In their own words, Sox tell a story in quotes throughout the year.
Even Miss Cleo - the cheesy, yet sometimes insightful fortuneteller who used to be on TV informercials - couldn’t have seen this coming.
The White Sox knew they were in a tough division and it was going to be a battle, but they were confident their bullpen would be improved from last season, they would have a prolific offense and the starting pitching would be all right.
Well, one out of three ain’t bad.
There are few people who thought the Sox would struggle as the team has this year, battling to stay out of last place instead of fighting for first.
Here, in their own words, are the 55 most telling ups and downs of the Sox’s first 100 games of the 2007 season.
Why 55? Well, that would be one for each loss, through Tuesday.
“We wanted a better bullpen, so when (manager Ozzie Guillen) raised his left or right arm he can get some outs. And the ability to have these guys contractually under control and grow with each other quite a while, it excites me.”
General manager Ken Williams, at SoxFest.
“I don’t anticipate any problems this year. I’m going to have a full offseason of strictly a back program and I’m going to take it through the season. I anticipate it going well.”
Third baseman Joe Crede, talking about his back, at SoxFest.
“There’s definitely some curiosity on how it’s all going to come together. I’ve heard people say, ‘This could be really good, or this could be really bad.’ ‘These guys can fall flat on their faces.’
“That’s kind of the attitude of any team going in, but at the same time, when you have the guys that don’t have the proven track record with some of those slots or where they’re going to be slotted in, it’s a fair question to ask.”
Team captain Paul Konerko’s thoughts about the 2007 Sox, upon arriving at camp in Tucson, Ariz.
“I’m just glad it’s over with. It’s a good experience for me - it could happen to anyone.”
Juan Uribe, addressing his offseason problems in which he was accused of shooting and wounding two men in the Dominican Republic.
“After my last contract that I signed with the Yankees, getting traded all the time, it really took a toll on me and my family. It’s all about being comfortable. It really is.”
Javier Vazquez, upon signing a three-year, $34 million contract extension with the Sox.
“I was trying to make a ‘Web Gem.’ ”
Catcher Toby Hall, on a diving play he made at first base in a Cactus League game. Hall tore the labrum in his right shoulder and missed the first 36 games of the season while rehabbing.
“Before, I had my hands tied up because I didn’t have anybody down (in the minors). ... I let everyone here know this is about winning, it’s not about, ‘OK, guys, you’re great guys, you’re going to be on the club.’
“They know if they don’t perform, I don’t want to make them nervous, but that’s the way it should be.”
Guillen, when the Sox made their final cuts in the bullpen.
“It’s never the way you want to start the season. I guess the season is over now. We lost Opening Day ...
“It’s always nice to get off to a good start. If it doesn’t happen, everyone wants to make less of it. If you get off to a great start, everyone is on Cloud 9. I saw the Cubs lost, too, so I guess their season is over.
“Get ready for Bears football.”
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski after a 12-5 Opening Day loss at home to Cleveland.
“I hope I’m wrong, but I might get an ulcer before the All-Star break.’’
Guillen, after the second game of the season, another Sox loss.
“It’s gotten beyond ridiculous. It really has. I don’t know - I don’t have the words to really describe what it’s like to go through. I’ve been down this road before, but it comes to the point where you’re like, ‘What else?’ ”
Scott Podsednik, one day after injuring his adductor while working out alone at U.S. Cellular Field on an off day.
“Obviously, never in a million years did I think this would happen. Go out there, getting that final out, I just ... I don’t know if it’s really sunk in yet.”
Mark Buehrle, after throwing the 16th no-hitter in Sox history.
“I think the way our bullpen is throwing, if we get in a tie game from the sixth inning on, we match up with anybody a lot better now. With (Detroit’s) bullpen, that’s a tough game to win on the road because they have the last at-bat and the percentages are always in the home team’s favor, especially when it’s a battle of the bullpen.
“But our bullpen is really a story right now.”
Paul Konerko after the Sox bullpen threw three scoreless innings in a 7-5, 10-inning win over Detroit.
“You can’t keep aggravating it, so there’s nothing, really, you can do.”
Jim Thome, on the date he went on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his rib cage. He would be out until May 20.
“Good to get the first one out of the way. It’s been bothering me here for a little bit. It’s good to get it out of the way and move on.”
Rookie John Danks, after earning his first major league win. It took six starts to get the win, Danks being the victim of some bad luck and equally bad run support.
“I’m looking to see who responds and who doesn’t respond. And we as a group, in all facets of the game, have not responded well. And it’s time to pick it up a little bit.”
Williams, before the Sox-Cubs game at Wrigley Field.
“I think we just hit with the perfect storm.”
Hitting coach Greg Walker, about the team’s struggles on offense.
“It was a pathetic week. They better look themselves in the mirror and start thinking about what they’re going to do. I’m willing to take the blame; I will take the blame like I always do.
“In the meanwhile, the 25 guys we’ve got down there, they better look themselves in the mirror and check his butt. Everyone. If we have to shake up this ballclub, we will, at least Kenny will.”
Guillen, after his team was swept in a three-game series at Minnesota.
“Right now, I’d have to say it’s obvious that in this particular area I have not made the correct decision and I’ve got to wear it.”
Williams’ assessment about the bullpen.
“Last year was a pain that was tolerable and we were able to control the pain back there. It wasn’t the same kind of pain it is now. It’s the nerve pain now. Last year there was a little bit of that, but it wasn’t as bad as it is this time.”
Crede, upon being placed on the disabled list. He would soon have season-ending surgery.
“The first month it was like, ‘OK, it’s crappy weather.’ Now we’ve gone a month where we’ve had a lot better weather and we don’t have excuses for still hitting .230, basically.”
Rob Mackowiak, on the Sox’s continuing struggles on offense.
“It was a great meeting. Everybody had smiles on their faces afterwards. ... It was nothing negative. We were just - it was a meeting about what can we do to get back on the right track.”
Bobby Jenks, after a players-only meeting.
“If you get frustrated with every little thing that’s going wrong, you’ll kill yourself. That’s how bad it’s at. ... Miserable, not fun, couldn’t script it any worse. It’s been a little bit of everything here and there. ... I’m at a loss for words.”
Konerko, after his team lost 5-4 to Florida. The Sox were in the midst of a stretch in which they lost 22 of 27 games.
“There’s really no energy, no intensity right now. We have to somehow find a way to change the attitude, create some energy. We have to get something going. We need a change. We need to get the offense going. I don’t know how we’re going to do that. Do you have any ideas?”
Podsednik, upon being recalled from rehab to play against the Cubs.
“I felt like it was good enough to go out there and play. I still feel that way. I’m not going to second-guess myself.”
Darin Erstad, one day after leaving a game against the Cubs after aggravating his left ankle sprain. He played a half-inning between stints on the disabled list.
“Slapped in the face, hit upside the head, whatever you want to call it. Change needs to happen and change is going to happen.”
Williams, with the first of many statements promising change.
“I told the guys ‘We’re going from pizza to doughnuts.’ ”
Guillen, after his club struck out at least 10 times in four consecutive games - prompting a Tampa Bay Devil Rays promotion for free pizzas for fans - and before heading to Kansas City, where fans get free doughnuts if the opposing team strikes out eight times in a game.
“I never remember anything like this. I’ve never lost 10 games, I’ve never been below .500 in my life. You just have to keep working.”
Jose Contreras, upon dropping to 5-10 for the season.
“The results were absolutely terrible. I’m embarrassed by my effort ... I didn’t help the team one bit today.”
Jon Garland, after getting shelled for a career-high 11 earned runs (12 total) in 3 1/3 innings in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader vs. Minnesota. The Twins earned a sweep, winning 20-14 and 12-0.
“Attention, fans, we have important news to announce.”
Public address announcer Gene Honda’s announcement over the loudspeakers, just seconds before he told the crowd at U.S. Cellular Field that Mark Buehrle had signed a four-year, $56 million contract extension with the Sox.
“For whatever reason, it’s not happening. And I’ll own up to that. I put it together, I’ll own up to it. I have a great manager, a great pitching coach and if it’s not getting done, it’s not getting done because I didn’t put the right pieces together. Bottom line.”
Williams’ declaration upon making an unscheduled trip to join the team in Cleveland.
More Sox coverage can be found online at www.dailysouthtown.com/sports