walks.

Ventura’s numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

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#10 – Ozzie Guillen

Name: Ozzie Guillen

Rank: 10

Position: SS

Years With White Sox: 1985-1997

Acquired by the White Sox, along with Tim Lollar, Bill Long, and Luis Salazar, on December 6, 1984 from the Padres for Kevin Kristan, Todd Simmons, and LaMarr Hoyt, Ozzie Guillen made his major league debut on Opening Day 1985, leading off against the Brewers and going 1-5 in the 4-2 victory at County Stadium.  Settling in as the everyday shortstop, Guillen finished the year with a .273 average, 21 doubles, and 9 triples.  Those totals were good enough to score Guillen the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year trophy.

Guillen saw a slight drop off in his sophomore season.  His average dropped to .250 and he managed 19 doubles and 4 triples.  Defensively, he led the American League in Defensive WAR.

1987 was a nice bounce back for Guillen.  He raised his average back up to .279 with a .656 OPS.  For the second straight year, he led the AL, and all of baseball, in Defensive WAR.

Guillen earned his first All Star nod in 1988, though he didn’t get in to the game.  By the end of the season, he once again led all of baseball in Defensive WAR, while seeing his average drop to .261 with 7 triples, the fifth highest total in the AL.

1989 was a tough year for Guillen.  He posted his worst offensive numbers since 1986 and, on the base paths, he fell victim to the hidden ball trick.  Twice. On June 23, against the Brewers, first baseman Greg Brock held the ball after a pickoff attempt and when Guillen took his hand off the base to stand up, Brock tagged him out.  Less than 2 months later, on August 5 against the Tigers, Dave Bergman made the same play.  He finished the year with .253 average and, despite his adventures on pick off attempts, a career high 36 stolen bases.

As the surprising White Sox challenged for the AL West title while saying goodbye to Comiskey Park, Guillen put in one of the finest seasons of his career.  He was named to his second All Star team, going 0-2, finished in 17th place in MVP voting, and earned his first, and only, Gold Glove.  He raised his average back up to .279 and knocked in a career high 58 RBIs.

Expectations were high for the White Sox as they moved across the street to the new Comiskey Park in 1991.  Guillen earned his third, and final, All Star nod, getting a sacrifice in his only plate appearance.  He ended the year with a .273 average and set a career high with 3 home runs.

Guillen’s 1992 season came to an early end when, on April 21 during a loss against the Yankees, a collision with outfielder Tim Raines ended in a severe knee injury.  Appearing in only 20 games, he hit a career low .200 in only 40 at bats.

Guillen recovered in 1993, though he appeared in only 134 games, his lowest total to date.  However, it was his most productive season offensively, posting a .280 batting average, and career highs with 4 home runs and a .666 OPS, as the White Sox won their first division title in a decade.  He hit .273 and scored 4 runs in a losing effort, as the White Sox were defeated in 6 games by the Blue Jays in the ALCS.

1994 looked to be the year that the White Sox finally broke through.  Guillen was up to the challenge, hitting a career high .288 with a .659 OPS.  Unfortunately, the year ended early when players went on strike on August 12 with the White Sox in first place in the newly created AL Central.

The 1995 season got off to a late start and had an abbreviated schedule due to the long work stoppage.  The success of the White Sox, and for Guillen himself, didn’t survive the long layoff.  Guillen saw his average drop to .248, his lowest over a “full” season in his career to this point.  His OPS dropped to its lowest total, excepting 1992, since 1989.

1996 saw a slight improvement for Guillen.  He appeared in 150 games, his highest total since his knee injury in 1992.  He raised his average back to .263 and tied his career high with 4 home runs.

1997 was easily the worst season of Guillen’s White Sox career.  He had the lowest average of his career, coming in at .245, though he did once again tie his career high with 4 home runs.  Following the season, Guillen became a free agent and his playing career with the White Sox came to an end.

Guillen returned to the White Sox organization for the 2004 season as manager.  In 2005, he led the team to their first American League pennant since 1959 and their first World Series title in 88 years.  Ongoing personal difficulties with General Manager Kenny Williams led to his leaving with 2 games left in the 2011 season as the third winningest manager in franchise history.

Guillen’s numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

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#17 – Scott Podsednik

Name: Scott Podsednik

Rank: 17

Position: LF

Years With White Sox: 2005-2007, 2009

Scott Podsednik was traded to the White Sox, along with Luis Vizcaino, from the Brewers for Carlos Lee on December 13, 2004.  He moved in to the leadoff spot as part of manager Ozzie Guillen’s grinderball philosophy.  After putting up a .294 average with 44 steals in the first half, he earned his first All Star game nod, getting elected in the Final Vote.  Injuries slowed him in the second half, but he was back to full strength when the regular season came to an end and the White Sox embarked on their first post-season appearance in 5 years.

After going the entire regular season without a home run, Podsednik went deep against the Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS, helping the White Sox to a 14-2 victory on their way to a 3 game sweep of the defending champions.  Podsednik continued his steady play during the ALCS, hitting .294 with a triple and 3 stolen bases in the 5 game series.  The shining moment of his career came in Game 2 of the World Series, thanks to a walkoff home run against Brad Lidge in the 9th inning, giving the White Sox a 2-0 lead on their way to a sweep and their first world championship in 88 years.  For his efforts, Podsednik finished in 12th place for MVP voting.

As the White Sox looked to repeat in 2006, Podsednik found it difficult to duplicate his efforts from the year before.  His average was down 29 points, to .261, and his stolen base total was off by 19.

Injuries limited Podsednik to 62 games in 2007.  His offensive production continued to be lacking and, after the White Sox fell completely out of contention for the first time in years, the team decided to change their approach and gave Podsednik his release.

He returned to the White Sox organization in 2009, signing a minor league deal.  Injuries to Brian Anderson, Dewayne Wise, and Carlos Quentin gave him plenty of opportunity with the big league club, and he responded by hitting .304, his highest total since 2003.  Following the season, he became a free agent.

Podsednik’s numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

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#24 – LaMarr Hoyt

Name: LaMarr Hoyt

Rank: 24

Position: P

Years With White Sox: 1979-1984

Acquired by the White Sox, along with Robert Polinsky and Oscar Gamble, from the Yankees for Bucky Dent days before the start of the 1977 season, LaMarr Hoyt made his major league debut two years later, on September 14, 1979, against the A’s, throwing an inning of scoreless relief at Comiskey Park.  He appeared in one other game, ending the year with 3 innings pitched without giving up a run.

Hoyt split the 1980 season between Triple A and Chicago.  With the White Sox, he went back and forth between the bullpen and the rotation, ending the season with a 9-3 record and a 4.57 ERA.

Hoyt worked almost exclusively out of the bullpen in 1981.  He earned 10 saves while posting another 9-3 record, while lowering his ERA to 3.57.  He moved in to the rotation full time in 1982 and tied a club record by winning his first 9 decisions.  He ended up leading the American League in wins, posting a 19-15 record, while walking a minuscule 48 batters in nearly 240 innings.

A slow start, for both Hoyt and the White Sox, in 1983 gave way to a tremendous run that ended with Hoyt leading all of baseball with 24 wins against only 10 losses, good enough for a Cy Young award and some MVP consideration.  He lowered his walk total to 31 while upping his innings pitched to nearly 261.  In the ALCS against the Orioles, he threw a complete game in the first game of the series, giving up only one run in the only White Sox victory.

Hoyt, and the White Sox, faltered in 1984, failing to live up to expectations following the successes of 1983.  Never a thin man, Hoyt’s weight became an issue in 1984, as battery mate Carlton Fisk described the pitcher as having “everything it takes, including a lot of stomach.”  Hoyt finished the year 13-18, leading the league in losses after leading in victories for the past 2 years.  His ERA jumped to 4.47, his worse total since 1980.

Following the season, Hoyt, along with 2 minor leaguers, was traded to the Padres for Ozzie Guillen, Tim Lollar, Bill Long, and Luis Salazar.  Hoyt rejoined the White Sox organization on July 1, 1987, hoping to work his way back from a shredded shoulder and drug addictions, but a fourth drug arrest in December brought his career to an end.

Hoyt’s numbers in a White Sox uniform were:

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#30 – Greg Walker

Name: Greg Walker

Rank: 30

Position: 1B

Years With White Sox: 1982-1990

Acquired as a rule 5 selection from the Phillies in 1979, Greg Walker made his major league debut for the White Sox on September 18, 1982, pinch hitting for Marc Hill and getting a hit against Brian Kingman in the White Sox 5-4 loss to the A’s at Comiskey Park.  During his brief cup of coffee with the big league club, Walker took advantage, hitting .412 with 2 home runs in 11 games.

Walker split time with Tom Paciorek in 1983, hitting .270 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs in 118 games.  He led the American League with 15 pinch hit RBIs.  He appeared in 2 games during the ALCS against the Orioles, going 1-3 with a walk.

In 1984, Walker started to establish himself as the every day first baseman.  In 136 games, he hit 24 home runs while posting a .294 average.  He hit another 24 home runs in 1985 while tying a White Sox record with 163 games played.

1986 saw Walker spend time on the disabled list, limiting him to 78 games and only 13 home runs, with a .277 average.  He bounced back in 1987, appearing in 157 games and setting career highs with 27 home runs and 94 RBIs while hitting a career low .256.

Walker’s 1988 season came to a premature end on July 30, when he suffered a seizure during batting practice while fielding grounders from coach Ed Brinkman.  Four trainers were needed to hold Walker down and pry open his mouth to prevent Walker from swallowing his own tongue.  During the ordeal, Walker bit his tongue and chipped a tooth from biting down on a pair of scissors.  A subsequent seizure the following day kept Walker in the hospital for 11 days.  A third seizure, days after being released from the hospital, left him in a daze for months.

He returned in 1989, unsure if he would be able to continue his career, until a .308 spring average with 7 home runs convinced him, and the White Sox, that he once again could be a productive member of the lineup.  He wasted little time in getting back in the swing of things, participating in an Opening Day brawl against the Angels after Bob McClure hit Ivan Calderon with a pitch in the ninth inning.  The good feelings did not last, though, as he appeared in only 77 games due to a shoulder injury and hit a career low .210 with only 5 home runs.

Walker found himself the odd man out in 1990, appearing in only 2 games before being released on April 30.

Walker rejoined the White Sox organization on May 19, 2003 as hitting coach, a position he would hold until September 28, 2011 in the waning days of Ozzie Guillen’s tenure.

Walker’s numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

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#34 – John Danks

Name: John Danks

Rank: 34

Position: P

Years With White Sox: 2007-2016

John Danks was acquired by the White Sox, along with Nick Masset, from the Rangers for Brandon McCarthy following the 2006 season.  He broke camp with the Sox in 2007 and made his major league debut on April 8, picking up the loss against the Twins at US Cellular Field.  Danks, along with the rest of the White Sox, struggled through 2007, finishing the year with a 6-13 record and a 5.50 ERA.

2008 was a different story for both the White Sox and Danks.  Posting a career-best 3.32 ERA, Danks finished the year at 12-9 and had quite possibly the best outing of his career in game 163, throwing 8 scoreless innings of 2 hit ball against the Twins to secure the Central Division title.  Less than a week later, he picked up the lone White Sox victory in the ALDS against the Rays.

Danks had continued success in both 2009 and 2010, combining for a 28-22 record over the two years, with an ERA in the 3.70s both years.  2011 went south for both the White Sox and John Danks, as his ERA jumped to 4.33 while manager Ozzie Guillen lost control of the team before leaving in the final week to head to the Marlins.  Following the season, the White Sox signaled their faith in Danks, signing him to a 5 year extension worth $65 million.

Danks struggled through 9 starts in 2012 before hitting the disabled list with a mysterious shoulder injury.  When he finally underwent surgery, doctors found a torn shoulder capsule.  Very few pitchers have undergone this surgery, and even fewer have successfully returned to the same level they were before the injury.

Sadly, Danks’ recovery did not happen as anyone would have wanted, though not for a lack of effort.  He returned in 2013, making 22 starts and going 4-14 with a 4.75 ERA.  2014 was more of the same, as his ERA was 4.74, though his record improved to 11-11.  And 2015, again, saw Danks put up an ERA of 4.71 in 30 starts.

In 2016, Danks, in the final season of his contract and due $14.25 million, went 0-4 with a 7.25 ERA in April.  With the surprising White Sox in first place after 1 month and with Danks accounting for half of the team’s losses, being an innings eater was no longer good enough.  He was designated for assignment on May 3, ending his White Sox career.

Danks’ numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

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#41 – Craig Grebeck

Name: Craig Grebeck

Rank: 41

Position: SS/2B

Years With White Sox: 1990-1995

Craig Grebeck joined the White Sox as an undrafted amateur free agent On August 13, 1986.  He made his major league debut on April 13, 1990, pinch hitting for Scott Fletcher in the White Sox 6-2 loss to the Indians at Comiskey Park.  Splitting time between Triple A and the big leagues, Grebeck appeared in 59 games for the White Sox, hitting an anemic .168 in 119 at bats while playing as the smallest man in the American League.  He hit his first major league home run off Nolan Ryan on August 10.

Grebeck improved in 1991, as the White Sox moved across the street to their new digs.  Appearing in a career high 107 games, he hit .281 with a career high 6 home runs.

A severe knee injury that ended Ozzie Guillen’s season in late April saw Grebeck get significant time in the starting lineup in 1992.  While his total appearances dropped to 88 games, he started 85 of them, garnering more at bats and hitting .268 with the increased playing time.

With Guillen back and Joey Cora entrenching himself at second base, Grebeck was moved back to the bench in 1993.  His average dropped to .226 while making appearances in 72 games.  He had one at bat in the ALCS against the Blue Jays, singling in the Game 2 loss as a pinch hitter.

Grebeck bounced back in 1994, hitting .309 in only 35 games before the strike ended the season on August 12.  When baseball returned in 1995, Grebeck appeared in 53 games for the White Sox, hitting .260.  Following the season, he became a free agent.

Grebeck’s numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

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